Highest and Best Use

To determine your property’s “highest and best use” you must carefully investigate “all available uses” to which your property may be put with the ultimate objective being to identify your property’s “highest and best use(s).” The majority view is that the value is to consider all available uses.  Generally, there is a presumption that the existing use is the highest and best use.  However, highest and best use value contemplates not only the use to which the property is presently devoted, but also that use to which it may be readily converted.  For example, property may have several available highest and best uses and purposes. Consideration, therefore, must be given to the fair market value of each of these uses and purposes.

Highest and Best Use is defined as the reasonably probable and legal use of vacant land or an improved property, that is physically possible, appropriately supported, financially feasible, and that results in the highest value.  In condemnation, a property owner must establish the four “highest and best use” factors.  They are:

  1. legal permissibility
  2. physical possibility,
  3. financial feasibility, and
  4. maximum productivity

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