Condominiums can be an attractive alternative to buying a single-family home for many reasons including being part of an association that covers exterior maintenance and landscaping.
Because of this, there is often a misconception that home inspections may not be needed for condos prior to purchase. A condominium home inspection is a limited subset of the standard home inspection, yet it is very important nonetheless.
Here are the top reasons why condo owners should consider home inspections:
The Condo Certificate Isn’t Enough
Condominium buildings will typically provide a certificate on the general state of the condo and the homeowners association. A condo certificate is required by the buyer’s lender, and it helps banks assess the health and financial status of the homeowners association. For instance, a bank will use the certificate to see if a condo complex is occupied by homeowners compared to renters, who may not put as much effort into maintaining the property.
While the condo certificate is helpful, an inspection examines all of the interior systems, providing an estimated timeline of upcoming maintenance costs. Any deficiencies uncovered may also result in a price negotiation prior to the closing.
The Building May Be Beyond Warranty
If a building is either past warranty or older than 10 years, it should always be inspected prior to purchase to identify any potential issues. The home inspector also checks the building’s status certificate to ensure there are enough funds in the condo reserve to address any immediate common-area problems should they arise.
Catch Potential HOA Hikes
If an inspector finds issues within the building, such as water damage from a roof leak, it may be up to the homeowner’s association (HOA) to fix. This or another upcoming expense could raise assessment rates down the line, especially if there are not enough reserve funds to cover the project.
Because walls, floors and ceilings are shared with other building residents, an inspector should pay close attention to them, particularly checking for any water damage and also checking in the attic to make sure the proper fire walls are installed between units.
While condos are typically more convenient and low-maintenance for a homeowner, it is important to take all aspects of the building and HOA into consideration prior to moving in. A trained, reliable home inspector will help identify the condition of the individual unit.
To find a local, experienced home inspector near you, visit WIN Home Inspection.