Do You Really Need A Home Inspection For Your DC Condo?

By
Real Estate Agent with Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. AB95346

Do You Really Need A Home Inspection For Your Washington, DC Condo?

Yes!  Absolutely!

When you buy a condo, it seems a lot simpler than buying a house.  But in many ways, it isn't.

Both are a complicated set of systems and appliances in a structure that is better if it is sound. 

With a house, getting an inspection is a no-brainer.  And you know what?  It's a no-brainer with a condo, too.  Sure, the condo association is the one to maintain the structure and the common elements, but you are a part of that condo association.  You need to know what you're getting into.

The inspector can look over the unit itself, checking the appliances, the heating and air conditioning unit, the wiring and plumbing, and tell you all kinds of stuff you need to know about the building itself. 

He'll look at the masonry and the roof.  If there is a boiler room in the basement, he'll check that out. 

Your contract to buy your new place will include an opportunity receive and review the building's "resale package", with information about the budget, among other things.  If the inspector finds, say a roof that will need replacement in the near future, that may not be a bad thing if there is money in the reserve funds to fix it?  If the boiler is dying of old age, can the pay for the replacement without passing the hat in the form of a big special assessment?

The home inspection is a very important introduction to your new place.  You'll not only learn whether or not the appliances all work, but what to do when one won't start because a breaker switch is flipped.  If the toilet starts running and looks like it's going to overflow, where is the water cut off valve that will avoid a flood in  your downstairs neighbor's apartment?

Buying a condo, especially if it's your first place, is a major life milestone.  And your home inspector is an important part of the team to help you make it happen.

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Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
District of Columbia District of Columbia County Washington
Groups:
Diary of a Realtor
Posts to Localism
Realtors®
Tags:
buying a dc condo
washignton dc real estate
home inspections

Comments 16 New Comment

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Andrea Swiedler
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties

I certainly have had issues uncovered with a condo inspection. Would never recommend to skip this step. Could lead to disaster for sure.

August 21, 2009 06:07 AM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Pat:  When I bought my condo the home inspector just looked over the unit itself.  But it certainly seems like a good idea to have them look at the boiler room, etc.

August 21, 2009 09:04 AM
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Solutions Real Estate

Pat - sage advices for any buyer. ONe can just as easily uncover problems in a condo inspection as in a detached home, and depedning on the HOA it can be more complicated to get things taken care of. Some of the HOAs ought to be tarred and feathered for how they manage their properties. Unfortunately there are some things the inspectors cannot do in condo inspections so there are some enhanced risks for the buyers.

Jeff

August 21, 2009 10:31 AM
Rainmaker
629,967
Don Rogers
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield

When buying a home or condo I think that it is extremely important to have a home inspection and let the buyers know why it is.  There are too many risks involved.

August 21, 2009 11:55 AM
Rainmaker
262,130
Michael Bergin
Northern Virginia Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES

Pat -

I just recently had clients withdraw an offer on a condo because the home inspection found structural damage in the bathroom.  Two days later we put in an offer on another condo, aced the inspection and are on our way to closing.  Think they thanked me for pushing the inspection?  You bet!

Michael

August 21, 2009 09:06 PM
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Patricia Kennedy

For Your Home in the Capital
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Additional Information

Pat Kennedy -- author of The Irreverent Guide to Real Estate -- gives you a look at life on the streets as a real estate broker in our nation's capital. And her blog is peppered with great advice combined with humor!