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Handicap Modifications

Discussion in 'Urgent - Help Needed' started by vsalvitti, Oct 31, 2011.

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  1. vsalvitti

    vsalvitti New Member

    0
    May 30, 2008
    Professional Status:
    Appraiser Trainee
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    AM evaluating a property where the the home across the street recently sold..same style, age, design, etc...except it had some handicap modifications..some in kitchen..lower shelving for microwave, third bath was handicap accessible..I am wondering if there should be any adjustment consideration given to the comparable with modifications as the typical buyer may not readily accept soem of the minor adjustments...the bath is a third bath, typicalyy the homes have 2.5..this has 3.5...it is a new kitchen and from the photos it appears the only modification is a lower microwave shelf. Doorways are wider..and lightswitches lower....There are no exterior modicfications for access as it is all GL entry....Anyone have experience with this
     
  2. VegasWayne

    VegasWayne Senior Member

    18
    Nov 15, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Nevada
    The correct term for these features is wheelchair accessible, never use the word handicapped in your report. The market determines whether or not these features merit an adjustment. In an age-restricted community there is more likely greater demand for wheelchair accessibility than in a breeder-block neighborhood. The extra bath would probably merit an adjustment but the special cabinets in the kitchen would likely limit the potential buyers to people that need the wheelchair accessibility. If it is a two-story the modifications may have little value as people in wheelchairs usually prefer not to have stairs.
     
  3. vsalvitti

    vsalvitti New Member

    0
    May 30, 2008
    Professional Status:
    Appraiser Trainee
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    I just spoke to listing agent and kitchen did not have lower shelvesmodifications were only to a rear Family room with it's own access and a very large wheelchair accessible shower was built in the room and it was used as a first floor bedroom...so this area was the only area that was significantly modified...wider doors on rest of first floor...I am trying to determine whether to make an adjustment because of this room with the wheelchair accessible bath...the rest of the house would still appeal to the typical buyer...do I make a postive adjustment to the comp for cost to change back to a room a buyer can better utilize?
     
  4. Michigan CG

    Michigan CG Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    568
    Nov 1, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Michigan
    And exactly where are you going to find justification for that adjustment?

    If you feel this is a negative factor to the comparable I would suggest addressing that in the Reconciliation of Value with qualitative analysis.

    Um, why not?
     
  5. PropertyEconomics

    PropertyEconomics Elite Member

    1
    Jun 19, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico

    The correct term is "Handicapped Accessible" .... it is used in all Section 504 Housing Laws, the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS), as well as ADA guidelines. Handicapped though is far more than just a wheelchair so one needs to be careful as to what they are describing and why. "Handicapped" is a protected class and how their accomodations are described can be legally important to the describer.

    Cabinets, if fully wheelchair accessible, will be at 34 inches vs the standard 36 inches, door ways and halls will be wider, light switches may be lower as well as the electrical panel, and grab bars may be installed in the bath along with special vanities, sinks, and potentially toilets. Ramps will typically provide for access to the outside with level landing areas at the exterior doorway.

    My guess is this home was modified and does not meet all the accessibility standards ... but thats just a guess. The additional costs of these items is surprisingly nominal over normal construction, however, to reconvert a fully accessible property may be more expensive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  6. Don Clark

    Don Clark Elite Member

    46
    Jan 17, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Virginia
    Very well stated PE. I have appraised and reviewed appraisals of homes that were either modified or built entirely as handicap accessible.

    Once had some one tell me I could not use the term "Walk in Closet"(I had put W/I on the sketch). They said it was a violation of the fair housing laws:rof:

    No problem sez I, what it means then is "Wheel In Closet. Buncha PC idiots in the world today.
     
  7. Restrain

    Restrain Elite Member

    86
    Jan 22, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    The lower switches are being advocated as it helps kids, shorter individuals, etc. The limited changes would, most likely, be a wash as opposed to a truly modified home. Without a paired sale (fuggetaboutit), I would comment, state that there is a lack of data to demonstrate either a positive or negative (unless you truly feel that something here is a negative and you haven't stated one), and move on.
     
  8. JTip

    JTip Senior Member

    255
    Oct 12, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    I had a call several years ago from a buyer saying they needed me to appraise their purchase. They wanted me to include the costs of the ramp, widening the interior doors, change bathrooms and lower all the light switches to the report. If I remember correctly, the costs neared 30% of the value of the house. They could not find an appraiser to do this for them :p I wonder why......

    Sounds like the op's assignment needs minimal changes. I think the light switches would be a minimal charge, half a day labor for an electrician to move them up. The homeowner could do the drywall patchwork. I have seen no market reaction to wider interior/exterior doors IMM.
     
  9. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Elite Member

    35
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Georgia
    The last time I had a wheel chair modified house for sale in 2009, it was a ranch with an elevator to the basement and full HC suite, it sold in 3 days with 5 bidders. These homes cost more to build, but the market is extremely limited and highly desirable. There's also usually some $$$ in grants, especially if they are an injured vet.
     
  10. PropertyEconomics

    PropertyEconomics Elite Member

    1
    Jun 19, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico

    Elevators are very expensive ... but with a new build, barring the elevator, the total additional cost is extremely modest.

    I have a friend that has been in a wheel chair since he was 18, he built a new 3,500 square foot house and the TOTAL additional costs to accomodate him including a roll in shower wider doors, grab bars, etc was $5,500 .... there are additional costs but they are very modest as part of new construction.
     
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