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Measuring

Discussion in 'General Appraisal Discussion' started by vargasteve, Nov 30, 2003.

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  1. vargasteve

    vargasteve Junior Member

    0
    Jan 21, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I've reviewed the ANSI standard in some detail, it’s really a GREAT resource and quite comprehensive. It seems like there might be some potential area's not covered for example;

    1) A 25 X 40 home with a nominal 2x2 (H20 heater) area with outside only access through small door. Typically these area's are reported as sq/ft. (it’s just a gray area)

    2) Similar utility areas that are within the 'footprint' of the home, however that are larger say 4 X 6, also with no internal access but within the footprint of the home (concrete foundation)

    3) Utility areas within the 'footprint' of the home but with garage only access to the area through utility doors.

    There are others, however they are harder to explain... and have to do with custom homes with design touches & 'non useful' but good looking touches to what is normally the front or street elevation.

    Is there a more comprehensive explanation of these standards, or an alternative standard?
     
  2. Richard Carlsen

    Richard Carlsen Elite Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Michigan
    One of the bad points of the ANSI standards is that it measures everything on the outside including the exterior chimneys and counts it as living space.

    Quite frankly, measuring on the outside is a more standardized way of coming up with the sq footage but IMNSHO, it must be tempered with a small dose of reality. Your exterior water heater appendage is certainly not "living space" as well as the 2 x 6 foot brick chimney attached to the side of a house.

    In doing my measurements, I disregard the chimneys and any space within the house that must be accessed from the outside or the garage, especially if they are nothing more than storage spaces. This is not IAW the ANSI standards but a very good argument can be made that the inside of a chimney is not really "living space".

    Do these omissions make a difference? Very little. If there is a FP, it is noted in the sales grid and in the cost approach. It does not have to be included in the sq footage where it will be adjusted for comparing it to say a kitchen or a bath. Besides, on a 1400 SF house, a 12 SF chimney is less than 1/2 of 1% of the total area. In the case of your external water heater area, on a 1000 SF house, we are talking again, less than 1/2 of 1%. Or to put it another way, on a $50,000 house that area has contributory value of $200.

    I don't know about you but I cannot measure down to $200 on contributory value on a $50,000.

    I say keep it simple and relevant to real living space only. And don't worry, the ANSI police won't ever find you out.
     
  3. Chris Colston

    Chris Colston Elite Member

    0
    Jul 24, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    If it can not be accessed from inside the house it's not considered "living area". Although we measure for GBA (gross building area) by measuring the outside, we report GLA (gross living area). I don't believe any homeowner or borrower will question the living area square footage if you leave out hot water heater additions or utility rooms accessed only from the garage. In fact there are some utility areas that can be accesed from inside the house (usually behind the garage with a door from the kitchen) but are not finished to the same degree as the house (no A/C, concrete floor, etc) that I do not include as living area. These are quite common here in Florida where you do not have to be concerned about heating the water lines to avoid freezing.

    The tax assessors don't give these areas credit as living area, why should I?

    Living area takes on other elements besides size, there is also function and utility of the area that has to be considered.
     
  4. Mike Garrett RAA

    Mike Garrett RAA Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    56
    Jan 14, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Colorado
    Common sense....just use common sense. ANSI says to measure the nearest 1/10th of an inch. Not me! Just remember, those standards apply to lots of things besides appraisal.

    I would leave the 2 x 2 in the measurement...what's 4 feet? I also don't include the chimney box for the fireplace and neither does my assessor.
     
  5. Tim Hicks (Texas)

    Tim Hicks (Texas) Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    72
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Texas
    Mike,

    "Thus Sayth the old guy" will be poor defense if called in front of the Colorado Appraisal Board. I don't know about your state, but here in TX we have had rulings against appraisers that required ANSI classes, USPAP classes, sanctions for not summarizing highest and best use, etc. Much like everything else in our profession you have to learn to make changes in the way you operate. I make sure I summarize "highest and best use" in every appraisal report now, just so I know that any appraisal reviewed by my board will not have "another log to throw on the fire".

