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Window screens....

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Farm Gal

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
OK folks,

Given the recently increased outbreak of West Nile (mosquito borne disease), are we now back to requireing window screens on FHA properties???

- for health and safety reasons - ? :?: :!:

an expeditious and broad response is requested....
Of course I have three on my desk I want to turn asap...
:? 8O :(

I LOVE this job, really... :evil: :p :roll: :lol:

If we didn't laugh we shall all go insane...
 

Wally Jones

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Lee Ann,

In the absence of clearcut guidance from our detailed, up to date manual, I can only offer my experience of three months ago. The property had just been repainted (like, the day before my inspection) and the owner was waiting for the paint to dry before replacing the window screens. All the screens were neatly stacked against the garage wall. I made this comment in the report, but did not condition the appraisal on replacement of the screens. (My mistake. Attempts to apply common sense seldom work in my favor.) The report is selected for random field review by the local FHA guy and his only criticism was there should have been a VC on the screens (even though they were all in place on his visit!). Sigh.

So, the usual answer applies. "It depends." Call you local HOC on three different days and see how many answers you get, divide by 1.5 and go with your best guess. Just don't use common sense! :roll:

Sorry, you hit a small nerve and I didn't help you at all. :cry:
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Lee Ann,
I require screens if the house does not have a central HVAC system. If it has space heaters, baseboard heaters, or whatever, gotta have screens. My reasoning is that those houses usually will have one or two window units, but no real means of A/C or ventilation. I guess you have to judge it and decide if the occupants would reasonably expect to use the windows as ventilation. I don't see too many upper range homes with screen anyway, they are going to use the central A/C, not the windows.

I guess it goes back to blame it on .... Opps, I mean rely upon the appraisers opinion. But if I lived in an area with an infestation of mosquitos, I might have to re-think it through and requiring them more often. Like you said, it could go back to the "health, safety & ETAL" thing.
 

rtubbs

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
I'll start requiring screens as soon as they are required by 4150.2 or HUD supplemental instructions. I think we sometimes carry our preferences to extremes.
 

Farm Gal

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Well having viewed a small but representative number of responses, I am left with the inevitable 4 responses:
1. yes
2. no
3. it depends
and
4. call the HOC... :roll:
not to mention the inevitable
5. lets not get our personal preferences involved aka
"follow the recipe book".

somebody hand me a hanky I think I'm gonna cry.

This system is SUCH hockey-puckey.... :evil:

MY last screen response was face to face and indicated if its torn take it off, not required, but if present must be intact. But honestly that proabaly SHOULD change REAC/HUD are you listening????

another Monday morning call to HOC great - Know what the average hold time is monday mornings?!?!?!
AAAuuugghh from the field..!
 

larryhaskell

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
Lee Ann:

I listen to the Bay Area news from a local station and within the past week two young children fell from second story windows because the window was open but the screen was closed. Unfortunately one of the children died while the second survived with injuries. While these accidents occurred in apartment buildings, it is prudent to believe that a fall from the second story of a two or three story home could provide the same potential danger. I was told by someone from HUD early on that if an item was present or likely present when the home was constructed then it should be in place and operational at the time of inspection or it should be required as part of the inspection. The issue at the time was a built-in dishwaser that was inoperable so the seller had it removed but it left an obvious void under the counter. The dishwasher had to be replaced. For an item like a garage door opener, I have been told that where they are not necessarily typical it is okay to remove if inoperable. Specifically regarding your case based on the accidents last week, I would be inclined to require screens although they are not necessaily designed as a safety barrier. I tend to err on the side of caution because part of our responsibility is to make sure the improvements are whole and somewhat safe based on our knowledge and expertise. If given a choice, I would rather tick off a realtor or LO than to learn later that someone was injured or killed because I didn't want to make the call. Besides, I'm fairly good at putting a guilt trip on some dopey realtor or LO by asking a simple question. Now you wouldn't want to be responsible for some little kid getting hurt because (any item) wasn't repaired or replaced? It gets them every time. Hope this helps.
 

Farm Gal

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Larry:

The sort of situation you cited was specifically addressed in this face to face. I disagreed with the 'official' position at the time which was that a screen would not prevent such an accident as you describe, I din't quite buy it then, and don't now... While it might not prevent all 'baby out the window incidents', it might just might stop one.

I call for screens on all low sill 2nd floor windows or any which I feel might cause injury or accident to a toddler REGARDLESS of height from the ground or deck, roof, whatever. Toddlers move fast and aren't steady on thier pins, nor very bright: if a window is waist high to a toddler, it gets a screen. I don't call for every, because I think parents should be preventing thier kids from climbing on furnature to reach higher openings...

The situation I am concerned about is bugs... The virus thing scares me, and in homes such as Mel describes, I feel that windows will be opened.

I guess that I am going to call the HOC, but have argued myself into it being a health and safety issue to have at least ONE window with screen in every room. I happen to be a blood type that any mosquito will fly a mile or more to drill. In any group of ten or more folks I get 90% of the mosquito bites.

Even the DOG bowl has larvae in it up at our place, and they are recommending shots for all equines.... Guess I sort of feel it is a needed safety item. I was just looking for a little consensus on the matter... :oops:
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Hey Lee Ann,

Let's complicate your life a little further......

While you're asking the HOC about window screens....better ask about screen/storm doors....little homeowner dummies will probably leave the doors open too and will need screens there also. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ben (No screens) V.
 
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