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FHA Deck Railings

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conscientious flipper

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Jul 24, 2017
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State
New York
Hi folks,
I am the seller of a property with a 20x20 deck that is 6" below the back door and because of the grade around the house is as high as 18" above grade/lawn on 2 sides.

As we know code calls for railings on decks that are 30" or greater above grade.

The FHA underwriter has [today] notified me that the deck requires a railing, I assume because the appraiser called it out.

I am confused about the appraiser's need for a rail that no code calls for?

If safety is the issue shouldn't there be at least some objective measure?

The world is inherently unsafe and without objective measures where does it stop? There is part of this plot,not near the deck,that is a steep hill and a fall there would be much worse than an 18" fall to grass. Not to mention the second floor windows,a stove that produces 500 degree heat, 2 stairwells of 13 stairs each,a bathtub 16" deep,wild animals in the region and tick borne disease.


Please help me understand Bill
 

Michigan CG

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Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Ask the FHA underwriter who is making this "request". 18 inches is ridiculous in my opinion.
 

gregb

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I no longer do FHA appraisals. If it is an underwriter or an appraiser calling out a health and safety issue regarding a deck railing, it is either warranted or not. If the OP, self-described as conscientious flipper, wants to flip properties, rules of the road may apply.
 

glenn walker

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I agree it's out of control BUT I actually had my HOC tell me a few years ago it was required and her statement was Health & Safety Issues supersede code SO I ended up having to call it out. In this case I doubt the underwriter called for it --most likely the appraiser either called for it or talked about the issue in the report so now it's a condition.
 

conscientious flipper

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Professional Status
General Public
State
New York
I agree it's out of control BUT I actually had my HOC tell me a few years ago it was required and her statement was Health & Safety Issues supersede code SO I ended up having to call it out. In this case I doubt the underwriter called for it --most likely the appraiser either called for it or talked about the issue in the report so now it's a condition.



Is there any point to disputing it?
 

conscientious flipper

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Professional Status
General Public
State
New York
I no longer do FHA appraisals. If it is an underwriter or an appraiser calling out a health and safety issue regarding a deck railing, it is either warranted or not. If the OP, self-described as conscientious flipper, wants to flip properties, rules of the road may apply.


I would be happy to follow rules. This would seem to be arbitrary. I am getting the sense from posters that there is no point contesting it . Would you agree? Thanks
 

Tom D

Senior Member
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Joined
May 22, 2015
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
it protects the children from hungry bears & rabid racoons. you can also break your neck falling off that deck after too many drinks and not paying attention.
appraisers have to protect children and drunks. build it, and then have a cold drink on your safe deck.
 

Riick

Elite Member
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Aug 14, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Safety comes even before profit.
Two guys for 1/2 day and maybe $100 in materials, stop whining.
 

conscientious flipper

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Professional Status
General Public
State
New York
to update,the appraiser stands by his "safety" demand. For those of you with the Napoleon complex? Please know that it is noted
 

gregb

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
to update,the appraiser stands by his "safety" demand. For those of you with the Napoleon complex? Please know that it is noted

Thanks for the update. We recognize that Cleopatra flippers feel entitled to sell unsafe deck properties, regardless of the rules. :)
 
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