Accounting for Land Quality in Your Estate Valuation

April 3, 2019 9:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When one thinks of estate appraisals in Napa County, CA, one might think of the value of any physical property that has been constructed on the estate. One might also consider the personal possessions included in the estate. There are also investments to include in the total value of the estate.

Did you know that the quality of the land itself also affects estate appraisals in Napa County, CA? That’s right—some dirt is more valuable than others. Here’s how it works.

Soil Value

When it comes to some properties, such as farms, the land is usually the estate’s greatest asset. How well it can grow crops is the main factor in determining its value. What can be grown in the soil? How much work will be required to prep the soil? The answers to these questions are dependent on several soil characteristics:

  • Soil types: There are six types of soil. The type of soil is determined by the size and texture of the soil particles and the content of minerals and nutrients found in the soil. The soil types are clay, chalky, peaty, silty, loamy and sandy. Different types are more prevalent in various regions of the U.S. In fact, each state has a “state soil” based on which type is found there.
  • Yield records: When completing a soil evaluation, experts will also look at how the soil has been used in the past. Did it generate a good yield of crops? What exactly has been grown there? The land’s history will demonstrate its potential value for future use.
  • Irrigation: Does the land include existing irrigation systems? Is there potential for new irrigation on the land? These systems and the potential to add them can greatly affect the value of the land.
  • Border features: What does the perimeter of the land look like? Is it fenced? Does it border anything valuable or undesirable? Each of these features is taken into account during an estate appraisal in Napa County, CA.
  • Farmland designations: The U.S. Department of Agriculture uses physical and organic characteristics of the soil to label it with specific prime farmland designations. The characteristics included in these evaluations include soil acidity, permeability, temperature, erosion potential, salinity, moisture-holding capacity and water table depth.

Determining Soil Value

Clearly, there is more to soil value than what meets the eye. To properly assess the value of any specific estate, each of these soil factors must be taken into account. Experts will perform soil testing and evaluate the history of the soil as well as consider what structures have been built on the land and where it is located.

Is Your Dirt High Quality?

Are you wondering about the value of your estate? Do you know the quality of your dirt? For expert estate appraisals in Napa County, CA, contact the professionals at County Appraisals Inc. Our expertise includes agricultural-related properties typically developed as vineyards, wineries, rural estates or single-family residential uses on acreage. We offer services for estate tax valuations, lending, estate planning and purchase negotiations. Reach out to us today for an appraisal process that is easy and understandable.

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