The cost approach was once called the summation approach. The theory is that the value of a property can be estimated by summing the land value and the depreciated value of any improvements. The value of the improvements is often referred to by the abbreviation RCNLD (for "reproduction/replacement cost new less depreciation"). Reproduction refers to reproducing an exact replica; replacement cost refers to the cost of building a house or other improvement which has the same utility, but using modern design, workmanship and materials. In practice, appraisers almost always use replacement cost and then deduct a factor for any functional dis-utility associated with the age of the subject property. An exception to the general rule of using the replacement cost is for some insurance value appraisals. In those cases, reproduction of the exact asset after a destructive event like a fire is the goal.
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Meanwhile, a residential appraiser would focus on those properties where individuals and households are domiciled. This can include condominiums and single homes. Typically a residential appraiser works with properties with no more than four housing units. Larger scale properties, such as multiunit apartment buildings, would likely be classified as a commercial property for the purposes of an appraiser.
When evaluating a property's value, appraisers note the characteristics of the property and surrounding area, such as a view or noisy highway nearby. They also consider the overall condition of a building, including its foundation and roof or any renovations that may have been done. Appraisers photograph the outside of the building and some of the interior features to document its condition. After visiting the property, the appraiser analyzes the property relative to comparable home sales, including lease records, location, view, previous appraisals, and income potential. During the entire process, appraisers record their research, observations, and methods used in providing an estimate of the property’s value.
There are also voluntary professional bodies for real estate valuation such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors ('RICS') and the Property Institute of New Zealand ('PINZ'). Both of these bodies have a wider membership, beyond real estate valuers. PINZ has over 2,500 members in New Zealand and overseas (such as ex-pats in the UK, Asia and Australia). PINZ has a service level agreement with the NZIV, whereby PINZ contracts to perform tasks for the statutory professional body, NZIV. PINZ was formed in 2000 to act as the voice of the property professions. There have been 'political divisions' within the valuation profession in New Zealand, expressed at AGMs and through 'proxy wars' over the last 20 years or so. Many valuers are supportive of amalgamation of the NZIV functions under the multi-disciplinary voluntary body PINZ, whilst many others wish to retain a separate statutory professional body for valuers (the NZIV). There are various reasons in the debate and the governing legislation is under review and amendments or repeal is being considered. At present, the Act remains in force and the NZIV is legally a distinct body with statutory functions, powers and duties.
Maybe you aren't interested in putting your house on the market, and just want to get an idea of what it's worth. Or perhaps you really are thinking about a for-sale sign in the front yard and need to learn what to expect from its value. There are certainly plenty of reasons why you should get an estimate on your largest personal investment. And for each of them, eppraisal helps you find out in a matter of seconds.
Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty and his staff are dedicated to producing fair and equitable Property Value Assessments. We strive to provide exceptional service to the citizens of Pinellas County. The information on this site has been prepared as a public service, and to give you an overview of some of the activities in the Property Appraiser's Office.