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Section 3: Development of Index Numbers

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Index Number Development Charts

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Age Index:

AGE INDEX:

10 – New dwelling

5 ‑ 21 to 25 Year old dwelling

9 ‑ 1 to 5 Year old dwelling

4 ‑ 26 to 30 Year old dwelling

8 ‑ 6 to 10 Year old dwelling

3 ‑ 31 to 35 Year old dwelling

7 – 11 to 15 Year old dwelling

2 ‑ 36 to 40 Year old dwelling

6 – 16 to 20 Year old dwelling

1 ‑ Over 40 Year old dwelling



Anchor: #i1007184Quality Index

Dwelling Size By Living Square Feet

Quality

400

600

800

900

1000

1100

1200

1300

1400

1500

1600

1700

Excellent

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

Very Good

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

Good

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

Fair

2

3

4

4

5

5

6

6

7

7

8

8

Poor

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Quality

1800

1900

2000

2200

2400

2600

2800

3000

3200

3400

3600&Above

Excellent

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

Very Good

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

Good

19

20

21

22

22

23

23

24

25

25

26

Fair

8

9

9

9

10

10

10

11

11

11

12

Poor

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1



(For the above Quality Index, use the number most representative of dwelling quality and size).

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Condition Index:

Yard Improvements Index:

5 – Excellent

5 – Excellent

4 – Very Good

4 ‑ Very Good

3 – Good

3 – Good

2 – Fair

2 – Fair

1 – Poor

1 – Poor

-

0 – None



Sum the individual indexes obtained to determine the RCI as shown in the following example of a single-family residence, 15 years old, containing 1,175 living square feet with good quality, condition and yard improvements:

Anchor: #i1002346RCI Example

Age

Quality

Condition

Yard Improvements

RCI equals

7 +

13 +

3 +

3 +

26



The following is a general description of the categories making up the RCI.

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Factors for Quality Index

Use the “excellent” classification for a luxurious dwelling with multiple baths, central heating and air conditioning, fireplace, playroom, multi-car garage, swimming pool, and premium roof materials, hardware and plumbing. This dwelling should be a one-of-a-kind design. Generally, there will be no other housing having an identical design and features. It should be built from unique architectural plans and written specifications, be constructed of above-average materials and workmanship, and exceed building codes. It should contain large rooms such as a formal living room, dining room, large foyer, den or family room, and other special purpose rooms with a floor plan that permits direct access to most areas of the house without crossing through other rooms.

Use the “very good” classification to describe a custom-built dwelling with fewer luxurious features than an “excellent” dwelling. It should be an individual design, but not necessarily “one-of-a-kind.” It may be built from modified or designer plans that were contracted by a specific buyer. Its materials and workmanship, windows, doors, cabinets and vanities should be standard or above standard. It should meet or exceed building codes, have a formal living room, foyer, den or family room, above-average size rooms, and some special purpose features.

Use the “good” classification to describe an average dwelling with fewer luxurious features than a “very good” dwelling. It will be of standard design, built for speculation or for a contract buyer from “stock” or builder’s plans, and have standard materials and workmanship that meet or exceed building codes. It may have variances in its shape or rooflines to distinguish it from neighboring houses built from the same plans. An attached garage, carport, enclosed breezeway, porch, or patio is common. It may have a separate dining area, a den or family room, a foyer, and some ornamentation. Its windows, doors, cabinets, and interior trim may show some selectivity.

Use the “fair” classification to describe an economy dwelling. It is generally of a plain design, box-shaped, seldom L-shaped, with a plain roof and minimal overhang. It is usually built for speculation from stock plans using modular and pre-assembled units. It has no special purpose rooms (e.g., recreation, den, and pantry), little or no ornamentation, factory assembled windows and doors, materials and workmanship just meeting building codes, and low cost as the primary consideration in construction. The dining area is usually combined with the living-kitchen area. Features such as added rooms, porches, or awnings do not change this classification. Older homes without special features, modern fixtures, or insulation, as well as dwellings in declining neighborhoods or Non-residential urban areas are typically in this category.

A “poor” quality dwelling may or may not be DSS and its design or physical location may be undesirable for normal residential purposes. Use this classification to describe dwellings with fewer features and qualities than characteristic of a “fair” dwelling.

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Condition Index

This index represents the dwelling’s physical appearance. It covers a feature’s ability to perform its function regardless of quality. For example, plumbing fixtures in a new dwelling may be considered in very good condition but of low quality due to inferior materials. The amount of maintenance performed to keep the dwelling presentable, and its equipment in good working order, influences the condition index.

Consider the following factors in determining the condition index:

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  • Use the “excellent” classification for new and exceptionally well-maintained dwellings. The structure should have an outstanding appearance with no defects.
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  • Use the “very good” classification to describe dwellings reflecting some use and depreciation but whose appearance and state of fitness are above average. Its built-in appliances, utility, cooling, heating, and other systems should be without defects.
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  • Use the “good” classification to describe a dwelling that is clean and well maintained. Its appearance will generally reflect normal use and depreciation, but not unusual abuse or deferred maintenance. Its built-in appliances, utility, cooling, heating, and other systems should be fully operational. Defects, if any, should be minor and easily correctable.
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  • Use the “fair” classification to describe a dwelling that reflects some structural defects, a run-down appearance, and deferred maintenance. Its cooling, heating, electrical, and plumbing systems are functional, but old and in need of maintenance or replacement. The general fitness of this dwelling is less desirable than described in preceding classifications and it marginally qualifies as a DSS dwelling.
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  • Use the “poor” classification to describe a defective, run-down dwelling not classified as DSS, as described in Decent, Safe and Sanitary (DSS) Standards
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Yard Improvements Index

This index represents the appearance, fitness, and features of the landscape around a dwelling. It includes lawns, flower beds, shrubbery, trees, walks, drives, fences, and patios. Determine indexing in this category based on how the property compares to the real estate market as a whole, not just to properties in the immediate neighborhood.

Consider the following factors in determining the yard improvements index:

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  • Use the “excellent” classification for yard improvements representative of professional planning, landscaping, and maintenance. These yards should include features such as underground sprinkler systems, special gardens and lighting, gazebos, fish ponds, fountains, custom fencing, special planters.
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  • Use the “very good” classification to describe yard improvements reflecting above-average landscaping and maintenance. Yards in this category may have some of the features noted for the “excellent” classification.
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  • Use the “good” classification to describe a yard with typical features that reflect recurring maintenance.
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  • Use the “fair” classification to describe yards that display few improvements, little landscaping, and mediocre care.
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  • Use the “poor” classification to describe yards that have very little landscaping and show substantial neglect.
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  • Use the “none” classification to describe yards showing no sign of enhancement or care.

In developing an index number, there will be instances when a dwelling will have improvements atypical of dwellings being studied. In these cases the supplement preparer should use his judgment to keep a reasonable relationship between the displacement and comparable dwellings. The index system cannot solve all comparison problems that may arise and is intended as a guide to be supplemented by experience. Explain any interpolation of index numbers used to describe a dwelling on form ROW-R-106 for comparable dwellings and on form ROW-R-107 for the displacement dwelling.

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