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  #1  
Old 04-29-2006, 10:20 PM
Kelly Welcome Kelly Welcome is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Los Angeles Area
State: California
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Smile What is above-grade square footage....

What is above-grde square footage and below-grade square footage?

Thanks!
Kelly
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2006, 10:39 PM
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Renee Healion Renee Healion is offline
 
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Default

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.
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  #3  
Old 04-29-2006, 11:27 PM
Kelly Welcome Kelly Welcome is offline
 
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Smile 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  
Old 04-30-2006, 08:43 AM
xm72mhd xm72mhd is offline
 
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I understand that in CA anything above grade may be below grade tomorrow.
  #5  
Old 04-30-2006, 10:07 AM
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CANative CANative is offline
 
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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  
Old 04-30-2006, 10:17 AM
Mike Kennedy's Avatar
Mike Kennedy Mike Kennedy is offline
 
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Smile 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 by Mike Kennedy : 04-30-2006 at 11:09 AM.
  #7  
Old 04-30-2006, 10:56 AM
xm72mhd xm72mhd is offline
 
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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  
Old 04-30-2006, 11:12 AM
Denis DeSaix Denis DeSaix is offline
 
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Default 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  
Old 04-30-2006, 12:56 PM
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Otis Key Otis Key is offline
 
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If you're doing the work for fannie or freddie then they've established guidelines:
Quote:
XI, 405.06: Gross Living Area (06/30/02)
The most common comparison for one-family properties (including units in PUD, condominium, or cooperative projects) is above-grade gross living area. The appraiser must be consistent when he or she calculates and reports the finished above-grade room count and the square feet of gross living area that is above-grade.

<snip>

Only finished above-grade areas should be usedógarages and basements (including those that are partially above-grade) should not be included. We consider a level to be below-grade if any portion of it is below-gradeóregardless of the quality of its "finish" or the window area of any room. Therefore, a walk-out basement with finished rooms would not be included in the above-grade room count.
http://www.allregs.com/efnma/index.a...-405/xi-405.06
  #10  
Old 04-30-2006, 12:57 PM
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Mike Kennedy Mike Kennedy is offline
 
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Smile va/fha

Denis suggest you check at the VA/FHA FORUM here
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