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Old 03-09-2006, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
State: Rhode Island
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 34
Default 2 lots/1 Deed

This is a question that continues to confuse me. The property I have been asked to appraise consists of a house on one lot which has one parcel number and one field card, plus an additional buildable lot which has a seperate parcel number and a seperate field card. Both lots are non-confoming,and both are grandfathered. Normally my response would be that this is really 2 appraisals, one with the lot and the dwelling, and one with the seperate lot, and that they can be reported on one form, but they are seperate appraisals. HOWEVER, the two lots were purchased together on one deed, and I have had several appraisers who should know tell me that if 2 lots were purchased on the same deed they should be appraised as one parcel. This doesn't make sense to me, because my experience is that every town has different rules regarding whether and when lots are considered to be conjoined, and in my mind, if the lot is buildable, even if it is a non-conforming lot, it should be appraised seperately as a land appraisal. Can anyone shed some light on this issue for me?
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:36 PM
Wendy Wendy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Volusia/Flagler
State: Florida
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 4,133

I could buy any number of lots and houses all over town on one deed. This does not mean they are one unit.

If the vacant lot is buildable and separate like you state, you have two appraisals. SFR & land.
Old 03-09-2006, 03:52 PM
Steve Owen's Avatar
Steve Owen Steve Owen is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Joplin, Missouri
State: Missouri
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 5,409

Not so fast.

I would submit that whether this is one appraisal or two depends on the needs of the client. If the properties are contiguous and could be sold together then it is perfectly reasonable to appraise them as one property if what the client wants is an appraisal to determine the asking price. In fact, it would be a violation of Standards Rule 1-4(e) to do them separately, in most cases.

On the other hand, if the scope of the assignment calls for the lot to be appraised as excess land, then it is most appropriate to appraise as two separate appraisals (although they might still be reported together in a single report).

The fact that the lot is buildable is only one fact. The real question is how would the market look at the property and what is the need of your client.

IMHO, being recorded together on one deed carries little weight. Similarly, being taxed as two separate properties carries little weight. The real question is what is the assignment?
__________________ useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. - John Adams
Old 03-09-2006, 05:23 PM
john mello john mello is offline
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Massachusetts
State: Massachusetts
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 30

Laurie - Wendy's and Steve's posts make good points from the appraisal perspective. As an appraiser and assessor, in Massachusetts these properties would be described separately for ad valorem purposes as you indicate. If both properties are truly "grandfathered" (particularly the otherwise non-conforming vacant lot) for zoning purposes, they most likely are two separate and salable fee simple interests for appraisal purposes. The vacant lot might only be considered excess land vis. the abutting improved residential lot were it not considered improvable per local zoning. Just two cents more...
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