Is a Condominium Inspection a Waste of Money?

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Ultimate Realty Inc. Brokerage

Most home buyers recognize the wisdom of inserting a conditional provision in their agreement of purchase and sale on a home inspection. Many condominium buyers however have difficulty justifying the cost. Some have even been discouraged from performing an inspection by either their real estate agent or their lawyer citing it to be a waste of money since the Condominium Corporation is responsible for maintenance of common elements.
The interior of the condominium unit is the owners responsibility however and whether the building is a new condominium or an older one there may be potential problems lurking that may cost you money in the future.

Conventional condo inspections have been visual until recently and have given the wasted money argument some merit. Relatively new to the residential real estate market in Mississauga and Toronto thermal imaging inspections may soon become a regular fixture of condominium real estate transactions.

What is Thermal Imaging?

Thermal imaging is technology using infra-red cameras that allow you to see what's going on behind walls, paneling, tiles and ceilings that would otherwise go undetected by a visual inspection.

Water Leaks

There may be surface evidence of a water leak in a bathroom or kitchen.  A thermal imaging inspection will reveal the source of the leak. Moisture problems not evident to the naked eye can be uncovered by a thermal imaging inspection.



The photo on the left is a visual of a ceiling showing what to the naked eye looks normal and in good condition. The photo on the right is a thermal image of the same ceiling taken with an infra-red camera. The dark areas you see is moisture in the ceiling undetectable by the naked eye.


Water and moisture problems can lead to mould growth and possible health issues for you and your family. A thermal imaging inspection will detect mould growth behind or under walls and tiles that is not evident by a conventional visual condo inspection.

Electrical Problems

Electrical faults hidden by drywall can be missed by a visual inspection. A thermal imaging inspection will reveal these potential fire hazards before you find out the hard way.

Air Conditioning

In condominium townhouses air conditioner compressor leaks can be detected which otherwise may be missed by a visual inspection.

Do you still think a condominium inspection is a waste of money?

If you are a first time condominium buyer or for that matter a seasoned condo owner do not let anyone talk you out of doing an inspection. Now with thermal imaging inspections available, wouldn't you like to know the true condition of your new home?


John Lavin is a full time realtor with 24 years experience helping buyers and sellers of homes, condominiums and investment properties in Mississauga and Toronto. Condominium buyers will receive a complimentary thermal imaging inspection when purchased through me. To search for Mississauga Condos for Sale please visit

Comments (7)

Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Very informative post John.  Thermal Imaging sounds like a wise thing to do.  We have one condo in the City here that does have a mould problem.  Sound advice.

Have a great day

Al & Peggy 

May 05, 2009 05:32 AM
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

John, I recently had a client do a condo inspection and we discovered some major electrical problems (including in the light fixture right inside the shower stall).  I think they are worth the money.
Everyone should spend the $350-$500.  It could be the best investment you ever make. 


May 05, 2009 09:13 AM
John Lavin
Re/Max Ultimate Realty Inc. Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Realtor - Mississauga - Toronto Real Estate

Al & Peggy.......thank you for your comments



Sylvie....I do not know why anyone would forgo one of these on an old or new condo. By the way where did you get all those points from....impressive

May 06, 2009 12:42 AM
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

John, I've been on Active Rain for about a year now, and I try my best to post a couple of things a week, if I can, at least - to Localism (regional posts to the general public).
Writing doesn't come easy to me, so it's a major pain, but I'm learning to enjoy it a little more, while meeting some great people. :)

May 06, 2009 02:48 AM
John Lavin
Re/Max Ultimate Realty Inc. Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Realtor - Mississauga - Toronto Real Estate

that's still impressive Sylvie.........has it produced any good business for you....I keep reading that it does but that is all US based. Don't seem to hear much from Canadians on that aspect.

May 07, 2009 01:44 AM
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

John, sorry I missed this. 
To answer your question, I have had lots of questions about some of the articles I've written, and I'm currently working with a potential buyer that came to me through one of those Localism posts.
I've been helping people in different ways (not just buying and selling); and hopefully one day it wil pay off, when those people are ready to buy or sell.
It can't hurt. :)

May 18, 2009 08:36 AM
Toronto, ON

Although the condo corporation is responsible for the common elements, the unit owners are assessed either via assessments, special assessments or maintenance fees for costs of the condo corporation.  I always recommend inspections.

May 18, 2009 09:30 AM