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Tough Flood Situation

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JTip

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Purposely bland for confidentiality.

So, I have a pretty great vacant commercial location, call it ample site for potential retail use.

CURRENT flood zone but a twist......the stream (small creek, 6' across) was realigned (slightly curvy to more straight due to some road improvements) to a potentially more favorable position for the site....but, the local municipality never completed the FEMA change. Pretend you are broke and can't afford $1k for an elevation survey.

The question: How to approach the assignment? Value with 'existing yet incorrect' FEMA zone? Estimate the width of the flood zone and apply it to the new realignment with an EA or perhaps with an HC because the survey will be completed by the buyer, but you are still 'guessing' as to the outcome?

Tough one to crack. Love to hear some opinions on this odd one.

Thank you.
 

Tony V

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Ok...so what I see the Creek was changed to permit some road improvements. Since the creek bed now has more curves is it possible that the areas in the flood zone does not change due to the possibility of water ""piling up"" at the newly formed curves?? Do you have any way of telling if the flood zone will change or are you basing it on the boundaries from when it was straighter?? As for an HC or an EA I think that these questions may be key to the solution.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Straightening a creek and changing character (such as more pavement) decreases time of concentration and raises water level. Recommend survey, value as mapped.
 

JTip

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Thanks guys.

Tony, the creek was naturally curvy before the road improvement and now it's straight(er). The current flood map represents the old curvy course.

Recommend survey, value as mapped.

That's what I though. But others (in a higher pay grade) seem to believe that the change (which cannot be proven without a survey) could make the parcel much more valuable, but without a survey one would speculate as to the assumed flooding issues, if any.
 

J Grant

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
As a res license, why are you doing a retail/commercial assignment?

If on advice of others ((I would ask commercial RE brokers in area), if you really believe the value would be much higher with a different flood designation per a new survey, that reflects straightened creek, imo tell client and put assignment on hold and get a survey ordered. If client or property owner won't pay for survey then withdraw.
 

JTip

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
As a res license, why are you doing a retail/commercial assignment?

I'm not breaking the law unless I get caught....and if I do, you will be the first one I visit when I escape from USPAP prison for asking too many questions......

You need commercial experience to pursue your CG.
 

J Grant

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Ok was just asking! Good for you for pursing CG experience.... Maybe post the question on commercial forum and you will get more feedback.

I gave my take on it fwiw...why wont' client or owner spring for a flood survey? How much does a survey cost...in any case if you feel results of a survey might greatly impact value, I don't see how/why you would want to complete it without the survey..Since result of survey are unknown (property might still be in flood zone even with creek straignthened,) how can you make an EA about results of survey?
 

Tony V

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Thanks guys.

Tony, the creek was naturally curvy before the road improvement and now it's straight(er). The current flood map represents the old curvy course.
.

Ok, I see that I read it backwards...Damn, been out of Chemo for 3 weeks but still having the side effects....The only flood zones we deal with on Long Island are around the bays and the shores of the sound and the ocean...mostly straight forward stuff...I think that the "cat" gave you the best advise...The only other thing that you could do is note the changes in the creek and state that the changes may or may not affect the current ""zone""..
 

J Grant

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
But others (in a higher pay grade) seem to believe that the change (which cannot be proven without a survey) could make the parcel much more valuable, but without a survey one would speculate as to the assumed flooding issues, if any.

I am wondering what they base that on (aka those at a higher pay grade, are they commercial appraisers local to area? ) If the flood zone is just one of boundaries to areas that are adjacent would it really affect value that much? Ask local area RE brokers who specialize in commercial, and or compare properties /land sold in flood zones/non flood zones in subject area, is there a material difference in prices?
 

Don Clark

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
I'm not breaking the law unless I get caught....and if I do, you will be the first one I visit when I escape from USPAP prison for asking too many questions......

You need commercial experience to pursue your CG.

Most states, and FIRREA allow a licensed or certified appraiser to do a commercial appraisal as long as the value does not exceed $250,00

I have reviewed many, many partial takings whose value was well below $250,000 and all were commercial. Did so for one of the local cities.
 
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