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Resources for Real Estate Analysts and Valuers on Water Rights and Continuing Care Retirement Communities.

About This Column

Resource Center is about all manner of resources available for appraisers and real estate market analysts--from print and online publications to radio shows, videos, and webinars. This edition of Resource Center identifies where valuers can find helpful information and data relevant to the highly specialized and complex areas of appraisal of water rights and appraisal of continuing care retirement communities.

Water Rights

Many appraisers face the challenge of valuation of water rights or evaluating the value impact of favorable water rights and limitations on water rights. The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, sixth edition, includes the following definition of water rights:
   A right to a definite or conditional flow or quantity of
   water, usually for use at stated times and in stated
   quantities, e.g., for irrigation or for hydroelectric power
   development. A water right may be a right acquired by
   prescription, ... a right acquired by appropriation, ... or
   a riparian right under the common law. (1)

It is important to understand this part of the bundle of rights. Each state has its own water laws and policies--which need to be consulted in depth by valuers and analysts dealing with water rights. Further, there is a host of underlying principles in common law, case law, and federal regulations that influences valuation of water rights.

Appraisal Institute professionals are encouraged to research the Y. T. and Louise Lee Lum Library for information related to water rights. The library's Knowledge Base section on "Easements and Rights of Way" includes water rights materials. In addition, a search of "water rights" within the library's EBSCO database will yield a variety of materials.

The sections below describe some specific publications that valuers may find helpful in increasing their understanding of issues related to water rights.

General Books on Water Rights (2)

General books on water rights are a good starting point for those who need an overview of water law concepts, customs, precedents, and regulations.

The Appraisal of Water Rights, by Steven J. Herzog (Appraisal Institute, 2012; paperback), covers the nature and transferability of water rights, the applicability of appraisal standards, and the skills and knowledge needed for valuation assignments involving water rights. The book includes case studies involving the valuation of partial and stand-alone interests, and examples of challenging situations. A helpful glossary is also included. (The table of contents can be viewed at

Water Law in a Nutshell, fifth edition, by David Getches, Sandi Zellmer, and Adell Amos (West Academic Publishing, 2015; available in paperback and e-book formats), summarizes the scores of recent court decisions and key changes in water law. The authors cover a broad variety of topics, including groundwater and surface water conflicts; public and private water rights; claims and uses; federal water developments; and takings and claims.

Water Law: Concepts and Insights, by Robin Kudis Craig, Robert W. Adler, and Noah D. Hall (Foundation Press, 2017; available in paperback and e-book formats), is a widely respected work covering the five basic groundwater law doctrines; policies governing allocation of water; hydrological principles; the federal government's role in freshwater law and regulation; and federal water rights. This text also covers the two main state-law doctrines governing the use of surface water and groundwater. It includes treatment of the concept of water rights as private property rights and the problems and nuances of takings litigation and environmental protections that interfere with those rights. Chapter topics include the following:

* introduction to water law; riparian property and rights, riparian law

* prior appropriation and the three alternative prior appropriation doctrines

* five major doctrines covering groundwater allocations; groundwater and surface water interactions

* common law of the past and current permit systems

* state public trust doctrines

* water law and water pollution laws

* human versus endangered species water use conflicts

* water management and watershed planning

* public interests and private rights in water

* takings claims and compensation owed for a water right taking

* defining the property right known as a water right

* physical versus regulatory takings of water rights

The Water Gates: Water Rights, Water Wars in the SO States, by Randy Stapilus (Ridenbaugh Press, 2010; available in paperback and e-book formats), addresses common law and case law covering water rights as well as information in each state. It discusses the underlying principles of water rights of land, including accessing shoreline, flowing surface water, riparian principles, distinctions between the riparian and appropriative doctrines, and foundational laws and court cases in the United States. It explains the evolution of water laws in different areas of the country and the growing role of the federal government. The author provides the applicable state statutes and contact information for water laws in the coverage of water information for each state. The list of interstate water agreements is extensive, with citations and references.

Books Covering Water Rights Laws in Western States

Not surprisingly, western states have developed laws specific to the circumstances of their regions. Though the following resources are primarily concerned with the western states, much of the material in these texts has general application across the United States. Since each state has its own water laws and nuances, valuers should be sure to consult state-specific as well as general resources.

