Truth in Housing / Time of Sale / Radon Testing
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Truth in Housing inspections for sellers

backflow prevention for outside hose faucetsOnly some cities in the Twin Cities metro area require a Truth in Housing inspection (also abbreviated as TISH). They’re also called Time of Sale or Point of Sale, depending on the city. Some cities require repairs after the inspection, and others don’t. See my¬†homepage for details about your city.

A TISH inspection is shorter than a buyer’s inspection and focuses more on safety-related items, like wiring hazards, smoke and CO alarms, handrails, and plumbing cross connections (places where water can get siphoned backwards into the water supply. One example of a cross connection is pictured at right.) A typical TISH evaluation takes about an hour.

The evaluation is usually paid for by the seller. Different evaluators charge different rates. The rates are essentially driven by the market and are not set by the cities. I’ve heard of rates as low as $150 and as high as $210 for a single family home (but they may be rumors, too – I don’t really know what everyone else charges). In cities that require a 2nd trip to inspect repairs, that fee can range from $50 to $110, depending on the evaluator and the city. I’ve been a licensed evaluator for about 13 years, and rates have gone up very little in the time I’ve been around.

My rates are as follows:

  • Single family or townhome – $195
  • Condo – $175
  • Duplex – $225
  • Re-inspection (2nd trip) – $65

After the inspection, I type up your report, file it with the city, pay a filing fee, and send you a PDF file or a link to the report on the city’s website, most often the same day. Most cities require a printed copy of the report to be on hand for showings.

Seeing Things – Aquarium window

Flooded window well

Inside view (click to enlarge)

Where’s the fish? This basement window seems to be just as watertight as an aquarium, which is quite a miracle. The more common scenario is a very wet basement. Here’s the view from outside:

Apple Home Inspections

Outside view (click to enlarge)

These pictures were taken during the spring snowmelt. The yard didn’t slope away from the foundation, in fact a little pond was forming in the yard by this basement window. Most houses have this problem, but not to this extreme! The best solution is to re-landscape the yard so there’s a slope away from the house.

Seeing Things – Spaghetti wiring

Apple Home Inspections Inc.

(Click picture for larger view)

Here’s an example of wiring that isn’t quite “up to code”. The main danger here is the potential fire hazard. Why a fire hazard? With this many things plugged in, the wires can overheat and start a fire. The fluorescent lights on the ceiling are also plugged into the tangle, when they should be wired with permanent wiring.