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Lake cabin occupany?

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Jeff Horton

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
Appraising a cabin on the lake, somewhat of a rarety around here but it is actually used as a cabin by the owner. So do I mark it as vacant or occupied?

I tend to lean toward vacant since it is seldom occupied. Much less than half of the year is it occupied.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
My area is made up of mostly second, vacation homes. I mark the occupancy as owner occupied if it is a vacation home used exclusively by the owner. Then I disclose that it is a second, vacation home in the report. If it is managed by a rental agency and is rented most of the year, with the owners visiting on occasion for “maintenance” as allowed in IRS rules, I mark it as tenant occupied. Then disclose in the report that it is a second, vacation home that is rented most of the year. It must be disclosed that this is a second home, because financing is typically different for vacation homes requiring more equity and maybe a higher %. Don’t let the owner or lender pressure you into saying that it is owner occupied with out disclosing that it is a second home. But, stating it to be vacant is like saying the property has been abandoned. If it shows signs of having been abandoned, fine, say so. But if it is actively used as a vacation home, I would not mark it vacant.
Just my opinion.
Mell.
 

Jeff Horton

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
Thats a good point Mell. I could have argueed this either way but I like your thinking and that is how I will handle it. Lake cabins are being bulldozed and replaced by larger and larger homes every year here. Homes still used as cabins are very unusual now and this is first time I have ran into this.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Same thing here. They will buy a nice 2000 SqFt, frame house built in the 1980's to bulldoze it over. Then build a $300 per SF mansion. It is not unusual to see the land value 70% of the value. That drives the UW's nuts! :lol: But that is the market, and I have 4 years worth of data that proves it.
Mell.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
It is occupied.

It is a second or recreational house that is utilized by the owner and therefore it considered occupied. We do these all of the time in our highly recreational market. The use of Vacant throws a red flag to the UW that is not necessary. The house is under the control of the owner and as such we must consider it occupied.

The only time I mark a house Vacant is when everything is moved out. If the owners are in the process of moving and 95% of their stuff is gone, I still mark it as occupied.
 

Dave Smith

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Ditto to Richard's comments.

If the clothes are in the closet, the tooth brush is in the bathroom and the Budweiser is in the refrigerator its an occupied house.

My get-away home in the north woods is occupied whether I am there or not, just as my primary residence here is occupied when I am hiding form the underwriters in the north woods.

Just because I'm not home at the time of inspection does not make it a vacant house. I inspect many, many properties with no one home. I get the key from the plumber, the neighbor or from under the flower pot on the deck. Like Richard, if the furniture is gone and there is no Budweiser to be had then its vacant. If I havel to schedule an appointment with a renter then its tenant occupied.

Have a good weekend!!!
 
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