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Decks?

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65076507

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Jan 1, 2008
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Maryland
LAst question guys........comps have regular 10 x 12 wood deck on each..........Subject has 18x18 Trex Deck.......This has more square footage and it is composite wood (more superior)....but I notice appraisers do not adjust for this ......Is it because it is not significant or because not in our scope of profession to determine deck quality....Any comments?????
 

Bearslide

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Dec 9, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
So far, in our area, there has been no demonstrated increase in value due to a Trex deck. I always mention them and add that they may enhance marketability, but I do not adjust for them. As far as size, I don't believe the difference is significant enough to warrant an adjustment.
 

Carnivore

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Certified Residential Appraiser
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North Carolina
650

two physically identical houses except for the decks, both offered for sale at the same price and they are located side by side next to each other.

a. house with 18x18 trex deck
b. house with 12 x 12 wood deck


Which one would sell first? Most likely the Trex deck house. Maybe, just maybe the wood deck house might sell first.

Can you think of reason why that might happen? Rear lot site area, Proportional appearance of deck on back of house, superior realtor, the neighboring house on the other sides.

the reasons go on and on.

Here is my question to you. This is a pretty fundamental question you have asked. Is this because your really really new or are you looking for a way to explain this effectively to homeowners?
 

Couch Potato

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Mar 15, 2004
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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North Carolina
An 18 x 18 deck has more versatility than a minimal 10 x 12 deck regardless of the material. However it may well be approaching the size that would be considered too large. As noted above, it must be considered in the context of the whole property and the neighborhood in general. Even then a specific adjustment for the deck will be an extremely difficult thing to nail down.

Typically with a situation like this, where I know something is better, but cannot put a number on it due to its low level of significance, I merely use the fact as a consideration in my estimate of value in the sales comparison approach. When choosing the number to use, typically that means I'll round up rather than down, or other similar procedure that acknowledges an unquantifiable superiority.

The value of such items are typically well within a reasonable margin of error. Apply your common sense and judgement to your choice of value estimate, and then explain your choice. Just as when you reconcile the estimates in your report to your final opinion of value, the words you use to explain your reasoning make all the difference in the world.
 

Mztk1

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Dec 3, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Had a guy, back when I appraised NJ, who was a custom deck builder, and spent like $50K on this Brazilian or Belizian Teak or Rosewood, or some high end wood deck that never gets eaten by termites (too hard he told me), and was old growth. It was two tier with custom, all wood winding staircase up to the second level. The appraisal was for a sale. The measurable value, considering his house as a pending sale, was the same as two decks - one up, one down.

It seems buyers will not appreciate the same things the seller does. And the value of that deck to him was his pride in showing it off and talking about it. But the buyer just says: "Oh yeah, the last guy was a carpenter and he built it out of some high end wood from South or Central America". It looses that pride value andjust becomes another deck.

In Central Florida decks are never preferred because the sun bakes them and termites eat them. We just don't have that many in my area. The composite wood came out, one made of plastic too, and termites don't touch it, but those decks have no more value here because the market perceives a deck as a deck and could care less.
 

Couch Potato

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Mar 15, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Jim, on a conscious level I think your description is reasonably accurate of the behavior of a typical buyer. Low maintenance, high quality materials in a deck are more likely to have a positive effect on value in more subtle ways. The workmanship and condition will be nicer. The buyer will not think it's a better deck, but will feel it's a better deck. It is much the same as the lawn being well trimmed; a buyer will pay more, but not because they made a conscious decision about the quality of lawn care.
 

Chris Colston

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Jul 24, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
A long time ago, when I was being taught, my teacher would look at the rooms in the house and say to me "FUNCTION?". Same with the "yard amenities". What is the FUNCTION of the deck? Some chairs, a table, a Bar-B-Que grill. A place to sit in the sun and get eaten by the mosquitoes.

This isn't rocket science and not every amenity needs to brought down to the level of nails, screws and planks. The market looks at FUNCTION, rarely cost. The larger deck with the superior decking material might cost more, but in the end, you can still only use it for a few things. When it is 110o in the mid summer in Maryland, it's less grass to mow, cuz no one will be sitting out there.

Look at the UTILITY or the FUNCTION, what does YOUR market tell you?
 

leelansford

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
LAst question guys........comps have regular 10 x 12 wood deck on each..........Subject has 18x18 Trex Deck.......This has more square footage and it is composite wood (more superior)....but I notice appraisers do not adjust for this ......Is it because it is not significant or because not in our scope of profession to determine deck quality....Any comments?????

Minor...inconsequential to the big picture...can't extract an adjustment from the market... et cetera
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
A deck, is a deck, is a deck............except when it has a roof, because then, it is more functional. I might mention trex when describing the deck, but otherwise, that's it. Heck it's hard enough to adjust for other amenities these days, and I've been doing this since 1988!
 

Terrel L. Shields

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May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
The market looks at FUNCTION, rarely cost.
excellent way to put it Chrissy

The question that a lot of appraisers fail to ask themselves when they look at property is a simple one. Look at every minor item (decks, sheds, landscaping, fencing, yard gnomes, whatever) and ask yourself, "If that didn't exist, would the property bring LESS or still sell for market value?"

Adding value mechanically only makes you more prone to get adjustments that are totally "Out of Whack"..
 
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