Can We Use a Burned House As a Comp?
Unless you're living under a rock, you have probably seen images of the firestorms in Northern California. Entire neighborhoods have been wiped out, along with retail businesses, hotels, restaurants, wineries and schools.
All of this started late Sunday evening, October 8th. Tens of thousands were evacuated in the middle of the night, fleeing to a friends house or a parking lot in the safe distance. Days went by as we sat glued to the TV and Facebook, while officials pleaded with us to stay home unless we were emergency responders.
And then this happened. KRON4 News was on the air, armed with a current satellite image of Santa Rosa which we now refer to as the "burn map". KRON4 was asking the public to call in with an address of a home they were concerned about. It was absolutely chilling to watch the news anchors scroll through neighborhood after neighborhood to find an address the caller was asking about.
Please take a look ... you only have to watch for a couple of minutes to understand the horror of what Santa Rosa residents were viewing. After days of watching news footage of unrecognizable neighborhoods, we could now see an overhead image of destroyed homes while knowing the street names these homes were on.
* Note, the red areas are vegetation. The grey rectangles are destroyed homes. Every once in awhile you can spot an intact rooftop.
So here is where my question comes in. One of my agents called me this morning, asking if she could use a burned house as a comp in a CMA. At least one comp no longer exists and one we are not sure of yet, as evacuation orders have still not lifted in some areas as of this writing.
There is some irony to this question. The client in question is in the process of building a spec house. So the CMA may include homes that no longer exist to place value on a home that doesn't yet exist.