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Question for the Experts

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Roger R. Patzold

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
Issue came up during a Relocation appraisal.

Utility Room on first floor. Roof, exterior siding & foundation same as two story house the utility room is attached to.

Utility room only one story. Rest of house all two story.

Utility room has sheetrock ceiling & walls and vinyl floor comparable to if not identical to the rest of the house. Rest of house has some wood walls, some paper walls, some hardwood floor. Most of rest of house sheetrock walls and hardwood floors.

Utility room has space for washer, dryer and water heater.(gas) Door between utility room and kitchen. Utility room provides access from a open porch under roof that is attached to the utility room and the carport to the living area of the dwelling.

Utility room does not have a C/H&A duct.

Utilisty room measured 8' x 11'= 88 square feet of floor space.

I have always considered this type room as part of the living area.

If the roof, siding, foundation, or interior finish is different than rest of house I considered and sometimes did not count it as living area.

The other appraiser determined that the utility room was not living area because it did not have the C/H&A duct. I never actually talked to the other appraiser. I assume the RELO people were honest with their statements.

Please feel free to say right or wrong if you wish. What I am after is your thoughts on the process of making the necessary determination of living area or not.

North of I-20 such a room would require additional heat over and above the gas water heater and clothes dryer to prevent freezing of water pipes.

Between I-20 & I-10 it could require additional heat or not depending on the area.

South of I-10 most would not require additional heat to protect the water pipes from freezing.

The issue was worked out and I will divulge that information later as I don't want it to influence the discussion right now, please.

May God bless & keep one and all in this most joyouse of seasons as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour.<><
 

Mike Boyd

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
It doesn't get that cold in CA to need heat in order to keep the pipes from freezing so that would not be an issue in my market area. However, the fact that there is no direct access from the main part of the house to the laundry room would make it questionable. If a door could be cut in to provide that access, I suppose the square footage could be included if you made the report subject to correction of that fault. If the value HAD to be as is, I would not include it. I might give it value as an accessory room.
 

TJSum

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
Ditto what Mike said. How about the comps, do they have the same setup? Make sure the comps are treated and counted the same as the subject.
 

Nevermind 3

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
It doesn't get that cold in CA to need heat in order to keep the pipes from freezing so that would not be an issue in my market area. However, the fact that there is no direct access from the main part of the house to the laundry room would make it questionable. If a door could be cut in to provide that access, I suppose the square footage could be included if you made the report subject to correction of that fault. If the value HAD to be as is, I would not include it. I might give it value as an accessory room.


The heating issue is of significance with regard to local building codes. In the city where I am, the code is something like this, ...there has to be a way of heating the living area from the floor to 12 or 18 inches high, to a specific temperature ( I forget the temp.). Basically, building code says there needs to be heating. I am not sure about heating to protect water pipes though.

Therefore, if that area did not meet local building codes, it is not legally permissible, and may not be legal living area. If local building codes don't require heating and it was originally permitted as legal living area, then I suppose, it may be legal living area.

Although, similar to what Mike said, it also should have continuous interior access with the rest of the house and you could make a "cost-to-cure" adjustment or add a condition to the report. But, bottomline, is it needs to be legal and that typically includes, conforming to local building codes at the time it was built (if there are any).
 

CANative

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
The building codes are describing the building requirements for site development. In other words you can't build a new house without the required HVAC. What about houses built before current code requirements? They're still houses and people still buy them.

Edit... I see you discussed that in your post.
 

Mztk1

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Am I missing something? I thought you said the room had direct access to the rest of the house through the kitchen?

The issue to me is, I don't care how far south I-20 is, it is not farther south than North Carolina, and that's cold in winter. Heck, north Florida needs heat year round. Even here in Tampa it is borderline, tonight it is going below freezing. What I'd like to know is where is the furnace? If the furnace is in the utility room, it may be enough to keep the room cold. Something tells me if it was, than there would be not need for this thread though. So the next question is, what is the cost to cure. If your GLA adjustment is just $25/sf @ 88sf, that is $2,200. Running a vent in from the basement (is that where the furnace is?) would be less than that, I'm sure. If houses in the market have that same room, but the room is heated and is counted as living area, than I'd hit a cost to cure on the sucker. Otherwise, it is not living area to me.
 

Marcia Langley

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
I too am unclear on whether the utility room has access to the interior, I read it that it does. If not, then no GLA.

If so, then the final deciding factor for me would be whether the ambient heat from the house would make the room usable year yound. In other words, would the door to the kitchen be left open all winter?

A well insulated room that small can usually be heated by ambient heat.
 

Roger R. Patzold

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
Clarification

Utility room has space for washer, dryer and water heater.(gas) Door between utility room and kitchen. Utility room provides access from a open porch under roof that is attached to the utility room and the carport to the living area of the dwelling.


There is direct access from the utility room into the kitchen.

The traffic pattern is from the carport onto the covered porch, into the utility room, into the kitchen, into the rest of the house.<><
 

Roger R. Patzold

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
Clarification

And I was so careful to put in all the relevant information. Ha.

Houses of simialr age frequently have the same situation. There are usually sufficient sales with similar floor plans to produce a credible result.

Newer houses less than 20 years old usually have a duct into the utility room.

Leaving the door between the kitchen and the utility room open keeps the room comfortable year round. traffic opens the room enough to keep the room bearable most of the year.

Some nights the cold even comes this far south. 28 degrees here right now and will be in the upper 20's for the next 3 to 4 hours. Even Florida and the Texas Rio Grande valley can freeze oranges from time to time.

My Samoyd loves it. The cat curls up with the dog.

I keep a tarp, blanket, and drop light for the water well on those coldest of nights. They are still in the storage building now because it is only going to be freezing for a few hours and the tempature for the next week is not predicted to go below 38 degrees.

Usually January sees the well covered. 100 miles north of Cleveland a small well house with a light is a practical requirement. Some have it here.

No zoning in this area except city ordinances and most small towns only restrict firearms, fires, speed, and sanitation. A few small towns are begining to put up signs forbiding engine brakes.

All input is appreciated.<><
 

Marcia Langley

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
Based on your description of finish, access, and year round comfort, I'd call it GLA.

If a previous appraiser did not call it GLA, I'd not say he was necessarily wrong as long as he valued it properly on another line.

You said it was easy to find similar comps that include such rooms in GLA so go for it.
 
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