Recently I received a letter from a reader who asked if having a tall water tower about 1,000 feet from his house would hurt his home's market value. By coincidence, a few days later I saw an appraiser friend at the local post office so I confronted him with that question. "It sure won't help a home's market value," was his reply. Then, being an experienced appraiser, he reminded me the water tower is called "functional obsolescence." That means it is a material fact that is virtually impossible to eliminate but has a significant impact on market value. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Functional obsolescence factors, whether within the property or outside, should always be considered when buying a home. Sometimes they "kill the sale." But in other situations, the buyer doesn't care or even likes the problem, which other buyers loathe. For example, years ago I owned a rental house where the backyard adjoined a school playground. Although the house was in excellent con...
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