I guess we're not always popular

Oh well. I guess there’s another angry Realtor. I inspected a house that claimed on the MLS sheet to have 4 bedrooms but when I looked over the 2 basement bedrooms I observed that the windows had sill heights of 57 inches from the floor. Naturally, I reported that these windows did not meet the definition of egress. This morning I received an angry call from the buyer’s agent stating that I blew his sale since this so called 4 bedroom house just became a 2 bedroom house. We may not always be popular with Realtors but I do sleep well at night knowing that I kept somebody from purchasing a 2 bedroom fire trap.
Integrity is the core of an InterNACHI inspector!
David Strunk
Surety Home Inspections
Hackensack, Minnesota

Great catch.

Deal Killer :mrgreen::mrgreen:

Thanks David glad to see so many happy Inspectors doing a great job .

You’re right we are not always popular but that’s alright. In the end those who appreciate a qualified inspector performing a thorough inspection are your target market. Anyone else can pound sand.

That’s when you say “hey next time you have a listing, give me a call and we can discuss any issues before the home inspection” and then after you’ve gained back their trust, sell the agent on the concept of a pre-listing inspection.

Congrats!!! Welcome to the club of Professional Home Inspectors who aren’t beholden to Realtors for work! Your Clients know and appreciate what is important to them.

That’s a great idea.

How big was the window or windows. Did it meet or was it required to meet a specific code or definition at the time of construction??

Unless you can prove the home was indeed not to code, then were you wrong?
Could platforms been built to accommodate safe egress and make them to code?
I don’t disagree that you pointed it out, I would have as well. Just some stuff to think about when you write your report.

Last week had a home full of PB2110 water lines that were seeping. Agent was upset that the deal did not go through, and the listing agent was also upset. Received many calls about this from office brokers. Agents had no clue as to what the deal was with this type of water line. I educated them.

Found out later that the listing agent and the buyer’s agent both lived in the same neighborhood, which all has the PB lines.

Buyers, as well as agents, are clueless. We must be there for them; good or bad.

According to Minnesota Building Code, where basements
contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency
egress and rescue openings shall be required in
each sleeping room. Where emergency
escape and rescue openings are provided, they
shall have: sill height of not more than 44 inches
above the floor; Minimum width 20”; Minimum height 24”; Minimum total opening size 5.7 square
feet (820 sq. in).

The way I reported this was to state

“The windows in basement bedroom 1 and basement bedroom 2 are more than 44 inches from the floor and as such do not meet the definition of an egress window.”

I did not make a statement regarding whether or not these were legal sleeping quarters. I report what I see and nothing more.
Regarding a step, the requirement would be a 3’x3’ deck which would not work in these rooms. The best thing the Realtor could have done would be to suggest getting a quote for the modification and renegotiating. Don’t know if this was ever considered.

David Strunk
Surety Home Inspections
Hackensack, Minnesota

Your job is not to worry about what others think. You must state what is real, and a potential safety concern. Count them as non-compliant, or list them as offices in your report. It is then up to the buyer how to proceed. Your job is done. Beer 30.

If they were good when they were built, they are good now, just non-compliant bedrooms. But with a closet and meeting stds when built, they are still bedrooms. Making them meet todays regs are not required. They are just non-compliant. But you were right to point out the possible safety concern.

Greg, I agree with what you are saying to a degree, and that is how I report things like hand rail heights, deadbolt locks, cO detectors, GFCI’s on kitchen counters, etc, In orange writing with Improve recommendations, but not as repair or replace. My question, and it’s genuine, not nit picking at you, but where do you draw the line? K&T wiring, asbestos pipe wrap, single strand aluminum wiring, nailed on deck ledgers, vermiculite and uffi insulation were all legal at one time as well, however those issues are all included in my summary as repair or replace. Windows that fail to meet current egress requirements are listed in my summary as repair or replace, due to the fact that the local real estate board has come out with the rule that rooms containing windows smaller than 3.8 sq ft (Canadian egress requirement) can not be listed as bedrooms.

Anyway, just curious how you personally decide which previously acceptable practices are or aren’t listed in your summary?

If window is higher/smaller than current egress, point it out. If you know something that benefits your paying customer, tell them.

The sad part is most appraisers would have not caught the egress issue and counted them as bedrooms.

Agreed. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

In Wisconsin this is the code for the egress window.

Code 21.03(6)(d)1 and 21.03(6)(d)2 state:

For any window used for exiting, the lowest point of clear opening shall be no more than 60 inches above the floor.
If the lowest point of clear opening is more than 46 inches above the floor, a permanent platform or fixture shall be installed such that a flat surface at least 20 inches wide and 9 inches deep is located no more than 46 inches directly below the clear opening.

Wayne - I did not say that I did not report them, as with all that stuff you listed, just that it was a bedroom then and it is still a bedroom, just non compliant. I let them know why it is not compliant by todays stds.

I have to agree with some of the others. Nothing you did appeared to say it wasn’t a 4 bedroom house. The realtor is wrong. His 4 bedroom house did not become a two bedroom. It’s a 4 bedroom house with 2 bedrooms out of compliance to code.

Just as if you noticed the cooktop and refrigerator are not working, you didn’t say the house didn’t have a kitchen. It’s a kitchen that doesn’t have a cooktop or fridge.