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Define Remaining Economic Life (REL) in Real Estate

Remaining Economic Life (REL): 

"Remaining Economic Life" in real estate appraisal refers to the estimated number of years a property or building can continue to be useful and generate income or value, before it becomes too old or worn out to be worth maintaining. Imagine a car that you can drive for a certain number of years before it's no longer worth repairing, and you need to replace it with a new one.


Suppose there's an office building that was constructed 20 years ago and has a total economic life of 50 years. That means the building has been useful for 20 years already, and it has an estimated remaining economic life of 30 years (50 years total economic life - 20 years already used = 30 years remaining).

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"A Deep Dive for Real Estate Appraisers"

Here are some additional points and factors to consider when understanding and determining the Remaining Economic Life (REL) of a property:

Estimation Methods: Estimating Remaining Economic Life involves a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, including the property's physical condition, the local market conditions, and the building's functional or economic obsolescence.

Physical Deterioration: The property's age, maintenance history, and wear and tear are important factors in determining Remaining Economic Life. A well-maintained property may have a longer Remaining Economic Life compared to a poorly maintained one of the same age.

Functional Obsolescence: Changes in technology, design preferences, or market demands can cause a property to become functionally obsolete. If a property cannot be adapted to meet new requirements or demands, its Remaining Economic Life may be shorter.

Economic Obsolescence: External factors, such as changes in the local economy or neighborhood conditions, can affect the Remaining Economic Life. For example, if a property is located in a declining neighborhood or an area with high unemployment, its Remaining Economic Life may be shorter due to decreased demand.

Accuracy: It's important to note that estimating Remaining Economic Life is not an exact science. It involves professional judgment and relies on the appraiser's knowledge, experience, and understanding of the local market and property type. As such, it's an informed estimate rather than a precise calculation.

Periodic Re-evaluation: Remaining Economic Life estimates can change over time as market conditions, property maintenance, and other factors evolve. Regular re-evaluations can help keep Remaining Economic Life estimates up-to-date and more accurate.

Understanding these additional factors and how they influence the estimation of Remaining Economic Life will help you better grasp the concept and apply it in your real estate appraisal practice. Keep in mind that while the estimate may not be perfectly accurate, it serves as a valuable tool for planning, investment decisions, and understanding a property's potential long-term value.
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"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"

In the world of buildings, both old and new,
"Remaining Economic Life" is a term that rings true.
It tells us how long a structure will last,
Before it's too old, its prime time is past.

With bricks and with mortar, they stand tall and strong,
But every building has a lifespan, like a song.
The remaining economic life, a number we seek,
Tells us the years it's still useful, sturdy, not weak.

When we know this number, we can plan and prepare,
For a time when the building needs a bit more care.
So remember, dear reader, this term that we share,
The remaining economic life helps us be aware.

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