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What do I say about a neighbor's yard?

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Susan Klimaszewski

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Joined
Jan 9, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Texas
I am doing a refinance appraisal. The house next door to the subject has allowed their wood side fence to deteriorate. (The owner says he is pretty sure that it is the neighbor's fence because the neighbor told him that he was going to repair it one of these days.)

Part of it is missing totally and the other part is collapsing into the subject yard. In addition to the fence problem, this same neighbor had an above ground pool that they installed inground and it is now totally trashed, empty, weeds growing out of it etc. Since there is no fence separating the two back yards, this is a safety hazard for the subject property.

How would you handle this? I think it has to be reported to the lender as it is a safety hazard. My thought is to report it under adverse site conditions but do I make the appraisal subject to a survey to determine who the fence really belongs to? Do I just report it and recommend that the owner install some type of fencing blocking access to the neighbor's yard?

Any Ideas?
 

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Obsolescent

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Minnesota
External obsolesensce. You are appraising the subject property, not the neighbor's property. What would the market reaction be? Cost to cure with a fence perhaps.
 
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stefan olafson

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Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Dakota
Describe it in the "neighborhood" section of the report. You should describe the conditions as they will have an effect on market value, in my opinion.
 

Tom Woolford

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Nov 20, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Wonder why the owner of your subject has not called code enforcement, or put up his own fence?
 

Susan Klimaszewski

Thread Starter
Junior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Texas
Wonder why the owner of your subject has not called code enforcement, or put up his own fence?

The owner doesn't care. He doesn't have any little kids and he isn't home very much. "He's not an outdoor guy so he doesn't notice it."

It probably isn't going to matter in the long run anyway. (Except for the fact that I want to do the appraisal correctly.) The owner told me while I was there that his lender told him that he needs 91K to make it work and right now I am looking at appx 82K.
 

Pat Butler

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Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Can the problem be solved by the owner of the subject property putting up his own fence? If so, then the cost to cure and impact on value might not be too bad.
 

Susan Klimaszewski

Thread Starter
Junior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Texas
Can the problem be solved by the owner of the subject property putting up his own fence? If so, then the cost to cure and impact on value might not be too bad.

That's the way I went with it. Like I thought, 5 minutes after sending the appraisal I get the "Why is the value so low" phone call. He didn't read 1 word of the appraisal.

Thanks for the input all!
 

Mztk1

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Dec 3, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
FWIW: Did an FHA the other day with an above ground pool that was inground. There was no fence and the lip to the pool was 4". The owner had a 2 year old and the yard did not have a fence that closed let alone that locked. I put in the report that it was a safety hazard. The LO wrote the county and asked if it was a safety hazard, they said we do not have a code on above ground pools, even if in the ground, that requires a fence (in Florida there is a state law that inground pools have to have a safety fence). They emailed the county's reponse and I told I don't care what county says, it is a safety issue for the FHA. So the underwriter calls the Atlanta office and they tell him a pool without a fence is no more a safety issue than a house on a moderate or busy road that does not have a fence to keep the kids or dogs away. It is, they said, a complete non-issue and that the DU can waive the condition in the appraisal. All the same, I told him, I'll report it the same way next time. He agreed that I should, but said he'll just waive it again.
 

TJSum

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
I agree Jim, stand your ground, if the UW doesn't agree, they can always waive the issue, but you did your job.

On a humorous note, one homeowner insisted his house was worth "more" because his next door neighbor had an in-ground pool. He insisted it enhanced his view and the neighbor gave him permission to use it anytime he wanted :)
 
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