Condo and Co-op Inspections
Why should I get my condo or co-op inspected?
Purchasing a condo or co-op is an important decision for everyone. It is very important to gather as much information as you can before making a buying decision. A condo/co-op inspection can save you time and costly repairs as well as give you a good understanding of the condo's overall condition before you buy.
What is a condo/co-op inspection?
A condo/co-op inspection is a comprehensive evaluation of the property performed by a qualified professional. It is designed to inform you of the condition of the property and the life expectancy of its major systems. The inspection will allow the buyer to see "the big picture" of your decision.
How long will my condo/co-op inspection take?
A basic inspection will depend on the size of the unit, its condition, and age. Generally speaking, a condo/co-op inspection will take around one to two hours on average.
Should I be present at the inspection?
Definitely! The inspector will give you valuable insight of the unit’s workings as you go through your inspection. Some issues with condo and co-op inspections are best pointed out with the client and the inspector together.
What does a condo inspection include?
The unit and all of its major systems that the buyer will be responsible for will be inspected. This includes the condition of the condo or co-op's plumbing and electrical system, heating and air conditioning system, patio, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, appliances, walls, doors, windows, flooring, and all visible structures within the unit. A report will be generated for your inspection and digital pictures are included.
What are some common issues found during condo and co-op inspections?
Here is a partial list of common issues found during an inspection:
- Water Damage: Sink and toilet leaks are notorious for water damage. This can be a major annoyance in a unit that may have its only bathroom out of operation for needed repairs. There is also the possibility of a considerable expense for repairs to the unit below.
- Appliances: Leaking water seals on dishwashers, inoperative stove cook top elements and burners and dish washers that are loose in cabinets are all issues commonly found during inspections that a potential buyer needs to be aware of.
- Bathrooms: Condo and co-op inspections will often find toilet bowls loose at the floor, vanity cabinets that are not fully adhered to the wall as well as reversed hot and cold water faucet valves.
- Electrical: Electrical issues can include two wires connected to one circuit breaker, reversed polarity and non-grounded outlets.
- Windows: Inspections will often find difficult to operate windows, damaged child locks, thermopane seal leaks and non-operating locks.
What happens if something is wrong with the condo that I was not aware of?
Our inspections are designed to give you an overview of the condition of the condo or co-op. It is in the best interest of the buyer have a condo inspection in order to avoid discovering needed costly repairs after they move in and to ensure they make a good investment. If a major problem turns up during the inspection the buyer may try to negotiate with the seller. For the seller, it is important that they know the condition of their condo to avoid this surprise as well.
Are common areas inspected?
This answer is really on a case-by-case basis. Many times the condo or co-op board, superintendent, owners or sponsors do not allow inspections of common areas. If access is granted, the home inspector will want to evaluate the condition of the roof and the building's boiler. Although they are not inspected per se, they are reviewed for overall condition and age. The reason being is that if either or even both are old, improperly maintained or damaged, the buyer may be assessed for a capital improvement soon after moving in. This is information that is critical for the buyer to know. If a common area inspection is permitted, the inspector would absolutely make it a part of their report.
Like any other home, inspectors see issues with defective equipment and unsafe conditions inside of condo and co-op units. The best way to make sure the condo/co-op is safe for your family and that all the components operate as expected is to have an inspection performed prior to completion of the purchase.
The cost of an inspection is a small price to pay considering the knowledge you will gain as a buyer and the potential savings of thousands of dollars in future repairs. An inspection can assist you in budgeting for extra expenses, as well as just give you peace of mind in your purchase.
The purchase of any house, building, condominium or co-op is a major consideration. A thorough evaluation assists you in understanding a unit’s condition and can be helpful in negotiating the sale price. This is one of the reasons that you should choose a licensed professional home inspector. The State of New York has laws in place to make sure the general public is protected when it comes to selecting inspection services.
Even recently built condominium and co-op buildings should have an inspection performed. With a new construction inspection, the inspector can uncover problems often observed in newer buildings such as poor wall board joint tape or improper cabinet installation and stability. The inspector also checks the bathroom for proper installation of all fixtures as well as other defects such as cracked floor and wall tiles, missing grout and caulking. They will also look for moisture leaks in and around the bathroom and cooking areas. Safety issues as well as an examination of wood flooring for acceptable condition and proper installation are noted. There are also things that the inspector can tell you especially if the unit has an independent heating system. For example, they can point out your electrical panel or sub-panel and what you need to do if you're changing lighting fixtures. They'll explain how the different systems in your condo work and how to keep them working properly.
A comprehensive Inspection Report is then created with the inspector's findings and repair recommendations. Many times the sponsor or developer of the unit will use this report to develop what is called a "punch list" of items needing attention. This way repairs can be addressed quickly and prior to closing.
Many purchasers often assume that a 12 month warranty and/or the fact that a New York City inspector conducted an assessment means they don't need an inspection by a licensed home inspector. This scenario is not true. There is a vast difference in quality between a city inspection and a private inspection. Hiring your own inspector will give you a much more detailed result than that of the city inspector. New construction condo/co-op home inspections are just as important as an inspection on an old development or construction. Nothing is perfect; there are always issues the inspector will have to report. It is important to receive a condominium inspection whether you are buying an old or new design.
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