Salt Lake Area Appraiser Identifies a UFO!

Recently, one of our Salt Lake Appraisers was sent to perform an appraisal in Provo, UT (which incidentally is one of the first cities in the nation being provided with google fiber).  He thought that this would be an easy appraisal because a prior listing showed that it was a 1500 sf home built in the 1950’s, and it was surrounded by many recently sold homes of the same age and size.  In fact, our Salt Lake Appraiser was so confident that this would be a simple assignment, that he had already chosen comparables before he arrived at the home.  When he arrived, he was completely surprised to find that someone had removed the roof, and rising up out of it was a UFO!
The kind of UFO he witnessed was an Uncurable Functional Obsolescence (yes it should be spelled as ‘incurable’, but we have taken literary license with the spelling).  To clarify, someone had taken the roof off and built two more stories on top of the first floor, plus an addition on the back, to make it a 7000 sf house with 12 bedrooms!  Added to our real estate appraiser’s shock was his dismay that the comparables he had carefully chosen were now relegated to the recycle bin. In real estate appraiser terms, the house suffered from the following definitions: Functional Obsolescence An element of depreciation resulting from deficiencies or superadequacies in the structure. Incurable Functional Obsolescence An element of depreciation; a defect caused by a deficiency or superadequacy in the structure, materials, or design, which cannot be practically or economically corrected. To put it simply, the house was over improved to the extent that the costs involved in the additions could not be recouped by any increase in market value.  Additionally, the marketability of the house was hindered because it was now such a large home located in a neighborhood of primarily smaller homes.  Typically homes of this size are found in much higher end neighborhoods with other homes that are more similar- and where values are much higher.  It is safe to say that most buyers would skip over this house on their search as it does not match the type of more upscale neighborhood they would prefer. We thought this would be a great opportunity to educate our clients and friends on what to do, and more importantly what not to do, when building or adding on to a home.  To make it more memorable, The Salt Lake Appraisal Group even came up with a catch phrase: “Whatever you do, do not build a UFO”.  Check out the video for on scene footage of the UFO- and a quick, understandable video summary.  After all, your money could be riding on it! We enjoy getting Salt Lake Real estate appraisal related comments on our blogs and YouTube videos, and any ideas of what you would like us to blog about. For a free consultation, or to schedule an appraisal with one of our Appraisers give us a call  at our Salt Lake City office at (801) 260-2828 or our Heber City office at (435) 657-9630.  You can also contact us through our website at

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