Do Condos Need an Inspection in Canada

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You have been on the market for a new condo in Canada and you found the perfect one; it’s a match made in heaven! Or so you think. The location and amenities may be perfect, but if the unit has hidden water damage, an expired HVAC system, or cracked walls, it may change your decision. If you are looking to buy a resale condo, it may be in your best interest to get a condo inspection on it. Whether you are looking at condos for sale in Toronto, Vancouver, or London, you’ll want to make sure that you are going into the buying process with open eyes. The best way to do this is a condo inspection.

But what is included with a condo inspection? Does the condo corporation itself cover any of the costs? If you buy a new condo directly from the builder, do you still need an inspection? Keep reading to find out all of these answers and more!

What’s Included in Condo Inspections?

Before we dive into what condo inspectors look for when doing condo inspections, let’s first clear up what they don’t look for.

What’s Not Included?

In a shared condominium, many of the systems like plumbing, roofing, and electric are shared between condo owners, so those technical audits are covered by the condo corporation. With that said, it’s important to understand that condo inspections don’t cover the entirety of the building, just the single units within it. It’s always in the best interest of the buyer to have the help of a lawyer to read the Status Certificate to ensure that the financial and structural integrity of the condo building is intact.

What Is Included?

Now onto the good stuff; here are some of the things that condo inspectors look at when doing a condo inspection.

  • Door and window inspections
  • Attic inspection (if the unit has a dedicated attic).
  • Check shared walls for damage.
  • Inspect HVAC systems.
  • Spot poor maintenance and repairs from previous issues.
  • Damage/disrepair to handrails/staircases.
  • Damage to patios or shared decks.
  • Cracks and damaged walls in the unit.
  • Signs of water damage.
  • Properly functioning smoke alarms.
  • Unpleasant smells in the unit which can signify bigger issues.
  • Checking for adequate water flow and drainage.
  • Furnace, water heater, and other appliance issues.
  • Caulking issues in the kitchen and bathroom.

How Much Does a Condo Inspection Cost?

Whether you decide to get a condo inspection can depend on how much it will add to the cost of buying your condo. But how much does it cost to get a condo inspection? Much of this can depend on where you live and how big the condo is. Here are some average costs of condo inspections in different areas:

  • Toronto: $300-$450
  • Vancouver: $330-$425
  • Calgary: $400-$600
  • Winnipeg: $250-$500
  • Montreal: $450-$550

What About New Condominiums?

Newly developed condos have a different inspection process than resale condos. If you buy a condo directly from the builder, you’ll partake in a pre-delivery inspection (PDI) about a couple of weeks before you take possession. A PDI is required for any condominium builder, and it consists of the builder and condo-buyer walking through the unit to inspect any construction deficiencies, incomplete items, appliances, cosmetic issues, or other inconsistencies within the condo. The purpose of the pre-delivery inspection is for the builders to fix all the issues before the unit is in your possession.

While many buyers forego an inspection when it comes to new construction, often it’s even more important to get an unbiased third party to take a look.

Should You Get a Condo Inspection?

Deciding whether to get a condo inspection varies from unit to unit, but the best way to make that decision is to decide how much risk you’re willing to take. If the condo you’re buying is relatively new and has updated appliances, you may decide that it’s worth the risk to skip a condo inspection. However, if you are looking into an older resale condo or your unit seems like it may have an outdated HVAC system, it’s probably wise to get an inspection.

Many condo buyers opt out of the condo inspection, though, choosing to rely on the status certificate to give them a clear picture of what they are buying into. Whichever you choose, we always recommend having a realtor, lawyer, and/or other real estate professional to help you with the process to make sure you are going into your condo purchase with the clearest eyes possible.