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Slope vs Level lot

Discussion in 'Newbies/Appraiser WannaBe' started by William jackson, Jan 15, 2003.

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  1. William jackson

    William jackson Sophomore Member

    0
    Jan 14, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    California
    What is the most efficient method when adjusting for slope of a lot vs a level lot . Is there a formula for this or a reference I can find. Obviously a property on an acre level lot is worth more than a similar property on a lot that %50 slope.

    Thanks, William
     
  2. Pamela Crowley (Florida)

    Pamela Crowley (Florida) Elite Member

    3
    Jan 13, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Retired Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
  3. Dee Dee

    Dee Dee Elite Member

    1
    Jan 16, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Colorado
    William,
    There is no magic one-size-fits-all number or percentage adjustment.
    The adjustment will vary depending on the market demand (or lack thereof) in your area.
    An example....
    In my area, the mountains of Colorado, a one acre sloped lot may be worth significantly more if it provides Continental Divide views that a one acre flat lot does not have.
    An appraiser must make the determination of whether or not an adjustment for topography is necessary based on that market area. They will have to analyze recent sales of nearby properties to reach that conclusion.
    For what it's worth, I've seen more than my share of appraisals performed in my area where the appraiser made no adjustments at all when they were warranted. Without exception they are appraisers who aren't familiar enough with the area, so they avoid making proper adjustments. Around here the topography can swing the values of homes by tens of thousands of dollars in either direction, depending on the neighborhood, land usage demand such as whether or not horses can live there, and views.
     
  4. Willie

    Willie Senior Member

    0
    May 30, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Tennessee
    I agree alot w' Dee Dee. A non real estate person one time told me people will build/live anywhere. Here in TN it is often true.

    Here, it costs more to build on a slope lot. This must be considered. However, many lot buyers will not think of this before buying it, hence a slope lot may sell for as much as a level one across the street, in some instances.

    Also, a big consideration is view. A slope lot, which will cost more to build on may make up, what it lacks in topo., in form of a view.

    All said and done, in my neck of the woods, if the same house is on a slope lot vs. a level lot, it doesn' t make a whole lot of difference, for the most part.
     
  5. There typically isnt enough data to support adjustments for sloping lots, as mentioned before level no view, sloped good chance of a view..trade off.
    Something else to remember adjustments to land are frowned on by fannie, and this type of adjustment maybe considered by many as subjective....
     
  6. Lee SW IL

    Lee SW IL Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    In my market, the slightly slope lot is worth more.

    In one subdivision, flat 2 acre lot sells for $27,000, sloping lot, 2 acres, lists for $44,000.

    These people want the walkout basement.
     
  7. Lee in L.A.

    Lee in L.A. Elite Member

    202
    Jan 24, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    We have some developed areas with steep or vertical hillsides.

    I will in some areas use pad area rather than gross lot size for adjusting.
    This is in areas where lots have a usable part, and a down or uphill really steep part that you can't do anything with (except maybe clear the brush for fire prevention).

    you could have 1-2 acres gross, but maybe 10k usable pad. All that steep hillside hasn't much value if any. Maybe it protects your view and privacy, maybe it's just a pain to clear brush. Or you may have 2 acres gross and 1 1/2 usable, BIG difference in the high $ areas especially.
     
  8. William jackson

    William jackson Sophomore Member

    0
    Jan 14, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Lee, I appraise the high dollar San Francisco Bay Area and a flat level lot is almost always more desireable, unless views are involved. What method do you use to adjust for those differences if the lots are the same size.
    William
     
  9. Lee in L.A.

    Lee in L.A. Elite Member

    202
    Jan 24, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    William J, Not sure I understand your question. :?
    I agree, flat and usable is more valuable. Flat pad gets value, cliffside, no value generally / normally. If the lots are the same size, then the value difference would be something like a view, or locational influence. Both can make a big diff. I'm excluding toughts about the improvements of course.
    So you've got 3 different lines to adjust on, location, site size, view.
     
  10. Terrel L. Shields

    Terrel L. Shields Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    608
    May 2, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Arkansas
    Not so in my area. Even in towns that are basically level, the most desirable lot is one that slopes to the rear with wildlife critters hanging out in the hollow. You hang your deck out over the edge and watch the birds and squirrels. Few level lots can offer that. Only lots that are so steep as to preclude a septic system (in the absence of municpal service) would be adversely affected.

    Even in the rural areas, 40 acre flat ground will not bring more than sloped. Residential uses who prefer some flat ground, some sloped ground and some woodlot will pick the slopes every time. A farmer might want the flat ground 40, but the competition from residential users will outbid ranchers and farmers for those tracts with "character"....and if it has a spring on it add about 20%.
     
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