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Log siding vs log home?!

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Keri

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Oklahoma
Received an order for a 'log' home. Inspection revealed it was log siding on a 36 X 84 home on a cement block foundation and a drywall interior.
Sinking suspicion that this is a modular, yet the building permit at the assessors office states it is a single family residential construction. Have found 2 comps of log homes and 1 that is a log siding (and there does not seem to be a difference in price between log and log siding homes). Are these acceptable? The loan officer is aware of the situation, and said to use these comparables. I am worried that I am using comparables that do not truly represent the subject. How do I know if the subject is modular and how do I measure the affect of this, if it is modular? Eh. I know, not something that can be answered easily, yet I want to do this right so I'm putting the report on hold until I hear from some of you.
 

Rich Heyn

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Keri:

Modular homes will typically have a "marriage wall" down the center of the house. This wall, where the sections are joined together, will be much thicker than the other walls. Look for penetrations through the center wall and note the thickness of the jambs.

You might also look for "data plates". The three most common locations for these are:

1) Near the electric service panel, usually on the inside of the service panel door.

2) Affixed to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door. Start with the doors under the sink.

3) Inside a closet, usually above the door.

Unless you have some kind of local market bias against factory-built homes, you may not need to adjust for modular vs. stick-built, as long as overall quality (fit and finish of the trim, cabinet quality, plumbing fixtures, etc.) are comparable to stick-built.

A few other issues. Is the siding the "butt and pass" type that simulates the way the logs of a true log home overlap and overhang each other on the outside corners? If so, this is a much more expensive ($8.00/sq.ft) type of siding the the half-log mitered corner type.

You said the assessor says "single family residential construction." Do they have another term for modulars? After all, modular homes are "single family residential construction," are they not?

Rich Heyn
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Manufactured homes are also single family residential construction---so don't go by what the assessment office has noted!! You have to find out where, when, who, etc actually constructed the home and what building code was following during that construction to determine if it is a site built home or a modular home or a manufactured home or a "kit" precut homes. If it was manufactured home that look for the items Rich listed. If it was a modular home then look for any labels that your government entities requires. Some states do not require any identification of modular homes or the identification could be in a place that is not readily observable. If it was a "kit" home than all the rules and regulations for site built homes applies and there probably won't be any identification anywhere.

By the way, marriage walls are not necessarily thicker. Just got back from an interior observation of a triple wide manufactured home. Only the wall between the main part of the house and the third unit was thicker, because the exterior wall was 2" x 6" construction. The marriage wall down the middle of the two longest sections was the same thickness as the remaining walls. Other mult-width homes will also have all marriage walls the same thickness as all the other interior walls. They move them down the road and store them at the factory or dealer lot with very, very, very heavy plastic covering the open areas where the marriage walls will be. Or the dry wall will be installed on one side, and then installed on the other side after the unit is on the site.

The home I was just at had vaulted ceilings, dry wall interior, rounded corners, display shelves, display niches, oak cabinets with leaded glass inserts, ceramic tile counter edges, very large open rooms, closet organizers in all the walk in closets, sheet vinyl that looked liked laminated vinyl flooring, etc, etc, etc. The only thing is they installed it above ground, so it will be obvious, not matter what porches, patios, garages, etc they add, it will still look like a manufactured home from the inside. Inside it is nicer, better quality, better workmanship, etc than the site built homes in my area that cost more.
 

Dan Leggett

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Mississippi
My knowledge on modular housing is very limited but don't most of them have some sort of under-carriage that you could observe from the foundation access opening?
 

Tony O\'Regan

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2002
Keri,

I suspect it would be fine to use the log comps that you have. Modular, homes are more related to a stick built house than a mobile or manufactured.

If said modular is on a permanent foundation, 2x4 or 2x6 construction. Then what would the difference be from your typical stick built home? :?:

15 years in Oklahoma, and I have made no distinction in modular and stick built.


Oh,.... have you asked the homeowner if the house was a modular?

Tony :wink:
 

Keri

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Oklahoma
I know that anytime I have a question, I will get thoughtful responses and I appreciate everyone for taking the time to reply.

I feel much more confident about the report now.

Jo Anne:

You should start collecting all of your replies and compile them into a book for beginning appraisers. Thanks for the information!

Dan:

I looked under the house, but was not able to see much more than some plumbing pipes and a lot of cobwebs. Glad to know someone else thought it was a worthwhile activity.

Rich:

Very much appreciate the 'butt and pass' information. It helped explain the differences I was finding in the market between the different types of log siding. And I checked the areas you suggested, but found nothing.

Tony:

Good to hear someone else in Oklahoma has to deal with the atypical log cabin request. Well, for me it is atypical. Thanks for the response and advice.

Again, thanks to everyone who replied. Feel much better about sending it off now.


Keri
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Log siding (1/2 log, 1/4 log, face log-whatever you want to call it) is not log construction. Don't let the UW try to force you into providing log construction comps. This is frame construction, just like if it had vinyl or aluminum siding. Make sure you state in your report that it is not "log construction". Then stand firm. Any comps will do but having a log sided house would help. I would not use a log constructed house as a comp due to the cost difference and the marketability (Yes even up here in the north country, log homes are hard to sell).
 
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