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Landscape fire damage - letter suffice?

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Herb Sewell

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2006
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
As a new licensed appraiser I have an acquaintance that had some major damage to landscaping from the wildfires in San Diego in October. They lost a portion of their citrus grove and many mature palms. They have an estimate of approximately $50,000 to replace the landscaping.
Their accountant wants to see a letter from an appraiser in order for the person to write off the replacement costs.
Is there anything I can submit short of a full before /after appraisal that would be acceptable and within USPAP guidelines?
Thanks in advance for your help.
 

Randolph Kinney

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
North Carolina
As a new licensed appraiser I have an acquaintance that had some major damage to landscaping from the wildfires in San Diego in October. They lost a portion of their citrus grove and many mature palms. They have an estimate of approximately $50,000 to replace the landscaping.
Their accountant wants to see a letter from an appraiser in order for the person to write off the replacement costs.
Is there anything I can submit short of a full before /after appraisal that would be acceptable and within USPAP guidelines?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Why not a cost estimate?

I don't think you can write off a change in market value.
 

VolcanoLvr

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
I see this as an assignment for a landscape architect or similar 'plant professional'...at least to determine the value of the landscape materials.

Otherwise, you might try to do a paired sales analysis between unburned landscaped properties, and burned landscape sales of similar dwellings on similar sized sites. You might then be able to arrive at a % adjustment for Condition.

If you do the above, it will involve much research and time. Charge accordingly.
 

Herb Sewell

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2006
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Thank you guys for your input. I also wondered why he couldn't just write off the cost of the replacement plants. I think part of the problem is they had 50' to 60' palms, and you can't even get those now. The biggest available is 20' to 30', so they are trying to come up with a value if they were able to replace in kind.
I think it will be difficult to find comps with similar fire damage, but I'll give it a try.
Thanks again.
 

DWiley

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Sounds like a good opportunity to do a Restricted Use Appraisal report.

DW
 

Lloyd Bonafide

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I see this as an assignment for a landscape architect or similar 'plant professional'...at least to determine the value of the landscape materials.

I agree with Dave - a landscape professional might be best.

P.S. - Is your friend named Walter Bellhaven? :icon_mrgreen:
 

Herb Sewell

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2006
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
No, but my Aunt's name is Bobbie Dooley and I have a cousin named Jay Santos.
 

Non Sequitur

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Louisiana
Sounds like a good opportunity to do a Restricted Use Appraisal report.
Looks like the clients want to claim a casualty loss in their federal tax filing. IMO they would be better served with an opinion from a licensed hortoculturalist. I'm not saying a restricted use report would be inappropriate, just not the best way to go for the clients.
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Get a forester to develop a report. I'd start with the Ag extension office and see if they have any college professors who do that sort of work.

As an appraiser, I'd stay out of it as regards VALUE.

Most Foresters can develop a current day 'replacement value' by smoke and mirrors: They take a 'cost to install a 20' palm' + time/cost of the money needed to grow it to 50'-60', usually set on the Bank rate of the money.

THAT is perhaps what the accountant needs, but best to insure that they didn't want some hokey 'contributory value'... for which you may need to do market.:Eyecrazy:

Even then, I'd let the forester do those calcs.:flowers: Most of them have some sort of form report that they can do- and then it is THEIR liability not yours. The IRS hasn't been real user freindly of late...:fiddle:
 
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