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Split Foyer

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Processor1

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Professional Status
Banking/Mortgage Industry
State
Minnesota
Hello Appraisers!
Question on how property type is determined... The review appraiser spurring my curiosity came up with 'Rambler' for property type and comps. Subject is slab on grade construction, which is unusual for our area, MN. 2 sides of the property are built into a hill. Main entrance on 1st floor is into foyer with open flight of stairs to 2nd floor. 3 bedrooms incl master, 2 baths, kitchen, living room, and great room overlooking pool complete 2nd floor. 1st floor contains guest room, 1/2 bath, living room, office, laundry and utilities. Guest room and living room have floor to ceiling windows. There are 2 heaters to heat the 4,500 SQF property which is common with this construction. Am I crazy for thinking this property is not a rambler? Is quality of design a factor or is it irrelevant? Much appreciation to anyone who can shed some light on this.
I'm clueless!:new_newbie:
 

Thomas Fiehler

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
Sounds like a bi-level description. Do you have a photo you can post?
 

Ken B

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
If I understand your description, the design is typical of a "raised ranch."

http://www.splitlevel.net/raised-ranch.html

Theoretically, everything about the property is relevant to the appraisal of the property. Practically, there may be no measurable adjustment for design when comparing raised ranches, split foyers, split levels, and ranch or rambler house types.
 

Marcia Langley

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
Processor,

If we agree on definitions that "rambler" means a one story house then the appraiser is correct.

The lower level as you describe it is below grade on at least one side and should be shown in the below grade area of the appraisal grid.

The important aspect of the sales grid is that the comparable sales be of a similar style. Regardless of how the levels are situated the appraiser must compare apples to apples and if a comp does not have a below grade area an adjustment must be made.

In no case should the two levels be combined and compared to a house that is all above grade. Their two values may be similar but factual reporting necessitates showing and adjusting the different levels separately.

The stairs as you describe them are not "split foyer" which means that some stairs go up and some go down.

But even so, the configuration of the stairs does not change the identification of which levels are below grade and which are above.
 

Processor1

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Professional Status
Banking/Mortgage Industry
State
Minnesota
Rambling

To be honest, I looked up 'Split Foyer' when unable to find a definition of Rambler beyond 'all one level, no basement finished or un-finished' which clearly didn't fit the property in question. The expanded definition is more accomodating. I assumed it would be adjusted as you see adjustments made for finished walkout basements. Thank you for your response!
 

Processor1

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Professional Status
Banking/Mortgage Industry
State
Minnesota
Picture Post.Can the Newbie Swing It?

I will try to figure out how to post a picture...being worth 1,000 words! It would be helpful to have a pic of the back of the property, but we'll start with what I've got.
:) Processor
 

Processor1

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Professional Status
Banking/Mortgage Industry
State
Minnesota
Says I can't post attachments in the Posting Rules. Might be Newbie status. Sorry! It was built by a man named William H. Oppenheimer, who was an avid Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast. I can email a picture of the property. All of this help has been great. Thank you so much for lending your brainpower.
 
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