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Detached vs. attached garage with living space above

Discussion in 'Ask an Appraiser' started by Pulpo, Dec 24, 2010.

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  1. Pulpo

    Pulpo New Member

    0
    Jan 23, 2008
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Texas
    Hello everyone,

    I am in the process of designing a new home and would like to learn more about how certain choices may affect the appraised value of the improvements.

    In my case, I would prefer a lower appraisal and its accompanying property taxes (and possibly insurance as well).

    Issue #1: Detached vs. attached garage with living space above


    I am in need of very large garage (30' x 40') to house two cars, a truck, and a workshop area.

    I would further like to have an office and guest quarters in the space created above by using a gambrel roof. If you can picture a stereotypical barn, you'll have a pretty good idea of what the garage will look like. The living space would be accessed by stars and a deck running up the back side of the garage.

    For reasons dealing with the ability to be licensed as a bed & breakfast, it may be advantageous to "attach" the garage to the main house (< 10' away from front corner of garage to back corner of the house ) by creating a covered breezeway.

    I understand there is some debate on whether this constitutes an attached garage in the appraisal world. I am currently led to believe that it would be viewed as "attached" by my municipality, which is a requirement for the bed & breakfast licensing; specifically, "all guest rooms must reside in the principal structure" in order to have a B&B in my residential neighborhood. I am only looking to have the one guest room as a possible short and/or long-term rental option.

    First, does anyone know with a fair amount certainty how a Texas appraisal district would view this hypothetical structure?

    Second, is there an affect on the appraisal of the living space if it were considered attached versus detached while being accessed from the outside in either case?

    Thank you very much for your time and assistance.
     
  2. TEL2002

    TEL2002 Elite Member

    2
    Jan 16, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Retired Appraiser
    State:
    Louisiana
    You are asking some very 'specific local' type questions. I would recommend you go visit the county department that is in charge of county assessments & property appraisals. What they say will be the bible, people in other counties and states probably do not have a clue as to what your county folks are going to do or how they operate.
     
  3. Pulpo

    Pulpo New Member

    0
    Jan 23, 2008
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Texas
    That is very good advice.

    I was under the assumption that all Texas appraisal districts were operating under the same appraisal manual but, even so, I will definitely need to check locally.

    Thank you for the reply!
     
  4. Terrel L. Shields

    Terrel L. Shields Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    241
    May 2, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Arkansas
    I would bet that the taxing district would treat a B & B as a "commercial" property and likely have a bias towards a higher valuation. A fee appraiser is unlikely to make an adjustment for the detached vs attached garage but would likely recognize a difference in the Cost approach (detached normally higher price and a breezeway would not make it an "attached" garage from a cost approach standpoint.
     
  5. Pulpo

    Pulpo New Member

    0
    Jan 23, 2008
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Texas
    Thank you for the reply. Your take on the structure not being "attached" from a cost approach is useful information.

    Judging by other B&B properties on the appraisal district website, they do not seem to be categorized or treated as commercial and even retain their homestead exemption.

    Here is a link a recently built B&B: http://www.kimbermodern.com/index.php

    And here is a link to their property detail: http://www.traviscad.org/travisdetail.php?theKey=445650

    Another older B&B: http://www.theadamshouse.com/

    And their property detail: http://www.traviscad.org/travisdetail.php?theKey=215911

    Both of these examples have five guest rooms while I would have one.
     
  6. TEL2002

    TEL2002 Elite Member

    2
    Jan 16, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Retired Appraiser
    State:
    Louisiana
    Pulpo, it is like asking the IRS a heavy duty tax question. The answer you get will depend upon the person you talk with. Every county assessor is different...so talk to the people that will actually be making the decisions.
     
  7. Restrain

    Restrain Elite Member

    11
    Jan 22, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Don't worry about the Appraisal District. You can always argue value (i.e., income, etc) when the assessment comes down. You HAVE to comply with your city's P&Z rules. That's who you need to talk to and who you have to make happy if you're running a B&B. Get their regs and decide if you want to pursue your project. Sometimes the hoops are such that you have to move. Also, I hope you have your financing lined up because financing one of these can be a real PITA.
     
  8. Webbed Feet

    Webbed Feet Elite Member

    20
    Feb 11, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    Generally, you are barking up the wrong tree here. This is mostly a forum of independent fee appraisers, not publically employed tax assessor staff. While you are using the word "appraisal" in posting, and yes Texas does call them "Appraisal Districts," what most of us do and what you are asking about are vastly two different things.

    Most all of us on the forum do real estate appraisals for mortage purposes for lenders, estates, divorces, etc. We do not do tax assessments for public taxing agencies. What you are asking about involves local codes and regulations for taxing, not real estate appraising as we do for who we do it for.
     
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