Water Rights Laws in the Nineteen Western States, by Wells A. Hutchins (originally published in 1942, with various updated editions; available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats), looks at water rights laws in the seventeen contiguous western states plus Alaska and Hawaii. A sampling of topics includes state water policies; characteristics of watercourse and the property nature of water and water rights pertaining to watercourses; appropriations; the riparian doctrine; loss of water rights in watercourse and adjudication of water rights in watercourses; diffused surface waters; groundwater rights; federal-state relations; and the interstate dimensions of water rights.

Sharing the Common Pool: Water Rights in the Everyday Lives of Texans, by Charles Porter Jr. (Texas A&M University Press, 2014; in paperback and e-book formats), provides a comprehensive look at Texas water rights, from historical background to current situation. The state's Spanish, English, and Republic heritages have resulted in a complex collection of laws, permits, and governing authorities--all impacting various types of water rights and various interests in agricultural, industrial, and urban contexts. This text covers state and private water ownership; duties of buyers, sellers, and real estate agents in transactions; surface water, diffused surface water, and groundwater rights; the conjunctive state of water; and the outlook for water interests and rights in the state. It offers extensive references, citations, sources, and notes, as well as an extensive index, a bibliography, and an excellent glossary of terms useful in most states. This is an impressive work indeed.

California Water II, second edition, by Arthur L. Littleworth and Eric L. Garner (Solano Press Books, 2007; paperback), is a comprehensive guide to issues related to water use in California. Chapter topics include the following:

* an overview of California's water supply

* a capsule view of water rights law, property-based rights with and apart from land ownership

* reasonable use doctrine

* surface water rights, water rights as real property, types of water rights, riparian water rights, acquisition and loss of riparian rights, priority of rights, appropriative rights, loss and severance of rights, condemnation, prescriptive surface water rights

* groundwater and groundwater rights, priorities among appropriators, prescriptive rights

* allocating water--the doctrine of reasonable use, consumptive versus in-stream uses, public trust doctrine, federal beneficial use law

* equitable apportionment and the doctrine of physical solution

* state water resources control board, appropriation of water, California versus United States water regulation, states' rights and federal reserved rights

* conservation, planning, recycling, and desalination; water transfers; and law of the Colorado River

Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers, by P. Andrew Jones and Tom Cech (University Press of Colorado, 2009; available in paperback and e-book formats), covers the topics of early water use and development in Colorado; water law basics; introduction to federal and interstate issues; tributary and non-tributary water; groundwater; exempt wells; river administration; water entities; and, importantly for valuers, water rights in the marketplace. The text also addresses emerging trends and issues, case law, and statutes. This publication includes a helpful bibliography and index.

The Future of Indian and Federal Reserved Water Rights: The Winters Centennial, edited by Barbara Cosens and Judith V. Royster (University of New Mexico Press, 2012; available in hardcover and e-book formats), reviews the long-term implications of the seminal 1908 US Supreme Court decision, Winters v. United States, with a series of pieces written by lawyers, historians, and others. In Winters, the Supreme Court declared that when land is set aside for the use of Indian tribes, the land includes water rights. This "Winters Doctrine" is now a basic principle of both federal Indian law and general water law. The nature of this doctrine, its legal basis, scope, and implications for non-Indian water rights holders are addressed in this book along with the relationship between the land and the water reserved, and details of practical consequence. Many issues in this realm have been litigated and negotiated--and continue to be.

Water, Water Everywhere: The Great Western Fallacy: History of Water in the West and Its Future, by Genia Gallagher (self-published, 2016; available in paperback and e-book formats), looks at the water cycle and the strains on the western region's water supply. As the author states, "Unfortunately, those living in the western United States believe in water's abundance with many forgetting that most of the region is a desert. The Colorado River is over-worked and over-allocated. ... Inefficient irrigation systems, obsolete water laws, local/regional control of interstate water sources ... [and] declining groundwater levels and unknown impacts of climate change only complicate managing this precious resource in the future." The author discusses allocation methods for this limited natural resource and possible alternatives for its regulation.

