Reassurance Home Inspection LLC
Reassurance Home Inspection LLC
"BUY OR SELL YOUR HOME WITH CONFIDENCE"
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If you need any type of real estate inspection, have any questions about home inspections, want
to know what the procedure is, or discuss exactly what is inspected, please give us a call. We
will try to answer any questions you may have. We perform home inspections on all types of
homes including single-family homes, duplexes, town homes, condominiums, and foreclosure
properties (bank owned or short sale).
We perform home inspections in Minnesota across the entire twin cities Minneapolis / St.
Paul metro and surrounding area including; Afton, Albertville, Andover, Annadale, Anoka,
Apple Valley, Arden Hills, Augusta, Bayport, Becker, Bell Plaine, Big Lake, Blaine, Bloomington,
Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Buffalo, Burnsville, Cambridge, Cannon Falls, Carver, Champlin,
Chaska, Chisago City, Circle Pines, Coates, Cokato, Cologne, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids,
Corcoran, Cottage Grove, Crystal, Dassel, Dayton, Delano, Deephaven, Duluth, Eagan, East
Bethel, Eden Prairie, Edina, Elk River, Elko, Excelsior, Falcon Heights, Faribault, Farmington,
Forest Lake, Fridley, Gem Lake, Glencoe, Golden Valley, Goodhue, Greenfield, Greenwood,
Dupont, Ham Lake, Hampton, Hanover, Hastings, Heidelberg, Hopkins, Hutchinson, Hugo,
Independence, Inver Grove Heights, Isanti, Jonathan, Jordan, Kenyon, Lake Elmo, Lake St. Croix
Beach, Lakeland, Lakeland Shores, Lester Prairie, Lexington, Lillydale, Lino Lakes, Lindstrom,
Litchfield, Little Canada, Long Lake, Lonsdale, Loretto, Mankato, Maple Grove, Maple Lake,
Maple Plain, Maplewood, Marine on the St. Croix, Mankato, Mayer, Medicine Lake, Mendota
Heights, Miesville, Milaca, Minnetonka, Minnetrista, Monticello, Montgomery, Montrose, Mound,
Mounds View, New Brighton, New Germany, New Hope, New Market, New Prague, New Trier,
Newport, North Branch, Northfield , North St. Paul, Norwood Young America, Oak Grove,
Oakdale, Oak Park Heights, Orono, Osseo, Otsego, Owatonna, Pine City, Pine Island, Plymouth,
Princeton, Ramsey, Randolph, Red Wing, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rochester, Rockford, Rogers,
Rosemount, Roseville, Rush City, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Shoreview, Shorewood, South St. Paul,
Spring Lake Park, Spring Park, St. Bonifacius, St. Cloud, St. Francis, St. Louis Park, St.
Michael, St. Paul Park, St. Peter, Stillwater, Vadnais Heights, Vermillion, Victoria, Waconia,
Waseca, Watertown, Waverly, Wayzata, Webster, West St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Winstead,
Woodbury, Woodland, Wyoming, Zimmerman, Zumbrota and many other surrounding Minnesota
cities in the following counties; Anoka, Benton, Carver, Chisago, Dodge, Dakota, Goodhue,
Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Le Sueur, McLoed, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Ramsey,
Rice, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Victoria, Waseca, Washington, Wright.
12 Most Common FHA Repairs
These conditions are not listed to scare you, but to help you understand and erase any worries you
The purpose of a repair is to correct deficiencies which may affect the health and safety of the
occupants or the continued marketability of the property. If possible, we suggest that you make any
repairs to your home prior to the appraisal. This will improve the marketability and help the sale or
refinance of your home go smoothly.
1. If the home was built prior to 1978, chipping, peeling paint must be scraped and painted.
This includes interior, exterior, garages, sheds, fences, etc.
2. Any useful components (appliances, floor covering, etc.) of the home, especially the roof,
should have 2 years of useful life remaining. A roof should have no more than 3 layers of
3. Broken windows and doors should be replaced.
4. The cause of negative drainage must be cured (i.e., improve drainage away from house,
gutters, french drains, etc.).
5. Health and safety hazards (i.e. electric garage door opener won't reverse with
resistance; burglar bars). GFIC outlets are not an FHA requirement.
