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#60949 - 11/11/05 11:55 AM Does a pond add property value?
rockytopper Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 1239
Loc: texas
I ran across this post "12 acre lake 1 1/2 NE of Dallas for sale $110k" I decided to open up the conversation again about weather or not a pond adds to the value of property. There were some interesting view points about the subject in this old post. This might make a good article for Bob to cover in PB. I would like to share from my on experiences on this subject and get feed back from others. I realize all us pond meisters that bought raw land and built our on pond masterpieces are bias about this subject because we live and breath the stuff. Lets here from Pond Bosses out there that purchased land with an existing pond. Did you buy the property because it had the pond? The original post discussed that the appraised value of property is the same weather it has a pond or not. This for the most part is a true statement. Bankers & official appraisers don't add much if any value for having a pond when it comes to them setting the value. I ran across this when I built my pond and home. The appraisers use the Fanny May rule which is nothing more than determining value based on what has sold in the area in recent time period. Another words if you move somewhere and build a mansion and a 10 acre lake and there is not any thing in the area that the appraiser can compare to then you will most likely get a reduced appraisal value. I know this because I went thru it building our place. I build a 21/2 story cedar home rap around porches metal roof 30 foot ceilings setting on 22 acres with a 1.5 acre pond in the back yard. I designed and built 99% of the home myself. The only cost I had in the property was mostly materials. When it came time to close I was 20 k upside down based on the appraisal value. The property was compared against same square foot homes on 1& 2 acre tracts. These houses where all just brick tract homes. I protested of course and hired another appraiser. During the time the first appraisal was done and the second, a 10 acre tract with a very small cedar cabin metal roof sold for a good price about 10 miles away. Over night my property value went from being 20k in the hole to having more than 45 % equity in the property. So from a bankers stand point it's not what the property has more what are the masses willing to pay for a given property in the area. The bottom line is the value of a pond or land is what ever someone is willing to pay for it. If nothing else a pond adds a lot of curb appeal when it comes time to sale. As the original post points out just drive down any back road in rural America , if a property has a nice pond, the house 9 times out of 10 is built near by. What are YA's thoughts on this subject.
_________________________

The road goes on forever and the party nevers end...............................................

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#60950 - 11/11/05 12:42 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Chip Rowland Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/17/03
Posts: 214
Loc: Lima, OH
RT,
You've posed a good question. I would say the short answer, at least in our case is yes. But that doesn't apply in every case. We bought our present house and pond from my wife's parents; part of a house swap of sorts as our family outgrew the previous home. They had placed the house on the market and been unable to sell it for the reason you described, there was nothing similar in the area to compare it with and establish a realistic market price at least for normal folks that have to borrow from the banks. Fortunately we were able to roll equity from the previous house over onto the new house and the bank was willing to work with us.If it hadn't been for the pond I doubt we would have paid as much for the place but it was here and we wanted it. A lot of people don't want a pond and for them I don't think it would add any value to the home.I notice that if a property is listed and it has anything that will hold water on it now they always advertise it as "with pond" so it must have some added value from a real estate standpoint. Just my 2 cents.
Chip
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#60951 - 11/11/05 01:21 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Brettski Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6900
Loc: Illinois
As goes with most any product, when it comes to selling it, your second concern is how it matches up to the competition. The first issue is "where is the market and how big is the market". In essence, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have to imagine that the "market" for buyers searching for pond-property is fairly narrow...witness the number of websites on the internet for pond owners. Now, if you can get the attention of that narrow band of buyers, the value of the generic pricing comp's of similar properties without ponds adds up to fairly little.
_________________________


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#60952 - 11/11/05 02:39 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Prior to digging my hole in the ground, I decided to sell and buy a place with a pond. I found several interesting possibilities but found that the pond wasn't always the deciding factor. It had to be around 5 acres or more to add serious value. My big surprise that raw land, with smaller ponds was going for about $2,000 per acre for approximately 100 acres. The larger the acreage, the less price per acre. My big surprise was the house. A house that might bring $50 K in town on 100 acres of $2K land became a $200K+ piece of property.

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#60953 - 11/13/05 12:14 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
David B Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 25
Loc: Adams Wi
just my 2 cent opinion. As they say demand and supply. All things being equal the pond property will comand a higher price. I just bought my pond property and I looked at other comps without a pond that were less. I may represent a new part of the market.
1. the pond is on our seasonal residence
2. we have owned lakefront property and tired of the higher taxes and noise from the lake (motor craft etc)
3. we are near retirement age.

