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The distinction and value of a lakefront lot


This is another story where the value of knowing Hank Miller comes in handy. I represent some folks who wanted to buy a house on a lakefront. More like a pond front, but we’ll call it a lakefront. Not Lake Altoona or Lanier – a small suburban lake.

Well, the buyers didn’t think that the seller and the listing agent were realistic with their pricing. The property had about 100’ of lakefront.

So, I talked to this listing agent and she encouraged me to consider the value of lake frontage – she lives on lake frontage – she’s sold many lake fronts  – she told me that they always have to be “comped” against other lake lots and she told me that appraisers routinely will go outside of distinct zip code and school district level geographic parameters in order to make an accurate comparable for a lakefront property.

She encouraged me to look at lake lots all over and to go back further than 6 months of sales – she states that appraisers will routinely adjust for the sales date and geography in order to find accurate, like kind comps for special lakefront properties.

I checked that out with my friend Hank, the best appraiser in Georgia, and Hank says that this listing agent is full of BS. Hank is a licensed appraiser with 5,000+ reports in Georgia under his belt. Here are a few of his comments:

“Water is the new asbestos for insurance companies.” (meaning lake frontage ain’t so great)

“Any appraiser would make only a nominal adjustment for the lake frontage.”

He says that “the listing agent needs to get her head out of her A** – we ain’t talkin’ about Altoona or Lanier here”

When I told him that the house also had a permanently installed radon mitigation system, he suggested that we move on…

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