Historic homes make for complex and interesting appraisal subjects. As one appraiser said, “I love unusual properties, and the challenge they present to appraise. I have always loved appraising large, older properties. They take us back to another world back in time.” We recently asked our appraisal community, “What famous historic home would you want to appraise?” Here’s what they said.
What famous historic home would you want to appraise?
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (21%)
“Some of the Frank Lloyd Wright homes have comps for the market. Others are so unique it would be hard to find a comp. Also, some have a great ownership lineage that has additional value that would be hard to determine. There is nothing like Fallingwater.”
“I started working in architecture. I think it would be interesting to evaluate properties built by famous architects (Frank Lloyd Wright in this case), and if good architecture often translates into economic value.”
“I love unique and contemporary homes.”
“I would like to have a private tour.”
The White House (17%)
“I would love to appraise the White House. It would be a real challenge to inspect all the various wings, the Presidential living quarters. Inspect the attic and crawl space. Explore the kitchen and the various dining rooms. Looking for comps would be equally interesting. This could take the better part of a year if correctly completed, but it would be worth every minute.”
“What a challenge and an exciting opportunity to research this important property with so much history tied to it. The builder was a genius with so many ideas ahead of his day.”
“I love being an appraiser because I get to see all the nooks and crannies a typical visitor is not allowed to see. I would love to go upstairs to all the closed-off areas and see where all the family members lived. How did they fit so many people in that house? Bedroom count adjustment would have been more important when it was built due to the larger family.”
Hearst Castle (15%)
“I would LOVE to appraise the Hearst Castle! I have a huge soft spot for historical homes. It would be a dream come true!”
“Anything that is unique and out of the ordinary brings a challenge that causes the appraiser to refer back to the basics. Has a reinforcement influence.”
San Francisco’s Painted Ladies (6%)
This iconic row of Victorian houses in San Francisco’s Alamo Square neighborhood is among the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Also known as the “Seven Sisters,” these historic homes were designed and built by architect Matthew Kavanaugh between 1892 and 1896.
Other historic homes (27%)
Clearly, many of you had your own ideas about which historic homes you’d love to appraise. “Other” responses included:
- The Biltmore Estate
- Bishop Castle
- Southfork Ranch
- Allen House
- Winchester Home
- The Delgado House
- Gaudi House
- FDR Hyde Park Historic House
- Edsel Ford House
- Norman Bates “Psycho” House
- Amityville Horror House
- The Mystery Castle
“The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina is still one of the largest family-owned estates as of today. Incredible architecture design and state of the art items went into building the home. Great history!”
“Bishop Castle in Colorado is an ‘elaborate and intricate’ ‘one-man project’ named after its constructor, Jim Bishop, that has become a roadside attraction in central Colorado.”
“Southfork Ranch in Dallas. It’s Texas history!!”
“The Delgado House in Santa Fe, NM was built in 1890 and is preserved down to this day. Adobe construction, stone foundation and typical Pueblo style construction. This is a unique house given its age, style, and location.”
“The Gaudi house in Barcelona, Spain, was built in 1906 of atypical design. Not a square corner can be found in the design of the dwelling. Multi-story of Catalan Modernism style created by Antoni Gaudi. This house would be challenging and fun to measure, and search out comparables.”
“FDR Hyde Park Historic House. The first US Presidential Library was started at the Springwood estate in Hyde Park, NY. Springwood was the birthplace, home, and also the burial place of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was built in 1826 and established as a national historical site in 1945. It would be a challenging appraisal.”
“Norman Bates ‘Psycho’ House. Unlike many of the one-sided sets or facades on the Universal Backlot, the Psycho house actually has four sides and a roof, has been through a number of alterations, and has been moved twice. It would be a challenge in itself if it was located in a residential neighborhood.”
“The Amityville Horror House. I grew up next town over in Copiague, NY. At the time it was bordered up and known as the ‘DeFeo House’ to all us scared kids!!”
“Graceland…home to a king.”
What famous historic homes would you like to appraise? What other complex property appraisals have you encountered in your career? Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. Or, sign up for our newsletter to get a new survey question in your inbox each month.
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