Does Land Value Factor in an Estate Appraisal?

September 18, 2019 1:53 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you want to know the true financial value of your real estate investments, you’ll need to have the land appraised. While your family estate might have been passed down by generations of Smiths, sentimental value plays no part in how much a buyer will realistically pay for the property. Here’s what an appraiser looks at when appraising land values in Napa County, CA to determine your property’s worth.

Four components of land value

There are four primary characteristics of land value, which influence its price:

  • Desirability: Demand for your property hinges on whether a buyer is both interested in and able to afford buying the land.
  • Scarcity: Depending on how scarce similar tracts of land are in the area, this can drive up cost. Conversely, if there are many similar tracts, the value of the land will go down.
  • Transferability: If there are any legal encumbrances on the land, that will make it worth less than a property that is owned free and clear.
  • Utility: The more your property meets a buyer’s needs, the more likely they’ll buy it over a similar tract.

Land value vs. appraised value

Several other factors play a role in how appraisers will value your land. This gives the buyer and seller a better idea of its long-term value:

  • Physical characteristics: No matter what kind of land you own (residential, commercial, farmland or otherwise), the topography of the land will influence its price. What might be good for certain uses will not be good for others (for example, uneven topography is not good for residential sites).
  • Location: Location plays a huge cost in pricing—a tract of land in Napa County, CA is going to cost more than a similar tract in Iowa. Physical proximity to towns, lakes, parks and other amenities influences the cost as well.
  • Taxes and other legal restrictions: Taxes, zoning laws, easements and other legal factors can affect the value of the land, depending on what the buyer wants to use it for. For example, zoning ordinances may prevent the buyer from building a nightclub in a residential area.
  • Highest and best use: Professional appraisers are required to list both positive and negative aspects of a property. They use many objective factors to determine land value, including deciding what the land’s “highest and best use” may be. This is an estimation of the land’s worth if it were totally empty versus its worth if or when improvements are made. The determination comes from whatever use the appraiser determines would be the most financially feasible, legal, physically possible and profitable.

When you need land appraisals in Napa County, CA, partner with a company that you can trust. County Appraisals Inc. is proud to offer land and estate appraisals that will give you an objective valuation of your property. We work with our clients to help them ensure that their beneficiaries receive the best possible outcomes from the disbursement of their estates. Contact us today to get started with an initial consultation.

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