How to Buy Water Rights: Here's What You Need to Know about Water Rights--Before It's Too Late, by Chris Miller (Miller Rock Farm, LLC, 2015; available in paperback and e-book formats), is a consumer-oriented booklet intended primarily for rural land buyers in the real estate market to provide them with a general introduction to western water rights. Because appraisers need to understand motivations, typical level of knowledge, and the decision-making process, this booklet may help appraisers.

Appraisal Journal Water Rights Articles

The Appraisal Journal has published a number of articles related to water rights; these are summarized below.

"Identifying Rights and Interests to Be Appraised in Rural Property" (The Appraisal Journal, Winter 2017:40-50). This excerpt from the Appraisal Institute's text, Rural Property Valuation, discusses water rights as part of the bundle of legal rights in real property. The article summarizes riparian and appropriative rights to surface water. It also examines groundwater doctrines and prescriptive water rights.

"The Appraisal of Water Rights: Their Nature and Transferability," by Steven J. Herzog (The Appraisal Journal, Winter 2008: 39-46). This is the first of a two-part series on the topic. It deals with understanding the subject of the valuation and provides an introduction to some foundational concepts, including types of water rights, how they are transferred, and terminology related to water rights. Topics covered include types of water rights, prescriptive water rights, pueblo or municipal water rights, groundwater rights, riparian water rights, appropriative water rights, and contractual entitlements; concepts of ownership of water rights interests; and transfers of water rights of the various types. Part two of the article (see below) builds on this important underpinning and gets into the applied appraisal process and methods used in valuing water rights.

"The Appraisal of Water Rights: Valuation Methodology," by Steven J. Herzog (The Appraisal Journal, Spring 2008: 122-131). This is the second of a two-part series (see above). The article addresses the "appraisal of water rights on a stand-alone basis ... as well as the contributing value that water rights bring to the larger parcel." The author points out, "If one is appraising only the water rights that are appurtenant to a tract of land, then a partial interest in real estate is being valued. ... When valuing a partial interest in real estate there are two potential techniques available: the before and after approach and the takings plus damages approach." The author goes on to cover the three approaches and their applicability, the valuation of stand-alone water rights, and specific considerations for the various types of water rights (groundwater, riparian, and appropriative). Two quite different case studies are included and analyzed. This, and the immediately preceding article by the same author, are highly recommended.

"Alternative Approaches to Valuing Water Rights," by Bonnie G. Colby (The Appraisal Journal, April 1989: 180-196). Colby's article covers four different techniques for appraising water rights and compares the applications of each with examples. The author covers applicability of sales comparison and income capitalization approaches; analysis of land value differentials; development-cost approach and least-cost alternative; and water values and quality.

"An Economic Framework for Valuing Transient Water Rights in the Arid West," by Lyle C. Summers (The Appraisal Journal, January 1981: 9-14). Summers addresses systems of water rights and focuses on water rights that are usually site- and use-specific, which are superimposed on the state riparian or appropriation systems. He discusses the transition in water uses and water rights to urban areas, and factors affecting demand, marketability of water rights, and basic appraisal principles applicable.

Additional Water Rights Publications

Valuers can find additional water rights materials online. Below is a summary of articles and other publications that you may find helpful.

Water Rights Generally

"Water Right," in Wikipedia ( /2w7i81H), provides an overview of water usage laws under common law. This well-documented summary offers relevant definitions, a discussion of underlying principles of types of water rights, and citations and references. The article includes links and citations to related pieces covering topics such as drainage law, right to water, water law, water resources, and water trading. This excellent overview has sufficient detail to introduce the reader to the complexities of water rights and offers useful resource citations as well. Also in Wikipedia, see "Water Trading" ( /2HvKxSq) for information on the water trading market, types of trades, complications, water trading market alternatives, and specific discussion about selected states (particularly in the West).

"Water Rights of Real Property Owners" (Law-Shelf Educational Media, Foundations of Law monograph; summarizes water rights concepts with examples.

"Riparian Rights" (Water Education Foundation; provides a background on water rights and discusses the legal nature of riparian rights.

