How do appraisers account for a bowling alley in the basement?

Or some other unusual feature, like a helicopter landing pad, 10,000 gallon aquarium, basement basketball court, or dozens of other unusual — and therefore hard to estimate — home features?

They don’t.


Self-Cancelling Features

If it’s possible, the preferred strategy in such situations is to find another home that otherwise qualifies as a Comp (“Comparable Sold Property”), and also has the same unusual feature/amenity.

Once you have two homes that each have basement bowling alleys (or some such), the feature gets cancelled out.

Then, the remaining adjustments focus solely on where the two homes — the Comp and the subject property — differ.

Of course, the more unusual the feature really is, the less likely you are to find another property that has it.

P.S.:  I personally know of exactly one home that has a basement bowling alley (or did):  the White House.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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