Ethan Sorensen, UFARM Land Manager and Sales Associate recently sat down for an interview with KRVN Rural Radio Network to give an overview of the services that UFARM offers.

Nebraska Land Values

 

Amid the many challenges that face farmers and landowners across Nebraska, a continued concern is high property taxes. With the plummeting grain prices over the last 3 years, and with the skyrocketing property tax rates of the last 10 years—which have increased 176 percent—it’s no wonder landowners and producers are hoping for property tax relief at the legislative level.

Toward the end of this year’s 2016 legislative session, lawmakers were able to advance LB 958 and LB 959, which provides additional money to the state’s property tax credit program, valuing ag land at 90 percent versus 75 percent of market value for the credit program, tightens limits on budget growth and levy increases for all local governments, and slows the rise in government-assessed cropland values across the state—measures that proponent and Governor Pete Ricketts calls “tools to help local governing entities control spending.”

In a state where 51 percent of total school spending comes from property taxes, in comparison to the national average of 32 percent—this is welcome news to landowners.

In calculating real estate taxes, all land is taxed based on either market value or fair use value. Often farmland appraisals are based on a formula for Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV), or the income a farmer can expect to earn based on factors including grain prices, farm rental rates, soil type and productivity, production expenses, and interest rates, among other variables.

As such, the record high crop prices in 2012 and the all time high farm incomes of 2013 are now factoring in to property tax appraisals. Given the plummeting farm incomes since then, combined with low interest rates, which also push taxes up for landowners, there is a perfect storm brewing for potential tax problems, despite the property tax relief legislation.

With this much money on the line, it’s little surprise that owners of Nebraska farmland often turn to professional land managers to provide them with highly accurate appraisal services. UFARM’s own agricultural valuation professionals have years of combined experience in local land markets with which to provide their clients with a clear account of their property’s value and potential.

Using the latest appraisal technology, UFARM appraisers are experienced in completing all the necessary reports for estate valuation, loan collateral, sales analysis, and property partition.

In addition, UFARM has certified rural appraisers on staff, offering appraisals through each of our offices across the state. These services include documented market value estimates that are carefully researched, written to withstand challenge, and provide a precise picture of a landowner’s property value.

In addition to property tax purposes and property tax appeals, an accurate value appraisal is important for a number of other, equally significant reasons, including:

-buying, selling, exchanging, or dividing real estate

-estate planning and gifting

-loan evaluations

-litigation

-condemnation proceedings

-eminent domain for roadways, pipelines, or electrical lines

When it comes to determining the value of your land, count on the most experienced appraisers. Feel free to contact UFARM for all of your appraisal needs.

Rod Johnson

UFARM Appraiser Rod Johnson

Dean Batie

UFARM Appraiser Dean Batie

When it comes to farmland ownership, having an accurate indication of what the land is worth serves as the basis from which many important decisions are made. Estate planning, dividing land among children, determining fair rental fees or lease terms, and tax or legal issues all depend on an accurate farmland appraisal. Especially in the last several years, which have seen burgeoning farmland values, it is more necessary than ever to have an accurate assessment of land value.

Land appraisers are rigorously trained and are licensed or certified in all aspects of property appraisal, and can help walk you through the steps in determining the value of your farm. They provide objective, impartial, and unbiased opinions about the value of real property, by putting together various aspects of the property—its physical characteristics, size, uses, and location—and develop a value based upon those specific characteristics.

Since knowing the value of the farm and land is such an important part of managing it, it is to the benefit of all involved to seek an expert appraiser to aid in determining its value. Even more, seeking an appraiser that is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) is a sure-fire way to ensure that your property is valued correctly. All of UFARM land managers have undergone the extensive study that becoming an ASFMRA designated appraiser requires.

