Do I Need a Home Inspection on a Resale Condo?

by Guest Post August 7, 2013 / No Comments

Flickr: quasimime

This is a guest post by TheRedPin.com.

Yes. The purpose of getting a home inspection on a resale condo is to establish any physical issues it may have that could indefinitely change your decision to buy the property or affect how much money you are willing to pay for it. It’s all about being transparent. This is your opportunity to find out the detailed physical status of the property, before you make one of the biggest financial commitments of your life.

Condo Inspection: Notable Differences

When buying a resale home, electrical, plumbing, and roofing are just a few of the elements that are analyzed. However, since these are “common elements” in a condo that are shared by other owners in the building, they are jointly owned and become joint expenses. Most common elements are covered by technical audits of the condominium corporation and, therefore, are not inspected during a condominium inspection.

But these common elements shouldn’t be ignored and any issues, renovations, and maintenance should be outlined in the Status Certificate (those papers that detail the finances and legalities of the corporation, which you should have your real estate lawyer look at before making the purchase).

So what does a condo inspection entail? The condo inspection includes a thorough check of the entire unit, to make sure that all of the major appliances are in good shape and are working to code. This also includes an inspection of any maintenance and service issues that effect just that particular unit as opposed to the building as a whole.

But to refer back to the Status Certificate, it’s definitely important to know of any upcoming repairs on the building (for instance, the condo you want to buy may have an upcoming roof repair). Is there enough money to cover this in the corporation’s funds, or will you have to pay extra in your condo fees after a special assessment of the roof?

How much do you have to spend?

Of course, you may think the status certificate is enough for you. But then you have to remember: can you afford to buy a new fridge if it breaks down a month after you buy it? What about the dishwasher, washer, dryer, or even toilet? If you have some reserve funds of your own to cover these costs, then that is one thing. But if you have an inspector look at all of these unit-specific elements first, you can negotiate for them to be replaced before you finalize your purchase or negotiate a lower price for the unit overall. All in all, you should always have a bit of a reserve fund for these unexpected fixes.

What needs to be looked at during a condo inspection?

Aside from major appliances, a certified home inspector will look at all interior finishes, doors, windows, heating and cooling – if it’s unit specific. Common areas with issues that you may not see at first glance are poor HVAC maintenance, mold, mildew, and excess moisture behind the tiles of the tub surround and shower.

If your condo has its own circuit, and the fuse box is located outside of the unit, it’s important to establish this because your neighbours could blow a fuse that may effect your unit’s power. It’s also important to note that power is coming out of all sockets and the covers are secure without any exposed wires.

Water pressure is definitely something that needs to be checked. And make sure that the water temperature in your sinks and shower doesn’t change when you flush the toilet. While in the bathroom, an inspector will also determine that the sinks and tub drain quickly and efficiently, to make sure that there are no clogged drains.

Additional checks include the quality of carpets and hardwood floors, walls, balcony railings, curtains and blinds.

All in all, if you want to ensure that you are moving into a condo that won’t present immediate problems once you have signed the dotted line, a home inspection is highly recommended.

TheRedPin.com is a real estate brokerage that does things differently, serving the GTA. The brokerage is dedicated to give clients a top quality, customer-service oriented real estate experience with their non-commissioned agents, TheRedPin Rebate, award-winning website (featuring 60% more listings than the MLS®), and in-house support teams.