Reuben's Home Inspection Blog


Buying a vacant property in Coon Rapids? Familiarize yourself with their "Water Restoration Permit" first.

I recently had a friend go through a huge hassle to get his water turned on after buying a vacant property in Coon Rapids.  His plan was to buy the house, get the water turned back on, and live in the house while he remodeled it going room by room.

Shortly after buying the home, he contacted the city of Coon Rapids to have the water turned back on, and they told him they would need to inspect the house first.  The city ended up having a huge list of repairs that he would need to completebefore moving in to the house, and he ended up moving in about two months later than his planned move-in date.

I called the building inspections department in Coon Rapid to ask about this, and as it turns out, these inspections have been required in Coon Rapids for about the last three years.  Apparently, the city of Coon Rapids will turn off the water supply to any property that is known to be vacant; they do this to reduce the risk of property damage from burst or frozen water pipes.  That's pretty standard procedure for just about any bank owned property, but the huge difference with Coon Rapids is the water restoration permit.

Before the city of Coon Rapids will turn the water back on to a property, they need to have a Water Restoration Permit application filed, along with a $75 inspection fee.  After this permit gets filed, they'll inspect the property for safety.  If the house passes the inspection, they'll turn the water on.  If the house doesn't pass the inspection, repairs will need to be completed before the water can be turned back on.  Below is a list of the items that would prevent the water from being turned on - I copied this text exactly from their Water Restoration Permit form:

  • Furnace – Furnace must be operable & providing heat to dwelling.
  • Water heater – Must be correctly installed & operable.
  • Furnace or Water heater installed without a permit or inspection – *All plumbing & mechanical work must be permitted.
  • You may be required to hire a licensed contractor to inspect and pull permits for previously installed equipment per requirements of the Minnesota State Building Code.
  • Gas or Electric service – Service must be ‘turned on’ to property.
  • Wiring/exposed wiring – *Dwelling must not have any exposed wiring.
  • Plumbing – Dwelling must meet the ‘Minimum standards of habitation’& may not have any broken or damaged water pipes.
  • ‘Minimum standard’ is defined as a functioning kitchen sink, lavatory sink, water closet, shower or bathtub & proper back flow prevention.
  • Severe mold issues- A ‘Mold Remediation’ report may be required. (Please discuss plans for mold cleanup with Bldg Dept. staff)
  • Building must be weather tight - Dwelling must not have any door or window openings that are not covered.
  • Severe structural problems – As deemed by City of Coon Rapids Building Official.
  • Other items that could be deemed as a life safety concern.
  • Dwelling ‘Not habitable’ – Any circumstances deemed by the Building Official that property is unsuitable for habitation.
I asked the Coon Rapids building inspections department if there was any type of form that needs to be provided to or signed by a potential home buyer to alert them to these requirements.  They said that the water restoration permit has nothing to do with the sale of a property, so no - there are no methods in place to inform a potential home buyer of this requirement.  They leave it up to the real estate agent or home buyer to contact the city to ask about this stuff before buying a home in Coon Rapids.
The bottom line is that if you're buying a home in Coon Rapids, this is something you need to be aware of.  I always recommend having the water turned on to a property before the home inspection, but this is especially important in Coon Rapids.  For more information about this requirement, click here - Coon Rapids water restoration information.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections


Comment balloon 10 commentsReuben Saltzman • December 06 2011 06:11AM


I'm not sure I have ever heard of a jurisdiction which inserts itself to that degree!  Too much, for my liking.  But then, you would know that before hearing from me!

What!  No knob and tube allowed?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

I'm with you, Jay.  This is a little too much for my liking as well.  In every other city around here someone from the water department comes out to turn the water back on, and they do just that; no inspections are needed.

I'm sure they're fine with knob & tube... as long as they can't see it ;)

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 7 years ago

Good Morning Reuben~It looks like they've found a sneaky way of enforcing code compliance, which tends to be overreaching from my point of view. This also really stinks for a buyer because they have no way of knowing what their going to have to do when they purchase a home, thus knowing what they should negotiate.

Have an AWESOME day!


Posted by Michael S. Bolton, MN Appraiser (Michael S. Bolton,Inc.) about 7 years ago

Let's just say:   Nanny, nanny boo boo.

Too much nanny...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

If I was inspecting in Coon Rapids this would be something I told the buyer even before we did the inspection I think.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 7 years ago

Reuben, I am not normally a proponent of more bureaucracy, but these restrictions seem to be well thought out.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 7 years ago

I have heard of something simalar to this, but not quite so restrictive.  I also heard of having to file for a waiver of the occupancy permit.

Posted by Vern Eaton, Realtor 651-674-7449 about 7 years ago


Ouch is all I can say. I can understand some of this but boy there should be some type of notification posted when any service is disconnected to inform whomever.

@Micheal, I know codes can be a bit tough at times but is code compliance overreaching? In some areas I would say codes are not enough. What is the option, no codes or just let the builder decide?

I agree that the buyer should not be left holding the bag though and some disclosure need to be involved.


Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Michael - the main thing buyers need to know is that getting the water turned on before the inspection can elimate a lot of these hassels.

Jay - I hear ya.

Charles - definitely.  We send out an email to clients before the inspection telling them to make sure all of the utilities are turned on.

Chris - my only complaint is that there is no method in place to let potential buyers know about this stuff.

Vern - are you thinking of Truth in Housing evaluations?

Donald - I agree, there should be a method in place to inform buyers.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 7 years ago

Hi Reuben - This seems like a tough thing to discover after the fact.  All the more reason to have the water turned on.  I have had people buy bank-owned properties where they were told they weren't going to turn the water on because they were sure there were burst pipes, but then at least the buyers know what they are getting into.   

Posted by Peggy Chirico, REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate (Prudential CT Realty) about 7 years ago