This excerpt taken from the EQR 8-K filed Dec 15, 2008.
The Companys mergers and acquisitions were accounted for as purchases in accordance with either Accounting Principles Board (APB) Opinion No. 16, Business Combinations, or SFAS No. 141, Business Combinations. SFAS No. 141 requires all business combinations initiated after June 30, 2001 be accounted for under the purchase method of accounting. The fair value of the consideration given by the Company in the mergers were used as the valuation basis for each of the combinations. The accompanying consolidated statements of operations and cash flows include the results of the properties purchased through the mergers and through acquisitions from their respective closing dates.
Real Estate Assets and Depreciation of Investment in Real Estate
The Company allocates the purchase price of properties to net tangible and identified intangible assets acquired based on their fair values in accordance with the provisions of SFAS No. 141. In making estimates of fair values for purposes of allocating purchase price, the Company utilizes a number of sources, including independent appraisals that may be obtained in connection with the acquisition or financing of the respective property, our own analysis of recently acquired and existing comparable properties in our portfolio, and other market data. The Company also considers information obtained about each property as a result of its pre-acquisition due diligence, marketing and leasing activities in estimating the fair value of the tangible and intangible assets acquired. The Company allocates the purchase price of acquired real estate to various components as follows:
Replacements inside a unit such as appliances and carpeting are depreciated over a five-year estimated useful life. Expenditures for ordinary maintenance and repairs are expensed to operations as incurred and significant renovations and improvements that improve and/or extend the useful life of the asset are capitalized over their estimated useful life, generally five to ten years. Initial direct leasing costs are expensed as incurred as such expense approximates the deferral and amortization of initial direct leasing costs over the lease terms. Property sales or dispositions are recorded when title transfers to unrelated third parties, contingencies have been removed and sufficient cash consideration has been received by the Company. Upon disposition, the related costs and accumulated depreciation are removed from the respective accounts. Any gain or loss on sale is recognized in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.
The Company classifies real estate assets as real estate held for disposition when it is certain a property will be disposed of in accordance with SFAS No. 144 (see further discussion below).
The Company classifies properties under development and/or expansion and properties in the lease up phase (including land) as construction in progress until construction has been completed and all certificates of