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Discussion Starter #1
When buying a condo unit (not a townhouse), do one even need to do a home inspection? If so, what kind of stuff would be looked at?

Thanks!
 

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If the condo is new (less than 5yrs old) I would probably not bother but anything older, I think you should invest the $500-1000 to have them check the usual suspects. They are the experts but make sure you get someone reputable and put this inspection pass in your offer to buy the home. Leave yourself an out in case the inspection fails.
 

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If the condo is new (less than 5yrs old) I would probably not bother but anything older, I think you should invest the $500-1000 to have them check the usual suspects. They are the experts but make sure you get someone reputable and put this inspection pass in your offer to buy the home. Leave yourself an out in case the inspection fails.
(changed anything newer to older)

That's what we thought when we bought our then 2 year old condo nearly 10 years ago. However, if we had invested in an inspection, an inspector might have found the following

- Nonfunctioning gas fireplace (yes, we should have tried it ourselves...)
- Balcony railings not up to code
- "Simplified" construction around the sills on balcony doors allowing water infiltration into the walls

The latter 2 are of course building envelope issues, which were found 3 years later during a reserve fund study. Ended up costing $15k+ in special assessments per unit to fix the damage. So - given shoddy construction techniques and corner cutting, I now advise everyone to spend the money for an inspection no matter what.

Edited to add: now noticed you say "not a townhouse" - perhaps less urgent in that case, and if a recent reserve fund study has been done for the whole condo building.
 

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The best inspector we had was a condo inspector in Vancouver. He actually physically went up on the roof and inspected it... and that wasn't the only impressive thing he did. I've had inspectors for detached homes that refused to get up on the roof (we told them to pack up and leave...)!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses ... so what kind of things an inspector should be looking at when we are purchasing a condo unit?
 

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The best inspector we had was a condo inspector in Vancouver. He actually physically went up on the roof and inspected it... and that wasn't the only impressive thing he did. I've had inspectors for detached homes that refused to get up on the roof (we told them to pack up and leave...)!
We had an excellent inspector for our condo in Calgary. He did look through a lot of the common areas, and had we a ladder on hand, he would have checked the roof also.

He also noticed several things, flashing exposed on the roof, evidence of water damage in certain areas, etc. that all panned out to be true. (some avoided by our condo board, some not).
 

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Thanks for the responses ... so what kind of things an inspector should be looking at when we are purchasing a condo unit?
Here's a few things I would check myself and/or get the inspector to also:

- all the appliances work properly
- the windows don't leak
- gas lines and connections are proper
- drains/leaky plumbing
- electrical panel is set up properly (previous owners haven't played in there at all)
- balcony and railings are safe and meet code

Being a condo there probably won't be anything wrong as along as the previous owners haven't done any renos. But that being said even a new condo can have issues, in a building with 30/40/50+ stories the building/electrical inspector does not check everything.

Good luck.
 
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