The whole field review of our appraisal is not going well. Think about it, what appraiser is going to say that they disagree with another? They wouldn’t want the same thing done to them, so I am sure they vouch for each other. The original appraiser provided us this line of BS:
“Although it may appear that we are comparing a slightly larger or smaller property to the subject, each adjustment is appropriate in terms of contributory site value.”
What a load! They are considering our 7.59 acres of land as equivalent to a parcel of only .38 acres. Both sites are in roughly the same area and the smaller one has no advantages such as being on the water or being in a nicer neighborhood.
The other appraisers refuse to consider the additional half acre of buildable area authorized by our wetland permits from both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and recorded OFFICIALLY and legally in the county section maps. They say that they need an official survey in order to do so, and all that we have is a survey that is not a survey. It is a professional sketch to accompany a legal description, that was done by our surveyor. So, the sketch was good enough for the DEP and the Army Corps and the county, but these nit-picky appraisers need an official survey? My ass! It is complete crap.
And I’ll say it once more; who really cares how much of it is buildable? It is zoned for one single family house, same as all of the comparables. It is already permitted to build that house. So, once the house is completed, the only difference between our property and the comps will be that ours has far more land. It is completely immaterial that most of it is not buildable as we are only authorized to build one single family house anyway, same as the comparables. Damn appraisers. They are scared of their own shadows.
I finally sent an email to our builder this morning, just to let him know what was transpiring. His response was:
“That just reassures my opinion of appraisers and their entire BS process. You should get a refund on that appraisal.”
We tend to agree. The latest set of objections I sent to our mortgage person just this afternoon went like this:
“We are not sure why the appraiser needs an official survey, when all that was needed through the entire permitting process was the professional sketch that says “this is not a survey.” The whole conservation easement was recorded with only that sketch, in fact the DEP did not want a survey. The official county section map reflects the conservation easement as being 6.36 acres, and it readily available on the property appraisers site. I don’t know how much more official we can get than that. I have attached a close up of the section map showing the conservation easement, and also the entire section map, which is very current, having been updated this month. The section maps are way more official than some crummy survey.
We are interested to know about what kind of comps are being used to value the vacant land. If any of them are under five acres and would require wetland impacts in order to build, they are most likely completely unbuildable. The Army Corps of Engineers requires ‘like kind’ mitigation, so the mitigated land must also be on Merritt Island. There are no mitigation banks on Merritt Island and parcels under five acres do not possess enough land to allow for on-site wetland mitigation such as ours did. That is why the properties under five acres with wetland issues are worth far less. In addition, some of the vacant properties in the area have even more issues, such as those on the East side of Judson Road that would require a bridge to get across the wide canal in order to build on them. I am not sure what it would take to get approval from the Army Corps, the FDEP, the St. Johns River Water Management District, and possibly the Marine Fisheries division of the Fish and Wildlife Commission to fill in surface waters to make a bridge, but I am sure it would not be easy. When we dealt with all of these groups for our road issue, surface water impacts were a big deal.”
So, we’ll see what tomorrow brings. All I know is that it will be something fucked up that we won’t be able to do anything about until the weekend is over. I am willing to bet that before this is all over we will require the services of our environmental permitting expert to get this all sorted out. He has saved our asses (for a healthy fee) on many occasions already.
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