Baton Rouge Appraiser Others Dealing With Accessory Dwelling Unit Permit Issues

Baton Rouge Appraiser Others Dealing With Accessory Dwelling Unit Permit Issues

In my weekly reading, I came across this interesting question and answer below and thought to myself I’m not the only person in America going through building permit issues when valuing Baton Rouge Real Estate.  In 2013, I had 3 Baton Rouge House Appraisal assignments where each home had an old apartment or an “Accessory Dwelling Unit” or ADU. My conversation each time with East Baton Rouge Parish Planning and Zoning rep meant that because of these homes were located in either A1 or A2 zoning, these units COULD NOT BE REBUILT IF DESTROYED BY FIRE OR DISASTER. Because these units could not be rebuilt as they existed, lenders refused to allow me to give value or any extra value at all for these units…even though 2 of 3 were income producing properties and helped pay the monthly mortgage payment.  No, there really wasn’t a “permit issue” with these ADUs but these ended up not having value because they couldn’t be rebuilt.

Baton Rouge Accessory Dwelling Units
Baton Rouge Accessory Dwelling Units

I wrote on this issue here:

Listing A Greater Baton Rouge Home With An Addition or Enclosure?
Don’t Give It Value IF The Owner Seller Didn’t Have A Building Permit!

house with enclosure

If you have questions about Baton Rouge Housing and ADUs, please ask and I’ll do my best to find out an answer from a local governmental authority source.  Bill Cobb, Greater Baton Rouge’s Home Appraiser

If you have questions about ADUs, please read this interesting question and answer to:
Dear Monty: Sleuthing a real estate issue – your personal reality game

Richard Montgomery
Richard Montgomery

Reader question: I purchased a home from a contractor. It was a carriage home that was a model for the developer. The home had an in-law suite over the garage. I obtained a standard mortgage to purchase the home, including an appraisal and title insurance. In 2011, I was going to refinance the home only to be told by the FHA mortgage appraiser that the in-law suite was not shown on the city records and was there illegally, so the refinance was refused. How do I pursue getting the developer I purchased the property from to fix it? Would this be covered with my title insurance or do I need to hire a lawyer to resolve the issue? Terry G.

Monty’s answer: Hello, Terry, and thanks for your question. There are a number of possibilities here that require some investigatory steps on your part before deciding the best course of action to take. Doing the legwork may help contain potential costs.

The 5 possibilities

1. Call the contractor and explain to them what has happened. It is possible they may have a logical explanation and a copy of the permit or plans they submitted in their file. It may not have to go any further than the contractor to learn there is no issue, except to clear it up at city hall. It is also possible the contractor made a mistake, and it can be easily corrected. Obtaining a copy of their documents could be helpful in making the correction.

2. The appraiser could be mistaken. A separate permit may not have been required if the builder filed a plan with the municipality that included the in-law suite. Every municipality has different rules and regulations regarding permits.”

Read the other answers 3-5 as they’re very thought provoking.

Image source for Richard Montgomery came from

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About Bill Cobb, Appraiser

The Baton Rouge Residential Appraisal Blog is an information source provided by local Home Appraiser, Bill Cobb, and Accurate Valuations Group. Bill has 24 years experience as a Baton Rouge Residential Home Appraiser and updates his local network of sites weekly with reports, videos and audio reviews of local housing market conditions! 225-293-1500

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