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What is above-grade square footage....

Discussion in 'Newbies/Appraiser WannaBe' started by Kelly Welcome, Apr 29, 2006.

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  1. Kelly Welcome

    Kelly Welcome Sophomore Member

    0
    Nov 7, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Appraiser Trainee
    State:
    California
    What is above-grde square footage and below-grade square footage?

    Thanks!
    Kelly
     
  2. Renee Healion

    Renee Healion Senior Member

    0
    Feb 21, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Connecticut
    Grade is the ground, the highest level of the earth outside the foundation.

    Square footage means area: length x width.

    "Above grade area" means that part of the dwelling that is above the ground line, or grade of the earth. Think of the first floor and any floors above.

    "Below grade area" is usualy defined as the area that is ALL or PARTLY below that ground line. Think basement space. Even if that space has windows (through the foundation wall) it is considered below-grade.

    They are reported as distinct areas. Gross Living Area does not include below grade area.
     
  3. Kelly Welcome

    Kelly Welcome Sophomore Member

    0
    Nov 7, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Appraiser Trainee
    State:
    California
    Oh...... Thank you...

    I had never heard of those terms before. I guess here in California, for the most part, we don't have basements. Thanks..I learn something new everyday here on this forum.

    Kelly
     
  4. xm72mhd

    xm72mhd Elite Member

    0
    Aug 13, 2005
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Florida
    I understand that in CA anything above grade may be below grade tomorrow.
     
  5. CANative

    CANative Elite Member

    247
    Jun 18, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Kelly, while it's true that there are not very many houses with basements in California, there are plenty of houses with below grade areas.

    For purposes of this discussion, don't think of basements as "cellars." Like a room under the house, for example. Think more like a split-level. A house built on a sloping lot. The lower area has a wall against the slope. That lower area is now below grade, sometimes referred to as a daylight basement or walk-out basement (mostely by non-west coast appraisers.)

    These areas are supposed to be reported separately on the Fannie Mae forms. It's irritating because it involves adjusting and reporting gymnastics that really don't apply in the real world.
     
  6. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Elite Member

    174
    Sep 28, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    Ansi Standards Gla Measurment

    Basements and Below-Grade Floor Areas

    The ANSI standards make a strong distinction between above-grade and below-grade floor area. The above-grade floor area is the sum of all finished square footage which is entirely above ground level. The below-grade floor area includes spaces which are wholly or partly below ground level.

    Disregard the old rules of thumb that allow you to include below-grade areas if they are less than five feet below grade, or if less than half the area is below grade. If the house has any areas below the natural grade, measure that whole level separately. Even if the below-grade areas are fully finished, they are not part of the finished floor area according to ANSI standards.

    Unless they've change this guideline, like so many others, FANNIE rules indicate 3 lower level walls must be totally above grade to be included as above grade GLA; note **....it is totally acceptable to vary from Standard Guidelines re: the above ......if you demonstrate (by comparables) that it is typical, and customary, in the local market for similarly contructed homes (ie cliffside, mountainside, burm-side) for walk-out, lower level, finished space which is heated, insulated, and finished to similar quality and utility as the remainder of the above grade areas to be included in GLA.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2006
  7. xm72mhd

    xm72mhd Elite Member

    0
    Aug 13, 2005
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Florida
    Kelly,

    While you have been presented with some definitive language with respect to above and below grade GLA, there is nothing other than your market to tell you if there is a difference in $/GLA. I have not yet found that the market values below grade GLA more than above grade GLA, but it could happen. There are plenty of examples to show below grade GLA is worth less or the same as above grade GLA.
     
  8. Denis DeSaix

    Denis DeSaix Elite Member

    232
    May 16, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Regarding ANSI standards

    Just for the record...

    While employing ANSI standards is not a bad idea, the most recent edition (2006) of USPAP FAQs, #89, states specifically that unless ANSI is a supplemental standard for the assignment, using ANSI as the measuring standard is not a USPAP requirement.

    Are ANSI measuring standards a Supplemental Standard of Fannie, VA or FHA?
     
  9. Otis Key

    Otis Key Elite Member

    0
    May 15, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    If you're doing the work for fannie or freddie then they've established guidelines:
    http://www.allregs.com/efnma/index.asp?dv=0&id=a&ii=0&im=0&io=fnma&ip=/&iq=0&iv=0&iw=0&iy=0&iz=0&fc=0&fk=_&fm=0&fs=0&fv=0&sd=/&sm=1&sp=fnma&sq=_&st=_&sv=0&sx=/&sy=0&sz=0&t=0&tc=fnma/2002-selling/part-xi/xi-ch-4/xi-405&td=0&ti=0&tm=0&to=fnma&tw=0&tv=0&tq=0&tx=/&tp=fnma/2002-selling/part-xi/xi-ch-4/xi-405/xi-405.06
     
  10. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Elite Member

    174
    Sep 28, 2003
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    va/fha

    Denis suggest you check at the VA/FHA FORUM here
     
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