Real estate purchase sidetracked by lender demands

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Dear Barry, We had nearly closed on the purchase of a vacation home when the lender brought the deal to a standstill. They said the gas fireplace is not an adequate heat source and insisted that a new heating system be installed. What's more, they now require us to hire a home inspector, even though we waived that contingency. A home inspection, we feel, is an optional service, available for our peace of mind, if we so choose. Can lenders simply make these kinds of demands regarding heating and home inspection? – Carmen Dear Carmen, The lender's preference for a more conventional heating system may be overreaching, depending upon whether the gas fireplace meets the minimum standards for a residential heater. According to the International Residential Code, "...every dwelling unit shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit at a point 3 feet above the floor and 2 feet from habitable walls in all habitable rooms......