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Newbie Measuring question

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sputnam

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Carolina
On an old 2 story home that is really like a 1 and half story where on the second floor the walls might go up two or three feet before the walls start to follow the angle of the roof and the ceilings might seem particularly low but still has a window and is used as a bedroom. Do we measure this square footage any differently then we would the first floor? Thank you
Your best bet is to learn and use one of the standards. I personally use ANSI Z765... but there are others. Some appraisal boards prefer one or another. You might want to check with them.
 

ramrcdk

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
From Another Thread: **I always state in every report the Method Used and it IS : ANSI STANDARDS

(Quote: How hard is it to measure a dog box with a tape or a laser? I saw an appraiser standing out on the sidewalk with a measuring wheel sighting in a front 60 foot wall of a residence, where the appraiser was more than 25 feet from the house. Oh, well, no wet grass on those gucci's or ferragamos. I thought, yeah, get a little closer so you don't strain your eyes.)

"Around Here" Tax Man uses the wheel through ruts & sticks & a laser with a loose hand. (saw it with my own eyes, laser hitting the bushes, who knows)
Did you know it wasn't the tax man?
A Tape will not last as long as the metal hook on the end ...duuuu....because plastic tape expands over time. Just saying.

I remember well this short story: My Second Appraisal Office career... with Built In Well Seasoned Appraisers : He was about 15 years older than me. At first I looked up to him even though he wasn't tall. Little by little he became small, never looked up again. He was really a funny guy & would befriend most anybody. A GOOD ol' Boy!
In a CE class one day he stood up to say: I round to the foot, always have always will & thats that and to adjust for square footage don't you divide the most similar sized sale SQ FT /SP # by 3? Come on, we know everyone does that, right?
Few months went by, it was a sale & the owners and their agent used the sketch found in the "professional" appraisal to market the property. Over by Southpark, Foxcroft, a large hO'mmme. House sold & closed, few months went by & the past owners attorney call our office & then showed up for a meeting & to look at a file. Seems every time he rounded to the nearest whatever ... he left seller's money on the table, so to speak.
So those that do, DO you round UP or Down? E&O called it a gross error. He settled, nearly lost the home he & his wife bought when they married. That previous year, his wife had passed on and he was the only one left to care after their young daughter. Nearly, homeless. As far as I know, he was never "turned in" to the AB.
Whatever just takes a few more minutes to get it as right as you can, may be worth it.
But then I grew up where my gran would say "if it ain't right...it's wrong" and my mom liked it so much I grew up with her saying it too.
Through the stress of hearing it constantly ...Light a candle for me or flip your bic' ...I must admit I AM A-N-A-L !!! Yes...yes I am. So, moral is: FOR ME right may not be accurate but it is RIGHT enough to call it "professional" because I have been brain-washed! Surely to say, I even enjoy the pain OF the extra effort.

STATE what method you use and ANSI Standard is as better-best as any other. CE: there is an online class you may find helpful through Appraiser eLearning
 

sputnam

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Carolina
From Another Thread: **I always state in every report the Method Used and it IS : ANSI STANDARDS

(Quote: How hard is it to measure a dog box with a tape or a laser? I saw an appraiser standing out on the sidewalk with a measuring wheel sighting in a front 60 foot wall of a residence, where the appraiser was more than 25 feet from the house. Oh, well, no wet grass on those gucci's or ferragamos. I thought, yeah, get a little closer so you don't strain your eyes.)

"Around Here" Tax Man uses the wheel through ruts & sticks & a laser with a loose hand. (saw it with my own eyes, laser hitting the bushes, who knows)
Did you know it wasn't the tax man?
A Tape will not last as long as the metal hook on the end ...duuuu....because plastic tape expands over time. Just saying.

