Not-Your-Average Appraisals

by Matthew Roberts, Certified General Real Estate Appraiser

As a Certified General Appraiser, I regularly appraise a wide range of property types including agricultural and commercial.  By taking on commercial projects in this rural area, I often encounter a variety of commercial uses and client needs.  You may find some of my recent projects interesting.

Extended-Stay Motels: Recently I have appraised multiple lodging properties that either offer extended-stay units or are entirely extended stay operations.  These have become popular offerings or conversions of older, existing nightly-stay motels.  Locally, some of these properties are benefiting from renting rooms to transient labor in the area who are working on large construction projects such as pipelines, transmissions lines, and public construction like road and bridge projects.  Inside of the room itself, you may not notice a difference between it and a nightly stay room.  Some property owners simply add a small refrigerator and a microwave to each room and you are likely to have weekly instead of daily cleaning services.  While you could certainly stay as short as one night or as long as a month, the rooms are normally priced and rented on a weekly basis.

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Restaurant Fire: This project was essentially for insurance purposes and was a retrospective appraisal of a restaurant that was completely destroyed in an accidental fire in 2015.  The client wanted the value of the property before the fire.  This fact made a physical inspection particularly difficult because the building was gone and all that was viewable was a vacant site.  Property details were gathered from other available sources such as county assessor records, a local realtor familiar with the property, information provided by the client, and the property owner, who directed me to the most recent known photos of the restaurant, which were posted on Facebook.  The assignment was interesting and solidified our belief that the more information the appraiser has, the better.

Surprise Easement: Unfortunately, a buyer of a property learned too late about a restrictive easement in place.  A small lot was purchased for development which sat between a residential property and a commercial property and had highway frontage.  The owner purchased the property with the intention of building commercial improvements.  After the sale, construction crew was clearing the site when the neighbor from the adjacent residential property kindly walked over and asked that they try to avoid hitting his sewer line.  Title work did not catch that the subject parcel had a sewer line easement running across half the property which greatly affected what, if any, development could proceed.  The property owner’s plans came to a halt.  We were contracted to determine the diminution in value that the restrictive easement had on the property.

We are no strangers to challenging projects.  Clients often come to us with projects that require a great deal of competence and experience to complete.  We don’t shy away from difficult appraisal assignments and sometimes even end up with projects that other appraisers have turned down.  No matter your need for an appraisal, we will be happy to discuss solutions we can offer.


Spurgeon Appraisals regularly appraises a variety of property types. We have experience appraising farms, residences, and commercial properties. We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service and quality appraisals. Contact our team to see how we can meet your appraisal needs and exceed your service expectations.

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