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GLA or Basement ?

Discussion in 'General Appraisal Discussion' started by TJSum, Aug 1, 2009.

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  1. TJSum

    TJSum Elite Member

    16
    Nov 12, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Maryland
    Subject property is a contemporary with a strong sloping lot to the front. It has three total levels. The top two levels are above grade. The level in question is the lowest level.

    The front third section of the lowest level is all above grade and is the entry foyer to the upper two levels with the same grade of interior finish.

    The rear third section of the lowest level is totally below grade with a wine cellar and utility area.

    The middle third is open to the ground, no basement or crawl space, it is just open, with no connection between the front and rear sections of this level. See attached photos.

    It seems the utility of the home would call for the front 1/3 of the lowest level to be counted as GLA, with the back third of the lowest level being a partial basement. Would this comply with GLA standards, even though they are the same level, there is no connection between the two sections, and the front section is totally above grade with the rear section being totally underground?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Elite Member

    352
    Sep 28, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    the front 1/3 of the lowest level to be counted as GLA

    Yup.
     
  3. PropertyEconomics

    PropertyEconomics Elite Member

    1
    Jun 19, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    The correct answer is .... its GLA if your market says its GLA.
     
  4. leelansford

    leelansford Elite Member

    45
    Mar 29, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    Nothing has a definition that we can rely upon.

    Words mean nothing.

    If you ascribe to the above, then include the basement area in GLA.
     
  5. TJSum

    TJSum Elite Member

    16
    Nov 12, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Maryland

    That is the problem, this is a custom built, one of a kind oddball. The only thing the market is saying is WTF is this?

    The tax records have the entire lower level as GLA, and they also include the middle section which is not there... :shrug:
     
  6. leelansford

    leelansford Elite Member

    45
    Mar 29, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois


    First, if you're communicating the appraisal via a Fannie form, read the directive on page 1 of the form as what is (and what, therefore, is not) GLA. If you read this directive, you will see that the basement area is not GLA.

    Second, the walkout section of the basement may have contribution to market value the same--or, more or less--as GLA. But, one thing is certain, the finished area of the walkout basement is not GLA.
     
  7. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Elite Member

    352
    Sep 28, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    TJ - besides the main entry to the house - what else is in the 1/3 front section? Cliffside 1.5 Story Contemporary Home design, with partial unfinished (rear section below grade) and or a crawl where your partial, unfinished utility / wine cellar is located, very similar to yours is very common along the Hudson River and also prevalent in the mountainous rural sections of the Valley. Usually Entrance foyer, half bath, family room. Do you have side views and a rear shot of the front section? Does the upper rear of the house front to another access road or is the front 1/3 of the lower level with foyer the ONLY main entry into the house? What search parameters did you use to identify similar Contemp actives, contracts and sales? Suburban or Rural Market?
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  8. Doug DeMars

    Doug DeMars Senior Member

    2
    Mar 20, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    This kind of stuff is all over the Bay Area. I need to be especially careful on what the RE agent reports GLA vs. Tax Records. In the Berkeley & Oakland Hills, this type of constuction is very common.

    You really need to use the "duck test". If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck...then it must be a duck. If buyers & sellers in the area customarily count these areas as GLA, then narrate this "departure" in your report to CYA. Lean on the tax records as back-up if it matches your measurements. Other appraisers in the area should be able to verify this as typical practice. If this situation is very atypical, diminish the value of the questionable GLA as excess to normal market reaction. Find something to offset it or conservatively give no additional value the area.
     
  9. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Elite Member

    352
    Sep 28, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    Doug: "Find something to offset it or conservatively give no additional:Eyecrazy: value the area".

    value in GLA, OR value it as a finished partial basement.

    :unsure:"No value"?????????
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  10. TJSum

    TJSum Elite Member

    16
    Nov 12, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Maryland
    Side pictures do not show much as both sides are wooded with plenty of ground cover vegetation.

    The thing that make this one unique is that the front and rear lower level sections are not connected, no access between them. There is a front and rear staircase leading to each one from the middle level. There is a large open area between the front and rear sections (see photo). The front section is totally above grade on all four sides and has similar interior finish as the rest of the home. Let us say the rear section did not exist, then this would be GLA for sure. The rear section is all below grade and looks like a cellar with only a wine cellar and utility area. If the two sections were joined to make one complete level, it would be a basement level for sure, but having the front and rear totally separated from each other with a vast functional utility difference, I am thinking the front should be GLA and the rear basement. :shrug:

    There are some other contemporarys several miles to the south or west, but none have this unique floor plan. We are only talking a difference of 140 sf for this lower front section, so it really won't make much difference on value, but just want to do it correctly. It sounds like most are voting for it to be basement, which is okay, that is why I asked. :new_all_coholic:
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
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