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Appraisal Glossary part 1

APPRAISAL: The money value of property as estimated by an appraiser.

AD VALOREM TAX: The phrase ad valorem is Latin for “according to value”.  A tax levied in proportion to the value of the property.


ASSESSED VALUE: The value set on real estate and personal property determined by the County Assessor. The assessed value is essentially the market value.

COMPARABLES: A shortened term for similar property sales, rentals, or operating expenses used for comparison in the valuation process; also called “comps”.

DEPRECIATION: 1. In appraising, a loss in property value from any cause; the difference between the reproduction or replacement cost of an improvement on the effective date of the appraisal and the market value of the improvement on the same date; 2. In regard to improvements, depreciation encompasses both deterioration and obsolescence.

EASEMENT: A limited right in a piece of land owned by another. This entitles the holder of the right to some use of the land. For instance, if Barney owns a property that is completely surrounded by Fred’s property, Barney can get an easement to build a driveway from his property to the main road.

EMINENT DOMAIN: The right of government to take private property for public use upon the payment of just compensation. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, also known as “the takings clause,” guarantees payment of just compensation upon appropriation of private property.

GRANTEE: A person to whom property is transferred (buyer) by deed or to whom property rights are granted by a trust instrument or other document.

GRANTOR: A person who transfers property (seller) by deed or grants property rights through a trust instrument or other document.