Appraisal Articles 2018 Free Appraisal Articles for Appraisers and the Public
Client’s often ask me to appraise a property that has already been appraised. Why would they do that? One of the reasons is because the first appraisal missed important improvements or important sales evidence. The fact is that if you wait long enough even the best appraisal will be out of date because real estate markets change. There are times when I look at the sales used in a report and decide whether or not I am interested in appraising it again. I don’t formally review the old reports I just take a tentative look them and make decisions regarding whether they were accurate or not. Comparable sales may be easy to find in a neighborhood but unless you understand appraisal analysis you can’t tell if the sales are really comparable to the subject property. If the sales that you find are too far away, are too old (and the market has been changing) or the sales are just too dissimilar to the subject, you have to wonder as an appraiser why were they used?
Churches are special-purpose or special-use properties and generally not easily converted to alternate uses like retail. Usually you can’t modify a Sanctuary or most other religious buildings for another use, they are just not designed for that purpose. In Las Vegas there are church groups that have purchased what were originally office buildings or retail buildings and then they modified them for church use. Some of those buildings can be reclaimed and used for their original purpose, usually with significant renovation. These buildings are usually rectangular-shaped, one story buildings but they are relatively rare.
Once you leave the city and get away from the main, municipal and County water service providers you find out just how valuable water is. If you have a property that is 40 acres in size but you have no water rights or water service you usually have a single home site. You may have zoning that will allow 20 or 40 homes on it but if you can’t provide them all with water you can’t develop the property for all of those homesteads. Water rights are even more important to properties with commercial or industrial zoning, because those properties can never be used for their zoned or planned use without a legal water source. So, you may have an absolutely perfect site with high traffic, visibility and accessibility but if you don’t have the water you can’t develop the property.
When everyone on your block has rezoned their property commercial and your property is still zoned and planned residential it’s “reasonably probable” that your property will also be approved for a commercial use. Commercial zoning doesn’t exist for the site, so clearly commercial zoning is a hypothetical condition, but for appraisers it’s not taking a giant leap to realize that uses have changed, and the use of the subject will also likely change. There are other situations in the real estate world that can test an appraisers ability to make the right value decisions. Say you are appraising a low-density residentially zoned lot that is set back off the road, behind constructed single-family homes, but large and small vacant parcels surrounding it (including the homes) have been acquired by a speculator. So you are appraising what is effectively a “spite strip” or an “island” like parcel that you know the speculator must have. It appears to a casual observer that nothing has changed