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Room Count

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liznindy

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
I received an underwriter request to change the room count of an FHA appraisal submitted from 6 to 5. (Don't ask me why the total room count is so important to them.....). In this instance, total room count makes no difference in the value analysis.


I had counted a laundry room as it was room-sized (which I consider a minimum of 8X 10).

My last home had a laundry room that was at least 12' x 15'. Definitely a ROOM.

I was wondering how you all determine your room count. Especially in the newer construction which has open areas which are utilized as different living spaces.....


I typically count the living spaces, not the actual rooms which have four walls. If the dining room is open to the living room...2 rooms.


AND could someone venture a guess as to why the underwriter thinks this is so important?? :roll:
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I never include the laundry room in the room count.

Also, I believe FNMA says on the dinning room deal, that if a wall could be constructed that did not limit the use of the two rooms it would seperate, than you can them 2 rooms.

If the combo dinig living room is too small for this, I usually put "Area" in the room count grid instead of an "X" or a "1" for room.
 

liznindy

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
I agree on the dining area, I list these as "areas" too in the report, ....I was refering to the larger custom homes which have large "rooms" open to one another.

Some of these homes have laundry rooms to die for.

The subject's laundry room was approx. 8' x 10' or so, about the size of a small bedroom so I guess it depends upon how you interpret it.

I'll change the report to satisfy the underwriter but I just don't understand why he/she feel this needs corrected.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
There is a major difference between a laundry room and a laundry area. An 8 x 10 is a room and I would call it such. Tell the underwriter "NO"! It's your report and you call it as you see it.

I also use the word "area" for dining areas, and the word "Util" for utility rooms.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Personally, I never count the laundry room in the room totals - if it has an additional use and the laundry 'area' of it is secondary, it's already counted as some other type of room. If it's part of the living area GLA, I'll put what it is on the room grid, such as Room or Closet or Area. If it's not within the GLA, I leave that space on the room count grid blank but I do put where it's located on the sketch.

I really don't know why the UW is having such a hissy fit over it????
 

Austin

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Virginia
A couple of possible explanations:
1. They are feeding data to an AVM that uses room count as an independent variable. If this is the case, not to worry, because any model that uses room count is so flawed as to be totally useless anyway. Reason being: GLA and room count are covariant variables meaning they are directly correlated and will blow the statistical model's mind. Any time you see an AVM or regression equation with room count as an independent variable you know it is off the wall. Any equation with covariant variables like GLA, room count, number of baths, closet space, etc., are off the wall because all of these factors, and more, are directly correlated. It is equivilent to making the same adjustment 5 times for the same factor under a different heading.
2. A lower room count to GLA ratio falls below the accepted level based on some format they have developed or just as likely something else to do with the AVM.

This is a touchy subject. I appraised a new $320,000 house last week that had a large LR, DR, and kitchen combination room. The only way to separate them was the ceiling height. The LR had a 10-foot ceiling, DR a 20-foot ceiling, and the kitchen area about a 9-foot ceiling.
 

David S. Roberson

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Liznindy;

I agree that sometimes these ROOMS should be counted as ROOMS. I'm not talking about a little laundry room, I mean a room that is as large as some of the smaller bedrooms in the same house. Call it a sewing/laundry room & that usually shuts them up. (edited for spelling!)
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
When it comes to that location in the home where one finds the washer and dryer......I generally do NOT give it "room" status, and it gets an "X" in the room-count for that level. Obviously, it is still within the total sq.ftg. of that level so it is NOT un-counted in that perspective. (gets no credit if laundry operations are located in an unfinished basement level with concrete floors and walls and being un-heated). When it comes to labeling "rooms" on a sketch page it gets just the word "Laundry", with no "room" or "area" to follow that word. One of the reasons I prefer to give a sketch page more description of things in the house or immediately around the house is for the purpose of making it known that I DID notice the presence of something there, and could have considered it within overall valuation (the thought process of one's analysis) ....even if it is an aspect of the home which may have no substantial contribution to a differing value. That is also assuming that anybody ever looks at an appraiser's sketch page, anyway.......do they ?
 

Lee SW IL

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
If I open the door, walk in, turn around ect. Its a room.

However, a walkin closet is a closet, although, I have seen some bigger than my office.
 

Don Clark

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
8) My rule of thumb has always been:

Is there already a spot on the form for the "room", such as bathroom, utility room, whatever room? If so, it has it's own place and is not included in the "room" count. If it is generally a room in which people "normally" would live, it is in the room count which is a count of rooms of living area. I know, I know :roll: Some dummies will put a space heater a some carpet in the garage, leave the garage doors up and wall behind them, and expect me to include it in the room count :lol: So solly chalie, not in my book. I would suggest getting a current copy of the Fannie Mae Guidelines, the ANSI Standard for measuring residential properties, a good appraisal dictionary. If still in doubt, ask your peers.

Don Clark
 
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