Valuation: Advice From John Ruskin

In Victorian times – still good today! The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is the predominant global authority in the field of property (real estate) Valuation. The Institution has from time to time sponsored eminent working parties and assembled committees of accredited professionals to publish or revise definitions of “Market Value”. The distinctions between price, value and cost fill many pages of discussion and are a continuing topic of conversation. Here is what John Ruskin, the noted Victorian commentator contributed to the on-going debate more than a Century ago:

“It is unwise to pay too much, but worse to pay too little; when you pay too much, you lose a little money, that’s all.

When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the things it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper; the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey”.

On a continuing basis we investigate values in our region, extending from Dorset to Sussex, including Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The New Forest, Southampton and Portsmouth are within a 35 mile radius of our office.

Our contribution to the continuous valuation debate is to rely heavily upon good comparable market evidence, but never to take anything at face value, always look behind the “evidence”.