1. Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premiere online community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

Do sidewalks add value ?

Discussion in 'General Appraisal Discussion' started by MBuehler, Jul 14, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MBuehler

    MBuehler Sophomore Member

    0
    Dec 17, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Appraiser Trainee
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Just looking for some input. My mentor is on a much deserved vacation.

    If a HO in a basic suburban neighborhood is forced to pay for the new sidewalk that was installed in front of his 15 year old home, because the township insisted that all streets of this neighborhood had to have sidewalks put in, and HO was responsible for the sections that were put on their properties, would the sidewalk be considered more of a normal part of what a neighborhood would expect to have ? Or would this be considered an added value to the property ? All of the comparables that would be used in this report also have sidewalks. I have no idea if the HO of the comparables had to pay when the were installed, or if they were just built as part of the development.

    Just curious as to some opinions on here. The HO was very adamant about the several thousand dollars he had to layout recently to pay for this sidewalk.

    Looking at if from a buyers perspective, would a homeowner pay anymore for a home with a sidewalk versus one that didn't have one, if everything else was equal ?

    Thanks as always.
     
  2. Bearslide

    Bearslide Senior Member

    0
    Dec 9, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Cost does not necessarily equal value. The homeowner had to cough up some money to bring his property up to standard.

    I see neighborhoods with a mix of sidewalk/no sidewalk and have never seen any kind of verifiable price difference. Selling point is about it.
     
  3. Obsolescent

    Obsolescent Senior Member

    9
    Jul 6, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    The market data will give you the answer. Cost may not equal market value. If all the other homes in the neighborhood have sidewalks, then the value of those sidewalks, if any, would already be reflected in those sales prices. If he's the only one with a sidewalk, then maybe he has an overimprovement and the value added might be minimal, if any.

    In the condition of improvements section I would add comments that the village required new sidewalks. I would also find out if the sidewalks were paid for in a lump sum or if they are being assessed through his property taxes and make mention of that as well.
     
  4. Blue1

    Blue1 Elite Member

    0
    Jan 14, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    In order to find that out, you would need adquate Market data..i.e. comparable homes that sold WITH sidewalks and WITHOUT sidewalks.

    If your subject has a sidewalk equal to the sidewalks of the comparables then IMO it matters not how much was paid or who paid to install said sidewalk. The IMPORTANT thing is that it has a sidwalk EQUAL to the comparables and TYPICAL for the neighborhood.

    Good luck....
     
  5. Otis Key

    Otis Key Elite Member

    0
    May 15, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    And so you're going to finish and sign for your mentor and then send this report off? No offense or attack intended.
    And what does the market show that houses sell for? More? Less? The same as the ones without?
    Would you pay any mare for a property with a sidewalk than one without??????????
     
  6. xmrdfghap

    xmrdfghap Senior Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Florida
    If the city mandates sidewalks then there is no value added. BUT, all comps should have sidewalks, and if there is no sidewalk in front of a comp, and the city has mandated it, you might want to explain what the new owner is going to have to pay....will probably have to make an adjustment as well.
     
  7. KinIL

    KinIL Sophomore Member

    0
    Nov 30, 2005
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Illinois
    This is how I tend to look at items that may or may not attribute value -

    Would a typical person pay more for a home with a sidewalk? I imagine if it came down to a few hundred dollars, I think it's a possibility. In my opinion a typical person would not pay signifigantly more for a home with a sidewalk, thus warranting an adjustment.

    From there I'd try my best to actually substantiate what my gut is telling me. In this particular instance I'm fairly certain you won't be able to see a discernable difference when all other items between the subject and comparable are equal.

    After that point I'd also include in your report (you might as well, seeing as you already did the research) that you attempted to substantiate a value for the sidewalk presence, and report your claims.
     
  8. KinIL

    KinIL Sophomore Member

    0
    Nov 30, 2005
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Illinois
    And to continue with what Goodpasture stated, a home without a mandated sidewalk may require taking into account future special assessments that would be levied.
     
  9. Michigan CG

    Michigan CG Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    96
    Nov 1, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Michigan
    Without commenting on previous posts which I find....well...looking at the ultimate Paired analysis theory taught in appraisal schools.....there is a forth approach to value called common sense. Would YOU pay significantly more for a sidewalk in front of your home? I doubt it seriously. Who really cares in most parts of the country? Is it really something you can extract from market data? I highly doubt it.

    On the other hand...it could have a negative value on a home in that there is a special assessment levied against the homeowner, lets say $5,000 to be extreme. Capitalize the debt of the homeowner to the municipality to figure that out...but even that is a stretch.
     
  10. Marcia Langley

    Marcia Langley Senior Member

    0
    Aug 26, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Missouri
    MB,

    You have received great advice here. One more thought is that if you anticipate future questioning from your client regarding the sidewalk issue, your best defense is if all your best comps also have sidewalks.

    If they do, simply say so in your report. Whatever value they have is already reflected in the sales price.

    Since you know it might be an issue, you might take extra photos of the comp sidewalks for your workfile.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page