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House with no hard power but solar & generator

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darren1h

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
South Carolina
I have been asked to do an appraisal located in the middle of a 4,000 acre nature preserve. The home is on one deeded acre with deeded access. No other homes can or will ever be built. Access doesn't appear to be a problem but the home has no hard power. This is the first that I have seen with solar and generator power. I have not seen any comparables with similar power. Almost forgot to mention that the house is adjacent to a river with boat docks, etc. It is a really neat recreation property and civilization is just across the water. Any ideas on how to address the power, etc.?m2:
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
If this is for a REGULAR lender, you will have an almost impossible job if you expect them to be satisfied with your report if you have no comparable sales of similar homes.

It sounds like a great property, however. I would suggest going as far away as necessary to see if you can find sales. You can use them in a matched pairs analysis in order to come up with an adjustment or simply use them as comps with a location adjustment, if needed. Another possibility is a cost to cure adjustment.......if it would be possible to bring public utility power to the property.

This will be a tough one. I hope you have an open ended fee set up.
 

jay trotta

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Connecticut
With all the Eco friendly stuff begining to take place (mostly commecrial), I have been reading some great new material that will be the future for residential. There is what is known as "Waffer Electric" cells being mass produced now, but they are moving in on some heavy improvements, so that whole house systems will soon be available. It can be set up where the excess energy can be Sold back to power companies. An extremely interesting read, although I do not read often enough.

Now, that said - I would at this time agree wit Mike - you have a challenge ahead, I would contact the Lender and see what they need.

Good Luck
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
We do these regularly here in Western Nevada county, CA and in North SAn Juan, Nevada county. The owner needs to get a map, check out the utility company's engineering department for COST TO CURE. Of course , some people up here do not want public power or public snooping as some have an agricultural endeavor they would rather keep under wraps, some are "Greenies'" who believe gasoline generators have a smaller "Carbon Footprint" (HA!). and some are just plain antisocials who moved here from Frisco last year.
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
With all the Eco friendly stuff begining to take place (mostly commecrial), I have been reading some great new material that will be the future for residential. There is what is known as "Waffer Electric" cells being mass produced now, but they are moving in on some heavy improvements, so that whole house systems will soon be available. It can be set up where the excess energy can be Sold back to power companies. An extremely interesting read, although I do not read often enough.

Now, that said - I would at this time agree wit Mike - you have a challenge ahead, I would contact the Lender and see what they need.

Good Luck

Jay............that is already going on. There are new tracts of homes being built with sell-back systems. However, you must be on the grid, of course, for it to work.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Oregon
Darren,

first post, welcome.

You have figured out the couple of hints given by now.

Purpose and use of report? Owned by a conservation organization for instance?

If no need for hard power, why worry about it if used mostly/always for recreational occupancy? Or by a caretaker, etc.


Help us out with some more details, sounds interesting.
 

hal380

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Connecticut
Some thoughts

I don't know if I have an answer, but I do have some thoughts.

1- Get in touch with the lender and underwriter.

2. What's the problem with solar and generator? Is probably more reliable than power lines that can be damaged by storm.

3. If the system was professionally designed and installed, I see no problem with it. May even be the way of the future.

4. With the waterfront amenity and seclusion yet the close proximity of civilization I can't see much of a downside if any.

5. Can power be brought in underground via the access ROW? If so that is the cost to cure, if cure is necessary.

Sounds like a house that definitely has a market, and that is our job - to observe and quantify market reactions.

Regards to all

Hal
 

Ray Miller

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Mike, Hal and Truett have given you some excellent answers.

What is the appraisal for?

What is the Scope of Work of the Appraisal?

Myself I see no problem with Solar and a back up generator. Matter of fact a location like that would appeal to me and I think many others.

In my years I have lived off grid and been self sustaining many times. Maybe four to five months before you could even get to town for supplies.

Search far and wide and I suspect you can fine many subject properties like this one.

One other thing is you fee, I hope you are charging a large number of beaver and fox pelts for your time.

I would also consider a narrative report for this subject.

Just my thinking.
 

Elliott

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Oregon
I've seen houses in remote locations that sit in desert location that
have a solar panel and generator, re-cycling water system. I think
they are a cool idea to have the remote, survival house. The
technology is pretty straight forward and its possible to have
a nice functioning house off the grid.

I've never done one for financing, but I think the market would probably
not stigmatize its unique utility systems. I think the market is
favorable to houses that have figured out how to survive in remote
locations. Its like having a 'cabin' in the 21st century.
 

JRS at OBX

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
We have a few houses located on small islands in the sound like that. I know of one sale but it is a few years old. Small rustic house on pilings located on a 3 or 4 acre island. Propane appliances, well, wind generator, solar and gas generator. One of my buddies parents bought it. Great place to go eat drink and be merry. :drinking:
 
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