Condominium & Townhome Inspections
There are some common misconceptions with condominium ownership and the need for a home inspection.
What do you actually own?
Some people think the word "condo" refers to a type of structure. In reality it refers to the form of ownership of real estate. In most jurisdictions, the owner of a unit within a multiunit building technically owns the interior airspace up to and including the top layer of paint on the wall. Everything behind the walls as well as the land on which the building sits, any amenities such as swimming pools, recreation facilities, parking lots, or garages, and all exterior spaces (such as walls, elevators, stairways, etc.) is owned in common by all the owners.
As such, condominium owners are generally only responsible for the systems and structure within the walls of their condominium that directly service their home. These systems usually include the plumbing, electrical, and heating/ventilation systems.
If there is so much of this that I don't own, why do I need an inspection?
While you do not directly own the common areas and the common structure, there are still plenty of reasons to have a home inspection... when you are buying or selling. The mechanical systems are still yours and your responsibility. Just as with a typical single-family home:
• A faulty heating or air conditioning system can be expensive to replace
• Undetected electrical issues can be just as much of a fire and safety issue
• Plumbing leaks can cause significant damage
• Leaky and obsolete windows can be just as much of an energy drain
The inspection will cover...
A Condominium and Townhome inspection will cover and report on many of the same items as a typical single-family home inspection. Inspections are performed according to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Standards of Practice. The inspected components and systems include and may not be limited to:
• Basements and crawl spaces
• Electrical systems
• Plumbing systems and fixtures
• Heating and cooling system
• Insulation and ventilation
• Decks and porches
• Garage interiors
Additionally, some of the common items and areas may also be observed and assessed for the general level of maintenance and upkeep.
The inspection report will tell you what needs to be replaced or repaired, what safety concerns exist, and what routine ongoing maintenance tasks you should plan to perform as the new homeowner.
A Condominium and Townhome Inspection by Breakwater Inspections will reduce the risk of costly surprises with what is likely to be one of the most significant decisions you will ever make. Our goal is to help you feel secure and confident about your decision.