Condo Blindness

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

One of the more prevalent reasons I believe people choose condo living is the burden of maintaining the exterior falls on some one else. No painting, cutting the grass or shoveling snow. That sounds good to me. What I find many times inspecting condos is some things on the exterior are attached things on the interior, meaning they are the homeowners responsibility to maintain. Stuff like A/C compressors and heating vents. This can be a problem because the home owner may often be under the false assumption some one else is also taking care of these things too. I think people who live in condos become blind to what is happening on and to the exterior of their unit.Rusted through joist hanger, no jumping on the this deck

During a recent inspection of a condo I found several defects in and around the deck. Since the deck is on the exterior the maintenance falls to the condo association. Yet if the homeowner is unaware of a problem, no one will fix it.

While examining the decks structure from below I found several joist hangers almost rusted completely through at the base. This one actually has no nails left which I'm assuming is because they rusted away.

Rusted through heating ventThe heating system / water heater vent is run under the deck and terminates at the end of the structure. The pipe is about 12 feet long...and full of holes. The system is well maintained and fairly new inside the basement.

Next we have the A/C compressor service disconnected, which is also located under the deck. I usually open these to look at the wiring, not this one. This switch looks like it is 50 years old, when in fact it's about 16.

The interior of this unit was neat and well kept, meaning the homeowner is looking at and maintaining his property, except not so much on the exteriorVery corroded A/C service disconnected.

Relying on others to do your chores for you is a luxury people pay for when living in a condo. Assuming everything outside the unit is being taken care...

Well, you know what they say about assuming.

 

 

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
2010 - 2011 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dan Edward Phillips 07/12/2011 12:17 PM
  2. David Henke 09/03/2011 08:42 AM
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Ambassador
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TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good morning, James. Some condo HOA's are a real joke. Some want to put the burden of financial responsibility back on the home owner...

Jul 12, 2011 12:38 AM #1
Rainer
390,804
Nor Yeretsian
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc. - Toronto, ON
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto

James, it just goes to show - what an important job it is to hire the right inspector occasionally to review your Condo's structure and review / audit the reserve fund - it is adequate ? Is the job being done properly ?

cheers

Nor

www.envoycapitol.com

Jul 12, 2011 12:41 AM #3
Rainmaker
694,615
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi James,

Good finds. Most Condo associations are blind to the "repair factors" when repairing the condo's they cover. Most owners need to do the repairs and pay for them.

Best,

Clint Mckie 

Jul 12, 2011 12:47 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,131,731
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

That looks really nasty.  Also for someone who does not have an inspection on something like this they are in for a surprise.

Jul 12, 2011 12:56 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,844,065
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You simply have to look around the outside of the units.  And the units on adjoining buildings.  It gives you an idea of how well the association is taking care of the place.  When I point these things out on home inspections, I also suggest that the realtor and buyer bring it up to somebody in the association capable of making the repairs happen, as you probably did.  If not, as you say, it's someone else's problem!

Not...

Jul 12, 2011 02:00 AM #6
Rainer
246,325
Daniel H. Fisher
www.FisherHermanRealty.com (704) 617-3544 - Charlotte, NC
MCRP - Charlotte Real Estate, NC or SC

This is why we recommend that homebuyers hire a good inspector.  These buyers were undoubtedly pleased that these potential future issues were found and could be addressed before purchase. makes me want to look under my deck...

Jul 12, 2011 02:29 AM #7
Rainmaker
490,607
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jim,

Like many have stated the assoc. many times is not taking proper care of the units. I have tried to sell my services to them for an inspection of all commons but it falls on deaf ears. Many times the "maintenance" guy is not really equipped or educated enough to properly care for the units.

Jul 12, 2011 04:05 AM #8
Rainmaker
839,374
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Where do you find these homes, good thing they hired an experienced home inspector!

Jul 12, 2011 05:17 AM #9
Ambassador
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Nice corrosive environment.  It seems like a huge part of every Condo inspection report is aimed at the Association more than the buyer :)

Jul 12, 2011 11:25 AM #10
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Michael, I agree, many are laughable.

Valerie, Unless the owner / tenet is looking around, the problems go unnoticed until something bad happens.

Nor, Yes that would be a good idea, but the HOA I've approached don't seem to think so.

Clint, The problem often is no one is looking for problems on either side.

Chuck, I know some people do not believe inspecting a condo or even a new home is necessary. We know better ;)

Jay, I do exactly the same on entering the complex. Some I have been in enough to know before I get there what to expect.

Daniel, Hope you find nothing but good things under there :)

Don, Same experiences here. They don't want to incur the cost and I think they are afraid of what we may find.

David, Where do I find them? All over. Your comment makes me wonder how thoroughly condos are being looked at by others.

Charlie, Yep, it does often seem that way.

Jul 13, 2011 02:06 AM #11
Rainer
55,780
Peter Schattenfield
Turning Point Estate Services LLC - Wilton, CT
Estate Dissolution and Preparation (203)388-8092 CT.

James, This is the ongoing battle of "not my problem" in the condo realm. I advise the homeownre to be proactive. It will only bite them in the ass if something fails, regardless of who is supposed to be responsible. Fix it now. You can always fight over who pays later.

Jul 13, 2011 02:30 AM #12
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Peter, Good advice, but I have to ask, how many listen? :)

Jul 14, 2011 12:38 PM #13
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Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Goog thing this buyer has a thorough home inspector giving them a head's up on the true condtion of the property. Now let's hope the HOA has the resources and the good sense to make it right!

Sep 03, 2011 08:45 AM #14
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Karen, The complex looked fairly well maintained, so there's a good chance this stuff was addressed.

Sep 04, 2011 02:20 AM #15
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James Quarello

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