If you are looking at a specific house, and want to find out more information than what is on the MLS system, there are free resources that will allow you to find out things such as structure information, assessments, whether the property is in foreclosure, and more. This is public information, and much of it is available on the internet.
For a house in Minneapolis, the city’s website has lots of information based on county records, as well as assessor records. The Minneapolis property information website has the following categories: 1. Structure information (bedrooms, baths, sq ft, foundation), 2: Permits / Inspections (when they were pulled, and what they were for), 3: Business License information, 4: Truth In Sale Of Housing (TISH) Inspection reports. If the house is currently on the market, there should be a TISH report online. Minneapolis requires it.
Hennepin County Property Information has all the tax information about a house (or property), as well as a map that will show the lot lines, acreage, aerial photos and more. Hennepin County also has a Foreclosure page, where you can look up if a house is in foreclosure. This information will include the date of the sheriff sale, the redemption date, and the amount of the sale.
For a house in St Paul, you can find out if it is a registered vacant building. The rest of the information is on Ramsey County’s website.
On the Ramsey County website, there is tax information (of course), structure information, whether they are delinquent on taxes, assessments, land value, and more.
Dakota County has information on foreclosures as well as the usual tax information. They also have lot lines and acreage.
Scott County has lot lines and aerial photos.
Here are links to some of the available websites:
St Paul: http://www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/index.asp?nid=-404&badlink=/depts/code_enforcement/vacant.html
Hennepin County: http://www16.co.hennepin.mn.us/pins/
Hennepin Sheriff Sale: http://www4.co.hennepin.mn.us/webforeclosure/
Dakota County: http://22.214.171.124/scripts/esrimap.dll?name=WebQ1&Cmd=Map
Scott County: http://www.co.scott.mn.us/wps/portal/ScottCounty/
Washington County: http://www2.co.washington.mn.us/opip/