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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    BC Canada
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    Default Condo mechanical room

    Hi guys,

    Normally I do not go to mechanical room & parking during a condo suite inspection. Some clients want me to do that although I do not think those are the criteria of a subject removal. How can I inspect these 2 places? Anybody can give me some more information?

    Thank you

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,252

    Default Re: Condo mechanical room

    I'm not sure what you are asking ... are you asking if you should go to a mechanical room to inspect the HVAC equipment for a given condo unit?

    If so, then my answer would be yes.

    If you are asking about a mechanical roof for common HVAC units, say 'Yes, I can inspect those for an extra $750 if you would like me too. Just keep in mind that those are not your HVAC units but are common to all owners and there is the possibility that nothing I write up will be addressed."

    I'm going to guess that their answer is either going to be: a) "No, never mind.", or; b) "Why so much extra?" - to which you respond that you will need to find out where the other components of the equipment is and check that too, such as the common area air condition units and their condenser units, etc.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Condo mechanical room

    I always inspect parking spaces that come with a Condo ever since I started. Agents always think I'm being a smart ass or something.
    Did a $1.5mil+ highrise Condo early on, asked the agent to see the 2 parking spots, the one spot was Ok, the other had a clear crack in the ceiling where water was dripping through. Client was extremely grateful. Building fixed the problem prior to client taking possession. Client told me he doesn't care about his junk car but would have been really pissed if his wife's $150K car had been dripped on. Didn't ask what he considered his junk car.
    I look at the ceiling, floor and surrounding walls to document any damage, water seepage or oil drips on the floor. Condo buildings tend to charge owners for any such damage. If I have pics showing such conditions existed prior to my client taking possession, my guy is off the hook for any repair costs.
    As far as the electrical meter rooms, I take a look to verify the location, make sure things generally look Ok and show my client which one is his just in case. Not much else one can really do.
    If it is a vintage building, I ask if I can look at the boiler/mechanical just for a quick once over. If the engineer isn't busy and you are friendly, they are usually more than happy to yack it up for a few and show you their system. The point is to assess whether conditions are reasonable or falling apart. Hate to have a client buy into the building and get nailed for $10K special assessment next month for new mechanicals.
    Hope that helps.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  4. #4
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Condo mechanical room

    Those assessments can be expensive for a new buyer. I had a buyer who found that a $6000 roof assessment was in the plans for a 900 sq/ft condo they were looking to buy. They did not buy the place for that reason. They were very grateful that I advised them to check with the HOA before closing.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Condo mechanical room

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    If it is a vintage building, I ask if I can look at the boiler/mechanical just for a quick once over. If the engineer isn't busy and you are friendly, they are usually more than happy to yack it up for a few and show you their system. The point is to assess whether conditions are reasonable or falling apart. Hate to have a client buy into the building and get nailed for $10K special assessment next month for new mechanicals.
    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Those assessments can be expensive for a new buyer. I had a buyer who found that a $6000 roof assessment was in the plans for a 900 sq/ft condo they were looking to buy. They did not buy the place for that reason. They were very grateful that I advised them to check with the HOA before closing.
    "They were very grateful that I advised them to check with the HOA before closing."

    Which is what I always suggested and have always recommended that all home inspectors suggest, both verbally and in their reports, but ... ... that is different than doing the inspections (and better ... unless the home inspector is going to inspect all common areas for all future and current reserve funds requirements.

    I've had buyers back out because they found out that there was a hefty roof special assessments coming up, a hefty repaving special assessment coming up, etc., I also recommended the buyers ask about dedicated reserves - if there are none, or not much, for things like re-roofing, re-paving and other expensive items, then the past history of the association management is suspect as the reserves should be there and should be adequate for those future expenditures. Penny pinching management usually means penny pinching owners, which usually means that maintenance is severely lacking below the visible surface of the paint and other 'pretty' things done to cover up the lack of maintenance.

    There is a condo where I work which has undergone MAJOR reconstruction due to lack of past maintenance, and the special assessments were $75k to $100k PER UNIT, so many ... MANY ... of the owners let the association and the bank take the units over and just walked away. They had paid too much for the condos near the top of the market, the prices started dropping, then the association hit them with those large assessments - so they just walked away from it all.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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