HOLLIDAYSBURG - Blair County commissioners will pay $3,500 for an appraisal of Valley View Home and surrounding grounds to meet a requirement in the County Code that the appraisal could also be used to calculate future real estate taxes.
Commissioners agreed Tuesday to hire local real estate agent Richard Johnston to prepare the appraisal. They also will have Chief Tax Assessor Michael Baldner prepare an appraisal.
Valley View is currently up for sale through the Chicago firm of Marcus & Millichap, which is accepting responses from interested entities that are responding to a request for proposals.
The interest so far has exceeded Marcus & Millichap's expectations, Commissioner Chairman Terry Tomassetti said. The deadline for responses is Feb. 1, with a sales agreement subject to negotiation.
To comply with the County Code's provisions for selling property, counties are required to secure two appraisals that are typically used to evaluate pending offers.
While Marcus & Millichap previously estimated that Valley View Home could sell for $13.5 million, and set a minimum bid of $11.25 million, those figures reflected the home's operations and the property, solicitor Nathan Karn said.
Marcus & Millichap looked at the entity "as a whole package," Karn said.
When the county appraises properties or seeks an appraisal, it assigns a value to the land and to the improvements, two factors listed on real estate tax bills and used in calculating real estate taxes.
When developing the request for proposals, commissioners agreed that if a not-for-profit organization buys the home, it should be agreeable to paying county real estate taxes for a 10-year period.