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Basement Included In Square Footage?

Discussion in 'General Appraisal Discussion' started by Otis Key, Jun 19, 2004.

Is it typical for your market to include the square footage of a basement as Living Area?

  1. Never

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Always

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Walk-Outs Only

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  4. Tri/Split Levels Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Depends

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. Otis Key

    Otis Key Elite Member

    0
    May 15, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    Just thought it might be nice to see what other areas of the US, and world for our mates across the pond, think about this.
     
  2. Pamela Crowley (Florida)

    Pamela Crowley (Florida) Elite Member

    3
    Jan 13, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Retired Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Interesting poll. I've seen 4 basements here in 9 yrs. Nobody here knows how to handle them (except me :p ).
     
  3. Ryan Nyberg

    Ryan Nyberg Senior Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
    State:
    Washington
    My answer it depends. Waterfront properties most of the time, view properties depends, non view properties typicaly no. There is one county that I deal with that lumps all finished square footage into one line (Living Area) they do not seperate out basement square footage. Therfore, impossible in that county to separate out the comps basement square footage. I have a standard comment that for comparison purposes finished area is lumped into the GLA line and adjusted as such.
     
  4. CANative

    CANative Elite Member

    170
    Jun 18, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    What's a basement?

    I've only seen less than a handful of what you easterners and mid-westerners would call a basement. No, I would never include this area in GLA.

    I suppose what you call "Walk-Out" basements, I call "Daylight Basements." Usually built on a steeply slopping lot, area below house with one, sometimes two walls against grade. If there is interior access, full head clearance, heat, and adequate fenestration, I will include in GLA. Typical for my hilly area.
     
  5. Tony in Ohio

    Tony in Ohio Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Ohio
    Pamela- How? As an Indoor Pool? :rainfro:


    Actually, its interesting timing for this poll. Bi-Levels (split foyers) and Tri-levels in this area all have the lower levels considered GLA by the courthouses and by the market. I and pretty much everyone I know has been including the lower levels for at least the 10 years I have been doing them and I have only had one underwriter call on it.

    Until Thursday. It seems Fannie made this company buy back a loan so everybody is freaking out, so of course as soon as they see the lower level in SF they insist I rewrite it with just the upper level in SF.

    It was annoying but doable because I can get the individual floor size in most, but not all counties. Does not change the conclusions because I always use 3 similar style comps anyway (well, unless I need 1 differing style to bracket something like land or size).

    Interested to see if anyone else is experiencing this.
     
  6. Farm Gal

    Farm Gal Elite Member

    0
    Jan 14, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Nebraska
    We have a lot of 'uside down' houses which would have no kitchens baths or master bedrooms... if you count the below grade area as 'basement'... Local convention is to ignore guidelines and describe a house like the buyers woudl perceive it :flowers: that IS our assigned primary task Guidelines and common sense conflict on occasion.

    ...like some others, the county records sometimes lump them in to the point it is near impossible to sort out what is really where... :unsure:

    Ever hear of a 'Hillside Ranch? :blink: Creative hunh?

    While my sketch properly reflects the below grade areas as 'basement' I often lump the finished LIVING area into one of the adjacent basment lines or lower lines in a 2055, being careful to describe and select COMPARABLE comparables...

    its a form.
     
  7. Otis Key

    Otis Key Elite Member

    0
    May 15, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    Greg - only for you will we explain this - in your case it's a bomb shelter - oops - you're too young - okay - it's a hole in the ground surrounded by concrete where you crawl down to hide from the bullets that fly from the "drive by" occurences that your competitors are doing on your house. :rainfro: :rainfro: :rainfro: :rainfro:
     
  8. Dee Dee

    Dee Dee Elite Member

    1
    Jan 16, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Colorado
    Walk-outs only, and you'll be hard pressed to find MLS that doesn't show the walk-out basement as part of the GLA. The counties, on the other hand, break them out so I have to always look carefully at both MLS and public records to be sure I'm comparing apples to apples. It's a big pain in the butt, because the market doesn't give a hoot about ANSI standards, so there's always A LOT of explaining to do in the addendum.
     
  9. Lee in L.A.

    Lee in L.A. Elite Member

    96
    Jan 24, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Sounds like a When in Rome do as the Romans type thing.

    I've seen some of these, assuming finish is like the rest of the house, it's not a basement, it's a lower level. Probably with bedrooms downstairs from the main public rooms, instead of upstairs like in the flats. :D

    Now if the whole floor is below grade with windows near the ceiling, you might have a basement.

    Most of the basements in L.A. are the typical "California" basement. As in 10 x 10 or so, unfinished, space to put HVAC and water heater. Maybe some spiders. Construction that is not older than me is usually on a slab, except in the steep hills. And usually customs. The $1Mil new tract home areas like Calabasas and Porter Ranch do lots of grading, and build on slabs. Basement? We don't need no stinking basements! :lol:
     
  10. Tater Salad

    Tater Salad Member

    1
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Missouri
    I lied. I voted never, and I should have said it depends.

    Waterfront, where the bedrooms are above grade and the 'living area' is below grade with lake frontage -- this is the only case where I'd include it because around here, it's usually the only time the market treats it like true living area.

    It's different here in the midwest. You're expected to have a basement. Where else ya gonna go when the tornados come?
     
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