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Multi-family or SFR with ADU?

alebrewer

Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
The predominant guidance on the thread is exactly right - you'd first need to check zoning. Couple of things to consider when researching zoning: (1) is it zoned for SFD or multi-family, and (2) if it's zoned SFD, does zoning allow for 2nd/basement kitchens. Questions you'd need to ask yourself while researching zoning - if it's zoned SFD, then it MAY be a SF with legal ADU. If, however, the zoning ordinance doesn't allow basement kitchens, they may have to remove the kitchen (which usually means just removing the cookstove/range-oven) and create interior access. If 2nd kitchens ARE allowed, does the SF zoning allow for ADU's? If it's zoned multi-family, are there other sales of duplexes with similar arrangement? If there aren't any sales of duplexes with similar arrangement, it may be an issue of functional obsolescence - e.g. the market prefers SxS instead of UnD. If the zoning is SFD, and basement kitchens are legal, are there other sales of SFD with basement kitchens?
 

J Grant

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I have been assigned to appraise a property which is listed in the tax record as a single family unit. Ranch style home built in 1960's. It's divided into two units, each with a separate access. Clearly marked as A and B units. Separate meters and HVAC systems. A unit is above ground. B unit is the basement. Both units have a kitchen and bath. You cannot get from one to the other from the inside, the wall has been blocked off. The original appraisal at time of purchase has it as a SFR with an ADU. I say it's a 2-unit Multi-family. Who is correct? Could it be either/or? I want to make sure I am on solid ground before responding because this is one of my biggest clients. Thanks in advance.
This thread highlights market value and then the issue of value in use - aka when owners "get creative" with property to make a value in use for their individual preference. (value in use was to divide up house and create a rentable ADU. Of course zoning compliance and other issues need to be analyzed...

Back t value in use vs HBU and the MV development - s owner turned a normal ranch with a basement into a divided sectioned ADU . Does the market read this divided up subject value in use is also the HBU ? Do more owners convert a basement into an ADU, or do most want the normal SFR with direct basement access and normal utility?

Though there is rental income from an ADU made from part of a house (in this case basement ), in some areas owners do not want it , loss of use of that part of house, loss of privacy, another car parked, noise, tenant issues etc - in other areas the extra income very worth it to cash strapped owners. So the market would tell you-

Appraiser needs to let client know step one and proceed from there with the appraisal assuming client does not cancel.
 
Last edited:

Lil Rhody

Sophomore Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Rhode Island
I have been assigned to appraise a property which is listed in the tax record as a single family unit. Ranch style home built in 1960's. It's divided into two units, each with a separate access. Clearly marked as A and B units. Separate meters and HVAC systems. A unit is above ground. B unit is the basement. Both units have a kitchen and bath. You cannot get from one to the other from the inside, the wall has been blocked off. The original appraisal at time of purchase has it as a SFR with an ADU. I say it's a 2-unit Multi-family. Who is correct? Could it be either/or? I want to make sure I am on solid ground before responding because this is one of my biggest clients. Thanks in advance.
Just a thought, but in my area tax records are not a definitive source of data for legal use and cannot be relied upon. The Building/Zoning/Planning departments in the local municipalities are the sources for verification of legal use and many time are not in concert wit what is on the property card.

Many appraisers claim to not be permit police but in instances like this, a permit search might shed some light on what construction/modifications that the local municipality allowed the current or prior owner to complete including the addition of an ADU, a second kitchen or legal use change. A second kitchen on the property card can sometimes be noted by a third party that conducts assessment inspections for the assessor's property card data updates but does not necessarily denote legality or approval. Good luck and Happy New Year!!
 

sputnam

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Carolina
I have been assigned to appraise a property which is listed in the tax record as a single family unit. Ranch style home built in 1960's. It's divided into two units, each with a separate access. Clearly marked as A and B units. Separate meters and HVAC systems. A unit is above ground. B unit is the basement. Both units have a kitchen and bath. You cannot get from one to the other from the inside, the wall has been blocked off. The original appraisal at time of purchase has it as a SFR with an ADU. I say it's a 2-unit Multi-family. Who is correct? Could it be either/or? I want to make sure I am on solid ground before responding because this is one of my biggest clients. Thanks in advance.
Sounds like a duplex to me... however, does a two family dwelling conform to zoning regulations?
 
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