At A Quality Appraisal, we appraise many rural residential properties around Portland, Oregon. One common problem with appraising rural homes on acreage is dealing with incomplete or incorrect data regarding outbuildings. Shops, barns, and other structures commonly found on rural acreage properties can have a high value, but the detail of the sales data can be difficult to uncover and analyze.
Most rural real estate listings around Portland have the word, “shop,” “barn,” or “outbuilding” noted. Closer examination of the real estate listing may or may not reveal more information about the structure. The following are some examples:
In this listing, the agent indicated, “TL-SHED, SHOP,” but there is no photo included. Examining past listings of this property and an agent interview established that it has two small 8x10 storage sheds.
In this listing, the agent indicated “4/DETACHD” garages and describes two shops in the narration. However, examining the photos and an interview showed that it has two pole-framed metal shop buildings with barn doors that could each fit two cars, but neither of which is actually meant to be a garage.
In this listing, the agent indicated “SHOP,” but an interview revealed that property only has a workbench at the rear of the garage.
Appraisers must deal with incomplete data everyday. The same types of issues are also common with information about basements, condition, view, pools, decks, and patios. The outbuilding examples above show how difficult it can be for appraisers to work with data and how important it is for appraisers to take the time to call and talk to agents during the appraisal process. That is why computer programs like Zillow are so unreliable in estimating an accurate value for your home.
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