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Congratulations to Rick Singh, CFA, and the Office of the Orange County Property Appraiser for this week's recognition by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO)! We received the Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration for "demonstrating the highest levels of managerial excellence and consistent utilization of practices that exceed the guidelines ... in property assessment administration practices." Shown in the photo (L-R) are Jeff Miller, Terry Taylor, Roger Ross, Tatsiana Sokalava, Rick Singh, Ron Sullivan, and Fred Hill.  
The National Association of Appraisers (NAA) was formed with a purpose of uniting those engaged in the appraisal profession for the purpose of exerting a beneficial influence upon the profession and to advocate appraiser interests. The NAA has established an advisory group consisting of leadership at the state organizations and coalitions called the Board of Governors where those states can help guide the NAA in acting in the best interest of all appraisers. The NAA also has a designated membership, MNAA (Member of the National Association of Appraisers, who is an individual who holds an appraisal license, certification or similar appraisal credential issued by a governmental agency; and who accepts the membership requirements and objectives of the National Association of Appraisers.

This week, at the IAAO International meeting, valued members of the OCPA team made presentations to their colleagues. Roger Ross gave a wildly popular presentation on the Agency’s commitment to customer service. Terry Taylor and Jeff Miller also presented an educational session on “Agriculture in the Land of Amusement,” sharing information of the diversity of properties within Orange County.  
While no appraiser is infallible, his or her opinion of the value of your home is informed by rigorous training, numerous tests, several years of on-the-job experience and required continuing education. They are also required to substantiate every finding in their reports that could influence a home’s value. Appraisers and their employers (often appraisal management companies) are heavily regulated. Consequences of issuing deliberately misleading or biased reports can be severe, so appraisers work hard to remain impartial and keep personal value judgments and prejudices out of their work.

When evaluating a property's value, appraisers note the characteristics of the property and surrounding area, such as a view or noisy highway nearby. They also consider the overall condition of a building, including its foundation and roof or any renovations that may have been done. Appraisers photograph the outside of the building and some of the interior features to document its condition. After visiting the property, the appraiser analyzes the property relative to comparable home sales, including lease records, location, view, previous appraisals, and income potential. During the entire process, appraisers record their research, observations, and methods used in providing an estimate of the property’s value.
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Leasehold value – The interest held by a tenant. If the tenant pays market rent, then the leasehold has no market value. However, if the tenant pays less than the market, the difference between the present value of what is paid and the present value of market rents would be a positive leasehold value. For example, a major chain retailer may be able to negotiate a below-market lease to serve as the anchor tenant for a shopping center. This leasehold value may be transferable to another anchor tenant, and if so the retail tenant has a positive interest in the real estate.
In the course of evaluating a property, an appraiser is expected to be alert and take notice of aspects and characteristics of the property, as well as the surrounding area, that could affect the value. This can include assessing the overall noise levels of the area, proximity to sources of recurring loud disturbances such as an airport or a railroad line, as well as the view offered by the property. Obstructions by neighboring buildings, for instance, could reduce the value of a property.
Thanks to Jason Taylor for providing an overview of the services provided by the Orange County Emergency Operations Center in the event of disaster in our area to representatives from our Commercial Real Estate team. As many as 80 representatives from government and community organizations can staff this room to work together to meet the needs of the county and its residents. In the aftermath of an incident, appraisers from our office go into the field and assess damage to residential and commercial buildings which is reported to the federal government.  
These appraisers also perform valuations on commercial property ranging from single to multiple tenant office buildings, shopping centers, retail, industrial, malls, hospitals, health care facilities, warehouses, and hotels to multi-family apartment buildings, co-ops, senior housing, condominium developments, and even vacant land, agricultural, and golf courses.  Regardless of the property type or local zoning, they'll determine the highest and best use of the project and assess the value using the actual or projected cash flow from the property's rent roll and financial statements, using both cap rates for capitalizing year one net operating income (NOI) and discounted cash flow (DCF) of multiple future income streams.  If you're a commercial lender, investor, builder, contractor, architect, or agent, you'll want to use these appraisers to conduct a feasibility analysis of any income producing real estate project you may be considering.  They can also help consult on construction costs and projected absorption rates.  They generally produce a commercial narrative appraisal when engaged for any commercial assignment.
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