Unlike the process for determining the value of an existing developed property, a land appraisal for an undeveloped property is a more complicated yet necessary element to the buying of vacant land. The fact is that there is no easy answer to the question, “How much is an acre of land worth?” A qualified, professional appraiser will use a wide range of factors to make as accurate a land appraisal as possible.
Understanding how a land appraisal works is crucial to determining an accurate land appraisal on your property. Undeveloped land is a risky end of the real estate industry, and knowing the process for calculating land value is essential to minimize the risks and provide the best chance at success.
Determining Factors for Calculating Land Value
The following are among the most important factors that can have significant impacts on the land value for a land appraisal.
An important factor in a land appraisal used to evaluate the marketability of a property is how accessible it is to the public for development purposes. The total assessment of the land value can be affected if nearby roads can access the property and whether or not that access is legal. A land appraisal for large properties will also take into consideration the amount and method of internal access.
Some kinds of land are more conducive to development than others based on the layout and structure of the property. The topography of a property can affect its potential for development and use. A comprehensive, professional land appraisal process will include studying topography maps of the property and the surrounding areas.
Special features and amenities that can help to increase land value include great views of a lake or mountains. Though a large section of a river that runs through the property could inhibit or alter future development.
Land Use, Zoning Requirements
The local county land-use restrictions and zoning regulations will limit how the land can be used. Zoning requirements may limit development uses and restrict how the land may be developed. Commercial, residential, and agricultural uses should be clearly defined by each county’s local zoning and land use laws.
Surrounding Land Uses, Market Trends
The communities surrounding the property can have a significant impact on the land value, depending on your intended use for it. Nearby development is a strong indicator of the current area market trends, which can also affect the overall value of the property when it is being appraised.
A land appraiser will look for signs of wildlife on the property, such as tracks or rubs. The variations and state of the vegetation on the land can indicate what kind of wildlife the land supports and how that will affect the overall land value appraisal.
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