Truth in Housing Inspections
Call 651.644.3999

Robbinsdale Cancels Point of Sale Program

Point-of-Sale inspections are no longer required to sell houses in the City of Robbinsdale. The City is in the process of repealing the Point-of-Sale Housing Disclosure Ordinance. Inspection manuals are available on the city website as a resource for residents who are interested in thoroughly evaluating the condition of their homes.

St. Paul requires a hardwired smoke alarm

If you live in St. Paul, here’s a tip to save you time and money when you get a Truth in Housing inspection. The only thing St. Paul requires from a Truth in Housing (TISH) inspection is the installation of one hardwired smoke alarm near a bedroom. Just one per house, near a bedroom. If you don’t have one, it’s better to do it before your TISH inspection so you can avoid the need for a special permit and a re-inspection.

Bloomington Time of Sale taken completely in-house

The City of Bloomington recently took all Time of Sale inspections in-house, meaning they no longer use outside inspectors like Apple. Call the city directly to set up your Time of Sale inspection at 952-563-8700.

TISH inspections for sellers

backflow prevention for outside hose faucetsOnly some cities in the Twin Cities metro area require a Truth in Housing (TISH) inspection. 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 $300 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. I’ve been a licensed evaluator for about 18 years, and rates haven’t gone up very much in that time.

After I do 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. A printed copy of the report must be at the house for showings.

Seeing Things – Aquarium window

Flooded window well

Inside view (click to enlarge)

Where are 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.