6. Abandoned inoperable wells must be capped and sealed by a licensed well sealing
7. Safety handrails should be installed in open stairwells of three or more stairs.
8. Infestation of any kind should be exterminated (i.e., insects, mice, bats, etc.).
9. Damaged or inoperable plumbing, electric and heating systems should be repaired. The
appraiser will check these areas.
10. Structural or foundation problems must be repaired.
11. Flammable storage tanks must be removed and filler cap sealed from the inside (i.e.,
buried oil tank).
12. If there is a crawl space, it will be the homeowner's responsibility to make this area
accessible so that it can be thoroughly inspected.
Keep in mind that these are the most common repairs. Contact your lender with specific questions
regarding your property.
FHA emphasizes that an appraisal is not a home inspection and it does not guarantee that a home
is without flaws. However, FHA does takes steps to try to see that the home is in a safe, sound and
sanitary condition. For that reason, the FHA appraiser is expected to require repair or replacement of
anything that may affect the safe, sound and sanitary habitation of the house. If repairs are required,
the buyer will receive a list from the lender (see VC sheets) and the seller (in most cases) may be
responsible for seeing that the repairs are taken care of according to set local and FHA guidelines.
Items such as ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers, washers/dryers and microwaves may be
considered as part of the real estate and included as part of the sale. No other appliances or chattel
should be considered part of the real estate.
A dollar for dollar reduction to the mortgage amount for items not considered part of the real estate is
required unless the item has no monetary value and left to the buyer's discretion to dispose of the
Roofs and Attics:
The roof must prevent moisture from entering the home and provide reasonable future utility,
durability and economy of maintenance. The roof should have a remaining physical life of two years.
If the roof has less than two years remaining life, the appraiser must call for re-roofing or repair.
FHA will accept a maximum of three layers of existing roofing. If more than two layers exist and
repair is necessary, all of the old roofing must be removed as part of the re-roofing.
Roofing on slopes of 2.5/12 pitch or less must be installed by a licensed roofer using built-up roofing
that meets the Uniform Building Code.
Flat roofs require a roof inspection.
If the subject property is part of a large multifamily building (i.e. condo), no roof inspection is needed.
If the building is a small 4 unit building or townhouse type unit covered by a condo association with
the subject property having its own roof, then a roof inspection is required.
The FHA appraisers are required to inspect the attic area unless the property is a mobile home or
dwelling with little or no attic (due to the interior roof slope).
The appraiser will note any evidence of holes in the roof/ceiling, the condition of the support
structure, any significant water damage that is visible from within the interior and evidence of
ventilation by vent, fan or window.
Basements and Crawl Spaces:
Basements must be examined by the FHA appraiser for dampness or wetness, any obvious
structural problems and the condition of the furnace, hot water heater, and/or other components
Sump pumps are acceptable to HUD/FHA guidelines provided that they are properly functioning at
the time of appraisal. The sump pump may be hard wired by an acceptable wiring method or may
have a factory electrical cord that is connected to a receptacle suitable for such use. Use of an
extension cord for the sump pump is not acceptable. Though the sump pump is not a cure-all for
water problems, the appraiser may still elect to reject the property if there is significant incurable
ponding of water in the basement.
Property owners must insure that there adequate access to the property's crawl space, clear of
debris, and is properly vented. The appraiser must enter the crawl space with a minimum entry of
his/her head and shoulders (unless access is not possible, could damage the property, or an
adverse situation is suspected). HUD guidelines recommend a minimum height of 18 inches from the
bottom of the joists in order to provide adequate space for maintenance and repair. Furthermore, the
crawl space must not be excessively damp and not have any water ponding.
Electrical and Heating:
The FHA appraiser should examine the electrical box to ensure that there are no frayed or exposed
wires. Electrical boxes may be either circuit breakers or fuses. Existing 60-amp service is
acceptable if it appears that this is adequate amperage for the appliances present in the property, or
those considered "standard" if the present appliances appear to be less than found in the "standard"
home. Knob and tube wiring is acceptable if found to be in good condition and a minimum of
60-amps. For all electric homes and those with electric heat, 200-amps is recommended
In general, all habitable rooms must have a heat source. This does not mean that each room must
contain a heating device but that each room must receive sufficient heat. In some situations where it
is not feasible to extend the capacity of the main system, an electric and thermostatically controlled
baseboard unit is acceptable provided it is permanently installed with concealed wiring.
