Opinions vary concerning the question of whether or not condos and apartments need home inspections. Some people believe that inspections are solely for single-family homes, while others wouldn’t dream of moving into any type of residence without a thorough inspection being conducted.
If you’re going to be moving into a resale condominium or apartment, it is advisable that you have your future home inspected. This important inspection will not only give you the peace-of-mind that you’re moving into a residence without substantial defect, but it can also save you thousands of dollars down-the-road from very costly damage or repairs you could be held responsible for.
What Is Inspected?
These are the key elements which are assessed during the inspection of a condo/apartment:
Plumbing – makes sure the water heater is up to code and looks for leaks around showers, tubs, appliances, and much more.
Bathrooms and kitchens – looks for gaps in the caulking around the shower and tub, and checks all kitchen appliances.
HVAC and electrical systems – checks all outlets, switches, and lights. Makes sure HVAC unit heats and cools in a reasonable amount of time.
Doors and windows – checks for tight seals on doors and windows. Looks for condensation or mold around windows.
Signs of water damage on ceilings and floors – looks for previous water damage from the above units and the unit to be moved into.
Condo & Apartment Inspections Differ From Home Inspections
In a condo development or apartment building/complex, most building systems are common elements. These systems consist of electrical, heating/cooling, and plumbing systems. As opposed to a single-family home, access to these systems is not always available to the inspector. However, the inspector can view and inspect the individual condo or apartment’s related elements.
For example, while the inspector would probably not be able to inspect the entire plumbing system of the apartment building like they could with a single-family home, they can inspect all of the plumbing inside an individual unit. This could result in finding a toilet that is partially detached and could ultimately cause a large leak that would damage the floor of the bathroom and potentially the units below.
Similarly, while an inspector may not be able to inspect the large outdoor air conditioning compressors that serve a particular apartment building, they can check the a/c unit inside of an apartment and determine if it’s in perfect working order mechanically. This can save the new owner/renter considerable discomfort if the unit was to malfunction during the middle of the summer or winter.
Inspections Provide Safety and Comfort
Condos and apartments need home inspections when it comes to safety. Having the electrical system in a unit checked before move-in is very important. Preventing fires from poorly wired or maintained circuit breaker panels is of paramount importance for your safety. A trained condo/apartment inspector knows what to look for when it comes to electrical systems.
Safety and comfort also depend on having safe, reliable appliances. Ovens, stoves, and refrigerators all need to be inspected before move-in. Many people have horror stories of losing hundreds of dollars worth of food because of spoilage due to a refrigerator/freezer that stopped working from a mechanical malfunction that could have been discovered before move-in.
Lucent Home Inspections provides expert inspections for all types of dwellings. Condos and apartments need home inspections, and Lucent provides these inspections in a timely and professional manner. Contact us today at 309.300.0007 to schedule your inspection.