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Old Yesterday, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,095 posts, read 33,237,581 times
Reputation: 13014

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyPDX6 View Post
Hi there,


Seeking advice. We bought a house two years ago. At that time, the house was appraised as being 2700 sq ft (appraiser hired by lender). We are now trying to refinance. This current appraiser (again hired by our new lender) has appraised our house as being 2130 sq ft. He quoted an "industry standard" where our 500 sq ft third floor does not count as livable space because it has a sloped ceiling and therefore half of the living space does not have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet. I'm not sure who is correct, but the second appraiser was very specific, and even called out the first appraiser as being incorrect. In Portland, a difference of 550 sq ft makes a significant difference in the value of a house. So it seems to me that the first appraiser has possibly over-appraised our house, and therefore we significantly overpaid (and over-borrowed). I have two questions.


1. Is this grounds for a law suit under negligence (or something else) as this appraiser possibly did not use industry standards?


2. Our appraisal for tax purposes was also at 2700 sq ft, so it seems we are also overpaying property tax. Its been greater than 60 days since that property tax appraisal, but does anyone know if this can be contested in some other way?


Thanks in advance!
In Oregon, the ceilings don't need to be 7' in old homes that have converted attic space. Ceilings can be 6'8" with a minimum of 60-70 sq feet of living space at that ceiling height (it varies by jurisdiction), and then you can't have more than 100sq feet at 5' tall. Otherwise, it is storage space and not living space.

If it is a newly built home (post-1974), then the ceilings need to be 7' tall per building codes.

So whether or not it counts in the finished square footage depends on what you have.
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Old Yesterday, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,192 posts, read 3,451,189 times
Reputation: 16822
Sue for what? Lending you the money you asked for?


Let's not forget the buyer makes the offer and applies for the loan. The purpose of the appraisal is to confirm that the price the buyer wants to spend is a *reasonable* fair market value. They try to be as scientific as they can be but it will always be a subjective matter of opinion on value.
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Old Yesterday, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,095 posts, read 33,237,581 times
Reputation: 13014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
Sue for what? Lending you the money you asked for?


Let's not forget the buyer makes the offer and applies for the loan. The purpose of the appraisal is to confirm that the price the buyer wants to spend is a *reasonable* fair market value. They try to be as scientific as they can be but it will always be a subjective matter of opinion on value.
Well, the comps for a 2100 sq foot house would not be the same as a 2700 sq foot house. I can see why the OP would be upset and think they overpaid for the house.

I'm not convinced that the new appraiser isn't the one that is wrong. Older housing stock is different than newer housing stock and if the OP has an old home, the new appraiser is likely incorrect.
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Old Yesterday, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,192 posts, read 3,451,189 times
Reputation: 16822
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
Well, the comps for a 2100 sq foot house would not be the same as a 2700 sq foot house. I can see why the OP would be upset and think they overpaid for the house.

I'm not convinced that the new appraiser isn't the one that is wrong. Older housing stock is different than newer housing stock and if the OP has an old home, the new appraiser is likely incorrect.

*Perhaps* not, but the same eyes looked on the upstairs rooms in that house and decided whether what they saw looked like useful living space. They're either using that space now as they thought they would, or they're not. They're not waiting on the appraiser to decide that.
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Old Today, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
9,245 posts, read 7,990,409 times
Reputation: 12782
Property tax records are not always correct. The model home I bought from a builder had a FROG (Free Room Over Garage), about 400sq ft size. They originally recorded my home as not having the room, thus 400sq ft smaller than the actual house. Fortunately I had saved all floor plans from the builder and I could show the difference to my buyer. I have no idea if it was ever corrected.
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