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Detached Mother inlaw apt

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marko

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
Washington
I have a house I'm trying to sell with a detached Mother inlaw appartment. The buyer's appraiser can't find any comps that sold in my area in the last 6mo with a Mother inlaw at all. I did not get a permit for the conversion from a garage to the mother inlaw. The Appraiser has only listed the main house square footage and listed the mother inlaw as a finished garage and the bank says the comps won't suport the price.
My question is if I pay the pentalies for the permit should the Appraiser include the mother inlaw as square footage of the house or would I have to attach the building to the house with a breeze way or something to be inline with the available comps that don't have mother inlaw apartments?
 

Lobo Fan

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Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
It depends upon the zoning. If the unit is not allowed than you could be in trouble. You will need a rebuild letter from the zoning agency for any lender.

Getting the addition legalized will not automatically solve the comp problem. You could have a super improvement which means that you should have left it as a garage. If there are no other similar properties within a reasonable distance then you have a problem. The conversion has some value, but probably less than what you are thinking.

Sorry, but you have a real mess going.
 

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I have a house I'm trying to sell with a detached Mother inlaw appartment. The buyer's appraiser can't find any comps that sold in my area in the last 6mo with a Mother inlaw at all. I did not get a permit for the conversion from a garage to the mother inlaw. The Appraiser has only listed the main house square footage and listed the mother inlaw as a finished garage and the bank says the comps won't suport the price.
My question is if I pay the pentalies for the permit should the Appraiser include the mother inlaw as square footage of the house or would I have to attach the building to the house with a breeze way or something to be inline with the available comps that don't have mother inlaw apartments?
(my bold)

Marko-

In general, if you have a detached and non-permitted in-law unit, getting it permitted as an in-law unit is not going to make any difference in how the main improvement (the house) is measured. Connecting the two via a breeze-way will probably not make a difference.

If the problem the appraiser is running into is finding in-law units then, unfortunately, getting yours permitted will not change that.

Please keep in mind that this is my opinion about a general situation and that the specifics of your situation may be different.

Good luck.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Key word here is "detached". The square footage of this addition would NOT ever be able to be included in the GLA (Gross Living Area) per Fannie Mae guidelines and ANSI.

What makes this a "mother-in-law" instead of a potentially income producing rental unit and possibly non-compliant with zoning?
 

Randolph Kinney

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
North Carolina
marko,

Assuming that the detach mother-in-law apartment with out permit is accepted by the market, because the unit is detach, is does not have the same functional utility as the main house, it is not accessible from within the main house, therefore it will not be counted in the overall gross living area of the main house.
The Appraiser has only listed the main house square footage and listed the mother inlaw as a finished garage and the bank says the comps won't suport the price.
The appraiser may have counted the accessory unit as a garage because it did not have permits or may be it was easier to deal with since there are no comparables with a detached accessory unit. Who knows?

The problem you are indicating is there are no comparables that will support your selling price on just the gross living area of the main house with a garage.

Before you spend the time and money on the accessory unit to be permitted, you should rethink the problem. There are no comparables with an accessory unit. The appraiser has not dealt with this to determine the value the market will pay for such a unit. That is the question that was not answered; how much market value is there in the accessory unit?
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
restore the garage, restore the property to Zoning Compliance, price it properly, sell it within 30 days.
 
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marko

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
Washington
It sounds like getting it permited as living space with a kitchen and attaching it to the house with a breeze way may not work to increase the main house floor space. My zoneing does allow for a mother inlaw on the property and everything about the building was done to code so it will pass and it is permitted as a garage but we just can't find the comps in the area. I just keep going back to getting it to be part of the main house the eaisest way possable. The quality of the construction is good and not cheesy in any way.
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Before you do anything expand the comparable search to find sales with accessory units. This will allow you to make an informed decision about what action to take with yours. You may find that obtaining permits will allow you to sell for a higher price or you may find that the garage has more value for car storage.
 

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
It sounds like getting it permited as living space with a kitchen and attaching it to the house with a breeze way may not work to increase the main house floor space. My zoneing does allow for a mother inlaw on the property and everything about the building was done to code so it will pass and it is permitted as a garage but we just can't find the comps in the area. I just keep going back to getting it to be part of the main house the eaisest way possable. The quality of the construction is good and not cheesy in any way.

Marko-

Please consider this: depending on your neighborhood, adding an additional 400+/- sqft (a typical 2-car garage size) + hallway (which would connect the main to the 2nd unit) to create a larger house may not return the same value as if you had a 400+ sqft larger house to begin with.
Cobbling-together living area can result in a design that has negative appeal. It just isn't as simple as thinking:
1,500sf house + 400sqft in-law attached to be part of the house = value similar to a 1,900sf+ home.
The equation usually doesn't work out like this.


Out of curiosity, what does your real estate agent say?
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
but we just can't find the comps in the area.

The Market, not Cost nor an individuals predisposition, determines Contributory Value - and your Market has spoken loud and clear.
 
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