Profile picture for RachelJuneMacias

2-story home versus above-grade home with basement

Hi there,
We purchased our home in 2006 and are trying to refinance now.  The home is built into a small hill so it 2-stories from the front and 1-story from the back.  The recent appraisal listed our home as 1-story with full basement and only compared our home to others with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.We have an additional bedroom and bath on the first floor.  We looked at the appraisal when we purchased the home and it lists our home as a 2-story and gave us credit for the 4 bedrooms and 3 baths.  Do we have a chance to get the current appraiser to rethink his appraisal? Is there any hope for us? Any suggestions?
  • October 22 2012 - Springfield
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Answers (3)

Profile picture for blue screen exile
Required appraisal guidelines have tightened up quite a bit since 2006.  The amount of a floor that is considered "basement" (underground) depends on the height of the grade.  Basements typically don't count as "living space".

As for counting the additional bath and bedroom, it depends on if they were legal and permitted.  The bedroom should have a minimum of 2 exits, one of which can be a window.  It also needs to be heated.

The county records should show the livable sqft and the # of bedrooms and bathrooms.  Typically one would go by that info, unless field conditions indicated it was less.
  • October 22 2012
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Profile picture for RachelJuneMacias
Thanks for the quick response, Hunter. Appreciate your advice. I went ahead and sent a copy of our 2006 appraisal to our current lender to show him how we thought our house was a 2-story and to see what he recommends.  However, I did look at the tax assessment page and is shows an odd amount listed (1282 sq ft) for our total above grade space. Each floor is about 1220 sq. ft in size.

Yes, the value is coming in low because of his assessment.  I'm not sure if we have any options, but am hopeful.

Rachel
  • October 22 2012
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Your tax records can help you prove your point. Take a look at the county website and see what it says. You can also talk to your lender about what you believe is an incorrect valuation of your property. Is the value coming in low due to the appraisers assessment?
  • October 22 2012
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