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Permanent foundation

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Lee SW IL

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
I have search several articales and post. Can anyone advice the definition of a permanent foundation.

Is there something specific from HUD.

Thanks
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I ordered the whole FHA foundation handbook a few years ago and was pretty upset that I couldn't figure it out since I do know how to read most blueprints, etc.

Primary: You do not make that determination - an engineer does. I refuse to worry about it or even attempt to make that call. I know this isn't a real answer for you but, attempting to say whether it is or isn't a permanent foundation is like walking a tightrope.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
We had our local appraiser assoc. drink/eat/speaker meeting last night and our speakers were two underwriters with total 40 years experience in their trade. Lots of Q & A and interchange of thoughts and ideas. You can be sure that manufactured's and foundations came up. While it may be obvious that appraisers are NOT engineers, and that we have our c.y.a. to do when such opportunity arises....it was shared that we should simply describe exactly what we see below ! "Make the effort" to open a crawlspace hatch, carry a flashlight in the car for just this reason, and probe the light into the darkness. The safety aspects of snakes, spiders and goblins was clearly acknowledged ane our discretion (by these two persons) would always be accepted. If the appraiser could only describe the "readily observable" scenario .....that may be all that is needed for others to understand how to proceed. They also expressed that 2 to 3 lines of disclaimer were sufficient to follow any description of what was seen, rather than 2 to 3 pages chock-full of useless gobblety-goop. Believe it or not these two underwrtiters actually did well at showing us how "human" they are. With 40 years combined experience that was evident, and we were fortunate their experience was not 40 weeks ! It was clear by their subtle and restrained remarks that our comments about the loan broker / originator crowd were understood.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I would love to have a local appraisers 'club' here. Finally, through this forum, I'm finding some local ethical appraisers and maybe we can put something like this together.

Thank you very much for this info.
 

Ted Martin

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Kansas
Given that the planet is even permenant I don't think a foundation should be given that description.

We describe them as site built concrete (poured, block, whatever) foundations, then we describe the connection between the structure and the foundation. We don't warranty that the foundation or the connections are adequate. The HUD foundation handbook is available online and is a 60 or 70 page document which only and engineer could love. It is possible that another foundation system would be considered adequate. I've seen engineered steel foundations that would meet load and legal requirements better than a poured concrete foundation.

I guess my point is don't let the lender force you to step outside your area of knowledge. If they have a question about the foundation they need to hire an engineer or the like. Even to determine the if the depth of the foundation is below the frost line, you'ld either need xray vision or a shovel. Your function is to describe what you've observed and make a judgement as to the markets reactions to you observations. Your value estimate is based on the assumption that what you have observed meets the expectations of the market and or the lender, don't forget to disclose you assumptions.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Ted, I recently looked at the foundations handbook on-line and it is an engineer's document for sure, talking about wind shears strengths affecting the length, or the width of the home, the snow load limits of rooves of varied pitch, spacing of piers and varied anchoring systems and loads per pier, et al. I did copy the few early pages of the Table of Contents so I might be able to verbally refer to the categories of the handbook. The point these two underwriters were trying to make in our area meeting Wed. night was that all too often they see appraisal reports where no one gave a try at offering several lines of description about what the system looks like ..... but merely waives it all and prints out heaps of addenda anyway. Frost depth and pier settings ? ... of course, only the engineer could make such a determination ! The disclaimers and overriding assumptions can be brief, and yet still be potent enough to protect the appraiser while informing the reader to an extent not requiring the follow-up phone call to the appraiser, but rather to the engineer to set up his or her appointment.
 

JonB

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
sounds like we are all on the same track, we get a good share of FHA mobile home appraisals where the foundation has to be permanent to HUD standards.

Essentially the area engineer must determine if the dealers plan for the foundation meets HUD Guidlines and then certify that it is such. The appraiser is "required" to have a copy of this information before completing the report.

Also a lot of times the issue of permanency is driven by the county or state. They will wont the title of the home surrendered and the entire property taxed as real estate. They also want the tongue, wheels, and hitch removed.

If you can get both of those things you should feel confident stating that the home is on a "permanent" foundation. You have the Engineer certifying it meeting HUD standards and the county or other municipality stating they consider it permanent.
 
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