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Finished basement but...........

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slacker

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
Just got back from a lunchtime inspection of a nice 4,000+- sqf 1960's custom ranch on about two wooded acres with a real nice finished basement.

Now, I don't usually see many functional problems but I have never seen this before. The homeowner is going on and on about their beautiful finished basement. Here's me, opening every door I can find looking for it. The homeowner informs me that the entrance to the basement is in the attached garage.

She walks me to the garage entrance, which is off of the kitchen and through a bathroom? That's another story but to get to the garage you must walk through a full bath. Don't ask me? I guess if you're real dirty after a hard days work you can jump right in the shower.

Anyway, sure enough, the basement entrance is in the un-heated 3 car attached garage. Once I got down there it was real nice but to get there was quite a trip.

Any suggestions?
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Eeee-Yew, and Yuck! Nasty stuff on the shoes...

Unquantifiable incureable functional obsolesence...

I think you know the answer: Time to do a few interviews for 'realtor opinion'... take notes.

See if you can find ONE similar sale of any size, anywhere in the market with as remotely similar oddity, from which to extract a hokey percentage of value loss, assuming that none are available, no matter how far back:

Describe it (without perjoritive commentary if you can) and fall back on "in my professional opinion" as to the dimunition of value (if any) in comparison with a 'normal' basement'.

Who is gonna throw a rok at you?

Only rock they'd have to toss is "difference of professional opinion" which shouldn't hurt much if/when it hit you... so much fluff
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Been there, done that.
You've got a lot of square footage on the main level that probably allows plenty of extra space to drop a staircase from a reasonable location within the interior of the house down to the basement. I would call it functional obsolesence, curable.
Estimate the approximate cost to cut a hole in the floor and add stairs, rails and carpet (or whatever to make it look finished)....that's the cost to cure.
Problem addressed and solved, probably at a cost of less than a few thousand dollars.
Boggles my mind that a homeowner wouldn't just do something like this as part of the remodel...probably the smartest money they could spend on it. :roll:
 

slacker

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
Been there, done that.
Estimate the approximate cost to cut a hole in the floor and add stairs, rails and carpet (or whatever to make it look finished)....that's the cost to cure.

You're kidding right? The type of project you are describing is a huge undertaking to say the least.

Sorry, but adding a staircase in the middle of an existing floor plan takes more than a hole, rail, and some carpet. Or were you just joking and I didn't get it?
 

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
Slacker,

We have several of these in our area (accessed from the outside only). My house included finding sales is really a FUN. Might consider some other obsolence issues to find a percentage.

Ryan
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
You're kidding right? The type of project you are describing is a huge undertaking to say the least.

Sorry, but adding a staircase in the middle of an existing floor plan takes more than a hole, rail, and some carpet. Or were you just joking and I didn't get it?


Slacker,
I wouldn't rate adding a staircase as a 'huge undertaking'.
As long as the placement doesn't interfere with existing structural beams or major plumbing, wire or vent systems, any skilled framer would consider it pretty standard stuff. It's no different that adding a staircase to access a tall attic space in order to convert it to living area, just going down instead of up. Basic installation, minus finish work (carpet, drywall, rails, etc.), probably wouldn't take any more than a day or two to complete.
With 4000+/- SF of sprawling ranch to work with, there's bound to be a reasonable spot to drop stairs without causing too much interference with the current floor plan of your subject. The cost and what little time it would take to accomplish would be well worth the convenience of interior access.
 

slacker

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
Basic installation, minus finish work (carpet, drywall, rails, etc.), probably wouldn't take any more than a day or two to complete.

Dee Dee,

With all due respect I think you must have been hitting the Egg Nog a little early. A day or two? Maybe with a team of Santa's helpers.

You mentioned mechanicals. Go in to your own basement (If you have one) look at the floor above and I bet there wont be one place to fit a 4x14 foot hole without moving something, big ranch or not. If there is, it's not going to be where you need to put it. Now your talking plumbers, electricians, HVAC, and carpenters?

I'm not saying it can't be done, anything is currable if you have the time and money, but I have no doubt that this should be considered incurrable for appraisal purposes.

I'm just not sure how to approach any negative impact on value for the garage entrance.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Slacker.....cool it! If you knew the answer to your question, then why did you post it in the first place? You ask for help and then jump on those who try to help you.

The issue isn't how practical putting a stair well in is, it is how much to take for depreciation for a functional problem. It shouldn't be a cost basis in any event. It is market perception of loss in value...which in this case is probably more than the cost to cure.

I just called a contractor friend of mine and he says $6,000 to put in a stair well and stair case to the lower level provided there is a place to put it. Market perception of value?? My estimate would be $10,000. How to prove it? Paired sales...if you don't have any, ask some REALTORS® what they think.

Now, leave Dee Dee alone..she is way to cute for you to be picking on her!
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
I am going to add comment, because I didn't read the original post carefully: I have to agree with Dee Dee 100% that in a house of that size you could probably find at least one place where a stairwell could be inserted without having to reroute the entire electrical or plumbing system...I did NOT notice the size of the beast.

As to time and cost: I did a DIY R/R of stairwell of similar nature because I liked a different configuration It took a total of 5 days, mostly due to having to let the drywall dry between coats: and really wasn't that big of a deal. It was mo' better when done.

As I indicated and Mike did also: market perception is neither cost to cure nor PFA, it is going to take a little work to generate a defensable figure: interviews, and other attempts to find a sale of similar nature and extract SOME sort of logic. If none can be found you still need to address the problem and place your professional judgment on the line: ignoring it doesn't make it go away, neither is it responsible to irresponsibly toss a number without some sort of empirical evidence to support from whence you generated it, even if it is limited to "so and so said" :?

But really there was no call to jump Dee Dee for what was a perfectly reasonable and responsible answer :evil:
 

slacker

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
Slacker.....cool it! If you knew the answer to your question, then why did you post it in the first place? You ask for help and then jump on those who try to help you.

I still don't know the answer and I wasn't jumping on anyone??

I'm just saying that blowing a 4x14 hole in an existing room is not as easy task and not an option in this case.

I just sold an old Sears home that had a stairway going up to an attic in the second bedroom. We had it moved to a hallway entrance so the attic could be finished for a master bedroom. Total bill was about $8,500 bucks and a month dust and torn down walls. Did we cure the problem? Sure, but my point is that the general public would not want to bother with such a project. They would rather buy a diferent house. No matter what it cost to fix.

This buyer obviously didn't think it was a big issue. I just thought it was odd? So quit piling on me!!!

That is all, jets are cooled....................
 
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