We appraised this Littleton church in December. This is the second time Decker has been contracted to appraise this 100,000 s.f. religious work of art. We were brought in because the lender wanted to monitor the loan to make sure the loan to value ratio was stable. Between 2008 and 2012 real estate values had dropped significantly. The lender wanted to make sure the value of the church had not dropped at the rates of other real estate.
This religious center was constructed in phases over 6 years. It includes a massive sanctuary that seats 1,500-2,000 people. Other special features include a handcrafted library with intricate woodwork, which had been donated by members of the church, as well as a beautifully sculpted prayer garden, all which sits on 16.5 acres.
Decker Associates completed a valuation at the end of this last year on a 10,000 s.f. Hindu temple. Built in 2011, it is one of 5 Hindu temples in the United States. Others stand in Manhattan, Chicago, Tampa and Los Angeles.
The property had many architectural features unique to a Hindu temple that are not typically found in other religious facilities, the most unique being a pole that is constructed to go through the entire building. It is a religious representation of the connection between earth and sky. Other features, typically not found in other religious facilities across the United States, included showers and dryers for your feet, as visitors are required to remove their shoes upon entering a Hindu temple. Indian artisans were brought in from India to construct these elaborate architectural features.
In the general real estate market, these needed features are unique to the Hindu religion. Sales comparisons of other religious facilities do not indicate the same special features that this temple does. We had to make an adjustment for super adequacy, because the invested amount could never be reflected in the appraised value. No buyer with a different intended use would justify paying a price that covers these costs.