Measuring with ANSI Z764 – 2021 Class FAQs
Questions from before, during, and after the course . These were the most frequent questions. Answers are personal opinions of Hamp Thomas. Please contact ANSI or FNMA for confirmation. (1-27-22 – Measuring with ANSI 2021, 4 Hours CE)
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Info on this class. Live Virtual CE) 4 hour live streaming CE $99.95 Measuring with ANSI & the 2021 ANSI Update. Feb. 9 and 28, March and April. I took the class Jan. 27 and highly recommend it. Hamp Thomas (aka Mr. ANSI) is an excellent instructor. I liked his North Carolina accent. He is the course developer. Hamp has been writing and teaching about ANSI for almost 20 years and developed two alternate Standards. The class went smoothly with some interaction with the123 attendees. The moderator did a good job. February, March and April sessions available. There are 354 pages of slides (PDF) you will receive the next day, so you don’t have to get a hand cramp trying to write it down!!
Disclaimer: If I hadn’t been doing this for so long there’s a good chance I could be totally confused by some of the many, many arguments and questions since Fannie Mae announced the ANSI mandate. It’s amazing how emotional and detailed we appraisers can be when we are asked to make a change. At the end of the day we are simply measuring the house, and probably very close to the way we have always measured it. This will become clear in time and will be a benefit to appraisers and our clients. After all, we are the ultimate real estate experts…
Why is Fannie Mae doing this now?
There is no perfect time to do this. Whether it’s now of after one year of notice, there are always going to be those who resist the change and the facts are that there will be problems. However, those problems are worth the effort, and we will figure out the answers together and improve our industry.
What about the comps? Agents and assessors don’t use ANSI so we will have huge problems. The fact is we already have huge problems. That’s way we need a standard. Appraisers want to be treated and paid like professionals and most professionals are required to follow a standard, especially for the main commodity, which in the real estate industry is real property information. There are already huge problems between the comps and the subject. There are also huge problems with the subject property being measured differently by different appraisers. That’s the problem we hope to make better to start this process.
Can you provide an example of a measurement not covered by ANSI?
There are many issues that ANSI does not address and where appraisers will be required to use professional judgment. Items such as circular stairs leading to a full upper level where that is the only access, stairways that measure less than 18 inches leading to a finished bonus room, an exterior with dual materials (brick and wood siding), are finished closets required to have HVAC vents, a standard or minimum size for a bedroom, does a indoor inground pool count as finished square footage, a finished garage-can it be counted as finished square footage, a standard size for a two-car garage, etc. etc…
Has ANSI changed in the past 25 years?
ANSI was released in 1996. The first update was in 2003 with five minor updates. The next update in 2013 contained no updates. The most recent update released in 2021 contained seven minor changes. So, ANSI has had twelve minor changes in twenty-five years. It still contains the same sixteen pages it did in 1996.
What about upper‐levels that don’t meet the ceiling height guidelines? ANSI is very clear about ceiling height regulations. FNMA, at least for right now, asks us to report the GLA line with the ANSI calculated square footage. Any space that measures below the seven-feet guideline should be reported on the grid in a separate line at the bottom of the grid. FNMA is working on specific details to cover this issue and will be included in a future FAQ from them. Watch for their updates as we work through this process for the best information.
Does ANSI usually have a smaller or larger square footage count? That’s really a “it depends” question, but in the most cases my opinion would be they measure larger than building plans and assessor details. By counting the stairs on both level, which many architects do not, ANSI generally provides slightly larger square footage results than other methods.
How will this affect UAD in regards to Hard Stops?
The short answer is – that remains to be seen. I would venture to say it will create several issues in the very beginning but will quickly work itself out and they adapt to the differences in the system we have now verses what ANSI provides and how it impacts the URAR form.
It seems to me that ANSI says to only count stairs from where they descend and NOT on both floors?
In most cases it’s easier to visualize the method ANSI uses to calculate stairs by viewing the sketches within the standard. The first four sketches are of the same house and it’s easy to see the way they address counting the staircase. You can also view the bottom right of the page just before the sketches to read the text on including the staircase.
Can appraisers share their square footage with Realtors to use in the closed MLS data?
Absolutely. Square footage is not personal or private data. It is a fact of real property and appraisers can share this information with their peers. The choice is that of the agent to accept the information. In markets where this transfer of information is taking place, the quality of the MLS data is greatly improved. It’s good for the agents and for appraisers.
What if I use my tape measure and it is 30 feet and 2 inches and someone else measured 30 feet and 4 inches is Fannie Mae going to sue me?
Perfection is not the goal. Having better and re-creatable data is the expectation and Fannie Mae understand exactly what is happening and is working hard to make this as painless as possible. I assure you no one is looking over your shoulder to find a two-inch error.
Where can I send my comments to ANSI?
Home Innovation Research Labs
400 Prince George’s Blvd. | Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
P: 301.249.4000 or 800.638.8556
What does ANSI say about measuring Condos?
ANSI does NOT mention the word Condominium in the main text. The only mention is within the Annex section and discuses forms of ownership, not measurements. FNMA says Condos use interior measurements.
How does ANSI value an enclosed in‐ground pool?
First, ANSI does not “value” anything. In the case of an inground pool they do not provide any guideline or rule. That is left up to local custom.
Opting out is NOT something you can do often. You will get a warning in the beginning.
The GXX001 code FNMA says can be used in the Additional Features field is something for special cases and not something that can be used on a regular basis. FNMA expects you to understand the rules of ANSI and report your data to that standard. You will be questioned if you use this code, be prepared to answer.
Does ANSI have a standard for sizes of garages?
The short answer is NO. That is one thing we would like to see in the future. For now, it is subject to local custom.
Should a disclaimer contain the term GLA since it’s not in ANSI?
That’s a personal decision. GLA is the term used on the URAR form and is common to most underwriters and lenders. However, ANSI requires you to use their terms of finished area and finished square footage. There is no problem using both terms.
For years I have scanned in hand drawn measurements. So will they no longer be accepted?
The answer is No. From April 1, 2022 and forward all sketches must be computer generated.
What would they not include the Annex as part of the standard?
That’s a question we hope to get answered during the course of the next year and one I encourage you to forward to ANSI.
Will Desktop reports be required to adhere to ANSI?
Desktop reports do NOT require ANSI. The appraiser does not provide the sketch.
About the author
Hamp Thomas is a licensed real estate broker and certified residential appraiser in North Carolina. Hhas been working on a home measurement standard for over 20 years. Hamp has taught many classes and webinars and written a book. He is “Mr. ANSI”!