    My point: Review the enforcement actions of the Colorado appraisal board and see if they have adopted the ANSI standard for your state. I have noticed that there is a "domino effect" across the nation and once one state adopts a rule many other states jump on board. I would check back every few months, just to keep an eye on what is being enforced in your state.

    Of course, you could bite the bullet and start using the ANSI standard before it is required, but you do what you want. Were you one of the last to be EDI ready? I was capable of sending my reports through e-mail about two years before any lenders wanted to do it. That is just one of the many examples of how we have had to adapt to changes in the past few years. I started using the 1004C two months before it was required because I have adopted the "stay ahead of the crowd" attitude and Alamode has always offered the opportunity to do so.

    This is just some food for thought for you personally. I find it hard to believe that you have to be "made" to change every time we have a ripple in our profession.
     
  6. Don Clark

    Don Clark Elite Member

    46
    Jan 17, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Virginia
    B) Tim,

    Most states do not require that you follow the ANSI standard, including my own state of Virginia and also North Carolina where I am certified as well.

    "Local custom & practice" is still the standard for most states. I do not know you personally, and I know only a few who post on this forum personally. However, quips like you have made regarding the last one to go EDI, etc, are not appreciated and takes the discussion to a personal level rather than a professional one.

    Don
     
  7. Alan Simmons

    Alan Simmons Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Alabama
    My ONLY concern with the ANSI Standards is how can something claim to be a standard if it is not commonly accepted as such (Beta-max claimed to be the standard)? In several industries groups get together and establish standards (mostly in an effort to gain market advantage). However this does not invalidate the use of proprietary standards (VHS).

    It is my personal opinion that appraisers should NOT use anything that is not already present in the market. Therefore if ANIS Standards are not the recognized (agents, builders, et al) norm then appraiser should not just impose these standards on the market.

    Besides is there any independent empirical data to demonstrate that the use of ANSI Standards produce better appraisals? I am VERY confident that I can easily demonstrate that only using ANSI Standards can produce misleading results.

    On the other hand, in cases where I can not find a prevailing local market norm, I do run for the cover of ANSI Standards.

    P.S. I only started EDIing report three months ago. I had the capability and know how back in the 1980s.
     
  8. Tim Hicks (Texas)

    Tim Hicks (Texas) Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    72
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Texas
    Don, your point is well taken and you are quite right. My apologies to Mike on that front. It was not my intentions. I was trying to convey my reasons and it came across on a personal level that I did not realize when I typed it. I tried to correlate it with the many appraisers that were resisting EDI, but were forced to do so to stay competitive. I was simply trying to illustrate how changes are forced upon us in this industry. I knew nothing about the ANSI standard and really did not care to know until I saw enforcement actions by our state board against appraisers and heard about other states requiring it also. I really don't know how many states require it besides mine. Keep watching, Don because I did not think it would matter here either. I also apologize to you for raising your dander enough to point out my brash comment. As you probably know, it is not the first time I have made comments that were taken and/or given wrong.

    Sorry Mike, I didn't intend for my quip to be taken on a personal level. I was taken aback by your "not me" comment. Many people read this forum and I didn't think you meant people to believe that you would not follow the ANSI standard if your state required you to do so. I don't know you personally, but I believe you would do it if you had to.
     
  9. Richard Carlsen

    Richard Carlsen Elite Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Michigan
    A fairly good argument could be made that my market would not view a 2 x 2 appendage containing a water heater, accessed only from the outside or the brick and stone of the exterior of a fireplace as "living space". What is common with other appraisers in the market? Hell, most of them never heard of the ANSI standards so what kind of benchmark is that?

    Do what you think is best but be consistent from report to report and you will be hard to fault.
     
  10. Tim Hicks (Texas)

    Tim Hicks (Texas) Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    72
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Texas
    Actually, I agree what is typical for the area should be the standard. However, my state (and others I hear) have adopted using the ANSI standards for enforcement actions. The appraisers that were caught falsely measuring homes were not using local standards either, but the state needed some standard to require enforcement actions. They were forced to adopt the ANSI standards so they could require the proper sanctions (USPAP classes, ANSI classes, fines, etc).
     
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