"How Do You Value a Water Right?" by Brett Bovee (Colorado Real Estate Journal, March 1-14, 2017;, explains how a water right can be a valuable piece of a real estate portfolio and explains three methods for valuing a water right.

Water Rights Manual 7250, by the US Bureau of Land Management (September 30, 2013;, describes Bureau policy related to its programs for managing water rights. It summarizes legislation, regulations, and case law on both the federal and state levels.

"An Overview of Pennsylvania Water Law," by Robert T. Caccese (, provides a good review of riparian water rights, which are widely applied in the eastern portion of the United States.

"Estimating Irrigation Water Value Using Hedonic Price Analysis: A Case Study in Malheur County, OR," by John Faux and Gregory M. Perry (originally published in Land Economics, 1999; available at

"Taking a Closer Look at Just Compensation: State Regulation of Groundwater Withdrawals as an Appropriate Use of Their Police Powers," by Kathryn Seaton (originally published in Journal of Corporate Law, 2016; available at

Water Rights in Western States "Conditional Water Rights in the Western United States: Introducing Uncertainty to Prior Appropriation?" by Charles J. P. Podolak and Martin Doyle (Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 51, no. 1 (February 2015): 14-32;, discusses the establishment of appropriative water rights in western states and conditions restricting water use by a junior class of water users.

"Western Water Law and the Challenge of Climate Disruption," by A. Dan Tarlock (Environmental Law, 48, no. 1 (2018): 1-27; http://, looks at pressures to change traditional water allocation principles and possible alternatives to these schemes.

"Summary of Arizona Water Law," by Hugh Holub (October 2009; www.g-a-1. info/water -law.htm), discusses the different types of water rights and water use restrictions in Arizona. (To learn more about individual state water laws, see the previously mentioned book The Water Gates: Water Rights, Water Wars in the 50 States.)

"The Public Trust Doctrine, Private Water Allocation, and Mono Lake," by Erin Ryan (Environmental Law, 45, no. 2 (2015): 561-640; http://, provides a detailed explanation of the doctrine of public trust and how it was accepted by the California Supreme Court to reduce historic water appropriation entitlements from Mono Lake.

"Water in the West," by Robert E. Dietrich (Real Estate Issues, Spring 2017; /2vWyqKQ), discusses water management policy in Southern California.

"During a Drought, Senior Water-Rights Holders Have Privileges," Jay Lund interview by David Greene (Morning Edition, National Public Radio, transcript May 30, 2014; This transcript discusses the priority rights of big farms and corporations due to special water rights arrangements.

"5 Takeaways from the Water-Rights Ruling over a Planned Sierra Vista Development," by Tony Davis (Arizona Daily Star, August 12, 2018;, discusses a recent Arizona Supreme Court decision related to land development and water rights. This article and case provide some insights into groundwater and riparian water rights and priority of claims, particularly in the West.

"Front Range Housing Boom Sends Water Prices Soaring," by Jerd Smith (Water Education Colorado, May 1, 2019,, describes how the recent housing boom has increased water prices by up to 400 percent.

"Water Rights--Frequently Asked Questions" (California State Water Resources Control Board, discusses water rights, water right permits, riparian rights, prescriptive and appropriative water rights, whether a water right is a permit or license, and water appropriations.

Water Rights Data

Water Markets LLC ( This commercial website offers Texas-specific data and a variety of informative articles concerning the market for water rights and the economics of these investments. The website also features "WaterNinja," a data analytics tool for the national water market.

WestWater Research, LLC (http://www.water WestWater Research is a firm in the water rights industry. Its website offers information about availability of water rights, transactions sales data, market analytics, and water price index information (California). There is also the Water Market Insider quarterly newsletter and a downloadable PDF of "Water Rights Cap Rates" (

Information Aggregators

Wikipedia is the most widely known information aggregator website, but there are others online that will be helpful to valuers in their water rights research. Examples of such resources include the following: offers legal information and resources on many subjects, including the topics of water rights law--prior appropriation (, water rights transfers (, and water law updates (

The Free Library ( offers text of articles from a variety of publications (but often without exhibits). Explore this resource by searching terms such as "water rights" and "riparian rights."

