• Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premier online  community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

Requirement or Moral-ethical situation?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Thomas J Kirchmeyer

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Appraising a home with bars on all 1st floor windows. Permenant bars, not latchable. Safety issue because if fire, how would residents get out? Is it the appraisers job to report? It has no bearing on value (so he claims), nor is it really in the appraiser's scope to understand fire or building codes. Lender wants appraiser not to mention in report because it would kill the deal. The same lender has the first mortgage and how can they tell the borrower now that they cannot refi thru the same bank? The bars were there on original appraisal also. Nothing changed. If appraiser strikes out all comments about the bars, is he wrong? Can he legally do that? Must he comment on them?
 

Ken B

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
It is unethical to misrepresent the property. If the lender told you to call a manufactured home something other than a manufactured home, would you do so?
 

James Micozzi

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Appraising a home with bars on all 1st floor windows. Permenant bars, not latchable. Safety issue because if fire, how would residents get out? Is it the appraisers job to report? It has no bearing on value (so he claims), nor is it really in the appraiser's scope to understand fire or building codes. Lender wants appraiser not to mention in report because it would kill the deal. The same lender has the first mortgage and how can they tell the borrower now that they cannot refi thru the same bank? The bars were there on original appraisal also. Nothing changed. If appraiser strikes out all comments about the bars, is he wrong? Can he legally do that? Must he comment on them?

thomas

I get this all the time here in NYC and Long Island. I mention the security bars, provide photos and give the client the name, address and phone number of the building department for the municipality concerned for the obvious questions about legality, egrees, etc. That's it.

Taking out the comments would result in a misleading report and possible open up the appraiser to some liability. Let me guess, the "lender" is not really "the bank", but the loan officer or mortgage broker.

Jim
 
Last edited:

leelansford

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
In case of fire, how would someone exit via the windows? Is this not a safety issue?

I surmise that such barred windows are not at all typical for the market. I suspect that most buyers would see the bars as more of a negative than a positive.

The hairs on the back of my neck go up when I hear--or read--a lender (any client) stating not to report 'this' or 'that' because it will be a problem on their end of things. BETTER a problem on their end of things than later a problem for you.

Report the presence of the bars...how you analyze (and, adjust, if appropriate) their presence may be a subject of some debate. What is not debatable is that you are now obligated to report the presence of the bars.
Let the lender deal with the fall-out...it's their problem...don't make it your problem.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
The fact that these bars are there or that they may violate a code is not the appraisers responsibility. Nor is it the appraisers responsibility to see that they are taken down or corrected to current code unless such requirement is specifically part of the assignment.

What is the appraisers responsibility is to point this out to the reader who is using the report for lending consideration. Then it is up to the reader to make the decision as to these bars coming down or to determine if they are in compliance with codes.

A clear, well written warning as well as supporting photos in the report is sufficient to fulfill the appraisers responsibility for disclosure. As to the market reaction to such bars, that is up to the appraiser to decide and determine.
 

DTB

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
I would ask one of the bright horses, or are they asking you? :unsure:
 

TJSum

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
In the bad neighborhoods, it is common to see these types of security bars. I guess they figure there is more of a chance of getting killed by a home invasion than a fire.

We have to disclose it on the report as it is a safety issue. Most lenders are okay with it, but others are not. Earlier this year one lender requested I do a "final inspection" for a property to confirm the safety bars were removed from the dwelling. I conducted the assignment with plenty of photos of the bars removed. Of course, several weeks later when I drove by the property again, the bars were once again in place.
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
You can't "unknow" something you already know. It's not a big value or marketability issue and I'd say so in an appraisal report. I'd also take a swing at estimated the cost to cure (could be less than $1000).

Appraisers never kill deals. They only write the obituaries.
 

Doug Trites

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
There is no way I would remove this information from the report. Just let someone die in a fire like a child and guess who is included in the suite?
 

CCAAMO

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Appraising a home with bars on all 1st floor windows. Permenant bars, not latchable. Safety issue because if fire, how would residents get out? Is it the appraisers job to report? It has no bearing on value (so he claims), nor is it really in the appraiser's scope to understand fire or building codes. Lender wants appraiser not to mention in report because it would kill the deal. The same lender has the first mortgage and how can they tell the borrower now that they cannot refi thru the same bank? The bars were there on original appraisal also. Nothing changed. If appraiser strikes out all comments about the bars, is he wrong? Can he legally do that? Must he comment on them?

Yes, you do have to report it, it is a health and safety issue. Anytime there are security bars on bedrooms windows you need to verify that there are interior releases. If they are not there the appraisal should be made " subject to" either installing interior releases or removing the bars from the windows.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Find a Real Estate Appraiser - Enter Zip Code

Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at
AppraiserSites.com
Top

AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks