Residential Division

Appraisals of residential properties for lenders, borrowers of varying complexity depending on clients requirements. Reports for Power of Sale, Marital disputes, partnership buyouts, private sale situations or just for information purposes. Appraisals for litigation purposes for virtually any effective date. Appraisals of partial interests and properties "with or without" various described components. Waterfront is our specialty.

ICI Division

Appraisals of Investment (including resort or development), Commercial, & Industrial properties for various purposes. Litigation appraisals on residential and ICI properties. Appraisals of the market value effect of just about any issue that may affect a property such as an easement, adverse influence, etc.


Written by Administrator   

Value Issues: Disputes relating to real estate and things you should consider (especially for Marital disputes).

Do you really need an appraisal?

I have written this page because I often talk people out of getting an appraisal. The costs associated with a dispute are often more then the dollar value adjustment that reflects the concerns of the client. 

I do not take on cases where the client is seeking vengeance and plans to use the appraisal in this manner. Although I may be hired by one party, my reports represent a quest for an "impartial value estimate" - the "truth". This may or may not be to the advantage of my client. The following non-value issues are often brought to my attention:

·         I don't want to sell the property

·         The other party can't afford to buy me out

·         "I built that with my own two hands - I wouldn't sell it for 10 times the market value!"

"Market value" is the value I am usually asked to consider. This value is based on the following criteria:

Market Value as per “The Standards” (CUSPAP – January 1, 2001):


Market value may be defined as: ‘the most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.


Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under the conditions whereby:

(i)                   Buyer and seller are typically motivated;

(ii)                 Both parties are well informed or well advised, and are acting in what they consider their best interests;

(iii)                A reasonable amount of time is allowed for exposure on the open market;

(iv)              Payment is made in terms of cash in Canadian dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto;

(v)                and a price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale.

 "Market Value" implies a willing buyer and a willing seller. This is also known as "value in exchange". Many clients are concerned the value of recent additions or changes to the property that were done to meet their specific needs. The items were created with the owners specific desires in mind and have a "value in use". The cost of these items is borne by the owner when creating them given that they feel that they will personally appreciate this item, and the cost is justifiable. Unfortunately, "cost is not value" and "cost does not create value", when examining "market value". I am often asked to specifically address so that they can be discussed between the parties. Examples of items that may be considered are as follows:

  • A new pool or upgrade
  • A recent addition, work recently completed such as repairs to deferred items, new flooring, new windows, new eaves trough, new septic, well, etc.
  • A super adequacy - e.g.. 100-year roof,  Gold plated taps, imported stone floors, high-end built-in appliances, etc., 
  • An feature that is not usual - such as wheelchair access, a pond, extensive landscaping, indoor pool, etc.
  • An over-improvement - such as overly large rooms or too many rooms, house is much larger then others in the neighbourhood, etc.


Depreciation items are usually self evident. They are often physical involving the structure of the house. Depreciation can also be attributed to various other factors that are addressed during the course of most regular appraisals.


Another issue concerning participants is positive and adverse influences. Positive influences can be positive only to the owner or too a select group of potential buyers - such as: attached beach rights, docking rights, rights to cross over another property, golf membership, and be proximity oriented such as: close proximity to a school, a shopping centre, bus stop, recreation centre, etc. The above can be considered adverse to some potential buyers. Adverse influences can be features such as the subject property is subject to an easement, a right-of-way, or it has limited access, seasonal access, fronts on a busy waterway, hydro-towers, busy road, close to railway, etc.


The above issues are often contentious between parties. I get comments such as "the view means nothing to me", "I've lived on this Highway for 20 years and it doesn't bother me", "I can't hear the trains", etc. My job is to analyze the real estate markets' perspective on these items and how they affect "Market Value".


Should I Settle?


If you've been given an offer from the other party to buy or sell - keep in mind the following potential costs , savings and other concerns:

Potential Costs and Savings:

  • Increased legal fees or appraisal fees
  • "Loss-of-use" during the dispute period - carrying costs
  • No real estate fees
  • No mortgage discharge fees
  • No survey fees - no costs to make necessary changes or upgrades that would make the property more marketable



  • Peace of mind - ability to get on with your life
  • Loss of opportunity (to purchase something else, make improvements, invest elsewhere, etc. )
  • Changing marketplace can affect the offer
  • Deterioration of property over dispute period
  • Hassle free disposition - no real estate sign, showings, etc.
  • Cash money now - no long drawn out marketing period and closing date