Boston condo buyers are always encouraged to make a home inspection a condition of a purchase offer. While home inspections are advertised as a way to detect issues with major house systems like the foundation and roof, this doesn’t mean inspections aren’t relevant for condo buyers. Just as with single-family homes, Boston condos can have issues with the plumbing, HVAC system, and more. Here’s why a home inspection is a good idea when you’re buying a condo.
1. You’re Responsible for In-Unit Repairs
Many people enjoy condo living because it’s low maintenance. Your condo fees pay for maintenance and repairs to common elements of the property like the roof, amenities, and landscaping. However, your unit can still experience issues you’ll be responsible for. As a buyer, it’s important to understand the condition of the unit’s plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems. After all, if your bathtub or sink develops a major leak, replacing damaged hardwood floors could cost thousands of dollars.
2. You Should Understand the Building’s Overall Condition
Your condo unit isn’t a self-contained system. There will be other units above, below, and/or to either side of your condo. The unit above yours is especially important to consider. A home inspector can check for signs that something is going on upstairs, like evidence of moisture or leaks that may affect your unit.
3. You’ll Be Able to Tell If Any Appliances Need to Be Replaced Soon
Make sure to get a thorough inspection of all major appliances. Your inspector will let you know whether the appliances are working, how old they are, if they have been recalled by the manufacturer, and about how long they’re expected to last before they need to be replaced. This part of the inspection can ensure you aren’t buying a condo with a major appliance that will need to be replaced within the year.
4. You Can Discover Fire Hazards
Fires can spread quickly in a condo, and not all fire hazards are obvious. An experienced home inspector will report any fire hazards found in the condo that should be corrected. Common fire hazards found in condos include:
- Plastic dryer ducts
- Extension cords on permanent appliances
- Wiring defects
- Improper smoke alarm placement or old smoke alarms
- Aluminum wiring, which may be found in condos built or rewired between 1965 and 1972
5. You Can Get an Exterior Inspection
Most condo inspections are interior only, which does not include common areas like the roof and exterior. This type of inspection is good for a large tower condominium, but it’s not the only option. A full inspection will check the exterior of the building, parking lots, basements, common areas, and the roof if possible, which will give you a better idea of the overall condition of the condo building. The information you learn can be combined with the HOA disclosure, condo fees, and anticipated special assessments for a bigger picture of what you’re buying.
6. You’ll Have Leverage to Negotiate
The findings of your condo inspection won’t just help you make an informed decision. The report can also be used to negotiate repairs or a lower price for the condo. If the report turns up safety hazards, water damage, malfunctioning appliances, or improper repairs, you can request that the seller reduce the price, repair the issues, or provide funds for you to make the repairs.
Boston condos for sale
Back Bay Boston condos
Beacon Hill Boston condos
Charlestown Boston condos
Navy Yard Charlestown Boston condos
Dorchester Boston condos
Fenway Boston condos
Jamaica Plain Boston condos
Leather District Boston condos
Midtown Boston condos
Seaport District Boston condos
South Boston new condos
South End new condos
Waterfront new condos
North End new condos
West End new condos
East Boston condos