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I need to have the square footage of all units in my complex assessed - how can i go about this?

There are only 8 units in the complex, and the original appraisals of ALL units are vextremely inflated/inaccurate, to the point that a potential lender will not take them seriously (this info is needed to prove that less than 20% is commercial property). I need to have some sort of assessment done to obtain more accurate square footage for all units. I have no idea how to go about this. Can I hire an appraiser to do a square-footage only analysis? Is there some other service that could do this assessment? (This could possibly be paid for by the HOA, depending on what route I end up taking). Thanks!
  • November 21 2012 - Bushrod
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Answers (4)

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Yes, you could have an appraiser just perform a basic inspection to measure for square feet. Most importantly however, who needs the info? If it is the city/ county, you may need a assessor or surveyor to record the info into tax records properly. If you are going to search for an appraiser to perform the work, I suggest a General Appraiser. A General Appraiser has a broader capability and higher level licensure. The recorders office may require this for accuracy.
  • November 21 2012
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I don't think that's going to work.

The FHA is going to rely on the recorded plat map for determining the percentage of commercial space, the requirement being that less than 25% of the total floor space of the building be occupied by commercial.

Having the units measured isn't going to work - for one thing, you'll be hard-pressed to get the cooperation of the other seven units in a timely manner; for another thing, an appraiser's measurements are not a substitute for the recorded plat map, which is what the FHA requires. 

  • November 23 2012
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Thank you! Much appreciated. This situation is a bit unique, and quite frustrating. The info is being requested by the lender I am trying to refi with. Everything is good to go financially but due to Fannie Mae requirements they need me to "prove" that the commercial % is less than 20.

The problem is that all the units are relatively new and all occupied by the original owners, so the current sqft on record for all of these units is the original done (possibly shady) info provided by the builder, and are all considerably inflated. The lender did have my unit appraised a few weeks ago so I, and the lender, now have the accurate square footage for my unit (but only mine).

The reason the lender won't accept what's on record for the commercial % is illustrated as follows:
*on record residential units = 6 units x approx 1325sqft each
*on record commercial units = 2 units x approx 925sqft each
*NEW appraisal for my residential unit <900 sqft(!)

I do not contest the 900sqft because it's probably correct (researched the rules and crawled around with my measuring tape). HOWEVER, the lender is now putting it on me to obtain the real sqft of the commercial units (for sure less than 925). 

The inaccurate records are going to bite all of the owners on the butt eventually, which is why I was considering a reassessment of all units might be worthwhile (I'm on the HOA board).

Any other thoughts would be appreciated but it is good to know that might be possible. Thanks again! :)
  • November 21 2012
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There are only 8 units in the complex, and the original appraisals of ALL units are vextremely inflated/inaccurate, to the point that a potential lender will not take them seriously (this info is needed to prove that less than 20% is commercial property).

If your concern is a loan from a lender, the lender will assign an appraiser to accurately measure and/or value each unit. You dont pick your own appraiser for a loan, as that appraiser can be biased in your favor.

If the first appraiser was so inaccurate, I would ask for another appraiser from that lender.

Its relatively easy to figure out the percentage of commercial space within a condo project, so I dont really see what is issue is.

If the issue is tax related, you need to contact your local property tax agency.

If you want to hire an appraiser, here is a link to find one nationally.

Keep in mind, condos are typically measured from interior wall to wall, as ownership of a condo is airspace only, and commercial uses are typically measured from the outside and may include portions of stairways, elevator areas, storeage, etc.

  • November 21 2012
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