Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Appraising in Lancaster, PA

Lancaster Pennsylvania is known for many things, agriculture is just one of them.  I was born and raised in Washington Boro, PA and grew up on a farm.  Since my Grandfather started farming, there have been everything but hemp grown and raised on the family farm.  I now live in Kentucky and own Bluegrass Valuation Services which is an appraisal business.  My family and I still vacation in Lancaster, and on a recent trip I saw something that we never see in Kentucky.

Coming to the farm we usually pass Central Manor Church of God and start to get the feeling of coming home.  On a recent visit, as we merged onto Bluerock Rd, and passed the church, I noticed something odd, there was a homestead missing.  The above photo is now ALL cropland.  As an appraiser, this immediately reminds me of the principle of Highest and Best Use (HBU).

Highest and Best Use uses 4 tests to dictate what a property should be used as: legally permissible, physically possible, financially feasible, and most profitable.  Appraisers usually see a progression of property moving from vacant land, improved land, residential, commercial, industrial, etc.  We seldom see this pattern reverse because it follows the profitability usually,  In the above property, agriculture was a more profitable use, therefore break out the bulldozer!  I will admit that this is extremely rare especially in areas with demand for housing.

Well that's about all for now.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for upcoming news...  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Residential Appraising in Hardin Co and Local Markets

1.As a certified residential appraiser, one of the many areas we analyze during an assignment is the market conditions.  Appraising in the Radcliff, Elizabethtown, and Louisville markets over the past year has shown generally stable market conditions.  However, I have come across several pockets of declining neighborhoods, and some of them may shock you.  I'm seeing enough high end neighborhoods or recently constructed subdivisions with flat or declining property values that cause a little flag to go up when I get an assignment in one of these areas.

As an appraiser, I sometimes do the Mexican hat dance between appraising real estate, machinery, or providing other valuation services.  One thing I do not do is provide advice on matters of finance.  The following special report from Voice of Appraisal does a nice job of giving people a "heads up" about the future of our financial markets.  Thanks Phil for digging up this interview with Richard Fisher and posting it on your show.