businesses. If substantially all of the fair value of the gross assets acquired (or disposed of) is concentrated in a single asset or a group of similar identifiable asset(s), then the transaction is considered to be an asset acquisition (or disposition). As a result of this standard, the Company anticipates the majority of its hotel purchases will be considered asset acquisitions as opposed to business combinations, although the determination will be made on a transaction-by-transaction basis. Transaction costs associated with asset acquisitions will be capitalized rather than expensed as incurred. The Company adopted this guidance on January 1, 2018 on a prospective basis.
The Company’s investments in hotel properties are carried at cost and are depreciated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of 15 years for land improvements, 15 years for building improvements, 40 years for buildings, and three to five years for FF&E. Maintenance and repairs are expensed and major renewals or improvements to the hotel properties are capitalized. Indirect project costs, including interest, salaries and benefits, travel and other related costs that are directly attributable to the development, are also capitalized. Upon the sale or disposition of a hotel property, the asset and related accumulated depreciation accounts are removed and the related gain or loss is included in the gain or loss on sale of hotel properties in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income. A sale or disposition of a hotel property that represents a strategic shift that has or will have a major effect on the Company's operations and financial results is presented as discontinued operations in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income.
In accordance with the guidance on impairment or disposal of long-lived assets, the Company does not consider the "held for sale" classification on the consolidated balance sheet until it is expected to qualify for recognition as a completed sale within one year and the other requisite criteria for such classification have been met. The Company does not depreciate assets so long as they are classified as held for sale. Upon designation as held for sale and quarterly thereafter, the Company reviews the realizability of the carrying value, less costs to sell, in accordance with the guidance. Any such adjustment to the carrying value is recorded as an impairment loss.
The Company assesses the carrying value of its investments in hotel properties whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amounts may not be recoverable. The recoverability is measured by comparing the carrying amount to the estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected to be generated from the operations and the eventual disposition of the hotel properties over the estimated hold period, which take into account current market conditions and the Company’s intent with respect to holding or disposing of the hotel properties. If the Company’s analysis indicates that the carrying value is not recoverable on an undiscounted cash flow basis, the Company will recognize an impairment loss for the amount by which the carrying value exceeds the fair value. The fair value is determined through various valuation techniques, including internally developed discounted cash flow models, comparable market transactions, third-party appraisals, the net sales proceeds from pending offers, or the net sales proceeds from transactions that closed subsequent to the end of the reporting period. The use of projected future cash flows is based on assumptions that are consistent with a market participant’s future expectations for the travel industry and the economy in general, including discount rates, terminal capitalization rates, average daily rates, occupancy rates, operating expenses and capital expenditures, and the Company's intent with respect to holding or disposing of the underlying hotel properties.
Sale of Real Estate
ASU 2014-09 also applied to the sale of real estate, for which the new principles-based approach is largely based on the transfer of control of the real estate to the buyer. In February 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-05, Other Income - Gains and Losses from the Derecognition of Nonfinancial Assets (Subtopic 610-20): Clarifying the Scope of Asset Derecognition Guidance and Accounting for Partial Sales of Nonfinancial Assets. This guidance clarifies that ASC 610-20 applies to the derecognition of nonfinancial assets, including real estate, and in substance nonfinancial assets, which are defined as assets or a group of assets for which substantially all of the fair value consists of nonfinancial assets and the group or subsidiary is not a business. As a result of this guidance, sales and partial sales of real estate assets are accounted for similar to all other sales of nonfinancial and in substance nonfinancial assets. The Company adopted this guidance on January 1, 2018 using the modified retrospective transition method. Based on the Company's assessment, the adoption of this guidance did not have an impact on the Company's consolidated financial statements.
Investment in Unconsolidated Joint Ventures
If the Company determines that it does not have a controlling financial interest in a joint venture, either through a controlling financial interest in a variable interest entity or through the Company's voting interest in a voting interest entity, but the Company exercises significant influence over the operating and financial policies of the joint venture, the Company accounts for the joint venture using the equity method of accounting. Under the equity method of accounting, the Company's investment is adjusted each reporting period to recognize the Company's share of the net earnings or losses of the joint venture, plus any contributions to the joint venture, less any distributions received from the joint venture and any adjustment for