Section 3: Reviewing and the Property Description

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The reviewing process begins with the property description, which should be compared in detail with the appraisal report. In addition, the review appraisers should be familiar with all items shown on the plat map or on the property that may influence the value of the parcel. If a visual inspection of the property reveals the omission or removal of a certain improvement originally noted on the plat map, this must be resolved before the appraisal report is approved.

The parcel owner’s name on Page 1 of the appraisal report should be the same name on the title commitment. The areas considered by the appraiser for the whole property, part acquired, and remainder should be the same areas as those shown on the right of way map. As verification, the review appraiser should be sure that the sum of all the areas of the remainder and the part acquired equal the area of the whole property. In addition, the right of way map and the appraisal report(s) should agree on the length of the fencing in the acquisition and that to be placed on the remainder.

Of special importance is the location of the control of access line in relationship to the remainder. This should be compared carefully with the appraisal. The presence and location of existing and proposed passes should be carefully noted.

Both public and private utility lines should be considered and a distinction made between them. The appraiser should consider the effect on value of public utility lines, whether they cross the property or are adjacent to it. A large high-pressure pipeline on or near the property may have a detrimental effect on value. On the other hand, water, gas, and sewer lines may have a beneficial effect, provided they are not located in a manner that prevents proper utilization of the property.

Awareness of private utility lines is important since they are used with improvements and must be handled at the time of negotiation. If a utility line is noted either in the appraisal or on the plat map, but not the other, it should be called to the attention of the appropriate personnel and additional review work should be suspended until the effects on value have been determined. Other considerations regarding private utility lines should be made regarding bisected improvements, such as apartment buildings that will necessitate cost to cure measures in capping some utility lines, replacing them, or redesigning some of the lines to service the remaining improvement(s).

The number, general size, and shape of improvements outlined on the plat map should be compared to those shown in the appraisal, and the map or report should be corrected as necessary. Any encroachment(s) by an improvement(s) should be recognized both in the report and on the map and should be resolved with title and legal personnel.

Easements, whether they are vacant or occupied, should be identified on both the plat map and appraisal and their effect on the property should be reflected in the estimate of value. The size, purpose, occupancy, and ownership (public or private) should be described.

The location of all canals and public roads that may affect value should be shown on the plat map and checked against the appraisal. No public roadway or dedicated alley, etc. should be valued within the appraisal.

The approximate location of all outdoor advertising signs should be shown on the plat map and, if a compensable interest exists, they should be evaluated in accordance with Chapter 3, Section 5, Procedures on Appraisals of Specific Types and Situations.

It is recommended that all review appraisers are made aware of the approved land values on the project. By comparing subsequent appraised land values to the values on the map, the review appraiser can readily see any unusual differences between land values that may not be explained in the appraisal report(s) and make appropriate review comments in ROWIS.

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