There’s no question that condominiums are a great housing option! And just like any other type of house, there are certain things that you need to do as a condo buyer to make sure you are buying the house of your dreams!
I get asked this quite a lot so I wanted my clients to understand that just like house a house should go through a home inspection before you buy them, condominiums should also have a home inspection done during the closing process.
A condominium is going to be your new home and it’s a big investment! Make sure you know what you’re buying and get a home inspection done for your condo.
The inspection for a condominium is still called a home inspection. While a home inspection for a condo is similar to a home inspection for a house, there are some differences. The main difference is that the home inspection will cover the entire house, including the outside.
However, with a home inspection for a condo, (since the condo owner owns the inside of the unit) the outside of the complex won’t need to be inspected. Although the outside inspection of a condo isn’t needed, you can still request that certain things, like the roof, to be inspected.
The home inspection for both houses and condos will need to be done during the closing process. Click here for a link to a blog, what to know during the closing on a home, so you understand more about this time period.
How Condo Inspections are the Same as Home Inspections
Condominium home inspections undergo a similar process to home inspections since the inside of the home is the same. Learn about the home inspection process here; this blog will cover what to look for in a home inspection before buying so you know what to expect during this process.
Unfortunately there are many times when house buyers walk away from a house due to the condition of the house stated on the home inspection report. The same is true with home inspections for condominiums. The condo unit needs to be inspected to ensure that it meets your expected living conditions.
A condominium home inspection list is not as long as a house home inspection, but the major areas are still covered. For a condominium home inspection, the following items will be included on the inspection list:
Window and door seals
Heating and cooling
The structure of the unit (walls, floors, and ceilings)
Make sure that the home inspector checked for any leaks in the shower or tub, any water damage throughout the unit, mold, attic insulation, and even the smoke alarms. The more that your home inspector inspects, the better you can relax when you move in to your new home. You don’t want any surprises to come up after you’re already bought the condo!
During the home inspection you can also find out where turn off valve for water is in your unit and learn where all of the air filters for the HVAC are and what size they are. This is a great time to get familiar with some of the home maintenance that you will need to know for your new home.
How Condo Inspections are Different from Home Inspections
Even though home inspectors will go through a similar process to inspect condominiums like they do houses, there are some differences. Since the outside of the building is not the condo owner’s responsibility, condo inspections do not typically cover these areas.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, the roof is not included in the condominium owners responsibilities, even if you’re on the top floor. The condominium association is responsible for the roof and anything outside of your condo unit, including shared common areas in the condo complex.
The home inspector can still inspect for any leaks during the home inspection, but as the condo owner you are not responsible for this. Any staircases or railing outside of your condo is also the condo association’s responsibility. So the condo association should take care of any wood infestation issues.
Common areas not included in the home inspection for a condo, like staircases, since these are areas that the condo owner is responsible for. Ask your realtor to find out any exterior or maintenance problems from condo complex for past 12 months. Try and find out how long a maintenance request takes to complete when something is sent into the condominium association.
Other Things to Know About a Condo Inspection
Who pays for the home inspection on a condo? The buyer does. Ask your realtor for a list of home inspectors and choose one that specializes in condos. The home inspection for a condo should typically take an hour.
The buyers of the condo should still attend the home inspection so that they can see first hand what the report results are. A home inspection for a condominium is around $300 in Alabama.
Find out more about the owners of the condominium complex. You want to know if any lawsuits have been filed, or if the condominium association is being taken over by a different organization. These factors may influence living conditions and repair time in your condo complex.
Once the condo is yours you will be responsible for maintenance inside the unit. This can be a huge responsibility, so we created a list of things to help you make sure your house maintenance goes smoothly. Click here for our blog on home maintenance tips all homeowners should know. It also includes a few suggestions for creating a schedule for all of your home maintenance needs so that nothing gets left out!
Don’t Miss the Final Walk Through!
Just as important as the home inspection is for your condo is the final walk through before closing. This is your chance to walk through the condo and make sure that all of the repairs were done.
Go through the list of repairs that you and your realtor negotiated with the seller. Be sure to collect receipts for all repairs and inspect them to ensure they were taken care of properly. Don’t assume that everything was taken care of, once you sign the contract at closing the condo is yours!
We have a video that covers what you need to look for in a final walkthrough below that will help you focus on the purpose of a final walkthrough:
As you can see, you do not want to skip out on the final walkthrough! You need to make sure that you are buying the condo in the condition you expect it to be in, and to do this you need to do a final walk through.
Now that you know what to look for in a condo inspection, you should be ready to go through the closing process! Be sure that you attend the home inspection and you follow up to make sure all the repairs get taken care of.
If you’re interested in buying a condominium we have another post that gives you more information on why you should choose to buy a condo. Read this blog on what to know before you buy a condo.
If you have any questions about home inspections for condos or are interested in condominiums in the Birmingham, Alabama area, we would love to help you! Please contact Dianna Howell with The Howell Group at 205-568-5435 or email her at email@example.com