I remember well this short story: My Second Appraisal Office career... with Built In Well Seasoned Appraisers : He was about 15 years older than me. At first I looked up to him even though he wasn't tall. Little by little he became small, never looked up again. He was really a funny guy & would befriend most anybody. A GOOD ol' Boy!
In a CE class one day he stood up to say: I round to the foot, always have always will & thats that and to adjust for square footage don't you divide the most similar sized sale SQ FT /SP # by 3? Come on, we know everyone does that, right?
Few months went by, it was a sale & the owners and their agent used the sketch found in the "professional" appraisal to market the property. Over by Southpark, Foxcroft, a large hO'mmme. House sold & closed, few months went by & the past owners attorney call our office & then showed up for a meeting & to look at a file. Seems every time he rounded to the nearest whatever ... he left seller's money on the table, so to speak.
So those that do, DO you round UP or Down? E&O called it a gross error. He settled, nearly lost the home he & his wife bought when they married. That previous year, his wife had passed on and he was the only one left to care after their young daughter. Nearly, homeless. As far as I know, he was never "turned in" to the AB.
Whatever just takes a few more minutes to get it as right as you can, may be worth it.
But then I grew up where my gran would say "if it ain't right...it's wrong" and my mom liked it so much I grew up with her saying it too.
Through the stress of hearing it constantly ...Light a candle for me or flip your bic' ...I must admit I AM A-N-A-L !!! Yes...yes I am. So, moral is: FOR ME right may not be accurate but it is RIGHT enough to call it "professional" because I have been brain-washed! Surely to say, I even enjoy the pain OF the extra effort.

STATE what method you use and ANSI Standard is as better-best as any other. CE: there is an online class you may find helpful through Appraiser eLearning
I round measurements to the nearest 10th of an inch. If it needs to be better than that, you'll have to call NASA to do the work.
 

ucbruin

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
Not rounding to the nearest foot is akin to adjusting and appraising to the dollar....
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
all your assessors office and ask them how they measure the house
Good point, in one county I worked many years ago, the assessors did not measure the upper level rather simply called it 50% of the lower level on a 1.5 story house. But in a few years so many houses were being built with complex upper levels, grand rooms, etc. that they requested the owners give them the measurements on newer homes and reassessment came around and many of the older homes changed the living area to closer to actual SF.
 

CANative

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
Another method is to sink the house into a known quantity of water and then use the displacement of the water to determine the volume. All you have to do then is to convert volume to GLA.
 

Basically Rectangular

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Virginia
Not rounding to the nearest foot is akin to adjusting and appraising to the dollar....
Mmmm... The physical dimensions of the subject are fixed attributes, while adjustments are market based and therefore may change over time. Calculating an adjustment down to the dollar might not make sense, because the adjustment itself is more of a theory, but the physical dimensions are a fact. Rounding to the nearest 10th of a foot, or even .5 of a foot is not the same as adjusting to the dollar.

You can easily prove measurements to the 10th of a foot, but you might not be able to prove your adjustment to the nearest dollar (if you can prove them at all).
 

ucbruin

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
Mmmm... The physical dimensions of the subject are fixed attributes, while adjustments are market based and therefore may change over time. Calculating an adjustment down to the dollar might not make sense, because the adjustment itself is more of a theory, but the physical dimensions are a fact. Rounding to the nearest 10th of a foot, or even .5 of a foot is not the same as adjusting to the dollar.

You can easily prove measurements to the 10th of a foot, but you might not be able to prove your adjustment to the nearest dollar (if you can prove them at all).
How does the appraiser know/verify that the measuring device is accurately calibrated?

Also, and I can only imagine since I round to the nearest foot, that measuring to the 1/10 of a foot or some other fraction....
Will many times show that the house is not "squared"....

What does the appraiser do when this happens?
 
Last edited:

Basically Rectangular

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Virginia
How does the appraiser know/verify that the measuring device is accurately calibrated?

Also, and I can only imagine since I round to the nearest foot, that measuring to the 1/10 of a foot or some other fraction....
Will many times show that the house is not "squared"....

What does the appraiser do when this happens?
True, I doubt most homes are square.
 
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