Now that I have your attention…let’s talk about the lobbying efforts at the state and national level of the National Builder’s Association and the National Association of Realtors to stop cities, counties, and states from implementing the new IRC requirement of installing sprinkler systems in new homes.
Initially, the argument was that the added cost would put housing out of reach for too many families. I’m still laughing at the thought of real estate salesmen spending their PAC money to keep housing costs (also known as “sales commissions”) down. It’s amazing what the public will accept as fact when it is pounded into their brains long enough.
But now that mortgage rates are at the 1950s level…and homes are now worth up to 40% less than what they sold for a year or two ago…what is the new mantra?
The good news is…the 2012 IRC will have the same requirement…and builders and agents will be forced to spend more money and time to fight the code again…and again in 2015…and so on and so on…
Until then…every firefighter who dies in the act of putting out a fire in a 2011 (or later) home…every child who burns to death in a 2011 home…will have survivors who can thank their local real estate agent and builder for putting their own personal greed before the life of their consumer.
The cost of materials that are NOT installed…like a sprinkler system…is known to a builder as profit.
Way to go, NAHB. Thanks for nothing, NAR.