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Accessory Unit Vs Duplex

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Bruce Bugno

Freshman Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I was hoping I could get someone’s expertise on how to handle a couple appraisal situations I have. I’m trying to determine if these additional units should be considered accessory units or part of a duplex.

Situation 1:

Single family home measuring 1797sf. Zoning only allows for one single family home on the property. Has a detached 5 car garage. Attached to the garage is a two story guest house measuring 1484sf. Guest house has a kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. It is heated by a pellet stove (in garage) with duct work going to both levels of the home. Remaining utilities (elec and water) are not separate from the main home and I believe the addresses for both properties are the same. The use appears to have changed since the last time this property sold (2015). At that time the garage just had a finished loft with some cabinetry.


Situation 2:

Single family home measuring 1715sf. Zoning only allows for one single family home on the property. Attached to the main home is a guest house, measuring 1165sf with kitchen, bathroom and 2 bedrooms with a separate entrance. All utilities are separate except for water. There are separate furnaces and water heaters for each home. Second unit has a separate address but is not shown on county records to be a duplex. It shows apprx 2800sf single family residence. Property is currently occupied by borrower (main home) and daughter (2nd unit).

How would you classify (assessory unit or duplex) these property types?

Thanks for your help.

Bruce Bugno
Certified Residential Appraiser, Colorado
 

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
You indicate the zoning allows for one-house. You don't say if an accessory unit is allowed within that zoning.

Usually, but not always, one-unit housing that allows for accessory units also requires the owner-of-record to occupy one of the units (primary house or accessory unit), If that is the case, then the property would not be an investment-property and wouldn't be a duplex,

Do you know what the zoning allows regarding accessory units and occupancy>
 

Bruce Bugno

Freshman Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
You indicate the zoning allows for one-house. You don't say if an accessory unit is allowed within that zoning.

Usually, but not always, one-unit housing that allows for accessory units also requires the owner-of-record to occupy one of the units (primary house or accessory unit), If that is the case, then the property would not be an investment-property and wouldn't be a duplex,

Do you know what the zoning allows regarding accessory units and occupancy>

Thanks for pointing that out:

Situation 1 - Does not permit accessory units or duplexes
Situation 2 - I doubled checked the zoning code and accessory units and duplexes are allowed in the zoning. I might have just answered my own question on this problem.
.

Thanks

Bruce
 

bnmappraisal

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Denis and Terrel both point out great points.

The subject's zoning is the first and MAIN point (IMO) regarding your subject' properties.

I had a similar situation (3rd unit above garage) in zoning that did allow 1 ADU...BUT...after digging, many calls to the zoning/planning dept and a letter later...turned out the 3rd unit was grandfathered in

Your #2 scenerio can get a little more complicated. IMO, from your OP, it sounds like a SFR w/ ADU, but I haven't seen the property, etc. Another thing I'd throw out there - what's the typical buyer of that property going to look at it as? If zoning allows both uses (SFR w/ ADU OR Multi-Fam) Who's the typical buyer?
 

Slappy

Sophomore Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I used to get these situations a lot. The most efficient way to address this proplem is to do the "legally permissible" HBU question first as it drives the other HBU components. If I had this assignment, I would review the zoning to find out what is permitted. If the zoning is strict and anciliary "granny" units are not permitted, you may have to address the illegal kitchen. Often in SFR districts, they allow anciliary living units with an owner occupancy proviso for one of the units. That way they promote lower income housing without degrading the area into a multifamily neighborhood. There could be a lot of gray HBU areas in permitted use. Unfortunately, there is no simple or universal response to this problem. But I have found that finding out what is legally permitted first helps to narrow your range of potential uses. Then you can move on to the other areas of your HBU approach.
 
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