XI, 403.01: Location (06/30/02)
We will purchase or securitize mortgages that are secured by residential properties in urban, suburban, or rural areas. An “urban” location relates to a city, a “suburban” location relates to the area adjacent to a city, and a “rural” location relates to the country or anything beyond the suburban area. We do not designate certain areas as being acceptable or unacceptable. To be eligible for purchase or securitization, a mortgage must be secured by a property that is residential in nature—based on the characteristics of the subject property, zoning, and the present land use. We do not purchase or securitize mortgages on agricultural-type properties (such as farms, orchards, or ranches), on undeveloped land, or on land development-type properties.
If you use the search function you'll find a number of similar threads. I use my own. Urban - contained within the original town plat. Suburban - subdivisions added after the original town plat. Rural - Outside the city limits. Rurban - platted subdivisions outside the city limits which restrict uses to residential property.
There is a wide range of opinions about this, which have been discussed on a number of threads.
My rule of thumb -- if it's a home on a platted lot with a front and back yard, it's suburban. If it's in the core city, built out to the sidewalk, it's urban. If it's on an acreage site out in the boonies, it's rural.
There are always questions as to what is what -- is a platted lot in a small town out in the boonies rural or suburban? I call it suburban; others call it rural.
Is a home near the downtown area of a major city urban or suburban, even if it has a yard? I generally call it suburban, but sometimes call it urban.
Are high density condos in an outlying suburban neighborhood urban or suburban? I generally call anything in a suburb suburban.
Are bedroom community homes located on small acreage parcels outside of an urban area suburban or rural? I generally call them suburban, but sometimes call them rural.
Other factors that can affect the description -- some lender guidelines allow a one mile radius for urban comps; a two mile radius for suburban comps; and a five mile radius for rural comps.
In addition, some appraisers use more "colorful" terms to sort out the categories.
Big city (50,000+) = Urban. The suburbs of that city = Suburban. Small towns = Suburban except the few block of the Central Business District which you may call Urban. Anything outside of a city, but still medium density (1 to 40 acre sites) = Suburban. Farm fields, mountains, forest, can't see the nearest house from the subject = Rural.
I grew up near the big city, NYC, and now live in the Tampa area. I laugh whenever someone calls any place, except maybe one or two, "Urban" around here. I define them as:
If the typical person does not need a car, Urban
If the typical person needs a car, Suburban
If the typical person has a horse or a tractor, Rural.
Rural also has to be on well & septic and have working agricultural properties around it. It helps if the subject can be used agriculturally too, which most rural properties near me can.
Rurban is a subdivision of houses similar to what you'd find in the suburbs but they are surrounded by rural uses.
The idea of being in city limits making it "urban" is just plain funny. You should see some the "Urban" places around here then. Population 6.
I'd like the >75% 25-75% and <75% thing, but I've been to a lot of places that are built up more than 25% that are definately rural.
In the days of yore it was once that a hamlet was a town without a church, a town had a church, and city housed a Cathedral. If I were to go by that today, than St. Petersburg near me would be the urban center - which is probably true, and all of Tampa would be suburban...which is also probably true, despite our 1 to 2 million residents.