Measured Responses is a new feature in the Regulator where we publish frequently asked questions about the Residential Measurement Standard.
In this edition, we focus on unusual grades, basement access, and appraisal measurements.
If I have a walkout split-level property where part of the home is entirely above grade, but not above the grade at the other end of the house, can it be included in the RMS size?
Yes. The highlighted area in this diagram is included in the RMS size, as it is entirely above grade.
Split level homes create interesting challenges. And though this may seem like a 2-storey home from the front, there are actually five distinct levels.
As long as the real estate professional can determine where a level of the property begins (whether visually, or through measuring the length of that level), if that level is entirely above grade, they can include it in the RMS area.
However, if you determine that any part of a level is actually below grade, even if 99% of it is above grade, you cannot include it in the RMS area.
Of course, even if you determine a level is partially below grade and cannot be included in the RMS area, you can advertise the extra space as an additional measurement, as long as you also advertise the RMS area, and explain what any additional measurements include, and how they were calculated.
I’m listing a property where stairs at the back of the property come from the basement and lead directly outside. The location of the stairs bump out from the rest of the property, and does not connect with the above grade living space, but is otherwise fully enclosed, insulated, and heated as part of the basement. The RMS Guide says stairs should be included in the above grade level they lead to. Should I count the space of the staircase because they lead above grade?
No. The stairway you describe does not lead to above grade living space. It leads outside, and is not connected to the main level living space. The bumped out area where the stairs from the basement are is not a part of the above grade living space, and should not be included in the RMS area.
Do licensed appraisers use the RMS in their appraisal reports? And can real estate professionals use the measurements from appraisal reports as the RMS area?
Appraisers have their own standards for measurement. Appraisers must use the measurement standard prescribed by their appraisal association. That may or may not be the RMS.
The standards appraisers use are often different than the RMS, as their purpose is different. Appraisers measure space as it pertains to the valuation and use of the property. RMS measurements provide consistency and indicate actual, above ground living space. Real estate professionals cannot use the measurements from an appraisal report as the RMS area UNLESS they first confirm the appraiser used the RMS and the appraiser provides written permission for the real estate professional to use the measurement in the appraisal report.