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How does the construction quality index work?

How does your construction quality index work? If a house is rated a 6 is that better than one rated an8?
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November 05 2010 - Rockwood
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Answers (7)

In many cases Zillow and title companies pull from 3rd party vendors like RealList and MetroScan because the county data cannot be sorted by meaningful fields.
This is why some title searches are not immediately up to date with actual recorded numbers at the county.
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November 09 2010
I know in King County, the tax records that I see through the NWMLS/Realist have much more data in them than the ones you see by going directly to the King County website.  Probably a similar situation over there.
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November 08 2010
According to my assessment expert, deferred maintenance is a seperate field of input.  Some of the fields used to assess a home are: Constructioin Quality (Grade), Condition, Year Built, Effective Year Built and Deferred Maintenance. 
The construction quality (Grade) descriptions in this thread are distinct to King County, WA.  The fields are used by the County to establish tax assessments and if an owner hasn't appealed their taxes, there are many conditions that may not be accurate.
The OP was asking about Spokane, WA and has indicated that the Grade was not readily available there.  Zillow isn't going to make the information up, so Spokane (Co?) must have it somewhere.
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November 08 2010
This raises a new question...  If it's only based on the facts at the time of construction, decriptions such as "Average grade of construction and design. Commonly seen in plats and older subdivisions." don't quite make sense.  I tend to wonder if they use that scale to attempt to quantify things such as deffered maintenance?
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November 08 2010
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Thank you both for your responses.  The assessor doesn't seem to post this information on their site or I don't know where to find it. - Thus my question to you all.  Thank you again for your time and info.
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November 06 2010
It's somewhat reliable, but I believe it's only based on the original construction--so upkeep and remodeling could have totally changed the home.

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Classification by construction quality which refers to the types of materials used and the quality of workmanship. Buildings of better quality (higher grade) cost more to build per unit of measure and command higher value. (See Glossary in Area Report for Residential Building Grades in use by the King County Department of Assessments.)

Checking the area reports, which are available on the site but will cross your eyes, yields...

Grades 1 - 3
  Falls short of minimum building standards. Normally cabin or inferior structure.
Grade 4
  Generally older low quality construction. Does not meet code.
Grade 5
  Lower construction costs and workmanship. Small, simple design.
Grade 6
  Lowest grade currently meeting building codes. Low quality materials, simple designs.
Grade 7
  Average grade of construction and design. Commonly seen in plats and older subdivisions.
Grade 8
  Just above average in construction and design. Usually better materials in both the exterior and interior finishes.
Grade 9
  Better architectural design, with extra exterior and interior design and quality.
Grade 10
  Homes of this quality generally have high quality features. Finish work is better, and more design quality is seen in the floor plans and larger square footage.
Grade 11
  Custom design and higher quality finish work, with added amenities of solid woods, bathroom fixtures and more luxurious options.
Grade 12
  Custom design and excellent builders. All materials are of the highest quality and all conveniences are present.
Grade 13
  Generally custom designed and built. Approaching the Mansion level. Large amount of highest quality cabinet work, wood trim and marble; large entries.
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November 06 2010
SoCal_Engr found a description for the index in Seattle....it sounds as though you should check with your local assessor.
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November 05 2010
 
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