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Assessor Includes Garage & Basement In Total Building Area, So Does Listing Agent

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camrobinson

Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Professional Status
Appraisal Management Company
State
California
Doing an appraisal on a purchase in Southern California. Assessor lists the building area at 6727 sqft - so of course that figure spreads through the MLS and title, etc. Agent listed the house using that figure as the sqft. Here's the issue - the assessor is including a large 1500sqft garage and a 600sqft basement in that sqft.

Garage is finished and has heating and cooling - which is why Assessor includes it in sq ft per the owners.
Basement is concrete floors and cinderblock walls but has heating and cooling which is why Assessor includes.

Should we go with our drawing - which puts the GLA around 5,000 sqft not including garage or basement? Or include garage and/or basement as living area since Assessor considers it part of living area.

All advice is appreciated. Thanks!
 

Dublin ohio

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
Doing an appraisal on a purchase in Southern California. Assessor lists the building area at 6727 sqft - so of course that figure spreads through the MLS and title, etc. Agent listed the house using that figure as the sqft. Here's the issue - the assessor is including a large 1500sqft garage and a 600sqft basement in that sqft.

Garage is finished and has heating and cooling - which is why Assessor includes it in sq ft per the owners.
Basement is concrete floors and cinderblock walls but has heating and cooling which is why Assessor includes.

Should we go with our drawing - which puts the GLA around 5,000 sqft not including garage or basement? Or include garage and/or basement as living area since Assessor considers it part of living area.

All advice is appreciated. Thanks!

Do you consider garage and basement as GLA. If not. Then you have answered your own question. Also. What GLA are you going to use for your comps?
 

Pittsburgh Pete

Elite Member
Joined
May 6, 2008
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Garage is finished and has heating and cooling? So it isn't a garage? Need some clarification.
 

CindyR

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
note the original poster is identified as an AMC. typically the appraiser determines what is GLA - not the AMC.
 

Michigan CG

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Nov 1, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Garage is finished and has heating and cooling - which is why Assessor includes it in sq ft per the owners.
Basement is concrete floors and cinderblock walls but has heating and cooling which is why Assessor includes.

You would need to define "finished" garage. I appraised a horse farm last year and the garage had drywall, heating and a kitchen that was nicer than mine on the back wall. However it still had three cars in the garage including a Bentley and a Rolls Royce. The Cadillac Escalade was their "everyday" car.

As to basements, I can't remember being in one that did not have any heat.

Garages are garages, basements are basements.
 

Peter LeQuire

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Don't confuse GLA (gross living area) with GBA (gross building area) - though GBA generally doesn't include parking spaces or parking garages.
 

Sid Holderly

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Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
They are sometimes mixed up all together here too. I report on the appraisal what I measure and determine. The MLS recently added a filed "Appraisers GLA", we will see if anyone actually inputs the data. This field can be entered after the closing.
 

camrobinson

Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Professional Status
Appraisal Management Company
State
California
Thank you for all the input!

Cindy - when I created my account years ago I had started an AMC and wanted to join the forum to consult with appraisers on various things. I have since started my classes to become an appraiser and work with my Father who is a certified appraiser in California. The assignment discussed in this topic is one of his assignments which I assisted him with the inspection. Listing agent is (of course) saying the Assessor is correct at 6700 square feet but that includes the garage and the basement. I just wanted to hear from other appraisers their experiences with our situation.

Thanks again for all the input everyone!
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
  1. Difference Between Gross Living Area & Gross Building Area ...
    homeguides.sfgate.com/difference-between-gross-living-area-gross...
    Difference Between Gross Living Area & Gross Building Area; Difference Between Gross Living Area & Gross ... Estimating Residential Gross Living Area Begins With ...

FANNIE MAE
Only finished above-grade areas can be used in calculating and reporting of above-grade room count and square footage for the gross living area. Fannie Mae considers a level to be below-grade if any portion of it is below-grade, regardless 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. Rooms that are not included in the above-grade room count may add substantially to the value of a property, particularly when the quality of the finish is high. For that reason, the appraiser should report the basement or other partially below-grade areas separately and make appropriate adjustments for them on the Basement & Finished Rooms Below-Grade line in the Sales Comparison Approach adjustment grid.

For consistency in the sales comparison analysis, the appraiser should compare above-grade areas to above-grade areas and below-grade areas to below-grade areas. The appraiser may need to deviate from this approach if the style of the subject property or any of the comparables does not lend itself to such comparisons. For example, a property built into the side of a hill where the lower level is significantly out of ground, the interior finish is equal throughout the house, and the flow and function of the layout is accepted by the local market, may require the gross living area to include both levels. However, in such instances, the appraiser must be consistent throughout the appraisal in his or her analysis and explain the reason for the deviation, clearly describing the comparisons that were made.

Gross Building Area
The gross building area

  • is the total finished area including any interior common areas, such as stairways and hallways of the improvements based on exterior measurements;

  • is the most common comparison for two- to four-unit properties;

  • must be consistently developed for the subject property and all comparables used in the appraisal;

  • must include all finished above-grade and below-grade living areas, counting all interior common areas such as stairways, hallways, storage rooms; and

  • cannot count exterior common areas, such as open stairways.
Fannie Mae will accept the use of other comparisons for two- to four-unit properties, such as the total above-grade and below-grade areas discussed in Gross Living Area, provided the appraiser

  • explains the reasons he or she did not use a gross building area comparison, and

  • clearly describes the comparisons that were made.
 
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