Heating must be adequate for healthful and comfortable living conditions. This is defined as providing
and maintaining a temperature of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit in all living areas and areas
containing plumbing systems. Further more, all permanent primary heating systems must be
thermostatically controlled and properties with electric heat sources must have an acceptable
electric service that meets the general requirements of the local municipal standards.
Wood stoves and solar systems: Homes with wood burning stoves or solar systems as the
primary heat source must have permanently installed conventional heating systems that can
maintain at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit in all living areas and those containing plumbing systems.
These systems must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
Wall heaters: Wall heaters are acceptable as long as they are installed to code and designed to
heat the size and layout of the entire house.
Floor heaters: Due to the inherit dangers of a floor heater, it is highly recommended that floor heaters
in need of repair be replaced with another permanent heat source. They are acceptable as long as
they are properly functioning and meet current code.
Non-conventional heating systems: All non-conventional heating systems, such as space heaters
and others, must comply with local jurisdictional guidelines. Often these are not acceptable as the
primary source of heat.
Finally, propane tanks must be a safe distance from the property. Leased tanks are acceptable
when not offered for sale. Propane fired furnaces located in a crawl space area is not acceptable.
Electrical, plumbing and/or heating certifications may be called for by the appraiser when he/she
cannot determine if one or all of these systems are working properly. However, the appraiser should
not arbitrarily call for such certifications as they are still responsible for checking on the adequacy of
these systems at the time of appraisal. If an inspection is required, it must be done by a home
inspector, an inspector from the local building department, an FHA compliance inspector, a
professional in the specific field (e.g. electrician, plumber) or any individual deemed qualified by the
Public, Community and Individual Sewer Systems:
Public Sewer Systems: Public sewer systems are owned, operated and maintained by the city,
county or local unit of government with the power of taxation or assessment. No certification is
required by the appraiser.
Community Sewer Systems: In general, the appraiser must note on the appraisal the name of the
community system(s). However, the lender must ensure that the community sewer system is in
compliance with the requirements of the Health Authority having jurisdiction for satisfactory operation
of the sewage treatment plant and discharge of treated wastes.
Individual Sewage Systems: For properties that cannot connect to a public system and are
served by an individual sewage system that is acceptable to the local health authority, the system is
then acceptable to HUD/FHA. This includes numerous types of sewage systems including
cesspools, individual pit privies and mound systems.
Certifications are only required if the appraiser suspects a problem with the system, or problems are
customary in the area. The appraiser will require certification by the local health authority, a licensed
sanitarian or an individual determined to be qualified by the lender. Certifications obtained within
three months prior to the appraisal may be acceptable if the appraiser and other parties in the
transaction do not detect or know of possible existing problems.
The following types of systems are not acceptable:
1. Individual septic tank/drain field on a neighboring property
2. Individual lagoon-type or other "open" systems
3. The property should be rejected if it, or neighboring houses show indications of, and/or have had
unsatisfactory operation of the sewage disposal system.
4. The property should be rejected if inspection reveals repetitive failure of the subject system and/or
neighboring systems, or in an area subject to flooding or seasonal high ground water tables.
Improvements such as driveways, parking areas, patios, etc. covering the drainfield are unacceptable
due to the inability for future servicing and should be removed or the drainfield relocated.
For distances between water sources and sewage, see the water / plumbing section.
Public, Community, and Individual Water Systems and Shared Wells:
Public water systems are owned, operated and maintained by the city, county or local unit of
government with the power of taxation or assessment. These systems do not require certification.
Community water systems are a central system that is owned, operated and maintained by a private
corporation or a non-profit property owners association. It is the lender's responsibility to ensure that
the community system is licensed and adequate to service the property.
Individual water supply systems (i.e. wells) may be acceptable when connection to a public or
community water system is not available and there is assurance of a continuing adequate supply of
safe potable water for domestic needs (to include auxiliary uses for lawn and garden maintenance).
The appraiser may condition for certifications of water quality and quantity such as the appropriate
Health Authority approval and pump test.
Individual water wells are owned and maintained by the homeowner, and are subject to compliance
with all water quality requirements of the local and/or State Health Authority having jurisdiction.
As of June 19, 1988, new construction shall have lead-free water piping. Solder and flux shall not
contain more than 0.2% lead and pipe fittings shall not contain more than 8.0% lead.
