No matter if it is an investor trying to purchase land for real estate opportunities or if you are someone simply looking for land to build your forever home, purchasing land is not a walk in the park.
There is far more that goes into a land appraisal than you might think. So what is it about land that makes it complicated to appraise?
What You Need to Watch Out For When Buying Land
What Is a Land Appraisal and How Is Land Value Appraised?
A land appraisal is just like a property appraisal. Instead of appraising a home you are appraising the land based off of a list of things that can either increase or decrease the appraisal value.
How Accessible Is the Land? Where Is It Located?
One of the key factors that an appraiser is going to be looking at is where the land is located and how accessible the land is. Everyone knows the saying “Location, Location, Location”.
This is because the location of the land is going to mean everything when it comes to appraising it. But what about how accessible it is?
A beach front location is worth a lot, but if there are no roads or if the land is difficult to reach, no one will want it. That means the appraisal value will decrease dramatically.
Is the Land Functional? What Is the Size?
The larger the size of the land the more it will be worth, right? Not necessarily.
Now it is true that the larger the land is in most cases the greater the value. However, you must take into account the functionality of the land.
Let’s say the land is 100 acres (which is a decent size), however, it is long, thin, and squished between two other properties. That will reduce how functional the land is and decrease the value.
Another example of function is that the land is large enough to put a beautiful home on however, the entire parcel is on a steep hill. This will make it more difficult to build on. All of these things will factor into the appraisal value of the land.
What Special Amenities Does the Land Offer?
Just like in a home, land also has the potential to offer a lot or very little. This is known as amenities. An amenity is defined by Google as “a desirable or useful feature”.
When thinking about the amenities provided in a home most people think appliances, kitchen, and bathroom. For land the amenities are a little different but function the same way.
Some examples of land amenities would be an attractive view, a beautiful creek at the edge of the property, or a fishing pond that doesn’t affect building on the property.
What Is Topography and Why Is It Important?
Topography as defined by Google is “the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area.” Topography is important to the appraisal of land because it affects what potential the land has.
Here in Florida, the everglades are a perfect example of land topography. The wetlands are incredibly difficult to build on which affects the appraisal value of this type of land.
However, the opposite can also be said about land with ideal topography for development. This type of land will have a much higher appraisal value.
How Is the Wildlife?
Wildlife is a big deal here in Florida. With an abundance of species that we don’t see in other places in the United States, many animal species here are protected.
For example, gopher tortoises are a “fedreally protected” species. If you find them or any of their burrows on a property that you plan to develop, that is going to be a problem.
You will need to apply for a relocation permit (which can take months) and won’t be able to develop the land until you have been cleared to do so. Understanding that wildlife is a big part of what can affect the land appraisal value is important.
How About Flooding?
Flood zones are a huge problem in Florida. Not just that but any area that is known to be affected by harsh weather must be appraised with this in mind.
Because flooding in particular is a serious problem looking at detailed flood zone maps will help to determine how seriously this will affect the value of the property.
Imagine there are two parcels of land that are completely identical in every way except their flood zones are in different risk levels.
The first property is in the moderate to low risk zone vs the second property in the high risk zone. These two properties will have very different appraisal values because of this.
How Much Do Land Appraisals Cost?
A land appraisal will varry in cost. It all depends on the size, how much needs to be documented, and so on. We can help to provide you with a free appraisal quote if you would like to fill out a simple form. That way we can give you a better idea of what your land appraisal will cost.
How Long Does It Take to Appraise Land?
The actual appraisal meeting itself is hard to say how long it will take. Again, it primarily depends on the size and accessibility of the land. If the land is difficult to get around on, that will also affect the length of the appraisal appointment.
As far as the amount of time it will take you to get your appraisal report back, most appraisal companies take 3 – 5 business days to get your appraisal report back to you. Here at R. E. Appraisal Associates, we will have your appraisal report back to you in just 2 – 3 business days.
Want to learn more about land appraisals? No matter if you are a homebuyer looking to buy land for your next home or a real estate investor looking for your next development site, we can help you with a quick and easy land appraisal.
Because here at R. E. Appraisal Associates, we understand that your time is important. So we promise to provide the same great quality appraisals in less time. Just give us a call at (941) 743-3700 to learn more or set up an appointment today.