That is the buyers question.
I recently had a buyer cancel a contract on a 2-family home in Cheektowaga due to the inspector's findings. It wasn't that the hot water tanks were old, pipes were corroded or that the roof would need to be replaced within a few years. It was the windows and not the usual complaint of " oh, it has its original windows..."
This multi-family home is a 2/3 bedroom property; 2 beds in the upper unit, 3 in the lower. There is a bedroom in each unit with what I'll call a "privacy window". A few feet in length, couple feet in height and the base of it is at least 5 feet front the floor. All very rough measurements... Our inspector told us that these windows are not to current building codes and should not be used as bedrooms until proper egress is obtained. See direct verbiage below.
"One or more bedroom windows do not meet egress regulations under today's building standards. This means that there is not a secondary means of escape in case of an emergency such as a fire. When the home was built the window sizes likely were within the building standards when the home was constructed. This room should not be used as a bedroom unless proper egress is provided. This applies to both units."
This effectively makes it a 1/2 bedroom property. The reduction in bedrooms and fear of someone not being able to escape these rooms in case of an emergency caused my buyer to cancel his contract. I completely understand.
I notified the list agent of this information provided by the inspector out of concern. In a panic, the sellers and their agent set out on their due diligence to check codes. They were concerned as well; they have tenants in their! After several phone calls and emails, the Town of Cheektowaga confirmed that the homes windows are to code (whether grandfathered in or not I don't know) and the new replacement windows come completely out in case if emergency. Sigh of relief for home owners. However, my contract is still canceled; buyer can't shake the initial information. On to the next!
What are your thoughts? Do inspectors typically advise on building codes? Should older homes find out if they are to code? If they should, contact the town? Or would a home inspection suffice? I'd love for inspectors and agents alike to share.