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Bad Fences Make Bad Neighbors?

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Steven Spychalski

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Hello All!

Looking for some feedback:

FHA appraisal. Fencing at the property consists of Wood stockade style fence on the north side of the yard and Chain link on the south side.

Both fences are damaged; with the wood fence severely rotted, leaning, missing sections, etc. Chain link looks like a tree had fallen on a section of it at some point.

Called for repair, issued estimated CTC.

I spoke with the HOC (on this and several other inspection issues) and at that time they agreed with my call for repair. Their stance was "call for it and let the DEU take responsibility to waive".

Lender and Agent have asked me to remove the call for repair as the fence is owned by the neighbors on both sides. The home is vacant and no survey will be provided (requested, denied). The 'ugly' sides of the fences do face away form the subject, which is customary in our area (installer/owner usually takes the ugly side).

Is this enough to assume the fence is not the responsibly of the subject property?
Should I maintain the call for repair? (FYI, this is not the only repair item)
Should I remove, disclose condition of fence and state Agent's claim as to ownership with the assumption they are correct?

Thanks in advance for your constructive advice!

(and, yes, I have read 4000.1, spoke with the HOC, and am still not 100% certain o_O)
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I disagree with Rbt. Frost. Good neighbors make good fences. If the fencing is not part of the property, then it cannot be fixed. It is an external obsolescence. Off site. State that and explain that it may impact Marketability. But is is not a repair to be made by a non-owner.
 

Steven Spychalski

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
I disagree with Rbt. Frost. Good neighbors make good fences. If the fencing is not part of the property, then it cannot be fixed. It is an external obsolescence. Off site. State that and explain that it may impact Marketability. But is is not a repair to be made by a non-owner.
Thx... So in your opinion, its safe to assume the fence is not on the property, and therefore not the Subject's issue, correct?

Something like this OK:

Fencing along the North and South property lines was noted as damaged and in disrepair. Per the Agent, the fencing is not located on the Subject property. No survey was provided. Appraiser assumes the Fencing is not located on the subject property.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Yes, you are relying upon someone to tell you who owns the fence, a brief caveat to that effect and while it affects "curb appeal" that is hard to put a number on.
 

glenn walker

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Personally from what is described it just sounds like a typical old ugly fence and even if it was repaired it would still be an old ugly fence and it's Not a health & safety issue so I would just remove the repair condition and be done. I would NOT make any statement about ownership of the fence because you don't know ** Also If this is a purchase the new buyers are fully aware of the ugly fence so there is no marketability issue.
 

Mark K

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
Lender and Agent have asked me to remove the call for repair as the fence is owned by the neighbors on both sides.

Of course the lender and agent are going to tell you that. You have no way to dispute it without a survey and it gets the problem out of the way of their commission.

If the buyer wants the house with an ugly and dilapidated fence, so be it. I'd remove the verbiage from the report re; CTC and, unless the neighbors have a herd of pit bulls, not dwell on the safety issue. If there was no fence, would it be a safety issue?
 

glenn walker

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
That ugly old wood fence may fall down and land on some poor soul ? ( give me a break ) ** Can we get back to appraising real estate for value *** I remember in the 1985-2000 period when FHA/HUD at their seminars told the appraisers that the buyers were entry level and NOT to make big issues about cosmetic items or things that were not a big deal ** Old ugly wood fences would never have been an-issue ***NOW appraisers want to be the PC police ** And they cause a lot of headaches for first time buyers *** If something is a Health or Safety issue then I am calling it out BUT this is just nonsense. FOR GOD'S SAKE just let the buyer get into their new home and make sure the appraised value is supported. No wonder the public and the lenders hate appraisers : LOL
 

RSW

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
What if the wood fence is tall and is damaged enough that it could fall and hurt someone? I would think that would be an incurable external obsolescence and would disqualify the subject from the FHA program.
 

Non Sequitur

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Louisiana
The HOC is correct; Let the DEU do their job, you did yours by reporting the presence of the mess.
 
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