Should Condominium Buyers Get a Home Inspection?

Condominium buyers sometimes underestimate the value of a home inspection – or sometimes want to forego it altogether. But a home inspection can be just as important for condo buyers as it is for buyers of single-family homes in terms of making an informed purchase decision, or simply becoming educated about the home. Here are some of the questions we hear:

Does the condo inspection cover more than just the subject unit? Usually not. Common areas and items such as the roof, exterior walls, elevators and foundation are not normally part of the scope of a condo inspection because their condition and upkeep are the responsibility of the homeowners’ or condominium association, not the individual owners. HVAC components exclusive to the individual unit would be included in the condo inspection.

Will condo buyers receive a comprehensive inspection report?  By nature, a condo inspection covers fewer areas than a standard home inspection, but the report should cover each of the included items or systems with the same amount of detail as a single-family home inspection.

Should buyers plan on attending the condo inspection? It’s always a good idea for the buyer to accompany the home inspector during the inspection. Not only will they learn about the home’s condition, but the inspector may point out features or functions the buyer may be unaware of. Attending the inspection also provides the opportunity to ask questions during the process, providing further insight on the home.

The builder claims the condo doesn’t need a home inspection because the development is new. Is that accurate? New construction doesn’t always mean everything is okay. In fact, issues very often come to light during the first year or two after a building is completed. Occupancy inspections by local building departments check primarily for code compliance and are not equivalent to a home inspection.

By learning as much as they can about the condo they’re considering, your buyers are more likely to end up satisfied with their purchase.