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Thread: Condo Inspections
11-01-2007, 04:00 PM #1
How much liabilty for a Home Inspector who did one of these condo's?
Massive assessments for upgrading the buildings' systems have divided resident's of Boston's prestigious Harbor Towers - The Boston Globe
11-01-2007, 04:14 PM #2
Re: Condo InspectionsScott Patterson, ACI
Spring Hill, TN
11-01-2007, 05:05 PM #3
Re: Condo Inspections
One of my competitors has a web site where they promise to inspect common elements (including the the roof, HVAC and plumbing) as part of their standard condo inspection on their home page, next to a pic of a large high-rise building. I know 'cause I took a look when I started getting calls from people surprised I don't promise the same.
I assume that their contact likely disclaims such items (I could not find it on their site). But if there is ever a problem, and someone has that home page cached, I would think they would be in a tough spot, and could be on the hook for the special assessment on the inspected unit.
11-01-2007, 06:15 PM #4
Re: Condo Inspections
I agree. Either you do common areas 100% or you don't do them. I see no way an inspector can do such common areas for the standard condo fee. Sounds like your competitor is trying to land a job with these promises then weasel his way out of those obligations once he gets it. Nice!
Eric Barker, ACI
Lake Barrington, IL
11-01-2007, 06:46 PM #5
Re: Condo Inspections
Regarding the condo items you posted, I believe the condo board, past and way past, have not performed their duties - if they had, there would be a reserve fund to cover much of, or some of, that cost.
Setting up reserve funds are basic necessities for condo buildings, and any board which refuses to do so 'because it cost too much money now' is not protecting the condo owners, and condo owners who elect board members who are against reserve funds are justly due their huge assessments.
In a case like that, for the HI, I think that the new buyer could rightly include the HI in a lawsuit (not that they would win, but that it would be their right, and it would cost the HI big time to defend against) *UNLESS* the HI recommended to their clients what we always recommended: Contact the board and check for reserve funds and past, present, and anticipated special assessments.
If the HI recommended that, and the client did not follow through, that's like saying 'replace the roof' and the client buying it anyway - it becomes the responsibility of the client ... not the HI.
11-02-2007, 05:46 AM #6
Re: Condo Inspections
3 questions you must ask before buying a co-opBy Wayne Grover • Bankrate.com You're about to sign on the dotted line for that condo or cooperative apartment. The complex looks well maintained, and the monthly fees are in line with other places you've checked. What could go wrong? Plenty. Experts recommend that you ask these three important questions to the owner, manager or the board of directors, to make sure there are no hidden problems: 1. Is there any pending litigation filed against the co-op corporation or condo association? "This is very important," says David St. John, an attorney whose firm represents more than 600 condominium, cooperative, homeowner and other community associations, "because once you are the owner, the outcome of a lost suit could be passed along to you, the individual owner, in the form of a 'special assessment' that there is no way around paying.2. Are there any pending major engineering projects yet to be completed that will require a future special assessment? Check with some current owners about problems that will have to be dealt with such as eroded concrete balconies, road repaving and sewer or electrical reworking. "This is especially important in older units because any one of these could result in an unexpected big bill for you after moving in, " St. John says.3. Does the co-op or condominium have adequate reserves for repair or replacement costs of a major project? "Many of these boards of directors do not maintain reserves because the unit owners that have a say in the operation just won't vote to increase the maintenance fee to allow a reserve," explains St. John. "Be very wary of buying into a no-reserve development."
And this about a reserve study.
Dear Steve, You recently mentioned that when buying a new single-family home, you should get a builder-warranty inspection before the warranty expires. Does this apply to a new condominium? I ask because I am looking to buy one of the new units that have recently been added to an existing complex. How would inspections of these two types of properties differ?-- DanielleA warranty inspection of a condo is far less comprehensive by nature and slightly less expensive than the warranty inspection of a conventional new-construction home. For a conventional home, these inspections evaluate a structure's components and system, inside and out, comparing them to industry standards and code requirements. It's performed before the builder warranty expires to determine if the home measures up to the owner's quality expectations and to call the builder's attention to any deficiencies that could lead to future problems.But in the case of a condo, such an inspection would cover only the visible structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing, and systems inside the particular unit. Even though the overall physical condition of a condo development can be significant in determining how challenging it will be to resell your individual condo unit someday, there are many common elements such as hallways, façades and common mechanical systems that typically aren't examined by the inspector because they aren't part of the specific unit you're buying.Repairs and maintenance of these elements are the responsibility of the condo association and are financed through association dues. Condo warranty inspectors can, however, note obvious problems in association-controlled common features and do a little more in-depth inspection of the premises for an additional fee, provided they are allowed easy access to all these areas.Your condo association should maintain something called a reserve study, which you will want to review. Such studies, which are typically performed by engineers and architects, take into account the viability of the property's key structural and mechanical elements, including their condition and age and the anticipated maintenance, replacement or repair work they'll need over the next five years. (These studies should be updated every five years, by the way.) Compare the latest reserve study with the latest condo association budget, which should list funds in reserve for future projects and repairs. If these projects aren't covered in the budget, you may be required to pony up for a "special assessment" at some point to fund them. Ask plenty of questions about this before you sign the final papers.Other tips: Although the condo warranty inspector will probably switch on your appliances to see if they're working, give them a good test run yourself to be sure they are operating properly. Also, be sure to schedule your warranty inspection at least one month before the warranty expires.Good luck!