Section 4: Cost Estimates for Design Purposes

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Contract appraisers and qualified ROW staff may accomplish cost estimates for preliminary design purposes. Appraiser services are contracted in the same manner as right of way appraisal services by execution of a work authorization. The fee for cost estimates used for design purposes is a pre-determined lump sum fee based upon the established hourly rate for "appraisal consulting" located in the appraiser's fee schedule, multiplied by the number of hours requested by the appraiser to complete the assignment. Cost estimates for design purposes are project- or job-specific, rather than parcel-specific. Requests for cost estimating services for design purposes originate with R/W-PD which forwards them to the Design Division with complete information regarding the need for the proposed services. ROW PD then contacts the ROW Program Office to obtain a work authorization for the appraiser selected to perform the cost estimate.

Since these cost estimates are for design purposes only, they need not be as detailed as an appraisal report for right of way acquisition. The scope of work used in a cost estimate for design purposes will be reflective of the intended use of the assignment. These reports will be made in narrative format, including the appraiser's transmittal letter, a listing of comparable sales, and a brief narrative discussion for each property affected.

To provide needed documentation and facilitate the review of the cost estimate, that portion of a city or county map necessary to show the subject parcels and comparable sales should be made a part of the report. The location of the comparable sales should be identified in a manner that they may be correlated with the sales described in other parts of the report.

Considerable time passes before schematics are approved and the project released for right of way acquisition, so data obtained normally will be of little value for actual right of way purchases. Therefore, an appraisal report prepared by a contract appraiser or an appropriately credentialed staff appraiser will be required to determine the current market value for right of way acquisition.

Payment to the appraiser for cost estimating services will be in accordance with the appraiser's work authorization, as the work is authorized and approved by the Design Division. Since these cost estimates are for design purposes only, the costs will not be classified as a right of way expense, but will be applied to the appropriate CSJ authorization.

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