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Old 09-16-2004, 04:17 PM
Dee Ann Casey Dee Ann Casey is offline
Join Date: May 2002

Posts: 131

I have come across many homes with damp basements and they all seem to have detached downspouts where the water drains close to the home. How have you handled wording these situations in your reports? Please share your views.

Dee Ann
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Old 09-16-2004, 07:21 PM
Roger R. Patzold Roger R. Patzold is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Cleveland, Texas near Houston
State: Virginia
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 564

I think the answer to your question is in your question.

If you are seeing a high number of Homes with basement water problems and downspouts near the wet spots, so note in the report. Disclose you are not an expert, unless you are.

Then move on.

A good architect will design a house without any need for gutters and downspouts.

The older homes usually had doors under a gable. No need for gutters.

Additionally, gutters concentrate water from the roof. Then you have to deal with inconsistent soil moisture around the perimeter of the dwelling.

A roof with proper overhang and proper vegetation under the drip edge to catch and break the splash of the water coming off the roof will not need gutters.

Gutters that can catch leaves is an architectural direction for the wood rot that happens behind the gutter.

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Old 09-16-2004, 07:49 PM
Otis Key's Avatar
Otis Key Otis Key is offline
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Location: Mile High
State: New Mexico
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
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Dee Ann - I know you're from Venus and Bobby Bucks is from Mars. It would be more helpful to you if you at least posted your state.

Good response Roger. However, some areas, unknown which one this is, might actually require gutters and downspouts. Not all areas have architects that are qualified enough to figure out how to direct the water away. And you are definitely right, not all areas have basements.

Dee Ann - report what you see, saw and observed. That's all. Nothing more. If you have a concern, then make it subject to an inspection by someone qualified and licensed in the field of basement water damage - do like everyone else - pass the buck or get ready for someone to sue you.
Old 09-17-2004, 08:32 AM
Jeff Horton's Avatar
Jeff Horton Jeff Horton is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Heart of Dixie
State: Alabama
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 2,962

Otis summed it up. Your an appraiser not a home inspector. State what you saw, what you KNOW and don't speculate on anything else.

BTW I am a home inspector and thats all I do. I would probably recommend repairing gutters but nothing more.
APPRAISING * The Profession that loves to eat it's own!
Old 09-17-2004, 08:43 AM
Richard Carlsen's Avatar
Richard Carlsen Richard Carlsen is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Tip of the Mitt: Northern Michigan
State: Michigan
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 8,372

Most of our homes here in the north do not have gutters and downspouts as the snow and ice rip them off. We also have an abundance of sandy soil so drainage is typically not a problem.

However, you should note on the URAR that under "site" there is a place for "drainage". When I have run into problems with wet basements due to poor drainage or high water table, this is where I note it. I simply state that the site appears to drain toward the improvements (house) which may explain the wet basement or that there is no adverse drainage problem so the wet basement may be caused by a high water table as evidenced by the swampland nearby.

I'm not an expert in water migration so I note the problem with a little comment and let the lender worry about it. Besides, coming up with solutions to a wet basement is beyond the scope of the appraisal.
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Old 09-18-2004, 12:49 PM
Mike Garrett, RAA's Avatar
Mike Garrett, RAA Mike Garrett, RAA is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
State: Colorado
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 21,056

While gutters and downspouts are not a requirement...proper drainage away from the structure is.

If there is a problem with positive drainage then condition the appraisal on curing the problem.
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Old 09-30-2004, 10:08 AM
Dee Ann Casey Dee Ann Casey is offline
Join Date: May 2002

Posts: 131

Thanks for all your input guys!
Old 09-30-2004, 10:35 AM
Thomas Fiehler Thomas Fiehler is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati,OH
State: Ohio
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 3,367

Dee Ann-I have heard that up to 75% of water problems in crawl spaces or basements is due to poor lot grading or gutter/downspout problems.
Old 10-02-2004, 01:55 PM
Mike Boyd Mike Boyd is offline
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
State: California
Professional Status: Retired Appraiser
Posts: 11,822

Drainage is a serious issue and can cost thousands of dollars to cure and thus affect marketabilty and value. That is why it is such a prominent requirement that it be addressed in FHA reports and the query is also a box to be checked on the URAR.

If you see a problem, you must condition it to be repaired and/or corrected. Otherwise, your final value could be faulty and you could be liable.

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