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Urban Or Suburban

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Steve Gish

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
First let me say I have a great instructor, I asked him this same question and when he got done talking I walked away dazed, confused and my brain hurt. What say you?

What is the "definition" AND "difference" between Urban and Suburban? On the URAR, how/where/by what means do you decide which is the correct block to check for any given situation.

Population? Township/City/County lines? Neighborhood? Zoning? Demographics? Building/Population Density?

Population Density ALMOST makes sense. Guess maybe you could get that from census data. But do you do calculations? Is there a graph or chart somewhere explaining this or says over X number of people per square mile it's urban? In the inner city, the population density may be less than in a suburban neighborhood if crime and plight has driven away residents (but you could hardly call it Suburban). Here we have 10 to 25 acre hobby farms inside incorporated city limits, are they Rural (some farms sit between cookie cutter housing tracts)? Can you call 25 acre sites 1/2 mile apart Suburban?
 
W

walt kirk

Guest
Steve,
In my opinion population density or building density are the factors to consider. Most urban areas have many buildings on zero lot lines, many with no front yard or very small front yard. In addition most urban areas have a mix of land uses concentrated in a small area.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Urban is more concrete than grass.

For Suburban vs Rural: How far to Walmart, and is pizza devlivery available?? ;) :p More cattle than people?

Don't let it bother you that much. Just report it as you see it, and how you think the buyer sees it. Pretend you are the buyer. It may be a growing area, houses on one side of the road, cows on the other. In areas of transition, call it like the market sees it, and describe it well in the report.
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Steven...

You need to become acquanited with the search function which is located up at the upper right hand side of your screen. I would strongly reccomend that you do some test runs on subjects where you SHOULD find an answer, and then branch out into some of the more esoteric.

This topic has been extensively discussed here, and unfortunately the corect answer to your question is "it depends".

Most of us wind up defining those terms based on a combination of local convention: the terms used by others working in our area, Book larnin' :rolleyes: , and whatever personal observations we make about the market in which we are working...

It DOES make your brain hurt (on occasion) even if you are a seasoned pro in your market to try to explain it to some underwriter half a country away.... however it IS possible to distill ones deinition into a neat paragraph that explains YOUR market and rationale...

there is no single one size fits all answer. :eek:
 

Steve Gish

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
You need to become acquanited with the search function which is located up at the upper right hand side of your screen. I would strongly reccomend that you do some test runs on subjects where you SHOULD find an answer, and then branch out into some of the more esoteric.

Duh... why didn't I think of that :redface:

Thanks, for the answers, I'm way less confused now.
 

SmilingDog

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
If the property is on a dirt road, well water and septic tank, it's rural!

If it is near centers of employment and shopping, but area is comprised mostly of homes, it's suburban.

If it's in the middle of downtown, or there are many buildings, commerce, industrial and built-up areas I call that urban.
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
George H:

We have properties that meet all three of your criteria in yoru first example (dirt road, well and septic): within city limits. I am going to call them urban.
you do what you want. I am going to explain WHY but stick to my guns.

"near centers of employment and shopping, but area is comprised mostly of homes, it's suburban"... well if it is in the city limits, or in one of the three major unincorporated subdivisions just on the other side of the city limit, only because the happy homeowners in that area salted the city council with enough realtors to preclude incorporation, it is still gonna be urban as far as I am concerned. Looks and acts the same... as the properties on the other side of the crooked dog-leg line... power is everything :rolleyes:

If it is in a less time consuming commute to the mall than it takes me from my office to get across town, AND outside the city limits.. It is suburban...

If it has cows in the yard I am gonna think about that rural label.

I kinda like that rurban thing someone came up with!

Sheesh, it depends!

mostly on what other folk in your area use. and how you 'splain it.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Steve, ......You sure did stick your foot in this one....as suggested, check our archives for more on the urban-suburban-rural discussion. We "grinded" it up and spit it out, and came to one universal conclusion not too many months ago. ....It depends !....The call is yours, for where you live, and where you work, and the total situation that defines the subject property existance. Sure, people have expressed guidelines about where those magic lines separate one "zone" from the other....but it can vary for any one certain property located in any one of the 50 states. If you really get stumped on the right call to make.... phone another appraiser in your Yellow Pages ! Best wishes.
 

Jim Massnick

Sophomore Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
George...I have to disagree with you about the "If the property is on a dirt road, well water and septic tank, it's rural" comment. I know its all a matter of opinion, but take my home...its on a dirt road, I have well, septic and propane. But, within 5 minutes I can be at major shopping centers, employment and a college. My definition..and correct me or comment..of rural is, if you have to plan a trip to the store or no employment for 10-15 miles ect..
 

SmilingDog

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Lee Ann and Jim,

I appreciate your thoughts on this. Here in Southern California it's a different matter that is best described as I did. Of course it ultimately can be answered with "it depends". Our counties here have pretty much paved over everything. So that's why I used my "dirt road" analogy. It's the concrete jungle out here. There is no country side division between cities, just the "welcome" sign you pass on the street at 40 miles per hour.

Can you be on a dirt road and 5 minutes from a major mall? Sure, but not likely in Southern Calif. Where I live I'm 5-10 minutes to a mall, and yet 5 minutes from protected wild life preserve park. I'm suburban. It's such a grey area. I've travelled the U.S. extensively and I know that every region is different. I could not answer for you in Washington, Michigan or N. Carolina for example. But from where I'm at, I think my reasoning is supported.

As for Steve, I would ask your local realtors for advice. Perhaps they can shed better insight on your particular region.
 
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