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Define Surplus Land (Excess Land) in Real Estate

Surplus Land (Excess Land): 

Surplus land, also known as excess land, is like having extra space in your yard that you don't really need for what you're currently using it for. It's extra land that isn't necessary for the property's main purpose or its highest and best use. This extra land could potentially be used for something else or even sold separately.


Imagine a house sitting on a large piece of land. The house and its yard only take up half of the property, while the other half is unused. This unused half is considered surplus land because it's not needed for the house's current use, and it could potentially be developed or sold separately.

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"A Deep Dive for Real Estate Appraisers"

When studying surplus or excess land, it's essential to keep a few things in mind:

Highest and Best Use: The concept of surplus land is closely related to the highest and best use of a property. The highest and best use is the most profitable and reasonable use of a property, considering its current condition, legal restrictions, and the local market. Surplus land is not required for the current highest and best use, but it could be valuable for future development or potential changes in the property's use.

Value: Surplus land may add value to a property, especially if it has potential for future development, rezoning, or subdivision. In some cases, selling the surplus land separately could yield a higher total value for the property owner. An appraiser should consider the potential value of surplus land when determining the overall value of a property.

Marketability: The marketability of surplus land depends on various factors, such as its size, location, shape, and accessibility. Properties with surplus land in desirable locations or with potential for development may be more marketable and sought after by buyers or investors.

Legal and zoning restrictions: When dealing with surplus land, it's important to be aware of any legal or zoning restrictions that could affect its use, development, or sale. Some areas may have strict zoning regulations, environmental restrictions, or other legal limitations that could impact the value or potential uses of the surplus land.

In summary, understanding the concept of surplus land is essential for real estate appraisers. Evaluating the highest and best use of a property, considering the potential value and marketability of surplus land, and being aware of any legal or zoning restrictions will help you make informed decisions when appraising properties with excess land.
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"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"

On a plot with space to spare,
You'll find surplus land is there.
Not needed for the best use known,
This land sits idle, all alone.

A house with yard may occupy,
But surplus land sits idly by.
Perhaps to sell or to improve,
This extra space has much to prove.

So when you see a plot that's wide,
Remember surplus land may hide.
Not needed now, but who's to say,
What might become of it someday?

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