Real Estate

Our Roots are in

Real Estate

Since 1976 our expertise has guided residential subdivision development, implementation of urban villages, low-income housing development, brownfield redevelopment, and bankruptcy workouts. Our analysts have spoken at the invitation of dozens of organizations, including the American Bar Association, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Census Bureau, the Japan Real Estate Institute, and the American Association for Justice.

Consulting

Real Estate Analysis

Appraisal and Appraisal Review

Appraisal

Greenfield Advisors has the experience and capacity to meet a wide variety of client requests, from the appraisal of a single contaminated property to an assignment involving thousands of subject properties. Our mass appraisal experts are some of the best in the field and utilize state-of-the-art cloud computing to value a large number of subject properties, often numbering in the thousands. Supporting these appraisal assignments is our top-notch team of analysts, database architects, and statistical programmers who always approach assignments with a critical eye for detail. Greenfield Advisors utilizes its proprietary Automated Valuation Model (AVM) to provide clients with the right research deliverables based on the scope of work.

Appraisal Review

Handling and evaluating the completeness and credibility of thousands of individual form appraisals is no easy task. The Greenfield Advisors team has decades of experience providing not only appraisals, but also appraisal reviews. In the course of our work, we have reviewed tens of thousands of appraisals for compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as well as government-sponsored entity guidelines (e.g. Fannie Mae Selling Guidelines). Our automated review process quickly tells clients whether their appraisals are compliant with USPAP and good appraisal practice.

Assessment and Auditing Services

Greenfield understands all the processes and procedures related to mass appraisal. These range from developing project specifications, quality control and quality assurance, data collection, valuation, appeal processes, and communications. Our experienced team has worked in many jurisdictions across the globe, giving us a unique and extensive knowledge of appraisal systems. We can design an approach that works for both the short- and long-term plans of your organization.

Ruel Williamson leads our tax assessment and auditing team. He is a nationally recognized expert in the field with more than 25 years of experience. Government agencies of all sizes have turned to Williamson when their tax assessment departments need new software, updated processes and procedures, and training.

Consulting Services

  • Assessment administration
  • Appraisal education
  • Performance audits
  • Project planning and monitoring
  • Strategic planning
  • Mass appraisal consulting
  • Market modeling/AVM creation
  • Contaminated property valuation
  • Trophy property valuation
  • Ratio studies, advanced statistical analysis and equalization
  • Quality assurance/Quality control
  • Tax policy

Brownfields and Industrial Solutions

Greenfield Advisors can provide brownfield and industrial solutions in a few ways. Greenfield Advisors can use its appraisal and property valuation experience to develop a value for brownfield properties. Because brownfield properties have been environmentally contaminated, it can be very difficult to appraise. However, our staff specializes in complex valuation assignments, and brownfields and industrial properties certainly fall into that category.

In addition to valuation services, we can provide assistance to clients addressing the optimal use for industrial and brownfield property. In this way, Greenfield Advisors assists with economic development strategies for clients to assess the highest and best use for brownfield and industrial properties.

Complex Valuation

There are some situations that make many appraisers throw up their hands –the property or situation is so complicated that it overwhelms their abilities or training and they lack the skills to complete the assignments. It’s those kinds of situations where Greenfield Advisors thrives – complex, nuanced, and often times a large scope of work. The depth of our “bench” of resources (from database architects to appraiser analysts) and breadth of experience (Exxon Valdez, Gulf Oil Spill, LUSTs) ensure that we are prepared to handle the most complex situations.

Complex Contract Disputes

Real estate contract problems often lead to the most complex and expensive of business disputes. Greenfield Advisors is experienced in real estate partnerships, data licensing issues, best practices, and operations and can help to negotiate amicable resolutions based on a deep and thorough analysis of all involved assets. Should negotiations fail to resolve a dispute, our principals are prepared to testify authoritatively on a variety of contract issues.

Private REIT Valuation

Greenfield Advisors has a particular expertise in valuing minority or non-traded interests in private REITs to settle dissolution or share valuation disputes. These situations often combine valuing underlying assets and valuing privately traded security interests.

Contaminated Property

Our founder, Dr. Bill Mundy, PhD, CRE, MAI wrote the seminal article on stigma – “The Impact of Hazardous Materials on Property Value.” In 2007, The Appraisal Journal named it one of the “Nine Big Ideas” that influenced a generation of appraisers. Today our Chairman and Co-Managing Director, John Kilpatrick, PhD, MAI, FRICS, continues that legacy as the nation’s foremost expert on property stigma.

Contamination by any means can be devastating for the value of real estate. Beyond the costs of clean-up and monitoring that come with a contamination event, there are also possible impacts to the market of potential buyers, increased costs of living (for example, the need to import water), and depressed business economics, just to name a few factors. After remediation, the stigma of the contamination can continue to wreak havoc on a community.

