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Neighbors Fence

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Dorrie Klatt

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Hello Everyone !

We are doing a FHA appraisal on a semi-detached property. There is a fence in the backyard that divides the two properties which appears to be totally on the neighbor's side, not the subject's side. The wooden fence has massive amounts of chipped and peeling paint, is probably a foot from the subject's yard and very accessable to any children that could be living in the subject property.

Although I cannot call for the paint repair on the neighbor's fence, do you think I should note it somewhere in the appraisal, whether it be in a text addendum or on the Homebuyers Summary? Or not to worry about it....... I guess you get so concerned with liability, that I'm wondering if this would be something to address somewhere in the report.

As always, thanks in advance for any and all input!

Dorrie
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
note it somewhere in the appraisal, whether it be in a text addendum or on the Homebuyers Summary?
Dorrie, were it me I would do both! I think you are on the right track, in that it SHOULD be noted, but is not specific to the subject actual legal lot boundaries.

I'd note it in the environmental section, and personally elect to comment again under VC11-g, with explanation that while not acutally on the subject property, due to proximity, kids would have full access (etc). Thus the underwriter (and HUD) have knowlege of the situation and the buyer will also be apprised on the Homebuyers.

I wouldn't be spooked so much by the liability aspect as the need to properly fill your role as the 'eyes in the field'... however mentioning it in three places does lend protection to your flanks if they set the dogs on you!
:roll:
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
When was it built? Pre 1978? The main concern is lead based paint. Since it is not on the subject property, I would disclose the problem (like Lee Ann said) and let the district underwriter figure out what to do.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
As the chipped paint has caught your attention it does behoove you to find out who does own the fence. On what side of the line is it ? Ask the subject owner. They say good fences make good neighbors. A lot of times the fence thing was created by previous owner(s) of either one of the properties and this fence has remained un-maintained by both parties with mutual agreement. Neither one ever paid to put up a fence and neither one has yet to consider re-painting it. However, because of this report you are writing, you must give it some consideration. If it is on the other guy's property then it has a proximity issue to the subject and absolutely appropriate for you to speak of the condition and proximity to the subject. Let the U/W then determine if they want to have the neighbor get it painted. There are so many (new) neighborhoods in my city where the postage-stamp back yards are all disected in nice little fenced areas with 6 ft. stained wood fences. After the original owner of each home has sold and moved on the second owner(s) may not be real clear on the fence ownership scenario and it simple becomes that "wood thing that keeps my dog from running over into your back yard". It is impossible for a property to NOT have a fence, and the functional use benefit of a fence. The one way one gets to learn who probably paid for the original fences is when you go inspect a subject and it has no wing closures and gates to contain the back yard area and seal it off. Bingo, that original owner likely and simply let the other folks build their fences and then got the use of a fence from the expense of the other guy. It happens that way some time. When everybody has a fence it's almost the same as nobody has a fence.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
I'm not sure that you can do anything about it other than mention it and make any adjustments you wish under External Depreciation. If the fence were last painted before 1978 (how do you find that out?) you could mention the chipping paint. Otherwise, it is not part of subject property and external to the subject. Therefore, neither you nor HUD have any authority over the fence and the peeling paint. Trying to address any sort of correction in an appraisal report is not the appropriate place for that.
 
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