Picture of the Week: The Most Unbelieveable Bathroom!

By
Real Estate Appraiser with Michael S. Bolton,Inc.

 

The Story:

This summer I appraised a lake home in an outlying suburb. It was a nice home, had some remodeling, and a great view of the lake. As I was walking through the house taking my notes, I kept looking for the bathroom. After opening up every door in the house, I finally asked the homeowner, “Where is the bathroom?” She replied, “You have to go outside to get to it.” Puzzled, not sure how I missed it, being that I just measured the house; but, I dutifully went  looking for the bathroom outside, but to no avail.  I walked back in the house with my head hung low, and shamefully stated, “I’m sorry, but I still can’t find it”, feeling like a total idiot.

 

She then points out the window to a tin shed, and says “There it is!” Me in my professional tone, “Oh, you mean that tin shed is an outhouse, I mean bathroom?” Then she responds rather indignantly “Yes, it’s worked fine for us all of these years.” Too myself, “I bet it’s a little cold on the tush in the winter!”

 

What to do?

This being a first for me, required some for investigating. I have no problem with “pit privies”, and have used them before. I’ve just never had anyone try and refinance or buy a home before with one.

 

Here’s the skinny:

They are allowed under certain circumstances:

·        They have to be permissible (meet local municipality guidelines)

·        Meet guidelines for setback (distance from potable water source)

·        There must be market acceptance

·        Does it conform to the neighborhood (they’re not the only ones)

It’s the last two that can be very tricky. The underwriter may request that you supply one or two similar comparable sales to prove that the market will accept homes with this type of sewer system. And from what I could see, they were the only ones to have an outhouse, or should I say “pit privy.”

 

FHA actually does allow them, but they do have standards for pit privies & septic systems in relation to wells (see prior post on FHA guidelines).

 

The Big Question?

So what’s your bathroom story? Have you ever experienced anything similar?

 

 

If you have any questions, or real estate appraisal needs (divorce, bankruptcy, tax appeal, or estate planning) please contact Michael at 612.599-2581, or use the form on the contact page.

 

 

Posted by

 

If you are a real estate professional, mortgage consultant or real estate attorney please subscribe to my blog to get news and updates on residental appraisals, estate planning and tax changes:

subscribe to real estate appraisal blog

       

If you have any questions, or Minnesota real estate appraisal needs (divorce, bankruptcy, tax appeal, or estate planning) please contact Michael at 612.599-2581, or use the form on the contact page.

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Tags:
appraisal
mn appraiser
fha appraisals
septic systems
outhouse

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
349,331
Marco Giancola
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Keeps the job interesting to say the least! Don't see many of those in south Florida:)

Oct 07, 2011 02:19 PM #1
Ambassador
1,098,856
Bryan Robertson
Catarra Real Estate, Inc - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

Nobody would EVER buy a house with something like that in the SF Bay Area but I guess it all depends.  The worst bathroom I've ever seen in a house was so small that you couldn't open or close the door with someone on toilet.  The head was right near the door with a 1/8 inch clearance!

Oct 07, 2011 02:20 PM #2
Rainer
150,179
Andrew Capelli
Fidelity National Title - Troy, MI

Michael: In Michigan, outhouses are fairly common "up North" for hunting cabins, but I haven't come across any in an urban metropolitan area.  Minnesota's winters are even colder than ours, so that would be "cold on the tush"- Yikes!

Oct 07, 2011 02:54 PM #3
Rainer
145,762
Michael S. Bolton
Michael S. Bolton,Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
MN Appraiser

Marco-Your right, it does keep the job interesting. That's why I love real estate business, it's always different.

Bryan-That's probably what they call an after thought, "Oh, we have a door."

Oct 07, 2011 02:55 PM #4
Rainmaker
729,326
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

I have never heard of this.  So did they get the loan?  Real curious how this really worked out. Was this a year round home?

Oct 07, 2011 04:06 PM #5
Rainer
145,762
Michael S. Bolton
Michael S. Bolton,Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
MN Appraiser

Michael-This was "really uncommon" in this area. I think cold is cold when it comes to using the bathroom-if you know what I mean.

Chuck-This was a four season home, that's what made it so unusual. The credit union acquired this loan through an acquisition, so it was already on their books-they went ahead and did the refinance. This would of been very challenging to get done on the secondary market; FHA may have considered it, but it would of been a bumpy ride.

Oct 07, 2011 04:35 PM #6
Rainer
282,104
Leanne Paynter • Broward County Real Estate • Plantation, Davie, Cooper City
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL

I would imagine that if this lake home was strictly used as a summer-only home, some may find this outhouse (as the only bathroom) acceptable but I can't even begin to imagine anyone living in that house year-round with as cold as winters get in MN.  The pool of buyers that would even consider buying such a house is probably minimal, unless they get it for a bargain... enough so that they can add a real bathroom onto the house.

Oct 10, 2011 01:54 PM #7
Rainer
145,762
Michael S. Bolton
Michael S. Bolton,Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
MN Appraiser

Leanne-I couldn't agree with you more. The only way this was able to get refinanced was that the lender already had it on their books.

Oct 10, 2011 02:35 PM #8
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainer
145,762

Michael S. Bolton

MN Appraiser
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention