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Satellite Photos, 2 Uses For Appraisers.

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Frederick R. Ruffell

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
Recently my MLS has started including a link to a Satellite photo of the subject property. You can make out the roof tops and lots (with the aid of the plat map) quite well. But at first I asked myself what use can this be to an appraiser???? The photos have helped me in a big way twice so far.
1. I had a discrepancy between what was reported in the MLS and what I recall as observing on my Exterior inspection on a Comparable. The comp was a set of units. The MLS described it as 3 units in 1 building, I recall it as 3 units in 2 buildings (in my market it can be a big difference i.e. appeal to owner occupied) but doubted myself. I pulled up the Satellite photo and zoomed in and sure enough there was 2 separate buildings on the lot, clear as day.

2. I just got a request for an appraisal for a set of units and after reading Bobby Bucks latest post "Why Torture Yourself", I decided to dig into the subject property before accepting the assignment. I had a feeling about the address. I pulled up the property info and visualized the block, I know this block!!????? I said to myself, why do I not want this assignment????? I pull up the Satellite photo, there is the on ramp to Highway 94, there is the subject sided by 2 parking lots and a commercial building....... Can you say H&BU nightmare!!!!..... no but I can say "Declined"............... Thanks BOBBY :beer:
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