Challenges In Appraising Warehouse Properties

Appraisal of a warehouse can appear straightforward compared to other appraisal assignments. A warehouse appraisal involves comparing a building that is primarily an open shell to similar buildings. Some appraisers tend to assume that one “box” is pretty much the same as another. However, a number of warehouse characteristics can present challenges during the valuation process.

Some appraisers end in using Cost Approach method as a generic method in appraising buildings. But there are several critical differences appraisers need to keep in mind. First, knowing the remaining economic life of a structure is a big factor in determining what method should be used. Appraising old structures using the cost approach method may generate an incorrect result. Income approach is the reasonable method in this situation. Second, the importance of solving the question of the highest and best use of the property- as vacant and as improved, gains ground when the subject property is old and located in a neighborhood where other best use is possible and more feasible.

In appraising these warehouses using Income Approach, it is essential to carefully consider the following factors in selecting comparables:

• Excess land
• Truss height
• Percent of office space
• Loading facilities
• Truck maneuvering distance
• Floor thickness/loading capacity
• Power service
• Land-to-building ratio
• Size relative to typical building size

The most important, location-related factors can differentiate warehouses located within the same community. The value of a warehouse facility is tied to the ability to move goods efficiently in and out of the warehouse. Any inefficiency reduces profitability.

In a challenging profession, an appraiser should think “out of the box” in looking methods that will result in a reliable and unbiased opinion of value.

Photos from the Field: The Church in Palo


In the course of my appraisal work, I visited places like Palo Church.

Palo Church is a historical landmark in Palo which was built in 1596 by Fr. Alonso de Humanes, a Jesuit who came to the place when the sitio had only two houses, who spread the gospel of Christ, baptized natives, taught the children to read and write, pray the rosary, sing church hymns or play the flute.

Experience in Appraisal Matters

In real estate appraisal practice, there are challenges that an appraiser should strive to overcome and characteristics needed to acquire.

Valuing properties requires good judgment. An appraiser can use different methods in valuation, outlined in the international valuation standards. There are different approaches like market data, cost or income approach in valuation. He can also use other approaches like subdivision development approach, residual approach and many more.

But in choosing an appropriate valuation methodology is another thing. The appraiser considers not only the purpose of the appraisal laid out by its client, but the most important, the property’s highest and best use. This judgment emanates from the appraiser’s experience.

Good judgment is also required in analyzing comparables or “comps”. The appraiser identifies the “terms” of the sale – was it an arm’s length transaction in which both parties were equally motivated? Was it a relocation transaction where an owner was attempting to shorten the time on the market to find a buyer? Regardless, no one can tell the appraiser on what comparables to use. It is based on the appraiser’s judgment.

In whatever situation, an experienced appraiser has an edge. He always strive to look for other appraisal methodology and will cull more data on comparables with the sole purpose of rendering an opinion that will truly represents the true market value of the property.

Thus in real estate appraisal practice, experience and good judgment truly matters.

Successful Real Estate Consultant Review

parcs cebu (2)Philippine Association of Realty Consultants and Specialist (PARCS) successfully completed its 120 Hour Comprehensive Seminar and Review for Consultants. The seminar was conducted in preparation for the upcoming Philippine Regulation Commission Real Estate Consultant Board Examination scheduled on December 3 -4, 2014.

The seminar and review gives the participants an in-depth knowledge on consultancy, due diligence, land administration, risk and rate of return, capital budgeting, market analysis and the conduct of feasibility study.

“It gave me a profound and broader view of my real estate profession”, said Gus Agosto, one of the participant. Currently, he is a practicing real estate appraiser in Cebu and other provinces in Visayas and Mindanao. “Being an economic researcher for a quite of time, the seminar refreshes my craft and add lot of knowledge plus the practical experiences shared by the participants who are seasoned real estate practitioners themselves..”

The seminar and review participants were determined to pass the board exam. The lecturer of the review include real estate icon Tom Academia, seasoned appraiser and consultant Oscar Labrador and Alexander Lumarda.