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Allentown Ponders Mandatory Pre-Sale Inspections


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Following the recommendations made by the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania, after they conducted a study of Allentown's housing stock, Mayor Ed Pawlowski's administration is pushing for mandatory pre-sale inspections. Under Pawlowski's plan, city inspectors would inspect all residential properties in Allentown, to ensure that before a home changes hands certain health and safety code issues are corrected.

If passed, the measure will require homeowners to pay city inspectors a minimum fee of $200. Homeowners could negotiate fees for additional inspections and time on site.

How is this liable to impact local private home inspectors? To read the entire article, click here.

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Around here several towns do a CCO inspection; ranging from 10 minutes to 1 1/2 hours (all towns are required to do a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector inspection)

Morris Township spends about 1 - 1 1/2 hours going thru the house looking for certain code violations; ie Handrails, GFCI outlets, TPR extension pipes, bonding jumpers, sump pumps into main sewer lines etc.

I have gone behind them and I have been on site at the same time as them. I do believe some 'major' pre-existing, non conforming issues are overlooked, ie uneven or steps with risers exceeding the standards.

The biggest problem I have is most realtors will say, 'oh, don't report that, the town will pick that up'.



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The town that I use to live in, Ridgeland, MS attempted to do this back in 2004. It became a battle that was won after all of the home inspectors, Realtors and Appraisers joined together and gained support of the community.

The main reason we found out during one of the hearings was for overall apperance. The city planners were tired of old unpainted buildings and trashed homes. They wanted a better looking city and they thought this was the best way to do it. Even a home that had a failed foundation would have to be repaired before it could be sold, even if it was going to leveled to build another home!

They were going to use the ICC International Property Maintenance Code® as the code for enforcement.

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A few years ago we sold my mother-in-law's home. Buyer's inspector pointed out stuff that I could not find of verify as being present. I had the village of Park Forest send their inspector out to back up my claim.

What an eye opener. Village was worried about leaves in gutter, no marked circuits in panel etc. They would not go on the roof (split level) or remove electric panel cover to verify the conditions that I was disputing in the home inspector's report. All the village wanted was for the house to look pretty - nothing more.

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