Physical aspects of a lot

When gathering specific property data in the second step of the appraisal process, it needs to be determined what type lot the property is built on.

Lot types include:

  • Cul-de-sac lot: a lot facing the rounded turn-around portion of a dead-end street. A cul-de-sac property is private since it is not subject to through traffic. Unlike rectangular lots, the cul-de-sac lot has a small front yard which is offset by a larger backyard.
  • Corner lot: a lot located at the intersection of two streets. A corner lot does not have a great deal of privacy due to traffic on the streets it intersects. However, the corner lot may be more desirable since access to the sideyard and backyard for vehicles is available from the side street.
  • Key lot: a lot bordered by three or more lots on the sides and the back. The biggest disadvantage of the key lot is the lack of privacy due to numerous neighbors abutting all sides of the lot except the frontage.
  • T-intersection lot: a lot at the end of a dead-end street. The biggest disadvantage of the T-intersection lot is noise and lack of privacy. There is also a higher danger of traffic-related damage.
  • Interior lot: a lot surrounded by lots on all three sides. This is the most common type of lot. An interior lot is usually rectangular in shape with a large backyard. However, privacy is limited since the lot is adjoined on all sides by neighbors.
  • Flag lot: a lot located behind other lots with a long and narrow access driveway to a public street. Flag lots generally have a reduced value due to the lack of privacy that results from being surrounded by other homes’ backyards. Flag lots also lack curb appeal.

The physical aspects of a lot include:

  • size and shape;
  • slope, drainage and soil;
  • view, exposure to sun and weather; and
  • improvements.

Once the general and specific data have been gathered, including information about the lot, the third step in the appraisal process is to analyze the data collected. This is done by carefully studying the information gathered and determining what further research will be necessary.

This analysis phase reflects on what we have learned in the prior section – recall the acronym DUST which illustrates the factors used in the appraisal process to determine a property’s value:

  • demand;
  • utility;
  • scarcity; and
  • transferability. 

Also recall the forces that influence value using the acronym PEGS:

  • physical;
  • economic;
  • governmental; and
  • social. 

If all the necessary research has been conducted, the appraiser is ready to move on to the fourth step of the process – determining which appraisal approach to perform based on the property and the purpose of the appraisal.

Stay tuned next week for deep dive into this discussion!