It is 2015 and I continue to encounter appraisers (albeit fewer and fewer thankfully!) who do not value the FF&E in apartment properties. When I started appraising in 1986 we separately valued the appliances back then. Since 1990, FIRREA has required this. This issue should have been settled 25+ years ago.
The most common response I get when I ask an appraiser to separately value the FF&E is ‘In our market these items transfer with the real estate.’ To which a whole list of questions and replies come to mind:
Who cares how the FF&E is transferred – it is still FF&E!
FF&E in hotels transfers with the real estate – how does that differ from an apartment complex? The same goes for many other property types.
Having been frustrated by this issue for 23+ years as a reviewer, a few years ago I took the opportunity to have this item added to the 14th Edition of The Appraisal of Real Estate. There is a list of property types with FF&E and that list now includes apartments:)
For bank/credit union appraisals, appraisers need to realize that it is Federal Law that requires LTV (Loan-To-Value) ratios be calculated on the Market Value As Is of REAL ESTATE ONLY. Examiners have been focusing on this very item for the past 5 years. It is important that fee appraisers help their clients comply with Federal Law. Provide a value for the FF&E and be done with it. And do NOT include the amount in the Market Value ‘As Is’ figure as again it is supposed to be Real Estate Only.
I will agree that in some cases this amount is minimal. But, Federal Law still requires a separate value. There are many cases where this amount can be in the millions of dollars – e.g. those high end condo projects that did not sell out before the bubble burst and have been rented as apartments ever since.
Lastly, as one instructor told a class I was in – If I can drop it on my foot, it is FF&E:)