What Is Considered When Appraising Land

March 19, 2020 1:26 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you buy or sell a piece of property, getting an accurate land appraisal helps you determine the value and negotiate price. Most commonly, an appraiser looks at the land to determine market value. If you’ve ever wondered how to appraise land or what goes into a land appraisal in Napa County, CA, the following is an overview of some of the qualities an appraiser will look for in your property.

How do land appraisals work? Appraisals use maps, in-person measurements and public records to determine the property size, exact location and boundaries and any legal encumbrances on the land. From there, the appraiser can consider other factors and make an educated estimate as to what the property is worth on the market:

  • Size: Naturally, the size of a property counts—but not always in the way you might expect. In some areas, the price per acre is lower if you buy a large tract of land. In places like Napa Valley, a large parcel of land might be the right spot for a winery, so the demand could be higher.
  • Location: Location is crucial in real estate value. A tract of land in California is almost always going to be more expensive than a similar one in North Dakota, and a property in Napa will be more expensive than one in Modesto. From the broad picture to the finer location details, where your property is located helps determine its use.
  • Accessibility: You have to be able to access your property to use it, and that factors into an appraisal. In addition to location, how can you travel to the land? Are there roads, and what are their quality? Are they public or private?
  • Topography: The quality of the land itself determines whether it’s suitable for the type of development you’re interested in. This also applies to features like lakes, waterfalls and other natural amenities.
  • Improvements: Improvements to the land—whether private roads, buildings or other additions—often increase the value of the land. For example, a vineyard with a bottling facility and a tasting room would command a higher price than a vineyard alone.
  • Land use, zoning and legal encumbrances: Last but not least, any legal restrictions on your property will affect its value. If zoning restrictions prevent you from developing or using the land in the way you want, it won’t be useful. Appraisers will let you know whether there are any easements, restrictions or even historical land management rules that may affect the way you’d like to use the land.

Looking for a qualified appraiser to determine the value of your land? County Appraisals Inc. offers over a decade of experience making appraisals and land valuations in Napa County, CA. We specialize in wine country properties, from vineyards to single-family homes on significant acreage, but can handle any type of property. We’re also happy to value vacant lots and other undeveloped spots. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation to find out what our appraisal services can do for you.

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