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House Is Handicap Assessable

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Joshua Fookes

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I just inspected a 3000+sqft home with additional space for the indoor swimming pool off the patio and mater bedroom. The home owner is a handicaped woman who set it up ideally for a handicaped person. The indoor pool has a little machanical crane thing that is used to lower her in and out of the pool. It has a drive through pantry, so you don't have to turn around to get out. It has a drvie through closet for the same reason. The master Bedroom is drive through, the master bath is drive through (the bedroom, bath, & closet make a big loop so you get a mental of what I'm talking about.) The shower in the master bath is drive in.

All of the exterior doors have little ramps so her chair can get in and out easily. All of this was done with great care to not make the home look like it is for handicapped people. Seriously, If the lady did not have a chair or other equipment in the house, I might not have noticed all the little details.

All of this is going to be noted in the report, but would something like this typically effect the utility of the home possitively? Remember, it does not feel like you are walking around in a hospital or anything. Everything was done incognito, or with great style. The only thing I would want to change if I bought the home would be to take out the crane thing in the pool. that is the only obvious feature.

Should I just make comments about the physical characteristics and move on? Would something like this really effect value that much? The only thing I can think of is that a handicapped person would probably pay 20-30k more for this house just for all the built in convinences.

What do you all think?

Josh

PS Does the indoor pool count as GLA? It shares a wall with the master Bed/Bath, and there is a door into the pool room from the master bed/bath.
 

hal380

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Connecticut
Hi Joshua:

1- I would count the pool room as GLA since it is accessible from the inside and is heated.

2- You didnt mention if the kitchen counters were lowered for HC access and utility.

I could go either way on this. But if I were a realtor marketing this home, I would direct my marketing to the handicpped market who you say will pay 20 to 30 K more. In this marketing approach you have to recognize that you are narrowing your universe of of potential buyers so marketing time would be longer.

As a Highest and Best Use issue, I belive residential would be the H&B and within that the handicapped configuration is the highest, and that is the way I would go with it. Be sure you "Discuss at length" all of your reasons and logic for your dicision.

In general if you clearly explain what you did and why you chose to approach it is a certain way you will be covered. A reviewer may disagree with you and your value, but you will not be accused of inflating your figure.

Regards

Hal
 

Joshua Fookes

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
counters are the regular height, see has tall chair, its more like the kind you see at a shopping center.

Josh
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
You probably have two types of buyers. Those with and without accessibility issues. It's very likely that the one buyer would pay a little more for the house, but the exposure time necessary to reach those buyers is probably longer than for non-disabled buyers. Fortunately it doesn't sound like there's a cost to cure issue to market the home to non-disabled buyers. Except for the poolside crane, there may not even be functional obs, either. The impact of the indoor pool is probably a bigger issue in that market.

At a minimum, I would definitely disclose, definitely point out that the house may fit two different market segments, and make the final conclusion based on whichever you feel will end up being the 'typical' buyer because that's the type of transaction that will best represent the definition of market value. Make sure you use a realistic estimate of exposure time as well.

Matter of fact, I'd actually do both values (if they're different) and include both exposure time estimates as well (again assuming they're different). Highlighting these issues will help justify whichever one you ended up using as best demonstrating the market value. Doing it both ways basically means you are providing the information and allowing the client to make an informed decision as to which one they think applies best. Doing it one way or the other means that you have made that decision.
 
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