actual age

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Actual Age of Renovation
Hi Mr. Harrison,
I inspected a home in one of the 5 Boroughs of NYC. The improvements to the property include a two family large structure that appeared to be brand new construction. I spoke to the developer who stated that in the construction process, they had left part of the old foundation. In other words, the old structure had been completely demolished, aside for part of the original foundation walls, and the new existing structure was put up in its place. This was done for tax purposes, as the NY tax dept considers this a 'renovation' not a new construction, and therefore, the taxes would not be drastically increased. The old structure was built in 1920. The new structure in 2012. My question is, if the entire new structure (above grade) and part of the foundation were built in 2012 and only a small amount of the foundation was built in 1920, What is the actual age of the structure?

Thank you for taking time to answer my question!
Nechama Arnold

Dear Nechama,
Since this is important information, the USPAP says you must provide it somewhere in your appraisal or in on addenda form. You actually have answered your own question: “The part of the foundation is 90 years old and the house is (new or less then 1 year)” is a perfectly adequate response. What stumps many appraisers is how to get this information on to the form being used. This depends on which form fill program you use. Depending upon the program, you might put into the box "90/1”, or “*”, or "see comments”.

If your form fill program does not let you indicate that an answer is incomplete, you should send a complaint to your software provider. If you use an addenda, which is often the best way to provide any special information, it is a good idea to put a statement on the first page of the form such as “Important information about this appraisal is included in the addenda.” This prevents anyone from removing the addenda from the report.

There is no number that will accurately reflect the actual age when different parts of the building were constructed at different times. However, you should reflect your estimate of the effective age in a single number.

You also might want to make a comment in your appraisal as to why this was done as it does effect the value of the property.