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Old 03-13-2006, 12:38 PM
Kalum Johnson Kalum Johnson is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago
State: Illinois
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 33
Default Water Rights = $$$$

Appraising a property in Winfield IL:

I have 2 questions I need help with.

1. Does anyone know what added value a property would have if it is built off of a river and how would I go about finding out.(The plat survey indicates the owner has right about a 1/4 way into the river). I have already tried pulling comps with simliar water rights but found none. I have also called several realtors in the area with no results.

2. The same mentioned house is a raised ranch but is built like a split level. (the house is built into a slight hill and the front is level with the ground, if you go down into the basement and out the back door, it is also level with the ground.)

Do you count the basement level as GLA. Since it is ground level like the front.

Please help, this thing is driving me crazy.
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Old 03-13-2006, 12:44 PM
Marcia Langley's Avatar
Marcia Langley Marcia Langley is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Springfield, MO
State: Missouri
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 4,435


Regarding the basement ...

If any side is below grade, the entire level should all be counted as a basement.
Old 03-13-2006, 12:54 PM
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CANative CANative is online now
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Ukiah, CA
State: California
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 47,240

Frontage, views, access and other other water amenities typically add value, but not always. If you cannot find comparable sales of properties with similar amenities, then your assignment is complex. You may have to do a lot more than just finding some sales and adding or subtracting PFA adjustments.

You may have to analyze distant and historical sales regarding river frontage. You may have to use data from other locations to extract a reasonably supportable opinion of how the river frontage of this property plays a part. There are also other issues in waterfront properties. More so for rivers. Is it navigable? Is there public right of way? Does it flood? Are there environmental concerns? Does the septic system of the imrpovements comply with local requirements? Some older properties don't have wells but rather draw their domestic, potable water from the river or from gravel aquifierrs near the river. Etc., etc., etc.

You are going to have to spend a lot of time with this one. Maybe days, maybe a week.
Old 03-13-2006, 01:21 PM
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Ray Miller Ray Miller is offline
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Southwest Wisconsin
State: Wisconsin
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 12,000

Maybe a month, yes.
Old 03-13-2006, 01:38 PM
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TEL2002 TEL2002 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Louisiana
State: Louisiana
Professional Status: Retired Appraiser
Posts: 8,189

I did one with 200 foot frontage, but the owners were not allowed to do anything except stand there and look at the water. No boats in or out, no dock, etc. It was a navigation area controlled by the state. No one was allowed to use the sides so they could keep boating lanes open.

On the weekends I guess it becomes like a major 2 lane highway. Bumper to bumper boats.

Me thinks you really need to dig for your comps. Go back in time, as many years as necessary, on the same stretch of river and look for sales. then compare those sales to other non frontage properties in the area (from the same sale period) and see what impact the river had.
Old 03-13-2006, 03:42 PM
Brad Ellis Brad Ellis is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
State: California
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 2,551


Research the sales that have happened on that very river- on both banks- got a few blocks in each direction. All this info will be in your MLS via ISI (not necessarily MLS listings).

Then go find similar sales that happened OFF the river at about the same time as the historical sale on the river. That will give you a relationship between on and off and will allow you the basis for adjustments.

Good luck.

Old 03-13-2006, 04:05 PM
Kalum Johnson Kalum Johnson is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago
State: Illinois
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 33

Thank you all for your quick feedback. I think what Brad said is key. I'm like "why didn't I think of that it makes perfect sense" hopefully I can find enough data
Old 03-13-2006, 05:06 PM
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Jungle Boy Jungle Boy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: West Palm Beach
State: Florida
Professional Status: Real Estate Agent or Broker
Posts: 2,825

Remember that when homes were selling for more or less years ago, not to adjust dollar for dollar.
It's the relationship, as Brad mentioned, that is important.
Old 03-14-2006, 02:10 AM
Tom Barclay Tom Barclay is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
State: Oregon
Professional Status: Retired Appraiser
Posts: 2,116

Just a note in addition to agreeing with all the above. In this part of the world "water rights" means something completely different than just the location along the water. At least out here it refers to the right to use the water; pump it, irrigate with it, store it, etc.. These rights can be transferred, loaned, traded and may have a value completely separate from the real estate though they are often transferrd with the real estate. Just like mineral rights, air rights, etc. They can also be subject to abandonment, if they are not used for a specific period of time you can lose your rights. Generally these "rights" are on file, with the earliest filing having the first right to their alloted acre feet of water, progressing through the next earliest filed claim. When there is a dry spell, those who were the last to file have no water to pump.
I agree it is complex, and you need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. If there are "water rights" as I understand them, you need to find out who controls and administers those rights. Usually a separate utility or conservation district. Good luck

Last edited by Tom Barclay : 03-14-2006 at 02:23 AM.
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