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Finished bonus room accessed through garage

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JTRock

Thread Starter
Junior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
I was at a property the other day and opened a door in the garage and to my surprise there was a stairway leading up into a 420sf finished bonus room. Should I include this in the overall gross living area and hit it for functional obsolescence or count it as storage space? The only way you can access it is by going through the garage. thanks
 

Kevin A. Spellman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
Treat it separately. You cannot go wrong with valuing the room separately like the garage itself.
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Just a few "minor" questions before deciding whether the improvement suffers from FOI and is GLA or an Amenity:

Rural, Suburban, Urban Market? Zoning & Building Ordinances exist? - is the improvement Compliant?

What does the Market tell you (Actives, Contracted, Closed comps)?



Are guest quarters above attached or detached garages common in the local market?

Is the bonus room finished, insulated,and heated to a similar degree, similar quality, and excepting access - similar utility as the remainder of the Above Grade Dwelling GLA?


Suggest developing supported answers, then, determining how this improvement should be considered.
 

JTRock

Thread Starter
Junior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Well it is in a suburban neighborhood with 300-400k homes built in 1993. The most recent listing shows the bonus room was included in the overall gross living area per an appraisal. If I do not include it then the property will be 2,670sf. Then its going to be me against the other appraiser. The homeowner didn't understand why they finished the room out and can't even get a bed up into it because of the curved stairway. Seems like they would probably just use it for storage. There is no zoning and it was legal to build this way. Out of 60 sales only 2 had guest quarters and were detached from the building or had a bath. This is just one big room in the subject's house.
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
"Out of 60 sales only 2 had guest quarters and were detached from the building or had a bath. This is just one big room in the subject's house."

did the market pay any premium for the additional GLA, any premium for the finished bonus room(s) as Amenities?

compare those 2 sales versus others in same time period......to determine IF the space had/has contributory vaue and HOW ...... are there any Actives or Contracted Listings with similar improvement????

analysis may very well indicate NO contributory value as indicated by the sale price and the preponderence of other houses which DO NOT have the same Bonus improvement.....

OR what the Market indicates the Bonus contributed. Either way ..... problem solved. LET THE MARKET TELL U.

--------
re above #4

" this is just one big room IN the subjects' house" .......

sorry? ...........IN ........or detached ???????????
 
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Ray Miller

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
You didn't notice dormers, windows, exit door from the second story. Could it be a fire trap?????

Is this common in the area,
 

Webbed Feet

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Canada
Well it is in a suburban neighborhood with 300-400k homes built in 1993. The most recent listing shows the bonus room was included in the overall gross living area per an appraisal. If I do not include it then the property will be 2,670sf. Then its going to be me against the other appraiser. The homeowner didn't understand why they finished the room out and can't even get a bed up into it because of the curved stairway. Seems like they would probably just use it for storage. There is no zoning and it was legal to build this way. Out of 60 sales only 2 had guest quarters and were detached from the building or had a bath. This is just one big room in the subject's house.

Mr. Rock,

In that case the most recent listing shows the appraiser involved with that prior appraisal was a total idiot in desparate need of training or a very large shot of ethics.

Gross living area is contiguous to all heated and finished living area. Have to walk through an unheated garage to get to it? It's not GLA. It may have market value. It may even have market value equal to the value per square foot of the real GLA. But it still is not GLA.

Webbed.
 

Abester

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
It's not GLA. It may have market value. It may even have market value equal to the value per square foot of the real GLA. But it still is not GLA.

Again, a case where the market may be at odds with ANSI. A better case for making a logical explanation of your choice there is not (in my best Yoda voice)...
 

Darrel Clark

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Utah
As far as counting the area as gross living area, I try to follow the ANSI standard. I think every appraiser should have a copy -- ANSI Z765-2003. It can be ordered online from the NAHB Research Center. The ANSI standard for finished areas connected to the house states, "Finished areas that are connected to the main body of the house by other finished areas such as hallways or stairways are included in the finished square footage of the floor that is at the same level. Finished areas that are not connected to the house in such a manner cannot be included in the finished square footage of any level." My opinion, if you have two appraisers in court -- one follows a recognized standard such as ANSI and the other does not, the one following a recognized standard has the advantage.
 

Abester

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
One might also make the argument that the appraiser is ignoring the market...
 
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