The Crucial Role of Appraisers in the Aftermath of Catastrophic Loss

When catastrophic losses occur, such as fire, natural disaster, or structural failure in a building component, the role of an appraiser becomes critical. Appraisers are often called upon to assess the extent of the damage and provide an accurate valuation of the property post-disaster. This valuation is essential for insurance claims and can significantly impact the recovery process for property owners.

Appraisers, like ours at Roy R. Fisher, are trained to handle these situations with professionalism and precision. Appraisers must consider various factors. These include the extent of the damage, the feasibility and cost of repairs, and the impact on the property’s overall value. They understand the importance of their role in the recovery process and strive to provide fair and accurate appraisals.

In some catastrophic loss cases, appraisers can be called on to provide expert testimony. Their unbiased, professional opinions can greatly aid in resolving disputes between insurers and policyholders. They provide an objective assessment of the property’s value, which can help ensure that victims are adequately compensated for their losses.

At Roy R. Fisher, we understand the importance of appraisal services in the aftermath of catastrophic loss. Our team of experienced appraisers is committed to providing fair and accurate valuations to help property owners, lenders and insurance companies navigate the recovery process. If you’ve experienced a catastrophic loss and need an appraisal, contact us today. We’re here to help.

For more information on our services and the appraisal process, check out our services page and our blog post on translating complex commercial property language.

Roy R. Fisher has been approved by the Iowa Department of Transportation to provide On-Call Right of Way Valuation Services

We are proud to announce that Roy R. Fisher has been approved by the Iowa Department of Transportation to provide On-Call Right of Way Valuation Services.

The expertise in our firm allows us to help provide Appraisal and Appraisal Review Services for right of way acquisition purposes by the Iowa Department of Transportation. These services play an important role in the Iowa economy as well as protecting the rights of property owners in the acquisition process.

You can learn more about On-Call Right of Way Valuation Services at the Iowa Department of Transportation website at:

What Changes the Value of Commercial Property?

Commercial real estate is different than residential real estate for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps the biggest one is that it is often purely an investment, even when it is an owner/user purchase. Residential real estate can also be an investment, but for most people, those properties are their homes first, an investment second. Yet just as people take care of their homes with an eye toward how changes affect their home value, it is even more vital for investors in commercial properties to be aware of what can change the value of their property.

Changes in supply and demand are one of the biggest factors in commercial property value. Competition for properties, and the number of interested parties can certainly raise the value of commercial real estate. Some of that is related directly to demographics. Growing populations create more of a need for commercial uses.

Externally, economic forces such as an increase in interest rates like what we’ve seen over the last 18 months, tend to flatten the demand for commercial properties. The interest rates affect the ability of buyers to finance purchases. As SFGate reports, “Commercial properties and  their market values react to broad economic conditions.”

According to Forbes, commercial real estate can be a hedge against inflation. “As the purchasing power of a currency drops, average property values tend to increase alongside new and existing commercial rentals as lease renewal rates increase. This is largely the case with already developed properties which have been around for some time. It’s likely that the interest rates on any loans taken out to purchase those properties were lower before inflation hit.”

The property itself can also be a determining factor in changes to the property value. If it’s an income-producing property, the ability of that property to generate income has an impact on the property’s value. On a gross basis, the rent a property receives, and on a net basis, the income to the owner after expenses, all play a role in changes to the value. Increased property tax assessments and operating expenses can reduce the value of properties as the net income declines.  Additionally, the presence of deferred maintenance can cause values to decline.

The loss of a tenant can affect not just the property the tenant was renting but could also impact surrounding properties. In a retail environment, for example, if a big anchor store in a shopping complex leaves, that can have a negative impact on the surrounding businesses and property values if a new tenant does not take over that property. That doesn’t mean the loss of a tenant always decreases value. If there’s enough synergy in an area, the loss of one tenant might not affect the surrounding businesses and properties. if there’s a realistic expectation that a similar tenant will come into that space and create the same kind of traffic.

Coming back to demographics, rises or declines in populations. changes in the number of households and median incomes can have a positive or negative impact on commercial properties. For those investing in commercial properties, it’s worth keeping an eye on all these factors to evaluate your property’s worth.