Selling Guide

Published April 07, 2021

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What is the degree of development of a neighborhood?

Degree of Development and Growth Rate

The degree of development of a neighborhood, which is referred to as “built-up” on the appraisal report forms, is the percentage of the available land in the neighborhood that has been improved. The degree of development of a neighborhood may indicate whether a particular property is residential in nature.

When reviewing an appraisal on a property located in a rural or relatively undeveloped area, the lender should focus on the characteristics of the property, zoning, and the present land use to determine whether the property should be considered residential in nature. For example, if the typical one-unit building site in a particular area (based on the zoning, the highest and best use of the land, and the present land use) is two acres in size, the mortgage will be eligible for purchase or securitization regardless of the percentage of the total appraised value of the property that the site represents, as long as the appraiser demonstrates through the use of comparable sales that the property is a typical residential property for that particular neighborhood.

Because Fannie Mae does not purchase or securitize mortgages secured by agricultural-type properties, undeveloped land, or land-development-type properties, the lender must review the appraisal report for properties that have sites larger than those typical for residential properties in the neighborhood. Special attention must be given to the appraiser’s description of the neighborhood, zoning, the highest and best use determination, and the degree of comparability between the subject property and the comparable sales. If the subject property has a significantly larger site than the comparables used in the appraiser’s analysis, the subject property may not be a typical residential property for the neighborhood.

 

For additional information, see B4-1.3-03, Neighborhood Section of the Appraisal Report.

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