Whenever the property lacks a connection to public water, water testing is required. If the local
authority is unable to perform the water quality analysis in a timely manner, a private, commercial
testing laboratory acceptable to the local authority may take and test water samples. Certification
obtained within three months prior to the appraisal is acceptable if the appraiser4 and other parties in
the transaction do not detect or know of possible existing problems.
Well Location: Individual water wells should be checked to establish the distance from the septic
system. See below
A well located within the foundation walls of a dwelling is not acceptable. Water which comes from
any soil formation which may be polluted, contaminated, fissured, creviced or less than 20 ft. below
the natural ground surface is not acceptable, unless it is acceptable to the local health authority
(certification is required for such cases). Individual water wells are not acceptable for individual lots in
areas where chemical soil poisoning has been or is practiced if the overburden of soil between the
ground surface and the water bearing strata is coarse grained sand, gravel, or porous rock, or is
creviced in a manner which will permit the recharge water to carry the toxicants into the zone of
The following shall be used in establishing the minimum acceptable distance between wells and
sources of pollution located on either the same or adjoining lots. These distances may be increased
by either the health authority having jurisdiction or HUD:
Source of Pollution | Supplemental requirements | Minimum Horizontal Distance (ft)
Property line ..........................................................................10ft
Septic Tank ...........................................................................50ft
Absorbtion Bed, Field, Pit ......................................................100ft
SUP1: This clearance may be increased or decreased depending upon soil and rock penetrated by
the well and aquifer conditions. The clearance may be increased in creviced limestone and pereable
strata of gravel and sand. The clearance may be reduced to 50 ft. only where the ground surface is
effectively separated from the water bearing formation by an extensive, continuous and impervious
strata of clay, hardpan, or rock. The well shall be constructed so as to prevent the entrance of
surface water and contaminants.
SUP2: The recommendations or requirements of the local health authority shall apply.
SUP3: This clearance may be reduced to 15 ft. only where the ground surface is effectively
separated from the water bearing formation by an extensive, continuous and impervious strata of
clay, hardpan, or rock.
Individual water wells should be located on the subject property. If not, they must be on an adjacent
property, and evidence of water rights and ongoing maintenance must be provided for acceptance of
Also, possible sources of water pollution from the subject and adjoining properties must be
Quantity of Water: Water quantity is to be certified by either the local health authority or a licensed
well driller/engineer. The pump test must evidence that for new well construction the system is
capable of delivering a flow of 5 gallons per minute over at least of 4 hour period, and 3 gallons per
minute over at least a 4 hour period for existing. Systems should be checked to establish that
adequate amount of water pressure is present and can be sustained.
Holding Tanks: The use of holding tanks are not considered to be normally acceptable as the sole
source of water unless there is no other available source of acceptable water, the use of holding
tanks is "typical" for the market area, the dependence of a holding tank does not adversely affect the
marketability of the property, there are readily available sources of hauled water to serve the
property, fire insurance is available at reasonably affordable rates, tanks are equipped with a
clean-out plug at the lowest point and a suitable pressure relief valve, and the tank has a minimum
capacity of 500 gallons or larger.
Misc: Wells must be drilled no less than 20 feet deep and cased with steel or other durable,
leak-proof, and acceptable casing material.
If any of the following items may cause the property to be rejected or conditioned for certified
1. Mechanical chlorinators are not acceptable
2. Hand-dug wells, "bored" wells, and/or "sandpoint" wells are not acceptable
3. Individual water systems utilizing springs, cisterns, lakes, or rivers are not acceptable.
Shared Wells: Shared wells may serve existing properties which cannot feasibly be connected to
an acceptable public or community water supply system. A shared well shall have a valve on each
dwelling service line as it leaves the well. A shared well shall service no more than four properties. A
shared well must have a shared well agreement and shall be binding upon signatory parties and their
successors in title. The agreement shall also be recorded in local Deed Records.
FHA requires maximum assurances that a home is free of any infestation. A pest inspection is
always required for a structure that is ground level or any structure where the wood touches the
ground. However, structures in a geographic area with no active termite infestation may not require a
New Construction: The builder of a new home, proposed construction, a home under construction
and a home less than one year old must provide a warranty against termite infestation in a new
home for a minimum of on year.
All chemical soil treatments, bait systems, and chemical wood treatments must be approved by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and applied in accordance with the EPA label instructions.
In some cases where these methods are not feasible, pressure treated wood may be used as a
measure of termite protection. Also, the use of post-construction soil treatment where the chemicals
are applied only around the perimeter of the foundation is not acceptable in new construction.
