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What's the useful life of a Yurt?

A yurt is portable, fabric-covered, wood lattice-framed structure that incorporates the architectural principals of compression & tension to create a remarkably sturdy structure that uses minimal materials (according to Yurts of America). Taking into consideration the definition of a yurt, is this considered a 5-year useful life tangible fixed asset? I'm thinking so, because it isn't as sturdy as a typical housing/cabin which would be either a 39-year life, or a 27.5-year life (depending on whether it's commercial or residential). At what useful life would you depreciate a yurt?

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Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Consulting CFO and Business Operations A..
Company: Growth Accelerator
(Consulting CFO and Business Operations Advisor, Growth Accelerator) |

Chris,

Smiling at this one. I think 5 years is plenty, but I might drop it to 3, assuming it is actually a *portable* yurt, and is constantly in use. Wear and tear, sunlight / water damage on the fabrics....I think there is a reasonability argument for a short useful life (allowing that maint can make it last forever). Take as a comparison your average pop-up shelter. In the California sun they last a year, tops, and if a windstorm hits, far less. They aren't designed to last 39 years.

The flip side is that we have a bunch of Yurts here that are *totally* not your old Mongolian yurt. Wood floors, electricity, etc. They are houses called yurts, and while they look like the portable thing, they aren't. I'd give them the 39 year life.

So, which one are you talking about?

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Keith - Although I haven't seen the materials, I do think the yurts that are being ordered will have wood floors, electricity, etc. The area of the States they will be located in is in the mountains of western North Carolina, which can get harsh winter storms. The weather is different there than in California, but I think the ice, snow, and wind will have a similar effect.

The fabric of the yurt is what concerns me most about putting it at 39 years.

Based on the interior of the yurt, I think your observation of 39 years is more feasible, just not desirable for our depreciation purposes.

Anonymous
(Tax & Regulatory Consultant) |

The "yurts" at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, IN, near the IU campus are cabins in the woods w/ wood floors, plumbing, heating & cooling, electrical, etc. They are simply constructed to resemble a traditional Mongolian yurt used by nomads. it sounds like what they are ordering for NC. Here's a link: http://tmbcc.org - click on the "Rentals / Cottages" link.

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