Home Buying in Robbinsdale>Question Details

Jesica, Other/Just Looking in 55422

Was given a list of repairs by the city on a home we want to buy. I want to know why a lot of them matter.

Asked by Jesica, 55422 Sat May 23, 2009

The list had very valid items listed but many were just petty. Such as repair back sliding screen door. As far as we can see it comes off the tracks when pulled. Replace missing screens in windows. Repair cracked basement window and a basement bedroom door. I would have thought screens in the widows were my decision and the window crack is so minor. The door just needs to be put back on the hinges. Remove dumpster from driveway! And repair a fist sized hole in basement. This is a foreclosed home why is the city involved with the appearance inside of the home or am I not aware of the importance of these repairs? We also need to get a permit to finish basement bathroom. We have no use for a basement bathroom so couldn't we just not finish the project? Will I be getting involved with a hard to please inspector who is going to cost me more money then I can afford after the important repairs and the purchase of a home?

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As a licensed Robbinsdale Point-Of-Sale Evaluator, I can tell you that these repairs are not building code violations; they're housing code violations. Things like a dumpster sitting in the driveway would be an eyesore for your neighbors - and so would just about everything else you listed.

These items are not all that important when you look at just one item, but when you add them all up, it sounds like this house is in a major state of disrepair. The purpose of the housing code is to prevent properties from staying in disrepair, and from lowering the overall value of homes in that city.

As for the basement bathroom, obviously you'll need to talk to the city, but in just about every case they'll let you abandon the project as long as any loose ends are tied up. For instance, no wires hanging out, not uncapped waste pipes, no water supply pipes hanging out... etc.

Will you be getting involved with a hard to please inspector? Doubtful... but if you can't afford to do things like removing the dumpster from your yard and fixing the rest of the exterior eyesores... well, then you can't afford the repairs.

I'm sure the stuff that you find less important is the only stuff that matters to your neighbors, and that's what housing inspections are all about.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Jessica,

I'm helping a buyer with a bank owned property as we speak. Of course, there is a long list of repairs that comes along with the purchase because the property is sold "as is". Work directly with the inspector or the city. Most of the repairs are items that you can complete or do it yourself type of repairs.

Buyers are given between 60 - 90 days to complete the repairs after the closing. Some cities require that you escrow your repair costs and some don't. After you complete your repairs, call the same inspector that did the initial inspection for a re-inspection. If you have done all the work and met all the code compliance, then the city will issue you a Certificate of Approval or a Certificate of Code Compliane. Happy home ownership!!!
Web Reference: http://www.noukhaschka.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 28, 2009
THANK YOU, that's all I needed to know. I will check into it more. 90 days is given to make repairs. I fear I will use up all my funds on important issues and something small like screens or doors will hurt this sale. Better take some home repair classes at the Home Depot.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 23, 2009
Jesica, There are many reasons for what are called "Time-of-Sale" or "point-of-Sale" home inspections that various municipalities in the Twin Cities require.
Two of the main reasons are to correct code violations and from what you
are describing in in your case, inspection and city-ordered repairs to protect the quality of the city's housing stock and therefore, protect the city's home values (read: protect their tax base).
The municipality may require you to perform these repairs prior to closing, prior to occupancy or may require you to escrow money for any repairs that are not completed prior to your closing.
Good luck!
Steve
Web Reference: http://tcGetReal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 23, 2009
Usually you are accepting the property "as is" in a foreclosure; the city wants the home to meet all code standards which include being in a condition which precludes further deterioration. Permits are required in most municipalities to do plumbing, electrical and other repairs. If you do not wish to finish this, call the inspector as noted above, and get a timetable for removal and inspection for that; many of the things you noted would be easy to do it yourself. The bathroom, if not finished, would have to be left in a "rough in" condition or other condition as required by city code. Most inspectors I have known are reasonable and will give you some good advice regarding these matters. Liz Fuller, 612-986-4105
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 23, 2009
Jesica,

The best resource for this information is the city itself. There should be a contact number on your repair list. We recommend that you be in touch with someone from the city that can respond to your concerns with some accuracy.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 23, 2009
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