Posted by: TerraSaver | July 22, 2017


There are several factors that can go into appraising real estate.  Among these factors are comparable sales, reproduction costs, income and/or expense of operation.  For a property in Sonoma County, and the State of California in general – an important issue is that a new pond or small lake, can in many cases, not be constructed.  There are ways of determining the cost of constructing a dam, excavating the holding area, doing environmental studies, managing the pond once completed – getting a permit is however a much more difficult if not impossible process usually involving several government agencies at Federal, State and County level.  An existing pond is extremely valuable.

A pond can add significant value to a property, not only for use in irrigation but even a potable water source when a purification system is installed.  Wildlife habitat, recreation uses and a views can add to the quality of life on a property.  To the owner who appreciates these subjective factors the value cannot really be calculated.  You can compare the sale prices of properties with or without ponds but ponds are seldom alike unless they were constructed to be used purely for agricultural.  In many cases a pond is like a piece of very unique art.

Another important factor in valuing a pond is whether an existing pond is in compliance regarding the permit for construction (even if that is years in the past) and whether reports required for using the water in the pond have been submitted and are up to date.  The State of California has made a real effort over the last decade to search out ponds that are not in compliance.  It is best to make that an important part of a buyer’s property inspections – or disclosures if you are a seller.  You can obtain information on State water records at  At this link go to “eWRMIS Database System” for additional information.  Many of the properties we manage or are involved in the sale of have ponds and lakes.  Please feel free to contact us for help with either the purchase of property with ponds or companies which maintain ponds.  e-mail 



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