FAQ 7: How Are Non-ANSI Compliant Bedrooms Treated?
This question came to me recently from a Realtor friend of mine. He had just taken a new listing of an older home with one bedroom and bathroom on the main level, and two bedrooms upstairs. The issue, however, was that the upper level didn’t have 7’ ceilings, and neither did the only bathroom in the house (on the main level). Knowing what he knew about ANSI, my friend wondered if he could even count the bathroom. “Do I have a one bedroom, zero bath house?” he asked. This was such a good question, and a really interesting situation, that I wanted to share with you what I told him.
In July, 2022, Fannie Mae released a FAQ document on Standardized Property Measuring Guidelines. If you’d like to check out the entire document, you can find it here.
Question #21 in Fannie Mae’s article asks, “How should appraisers account for rooms located in above-grade finished areas that do not meet ANSI standard minimums.
And here’s their answer:
While the ANSI standard is not definitive on this point, appraisers should include rooms located in above-grade finished non-GLA areas in the room counts (Total Rooms, Bedrooms, Bath(s)) in the Improvement section and in the Sales Comparison Approach grid of the appraisal report to comply with Uniform Appraisal Dataset requirements.
In English, what this means is that although the non-ANSI compliant rooms cannot be counted in the finished square footage calculation, they can be counted in the total room count.
So in the above Realtor’s case, instead of having a one bedroom, zero bath home, he can advertise it as a three bedroom, one bath home. He just cannot include the areas that do not meet ANSI square footage standards in the finished square footage calculation.
By the way, this applies to any area that doesn’t comply with ANSI standards. Maybe the upper level isn’t a bedroom, but a bonus room. Same concept applies.
And, in any case, the appraiser would take note of any non-compliance and include it in their report. I suggested to the Realtor that he do the same. Simply disclose that the upper level bedroom and the main level bathroom do not meet ANSI standards, but they’ve been included in the room count, and you’ll be golden.
And if you’re wondering how an appraiser should handle this, it’s much the same way. Let’s say the home’s total square footage is 2,000 square feet. However, when we consider ANSI guidelines and take into account the areas with low ceilings, that brings the finished square footage down to 1,400. What the appraiser will report is a three bedroom, one bath home with 1,400 square feet of GLA, and then on a separate line in the ‘grid’, the appraiser should list the other 600 square feet of non-ANSI standard square footage.
If you have a question you’d like us to feature, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on this and other topics related to the appraisal process, check out our Guide To Appraisals set of E-Books at https://riverfrontappraisals.com/guides/.