Ask Henry

Lakeshore Frontage Adjustments


I'd like to get your insight into how you would adjust for lakefront footage. Obviously more is better and more valuable -- but at an incrementally diminishing rate per linear foot, right? For example, take two identical properties, except that one has double the lakeshore of the other, 200' versus 100'. Clients seem to think the second 100' should be adjusted at the same rate as first 100' and have been asking for report revisions! Often they want the footage to bracket the subject, and can't understand why the parcel with more frontage is adjusted at a lesser rate per foot than the parcel with less. What should I say?

Dear S:

There is no benchmark or rule that I am aware of that works. You have to find some matched pairs of sales in your market area upon which you are going to base this adjustment. I don't think you can jump to the conclusion that sales with substantially larger lakeshore frontage require a smaller square foot adjustment without some evidence.