In real estate, above grade means the portion of a home that is above the ground.
Above grade is usually used to describe a room or square footage.For example, 3 bedrooms above grade means 3 bedrooms that are not in a basement.
Above grade rooms and sizes matter a lot. If you are looking for a home with 4 bedrooms upstairs and a real estate listing showed there were a total of 4 bedrooms, you wouldn’t know if 1, 2 or even 3 of those bedrooms were in the basement! Also, if a total square footage number was given for a home, you might not know that half of it was below grade. This could mean that a home you thought was 1000 ft² on the main floor turns out to only be 500 ft² with a 500 ft² basement!