Unicorns and Other Myths Regarding Condo Inspections
Truth be told, your condo or townhouse inspection is just as, if not more so important, than a similar home inspection. And don’t get me started on the benefits of a new home inspection!
Its a false impression to think your town home will require less time or diligence. A good quality home inspection service is going to be busy inspecting your new home regardless of the property type.
But The HOA Maintains That Feature, So Why Bother?
What a misconception. That is, Home Owners Associations are run by people. And people tend to do the same, whether as an owner or manager. I think most HOA members don’t walk their communities looking to make sure there are no issues. Most condo owners assume the roof is a-okay without actually walking up there. This is why it is so critically important that your home inspector take a look, even at community features, as part of your townhouse inspection.
Jennifer Yoingco goes all out in her detailed blog about the eight things you should inspect. For more reading, check it out. My fave recommendation from her big Texas post, #8, re-inspect!
Replacing Roofs In Attached Dwellings Is Exponentially More Expensive
You might think a new roof, spread out between several owners would be less expensive than for a house. And you would be mistaken. First off, when an attached dwelling community needs a roof, it can be many buildings that each and every one require the new roof. That gets expensive. Even if covered by insurance, there can be a thousands of dollars per unit deductible that needs to be covered by owners.
Save yourself that expense and be sure to have your home inspector look at the roof of your new condo or town house as part of the inspection! If curling and missing tiles, lack of edging, signs of wear show up, you may want guarantees from Seller and HOA that you will not suddenly be liable for a large special assessment!
PRO TIP: When insuring your attached dwelling, get Gap Coverage. This covers the owner out-of-pocket deductible expenses for major repairs like a new roof! This can save you thousands of dollars a large HOA mandated repair.
Exterior Maintenance Is Common For Most HOA’s, Right?
Sure, many home owner’s groups cover the exterior of a building. But what if there is debris or a nest or overgrown bushes along the exterior that is now blocking an air intake for your town house furnace or the vent fan for your kitchen appliance? A thorough townhouse inspection is going to discover that issue. Make it the Seller’s responsibility to coordinate the HOA addressing this issue so your new home functions properly. It could mean a difference of safety to your family!
Another outdoor feature to inspect: decks and patios. Take a look around your soon to be community. Are all decks uniformly maintained, stained or painted? If so, maybe this feature is taken care of by the association. This would generally be the case for a multi-story concrete condo building in a downtown setting.
But what if each owner’s deck looks different? This could be a telltale sign you, the new owner, will be responsible for maintaining your deck. Then, I would suggest taking a doubly good look. First, to ensue your new deck to be is in solid condition. And second, to look about the community and take note of likely issues you will face over time. Forewarned is forearmed.
Radon Is An Odorless Colorless Tasteless Gas
When acquiring a multistory town home or a unit with a crawl space or traditional basement, be sure to check for Radon. It’s commonplace in Colorado. And one of the more direct issues to address. Usually radon can be simply remediated for about $1,000.
The presence of radon can be a health concern, so definitely be sure to check for this gas in your Colorado townhome.
Interior Only Condo Inspections
Sometimes, your new attached dwelling may simply be an apartment like space in a big building. No decks, no access to the rooftop. In this case, an interior only inspection can save you money versus a regular townhouse inspection. But, be sure to do your due diligence when it comes to the home owners assoc., read up on all the past meetings, dig to see if there are any impending projects. When a big building needs work, its never cheap!
Home Inspection Recommendations Available Upon Request
As an experienced Boulder Realtor pro, I have lots of great professionals I can recommend, from painters to handymen, plumbers, electricians and of course, Home Inspection experts! Contact Bob Gordon now for your real estate needs.