Many people ask if condos really need to be inspected, and if the same inspectors that perform home inspections can perform condo inspectors. At Key Inspection Services, we certainly can’t speak for home inspectors everywhere, but we do perform condo inspections, here in the Bellevue and Kirkland areas. They are a lot like home inspections in many ways, but there are some differences.

Condos include shared areas. Essentially the condo owners own these areas as a whole, which is why there is a condo association. It’s important to know the condition and any problems associated with these areas, even though you’re not buying the area in its entirety. For example, let’s say your condo is in a building of six separate units. When the roof needs to be replaced, that cost will be split among all owners.

Part of a good condo inspection is a financial inspection. As a condo owner, you need to know if the condo association dues you’ll pay each month or quarter are going to be enough to handle repairs like roof replacement or to handle unforeseen problems, like storm damage. As part of your condo inspection, problems with the structure and systems of the building will be noted, and compared to the amount the condo association has in reserve, and the amount being collected each month. Past assessments will also be examined.

Condo ownership does have some special requirements, so condo inspections do, too. Be certain that you hire a home inspector who has experience in inspecting condos so that you can ensure that there are no surprises.