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Cistern vs. City water

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jtmilby

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
I would like to ask some professionals about the following situation. O.K. here goes.
My subject is located in a very rural area, only 5 homes on this 10 mile road, had to pass two horse a buggies just to get there (no kidding). The subject has no access to city water and also my two closest comps have no access to city water. Spoke with the PVA office and they said would water would not be in the area for another 5-8 years, but one of my comps that is 5 miles away is on city water.
What I need to know is since the subject and two comps are not on city water and one comp is should I make some type of functional utilty adjustment to off set the comp that has city water. If so should the adjustment be the hook up fee?
This is the first time I have been in the area, and I done some intensive research and really could not prove any marketable effects of the cistern vs. city water since a majority of the county does not have access to the water.
Please give any suggestions.
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
I think you answered yoursef to some extent:
intensive research and really could not prove any marketable effects of the cistern vs. city water since a majority of the county does not have access to the water.
The need for functional adjustment appears to be years down line as I read your other comments...

The market at this time may not recognize a need to move to city water: aside from the current lack of availability the city water comes with a bill every month.

Is the cistern water straight from the sky or hauled in at a cost?

We have the occasional homeowner in this area who does not want to put in city water despite availability since it will "cost a small fortune for the installation/water meter and require monthly fees" forever-after!
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
If the 2 Comps have the same type of water supply system as the Subject and there doesn't appear to be any change in the near term, I don't see a need to make an adjustment. The Subject and 2 Comps appear to the properties available.

You say CISTERN. That's not common here at all. Is that a collection system from leaf drippings and rodent spew? Or is it a type fo well?
 

Randy Massengale

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
I agree with the above poster. You answered your own question.If there is no measurable affect to value, no adjustment can be made.
 

Oregon Doug

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Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Oregon
jt - I don't know where you are, but don't your rural friends have wells?

Out here in rural Orygun, we rely on wells but in some areas we have high levels of naturally occuring Arsenic in the ground water so cisterns are not so unusual. I don't remember ever having to make a specific adjustment for one or the other and it sounds like your market doesn't either.

You might want to include a brief paired sales analysis using your comps to support your adjustment or lack thereof.

Oregon Doug
 

Mike Garrett RAA

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Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Hmmmm, U.S. faces impending severe drought conditions....wonder how that will affect the cistern?
 

Rlong

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Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Colorado
I could be wrong but the "cisterns" here in the colorado mountains (when used) are filled by a water delivery service. I have done a few. Maybe it was the owners slang for a water storage tank, but thats what they called it. I usually will call the lender to ensure that they know it is not on a "water system" per se, but thats just the way I am.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
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Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
How about Health issues? Contaminates that can get into the cisterns (i.e. bird droppings, etc)? I've seen enough problems with septic systems too close to wells, let alone open water collection systems that collect roof rain water. I would flag a possible hazardous condition and highly recommend an inspection of the water source by the county health department. If the water source is contaminated, then you have a physical cost to cure to get a well that works.
 

Rlong

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Colorado
This notion that cisters store primarily surface collected water, including bird poop (can I say that) is an assumption based on homes "back in the day". Cisterns as such are just a vessel. I have seen both an in ground concrete tank approved for potable water (this was an architects high end -remote mountain cabin) to a several thousand gallon tank, pump and filtration system in the basement of a $250,000 log home. Both were in the mountains, what I would call somewhat remote, and the neighboring properties had inconsistant results boring wells. Potable water trucks deliver water on a weekly basis. Sometimes the plastic tank guy drove his own water up. I think that home had a couple and one child (to gauge usage). I AGREE when one inspects a property they need to ask questions like "how do ya fill that there thing" it should have a threaded capped sort of connection and not a downspout. I also ask questions to determine if the capacity is resonable, they generally were honest and said "if we waste water, we can run out". I have not seen anyone drinking from a rain water cistern in my time.

Cistern- An artificial reservoir or tank, often underground, that stores water, especially rain water. (The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal 3rd.)

These people would be better served if they did not call it a "Cistern" I suppose
 

Rlong

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Colorado
I do however know of a house, from a previous appraisal, without a potable water supply, only a shallow hand dug well and a failing/failed septic system. The house was vacant/abandoned when I appraised it (that was fun, it was for estate purposes) A friend who inspected the property with me (to help determine costs to cure) said it appeared to have been rented/occupied. I'm gonna drive by and then talk to my friends at the county health department. My fear is that someone rented them the place and they don't know that it only has an "irrigation" well or that the septic tank makesa the yard all "squishy"
 
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