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PLEASE HELP WITH EARTH SHELTER

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Sam Hurta

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
May 23, 2002
We live in an earth sheltered home in Goliad county about two hours south of Austin. Appraisers in our area either decline or adjust down 40 to 50% because we are "Different".

We need an appraiser who is experienced in earth shelters and will compare with earth shelters. Will pay travel expenses - need estimate.

Contance ust at:

Sam and Donna Hurta
[email protected]
361-645-2386
 

TEL2002

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Louisiana
I am way far away in Ohio but this idea might help.

Get the #'s of earth covered home builders. Call them, explain your situation and try to put together a list of these homes within a couple hundred miles of your location.

Try to find similar info on other unique building systems (geodesic domes, lop homes, etc.)

Offer appraiser a flat fee for the appraisal plus added fee for extra miles and time. Give them plenty of time to finish report. This could take massive research...hence your preliminary leg work to help out.

Where can you find a list of these companies??? I would suggest you look in the alternative energy magazines and unique home magazines...at your nearest good book store. Also do an extensive internet search.

Good luck.
 

TEL2002

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Louisiana
Oops I forgot to say why a couple hundred miles.

1st - TX is darn big
2nd - You don't have to ask the company to do a narrow search.
3rd - You can easily eliminate excess. Start with too much data then narrow it down - or let the appraiser narrow it down.

Maybe your county (and the next county) tax assessors could help you.
 

Ted Martin

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Kansas
Please define earth shelter.

In my part of the world an earth contact home is typically a ranch style home that has dirt piled up on 1 to 3 sides and has a conventional roof system. Earth sheltered homes have dirt piled up on the roof. Earth contact homes are fairly common and compare well with other slab ranch style homes (assuming equal quality and condition). Earth sheltered homes are very rare and suffer from extended marketing times because the buyer recognize that if the roof leaks they are going to need the services of a commercial roofer rather than a residential roofer and it's going to be an expensive repair. What did the original appraiser base the adjustment on?
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
With our climate and soil types, earth bermed houses are relatively acceptable, but few earth shelter homes sell well. I know of 3 and 2 were foreclosed on. ALL have mildew. ALL had extensive marketing times (4 years, 1 year, 2 years) One sits vacant today, with the whole walls covered in mold.

I suspect the reason no one wants to appraise them is because the underwriters will hound them for weeks about the report. If you find someone who will do an earth shelter appraisal for less than $3000 you have found someone who has never done one.

ter
 
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