In general, religious facilities tend to operate on a local basis. Other than a mega-facility, most religious facilities draw members from a very localized market. As a particular neighborhood evolves, the likely users of a given facility generally will be consistent with the neighborhood. Individuals typically practice their religion near their home and with individuals whose beliefs, socioeconomic standards, and values are similar. Thus, trends in an area tend to influence the valuation of partaker facility. In general, there are four basic groups that tend to exist geographically as follows: (1) Baptists in the South; (2) Lutherans in the upper Midwest farm belt; (3) Roman Catholics in the Northeast; and (4) Mormons in Utah and other Rocky Mountain states.
Because many religious facilities fulfill more than just worship service function, peripheral areas and activities are expanding. Many of the following features may be found in religious facilities today. In some properties, only a few of these items will be present:
Sanctuary, chapel, narthex, baptistry, mikba, belltower, meeting rooms, administrative office, choir room, quiet room, cry rooms, library, classrooms, kitchen, gym, theater, concert hall, community center, media room, bookstore, restaurant, daycare center, nursing home, family life center, outreach facilities, field activities, parking garage, amusement park, game room, dance hall, rectory, parsonage.
Facilities are generally consistent with the desires and beliefs of the group proposing the facility. Religious groups that profess to live the simple life tend to gravitate to more traditional architecture. Others that are progressive or consider themselves modern, tend toward a more contemporary look. After analyzing the religious facility and its area/neighborhood influences, an appraiser must be certain that the highest and best use is a religious facility, and after determining this, then the three traditional approaches to value (including Cost, Sales Comparison, and Income Approach) are applied. Finally, a reconciliation of these values is arrived at for a conclusion of the market value.