Home Inspections In Minnesota: Don’t Forget the Plumbing!

Truth In Housing  &  Time Of Sale Inspections – Don’t Forget The Plumbing!

Are you looking to buy a new home in Minnesota? Are you getting ready to put your current home up for sale? If you have any experience with these transactions, you know that a home inspection is a huge part of the process.

You should know exactly what to expect, both indoors and out, in terms of needed and future repairs and maintenance.

But while you’re checking for cracks in the foundation, termites in the walls and other potential issues, make sure your plumbing system gets inspected too — or you may end up with a raw deal.

Does Your City Require a Sellers Inspection?

Consider the sewer lines, for example. If you’re in the market for a home, you’re not just buying a house — you’re also getting all the pipelines and external feeds that serve that house. Some neighborhoods that are highly prized for their historic value have the biggest problems in this department, because they’re depending on old, fragile sewer lines that can clog up with tree roots. You’d better know what shape those lines are in before you close that deal! (It’s also nice to know in advance where your sewer clean-out is located.)

Minneapolis Minnesota Commonly Required Repairs

Several cities in the Twin Cities Metro Area require homes to be inspected by a licensed evaluator before they are offered for sale, whether the sale is public or private.

Minneapolis Truth-in-Housing Evaluation– Common repair/replace items

(Use this list along with information provided directly from city…this list is not comprehensive)

•      Backflow preventers are required at exterior spigots and laundry tub faucets with threaded ends

•    Watts 9D in line check valve required at boiler fill line.

•    Smoke detectors: Required at each level of home. Detectors must be operational.

•    Carbon monoxide detectors: Required within 10’ of any sleeping room.

•    Water meter bonding jumper required with clamps at outsides of  shutoff valves.

•    Exposed wires must be covered and installed in junction boxes.

•    Breaker slots at electrical panel must be covered with approved covers.

•    Vent connectors must have required clearances to combustibles, positive pitch, and no open joints or holes.

•    Water heater PTR valve must be properly installed and extension pipe must extend to within 18” of the floor.

•    Flexible gas appliance connectors: Must be stainless steel and AGA approved. Approved connectors are typically silver or yellow. Brass or gray connectors are not typically approved.

•    Open gas lines are not allowed.

•    Floor drain cleanouts must have a proper clean out plug installed.

•    Sump pumps must drain to the exterior.

•    Free standing space heaters are not allowed in bedrooms.

•    Bathroom exhaust fans must vent directly to the exterior.

•    Electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems must be viewed in operation

•    Abandoned fuel tanks must be removed

•    Access: Evaluator must have access to garage and attic areas.

•    Anti-siphon ballcocks are required in all toilets

•    GFCI outlets must be functional

•    Faucet openings must be installed with an airgap over the sink or tub

Minneapolis Official Commonly Required Repairs.pdf Minneapolis Official Commonly Required Repairs.pdf
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Below is a complete list of cities in Minnesota requiring a Truth-in-Housing / Time-of-Sale Evaluation.
If a city is not listed here, there is no requirement for a Truth-in-Housing Evaluation.

Cities Type of Properties
Bloomington Single Family, Two Family, & Multiple Family (condominiums, townhouses, mobile homes)
Brooklyn Park Single Family, Two Family, Townhouses, Condominiums, and any other residential dwellings
Crystal Single Family, Two Family, & Multiple Family (condominiums, townhouses, mobile homes)
Golden Valley All properties, Residential and Commercial
Hopkins All one to four-unit dwellings, including condominiums and townhouses.
Maplewood All Dwellings
Minneapolis Single Family, Two Family, Townhouses, and first time condominium conversions.
New Hope All Dwellings
Osseo All one to four unit dwellings, including condominiums and townhouses.
Richfield All Dwellings
Robbinsdale Single Family, Two Family, Three Family, Townhouses, Condominiums
Saint Louis Park Single Family, Two Family, Townhouses, and Condominiums.
Saint Paul Single Family, Two Family, Townhouses, Condominiums, and Co-ops
South Saint Paul Single Family, Two Family, Multiple Family,
and mobile homes.

Protect Yourself

Even if your state doesn’t require disclosures, it’s a good idea to do so anyway. If you know of a problem and you don’t disclose it, and if the buyer is later injured because of it, you could have to pay for the damage. You may even go to jail if the buyer is seriously injured or killed.

Also, keep in mind, in most states, if a real estate broker or agent knows about a serious defect, she has to disclose it to buyers – even if the seller doesn’t.

Buyers, sellers, and brokers need to be aware of the laws in their states about disclosures. And, even if full disclosures may hurt the chances of selling the home quickly and for the best price, it’s best to err on the side of caution and disclose anything that’s serious.

Buyers should take the extra step and have a home inspection done. It may cost a few hundred dollars, but it’s money well spent if there are problems that could end up costing thousands of dollars later, or may threaten your safety and the safety of your family.

If your inspector turns up evidence of plumbing problems, it is a good idea to contact a Minnesota Plumbing Contractor to make the necessary plumbing repairs.

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