As a teenager I don’t think I would’ve ever envisionsed me saying this, but I actually like creating graphs based on research I do for my appraisals. I think plotting data visually can often provide a helpful context for clients and users of the appraisal to be able to see or interpret what has happened in the market.
A teepee or mountain graph: As an example, let’s view the past thirteen years of sales in the Northbrook neighborhood in Antelope for a particular single-story model (1943 sq ft). If you’re not familiar with this pocket of housing, it’s a smaller subdivision located west of Watt Avenue and just north of Elverta Road on the eastern side of the golf course. At one time the 1943 model was selling easily above $400,000, but today’s market has seemed to hover between $175,000 to $200,000 over the past year for a standard property without massive upgrades (there was one incredibly updated sale at $225,000 over the past year). I know such a hefty decline is hard to grasp, but values in this neighborhood are not anything out of the ordinary for the Sacramento area since most areas tend to be selling at 2000-2001 levels right now.
What does a graph like this say to you? What do you think it shows?
By the way, I don’t always break down model match sales, but while preparing an appraisal in this neighborhood for the IRS, I thought a graph like this would really help to communicate clearly to my client since there were not too many sales around the date of the death of the owner (which is the date I used to value this property).