As lake frontage property is becoming more scarce and demand for water type property increases the babyboomers should help drive up the cost of a good pond property.

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#60954 - 11/13/05 02:19 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
rmedgar Offline
Ambassador
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 2434
Loc: S. Mississippi
Like DD said, I think that the size of the pond is important. A 1/4 pond isn't going to add much, but
a 4+A lake/pond is going to get some additional
attention in my area. I'm just waiting for some rich yuppie from Atlanta to "discover" my place in a few years and make me an ridiculously high offer. I feel sure it will be 2x+ what I paid. When I bought it, it had a 1/4A pond - I've added another 1/4A pond and a 4A lake/pond. Many times, whenever I look for raw land in this areas the information screams "lake site". It can be 2A in the middle of an old airport and it's a "lake site". That's what people want,IMHO.
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Just do it...

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#60955 - 11/13/05 08:34 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Fishman Dan Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Plano, Texas
RT-
I'm actually the proud owner of the 12 acre lake that was mentioned in the original post. In fact, I had looked at the property the day before the original posting, and it helped speed up my decision -- I was afraid someone else would read it and grab it. The reason I viewed the property as such a great deal/investment, is because the entire property is only 45 acres, and the entire lake is within my fenceline. I never expected to find a lake that big on a property that small. Until I found this property, the largest lake I could find on a reasonable sized (50-200 acres) piece of land was about 5 acres. To try and answer your question, the value is in the eye of the beholder. I saw sunken timber, numerous coves, nice spawning flats, etc. It looked like bass heaven to me. In addition, we saw ducks and canada geese when we viewed the property. As a hunter and fisherman, I saw a lot of things that I liked -- fish, ducks, geese, deer, turkey, and dove, all on a pretty affordable "small" property. To me it was a no-brainer. The property was priced a little bit higher than other acreage in the area, but not much. I really feel that I could sell the property right now for 1.5x what I paid for it, but only if I marketed it properly -- as a small fishing and hunting property that has everything and has been intensely managed for wildlife and located only 1.5 hours from DFW. We were looking for a place to take our three daughters (9/7/5) on weekends to get some fresh air and learn a little bit about Mother Nature -- we live in Plano, aka The Land of Glass and Steel. Best decision I ever made. My youngest caught her first fish there, and after several trips to "The Farm," my two older daughters now refuse to fish with anything other than lures. We're camping there next weekend. To make a long answer short -- the lake added a lot of value in my opinion. I would have been willing to pay considerably more than I did for my property, but fortunately I didn't have to. I also feel strongly that the size of the lake/pond has a lot to do with it. For some reason, 5+ acres seems big to me and increases the value in my mind...
_________________________
Carl Spackler: "This place got a pool?"
Ty Webb: "Pool and a pond. Pond would be good for you..."

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#60956 - 11/13/05 09:02 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
rmedgar Offline
Ambassador
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 2434
Loc: S. Mississippi
Dan, 45A with a 12A lake for that price! I expect to see you highlighted on "America's Most Wanted" soon.
What a steal err great deal........
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Just do it...

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#60957 - 11/23/05 05:01 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Ed Richter Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 253
Loc: Houston/Brenham
My realtor's answer to that question was: No, but it makes the property sell lot quicker. The land around Houston is getting split up into about 20A "ranchettes', and first thing that everyone wants is a pond. Most are about 1A size ponds.

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#60958 - 11/24/05 01:47 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
eddie_walker Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 773
Loc: Just North of Tyler, Texas
I'm a builder and have had some success buying and selling raw land. Without trying to offend anybody, I can tell you that an apraiser works for the person that hires him/her. Their job is to get the amount their employer asks for.

The big descrepancies seem to come from the appraisers who work for the bigger firms.

A bank will have several appraiser they use for their loans. If they want to make the loan, they can get the appraiser to justify the ammount.

The bigger real estate agents also have certain appraisers that they use all the time. They can also get the numbers to reflect the amount they require.

As a small builder, I've been on both the good and bad end of this. I've had a buyer's agent bring in their appraiser to run down the value of the property I'm selling. I contacted my banker and had him get "his" appraiser to give me one that reflects my selling price.

