A Day in the Life of Appraising Iowa-Nebraska-Florida

A Day in the Life of an Appraiser in Rural Pottawattamie County and Douglas County.  The majority of our appraisal valuation services today is in the city/suburbs of Council Bluffs, IA and Omaha, Nebraska, we are often called to appraise small acreages in rural communities like Underwood, Treynor, Carson, Oakland Iowa, and Blair, Bellevue, Papillion rural areas in Sarpy County or Douglas County Nebraska.   
Whether it is a home on 5 acres, or an outbuilding and 10 acres we are challenged to value the land and location for adjustment purposes, in order to arrive at a credible opinion of value.  Some of the land valuation involves Surplus Land and Excess Land which we have already discussed here.  But the other issue which is not uncommon are land easements.  Often times, these easements were created when a small parcel of land was divided from a working working farm to allow a family member to build a house near by.  The easement serves as an access for a farmer to reach a grain bin with a truck load of corn harvested in the fall, or a tractor to cross on to adjoining land to plant crops in the spring. These easements are known as Appurtenant Easements.  An Appurtenant Easement is a right to use adjoining property that transfers with the land. The parcel of land that benefits from the easement is the dominant tenement. The servient tenement is the parcel of land that provides the easement.  The answer to this question is never a simple one.   It comes down to how much less will a buyer pay if there is an existing easement allowing someone to drive across their property.  Often it relies on how much of a "nuisance" the easement is, how close is the road to the home, how often is the road used, does it require a lot of maintenance.  Each easement is treated individually and we can only base the impact on data provided by colleagues,real estate agents, listing services and the owners themselves.  Patricia Smith