Posts Tagged ‘real estate appraisals’

Golf Course View1

Most people are not surprised to hear that a golf course view is a marketable amenity for which buyers pay more.  Did you find yourself saying, “Well, of course”?  Carol Vergara and I were surprised a few years ago when we were asked to argue the market reaction to golf course views.

The data we researched included properties surrounding a specific golf course and other courses in Rockland and Westchester County.  In every MLS listing researched of a property viewing a golf course it was described in the marketing remarks as an amenity.  When local real estate brokers in those areas were surveyed all considered a golf course location positive in terms of view and prestige, even if homeowners had to yell “fore” in their backyards.

We also analyzed sales over a 4 year period in a townhouse development built around a golf course and marketed from 2005 through 2009.  Within that complex, similar units, contracted at the same time, with and without a golf course view were analyzed.  Based on that analysis, the premium paid for a golf course view ranged from 5.9% to 6.85% depending on the contract year.  The sales manager for the project confirmed these results.  Throughout the marketing of the project, regardless of changing market conditions, buyers paid more for units with a view of the golf course.

Since it is difficult to find a significant number of properties that are comparable except for the view, the data is old. We frequently look at our market to ensure that the difference remains.

What does this mean on an appraisal in our market? While it is important to remember that there is no hard and fast rule, it could mean that a property with a golf course view could be worth ± 5% more than a comparable property (please see our blog post “The Search for Perfect Comparables”) without a golf course view.

So, as a homeowner or real estate professional, from your experience or perspective what is your thinking? How much do you think a golf course view is worth?


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I am frequently asked, “What makes a good comp?”  In appraising it is important to make sure that your comparables (comps) are similar to the property being appraised (aka subject property). Location should be the first consideration when choosing comparables. Then, comps should be similar to the subject property in terms of sales price, age, gross living area, site (land), location, style, condition, room count, and amenities (i.e., basement, garages, decks, patios, fireplaces, etc.).

For mortgage appraisals, lenders typically require appraisers to use three closed sales and two other listings (these two can be pending and/or active) as comparables. Lenders now require that two of the sales be closed within the last 90 days. The comps should bracket (one on either side with the subject in the middle) the subject property’s major characteristics in terms of sales price, age, and Gross Living Area (GLA).   (more…)

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“Isn’t It Ironic…Don’t You Think?” No, this is not a tribute to Alanis Morissette. I was thinking about the home-selling process. When homeowners prepare to sell or refinance their home they often spend a great deal of time and money on aesthetic improvements to make their home more appealing…and rightly so. The irony is that when they move into the appraisal process those aesthetic improvements often don’t add a great deal to the value of a house in a “good marketable condition.” (more…)

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 This is my first post. The purpose of this blog is to answer questions about real estate appraisals and the real estate appraisal process. I want it be a forum for industry professionals and lay people to discuss issues that affect the Westchester and NYC real estate markets.  General questions and comments are welcome!

Come back soon to hear more!

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