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New definition of gla

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by homesweethome, May 4, 2012.

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  1. residentialguy

    residentialguy Elite Member

    115
    Mar 24, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Minnesota
    Again, I'm not advocating for OP to count the open space as GLA...I'm just trying open minds at different angles, however unorthodox they may be. I think this helps an appraiser choose the correct comps and strengthen their appraisal to possible opposition. See and understand where they are coming from and take proactive steps to douse that fire before it gets a chance to flame you.
     
  2. Sarge

    Sarge Sophomore Member

    0
    Sep 10, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Texas
    The OP was asking about a situation regarding a condo. I know this is only the typical of ownership (as you can have a detached single family condo) however, most condos in the Dallas Metroplex are in highrise developments or attached "townhome" designs. My understanding of ANSI is that it is for single family residences (which I interpret as single family detached)I typically measure high rise condos slightly differently. For example, I don't measure to the exterior of the wall on a high rise as that would put the measurement in the inside of a different unit. A few agents in the area include patios, balconies, and common elevators which presents a problem. I haven't seen one where an agent has included open area and certainly would not include it in my GLA.
     
  3. residentialguy

    residentialguy Elite Member

    115
    Mar 24, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Minnesota
    ANSI does talk about attached units. For attached properties such as townhouses, ANSI states, "The finished square footage of each level is the sum of the finished areas on that level measured at floor level to the exterior finished surfaces of the outside wall or from the centerlines between houses, where appropriate." However, there is a difference between ownership from a townhome and a condo. A condominium unit is defined as “The absolute ownership of a unit in a multi-unit building based on a legal description of the airspace the unit actually occupies, plus an undivided interest in the ownership of the common elements, which are jointly owned with the other condominium unit owners.” As the owner of a condominium unit only owns the airspace that the unit occupies you do not include any of the exterior walls in your measurement. A townhome owner shares the common wall.

    If you opt to go this ANSI detached unit route of measuring from the centerline of the walls between the units, you would end up with more SF. If, for example, the outside wall is 12 inches thick, that would add half a foot in one dimension used in calculating the area.
    The basic formula for SF is to multiply length x width (duh). Thus, a condo that is 24 x 40 contains 960 square feet. However, if you add the six inches , you get 992 sf... but no more usable space in that unit.

    The developer can get into trouble by adding this additional sf to his listings. The condo's Declaration spells out what constitutes the Unit and misrepresenting the unit area may be violating the state's condominium act.

    It used to be more common to measure mid-wall to mid-wall, however, it seem to have shifted to paint to paint of the interior walls.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Sophomore Member

    0
    Sep 10, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Texas
    Correct. I was only trying to explain the difference with a SFR and a typical condo unit such as a high rise...not a townhome. I may have not explained myself properly as I was in the process of watching my beloved Mavs get swept. m2:
     
  5. residentialguy

    residentialguy Elite Member

    115
    Mar 24, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Minnesota
    I wanted to make sure that ANSI's determination of attached townhomes were included in this discussion. I wasn't trying to say you were wrong...it was just an embellishment to your post.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  6. incognito

    incognito Senior Member

    0
    Jul 14, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Being that condominium ownership is basically "Air rights ownership", a cubic foot adjustment category in the sales grid could be appropriate. But to change the actual living area from what it really is, would be inappropriate. In my market, units, even within the same building, can have 8' to 10' ceilings. The more volume a unit takes up, the higher it generally sells for (and the fewer units the developer can generally build!). But as was previously mentioned, I think design and appeal would be the best way to address volume differences...
     
  7. vahokie

    vahokie New Member

    0
    Dec 13, 2010
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Virginia
    I'm having an ongoing fight with an UW about this as we speak; in my case, she's saying even the stairwell needs to be subtracted out despite the fact that I as the professional and the inspector have told her and the report reflects that it's NOT a two story foyer.

    But to expand on the issue, tell me if I'm wrong, but consider this: we might say that area should be subtracted out of gla, and based on the comments here that could be negotiated, but the comp data, mls information, will most probably reflect that area as gla (as realtors are typically doing the calculations); therefore the data against which you are comparing your subject considers it in the gla totals.

    Shouldn't that be accounted for?

    In addition, I used to work as an appraiser for an assessment office, and even those appraisers sometimes did not subtract those areas out of total gla, so the data used should be consistent. I would be in most of my coverage areas, gla of 2 story portions are not subtracted out as it makes the house bigger in the agents' eyes.

    It's correct (in most cases) to subtract it out of gla, but what about consistency?

    Thanks
     
  8. Calvin the Airedale

    Calvin the Airedale Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    0
    Aug 17, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Ohio
    This is one of the details appraisers should be working out when researching and verifying comps. I routinely adjust public record sketches in my county to subtract out upper story foyer & great room dead space. Some surrounding counties are careful not to include it and that fact is reflected in their sketches.
     
  9. DMZwerg

    DMZwerg Senior Member

    0
    Mar 25, 2009
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Wisconsin
    OK, I agree with MichiganCG and the others who say that the area is NOT GLA but we are talking about a condo not a SFR or vacant land or such.

    In most areas when you purchase land you gain surface rights, air space, and mineral rights theoretically to the center of the earth. With a condo you are purchasing a specific cubic space somewhere that, if a building did not exist, could well be floating in mid-air, bundled with undivided interests in the common areas. Therefore the condo owner owns that open space whether there exists a floor there or not as part of their individually owned space.

    Therefore if dealing with units some of which have the space open and some which have solid floors I would think the analysis and adjustment could be three separate things: volume, floor area (GLA), and aesthetics/style. Volume is the equivalent of site size for a SFR; GLA maps directly between condos and SFRs; and then there is quality, style and functional utility which tend to also map at least fairly close to directly.

    So, I agree with the other posters and disagree with ResGuy as he stated it, but think it is a matter of him not quite taking his thought processes to their conclusion.

    That is the greatness of forums such as these, when something strikes us and we have trouble figuring all the variables and how to conceive and express them we can come here, post our thoughts up to that point, and in the feedback (both positive and negative) often find what may be the answer we are looking for ... just remember the hip waders and fire-proof suit! ;)

    :peace:
     
  10. Calvin the Airedale

    Calvin the Airedale Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    0
    Aug 17, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Ohio
    Don't the same volume considerations exist for fee simple as for condo ownership? I mean, volume is volume no matter the form of ownership. Who doing residential work measures for volume, other than to report the expanded ceiling heights on the first or second floors of more upscale housing? Isn't the ratio of volume to square footage not higher in homes with upper story dead space. Who in the business keeps tract of that metric and then compares cubic:sf ratios?
     
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