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Superfund Sites in Phoenix metropolitan area

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The Sheriff

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
While I was getting licensed, I thought I received some really good training (thank you Forsythe Appraisals, LLC). When I left Forsythe, I partnered up at a local firm with a younger appraiser... We have since parted ways and I have opened my own firm bringing my clients with me. Here is my biggest question...

During my training at Forsythe, I never recall anything being said about Superfund Sites or how to handle them (realistically, the comps are typically located in the vicinity, so market reaction would appear to be uniform). This is all conjecture... so save the skippy comments or stupid appraiser comments for later.

What is the fairest assumption to include in the report when you realize the subject is located in a superfund area? I read through about 30 different threads on here, but really never got a good handle on what's appropriate and what is not.

No one can have the perfect training... everyday, you stand to learn something new. I want to have better reports in the long run... but... the whole superfund issue was never something I knew about until I was cleaning out my office the other day and ran across my old partner's superfund site map (which has made for a nice wall ornament in my new office). Now, curiosity has gotten the best of me and I want to know as much as possible.

What is the best way to handle this issue... Thanks.
 

Tom Barclay

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Oregon
Select comparables that are similarly affected, and if that is not possible you have to extract an adjustment from the market. Be aware, the superfund sites change regularly, and any old map stuck on the wall may not show the latest and greatest. And I would never propose to be an expert in superfund sites, environmental contamination, hazardous wastes, etc. Leave that to the experts; disclose, disclose, disclose and leave it to the pro's..

http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/cursites/
 
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The Sheriff

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Thanks Tom for the updated site... Is there any statement that you would utilize in your report that you find pretty fool proof... When I left Forsythe, I kept a lot of their catch-all statements as they have lawyers that conjured them up because they are protecting a well run multi-million dollar company... being the little guy... I would like to think I can protect myself as well. Thanks again.
 

Tom Barclay

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Oregon
Sorry, there I can offer no help. We have several superfund sites in Oregon, but none in the areas I work so I don't run into the situation here. But I would think that it is a lot like a tsunami zone, or an earthquake zone over a fault. It's not always listed by FEMA as a flood zone which you have to identify, but everyone who lives near the ocean knows it is just a matter of time until a big one hits and low lying areas not in a normal flood zone are going to be totaly wiped out. If you appraise in areas where there could be a hazard; any hazard, you should cover your six by disclosing the information you have and let the underwriters determine if they want to loan on the property. And let the underwriters determine if further inspections or identifications of hazards are warranted by professionals that specialize in that type of hazard.
 

Otis Key

Elite Member
Joined
May 15, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
Thanks Tom for the updated site... Is there any statement that you would utilize in your report that you find pretty fool proof... When I left Forsythe, I kept a lot of their catch-all statements as they have lawyers that conjured them up because they are protecting a well run multi-million dollar company... being the little guy... I would like to think I can protect myself as well. Thanks again.
Have you considered disclosing the fact that it is located within a SF site?:leeann::leeann::leeann:
 

The Sheriff

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Nah... I was going to leave that out of the report and not take pictures of the contanimated green water coming out of the faucet... Wouldn't want to **** my LO off now...
 

Don Clark

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
Nah... I was going to leave that out of the report and not take pictures of the contanimated green water coming out of the faucet... Wouldn't want to **** my LO off now...


That kind of retort won't get you much help on this forum. We have members here that can tear you apart over comments like that. Now, if you really want help let me propose the following.

First, contact your state Environmental Protection Agency. They usually are up to date on such matters. They will likely have maps and other material about not only Super Fund Sites but other environmental issues as well. Your localm public health department is also a good source, particularly if the subject is asbestos. The U.S. Environmental protection Agency is also a good source. Your local Fire Department is also a very knowledgeable source since they must know all such areas and be prepared when fighting fires in contaminated areas.

Most appraisers, not just residential, are not qualified to deal with environmental hazards or any environmental issues. Read Advisory Opinion 9 for further information. Now, on a practical level, about all you can do is try and find comparables that are affecvted similar to your subject when dealing with such matters. That way, the closed sales price will reflect any effect on value that being in or near such an area has had on market value.

Lastly, it would be unusual for a residential area to be in a Super Fund Site. Not impossible, but not likely. When that happens there are usually extreme measures taken to correct the problem. To see what i mean, research what happened at the Love Canal housing area. Just do a Google search on that one.

I have taught courses on environmental issues for over 10 years. I was also on the E-50 Committee of the ASTM that wrote the standards for a Phae I and a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment as well as the standard for a Transaction Screen environmental assessment. I have taught appraisers as well as environmental engineers and others on the standards for environmental site assessments. But, even with that background, I am not an expert in environmental matters, have no scientific knowledge of such matters, and would likely turn down an assignment where a subject was in a Super Fund Site.

There are a few, very few appraisers in the country qualified to appraise properties in such areas. I would not touch such an assignment.

One other thing. Your state may have specific laws or requirements that one must meet as to who is qualified to give opinions about Super Fund Sites or other environmental matters.
 
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Howard Klahr

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
When I left Forsythe, I kept a lot of their catch-all statements as they have lawyers that conjured them up because they are protecting a well run multi-million dollar company

You might want to review the threads about copywriting reports. You have just about admitted in a public forum to using their material in your reports without permission.
 

Karl

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Arizona
All you have to do is take Don Clarks advice!! Mr Clark is one of ther most respected on here, especially in the field of environmental issues. These are more trecherous here in AZ cause AZ is still 25 years behind the rest of the country. All this assignment is going to do, is keep coming back over & over again. Granted IF your dealing with a typical MB lender you won't hear much NOW but you will LATER!! There are assignments that are finacially beneficial NOT being done.
 

The Sheriff

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
The best comment my vice president told me from Forsythe was he never had an original comment... hell... I've seen reviews where my own narrative is plagarized word for word in someone else's report... kinda flattering to be honest. Klahr... FWIW... I did change necessary legal comments in my report so they weren't word for word... copyright infringement be gone. Is everyone on here the appraisal police? You would think people on here actually care about others that care enough to post on here...

Congrats on signing Bowden for another year of mediocrity. I played at USF... by the time Bowden steps down, FSU will be in our rearview mirror!
 
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