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What Is a Land Appraisal?
A land appraisal is a critical step in determining the value of a piece of property. Lenders use land appraisals to determine the worth of a tract of land. These appraisers consider several factors when determining a land value. For example, zoning can affect the value of a tract. There are also easements on a property, such as water and power lines. The presence of utilities on a parcel of land can increase its value. The appraiser will also consider the neighborhood in which the property is located.

Aside from the location, the appraiser will also look at certain aesthetic and functional features of a lot. For example, if a property has a lake or fishing pond, the appraiser will be able to attribute more value to that lot than a similar piece of land with no amenities. Another important factor to consider is the size of the property. Smaller parcels often sell for more per acre than larger ones. Moreover, the appraiser may also factor in the demand for a specific size tract.

The appraiser may also look at recently sold parcels of land in the same area. This is an important step in determining a land value because a bank is never willing to lend more than what a property is worth. Moreover, the appraiser will take into consideration the size and shape of the parcel. This helps them determine the best use for it. For example, an irregularly-shaped lot may not be suitable for building a single-family home.

The zoning status of a land is also important. Depending on its zoning, the land can be used for residential, commercial, agricultural, or industrial purposes. It is possible to rezone a property, but that will entail additional costs for the buyer. Furthermore, appraisers may test the soil for contaminants and nutrients. If the soil contains contaminants or is polluted, it will lower the land’s value.

Although the process of land appraisal may seem complicated, it is often a relatively straightforward process. In most cases, it can be completed within a few weeks. However, if the appraiser has to carry out specialized research, the process can take longer than expected. In any case, the appraiser will provide a written report of the results. The appraiser’s analysis will include comparable sales in the area. This helps the appraiser to determine the value of a land.

Besides the cost approach, a land appraisal can also be done using the income approach. In this method, the appraiser determines the price that a reasonable buyer would pay for a comparable property. The appraiser may have to consider two different values, one for the land if it were vacant, and one for the land with structures. The appraiser will then add up these two values and factor in depreciation.

Larger properties can require more detailed analysis from the appraiser. However, these types of properties are rare in the urban environment. In addition, many city-built homes follow a cookie-cutter pattern, which makes it easier for the appraiser to analyze costs. Vacant lots in urban areas, on the other hand, often have irregular parameters, making them more challenging to appraise.

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