If you plan to buy a condo, inspect everything before the purchase is final. Condos are ideal for home buyers who desire more amenities with less maintenance on their part, but an inspection differs from regular residential homes.
Home buyers may know to check for things like water damage, mold, and construction, but there are several other things to check. Here are three things to not overlook when you plan to buy a condo.
Get a Radon Test
Radon is a colorless gas that can pass through concrete. It has been linked to lung cancer, so it is important to test for its presence. Condos are often made from imported concrete, which increases the radon.
Radon kits can be bough at local hardware stores or from the National Radon Program. Keep all doors and windows shut twelve hours before testing, and test in the lowest part of the home.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a radon level of no greater than 4.0 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). If the test shows between 2.0 and 4.0 pCi/L, test again.
Contact your condo board if the unit shows high radon levels. You will need a radon gas mitigation because the gas won't disappear on its own.
Check for Adequate Soundproofing
A soundproof check is essential to do when you will be sharing the building with neighbors. If it has hardwood floors, have it professionally checked for soundproofing, since hardwood floors carry more sound.
Find out what type of soundproofing materials have been installed. Do any neighbors play loud instruments? Ask the seller how many noise complaints they have received. If the seller refuses to answer, you could use a legal Cause of Action later
Talk to neighbors about potential noises. If possible, ask to stay a night in the unit.
Ask for a Copy of the Technical Audit and Minutes
Find out if the condo has received a technical audit. The homeowner's association , which is responsible for the building upkeep, has no other funding except membership fees. This means the buildings must undergo periodic inspections to find problems.
Note problems that haven't been fixed. The HOA has to maintain a certain level of funding to fix problems. If problems aren't being fixed, you may want to avoid buying the unit.
You can also get a copy of the minutes from HOA meetings. These minutes will help you better understand the building condition. Try to get a year's worth of minutes, because you don't want problems arising after you move in the condo.
Contact a real estate agent for more information.