When I call Portland, Oregon homeowners to schedule an appraisal inspection, I usually ask a list of questions about their home, including changes or upgrades that have been made. Homeowners frequently have questions of their own to ask me. One of the most common questions is if landscaping is considered in the appraisal. The quick answer is, “Yes, landscaping adds value to a home and is part of the appraisal value opinion.”
Real estate appraisers typically evaluate only real property and not personal property. Real property includes the land, the things that might be buried in the land, the air above the land (with restrictions), anything permanently fixed to the land, and any rights, interests, or benefits that come with the land. Landscaping is almost always considered real property and is an important part of Maximizing Real Estate Appraisal Value.
This Portland home has a deck, lawn, concrete paths, and steps that would be included in the home appraisal value. The potted plants are not part of the appraisal.
Residential real estate appraisers do not typically place a value on personal property. Personal property can usually be moved. Trees, shrubs, and grass in the yard of a home are typically considered real property unless they are potted. Crops on a farm are usually considered personal property. Residential tool sheds are typically considered real property if they have a permanent foundation like a concrete slab or block and pier. Hot tubs that are just sitting on a patio are personal property. Aboveground pools can become real property if they have been made permanent, like building a deck around them. Courts decide when a fixture is considered personal or real property by looking at how it is connected to the property, the intent of the installation, the adaptability of the fixture, and any agreements regarding the fixture (common in commercial leases). To avoid any misunderstandings, appraisers should be clear in the appraisal report about what is included in the opinion of value.
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