The ASFMRA accreditation process is one of the most intensive in the industry. Members meet stringent standards that substantially exceed all state and federal licensing requirements. ASFMRA appraisers have successfully completed a rigorous process that includes education, work review, a comprehensive exam and an experience requirement. They also commit to continuing education requirements to ensure continued professional competence in an ever-changing world—an important qualification, especially given land value fluctuations over the last three years.

ASFMRA appraisers work in all areas related to real properties, including farms/livestock operations/dairies, commercial properties, conservation easements, timber properties, vineyards/orchards, and rural residences.

In addition to appraisals, ASFMRA appraisers are qualified to aid in a number of other situations, including eminent domain, estate planning, gift valuations, or inheritance issues, litigation involving land valuations, damages, or crop losses, partitions, loan purposes, expert witness services, as well as providing assistance to banks and trustees in handling real estate holdings.

When it comes to any number of aspects of farmland ownership, it pays to know your worth. If you are trying to sell farmland, failure to accurately assess the value of the farm and surrounding farmland results in less interest from potential buyers, and the maximum value attainable from the farm may be missed.

Experts and those who have learned the hard way agree: Don’t miss out on the knowledge that an experienced, ASFMRA-designated farm appraiser can offer. Decisions about your farm are among the most important you will make.

UFARM offers appraisal services from ASFMRA certified appraisers. They possess years of practical, local land market expertise, and combine it with the latest appraisal technology in order for you to gain a clear and accurate value of your land.

Sources consulted: “Considering a Career in Rural Appraisal?” ASFMRA.org. American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Web. 24 Jun.2015.  “Appraiser – Learn How to Become an Appraiser or Find a Qualified Appraiser.” ASFMRA.org. American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Web. 24 Jun.2015.

Land Appraisals

When it comes to many aspects of farm ownership, having a good idea of what the farm is worth serves as the basis from which many important decisions are made. Estate planning, dividing land among children, determining fair rental fees or lease terms, and tax or legal issues all depend on an accurate farmland appraisal. Especially in the last several years, which have seen burgeoning farmland values, it is more necessary than ever to have an accurate assessment of land value.

Since knowing the value of the farm and land is such an important part of managing it, it is to the benefit of all involved to seek an expert appraiser to aid in determining its value. Land appraisers are rigorously trained and are licensed or certified in all aspects of property appraisal, and can help walk you through the steps in determining the value of your farm. “The role of the appraiser is to provide objective, impartial, and unbiased opinions about the value of real property—providing assistance to those who own, manage, sell, invest in, and/or lend money on the security of real estate” (Appraisal Institute, www.appraisalinstitute.org.). They do this by putting together various aspects of the property—its physical characteristics, size, uses, and location—and develop a value based upon those specific characteristics.

As with any professional, experience is key. Experienced appraisers can help determine the most accurate value of a property, which is of vital importance. For instance, the failure to accurately price the property is cited as the number one mistake that is made when selling a farm. Failure to accurately assess the value of the farm and surrounding farmland results in less interest from potential buyers, and the maximum value attainable from the farm may be missed.

Another mistake that is frequently made is to determine the value of a property based on a biased appraisal—such as one from a favored lender who sets the appraisal value higher based on the desire to lend money based on that higher value. As a result, the market value of your farm is inaccurate. The best way to determine the value of a farm property is to seek the unbiased opinion of a professional appraiser.

When looking for a qualified appraiser, check that they meet at least the minimum state requirements for property appraisal. Licensed appraisers are better, while certified appraisers have attained the highest level of educational requirements. Both licensed and certified appraisers must pass a rigorous examination that is administered by the state’s appraisal board.

Experts and those who have learned the hard way agree: Don’t miss out on the knowledge that an experienced farm appraiser can offer. Decisions about your farm are among the most important you will make.

UFARM offers appraisal services from experienced, licensed and certified appraisers. They possess years of practical, local land market expertise and combine it with the latest appraisal technology in order for you to gain a clear and accurate value of your land.  Contact UFARM for your appraisal needs.