​Geographical Information System (GIS)
For Real Estate Appraisal​​

An appraiser needs to analyze what is physically possible for a property. GIS is a software tool which can help an appraiser view, understand, interpret, and share data in many ways. The GIS data helps the appraiser understand a property's physical characteristics and overall utility by layering visual data together. This is especially important for undeveloped land or developed parcels with excess land.

By looking at a high definition satellite image of the property along with the visual GIS data, the appraiser can analyze the usable land size of a parcel. This is an important tool in the appraisal process as land is most often compared on a price per usable area basis. Although GIS data is relatively accurate, this process is not meant to be a substitute for more detailed engineering, planning, or surveys. There are many other scenarios where GIS is useful.

Some of the data which can be utilized by a Geographical Information System includes:

• Town Tax Maps (Parcels)                  • Utilities
• Assessors Information                        • Municipal Water Service Area
• Zoning Map                                                  • Municipal Sewer Service Area
• FEMA Flood Zones                                • Streams / Rivers
• Wetlands                                                        • Geologic Hazards
• Topography                                                  • Mineral Resources
• USDA Soil Map                                         • Demographical Information
• Septic Suitability

In addition to traditional methods of sale confirmation, GIS can help provide further detail of property characteristics. The appraiser can then prepare a sale map for the user of the report which will help convey understanding of the comparable sale used. A geographical information system helps solve problems by looking at data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared. The following exhibits are examples of what you would see in an appraisal report.
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