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Building Sketch Format and Appraisal Report Contents

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Tejus

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
I’d like opinions on the residential Appraisal Report Building Sketch formats. The typical scenario is for the purchase or refinance of an existing 1 family home (probably the most common appraisal report). I’ve seen three different building sketch formats used:

1. Sketch of the exterior wall sections of the house and a measurement
for each wall section.

2. Same as Format 1 with text added specifying where the different
rooms are. For example: bedroom, bathroom, garage, etc.

3. Same as Format 2 with interior walls and measurements included.

Format 3 is the best but also the most expensive and possibly overkill if not needed. What criteria determines which sketch format is used? Is it the client or financing method (FHA, VA, Conventional, etc) or appraiser or appraisal report form or some other criteria?

I’m primarily interested in Texas and have seen only Format 1 sketches used. I’ve also obtained Appraisal Report samples from other states and sw appraisal package vendors. I have not seen any samples using format 3.

The general question I’m trying to answer is “What are the required and optional items in an Appraisal Report for this scenario and what is the criteria used to determine which are needed?“. USPAP covers some of this, but not the details. The Building Sketch is one example. Examples of other questionable items that may be included but are typically left out are flood map and county tax assesor map.

There is no common Appraisal Report format in Texas. I’ve contacted the Texas Appraisal Board and offered to work with them to create sample appraisal reports which they could include on their web site. They do not want to touch this and acknowledged appraisers are doing things differently.

My goal is to comply with all regulations and provide a quality product which meets the clients requirements. I'd also like to avoid unnecessary work.

Please submit any suggestions you have on the required and optional items in an Appraisal Report for this scenario plus any associated criteria. Please include any links that might contain this info.

I will be conducting a survey of local lenders later to obtain their criteria.

Thanks.
 

Tim The Enchanter

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I'll be curious to know what the lenders tell you. I used to use plan 3, except interior walls were approximate, not measured. For the last 3 years I've gone with plan 2, unless there's a functional ob in the floor plan. Never a complaint or request for interior walls.

Some people like to put in the interior walls for quality, hey you can put in windows and doors, even fixtures and appliances. But since no one reading it seems to care, I don't see sense in spending the extra time in most cases.

My $0.02. :arrow:
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
I used to measure the outside walls and then all of the inside wall locations. Each interior wall was placed on the sketch without any dimensions but in their correct locations. My sketches were things of beauty. Then one day, an owner of a $750,000 house showed me an appraisal that had been done by a very qualified appraiser about 1 year before. The exterior walls were measured and the rooms were simply noted in their locations without any interior walls drawn in.

I thought about it and the time that I spent measuring and drawing in those walls. I thought I would give it a try. Now 2 years later, not even a whimper by a lender over the loss of my works of art. Since then, I have only measured the exterior for square footage and noted the room locations on my sketches. The savings in time over a year must be significant.

If it is not necessary to writing a good report, don't do it.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
I use both procedures. For a 2055 Interior View, I have the exterior walls sketched with names of the rooms in their approximate locations and sketches of porches, patios, garages, storages, etc. For a URAR or ERC I have the exterior all the additional buildings and attachments, exterior wall sketch with dimensions, interior walls without dimensions, doorways, bath fixtures anc closets. When I am measuring the property for all orders I do an interior wall sketch, gets me more familiar with the home, brings my attentiion to things I might not have noticed if I just walked through and I have the information if the client decides to upgrade later on from a 2055 to a URAR. Also later when the home sells, I now have more detailed information when I use it as a comparable. Besides it fun sometimes to put the vehicles in the garage-the sedan by the kitchen door so it is easy to carry groceries, the SUV next to it and the old beatup pickup out in the hay barn. The word closet is my trade mark. All words and dimensions on the sketch are the right way to read--except closet, that word is as if you had to open the closet door to read it, sometimes it is upside down, sideways, at angles, etc. Adding the interior walls, doors and fixtures probably adds 2 minutes to a sketch--and also can convince someone that I do have the correct GLA for the house. Each person has to develop the system that works best for themselves.
 

George W Dodd

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
To the best of my knowledge, FHA does not require an interior floor plan sketch unless there is functional obsolescence. Interior room placement is not required either.
 

Judy Whitehead (Florida)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I like to put out a good product that is easily understood, so I measure and enter in all exterior dimensions for L.A., Gar, Porches, etc. These, of course are priced differently in the cost approach. The interior walls I use a free form on APEX....I like to briefly sketch in closets, walls and leave openings for doorways. I also include Text to tell what the room is. I "used" to use the cutsey doors, etc. that come with the program, but don't have enough time to do that, now.

I also free form the swimming pool and screen enclosures, although I always measure them. I have the measurements in my files, but sometimes there can be too many numbers on the page.

Hope this helps...my clients typically really like my reports. What I do only takes a couple of extra minutes (interior free form walls, text, etc.) It also helps me remember FO and I usually call a room a den or something if it doesn't have a closet for clothes storage.

Remember, the report is to communicate the appraisal to the client and I believe they appreciate a "little" extra effort. I have always used APEX so these things are done quickly and easily.
 

Bobby Bucks

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
North Dakota
I've gradually gone from one extreme to the other. I used to put an icon for every sink, shower, toilet, lines for every wall and countertop and I even made sure the doors were swinging the proper way. No more, unless there is a functional item that needs addressing, they get a perimeter sketch only because that's all they're paying for. (no more relos) Now Lord William, master appraiser, goat roping Darrell Royal groupie and my mentor insists I'm a slob for changing my ways, but you don't sign my reports anymore Willie, nor do you run my life....not sticking in all those icons saves me 30 minutes a day. I wish I could get him to post in here....he's one of those types who reads every post, then calls me and gripes about one he differs with, but won't for the life of him make one simple post......Texicans.....go figure. :)
 

Steve Owen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Missouri
This might be a good subject for a poll. I'm willing to bet that 90 percent of the appraisers use plan 1 or plan 2, the the predominance being plan 2.

I tend to agree with Jo Ann, Judy and Bobby Bucks, in approximately that order. I know that may sound strange, but it's true (and I guess a lot of the things I post sound strange to some of you).

There is no requirement for a specific type of drawing that I am aware of and I would not like to see one promulgated. (Some underwriters do require a sketch that matches the room count reported on page 1.) It seems to me that it's a matter of quality, quantity, and need, in approximately that order.

I like to do good quality work and I find that I understand the property better if I sketch the interior walls and drop in doors, appliances, and plumbing fixtures. I don't measure any of these things exactly, but do put them in their approximate locations. I also sketch in the effective edge of space in upper level rooms with sloping roofs, which I do measure. I'm pretty quick, but the extra time it takes to do this does add up. Probably about an extra fifteen minutes per sketch and an extra fifteen minutes per inspection. Still, I think it's worth it to do a good quality job.

I don't have any problem with appraisers who do plan 1 or plan 2 on their jobs. I just feel like they make me look better. I might do plan 1 or plan 2 on a lower quality quickie job, such as a 2055, or any job where the cost approach is not used.

I have frequently found that I discovered some functional obsolescence only after putting the drawing on paper; maybe some of you are better or more natural at inspection (or maybe you are just fooling yourselves).

I have seen an appraisal of an older house, where the appraiser hid functional obsolescence by doing plan 2. Because the walls did not show, it was not possible to tell that you had to pass through a bedroom to get to the only bath. IMHO that is an example of a misleading appraisal and is a violation of USPAP. However, in most cases, a sketch of any kind is not required by USPAP (and in that case would not have been required if the appraiser had recognized and accounted for the functional obsolescence).

Just my slightly more than two cents worth.
 
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