Are you considering buying a resale condo? Then you’re likely to place a conditional offer to the seller. While you might have included conditions relating to reviewing and securing the condo building’s financial statements, did you know that you could also include a condo home inspection as a condition? Unfortunately, many condo buyers skip this inspection not understanding its critical importance in saving huge costs later. Many of them think if a condo corporation takes care of the outside of the building, there’s no necessity to worry about it.
In this article, we help you understand the process and explain why you shouldn’t skip out on condo home inspections.
In a condo home inspection, a certified home inspection assesses the health of your condo unit. The inspector evaluates the property for any current or developing problems, including the common elements that fall under the responsibility of the condo building. The inspection is a visual one and covers much more than a typical inspection done by the condo building and it isn’t a guarantee that there isn’t any wrong with the unit.
So how are Condo inspections different than regular Home inspections you may ask.
In a condo development, most building systems like electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling, and roofing are common. And, most maintenance and repair of the building systems are covered by the condo fees everyone pays.
But in a typical home inspection, the certified inspection would usually cover the health of the appliances, any cooling or heating units (if the owner is responsible for them), plumbing within the unit.
A condo home inspection only covers what’s within the legal boundary of your unit. These boundaries are clearly defined in the Condo Declaration documents which come with the Status Certificate request as part of your conditional offer.
Most condo buyers focus on reviewing the status Certificate with their lawyer and forego the home inspection condition in the conditional offer. This is a mistake.
An inspector is trained to identify the potential problems in the unit which the condo maintenance in charge would have missed. There could have been several potential problems that would have been built in the unit and gone on for years unnoticed. Or perhaps, there could be situations where a few problems would have been created from age or wear or tear, we never know.
However, a status certificate does not give an accurate representation of the health of the individual condo unit which the condo home inspection could give. Small details like a loose sink wouldn’t be visible in a status certificate but could end up costing thousands in Damages.
Yes, condo inspections are very much necessary as they provide you a greater insight into the health of the building. Sometimes, assessing the quality of your condo can unveil unexpected issues, big enough to drop the deal. But with a status certificate, you never even know if the condo is worth your investment.
A condo home inspection isn’t very costly as compared to the ratio you invest in the condo, but it proved to be a highly rewarding activity that gives you quality assurance and peace of mind at the end. During the process of a Condo inspector, a certified inspector comes in and checks for the potential problems. The inspector examines and assesses all the interior systems of the condo and provides a detailed report. You also get a better understanding of the current deficiencies and will be able to anticipate future maintenance costs.
If you will, you may also get a fair chance for a second opinion on the findings of the status certificate.
At this point, you might have understood that what you found in the inspection will affect the outcome of the conditional offer. And if you discover a major problem with the condo, you may even consider getting out of the deal ( provided that you include the home inspection clause in the conditional offer.) If you have discovered an issue that you are willing to live with, you can use the inspection report to negotiate the final price of the condo concerning the home inspection report.
Note that not all home inspectors have a beautiful website or a fancy Facebook/Instagram page. In other words, don’t judge a book by its cover. We recommend that you inquire about the technologies that home inspectors use for inspection.
For example, Use of thermal imaging tools will help identify water leaks behind walls or spot faulty electrical wires. It can also help find if your window sills are poorly insulated or drafty.
Most homebuyers ask us how long does a home inspection typically takes. Usually, the process takes between 1 to 3 hours but it differs according to the size of the homes. Terrace home inspection takes about 1.5 to 2 hours depending upon the common elements available to the inspector.
If the inspector has access to the outside common elements first, those checks will be done first following the others. Once the inspection moves inside the home, the inspector assesses the health of building systems like air conditioner, furnace, tank, etc.
During this phase, the inspector is likely to welcome the buyer to ask a few questions and the inspector may give u a few maintenance recommendations, so listen carefully.
The inspector also climbs into the attic and inspects the health of the insulation if there’s any mold present or any animal’s nesting. Next, the inspector will go over the windows for inspection to check if they are energy efficient, leaking air, or air condensation. Furthermore, the inspector checks for the electrical system if everything’s up to the code on the inside and outside the house. Finally, the home inspector checks for the health of the plumbing system by monitoring every faucet, tap, and shower for leaks and a bunch of other things.
After the major inspection coverage, the smaller details are caught. The inspector looks for leaky pipes or electrical systems or overheating behind the walls using thermal tools. Other areas such as Balconies, railings, countertops being properly installed, the health of the kitchen appliances, toilets bowls installation are also checked.
After covering all the potential problem areas, the inspector prepares a detailed report with imagery for future reference. Technology is so much integrated and advanced that some home inspectors use tablets and integrated software to produce a report on the spot. With the help of the report, its’ time for you and your realtor to decide if you want to go forward with the conditional offer, or back completely, or negotiate for a better price with the seller.
Condo buyers also need to consider being present during the condo inspection as may want to take photos on their own or take a list of things they need to buy. And you might also end up getting helpful tips from the inspector on the smart choice of things you need to buy.
Condo home inspections are a critical part of a resale condo purchase. For a few dollars, it gives you insight into the health of the largest purchase you’re likely to make in your life. It also gives you legal protection for backing out of the deal if serious problems are found.
Get your condominium inspected with Magnified HI, the trusted Home inspectors in Connecticut, and be quality assured of your dream home!
Call (860) 980-0316 the experts at Magnified HI, Connecticut now.