The purchase of a condo is a major investment. A thorough evaluation and engineering report gives you the advantage in making an intelligent purchase decision, so this inspection should be done before you sign any agreements or make the purchase commitment in most cases. As condominiums are individual units inside a collective building, and the focus of this specific inspection is somewhat different than a general home inspection in many ways. A building which houses a limited number of condominium units, can have a big effect on the costs assessed for each unit owner when major improvements or repairs are deemed necessary.
A condo board, also often referred to as the homeowners association, is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the building exterior and common areas that are shared by all of the individual unit owners. This can include the building entrance, any lobbies, the roofs, and other components that are used by more than one unit.
A complete condominium inspection will include all components that will affect your unit and potentially your assessments and even property value. If repairs are needed, each unit owner is assessed an equal share of the costs involved, so it is good information to be made aware of any significant problems in advance of making a final purchase decision.