Three Approaches to Value

In the realm of property appraisal, understanding how to determine value is paramount. There are three well-established methods for assessing the worth of a property: the Sales Comparison Approach, the Cost Approach, and the Income Approach. Each plays a crucial role in different scenarios and adds to the comprehensive expertise we provide at Granite Appraisal Group.

  1. The Sales Comparison Approach: This method is widely utilized and accepted in residential real estate appraisals. It relies on comparing the subject property with similar properties in the area that have recently sold. Adjustments are made for factors like time, acreage, living area, amenities, and more. It’s in these adjustments that the expertise of a professional appraiser shines. For instance, quantifying the added value of a fireplace requires more than an algorithm; it requires an in-depth understanding of the neighborhood, discussions with local Realtors and recent buyers, and expert judgment on the appeal of such features in that specific location.
  2. The Cost Approach: This method assesses how much it would cost to replace the property – essentially to rebuild it, factoring in ‘accrued depreciation’, which accounts for the wear and tear since the property was initially constructed. This approach considers concepts like “economic life” and “effective age”, particularly useful when evaluating special use properties, special purpose properties, or properties where subsequent structural improvements significantly affect value.
  3. The Income Approach: This method is essential for properties that generate income, such as rental properties (apartment buildings, non-owner-occupied houses) and commercial properties. The rental income a property owner could reasonably expect from a property contributes to its value. While this might not apply to purely owner-occupied residential properties, it becomes crucial when the property is intended to be rented out or used to generate income, like a storage facility, cell tower rental, or office building.

At Granite Appraisal Group, we’re well-versed in all three approaches to value, ensuring that we can provide a comprehensive and accurate appraisal for any type of property. Our extensive knowledge and professional experience make us a trusted partner in your real estate appraisal needs.


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