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Old 01-20-2007, 04:23 PM
matt hawk

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Default Historic Grist Mill

I have an order to appraise thirteen acres with an old grist mill that supposedly has historical significance. It's is in the back of the property, accessable only by a very rough and wet dirt road. Had to actually put the ole jeep in 4WD. The owner thinks it at least has some salvage value. His estimate was about $30,000, but it's only 4800 sf standing up and it has definatly fallen down. I'm not knowledgable about estimating the value of old timbers, but I am an amatuer woodworker and I don't see much more than a few hundred board feet of $4 wood, plus the cost to demo and transport. Anyone have any advice or experience on "historical" appraisals?
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Old 01-20-2007, 05:21 PM
Brian Weaver Brian Weaver is offline
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If its so significant maybe they'll move it to a more prominent site or create an access to it. The question is, to whom is this mill significant?

Is it personally significant to the owner?
Locally significant to the town, county, state?
Or is it on the National Register of historic places?
Old 01-20-2007, 08:34 PM
Dave Shuee Dave Shuee is offline
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The big items are the stone wheels and the drive system.
Old 01-20-2007, 10:35 PM
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Bearslide Bearslide is offline
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Originally Posted by Dave Shuee
The big items are the stone wheels and the drive system.
Agreed. There are several homes here that were built around or using the stone wheels - high dollar custom homes with $$$$ paid for the stone wheels. One home that I have been in is constructed of the original grist mill timbers which were removed, treated for wood pests, preserved and used throughout the home for supports. These beams were massive - about a foot square. That same home employed the wheels in the fireplace and kitchen stove surround. Quite stunning. Last time it sold was back in the 90's for close to $500,000 - and that was when a $200,000 home was a big deal here.

Might want to check with local realtors and orther area appraisers to see if they are aware of such a property and might have an idea of value for the mill - might also check with contracters and any local saw mills who do their own forestry - a true wood man should know about the wood. Might pay to check with old time stone masons as well..
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:34 AM
Brian Weaver Brian Weaver is offline
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Before figuring out the value for the parts...find out about the historic significance. You may be prohibited from altering the structure.
Old 01-21-2007, 11:38 AM
Stephen J. Vertin, MAI's Avatar
Stephen J. Vertin, MAI Stephen J. Vertin, MAI is offline
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Welcome to the forum. Do you have any photographs?

Steve Vertin
Old 01-22-2007, 09:59 AM
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Joker Joker is offline
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Brian is right on.

Often "historical significance" means nothing in terms of monetary value.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:08 PM
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Eminent Domain Eminent Domain is offline
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Depending upon the type of wood it is it could have some salvage value. Here folks are always salvaging barn boards. These are utilized for high-end custom home interiors. If the wood is wormy chestnut then it could have some significant value. I have heard of some reclaimed wormy chestnut denailed and planned fetching $5 to $6 per linear foot. However, its a heck of a job getting nails out of a 75+ year old board that is completely cured. As an earlier poster noted the grinding stones will have value as well. If you are willing to reclaim the materials yourself in the evenings and weekends it could be quite profitable but my guess is that "as-is" the value to a typical market participant would have to consider significant entrepreneurial profit for someone to be willing to buy these items and then do the work necessary to make them retail ready and still make a profit. Considering all of that there may not be alot of value to the land owner but to the middleman. While it is possible there is some salvage value in the boards and stones to me it sounds like this is a land appraisal only and let the owner figure the value of fallen mill.

Old 01-27-2007, 03:26 AM
JeffHand JeffHand is offline
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It sounds like the items are personal property, not real estate
Old 01-28-2007, 06:46 PM
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Ray Miller Ray Miller is offline
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The real estate will have some value. The mill or parts of the mill would have value if you made the appraisal subject to rebuild of the mill. But that would be a cost to cure. You would need to know restored to original condition.

If it down and he selling wood, timbers, mill wheels, gears. Then it becomes personal property.

I have done quite a few historic properties around Wisconsin here and they tend not to have an increase in value in the rural areas of these old buildings, cabins, schools and mills.
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