Whether you are purchasing a large parcel of land or are looking for a home in a small rural community, a land appraisal can provide valuable information on the property’s value. Having a land appraisal can also help you make smart decisions when negotiating with the seller or a bank.
An appraiser will take a look at the physical features of the land and evaluate the land’s use potential. An appraiser will look at topography, location, and flood patterns to find out how the land can be used. An appraiser will also look at sales comps to determine the value of the property.
When evaluating land, an appraiser will take into account the zoning laws that apply to the property. The laws determine how the land can be developed. These zoning laws vary from county to county. Common zoning types include agricultural, residential, industrial, and commercial. Zoning laws may also restrict specific construction details.
An appraiser will also consider the amount of road frontage that the property has. Most cities require new construction to have a certain amount of road frontage. If the land has less than an average amount of road frontage, then the appraisal value will be lower. However, if the land has a high amount of road frontage, then the appraisal value will be higher.
An appraiser will also evaluate the property’s size and shape. Lots that are oddly shaped may have less usable acres. An appraiser will also consider the amount of land that is exposed to flooding. If the land is prone to flooding, the appraisal value will be lower. This may be due to a high water table, large rivers, or other environmental hazards.
An appraiser will consider the amount of wildlife on the property. If there are a large number of birds, squirrels, or other wildlife on the property, then the appraisal value will be higher. The presence of wildlife can also limit the development of the land.
An appraiser will also consider the improvements that have been made to the property. The improvements may improve the property’s use potential, which will increase the appraisal value. An appraiser will also take into account the easements that the property may have for utilities. This could include a power line, a drainage pipe, a walking trail, or a conservation area. The appraisal value of the property will be lower if the improvements are not necessary.
An appraiser will also look at the surrounding neighborhood. An appraiser will look at the property’s current zoning to determine if it is suitable for commercial or residential development. If the land is a vacant site, then it may need to be studied extensively to determine the property’s highest and best use. If the property is vacant, then the appraisal may take a longer time than a land appraisal for a commercial property.
Vacant land is challenging at any point in the real estate market cycle. It may be difficult to access, and it may be difficult to build on. If the property has no utilities, then the appraisal value will be lower.