The Law Dictionary features Black's Law Dictionary Free Online Legal Dictionary, second edition (available at

Merriam-Webster, Law Dictionary (https://www

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, second edition (see especially "water rights," available at

Wex, a free online legal dictionary and encyclopedia hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School (

Valuation Challenges with Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are retirement properties that feature various levels of service and facilities for individuals living within the community. The levels of service in CCRCs may include (1) independent living, (2) assisted living, (3) memory support, and (4) skilled nursing care. CCRC properties include, to varying degrees, elements of real estate, land and improvements, and non-realty interests (equipment and business interests). The separation of these interests presents a challenge for appraisers. This challenge is not unique to CCRCs however; similar valuation issues confront appraisers in the valuation of hospitality, special-purpose, and amusement/recreation real estate.

What creates an extra level of difficulty for valuers is that CCRCs, unlike rent-only senior housing, typically require an entrance fee and the housing unit is tied to a life care agreement. The cost of the entrance fee is determined by both the quality of the independent living unit and the level of services in the life care agreement. Agreements also may provide for a possible partial refund and for optional services. Most CCRCs have three types of contracts:

* Extensive or life contracts, which generally include unlimited assisted living and health services with little or no extra fee.

* Modified contracts, which provide services similar to life contracts, except that only some health services are included in the initial monthly fee. If a resident's needs exceed those fees, then the resident is charged market rates for the additional services.

* Fee-for-service contracts, which offer a lower initial enrollment fee, but residents pay market rates for health care services on an as-needed basis.

These contracts and their provisions present a number of issues for valuers and analysts, especially in relation to the treatment of payments. For example, do residents' contracts, and particularly the entrance fees, affect the value of the real estate? Keep in mind the residents who buy-in have a claim on, or interest in, the use of the real estate as well as services. Since the fees are tied to the real property as well as services, are these entrance fees assets or liabilities for the real property? Is an entrance fee paid to the original developer/operator and used for capital expenditures a form of financing, or is it an advanced payment for rent and services? What happens to the entrance fee in a hypothetical sale envisioned in an appraisal? Further, how should the appraiser handle the claim on the real estate asset by those who have paid the entrance fee with the contractual right of continued occupancy?

The resources a valuer uses in valuation of CCRCs may depend on the type of client. Some CCRC resources focus narrowly on the world of real estate ad valorem taxation. Lenders, investors, regulators, and others--particularly real estate ad valorem assessors and tax agents--are interested in the value of just the real estate; most of these users of valuation services are not interested in the value of the total assets, realty and non-realty. Valuers in their research will find that CCRCs constitute a relatively small number of properties nationwide, with few transactions other than as going concerns. This makes extraction of units of comparison-and rates to apply to real estate only--a challenge. The following discusses some resources to assist valuers in these challenging assignments.

Sector News and Data

The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) is a nonprofit organization "whose mission is to support access and choice for America's seniors by providing data, analytics, and connections that bring together investors and providers." The NIC website offers numerous materials on senior housing sector investment, transaction data, market data and trends, and academic research ( -living-industry-analysis-research/). In addition, researchers can subscribe to NIC MAP (https://, which is a customizable tool for market research, and view quarterly NIC MAP industry reports (

Recent NIC reports include the following ( "Seniors Housing Annual Total Returns Equal 11.13% in Q3 2018" (; "NIC Data Property and Market Measures" (; "Metropolitan Market Coverage Map" (https://; NIC Investment Guide: Investing in Seniors Housing & Care Properties, fifth edition (; "Supply and Demand Trends" (; "Property Sales Transactions Data" ( /2KtawgF); and "Financial & Investment Overview," including NCREIF annualized total returns by property type ( A variety of video briefings is also available (https://bitly/2GKCt2r).

The 2018 Senior Care Acquisition Report, 23rd edition, by Irving Levin Associates (https://, provides data and analyses of the previous year's senior care mergers and acquisitions. This website also offers tools for transaction-specific research as well as The SeniorCare Investor Newsletter and webinars (

Appraisal Journal Articles and Other Appraisal Institute Resources

Appraisal Institute professionals should research the Y. T. and Louise Lee Lum Library for information related to CCRCs. The library's Knowledge Base section on "Healthcare Facilities: assisted living--congregate care--continuing care-skilled nursing" includes helpful materials. In addition, a subject search of "elderly housing" in the library catalog will yield a variety of materials. The following is a sampling of Appraisal Institute information related to CCRCs.

