Book Review

Valuing Contaminated Properties-An Appraisal Institute Anthology Vol. II

Edited by Richard J. Roddewig, MAI, CRE
American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers
Chicago, Il, 60607
500+ Pages, Soft Cover; Price $75 (AI price $60

My first reaction to this book was “wow it is big and heavy!" In this day of Google and the Lum Library, who needs to spend money on an Anthology when you can get a custom made bibliography from the Lum Library (312-335-4467). That being said, in my view, an appraiser should not even think about making an appraisal of a contaminated property until they are familiar with the Appraisal Foundation Advisory Opinion AO 9 which is covered in Chapter 1.

Chapter 1, USPAP and the Appraisal of Properties Impacted by Contamination or Environmental Risk, starts with a five page introduction by the editor. It points out, for example, “The distinction between source sites, non-source sites, adjacent sites, adjacent sites and proximate sites is one of the topics covered by AO-9." By the time I finished reading Chapter 1 I was mentally exhausted.

Chapter 2, The Recognized and Generally Accepted Methods for Appraising Property Affected by Contamination and Environmental Risk, starts with another five page introduction by the editor.

After reading and digesting these two chapters, I realized it is not necessary to read the rest of this book as it is an Anthology with 67 articles, divided into 10 chapters, covering many topics. For example, article 10.2, How Australian Appraisers Assess Contaminated Land, will have limited use to most appraisers.
Whereas, chapter 7 consists of 17 pages across 5 articles all of which cover the subject of Mold — A topic which all appraisers should be knowledgeable.

Summary: This Anthology is a definitive compilation of accepted appraisal knowledge written by many authors, selected and interpreted by the editor, who is a valuation expert. If you make or are planning to make appraisals of contaminated property, the cost of this book is a small price to pay for a valuable reference to help you improve your work.