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Preparing Project Proposals

Securing an Appraisal

Federal grant programs involving the acquisition of land typically require conformance with the requirements of The Uniform Act, 49 CFR Part 24. This requires that an appraisal be developed and reported in compliance with the Uniform Standards for Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) and the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions, 2000 (UASFLA, Yellow Book 1MB ) to document value and establish "just compensation."

Before securing an appraisal, consult with the State grant program manager to be certain that your efforts will fulfill state and federal requirements. The project should plan on two contracts: one for an appraiser and one for a review appraiser.

Appraisers must meet certain state and federal requirements. The appraiser must have taken a "Yellow Book" course and be on the state's current list of appraisers.

Additionally a review appraiser will need to be retained. This appraiser must be satisfactory to the federal grant program and the state. Prior to initiation of the appraisal, a meeting with the appraiser, review appraiser, and state project staff is required.

Appraisal instructions are an important component of the appraisal exercise, are project specific, and will need to be drafted or reviewed and approved by the State to ensure grant requirements are met. Note that projects involving more than one funding source may have multiple fund specific requirements as well. Ref: General State Appraisal Instructions

The following documentation is required by the appraiser and review appraiser prior to beginning the appraisal assignment:
* Preliminary Commitment for Title Insurance/Chain of Title
* Legal Description
* Map(s) of the project area
* Identification of estate to be appraised. If a less than fee acquisition, specific terms and conditions must be identified as they will affect value.

Note that specific grant programs have additional appraisal issues, concerns and requirements. It is strongly recommended that the State program manager be consulted before contracting for any appraisal services.

To fulfill federal grant requirements the project will be required to provide an UASFLA approved appraisal (appraisal and appraisal review report) and a Statement of Just Compensation signed by the landowner indicating that they have been informed of the Fair Market Value as established by a UASFLA approved appraisal.