What Is Personal Property?


Such a simple question but yet it sounds so odd when you think about it. The words are more a concept than a question. It might be easier to ask what is property, or to take the concept farther, what can be property and what can’t be property? Can the earth be property? What about the air we breath or the oceans surrounding us? Perhaps a mountain can be property? What about a lake? Can a wild animal become property. Are there any limits to owning property? Let’s take a minute to separate some things out to allay any misconceptions about what we are taking about. 


The simplest definition for property is something that can be controlled or owned by someone. That would include nearly everything thing in the world. Land comes to mind first and that is defined as real-estate. Anything that is attached to the land such as buildings, flora, minerals and such are considered real-estate. The defining characteristic with real property is that it can’t be moved. That would leave most everything else then to be personal property. Personal property can also be broken down two ways, There are intangible personal property and tangible personal property. Intangible personal properties are things you can not necessarily see or put your hands on. These things are concepts like stocks, bonds, securities, copyrights, patents and trademarks . Tangible personal property would be anything else. Everything in your house that can be moved then would likely be personal property except things attached to the house that makes it function. Cabinets, plumbing and electrical systems are likely real estate. Your furniture, jewelry, art, cutlery, utensils, clothes, tools, electronics, lighting not attached to the house and likely the appliances to a certain extent. Another common name for personal property is chattel. 


There are times when things installed in a building are not thought of as part of the real estate. Maybe a furnace is part of the house but what about the refrigerator, freezer, dish washer and air conditioner? 


If you have a question feel free to contact an appraiser from our member page.  




What Does A Personal Property Appraiser Do?


Generally speaking an appraiser is an expert in one or more types of property who can determine a value that will satisfy some type of function. Let’s say you have an old painting and don’t know if is has any value. You can find an appraiser that is an expert in paintings who can many times find out what type of painting it is, who painted it, about when it was painted, where the common markets for paintings of this type are sold in and a range of how much money it might take to replace it, repair it, insure it, or have to sell it within a set period of time. Common types of appraiser specialties include art, gems and jewelry, household contents, collectibles, machinery and equipment, guns and weapons, automobiles and transportation, aircraft and on and on. 


If you have a question feel free to contact an appraiser from our member page. 




Why Would I Need A Personal Property Appraiser? 


You might need a Personal Property Appraiser to identify some possession you have. In that case they would just be telling you about the piece of property. You might also need someone to provide an opinion of value to be used for some function. Typical functions include possible sales, insurance coverage, insurance claim, marriage dissolution, Internal Revenue Service functions, bankruptcy proceedings and so on. The Personal Property Appraiser will provide an independent third party opinion of a value that you or your representatives can use for some legal function. 


If you have a question feel free to contact an appraiser from our member page. 



How Much Should It Cost For A Personal Property Appraiser?


That will depend on a lot of factors and the individual appraiser. Personal Property Appraisers generally charge by the hour or possibly by the job but may have other ways for handling the charge out on a job. What they are not allowed to do is charge based on a percentage of the property value. Costs should always be disclosed and discussed with the individual appraiser before starting a project. 


If you have a question feel free to contact an appraiser from our member page. 


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