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Old 07-22-2014, 10:05 PM   #1
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Fixer upper habitability?


Long story short we bought a fixer-upper in a small town. The house is in good shape but has not been updated in years. We were told by the city that the house needed to be remodeled before they could let us live in it. However I cannot find anything for the state of Minnesota that tells me the minimum I need to make it habitable or occupiable. I am pretty sure you need a working toilet, working bathroom sink, working kitchen sink, a working hot water heater, and a bathtub or shower. I was also told by the city that the house needed to be insulated before we could "live" there. It was built in 1914 and has no insulation. Our plans are is to make the house meet the minimum standards to live in it and remodel the rest after we move in. Does anyone out there know where I can find the minimum occupancy standards for the state of Minnesota. I check list would be awesome. Thanks.

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Old 07-23-2014, 08:01 AM   #2
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Fixer upper habitability?


Why are you not asking your local building inspector these questions?
Does not matter what anyone on any website says, they have the final say on what needs to be done.

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Old 07-23-2014, 09:19 PM   #3
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Fixer upper habitability?


What Joe said is certainly the place to start. Who did you buy this house from? If you possibly bought it from a governmental agency updating it may be part of the requirements of the purchase and the reason you got it in such a great price. A local inspector who told you it needed to be updated should certainly be able to give you more information. Be nice to him because he can either be a friend or an enemy depending on how you treat him. When he's telling you what needs to be updated as concisely what code sections he is referring to and that you need to meet.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:53 PM   #4
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Fixer upper habitability?


I bought the house contract for deed from a private party. He was going to fix it up himself but his health got worse and could not continue. I wasn't asking for opinions, I was merely asking if anyone knew of a "habitability checklist" so to speak. As far as asking the inspector, I have and got only a partial answer. I did talk to him today and he is suppose to send me a list of what needs to be done. We will see if that happens. He is a good guy and so far I am on his good side. It is just he serves a good chunk of southern MN and is really busy. And I am kinda under a time crunch. So that is why I posted on here, thinking somebody else might of had a fixer-upper and said hey this is what needs to be done to make it occupiable by building code standards. Thanks for the help anyway.

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Old 07-24-2014, 09:48 PM   #5
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Fixer upper habitability?


I'm in NJ, and sorry to say I can't help with your specific question.

However, I wondered if there is a confusion here. You are the owner of the house, and my experience is you can do anything you want in your house. Pitch a tent, port-a-potty, bring in bottled water.

"Habitable" or the certificate of occupancy may be same words which apply when you or the next owner plan to live there. But during the rehabilitation, or the repair/renovate period, certain things may be out of commission, which are understood by anybody.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:49 PM   #6
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Fixer upper habitability?


Let us know by all means how you come out. This might be interesting. And put your location in your profile.

One would think that safety would come first-railings, smoke alarms, egress/ingress, gas line safety, combusting appliances safety, electrical standards.

Next might come sanitation-indoor plumbing.

I would think the insulation would really be pushing it on an existing home, but I'm often amazed. They may even require you to have energy star light fixtures for all I know.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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Fixer upper habitability?


Hopefully the letter he is sending you will clarify things and he will cite what code sections require the changes be done before you occupy the home. Post the letter when you get it.

Some areas have a clause in their codes that if a home has been vacant for a certain length of time the CO expires and a new one has to be issued before you can live in the structure. It may be something along these lines that he is going by.

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