Posts Tagged "truth-in-housing disclosure"

Home Inspection – Disclosing Water Problems When Selling Your House

Buying or Selling A Home? Get An Inspection! The purchase of a home is one of the largest single investments you will ever make. You should know exactly what to expect — both indoors and out — in terms of needed and future repairs and maintenance. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Stains on the ceiling may indicate a chronic roof leakage problem or may be simply the result of a single incident. It can also be an indication of water and mold damage from basement flooding. Why Do I Need An Inspection? The inspector interprets these and other clues, and then presents a professional opinion as to the condition of the property so you can avoid unpleasant surprises afterward. Of course, an inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a building, as well as the type of maintenance needed to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase, and be able to make your decision confidently. Truth-in-Housing Evaluations Truth-in-Housing Evaluations, which are also known as Time-of-Sale Evaluations in some cities, are required by city ordinance in a number of communities. Minneapolis, St. Paul, Maplewood, Bloomington, South St Paul and Hopkins all require that an independent evaluator, licensed by the city, perform the evaluation. The report is required to be on display at the house when it is shown for sale. The evaluation of the home is based on each city’s housing code. Most of the cities require that some repairs of hazardous items be made. What Is a “Truth-in-Housing” Report? Some Minnesota cities require a Truth-in-Housing Report that tells you the condition of the home based on the city’s housing code standards. The report is completed by a licensed evaluator. Some cities have limited requirements to meet, so don’t rely on this report alone. Minneapolis Truth-in-Sale Inspection | Home Inspection and Water Damage Most communities that have this ordinance do not require the seller to make repairs. The intent of the report is to provide prospective home buyers with thorough, accurate information to assist them in making a good decision about buying a home. When a Truth-in-Housing Report is required, the seller must provide the report to all prospective buyers at the time of the showing. If you have questions about a Truth-in-Housing Report for a particular home, contact the evaluator or the city in which the home is located. Disclosure Requirements Many states have laws about disclosing problems when selling your house. Usually these states have a standard disclosure form you can get from a real estate broker, your local library, or online. What a seller must disclose to potential buyers varies from state to state. The general rule, though, is you have to disclose any “material” or “serious” defects or problems you know about. That doesn’t mean you have to disclose every single minor problem, such as creaky floors, doors that stick, and minor cracks in the walls. Rather, if a particular problem would have a major impact on a buyer’s decision to buy or not, then you need to disclose it. Some examples of things you may see on a disclosure form include: Flooding in the basement Leaks in the roof Lead paint anywhere in the house. In fact, whether or not your state has a disclosure law, federal law requires you to follow the Lead Disclosure Rule if your home was built before 1978 Whether the home is located in a flood plane As a seller, if you have owned your home...

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Minneapolis Truth-in-Sale Inspection | Home Inspection and Water Damage

What To Disclose When Selling Your Home In the past, the general rule if you were buying a home was caveat emptor – Buyer Beware!  The seller wasn’t obliged to tell you whether the roof leaked or the furnace didn’t work, or even if the house was built on a toxic dump. If you were buying a home, you were supposed to figure all of that out for yourself. But in recent years, the general trend towards consumer protection has included a change in the laws of most states on what needs to be disclosed. Minneapolis Truth-in-Sale Inspection In most states, if you’re selling a home it is illegal to fail to disclose major physical defects in your property, such as a basement that floods in heavy rains. You may need to make written disclosures to indicate what you know about the condition of your home. In some states, seller disclosures are still voluntary, but even then you may want to consider telling the buyer what you know. A major cause of post sale disputes and lawsuits is defects and disclosure, and most disputes can be avoided if proper disclosures are made. This is an area of the law that changes rapidly, differs widely from state to state, and may be affected by local ordinances, so look for up-to-date information on the law that applies to you. How does the seller make disclosure? It depends. In many states, compliance with disclosure obligations is made easy through the use of seller disclosure forms. These forms consist of a long list of questions, for example whether there has been fire, wind or flood damage that required repair; if the property is in an earthquake fault zone; even whether a death has occurred on the property within the last three years. The seller must answer each question “yes,” “no,” or “don’t know.” It’s perfectly acceptable for a seller to answer a question “don’t know” – the purpose of the disclosure is to make the seller tell the buyer what the seller knows about the property, not to initiate a research project. The seller disclosure forms are usually then attached to the sale contract. Even in those states that do not require written disclosures, some real estate companies require prospective sellers to complete a disclosure form before listing the property. Other states may only require oral disclosures. If you’re buying a home, it is prudent to record any disclosures the seller makes, and even ask whether the seller is willing to make disclosures in writing. What does the seller need to disclose? In most states where disclosures are mandatory, sellers are required to disclose material facts about the property for sale – that is, anything that could affect the sale price or influence a buyer’s decision to purchase a home. This is obviously a pretty subjective requirement — a fact that is materials to one buyer may not concern another. Remember, generally you only need to disclose information within your personal knowledge. If you’re wondering whether something should be disclosed, consult a real estate agent or your property attorney. Ask yourself if you’d want to have the information if you were the buyer. If the answer is yes, then disclose. It could save you a lot of trouble down the line. There are some defects that should always be disclosed: Plumbing and sewage issues Water leakage of any type, including flooding in the basement and wet basement problems Termites or other insect infestations Roof defects Heating or air conditioning system issues Moisture and Property drainage problems Foundation instabilities or cracks Problems with title...

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