Comparing the two apprasals can be quite interesting. Ponds and Lakes vary allot depending on the angle the appraiser is shooting for. Some call them liabilities or deduct the value based on the work required to "fix it up." Others will increase the overall price of all the acerage based on this one feature.

Just my 2 cents. I don't mean to imply all appraisers are so easily swayed.

Eddie
_________________________
Lake Marabou http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=139488&fpart=1

It's not how many ideas you have, but how many you make happen.

3/4 and 4 acre ponds.

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#60959 - 11/24/05 02:54 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Dudley Landry Offline
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 870
Loc: St. Mary Parish, Louisiana
Well said, Eddie, and you could not be more right. I believe that some appraisers who are also realtors will appraise low, thinking that they will get the listing and sell the property quickly to their own greatest benefit. Perhaps we should employ appraisers who are independent and not involved in sales.

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#60960 - 11/25/05 09:15 AM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Bob Koerber Offline
Member

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 470
Loc: Hartselle, Alabama
Eddie I sure agree with you on appraisers. Awile back I was looking at buying 10 acres beside me and my 3 acres with a 1/3 acre pond that I bought for 120 K about 8 years age was appraised for 165K with one appraiser and 113K from the second guess he didn't like a house with a pond that was not in the city limits!

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#60961 - 11/25/05 01:43 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Eric Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 538
Loc: Rochester NY
If I may, I will add my $0.02. For what its worth, a pond adds value to those people who are looking for property with water frontage or a pond on it. For those who are not looking for any water features it most likely is a liability. For those who do not care then it is neutral.

Where it boils down to is it will be valued highly to a certain population and less so to other parts of the overall buying population. Since we seem to all be from the water valuing population we feel it adds value. For those from other populations it is less so of a value to that of being a liability.

This one can be debated forever based on personal biases. What can help is that a certain amount of every population wants or likes water features. If in your area you have very little properties with water features, then if you put one in, the population that likes water features will pay top dollar for the opportunity to own something that most people in the area donít have. It is the supply and demand issue.

That is why if you were able to build a pond in the middle of the Sahara you would probably get top dollar for it vs. putting one in the middle of the Caribbean.
_________________________
---------------------------------
1/10 - 1/4 acre pond Upstate NY 14 ft deep


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#60962 - 11/26/05 08:11 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Eastland Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 1039
Loc: Dallas TX
A Texan's perspective...ALL whitetail deer hunting property is going thru the roof. You can just about buy the land and lease it for enough $$$ to make the monthly payments. If it's not hunting property, it's cattle country, and they need water too. There is no doubt that surface water increases property value here. The bigger the better, wildlife in this area lives very close to the waters edge. A big pond on a tract of land in hunting area brings prime $$$.

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#60963 - 11/27/05 07:26 AM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Brettski Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6900
Loc: Illinois
Eastland makes a very good point by looking thru the hunter's prism. I spent the last 4 years trying to find small, wooded acreage in the midwest that I could afford. I was constantly getting beat up by deer hunters, many times from FAR out of state. One area that I probed heavily was central Illinois. The brokers all told me the same story: welcome to the "Golden Triangle" of Whitetail. Based on this intense and popular marketing base, it would make good sense that any contained surface water feature would add significant value.
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#60964 - 11/27/05 08:54 AM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Alligator Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 821
Loc: East Texas
While searching for my property last year - two brokers said they added $5K per surface acre to the listing price of a property (these were 100 - 200 acre tracts).

Gator
_________________________
- Smoke 'em if you got 'em




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#60965 - 11/28/05 08:55 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Sink Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 3
by eddie_walker:
""I'm a builder and have had some success buying and selling raw land. Without trying to offend anybody, I can tell you that an apraiser works for the person that hires him/her.""

Wrong, most of the time, an appraiser works for themself, living and dying by the decision they make.

""Their job is to get the amount their employer asks for. ""

Wrong again, it is to determine an independant opinion of value, not to "get the amount their employer asks for". I'd imagine, if this is the way you think, there would be a whole lot of appraisers who would ask you to pay their back social security, etc.

""The big descrepancies seem to come from the appraisers who work for the bigger firms.

A bank will have several appraiser they use for their loans. If they want to make the loan, they can get the appraiser to justify the ammount.""

