Strata Inspections Differ from Other Homes
Strata corporations – through the elected Council of Owners – have the responsibility of taking care of a strata property on behalf of all the strata owners. They are the governing body for all decisions affecting the property including the responsibility for the maintenance of the property and budgeting for all maintenance, repairs and improvements.
As buildings age, the repairs and maintenance needed for the building will also change. For instance, with a new building the need to budget for immediate repairs is not needed because a ‘big ticket’ asset like the roof is expected to last some 20 years. Maintaining the painted surfaces and exterior caulking, however, is something that will require ongoing attention and money spent within just a few years. Virtually every part of the building or complex will require some maintenance or repair over the life of the development.
A good example of this is water-proof decking material; it may have an expected life span of up to 15 years but, due to weather extremes, installation problems or poor maintenance the decks /balconies may be in poor condition or failing in only 5 years. Is water leaking in now and causing rot, already ?
Many Strata Inspectors will NOT look at much more than the Unit interior (the space you would occupy) – due to the rather minimal Scope of Inspections in-place for most professional Associations, but it is very important to be sure areas OUTSIDE of the Unit are not failing, since YOU and the other Owners of record will be paying (assuming huge financial reserves are not in-place for contingencies).
Many new Strata purchasers are not aware of the fact there are very expensive EXTERIOR items like elevators, roofing, water piping, the parking garage, decks /balconies and very often windows they may also be responsible to pay for – beyond Unit interior aspects and so it is very important to make sure your Home Inspector will look beyond just the Unit. In other words, a Strata purchase (Condos and Town homes) requires more than a ‘quick look-around’ on the inside. Sounds more like a house after all, doesn’t it !?
Many Strata purchasers in our experience are either 1st time Buyers or folks down-sizing and so do not typically have this knowledge, as they most likely never yet used such a service…
When it comes to new Stratas /Condos – many seem to feel they “don’t need to bother” with a Condo Inspection, but savvy Realtors know & recommend to indeed do so and also retain this valuable service within 10 months or so after buying brand new for their Warranty documentation purposes.
Asking a LOT of questions before you hire your Inspector can really pay off for YOU !
Duxbury & Associates-Building Inspection and Consulting Ltd.
• Strata Specialist
• 1st-Time Buyer Specialist
604 524-2502 http://www.glennduxbury-inspections.com
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