FRR: A few years ago the ANSI Standard was posted on a web site and I printed my copy off from there. The problem I have had is that if you are the only person doing it by ANSI standards, what are you gaining. It is not recognized as a body of knowledge legally accepted standard as I understand it. Most Realtors will state in the MLS data: "Per tax assessor's records." The problem is the tax assessor's records on over one story houses are a little fuzzy. For anything over one story that is not a two story is a 1.5 story. They estimate the GLA by taking 1.5 times the first floor GLA. There are kinds of little subtlities like allowing for stairways, only counting space with a ceiling heigth 5.5 feet, not counting open space to the roof, etc. Some local appraisers met with the Realtors to try and get everybody to sing from the same page, but it didn't work. I have found GLA errors of 1,000 sf in a middle price dwelling. My favorite MLS entry is: "1,500 sf + or -." Every time I see that I ask myself, how could they have determined a sale price if they don't even know the most critical value influencing factor. If I get a call from a Realtor asking how I came up with my price estimate, I ask them the same question.
In the great State of North Carolina, this is one of the few things we have done pretty well, despite the NCAB who tried to mess this issue up.
About 5 years ago, the NCAB was asked for clarification of how to measure a house. They sort of deffered to the Real Estate Commission but then said we reserve the right to have a different opinion.
Since the NCAB refused to help, the Realtors Appraisal Section and several brokers got together. I participated but one of the key players was Charles Hinnant GAA who is our most recent board appointee. During several meetings over three months, we took an old guideline book from an MLS organization, the ANSI standards, and tax assessors rules and came up with recommended guidelines that met the needs of brokers and appraisers. After several word smithing attempts, we got the Real Estate Commission to accept it as guidelines.
To this date, I do not know if the NCAB has ever endorsed this set of guidelines, but I expect not. They would much prefer to make up rules as need to make their cases. I remember one example where an appraiser had measured the subject ( a concrete block home at the beach) correctly along the exterior but rounded down to the nearest foot because all of his comps were stick built and there interior space would be overstated to the subject. This made a whopping 35 S/F difference (at $15 P/S/F for a gross difference of value of slightly above $500) on a property worht $100,000. The NCAB argued this was a substantial error.
The NCAB never has adopted any measurement standards. From the discussions I have heard, they do not intend to adopt any.
A side note.
I took a Real Estate CE class a few weeks ago and one topic was agents using an appraisers measurements and s/f for their listings. (This is NC Real Estate rules, not national. A careful reading shows that it is nearly impossible for an agent to use my sketch and figures without my consent.
I don't want ANYONE using my stuff and me being responsible unless I KNOW about it upfront.
Let's just stick to old-fashioned common sense and use length x width x number of stories (heated, finished, livable area, above grade). I always
give GLA as a +- anyway, it's not brain surgery and nobodys life is in the balance. When I find myself sweating out the calculations on a Queen Anne or some other irregular shaped structure ( I had an irregular - triangular townhouse the other day) , I keep in mind that NOBODY else is going to measure the subject with any more accuracy, +-100 sf here or there at $25 to $50 per sf is small potatoes, especially in a market where adjusted indicators on identical homes is 10%.
To all posters above: Let give you guys another example of what could be considered to be substantial error as defined by the NCAB. This week I appraised the corporate headquarters for one of the largest real estate development firms in the region. These people build and own malls, office buildings, restaurants, hotels, etc., all over the region. I met with the president and his assistant and they gave me a treasure of data. Specifically, their office building has an upper level with top quality executive office suites, a lower level of above average quality office suites, another area that is low quality office suites. This client is the # 1 primary source of commercial real estate data in the region. I received the following information from three sources. The tax assessor said there was 11, 996 sf of office space. The package the president of the company give me showed 15,400 sf of office space, and the company supplied me with a replacement cost estimate from their cost estimator showing 14,300 sf of office space. In other words, I had two different numbers from the primary data source on the subject and a third from a source that most people would consider reliable. I estimated 14,600 sf of office space. Which number would you use?
If I were in NC, and used my number they could have said Austin should have deferred and used the cost estimator’s number. Or, they could have said Austin should have used the number the president of the company gave him since they are the primary source of data in the region. Or, they could have said Austin should have used the tax assessor’s number because the comparables were most likely based on that number. Again, which number would you have used?
To further complicate matters, there was an attached two story warehouse/shop complex. The company told me they had 30,000 sf of warehouse space, the company cost estimator said they had 29,080 sf of warehouse space, and the tax assessor said they had 28,000 of warehouse space. I figured somewhere in between. Which number would you have used? How would you verify data from the primary data source on the subject in the entire region?
Thank God I don't work in NC.
PS: I forgot to mention they they gave me a two day old site survey plat from an engineering company that showed the building foot prints to within 1/10th of an inch, that was another set of numbers.