Condo inspection basics

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Most buyers make an offer on a piece of property subject to a satisfactory home inspection. I was no exception and had an inspection done when buying my condo. There were a few items that were not working properly and I obtained an additional $ 1 500 rebate to fix everything. Money stupidly lost for the sellers.

Before putting your condo up for sale, become your own home inspector. A condo inspection is largely visual with a pinch of basic testing you can do yourself.

In a condominium building, it is unlikely the home inspector will have access to the roof, the attic or the mechanical room. They will only be able to provide basic information, based on what they see from the outside.

Please check if there is any depreciation or engineer’s report and inquire as to what kind of major repairs have been done. If nothing has been completed, the Contingency Reserve Fund balance should be significant.

The inspection will exclusively focus on the inside of your condo. Here are a few things to check and fix if needed:

Electrical

  • All plugs work properly and are covered, not to mention there is a sufficient number of them. Test each plug with a lamp or a radio. Make sure there is no exposed wire or “knob and tube”
  • Plugs near sinks or bathtubs require a ground fault circuit interrupter. These need to be working as intended
  • All lights and switches operate properly. If you have burnt-out light bulbs, replace them
  • Breaker panel needs to be wired and connected properly. Fuses are working and not overheating
  • All appliances to operate as intended. The home inspector will test them
  • Baseboard heaters and thermostats to operate as intended
  • Exhaust fans in bathroom and kitchen to work properly

Plumbing

  • All sinks, bathtubs, showers to drain properly
  • Dishwasher and washing machine also drain properly (if you have them)
  • Toilet to flush properly
  • No sign of leakage at faucets, pipes, valves or at the base of the sinks/bathtubs/showers/toilets
  • Water pressure is adequate
  • Hot water temperature is adequate
  • Hot water tank less than 10 years old and not leaking (if you have one)
  • Visible pipes are in good condition, i.e. no crack or other damage
  • No sewage smell should come from drains or pipes
  • Caulking should be present and in good condition near bathtubs/sinks/showers

Doors and windows

  • All windows should latch, open and close properly and easily
  • Same for doors. Knobs to be in good condition
  • No broken or cracked glass panels
  • No cracks in frames
  • All cupboards doors and drawers should also be in good condition and open/close easily

Miscellaneous

  • No significant cracks in walls, ceilings and floors
  • No water stains or mold
  • No bugs or other pest

If you live in your condo, all the above can be easily checked and tested. Of course, this list is not exhaustive. Each condo is unique and has different features.

I believe a well-maintained unit will sell better. If you have granite counter-tops but your dishwasher is not working, you won’t get top dollars. If too many items are not working as they should, it could even cost you the sale.

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