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Unstable Mountain?

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laurielutton

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Out here in CA we have Mt. Solidad. It over looks the ocean and the mountain itself has a large cross on top and is a vetran memorial ( which has had much controversy over the years ). Most of the homes on Mt. Solidad are multi million dollar homes. Last year in October, a portion of the mountain was subject to a landslide. Some homes were lost and others sustained or are currently sustaining damage due to the unstable geology of the land. I did an appraisal on a home a few blocks from where the landslide took place ( appraisal for listing purposes ). The immediate area of my subject property was not affected however it is unknown by me or anyone else that I have spoken with as to the stability of the land on this mountain. There were prior landslides in the 60's as well. I commented on the landslide and stated that I am not an expert in the field of geological stability and that an expert should be engaged if required. Am I missing something with this?
 

Kevin A. Spellman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
If the data is easily accessible I would state the number of properties damaged recently. I would discuss the willingness of the municipalities to allow reconstruction of the properties if it is physically feasible. I would use the term “risk” of a landside throughout the report and use only sales with comparable setting of risk.

Did the real estate market sell within the risk areas after the last landslide? Was there a price change after the landslide? What recourse does an owner of property have if the damaged is beyond a certain percentage of the land area? Aerial photos to demonstrate the relationship between the subject’s area and the landslide damage area would be helpful for the reader.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I thought all of California was unstable!
 

Lloyd Bonafide

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/soledad/index.html

Obviously, the closer your subject is to the slide, the more it will be affected. (Hopefully it's not two blocks below the slide).

The properties that are damaged can be worthless, since the homes are condemned, and the City will never allow another house to be built on what's left of the sites. Also, homeowner insurance typically doesn't cover land movement, so on their worthless properties, the property owner may still have a hefty mortgage.

For properties that are 1-2 blocks away, I'm sure their values have been severely affected, and they may not qualify for any financing in the foreseeable future.

I've heard that even on properties that are 4-5 blocks away, there may be a big stigma.

You probably won't find any closed sales since the landslide with your subject's location, but you might find some active listings or expired/cancelled listings.





MtSoledadSlide.jpg


earthweb.jpg
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
If the data is easily accessible I would state the number of properties damaged recently. I would discuss the willingness of the municipalities to allow reconstruction of the properties if it is physically feasible. I would use the term “risk” of a landside throughout the report and use only sales with comparable setting of risk.

Did the real estate market sell within the risk areas after the last landslide? Was there a price change after the landslide? What recourse does an owner of property have if the damaged is beyond a certain percentage of the land area? Aerial photos to demonstrate the relationship between the subject’s area and the landslide damage area would be helpful for the reader.

I hope your fee quote was adequate for all this additional work.
 

laurielutton

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Thank you Lloyd, it is nice to see someone from CA respond. It is hard to discrible the location. I should have included those photo's but since I am pretty new to the site, I have not mastered my posting skills yet. The subject is not 2 blocks below the slide but it is about half a mile to the south. Finding comparables was a big challenge. They were limited do to the lack of activity in the area. Not to mention, La Jolla is a "stable" ( not as in land stable but market stable ) so I was able to seach the past 6 months but still, very limited comps. Its also a very desirable area so to buy or sell real estate on this mountain is like playing rouolette. Sure its desirable, but it might be falling down???? I just can't get any concrete information in my research. The city says it was an isolated incodent, other media posts suggest the entire mountain can tumble. I did this appraisal for a real estate agent that wanted to put the house up for sale. The prior owners passed away. She has also requested that I do the date of death appraisal from june 2007. I did the first assignment with statements of my knowledge of the landslided and comments stating that I am not an expert in the field of geoligical landslides. Kevins reply looks wonderful however, no one is offering to pay me for that type of assignment at this time so for now I am just looking to cover my butt. Do you think that completeing the assignement to the best of my ability while making direct comments as to the landslide ect....... would be "safe" for me? I dont want to set my self up for anything down the road. Part of me wonders of I should walk away altogether.
 
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