"Valuation of Continuing Care Retirement Communities: Worth Another Look," by David C. Lennhoff and Peter A. Wolman (The Appraisal Journal, January 2000: 57-63). This article addresses the complexity and challenges in valuing CCRCs and treatment of their component parts.

"The Challenges of Appraising Residential Alzheimer's Assisted Living Facilities," by Donald Sonneman (The Appraisal Journal, June 2000: 97-108). This article discusses how residential Alzheimer's assisted living facilities are similar to and different from traditional assisted living facilities.

"Appraising Continuing Care Retirement Centers: The Income Approach," by David Michael Keating and Gary L. Brace (The Appraisal Journal, October 1994: 546-552). The authors discuss the operation of a CCRC and valuation using the income approach; income sources identification and breakdown; operating expenses and potential entrance fee refunds; estimating the capitalization rate and discount rate; and direct capitalization and analysis by discounted cash flow. The use of actuarial information is covered along with standards and ethics implications of the appraisal.

"Feasibility and Valuation of a Continuing Care Retirement Community," by Thomas P. Williams and John A. Rasmussen (The Appraisal Journal, July 1985: 354-370). This older article is still worth a look for background and ideas related to CCRCs.

"Valuation Issues in Senior Housing," by Elliot B. Pollack (PowerPoint presentation at 2013 annual meeting of the Appraisal Institute, Indianapolis, IN, July 24, 2018; /20S51Ho). This presentation includes an overview of senior housing and ad valorem issues, including court case decisions.

"Valuation of Seniors Housing Properties," by Zach Bowyer (PowerPoint presentation at 2015 annual meeting of the Appraisal Institute, Dallas, TX, July 28, 2015; This presentation includes a summary of property types, valuation approaches, and a discussion of allocation of the going concern.

Guide Note 5: Appraisals of Real Estate with Related Personal Property, Business Property or Intangible Assets ( This Guide Note addresses business properties generally and the issues related to asset allocation of going concerns.

The Appraisal of Nursing Facilities, by James K. Tellatin (Appraisal Institute, 2009; https://www -facilities/). This comprehensive book explores long-term care facilities from both physical and economic perspectives. The discussion focuses on skilled nursing facilities, covering topics such as the intricacies of Medicare and Medicaid funding as well as the complex factors impacting the operations of for-profit and non-profit facilities. In addition to demographic and operational data, the text provides practical information on using Medicare and Medicaid cost reports; analyzing market data; calculating federal and state reimbursements; forecasting occupancy, income and expenses; applying specialized techniques to different valuation scenarios; and allocating business assets.

Additional Articles, Papers, and Publications on CCRCs

"The Appraisal of Continuing Care Retirement Communities with Entry Fees for Property Tax Assessment Purposes," by James K. Tellatin, Melanie J. Kosich, and Mark Tracy (Journal of Property Tax Assessment and Administration, vol. 13, no. 1 (2016); available at

"Avoid Appraisal Pitfalls," by Bendix Anderson (Seniors Housing Business, July 29, 2015; https://

Continuing Care Retirement Communities, by Howard E. Winklevoss and Alwyn V. Powell (Pension Research Council, 1984; /2Zz8bqO), is an interesting, albeit dated, piece discussing the components in a financial analysis of CCRC, including actuarial assumptions, pricing theory, fee adjustments, and cash flow sheets.

"Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the United States," in Wikipedia ( /2ZyvcKq), has an excellent discussion of CCRCs, including types of contracts (types A, B, C, D, and equity business or contract model), types of assistance and care, regulations and risks, demographics, and a list of resources and references. Also of interest in Wikipedia is the related "Retirement Community" article ( /2qnPk43).

"CCRC Retirement Communities and the Benefits of an Entry Fee," by Jim Distasio (Human Good; Advisory information for consumers, important for valuers to understand the market.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, January 2018; This publication includes information about the types of plans, financial considerations, costs related to CCRCs, consumer and management provider check lists, and glossary.

"Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Market Insight" (CBRE;

"Continuing-Care Retirement Communities: Weighing the Risks," by Kelly Greene (Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2010; https://on.wsj .com/2LdnlLC).

"Long Live the CCRC Entrance Fee Model," by Robert Carr (National Real Estate Investor, November 26, 2012;

"The Looming Crisis in Continuing Care Retirement Communities," by Jack Barker (Toptal;

"Methods for Valuing Entry-Fee CCRCs," by Harvey Singer (Matherlifeways Institute on Aging, March 5, 2013;

Redding Life Care, LLC v. Town of Redding (February 23, 2011; The court opinion in this Connecticut decision brings out interesting points in valuation of CCRCs.

"A Road Map to Valuing CCRCs," by Alan C. Plush (Seniors Housing Business, December 2012January 2013;

"Seniors Usually Say Goodbye to Property Taxes When They Move into a Non-Profit CCRC," by Terence O'Malley (Expert Senior Planning, September 14, 2014; This article and the related website provide advisory information for consumers, which is important for valuers' understanding of the market. Additional helpful content includes "How Does Operational Risk Impact Fees at CCRCs?" (; "There's No Crystal Ball When It Comes to Setting Fees at CCRCs" (; "What Are the 3 Types of Ownership of Senior Communities?" (

"Testing Financial Stability of Continuing Care Retirement Communities," by Ernest J. Moorhead and Niels H. Fischer (Transactions of Society of Actuaries, vol. 47 (1995): 307-357; httP://

"The Time Value of Money Implications of Continuing Care Retirement Community Type-A Contracts," by Robert B. Burney (Journal of Finance and Accountancy, vol. 19 (March 2015);

"Valuation of Real Estate within Senior Living Facilities," by William "Trey" Beazley III, Steven Sparks, and Michael Bates (Seniors Housing and Care Journal, vol. 19, no. 1 (2011): 23-34;

"Valuing Assisted Living Facilities: An Overly Mechanical Valuation May Not Consider the Specific Earnings, Risks, Growth Rates, and Values of the Component Businesses of Assisted Living Facilities," by Alan B. Simons (Valuation Strategies, March/April 2016: 20-29; https://

"Will Continuing Care Retirement Communities Continue? A Pennsylvania Law Update," by Katherine C. Pearson and Joshua R. Wilkins (Symposium on the Future of Elder Law in Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly, April 2011: 69-80;


Valuation of water rights and continuing care retirement communities involves specialized areas of appraisal practice. Valuers should take advantage of the many resources available that provide background on the issues of concern as well as the important nuances within each real estate segment.

About the Author

Dan L. Swango, PhD, MAI, SRA, is president of Swango Real Estate Counseling and Valuation International in Tucson, Arizona. He is experienced in valuation and consulting involving equity investment, debt security, risk reduction, profit optimization, estate planning and settlement, buy/sell opportunities, and eminent domain. Swango is an instructor and communicator with domestic and international experience. He is namesake of The Appraisal Journal's Swango Award, past Editorial Board chair and editor-in-chief of The Appraisal Journal, and a current member of the Journal's Review Panel Contact:

If you know of additional resources of interest to real estate analysts and valuers--or would like to suggest topics for this column--please contact the author.

For easy, direct access to the URL addresses noted throughout this article, read this column online. Go to and click on "Latest Issue." (Login required.) If using the print copy, the longer URLs have been shortened for easier entry.

(1.) The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, 6th ed. (Chicago: Appraisal Institute, 2015), s.v. "water rights." The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, 6th edition, defines a riparian right as "a water right that, under common law, grants a landowner the ownership of waters that share a border with the parcel owned or that flow across the land." It defines prior appropriation doctrine as "a doctrine dating from early settlement of the western United States whereby water claims were based on 'first in time, first in right.' Under the prior appropriation doctrine, the priority of water rights is determined by the date that the initial use was established."

(2.) The books described in this column are available from local and online booksellers. From Our Readers
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Title Annotation:Resource Center
Author:Swango, Dan L.
Publication:Appraisal Journal
Date:Jun 22, 2019
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