• Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premier online  community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

Fraud Or What And What To Do!?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Suzanne K Hansen

Sophomore Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
I completed an appraisal of a home in a newer development in which the county record square footage was 1565 and the actual was 1308. All of the model match comps were listed in the county records as 1565. Based on the sketch and projecting the sqft of a two story house with the same perimeter it appears that the cut out area where the first floor ceiling is 2 stories high is actually included as square footage. All of the houses of this model and sqft are selling at prices for the 1565 equivalents outside of the development.

Question: To whom do I report this? The house's model matches are what I will comp it to, but who is responsible for this mistake/fraud and who is responsible for continuing it, and what shoud I do about it?

Looking for answers.

Thanks,

Suzanne
 

Dale Smalley

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Reoprt it to your client who is lending the $
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Before reporting it to your client, I'd check with the builder and ask to look at a set of his plans. Go over his dimensions and then compare them to yours.

I would think that there are two real easily explainable possibilities:

#1 The builder or his architect may be including something as GLA that is not

Or

#2 You may be overlooking something that should be included in the GLA.

This is substantial difference and I would check it out before finishing the report. At least be convinced in your own mind that you did not measure the house wrong.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
And to piggy back on Richards answer, check the plans to see if they are quoting "building area" as GLA.
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
If I was the owner of one of those houses, I would want the county to know the correct square footage as they base their assessment on that number. I think it's just a case of the county getting it wrong, not fraud.

TC
 

Suzanne K Hansen

Sophomore Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Aside from the assessments, what about the people who own and paid for houses that are actually 250 sqft (~15%) smaller than what they were told, doesn't make a diffierence? I would be upset. And what about all the folks who actually have houses that are 1560 sqft being compared to houses that are 250 sqft smaller. Wouldn't they be upset?

I don't know if it was intentional, but for the last 3 years since these houses were built, you're walking into an obviously small house and paying prices for a significantly larger house. Seems like someone would have picked up on it and done something about it before.

Now I'm faced with it and I'd like to let someone know what has happened. I haven't yet tracked down who the builder is but I'm working on it and I'll bet you're right that the GBA was used instead of the GLA.

Who should I call? (And I've heard that Ghostbusters is out of business)

S
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Suzanne

Having sold real estate for 18 1/2 years, I can tell you that I have never seen a buyer buy a house for the sq footage. It really does not matter what the sq footage is as long as the house works for them.

They were not paying for the 1500+ sq feet in the house. They were paying for the house that they saw and wanted.

The main problem with this situation is that these will be used as comps for other 1500 sq foot houses and may (or may not) mess up the market data. It is probably no big effect depending on how many similar sales you have in the market.

I would just try to figure out if it is you or if it is the builder with the wrong number and go from there. Other than that, the homeowners may not want your assistance, no matter how well meaning it is.

BTW, this is another reason for being on your local MLS and being involved. You can bring this type of information to light and get these things corrected.
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
I worked as a tax assessor for over five years. We never used the builders or brokers square footage, rather we sketched the exterior walls in the tax assessmrnt program and let the computer calculate everything. High foyers and two story rooms were commonly missed, garbage in- garbage out.
 

Travis McGee

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
This is not fraud, are you serious about reporting this? To whom, and why? This is just the builder's representation of their home for marketing purposes. Builder living area frequently ncludes lofts and cut outs for second story. It is each buyer's repsonsiblity to measure thier own future home, if they want to.

On the report, simply put your measured livng area without the cut out and adjust all builder model matches down accordingly. Then comment on it These homes could be selling same as larger homes outside community because of their new appeal.
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
The county has my home listed with 2400 sf, 600sf shy. When I bought the house it made no difference to me. However, since my county uses square footage as its main determining factor when assessing, I suppose I should let them know about their little slip-up........maybe not. :D

TC
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Find a Real Estate Appraiser - Enter Zip Code

Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at
AppraiserSites.com
Top

AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks