Ask Henry

Dear Henry,
I am appraising a unique property. It is located in an area that has very few duplex's. There are no resent sales in the subject's city. I know I can go to a similar neighborhood to get comps however the neighborhoods are in a different city with different tax base. This area of South Florida has many different cities within a 10 mile area. How far can I go from the subject property and still be considered a comparable neighborhood?

Thank You for you help,

Dear E.,
There are no USPAP requirements that limit the distance you can go to find the best comparable sales. Actually, it is just the opposite because it is a violation of the USPAP to limit your search for the best comparable sales based on instructions from the client. However, it is O.K. for a client to ask you to explain why you needed to go some unusual distance to find the most comparable sales.

Sometimes the market area in which the best comparable sales are located is very limited because it is near a university, hospital, or public transportation, etc. An opposite example is when a typical wealthy buyer, who is working in New York City, considers buying a mansion in Long Island NY, Morristown NJ or Greenwich CT, then you may end up looking for comparable sales in three different states.