For more than 85 years, the Appraisal Institute (AI) has been a global professional association of real estate appraisers. AI works to develop real estate industry leaders and establish an appraiser presence in the United Stated Congress through its Leadership Development and Advisory Council (LDAC). The Council is a group of dedicated appraisers who together once a year in Washington DC to generate solutions to challenges facing the appraisal profession.
Last month, I had the pleasure of attending my first LDAC session in Washington DC. I entered with no expectations other than using it as an opportunity to learn more about the Appraisal Institute and offer up a thought or two on promoting our industry. By the end of the week, I walked away from LDAC exceeding those expectations.
The LDAC discussion sessions afforded the opportunity to engage and brainstorm with appraisal professionals from all around the country. The sessions served as opportunity for us to come together to generate actionable ideas to solve some of the appraisal industry’s toughest problems. Serving as a member of the Ohio Chapter’s education committee I was very passionate about the education discussions. Based on my experience, I know that AI’s educational offering is superior to other competitive offerings. Our group discussed ideas on how to not only get non-AI members to take AI courses but to also use our education offering to entice non-members to become members.
As a MAI designated commercial appraiser, over the past 10 years, I have conducted a couple of thousand commercial property inspections, and each inspection is as unique as the commercial property appraisal. During an inspection I am typically accompanied by the owner or the owner’s agent. Most times the inspections are uneventful, and the owner/agent is helpful in providing insightful property, neighborhood and market area information needed to complete a comprehensive appraisal of the subject property. However, there have been occasions when the inspection becomes eventful –
The Helpful Owner
I do occasionally encounter owners who want to point out all the subject property’s current or planned amenities that they believe will significantly impact the value. Earlier this year I appraised an office park complex located parallel to a major highway in central Ohio. I was advised by the lender that the complex was fully leased and thus the income approach would be required. During the inspection, the owner shared that he thought it was vital that I consider the fact that he could have a billboard on his property which would generate additional income. Further, the owner spent a considerable amount of time sharing his marketing brochures to clearly demonstrate the type of tenants he would soon have in the complex. At the time of the inspection, the owner was the only tenant in the office complex, while the lender thought the property was fully leased.
The Fearful Tenant
As a MAI designated appraiser who completes right-of-way, acquisition and disposition appraisals, I have encountered a variety of situations where property owners are unaware of the complex process involved in a full or partial taking of private property. During this process, the appraiser can in fact assist the property owner in making sure they achieve the best possible outcome when selling their property to a government agency.
For example, once a state agency has determined that property is needed for public use, the property owner does not have an option to simply refuse the sale of their property. However, the government is required to ensure they compensate the owner fairly and cannot place any undue burdens or hardships on the property owners during this process. Thus, when the state claims private property through eminent domain, the property owner can have an impact on getting the best deal possible.
Here are some ways that property owners can make sure they are justly compensated, in the case of a state claim to their property:
There are 350,000 religious congregations in the US and according to the Yellow Pages there are 1,433 religious institutions in the greater Cleveland area. In Cleveland, as well as, across the nation church membership and attendance is declining. This decline is not discriminating amongst denomination. There has been a lot written and a lot of research conducted to uncover the reasons for the decline. The findings range from – the cultural disappearance of guilt to too many online social options to the thought that occasional attendance is the same as regular attendance. For whatever the reasons, in five years the percentage of people unaffiliated with religion has increased from 15% to nearly 20% and continues to rise.
So what does this mean for houses of worship?