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Mother-in-Law House Adjustment?

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Ariba

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I have a property that has an attached mother-in-law house. The mother-in-law house has a separate entrance and cannot be accessed from the main house. The mother-in-law house consists of family room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, enclosed sunroom, laundry/utility room, attached 1-car garage and central air conditioning. For all intended purposes the subject property is technically a duplex which is not allowed under current zoning in the development. However, a building and occupancy permit was issued for the mother-in-law house and includes a statement that the mother-in-law house cannot be rented or rebuilt if destroyed. Based on the building permit I will mark the legal non-conforming zoning box or should I mark illegal?

The main house is 2,054 SF and the mother-in-law is 1,008 SF. I was going to search for comparables based on the 2,054 SF main house and adjust for the mother-in-law house in the grid as an accessory unit.

The mother-in-law house cannot be functionally incorporated into the main house. So unless you have a buyer with aging parents it has minimal utility. This is for a refinance.

How would you approach adjusting for the mother-in-law house?
 

Mztk1

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
It is legal non-conforming, but the problem is that it cannot be rebuilt if destroyed.

What I would do is scour the area for other SFR w/an accessory unit and call on each at the town to find out if their unit can be rebuilt if destroyed. Hopefully you'll find that cannot, you may find several. Use the most similar to the subject but also use a comparable very similar to it (same location, etc) that lacks the inlaw suite. That way you can tell is a non-buildable structure adds any value. If the comp is far away or very different, use it as comp #4 and its comparative comp as comp #5. If the sizes and values are very different, you may have to consider the adjustment for the suite as a percentage as opposed to a lump sum.

Hope that at least confirms what you were already thinking.
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
Definitely a negative adjustment. :)


TC

HaHa. I get your point, TC, but it is better than having an in-law living in the same house as YOU are!

It could also be considered as a Guest house or wouldn't it make a great teen room(s) or an adult child (oxymoron) who moves back home with a kid or two? OR, an appraiser's office or any other professional that works out of his/her home. I can think of LOTS of uses for such an accessory building.

Properly done, the adjustment would have to be market driven based on matched pairs. BUT, I would probably NOT adjust more for this 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit than I would for a studio or 1 bd, 1 ba. The fact that it cannot be re-built is another issue. In my area, a granny/in-law, or guest house cannot be over 620 SF of GLA. So, maybe a smaller in-law unit could replace this large one if destroyed. You might want to check that out before declaring it to be non-rebuildable.
 

Ariba

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
It is legal non-conforming, but the problem is that it cannot be rebuilt if destroyed.

What I would do is scour the area for other SFR w/an accessory unit and call on each at the town to find out if their unit can be rebuilt if destroyed.

It could also be considered as a Guest house or wouldn't it make a great teen room(s) or an adult child (oxymoron) who moves back home with a kid or two? OR, an appraiser's office or any other professional that works out of his/her home. I can think of LOTS of uses for such an accessory building.

Properly done, the adjustment would have to be market driven based on matched pairs.

Thanks for the suggestions

However, paired sales on an accessory house that is zoned either grandfathered or illegal? Not possible to make a market driven adjustment, no guest houses or mother-in-law houses in this market. The subject development consists of about 60 houses on 2.5-5 acre lots surrounded by tract homes.
 

Ariba

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Is this a detached structure?

The mother-in-law house is attached but has a separate entrance and cannot be accessed from the main house. See floorplan below.
 
Last edited:

CANative

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
Under the current zoning and land use regulations/ordinances, can the additional space be converted to additional GLA for the main structure (frame in and roof the patio, pull the kitchen) so that the result would be a 3,000 sf residence?
 

John LaBelle

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
You say it cannot be rebuilt if destroyed. Do you mean it cannot be rebuilt as an in-law, or cannot be rebuilt period. If the answer is it cannot be rebuilt as an in-law, but a structure could be built on the same footprint and incorporated into the main dwelling I would think there would be some significant contributing value. In my area, I see many in-law apartments. Some are located in basements, and others in areas above garages or small wings similar to your situation. In my area, it is the additional finished area that adds the value and not necessarily the use of a second unit. I'm thinking along the same lines as Greg. From the sketch, there seems to be the ability to cure the Functional Obsolecence of not beeing directly attached to the main unit and have the in-law be incorporated into the rest of the home.
 

Annelle

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arizona
I'm with Greg and John.

I'm not sure that you need to remove the kitchen, but perhaps not give it value, unless you could find comps. In portions of California, it might even add value. My parents had a home with two kitchens. One it the main portion and one in one of the family rooms, adjacent to the pool, along with a fireplace that could double as a grill. When you have large families and/or entertain, they can be quite useful. I've also appraised properties with more than one kitchen.
 
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