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bootleg improvements

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A fifty yr old brick ranch, for many yrs a rental owned by far away absentees, was listed as having fully finished full basement with kitchen, bath, and private entry.

I found all ceiling height on that level at 80 inches to suspended ceiling, which renders the whole space below habitable status, not to mention no heating or cooling there.  The private entrance door was cut off to 79".  I got a picture of unscrupulous management/contractors preying on absentee owners.  Saw no evidence of the basement "improvements" ever being occupied, but that did not keep the realtors from describing the space as a "mother-in-law" suite, though they cunningly exempted the area from square footage totals.

How often do the brethren here see such crookedness?

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This doesn't address your point, but I've been in thousands of very old homes that have ceiling heights below 80". They were continually "habitated" for 2-3 centuries.

I owned a home that in the original 1690 section, some parts of the ceiling are at 78".

It also has 72.5"-73" door frame heights. Wasn't an issue till I wore my cowboy boots one day. Had a friend visit regularly that is 6'9".

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Thanks for the reply Bill.  As a client advocate I had to let off some steam generated by sales claim of "finished" basement level with its own kitchen, bath, and private entry.  An 80" ceiling does not qualify as habitable space or bathroom.  

I've been told that by the year 2020 maybe half the population of the planet will be living in substandard housing, so maybe this kind of work is the crest of a new wave, but in the local real estate trenches I think buyers deserve a bird dog that can point and a bulldog that can growl on their behalf when the magic of the market tries to present them with a rabbit from a hat.

One of the "rooms" in this basement had a door that was cut off to 74" and a roomy closet as well with no window and no heat/cool/air source.  It might serve as a man-cave or even a dungeon depending on what turns you on.

Edited by Jim Baird
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