A View from the Field- Part 2

Today was session 2 of my 30 hour appraisal class. Back out to New Milford I went.

One concept we talked about that I found particularly interesting was the highest and best use for a property. In order for an appraiser to determine a final value conclusion for their appraisal report, they must understand the optimum use to which land or improved property can be put. To do this, they’ll look at 4 tests:

1. It must be physically possible.
2. It must be legally permissible.
3. It must be financially feasible.
4. It must be maximally productive.

The most common way to use this would be to determine if a large piece of land with a house on it could potentially have a higher and better use by appraising the property as subdividable land, rather than appraising it for the value of the house plus the lot as it currently exists.


The reason I am fascinated with this is because I think I have a higher and better use for my neighbor’s property. I’d like to annex their lot, move their house to another location, and build a garage for my house. My current lot probably not big enough for a garage, based on Hartford’s zoning laws. My neighbor would most likely disagree with my plans. So let’s put it to the test…

1. It is physically possible to move their house and build a garage.
2. It is legally permissable to move their house, annex their property, and build a garage.
3. It is financially feasible to move their house, annex their property, and build a garage. (though not reasonable considering resale value)
4. It is not maximally productive to remove their house in order to build a garage. It fails the highest and best use test.


And because I’m a logical person, I don’t want to violate highest and best use. And now my neighbor is going to hate me for publicizing my diabolical scheme.

Funniest part of the day: We were looking at a Killingworth town engineering map in class. There is actually a street called ROAST MEAT HILL ROAD in Killingworth. I am not joking. Who could actually live on Roast Meat Hill Road? Doesn’t that really kill resale value? Does PETA set up daily protests? Talk about politically incorrect…


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