A land lease isn’t a standard home purchase—there are some pros and cons you need to weigh before signing on the dotted line. Find out more about 100% financing, subordinated vs. unsubordinated ground leases, key provisions of a financeable ground lease, use of ground leases with student housing projects and airports, and provision considerations in leasehold valuation.
We've already done the research for you.
Before you search elsewhere, take advantage of the research we've already done for you. Formerly known as Field Guides, References tabs contain links to external articles, titles from the NAR Library eBooks collection, websites, statistics, and other material to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives on each topic. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.
Ground Lease Definition
A long-term lease of land in which the tenant will erect improvements at its own expense. Not a desirable arrangement from the tenant's point of view, but sometimes the only way to gain access to extremely valuable real estate in an excellent location. The owner may be willing to sell, or the owner may have received the property by gift or deed (such as a church or university) and be prohibited from selling for some period of time. At the end of the lease term, the improvements become the property of the landowner.
Source: The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia, (McGraw-Hill, 2007)
Ground Lease Basics
Own the Home, but Not the Land? What You Must Know About Land Lease Deals, (realtor.com®, Mar. 19, 2015)
5 Tips for Your Next Ground Lease Investment, (Andrus & Morgan, Aug. 17, 2014)
Ground Lease Fundamentals in Commercial Real Estate, (PropertyMetrics, Aug. 4, 2014)
Top 10 Basic Terms for a Financeable Ground Lease, (McGuire Woods, Jan. 7, 2014)
Ground Control: Owners and developers unearth opportunities through creative land leases, (CIRE Magazine, May 30, 2012)
On Solid Ground, (CIRE Magazine, June 14, 2011)
The ABCs of Ground Leases, (SIOR, 2nd quarter 2008)
Ground Lease 101, (Realty Times, Oct. 24, 2006)
Ground Control, (Commercial Investment Real Estate, May/June, 2006)
Ground Lease News
Ground Lease Approved for Chicago's New George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, (Inquisitr, Oct. 18, 2015)
Envoy Announces New Program That Provides 100% Financing for Ground Lease Developments, (BusinessWire, May 14, 2015) E
Developers are Taking $90M Step Forward, (San Diego Business Journal, 2013) E
Fifth Third Ground Lease Sold for $1.3M, (McClatchy - Tribune Business News, Jan. 24, 2013) E
Public-Private Overhaul, (Multi-Housing News, Oct. 2012) E
Airport Industrial Park Plan Lacks Interest, (McClatchy - Tribune Business News, Mar. 30, 2012) E
Controversial Part of Ground Rent Law Overturned, (Baltimore Sun, Oct. 25, 2011)
Should You Buy Property on Leased Land?, (Investopedia, July 4, 2011)
Why I Bought in a Land-leased Building, (Brick Underground, Mar. 2, 2011)
Valuing & Financing Ground Leases
Adding Value Before Breaking Ground: Keys to a Financeable Ground Lease, (Lorman Educational Services, Jan. 8, 2014)
Leasehold Analysis In Valuation Assignments, (Appraisal Institute, Northern California Chapter, Oct. 29, 2013)
A Reality Check on Ground Lease Reversions, (Appraisal Journal, Winter 2009) E
Qualified Ground Lease Lenders Can Help Borrowers Save Time and Money, (CCIM, Sept./Oct. 2008)
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Commercial Real Estate Investing: 12 Easy Steps to Getting Started, (Kindle, eBook)
Commercial Real Estate Investment, (eBook)
Complete Book of Real Estate Leases, (eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports
Commercial lease law answer book, (Vendome Group, 2008) KF 593 C6
Lease guide: guide to writing a commercial real estate lease including green lease language, (BOMA International, 2008) HD 1384 T23
The leasing process: landlord and tenant perspectives, (Institute of Real Estate Management, 2008) HD 1394 M89
Managing and leasing commercial properties, (Wiley, 2007) HD 1394 AL2ma
Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.
The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.