A Beacon Hill home inspection is an important step of the downtown Boston condo-buying process, one that shouldn’t be overlooked. In some cases, mortgage lenders make property inspections part of the conditions to be satisfied before closing. If this isn’t the case with your pending transaction, you should insist on it even if you end up paying for it out of your own pocket. While there are some procedural differences between the inspections conducted on single-family homes and downtown Boston condos or lofts, the goal is the same: you want to get a comprehensive report about the condition of the property for the purpose of determining the value of the transaction, which means your real estate agent could use the report to negotiate the contract. Here are six things to look for in your condo inspection.

1. Inspector’s Certification & Experience

In downtown Boston, home inspectors are certified by the Massachusetts Real Estate Inspection Association. They’re expected to carry proper insurance, and they tend to specialize in certain types of properties or Boston housing markets. Ask your Beacon Hill real estate agent to recommend a seasoned inspector, preferably one who has already completed inspections in the condominium building you’re interested in.

2. Structural Conditions & Shared Spaces

This isn’t part of the report. It’s something you’ll have to ask for, and it may require a walk-through of the Beacon Hill condo building. The condo association or management entity will rarely allow the inspector to fully inspect the structure, but some observations can go a long way toward your final decision. For example, an elevator that lacks a current safety certificate would be a cause for concern.

3. Floors & Ceilings

Aside from structural issues, inspectors look for signs of previous leaks. Ask your inspector for an opinion on how long the current flooring will last under heavy foot traffic.

4. Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning Systems

If the Beacon Hill condo for sale you’re interested in has its own HVAC system, this would require an inspection that starts with the unit, continues with the thermostat, and includes all ducts. In the case of central HVAC, the inspector will have to be allowed to enter utility rooms.

5. Plumbing

Needless to say, inspectors will immediately let you know about existing and previous leaks, but you also need to know how long the current fixtures, pipes, and connections will last. Something else to keep in mind is whether the toilets and shower heads are compliant with California water conservation regulations.

6. Punch List Issues & Opinions

Depending on the style of the inspector, you may get a concise punch list along with a short narrative, but you can always ask for more about your Beacon Hill condo. If there are issues that need to be repaired, ask for an opinion on the costs and whether they should be addressed right away. For example, leaky pipes need to be fixed immediately, but they may not cost too much to repair.

Buying a Beacon Hill condo for sale can be both exciting and stressful, but you can relieve some of the anxiety by making sure you understand the important details involved in the home’s inspection. For advice on inspections or any aspect of buying real estate in downtown Boston, rely on the experienced professionals at Ford Realty Inc. Give one of our friendly agents a call today at 617-595-3712.

Boston Beacon Hill Condos for Sale

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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