In the vibrant city of Toronto, condominiums make for an ideal place to live. They offer excellent amenities not to mention the best locations right in the heart of town. There’s also minimal property maintenance involved and a great sense of community.
Whether you plan on buying or renting a condo, there are some key points you’ll need to consult. This is known as the ‘condo inspection checklist’. In essence, it’s a way of making sure the property is up to scratch before signing on the dotted line.
New to condo inspection checklists? Not to worry, as here at Precondo we’ve got you covered. Pens and paper at the ready, here’s everything you need to add to your condo inspection checklist.
1. Floors and Ceilings of the Property
When you visit the condo for inspection, the floors and ceilings should be at the top of your condo home inspection checklist. Things to look out for are if there are any spots on the floors or the ceilings.
In case you observe any spots or marks on the ceiling, it is a clear indication that there are issues with the roof. Or, there is some water leakage in the building.
Looking out for spaces between the flooring of the condo and the baseboards is also important. Any loose wood planks or tiles could be caused by damage or leaks. Another thing to look out for is sloping in the flooring. Sloping indicated damaged floors and will need to be repaired as soon as possible. (1)
The floors and ceilings are one of the best indicators of the overall condition of the building. Making sure they are in good condition is your first port of call.
2. Walls and Windows of the Condo
When it comes to walls of the condo, check for any cracks in them. Cracks in the walls imply problems with the foundation of the building.
Roughness in the walls or a rugged feel in them could be a result of some kind of water problem in the property.
As for the windows, spotting on them indicates mould issues. Make sure you open and close the windows at least a couple of times to make sure they do so smoothly.
When you shut the windows, make sure you hear a sealing sound. Fully functioning windows prevent the loss of heat out of the property. They also help keep external noise not to mention weather out.
3. Kitchen And Washrooms
The kitchen and washrooms are one of the most expensive rooms in a condo when it comes to renovation and maintenance.
Firstly, check the fixtures as well as the appliances in the condo. There should not be any gaps or hollow spaces in the caulking. Also, ensure that all the fittings are correct for the furniture in these two rooms as well.
Also, check if the cabinets and drawers are easy to pull out and close. The appliances should be properly cleaned, in good condition and well maintained.
4. The Electrical System And HVAC
Next up is the electrical elements and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). All of these will be checked by the maintenance inspection team. However, it doesn’t hurt to double-check that everything is in full working order. (2)
The main things are to make sure everything works and does so safely. Always call a trusted professional to take care of any work, especially when dealing with electrics.
Finally, fire safety is a big priority. This is a very serious issue and shouldn’t be ignored from the condo inspection checklist under any circumstances. What you need to check for is for any hazards that could cause a fire. Also, making sure there is a clear fire safety route along with working fire alarms.
5. The Exteriors Of The Condo Development
At first glance, checking your condo exteriors might not seem that pressing. However, it’s essential because checking the condominium’s exteriors provides a deeper insight into the overall maintenance status of the building.
You need to ensure that there are no stains, cracks, or any signs of water leakages on the outside walls. Also, there should be appropriate lighting. The walkways should be free from ice as well as snow in the winter months.
Check for peeling paint on the windows and doors, cracked sidewalks, driveways, foundations and chimneys. Worn or missing roof shingles could mean the whole roof has to be replaced. Check for leaking gutters and downspouts, broken windows, missing door handles and screens. Handrails should be present if there are more than two steps.
– Vickie Van Antwerp, Contributor at Pocket Sense
6. Condominium Amenities on Offer
If you want to maximize your lifestyle potential, then checking what amenities are on offer at your condo is key.
In today’s times, having facilities such as swimming pools, gym centers, and meeting rooms are fairly standard. What you should pay close attention too, is if these facilities are clean and generally well-maintained.
Also, places such as the walkways, common terraces, lobbies, and lounges should be in good working order. After all, your condominium fees will include the use of these spaces, so you want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
7. The Essential Documents
When you purchase or lease out a condo suite, you’ll receive a Status Certificate. It will contain certain information about the reports of any repairs, renovations or maintenance upgrades that are expected in the coming few months. (3)
You need to inquire about any costs that might be coming your way. This includes any repair fees that you aren’t aware of.
When you look into the maintenance needed, if it’s quite high then it is a clear sign of low funds. A low reserve fund can prove to be problematic in the future.
Here’s some more information on this topic.
8. The Commute and Accessibility Around the Condo Location
Even if your condo might look beautiful inside out, there are still many problems that you could face when you move there.
Firstly. Take a walk around the neighbourhood. How close are you to grocery stores, medical facilities and schools? If the area lacks these basic commodities, it could be a long drive to access your daily requirements.
Next is your commute time. The advantage of condos in Toronto is that they are based in the heart of the city. However, this is not always the case in every city. With Google maps it’s super easy to check distance and commute times via a range of transport options. Do this before you move to make sure your new property is viable.
Being close to public transport is also helpful. While this matters less if you drive, it’s still a great option to have.
Remember, condo-living is supposed to facilitate ease and improve your overall lifestyle. Therefore, when buying or renting a condo, it’s important not to compromise on these basic elements. While budget is also essential, keeping a close eye on your condo inspection checklist will ultimately determine your overall satisfaction in your new residence.
To learn more about new and upcoming condos in Toronto, Canada, visit Precondo.
1. HomeAdvisor, How to Diagnose and Repair Sloping Floors, retrieved from https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/repairing-sloping-floors/
2. Florida Solar Energy Center, HVAC System, retrieved from http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/buildings/commercial/hvac.htm
3. Heenan Blaikie LLP, Purchasing a condominium – the status certificate, retrieved from https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=c5d6f2d2-50ba-4bc5-87a2-d9481034d52a