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Rebuild and other Issues

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ZZGAMAZZ

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Jul 23, 2007
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
The Forum at present is debating the "rebuild" controversy.

Is there a logical, practical reason why the appraisal industry doesn't prescribe protocol for this and hundreds of other issues? Most all issues are addressed in very generic, judgemental USPAP standards, but the absence of specific guidelines is troublesome.
 

Marcia Langley

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Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
ZZ,

I haven't read the most recent thread on this but here's my general take on it.

Any specific task that is not detailed in USPAP is a scope of work issue and an appraisal theory issue.

Both of these types of issues may be resolved differently depending on the expectations of the client and/or the availability of data from the local jurisdiction.

Ability to rebuild is an item of fact, not an opinion. Much like zoning, flood zone, etc. As such, any data source of such fact must be evaluated for its reliability.

In general, if your scope of work for any given property attribute is focused on reporting facts and not on a personal opinion, then discovering and reporting those facts should be tailored to the client's expectation of scope and the reliability of the data source. Because of this, there will not be a national standard but rather an effort on each assignment to meet these goals.

For example, in some jurisdictions the local authority may choose to only address the rebuild issue after receiving a written request from the homeowner. and they may also charge a significant fee for doing so.

If the appraiser knows at the time of accepting the assignment that the client intends to make this a SOW issue the best he will ever be able to do is cite the local policy in his report. That would satisfy the SOW.

Other locations may send out rebuild letters to anyone who asks in response to a phone call.

You can see where this is going. The answer is always "It depends."

==========

The two main things an appraiser must address is any effect on value and any effect on his own liability.

If there is present a property element that the appraiser believes calls into question any ability to rebuild, he has to address that issue in some logical fashion or another even if it means using an EA for unknown aspects.

Regarding liability, the appraiser needs to be extremely detatched from inserting himself as a data source. What I mean is, whatever data/source is used, be careful not to present it as your own opinion.

State your sources and your estimation of their reliability and get it in writing. And just report it in terse, factual terms.
 

The Warrior Monk

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Mar 30, 2005
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Certified General Appraiser
State
New York
The Forum at present is debating the "rebuild" controversy.

Is there a logical, practical reason why the appraisal industry doesn't prescribe protocol for this and hundreds of other issues? Most all issues are addressed in very generic, judgemental USPAP standards, but the absence of specific guidelines is troublesome.

Marcia pretty much covered it.

There are so many variables involved in solving many problems that it is nearly impossible to summarize the solutions all in one place. The rebuild issue is such an example...the specific answer to the question has to answered in context of the entities and regulations that have jurisidiction over the property, which can be anything from recorded covenants, local village zoning, state law, federal regulations, etc.
 

CANative

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
Ability to rebuild is an item of fact, not an opinion.

Not in the areas I work. At least there is nothing written in stone. It can be a judgment call on the part of senior planning officials and sometimes the issues involved can cause quite a controversy.

This is why I absolutely refuse to state the ability to rebuild in definitive terms.
 

Marcia Langley

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
Greg,

The appraiser should then report the item of fact that the jurisdiction declines to commit to a rebuild decision and could possibly change their mind from one day to the next. Or that any written decision could take several months, or whatever.

The appraiser should not guess or opine what might occur. If a value affecting element is in question, or if the client presses for positive reporting, an EA is the only solution.
 
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