A land appraisal is a way to determine the value of a piece of property. If you are looking to buy land, it is important to know its value before you make a purchase so that you can get the best possible deal on the land you want.
The process of a land appraisal is typically done by an experienced appraiser with a background in real estate. They will look at a number of different factors to determine the value of your land.
Zoning and Restrictions
Most property is zoned for some kind of use, and this can have an impact on how much your land is worth. Whether the property is a good candidate for residential, commercial or industrial development will depend on local zoning restrictions.
If the property is located in an area with a high population density, this can affect the value of your land as well. For example, a residential subdivision might not be the highest and best use of a certain piece of land because the surrounding neighborhood may not have the demand for such a development.
Topography and Aesthetic Features
The land’s beauty can also be an important factor in its marketability. Appraisers will consider whether a lot has scenic views, access to a lake, fishing ponds, hiking trails or other desirable amenities that could make it more appealing to potential buyers.
Another important factor in land valuation is flood risk. Vacant land that is prone to flooding can lose up to 8% of its value, depending on the location and frequency of floods.
A land appraisal is also a good time to consider any improvements that you have made on your land. For instance, if you have fenced in or landscaped your land, it can increase the value of your property significantly.
These types of improvements can add value to your land because it allows you to sell it for more money if the property becomes available on the open market in the future.
What you should do to prepare for a land appraisal
The first step in the process of a land appraisal is to research the property and its surrounding area. This involves examining zoning regulations and other building ordinances. It also involves checking the current sale prices of similar properties in your area, called comps.
Once you have completed your research, you can schedule a site visit with an appraiser to see the property and evaluate its potential. This will allow the appraiser to evaluate what kind of highest and best use the land is likely to have in the future.
Next, the appraiser will perform a physical inspection of your land. This will allow the appraiser to see what the property is like and evaluate what improvements might be needed before it can be used.
The land appraisal is a vital step in the real estate process because it provides an objective, third-party opinion of how much your property is worth in the marketplace. Ultimately, this can help you decide whether to buy or sell your property and what price to pay for it.