Condo Inspections vs. Home Inspections

When purchasing a home, condominiums are a unique and great option to consider. A key advantage is that an HOA (Homeowners Association) handles ground and exterior maintenance. This means as a condo owner, you only need to worry about maintaining the interior of your unit. However, it’s crucial to have a thorough condo inspection before finalizing your purchase to avoid any unforeseen maintenance issues.

Importance of a Condo Inspection

A condo inspection can significantly influence the outcome of a conditional offer. Discovering major problems during the inspection allows you to back out of the deal if your offer includes a home inspection clause. Alternatively, if you still wish to proceed with the purchase, the inspection report can be a powerful tool to negotiate a lower price.

Home Inspection vs. Condo Inspection: What’s the Difference?

While condo inspections and home inspections typically cover similar areas, there are some distinctions:

  • Home Inspection: Usually covers both the interior and exterior of the property, including attics, crawl spaces, roofs, and other structures.
  • Condo Inspection: Focuses more on the interior of the unit since the exterior is maintained by the HOA. However, in smaller condo units or complexes, a full inspection may be possible.

Types of Condo Inspections

Full Inspection

A full condo inspection includes an assessment of both your unit and common areas such as attics, crawl spaces, exteriors, parking garages, basements, and, if accessible, the roof. Even though the exterior is not your responsibility, the inspection report can be submitted to the HOA for necessary repairs, helping ensure the overall property is well-maintained.

Interior-Only Inspection

An interior-only inspection focuses solely on the inside of your unit. This type of inspection does not cover common areas, exteriors, roofs, or other shared structures. It is particularly useful for high-rise condos where accessing certain areas may be challenging. Any issues found, such as leaks from the roof in top-floor units or damage from pests, can be reported to the HOA for resolution.


Condos offer a low-maintenance lifestyle with the benefit of HOA-managed exterior upkeep. However, ensuring a thorough inspection before closing the deal is crucial. Whether you opt for a full or interior-only inspection, this step can help you avoid potential pitfalls and provide leverage for negotiations, ensuring you make a well-informed investment.