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Exterior Measurement Issues

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Scott R Marshall

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
I don't know how I get into this stuff. Just finished an appraisal on a home. Fairly easy to measure except for one goofy wall where a previous owner attempted to connect a detached garage to the original structure by adding a bedroom. Not to difficult to measure however except for the fact that this is where they keep their dog run and it was pretty difficult not to get the shoes dirty but because of the oddity of this wall I measured it. Sketch closed fine on my draw program. Gross living area difference between my draw program and manually calculating is less than 3 square feet. Based on a conversation with the homeowner at time of inspection, there was some discrepancy between what the home was represented as in MLS and what the appraiser involved in the purchase came up with but they went ahead and purchased the home. My measurements indicate even less gross living area than the prior appraisal. The amount we are talking about is 3001 square feet of GLA in MLS to my 2870 GLA. I don't know what the prior appraisal came in at.

Anyway, I get a call from the borrower who is irate that their home keeps shrinking as the lender forwarded them a copy of my appraisal. I offer to remeasure the home to help alleviate both my and their concerns. Based on this conversation it appears that the prior appraiser mesured the wall as a straight line as opposed to 2 straight lines with an angled wall in the middle. I call my client to inform them of the issue and they say that is fine, to keep them posted. Borrower calls back again and I find out one of them is a lawyer and if my measurements are indeed correct, some legal wranglings may commence.

First question is should I have offered to remeasure? I am confident in my measurements but I am trying to avoid future hassles.

Second question is I know different markets vary greatly but is the borrower overreacting on a discrepancy of less than 5%. My personal opinion is that if there is one thing you can prove more definitively within an appraisal report, it is GLA but I have heard widely varying opinions on the subject.

Once again, thanks in advance!!
 

appraisalondemand

Junior Member
Joined
May 27, 2007
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
make sure before you go back out that the dog poop is removed from the back wall area so you can consentrate on the measurment...not stepping in a land mine.
 

TJSum

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
How many statements do you have in the report about who the Client is. If the borrower is a lawyer, you can point out to them that the typical appraisal states in bold flashing type that the Mortgage Company is the client and the borrower is not an intended user.

Has the value of their home dropped since purchase? MLS GLA is more typically wrong in my market, if they get it right it is by accident. What does the tax records state? It sounds like they are not thrilled with their purchase and are looking for a way to go after the first appraiser or anyone to get retribution over the market souring.
 

TJSum

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
make sure before you go back out that the dog poop is removed from the back wall area so you can consentrate on the measurment...not stepping in a land mine.

Excellent Point :rof:
 

Apraysr

Sophomore Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
If you feel that you measured correctly, i wouldnt worry even if the homeowner was the President of the U.S.A. I would only worry if the measurements were incorrect. You will have a deviation as all measure differently. Some realtors measure interior rooms then add it all together including areas below grade or 4.5 foot high unlivable attic areas. Stand by your work, as thats what matters.
 

Wil in Norcal

Sophomore Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I wouldn't offer to remeasure. I think it makes you look like you are not confident in your work. If you could be wrong with the GLA what else might you be wrong about? I am not saying you are wrong, I am just playing devils advocate. Since he is not your client, maybe he would like to hire you for a professional sketch, that way he knows exactly how big his home is, and then you are free to discuss it with him. good luck
 

Charles Decker

Sophomore Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
If you feel confident about your measurements, don't worry about it however if you have some doubts, maybe going back out there with your original sketch and double checking some measurements (especially the wall in question) would show that you are concerned about doing the job correctly and may calm the HO down. If you show that you are correct, maybe they will direct there ire somewhere else (like the first appraiser). Appraising a lawyers house is probably as bad as doing another appraisers house.
 

Scott R Marshall

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
I am very confident in my measurements, I was only offering this service to alleviate any future headaches. As far as tax records are concerned, New Mexico is a non-disclosure state. I can get that info but it is a long process requiring letters of consent, trips to the assessors office and typically a 1 to 2week wait. And then its a crap shoot if the assessor is right. My market and my peers typically look at MLS records as the best source for GLA barring having done a prior inspection on the home.

At least when I go back out I can have the homeowner also walk through the doggie mines.
 

Carnivore

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
See if you can get the 'HO' to assist you in the process. Even to the point of the calculations. This way you are on his side of a lawsuit!

Also, make sure you use a recognized standard like ANSI or the NAR.
 

Ron Mandato

Sophomore Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
In my area the assessors records are rarely correct and have differences with the real world. I have verified my subjects' to the tax records and most of the time they are different. Go with your measurement if you are confident with it. You could have made a comment about the inability to measure a section of the subject due to the "land mines" and that deminsions are approximate. You are talking about a small GLA difference here. I have done reviews on reports that were 400 feet different. If you remeasure you are doubting yourself and that is the first sign of incompetence to the borrower, especially an attorney. Remember, if you had five appraisals of the same home in front of you, there would be differences in all of them. Attorneys file motions and reports with the court systems, do you think they get it right the first time. I have three good friends who are attorneys and they could care less what the GLA of their five homes is. Remember, how much are we talking about here and was it done intentionally???????
 
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