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Prelim Title Vs. Public Records And Tax Assessor

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Ludisor

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Hi Everyone,
I have a situation with a multi-unit property where I'm not confortable in what to do.
I prepared myself for the inspection based on public records that indicated the subject to be a duplex property built in 1948.
I did the inspection and what I found was a duplex plus a "third unit".
In 1981, the owner got a permit (I found it in the public records) to build a recreation room (with a bathroom) next to an existing 2 car garage. After that he combined the recreation room with the existing garage into the "third unit". There are NO permits for this convertion of the garage and connection with the recreation room. As per current zoning, in order to convert a garage into living space you need to provide another form of covered parking. The subject does not have another covered parking space.
The public records shows the property to be a duplex and the tax assessor website shows the property as a duplex.
I did the appraisal to the subject, based on the information I got, as subject being a duplex.
Now, the lender sent me a "Preliminary Report" from a Title company in which there are 3 addresses and he wants me to redone the appraisal as a 3 unit property.
The current zoning permits a third unit (R3), however in order to have that the property need to have covered parking spaces which it does not have.

I'm very unconfortable, based on a line in the Preliminary Title Report (showing 3 addresses) against all the other information I have, (public records, assessor records, lack of covered parking space) to consider this property as being a triplex.
Any idea on how to deal with this situation, it is very much appreciate it.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
As per current zoning, in order to convert a garage into living space you need to provide another form of covered parking. The subject does not have another covered parking space.
Back yourself in corner. SUBJECT TO would be bring the improvements into zoning compliance and permits. Appraise as is. Do you have comps with unpermitted additions? (no undoubtedly)
I did the appraisal to the subject, based on the information I got, as subject being a duplex.
Assuming what is obviously a permitting problem means you're second guessing HBU. The best way is to withdraw from assignment and eat the fee. Don't paint yourself into these corners. Get out. Asking for the report back though is too late. Where do you find triplex comps with non-compliance permitting? Permitting isn't required but determining the obsolescence associated with lack of permits and suspect construction is.
 

Ludisor

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Back yourself in corner. SUBJECT TO would be bring the improvements into zoning compliance and permits. Appraise as is. Do you have comps with unpermitted additions? (no undoubtedly)
I don't have any comps with unpermitted additions.
Assuming what is obviously a permitting problem means you're second guessing HBU. The best way is to withdraw from assignment and eat the fee. Don't paint yourself into these corners. Get out. Asking for the report back though is too late. Where do you find triplex comps with non-compliance permitting? Permitting isn't required but determining the obsolescence associated with lack of permits and suspect construction is.
and ...I don't have any triplex comps with non-compliance permitting...
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
run away ... you'll spend a week "fixing" it and still have a very ugly report.
 

Tom D

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2015
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
run rabbit, run. think of the answers you won't have for the state board. appraisal is too existential.
 

Howard Klahr

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I did the appraisal to the subject, based on the information I got, as subject being a duplex.
I assume that you did an inspection of the property at that time. Were there three occupants? How did you address that in you report? What box did you check for the H&BU in that report?

Now, the lender sent me a "Preliminary Report" from a Title company in which there are 3 addresses and he wants me to redone the appraisal as a 3 unit property.
Were there not three addresses when you inspected the property? Title companies do not verify zoning compliance. How does the preliminary title alter what exists on the property, a non-compliant improvement?

While you can appraiser the property "as is" or "subject to" or reflect a multitude of different circumstances, but how does your client want/expect you to address the non-compliance issue? Oh and if you were to elect to proceed, this would be a complex assignment and should therefore reflect that in other aspects of the engagement as well.
 

Frederick R. Ruffell

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
What you have here is a Legal 2 unit property. It is not 3 legal units. It may have 3 physical units. Public records prove it to be so. Address are assigned by the Federal Government and are NOT indicative of how many units there may or may not be. The PO will assign an address to a small box in next to hundreds of other small boxes in a suite in a commercial building with hundreds of other suites. Doesn't indicated how many legal, habitable residential units are in said building. Appraise it to its highest and best use (i.e. legally permissable...).
 

Howard Klahr

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
What you have here is a Legal 2 unit property.
That remains an assumption - there has not been any documentation by the OP to confirm that actual status only casual observations of data available through his limited research.

Appraise it to its highest and best use (i.e. legally permissable...)
This would depend on the SOW that the OP is actually engaged to perform. Various statuses of the property may be performed, it is the actual scope of the assignment that would determine how it is actually to be appraised.
 

Frederick R. Ruffell

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
That remains an assumption - there has not been any documentation by the OP to confirm that actual status only casual observations of data available through his limited research.


This would depend on the SOW that the OP is actually engaged to perform. Various statuses of the property may be performed, it is the actual scope of the assignment that would determine how it is actually to be appraised.


What part of "I prepared myself for the inspection based on public records that indicated the subject to be a duplex property built in 1948." and "The public records shows the property to be a duplex and the tax assessor website shows the property as a duplex."is not clear to you?no assumption there, public records are public records. Furthermore, "I did the inspection and what I found was a duplex plus a "third unit". " Further evidence of 2 units, possibly 3. And then We have "There are NO permits for this convertion of the garage and connection with the recreation room. As per current zoning, in order to convert a garage into living space you need to provide another form of covered parking. The subject does not have another covered parking space. " Its clearly 2 units with a permitted "a recreation room (with a bathroom)" that was then "scabbed" into 3rd illegal unit.
 
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