The transfer or development of contaminated property also poses special complications for which we are uniquely prepared. The determination of the highest and best use of such property requires attention to both pre- and post-remediation possibilities and factoring in the economic and societal concerns with both paths. We understand tax credits and other programs, which provide valuable tools to brownfield redevelopers. In some situations remediation is not a complete solution, so the “best use” must consider (for example) a permanent monitoring situation. Only when the long-term effect of contamination is completely understood can the appropriate way forward be determined.

Easements

Corridor Valuation

Corridor valuation is the process of estimating value associated with rights to corridor real estate. A corridor is defined as a strip of land used for transportation or transmission purposes, including rail, highway, electric, fiber optic, and pipelines. The corridor itself is a highly valuable highest and best use of the land. The task of the appraiser is to ascertain the value of the corridor, generally through mass appraisal. The measure of value in any corridor valuation is the value required to put a new easement together and acquire a corridor.
Greenfield Advisors has worked on a variety of corridor valuation projects through the years including fiber optic corridors, pipelines, and railroad corridors, including Rails-to-Trails projects. For these projects, we offer mass appraisal services to clients looking to establish just compensation owed to the property owner. We are most often asked determine the fair market rate at which the beneficiary, the user of a corridor easement ought to pay for that enjoyment. A recent win for a Greenfield Advisors’ client is the $130 million Missouri jury verdict in the Barfield v. Sho-Me Power class action. The class prevailed on its claim that Sho-Me Power, an electric cooperative, trespassed for more than 12 years by running fiber optic cable lines across nearly 800 miles of property without paying owners of 3,560 parcels of property.

Rails-to-Trails

A Rails-to-Trails project occurs when a railroad abandons a rail line and the right-of-way ownership reverts to the adjacent property owner. This all depends on whether or not the railroad had an easement or owned the land in fee-simple. In either case, the federal government often chooses to reclaim the right-of-way for rail-banking and, as an interim use, will transfer the possession, but not ownership, of the right-of-way to a local entity who will often develop a hiking or biking trail. If the right-of-way was only an easement, which is most common, the U.S. Government can take the land but it has to pay the adjacent property owners for the take. However, some of these old rail lines have titles that are not clear. Much of the title work is from the 1800s, and the railroads and the government rarely considered the abandonment of the easement. As a result, many of these acquisitions can get very complicated and require the services of a complex valuation firm such as ours.

For Rails-to-Trails cases, we offer appraisal services to clients looking to establish the just compensation owed to the property owner. Care must be taken when determining if any types of damages should be considered regarding a change in the highest and best use or the value of the property’s improvements. These changes can be caused by loss of use or function or the creation of a nuisance requiring a buffer or barrier to separate public use and private use. Additionally, we have provided consulting services and submitted expert review reports analyzing the methodology and general conclusions reached in the appraisal reports of other experts.

Natural Resource Preservation and Conservation Projects

We have developed a particular affinity for natural resource preservation and conservation projects. Greenfield Advisors has been involved in the valuation of high-amenity properties and rich natural-resource locations, easements, partial interests, conservation easements, land swaps, and gifts. In tax-credit cases our valuation work has consistently been accepted by the IRS. We are also well-versed in the burgeoning field of paleontological site valuation.

Trophy Property

Sometimes the valuation of real estate has less to do with finding commonalities with prior transactions and more to do with recognizing when there is something unique at hand. To recognize the true value of a trophy property, an appraiser must have the appropriate perspective, whether the land sits atop mineral reserves, looks out on a breath-taking view, or simply provides true solitude. If this sort of property becomes the subject of a transaction, extra care must be taken.

Typically these issues of uniqueness surround high-amenity locations such as beachfront or island tracts, pristine wilderness, or the vast ranches found in the western states. A remote island property may lack mineral rights or significant commercial prospects, but the scarcity and high demand for the lifestyle attendant with such land must be weighed accordingly. Greenfield Advisors has spent years compiling a comprehensive database concerning transactions and assessments of trophy property of all kinds, putting us in excellent position to provide whatever valuation services might be needed. We have leveraged this data on projects throughout the United States and across the globe.

In the rarest of cases even that isn’t enough. What do you do when amenities truly are unique? Monuments, registered historic sites, and structures or manufactured landscapes that rise to the level of art provide further challenges that can only be overcome with the sort of holistic analysis in which Greenfield Advisors specializes. Our work has seen through the noise of selling at auction and the complications of public hearings to make accurate value determinations of one-of-a-kind properties.

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.

Testimonial

“I can’t believe it took us this long to make a change. So happy that we did. Numbers don’t lie.”

John Doe, Divi CEO

Get In Touch

West Coast

2101 4th Ave, Suite 820
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: +1 206 623 2935
FAX: +1 206 623 2985

East Coast

102-A East Main Street
Cartersville, GA 30120
+1 770 334 3952