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Include "Summer Kitchen" in GLA?

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equ13

Freshman Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
Connecticut
I own a Victorian that is built into a gently sloping hillside. It has a true basement in the northern portion of the bottom floor that is built below grade. On the southern side is the summer kitchen that is completely above grade.

It is finished similarly to the rest of the house with wood flooring and plaster ceilings and has a true below-grade basement underneath. It has heating, and finished windows similar to the rest of the house. After remodeling, it does have some exposed piping. Also there are brick walls, not plaster. It get a little more complicated in that space was cleared out of the hillside to create 2 10' x 20' decks on either side of the kitchen. If that had not been done, the summer kitchen would have been maybe 1.5' below grade.

Seems based on ANSI standards the summer kitchen should be included in the GLA but due to the other elements at work here, I thought I would try to get some professional input. The room was not included when I purchased the home, but it qualified for the selling price without it. The bank appraiser made a number of fairly non-standard assumptions based on my understanding of appraisals, so I don't know how to interpret the non-inclusion of the summer kitchen. Finished basements are common in CT where the house is but are not typically included in GLA.
 

Mztk1

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I can't speak for your market because I don't know it. But based on ANSI, if any portion of a level is below grade that level is not to be considered in finished square footage. Therefore, even though the southern portion was dug out, and even though it has a lower level under it, it still is on a level that has an area below ground and, therefore, it is not living area.

ANSI is not the end all and by all, though, except in those states that mandate it. How the market perceives it is what matters. It doesn't sound, however, like there are many others quite like yours out there.
 

Mary Tiernan

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2003
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Michigan
I believe ANSI also has limitations regarding access to the finished area.

Sounds like you have to travel through unfinished basement area to get to the summer kitchen? The summer kitchen is not accessed directly via the main living area?

I think this would limit inclusion in GLA.

For instance, if a room above the garage is completely finished like the rest of the house and includes heat, but the only access is through the garage, not included in GLA.
 

equ13

Freshman Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
Connecticut
Thanks for the responses. It it helps, you do not have to travel through the basement to get to the "summer kitchen". In fact it's the other way around, you have to travel through the summer kitchen to access the basement.

As far as clearing the space away is concerned, I would imagine at a certain point the excavated land would create a new definition of below grade. To pose an absurd example, if I were to clear the ground for 100 yards around the sides of the summer kitchen, would that still qualify as below grade?

Not trying to argue one way or the other, just trying to understand.
 

Thomas Fiehler

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
As Pam mentioned a photo would be nice. Now about the 100 yards cleared away...if you were to study ANSI you would find out that if the area were excavated, the appraiser would simply follwo the contour of the land (that was removed) to determine if any part of an area would be below grade. But as others have mentioned it really is how the market perceives it. Even if it does not count as GLA, that doesn't mean that it doesn't add value.
 

leelansford

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
... I don't know how to interpret the non-inclusion of the summer kitchen. Finished basements are common in CT where the house is but are not typically included in GLA.

Finished area of a basement with the feature of being partially at grade-level is what is termed--in the area where I practice--a "walk-out" basement. I do not consider this finished area to be within the definition of Gross Living Area...but this does not necessarily indicate that this finished area does not have contributory value the same, or very similar to, GLA.

Does this help?
 

JTip

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
When the home was first built, did the contractor have to excavate the space or any other connected floor space where the 'summer kitchen' is located?

I vote not GLA, IMM.
 

Obsolescent

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Minnesota
If any part of the basement or lower level of the home is underground, the entire level is considered below grade and is generally not included in the gross living area. Based on my interpretation of your description, even though the summer kitchen is at grade the portion behind the summer kitchen is below grade; consequently it is part of the below grade space and is not included in the gross living area.
 

Thern Newbell

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
You may want to call an appraiser with local expertise in your market. There are some markets where buyers may not differentiate as much between GLA and below grade finished living area, but I don't know if that is the case in your market. Additionally, even though there is a basement below this finished area you are referring to, that does not change the definition for below grade. I appraised a house one time on a hillside that had two levels above grade, and two levels below grade (both levels were daylight basements). In this case, in referring to the two levels below grade, I listed both as basement areas.
 
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