Use and Enjoyment

In situations where contamination is severe or enduring, households suffer a decline in the individual use and enjoyment of their property. The use and enjoyment of a household is not typically an explicit factor in the price of a home—it is assumed part of every home, just like a foundation or the plumbing. Once it has been diminished by contamination, however, the value is palpable in its absence. This distress and loss of the use and enjoyment (U&E) is real for those affected, but traditional modeling of economic damage to real estate may not capture all the injury suffered. Separating this value from the surrounding issues and quantifying it requires the sort of rigorous analysis that Greenfield Advisors specializes in. U&E arguments have been gaining acceptance in the courts, and we are experts at providing a clear and compelling description of the issues involved.

The impacts of contamination upon property owners can be debilitating and persistent. Early indications of a decline in U&E most often manifest themselves as a psychological burden concerning contamination. However, in each situation the affected parties will have unique levels of understanding concerning their circumstances. This differential in understanding adds a layer of complexity that must be overcome before accurate analysis is possible. Greenfield Advisors uses multiple approaches to model the problem from different perspectives and triangulate on a credible and supportable conclusion. This work is built upon “stated preference” methods that are used to translate individuals’ statements about their preferences into estimates of their willingness to accept compensation. These methods are economic techniques that can measure non-use values, and they require the use of purpose-designed surveys to collect data. Our decades of experience using survey research have given us an advantage in adapting these techniques for U&E analysis.