Thursday, January 23, 2014

Take Your Project and Shove It

Well I spoke too soon. Our appraisal came back yesterday and it was the perennial problem for modern homes, we have no kitchen. Wait, how can you not have a kitchen? So when you enter our house you enter in the middle level at the living room. You can either go down a half flight of steps to the kitchen and dining room or up a half flight to the bedrooms and bathroom. Since the kitchen is below the grade of the front door the appraiser decided it wasn't living space and didn't include it in the overall total. Funny, all of the comparable sales had kitchens.

How can this be, there has to be some other way. Well it comes down to appraisers really not being supervised or the homeowner having a legitimate course of action for objective review of a biased appraiser. I mean without legal action which isn't an ideal solution either.

Fannie Mae Selling Guide
Section 405.06 – Gross Living Area

Rooms that are not included in the above-grade room count may add substantially to the value of a property-particularly when the quality of the "finish" is high. For that reason, the appraiser should report the basement or other partially below-grade areas separately and make appropriate adjustments for them on the "basement and finished areas below-grade" line in the "sales comparison analysis" grid. To assure consistency in the sales comparison analysis, the appraiser generally should compare above-grade areas to above-grade areas and below-grade areas to below-grade areas. The appraiser may deviate from this approach if the style of the subject property or any of the comparables does not lend itself to such comparisons. However, in such instances, he or she must explain the reason for the deviation and clearly describe the comparisons that were made.”

 It basically comes down to the appraiser needing to make and justify an exception. As we have found in the past, most appraisers don't understand or appreciate mid-century modern homes. Throughout the process cap fed has been great to work with and I cannot say enough good things about them.
What's next? I really don't know. We are exploring some other options and only time will tell.