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Mid Century Modern question

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Mid Century Mod Ohio

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Nov 26, 2020
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Ohio
I am an architect looking for a little help before we get our Mid Century modern home appraised. We live in Columbus Ohio where there are very few modern homes. Its a 4 bedroom 3 bath house. 2600 sq ft.

First question: Ranch with walkout basement or 2 level home? How is this determined? We drive up to our upper level where the front door, kitchen, main living space and our master bed /bath. The lower level is 75% exposed with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. There are windows on both sides of the lower level and is a larger foot print than the upper level because the utility room is under the front patio.

Question 2: How do you determine Comps for a house that is so different from the rest of the market? This house is very unique and stands out in many ways. When we have recieved comps in the past they have been typical houses from the area. We feel it under values the uniqueness of our home. I have been collecting information and pricing for more similar homes in our market. Can the appraiser use those for comps vs typical homes?

Thabks for your help
Dan and Kim
 

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TMG

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
With all those windows, the lower level does not look like a basement. I'd call it a two story home, with the 2nd level below the first level.

Here in Southern California, there are quite a few Mid Century Modern Homes. Especially in Palm Springs. I love them!! I recently appraised a Mid Century Modern home in a tract where approx 25% of the homes were mid century mod design. I was careful to include as many mid century mod sales as possible. In fact, I went back in time a little further, and all of my closed comps were mid century modern. Because in this tract, these models have a higher demand than the conventional pitched roof homes. Mid Century Modern homes are becoming more and more sought after in some areas. So yes, you are correct in your concern of conventional design homes being compared to yours.

I always say "compare apples to apples", and; "use comparables, not adjustments". On the appraisal sales grid, "design style" is one of the elements. If the subject is Mid Century Modern, most reviewers/lenders will want at least one comparable with the same "design/style". The appraiser might have to expand the search area, or go back 2 to 3 years in order to find mid century modern sales.

Best wishes! Nice house!!
 
Last edited:

A Brit in California

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May 6, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Attached is a guide I utilize to assist in describing the type/style of a house. Sometimes they don't always fit inside a mold. It typically makes no actual difference (in value) what an appraiser calls a home.

Over many years of being an appraiser as well as a real estate broker I have heard the same comment you made.....the appraiser does not appreciate the value in the uniqueness of a particular home.

We do try and compare apples to apples but sometimes we have to compare a Fuji apple to a Granny Smith apple and adjust. A good appraiser will make sensible adjustments that can be explained and backed up with statistical data.

If a home is so different/unique......it can have LESS value than more typical homes. See the "shoe" house. It is unique....but most people don't want it. Unique does not always mean more value.

I would simply call the home in your photos a 2-story or contemporary.
 

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fritzvogel

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
I love the shoe house, any comps would be unavailable of course, has to be a cash sale, or hold the paper. $ 2,500. for my time on that one.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
How do you determine Comps for a house that is so different from the rest of the market?
Sometimes you have to use a proxy for a unique property. For instance, a Geodesic dome home might need to use log homes, A frames, etc. as a proxy for the market reaction. The market reaction should be similar - I might try to find a similar comp back in time and see how it sold compared to more "conventional" houses. Was it on the market longer? Did it sell for less? Your choice is almost always go further back in time or go further out in space.
 

Dublin ohio

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
Question 2: How do you determine Comps for a house that is so different from the rest of the market? This house is very unique and stands out in many ways. When we have recieved comps in the past they have been typical houses from the area. We feel it under values the uniqueness of our home. I have been collecting information and pricing for more similar homes in our market. Can the appraiser use those for comps vs typical homes?
Styles like this are always a challenge in central Ohio. A lot is going to depend "where" in Columbus you are located. Not a large number of homes of this specific style in central Ohio. I have appraised homes with similar floor plans. Just did a purchase this past year that had a very similar flooplan and walkout. Somewhat of a "unique" style as it had what I would call a "commercial" look to it. You are probably aware that school system around here is a major factor. Now the uniqueness of your home could negate some of the school system difference as it would typically appeal to a somewhat more specific market that may not consider school system above style. But location is still going to be a factor. Hope the appraiser you get is familiar with appraising this type property around here. It gets complex.
 

Tim The Enchanter

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
That would fit in just fine in a lot of hoods around here.
Good luck where you are.
 

Mid Century Mod Ohio

Freshman Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Professional Status
General Public
State
Ohio
With all those windows, the lower level does not look like a basement. I'd call it a two story home, with the 2nd level below the first level.

Here in Southern California, there are quite a few Mid Century Modern Homes. Especially in Palm Springs. I love them!! I recently appraised a Mid Century Modern home in a tract where approx 25% of the homes were mid century mod design. I was careful to include as many mid century mod sales as possible. In fact, I went back in time a little further, and all of my closed comps were mid century modern. Because in this tract, these models have a higher demand than the conventional pitched roof homes. Mid Century Modern homes are becoming more and more sought after in some areas. So yes, you are correct in your concern of conventional design homes being compared to yours.

I always say "compare apples to apples", and; "use comparables, not adjustments". On the appraisal sales grid, "design style" is one of the elements. If the subject is Mid Century Modern, most reviewers/lenders will want at least one comparable with the same "design/style". The appraiser might have to expand the search area, or go back 2 to 3 years in order to find mid century modern sales.

Best wishes! Nice house!!
This is very helpful. Appreciate the response and information.
 
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