Real estate appraiser using laser measuring device to create accurate room sizes and floor plan according to Fannie Mae ANSI guidance

Fannie Mae Issues ANSI Guidance on Condos and More


As of April 1, 2022, Fannie Mae now requires appraisers to measure single-family properties in accordance with ANSI Standard Z765-2021. The April 1 implementation date came and went, but appraisal course providers, Fannie Mae, and others are still being inundated with questions from appraisers who still have questions about the standards.

In late March, Fannie Mae issued updated ANSI guidance for appraisers, in the form of a five-page downloadable PDF entitled “Standardized Property Measuring Guidelines.” A link to this PDF may be found here.

The PDF includes 19 FAQs, including this one on measuring condominium units:

Q11. Does Fannie Mae require condominiums to be measured per the ANSI standard?

Irrespective of ownership type (Condominium, Co-op, Fee Simple, etc.), the ANSI standard must be followed (if legally permissible – see the Annex to the ANSI standard, page 4, for more information) for houses with detached or attached architectural design including townhouses, rowhouses, and other side-by side houses. The ANSI standard should not be used if the architectural design is an apartment-style or multifamily building. When measuring a condominium or co-op that is part of an apartment-style or multifamily building, Fannie Mae’s policy of using interior perimeter measurements for the subject property should be applied.

According to Fannie Mae, it is the architectural design of the dwelling, not the ownership interest, that triggers the requirement to use ANSI Z765. Fannie Mae requires appraisers to use ANSI Z765 to measure detached or attached (e.g., townhouse or rowhouse) single-family dwellings, regardless of whether the ownership interest is condominium or fee simple. Hence, a townhouse-style condominium unit would need to be measured using ANSI Z765, as would a detached condominium unit (i.e., a “site condo”). Conversely, the GLA of an apartment-style condominium unit (sometimes referred to as “garden-style”) would be calculated using interior measurements (i.e., “paint-to-paint”) and ANSI Z765 would not be applicable.

Use of the ANSI Z765 standard to measure a condominium unit depends on legal permissibility; some states may require different measurement standards for condominium units. The Annex to ANSI Z765 states, “Differences between the method for calculating finished square footage as set out in the standard and methods prescribed by state law to calculate the area of a condominium unit must be resolved on an individual basis.”

Online CE course: Enroll in Residential Property Measurement and ANSI Z765, now approved in most states and territories.