If they "can get the appraiser to justify" they are crooks, the banker, and the appraiser. Plenty of crooked of both, normally pushed by crooked builders/developers, and homeowners.

""The bigger real estate agents also have certain appraisers that they use all the time. They can also get the numbers to reflect the amount they require.""

"they require"? Again, only if they are crooks and hire crook appraisers.

""As a small builder, I've been on both the good and bad end of this. I've had a buyer's agent bring in their appraiser to run down the value of the property I'm selling.""

Probably because you sold it above market, to some uniformed person from out of state. Just a guess.

""I contacted my banker and had him get "his" appraiser to give me one that reflects my selling price. ""

What did I say about crooked builders/developers and bankers?

""Comparing the two apprasals can be quite interesting. Ponds and Lakes vary allot depending on the angle the appraiser is shooting for. Some call them liabilities or deduct the value based on the work required to "fix it up." Others will increase the overall price of all the acerage based on this one feature.""

OK

""Just my 2 cents.""

Not sure it's worth half of that.

""I don't mean to imply all appraisers are so easily swayed. ""

Oh really? Didn't read that way.

Water maters where it is scarce, and doesn't make a dang where it is abundant. Alligators $5,000 a surface acre of water, would sound reasonable, considering construction costs, in many areas, and not reasonable where costs are higher or lower.

Eric pretty well nailed it.

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#60966 - 11/28/05 08:59 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Sink Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 3
 Quote:
Originally posted by eddie_walker:
I'm a builder and have had some success buying and selling raw land. Without trying to offend anybody, I can tell you that an apraiser works for the person that hires him/her. Their job is to get the amount their employer asks for.

The big descrepancies seem to come from the appraisers who work for the bigger firms.

A bank will have several appraiser they use for their loans. If they want to make the loan, they can get the appraiser to justify the ammount.

The bigger real estate agents also have certain appraisers that they use all the time. They can also get the numbers to reflect the amount they require.

As a small builder, I've been on both the good and bad end of this. I've had a buyer's agent bring in their appraiser to run down the value of the property I'm selling. I contacted my banker and had him get "his" appraiser to give me one that reflects my selling price.

Comparing the two apprasals can be quite interesting. Ponds and Lakes vary allot depending on the angle the appraiser is shooting for. Some call them liabilities or deduct the value based on the work required to "fix it up." Others will increase the overall price of all the acerage based on this one feature.

Just my 2 cents. I don't mean to imply all appraisers are so easily swayed.

Eddie


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#60967 - 11/29/05 10:33 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
eddie_walker Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 773
Loc: Just North of Tyler, Texas
Sink,

Thanks, this thread just got interesting. By the passion in your response, it's obvious that I've offended you. The only way that could happen is if you or somebody close to you is an appraiser. Did I strike a nerve?

I have no doubt that what you say is how things are supposed to work in the "ideal" world. It would be nice if things really worked that way, but when large sums of money are involved, people have a tendancy to protect their interests.

Your belief that all apriasers base the value they give to a propety based solely on independent value is both naive and silly.

You border on the rediculous to imply that a bigger client wont have any sway on the outcome of an appraisal. If I hired you to do 200 appraisals a year, even though you're an independent contractor working for yourself, you better come up with the numbers I'm expecting for you to continue to get my jobs. This is true with all the trades.

Enjoy your life on the soapbox, LOL

Eddie
_________________________
Lake Marabou http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=139488&fpart=1

It's not how many ideas you have, but how many you make happen.

3/4 and 4 acre ponds.

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#60968 - 11/29/05 11:49 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Sink Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 3
I have no doubt that what you say is how things are supposed to work in the "ideal" world. It would be nice if things really worked that way, but when large sums of money are involved, people have a tendancy to protect their interests.

I actually agree. Don't you think that a lifetime of wages, which eventually could be millions of dollars, would influence the appraiser to protect his or her interests? They see blow hard developers and builders go bankrupt every day. Loan officers switch bank to bank. Why would one stick their neck out for such?

"""Your belief that all apriasers base the value they give to a propety based solely on independent value is both naive and silly. """

I don't believe this. Not all do. But many do, and stick around. Those who don't fall by the wayside, sooner or later. Remember the S & L bailout? Doubt it, you sound to young. But about hte only people who went to jail were appraisers. \:D

"""You border on the rediculous to imply that a bigger client wont have any sway on the outcome of an appraisal. If I hired you to do 200 appraisals a year, even though you're an independent contractor working for yourself, you better come up with the numbers I'm expecting for you to continue to get my jobs. """

Shortminded appraisers, or rookies, maybe. Same is true with the Loan officers. Short minded ones who want last long. The mortgage field is full of them, they gravitate there from used car lots. Again, it happens, but the ones who stick around for any length of time, look for accurate reports delivered in a timely manner.

If all an appraiser is is a rubber stamper, then why is there a need for an appraisal?

I'm a developer, but price land to move, no hassles, not to gig some poor out of town sucker who probably won't get a loan based on an appraisal. I like smooth closings, solid banks, solid buyers, and no problem closings. I don't sell stuff over what it is worth. To many problems. To each his own though.

This is true with all the trades.

Enjoy your life on the soapbox, LOL

Eddie[/QB][/QUOTE]

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#60969 - 11/30/05 08:32 AM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3102
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
I have a couple of stories on this topic. Two years ago, a client called, was looking at a property about 40 miles east of Dallas. It was advertised as 40 acres, with a pristine lake. He looked, was interested, but wanted to do more due diligence. He hired me, I met the realtor, evaluated the lake. The lake covered about 15 acres, was 60% covered with American lotus. Eight acres of water was less than 4 feet deep, loaded with coontail. The fishery was okay, but mostly stunted bass and a fairly healthy bluegill population hiding in abundant plant growth. The lake needed work, especially due to the shallowness, which was mainly two to four feet of blackland silt. My best estimate was that it would cost $35-50,000 to renovate this lake to make it like he wanted. He chose not to buy it. Last I heard, a group of duck hunters were looking, and loved it. So, it wasn't worth much to the bass fisherman, but the duck hunters may have found exactly what they wanted.
In 1985 a prominent family in Fort Worth, Texas, built a 50 acre lake on their 1660 acre ranch southwest of town. Spent more than $200,000 on the dam. I have the privilege to stock and manage it for 8 year, until the owner died. His widow kept the place for three more years, but it was more than she could care for. She asked the local bank to appraise it, along with two local realtors. They looked at comparable land sold in the area, and suggested her land, at that time, would sell for $800-850 an acre. She, and her advisors, believed the lake increased the value dramatically. She ran an ad in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, as well as the big cities in Texas. Three people 'fought' for the land, and she ended up selling it for $1,600 and acre. Do the math...all three wanted to buy it for the 50 acre lake. Her savvy parlayed an 'extra' 1.2 million for her.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#60970 - 12/01/05 03:54 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
8NTX Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 1
Loc: Rowlett, TX
Lots of decent information and lots of misinformation on appraisers and appraisals on here. I know a little bit about the subject since it's been my occupation for 23 years.

There are lots of appraisers who can easily be swayed to get to their client's numbers. And yes, too often, if he can't get there, he won't get much work. But some people tend to think that all or most appraisers are somewhat crooked. And it's simply not so. And no, most of the people who went to prison over the S&L bailout of the '80s were NOT appraisers. Most were "developers" and land speculators who sought out naive or dishonest appraisers to help them get the loans. More bankers went to jail than appraisers. In Texas, where the crisis essentially started and was most prominent, I think only 2 appraisers actually served jail time. But I could be wrong. Several did give up their appraisal designations and licenses, and gave testimony in lieu of prosecution.

Ponds and lakes usually add some value, if they are in good shape and offer aesthetic appeal to a residential property, or a needed water supply to an agricultural property. But seldom does the additional value come close to the actual cost of building it in the first place. Muddy, shallow ponds that have been poorly built or managed offer little or no value. Of course, it's up to the appraiser to pull any adjustment he makes from the local real estate market. That's the difficult thing to do. A sale or listing may state that the property has a beautiful 5 acre lake, when in reality it's a 5 acre mudpit that is only 2 feet deep in the middle. And it's usually not easy to get the real scoop on that lake, how much money would be required to rehab it if necessary, etc.. So extracting additional value attributable to the lake is sometimes very difficult. But a competent appraiser should do his best to try to make an accurate adjustment for the lake or pond based upon the local market.

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#60971 - 12/01/05 08:36 PM Re: Does a pond add property value?
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
8NTX, Thanks. I agree that we can't paint all members of any bunch with the same brush.
Your second paragraph also makes good sense.

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