Termite inspections are not required for streamline refinances with or without an appraisal. Termite
Inspection are not required unless noted by the appraiser on purchases or refinances.
Lead based paint:
For all properties built before January 1, 1978, the FHA appraiser must inspect all interior and
exterior surfaces, such as walls, stairs, deck, porch, eaves, windows, doors, fences, etc. for
defective paint surfaces (i.e. chipping, peeling or flaking paint).
If the paint is cracking, scaling, peeling, or loosening on any interior or exterior surfaces, the affected
areas must be thoroughly washed, sanded, scraped or wire-brushed to remove all of the defective
paint (machine sanding or use of a blow torch is not acceptable). A ground cloth should be used to
catch particles of paint and surface removed and a thorough clean up should be accomplished after
the surface has been prepared for painting. All materials cleaned up should be removed from the
possibility of ingestion by humans. The treated surface must be repainted by a paint that closely
matches the existing color, using a minimum of two coats of paint unless the affected areas are
covered, when appropriate, by a material such as plywood, plaster or other suitable material.
HUD does not require radon testing of homes to be insured by FHA financing.
Asbestos used as roof shingles or siding on a house does not pose a danger. When used as a wrap
for hot water pipes, it is usually covered and poses no danger. When the material is deteriorating
into a fine powder and can be inhaled, it may pose a danger to one's health. Asbestos should be
removed by an expert only in those cases where the deterioration poses a serious health threat;
otherwise the appraiser may condition for repair of the puncture or other damage.
The property may not be eligible for FHA financing when it is subject to hazards, environmental
contaminants, noxious odors, offensive sights, or excessive noises to the point of endangering the
physical improvements or affecting the livability of the property, its marketability, or the health and
safety of its occupants and cannot be acceptably mitigated.
Airports: Locations near an airport may be subject to the noise and hazard of low flying aircraft.
Existing properties are not to be rejected solely based upon the property's proximity to an airport
unless there is indication that adverse changes in market attitude is taking place in the area (such
as declining market values due to the noise). Existing homes more than one year old are acceptable
in a Runway Clear Zones if the buyer acknowledges awareness of such location. Homes less than
one year old are not eligible.
Railroad tracks and other high noise sources: If the home is over one year of age, noise
exposure will not result in automatic rejection unless the environmental noise is a marketability
factor. A site exceeding an average day-night sound level of 56 decibels in normally unacceptable,
though measures may be taken to reduce these levels. Anything over 75 decibels is not acceptable.
The loan may not close until certification has been made that the average day-night sound level is
within acceptable levels.
Flood areas: Homes located in zones "A" and "V" (as stated on the FHA appraisal) will require
flood insurance. Homes located in zones "B" and "C" do not require flood insurance. Homes that
require flood insurance and are not located in an area where the National Flood Insurance Program is
in force are not eligible for FHA financing. New and proposed construction is not eligible if any part of
the home that is essential to the property's value and subject to flood damage are located within the
100 year flood plain. Properties subject to frequently recurring flooding, subject to any potential
hazard to life and safety or where escape to higher ground would not be feasible during flooding
conditions are not eligible for FHA financing.
For more information on flood areas, visit FEMA click here.
Overhead high voltage transmission towers and lines: High voltage lines are those that carry 60
kilovolts or greater. Distribution lines are the common lines used for supplying power to housing
developments and similar facilities that often carry 12 kilovolts or less. No home may be located
within the designed fall distance of any pole, tower or support structure of a high-voltage
transmission line, radio/TV transmission tower, microwave relay dish or tower or satellite dish (radio,
TV cable, etc.). Neither high voltage nor distribution lines shall pass directly over any structure on
the property (this does not include service lines that deliver power to the house).
Oil and gas wells and tanks:
Operating wells: No existing home may be located closer than 300 feet from an active or planned
drilling site. If an operating well is located in a single family subdivision, no new or proposed house
may be built within 75 feet of the operating well.
Abandoned wells: Assuming a letter from the responsible authority in the state government that
states the subject well was safely and permanently abandoned, a home may be located no closer
than 10 feet from the abandoned well. If no such letter is provided, the home must be located at least
300 feet from the abandoned well.
Underground tanks: If an underground tank has been abandoned, its removal or proper
abandonment is required (subject to applicable requirements and guidelines for removal).
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