How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
How is a condo inspection different from a home inspection?
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
A condominium inspection is done with same attention to detail as a regular home inspection. The difference is that the exterior, attic, roof, and site—areas of the unit that the association is typically responsible for—are not included, and the cost of the inspection is reduced as a result.
But the condition of the condo exterior and common areas, including any pool and clubhouse facilities, are something you should look over carefully. Also, we recommend that you get a copy of the most recent financial statement for the condo association, and have a real estate attorney review it to evaluate the financial condition of the association for you. There should be funds set aside each year that accumulate for big-ticket repairs like roof replacement, for example, so you do not get hit with a giant special assessment when it’s time for a roof. Not all associations have sufficient funds set aside for expected future expenses.
At least one we know of in the Gainesville area does not accrue funds for expected future repairs and just does special assessments as necessary. The real estate downturn a few years ago has left some associations with a high percentage of non-resident investor owners holding onto units that are under water, with some awaiting foreclosure and the investor not paying the monthly assessment. You should have a clear picture of the financial situation of the association.
There are times when a condo inspection may seem appropriate but is not recommended. Planned Unit Developments (commonly called “PUDs”) are one example. They are similar, but not the same as a condo, in that the homeowner’s association is responsible for only a limited part of building and site maintenance, which varies frome development to another.
Older condos that are townhouse-style construction are best evaluated with a full inspection. While you are not responsible for the condition of the exterior, a complete inspection will give you a list of any exterior components that are deteriorated for you to call to the attention of the association for repair before they get worse.
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To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:
To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:
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