California License #AG004153


This upcoming summer will be Scott’s 25th anniversary of appraising commercial properties in Butte County. The firm concentrates on both public sector eminent domain assignments, litigation appraisals and mortgage lending work. Public sector clients include the County of Butte, City of Chico, CSU Chico, City of Orland, County of Glenn, City of Redding, Yuba Community College, Enloe Hospital, Chico Unified School District, and State of California – Caltrans. Subdivisions are included within the commercial appraisal category.

Scott S. Hamm, MAI has been appraising real estate since March 1985. He worked as an independent real estate appraiser for A. George Zengel, MAI from February 1986 to June 1990. Mr. Zengel’s practice involved a significant amount of eminent domain work and this is where Scott was first exposed to working on eminent domain appraisal assignments.

In 1991, Scott obtained the prestigious MAI designation while working at Sacramento Savings Bank on large residential and commercial appraisal assignments. In 1994, Scott opened his own real estate and appraisal consulting firm. Since that time, he has been specializing in projects within Butte, Glenn, Sutter, Yuba, and Shasta Counties, primarily the cities of Chico, Oroville, Paradise, Redding, Orland, Marysville, and Yuba City.

A significant portion of his appraisal practice focuses on condemnation and eminent domain work. This includes the valuation of all types of easements including those for right-of-way, utilities, temporary construction, slope, etc. These valuation assignments are very technical and there are many errors that can be made that will result in an appraisal being deemed inadmissible in court or a just compensation conclusion being modified substantially. This is why it is critically important that an appraiser have the requisite experience and understanding of both appraisal theory and eminent domain law in California to handle these assignments properly. The evidence code and case law are specific as to what type of comparables can and cannot be used. Issues such as what types of damages are compensable and what does or does not constitute a benefit are also very important. State and Federal law also differ on how benefits are applied.

Scott focuses on a team approach involving engineers, attorneys and property owners to gain a thorough understanding of the appraisal assignment and related issues from the outset and then implements a pragmatic program for solving the assignment at hand in a timely and efficient manner.

Scott is also an expert in understanding and applying the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. These standards govern the work product of appraisers in California and nationally. Violations of these standards can result in the loss of an appraisal license and damage to an appraiser’s credibility on the witness stand. Often times it is important to review the opposing appraiser’s work product critically in light of these standards to show any areas of non-compliance.


Bachelor of Science, June 1985
Major: Business Administration
California State University, Fresno
Option: Real Estate and Urban Land Economics
Appraisal Institute 2010
Litigation Certificate of Completion

In 1994, Scott took and passed Course 401 – The Appraisal of Partial Acquisitions from the International Right of Way Association. This is an advanced course designed to teach the appraisal of special problems encountered in the valuation of partial acquisitions including how to determine the larger parcel, the valuation of the part taken and the remainder, how to identify and measure damages and special benefits and the proper estimation of just compensation.

During 2008, Scott took and passed The Appraiser As An Expert Witness: Preparation and Testimony course from the Appraisal Institute. In 2009, he took and passed the three-day Condemnation Appraising: Principles and Applications course published by the Appraisal Institute. Most recently in 2010, Scott completed and passed the Litigation Appraising: Specialized Applications and Topics course from the Appraisal Institute.

These three courses cover a body of knowledge in a specialty allowing participants to obtain educational competency in a property type or specialty area. Designated MAI’s who successfully complete a program will earn a Certificate of Completion and will be placed on the Certificate Registry located on the Appraisal Institute’s Web site. Scott has taken numerous other partial day seminars on eminent domain and litigation topics as part of his rigorous continuing education requirements necessary to maintain the MAI designation.