Do I Need a Home Inspection?

In Minnesota, home inspections are not required. So why should you spend another $300 (or more depending on the house) on an inspection? Maybe I should ask you why you’re buying a home? Most people would say because I want to own my place. So, don’t you want this “place” to be a good investment and more importantly, a safe and sound place to live?

Another important reason is it can be used as a contingency in your purchase offer. If the inspection reveals significant defects, you can back out of the offer or present a counter offer. The seller then has the option to accept the counter, counter the counter, or reject the counter.

What Home Buyers Can expect from a Home Inspection

An inspection will last two to three hours. Plan to attend so you will have a good understanding of the report. Good inspections will include at least these things:

• Examination of the exterior of the home;
• Checking the walls, foundation, grading, garage (or carport) and roof
• The home’s interior inspected
• All plumbing (including faucets and showers) inspected for leaks, and the main shut-off valve and pipes will be evaluated
• Electrical where all the outlets tested and electrical panel checked for safety issues
• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
• Water heater
• Kitchen appliances
• Laundry room
• Fire safety – especially important if the home has an attached garage
• Bathrooms
• Radon testing. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third level for radon. Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. Many areas in Minnesota have tested for high levels of this gas. If high levels of radon are detected a mitigation system can be installed to dissipate the gas. (This is a cost that may be borne by the seller.)
• Carbon Monoxide testing
• A written report of the findings. This report should include digital photos

Home Inspectors Don’t Have Crystal Balls

They can only evaluate what they can see. They are not expert plumbers or electricians. But they can identify potential problems in the home. Usually, they will classify the problems, giving you an indication of whether the problem is a safety issue, minor or major defect. They’ll also tell you if the item needs to be repaired or replaced or if they are OK for now, but will need to replaced down the road.

How do I find a good Inspector? Your Edge Real Estate Realtor has worked with several inspectors and can give you the names and contact numbers of ones who have been thorough and easy to work with. Minnesota does not have a licensing requirement. However, there are certificates that can be earned from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and membership in local associations that have high standards. Some people do have friends or family members who can do the inspection, but please be sure they have experience doing this. What if they miss something major? Will it create a problem in the family? Even brand new homes should be inspected. Remember this is not a perfect world. Wouldn’t you rather buy a home knowing it is safe and you won’t have to spend a lot of money fixing problems that should have been corrected before you moved in?

Call us today for guidance when buying a Twin Cities Home : 952-888-3343

Other Resources

  • Buyer’s Home Inspection

  • Whitney Kocina

  • Twin Cities School Districts

  • Purchasing a Second Home in the Twin Cities

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