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Subject Slants To The East

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Caitlyn Stuart

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Hello.......

Subject property has noticeable slant. In fact it is soooooooo noticeable I had a hard time keeping my footing and could hardly make it up the stairwell. I was so dizzy I got sick to my stomach. :eyecrazy:

Homeowner states the home was built on sand and needs to be jacked up as they have done this procedure several times before. There does not appear to be a foundation problem.

How should I address this in my report?

Now there is another problem. Another appraiser in my office who is no longer in my office inspected this property a year ago. No mention of this situation in his report. Could this be a recent problem or did the appraiser ignor it? Homeowner doesn't think its a problem. They have lived there 45 years.

Your inputs would be greatly appreciated.

Thanx!

C. Stuart
 

larryhaskell

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
Caitlyn:

I would note in the report that you detected a noticeable slope or slant in the improvements and that you recommend an inspection by a licensed professional. If the homeowner admits that this is an ongoing problem, it would seem that this condition could effect the value. I can't imagine someone buying a house that required periodic adjustments to the improvements.

Regarding the other appraiser in your office. Assuming the best about his abilities and ethics, perhaps the improvements had just been jacked up prior to his visit. If this is the case, it would appear that this problem may require annual adjustments.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Carolina
So the house is sinking? I would say that's definitely a problem, a foundation problem.

Last appraiser didn't mention this issue. Maybe it had been recently jacked up.

Having to jack up the foundation/house over and over again is a problem.

Is it typical in this market for foundations to sink like this? Probably not, but you answer it.

Could ask client to do an appraisal based on hypothetical condition that foundation has been permanently repaired and that the house will stop sinking. However, permanently fixing foundation might be very expensive.

You might end up discrediting the past appraisal by the firm you are with and need to be careful how that's handled.


Lots of angles here (no pun intended), so don't rush through this assignment.
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Regardless of what the homeowner tells you, it's not normal or acceptable for any home to need jacking for adjustment on a regular basis. This falls well outside of typical maintenance because if it's not fixed the entire structure could collapse.

The fact that another appraiser from your office did an appraisal on the home just a year ago without mentioning the slant is troubling. Who signed that they inspected the property? It's their liability if they turned their head.

Either fully disclose the problem and strongly suggest that a structural inspector come in to take a look, or refer the lender back to the last appraiser. Whatever you do, make sure your name is nowhere on that report if there isn't full disclosure of your observations.
 

Don Clark

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
B) I agree with Dee Dee.

Had the same problem on a VA recently. Sent photos showing the slant, as well as the wet craw, standing water in crawl. The underwriter said she was going to require a structural engineer look at the property. Report what you, and a picture is worth a thousand words.

Don
 

David S. Roberson

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Sounds pretty bad. Unless it's the only house in the County, who would want to buy it? Who wants trouble like this at the start? There would have to be a tremendous incentive (price reduction) to create any interest in this property. You may have a HBU issue if the problem can not be permanently remedied at a reasonable cost. How can it be fixed? If this is an ongoing problem, you may have inadequate soil for placing a house there in the first place. Maybe it can't be fixed at all. You got some problems here.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Had one of those houses in our area too. Although it was on a prime golf site, it was built on a hill of sand, and the builder did not hit virgin soil before pouring the foundation. It ended up being an REO. Sat on the market for 5 years. One day we got a call to look at it, as an investor, so we did. Got a copy of their engineer's report, met with our own engineer buddy, and we made an offer that equated to lot value minus cost of demolishing. The structure could not be saved, with out substantial damage....... would be cheaper to build new. The sellers passed, and I never looked back. They ended up selling it very, very close to what we offered...... a year later.

I don’t think I would touch that one. If it sank before, it may not be finished. ;)
 

Caitlyn Stuart

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Thanx for your responses.

Subject is 100+ year old home. Homeowner has lived there her whole life (approximately 45 years)

Subject is located on a city block with shared drive-ways between them in an approximate 25K - 30K neighborhood.

How long would it take for this to happen?

Homeowner seemed surprised that I even mentioned such a small lil thing. wacko:
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Caitlyn,

two items.

First, yes, always disclose it. Depending on the soil, it could take decades or days. My grandparents had a home in Indiana that was 200 years old. There was one section with a noticable dip. Was like that for the 50 years they lived there.

Second, nice av. she looks happy, or tilting...one of the two.
 
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