experts: real estate column Wednesday, November 10, 1999

DO THIS NEW CONDO HEALTH CHECK-UP BEFORE YOU BUY AND YOU'LL LIVE LONGER

By Ozzie Jurock

Things To Do:

  1. Get a copy of Occupancy Permit issued by Municipality. Copies of final building, electrical, plumbing, heating inspections are also useful.

  2. Copy of Builder's Guarantee. Find out the warranty details. Read and understand what items are covered and for how long. Is there a warranty against water penetration? How long does it last? What assurance is there that the builder will still be around to make the repairs? If the building is not new, what time, if any, is left on the warranty? If repairs have been carried out, are they covered by a warranty?

  3. Check the building's design. Some buildings are more prone to leak than others. One of the most problematic design features is the absence of adequate roof overhangs to protect the walls from rain. Obviously the less rain that hits the building, the less likely it is to leak. Deck and balcony design are important.
    Beware of:
    - decks and balconies relying solely on small drains which are prone to plug up;
    - decks over living areas;
    - "solid" railing designs, and balconies which slope toward the building.
    All of these features are likely to result in leaks. Buildings with open walkways and stairwells are vulnerable to leakage and rot damage. Earth-filled planters in contact with walls on ground floor units are also potential problem areas.

  4. Manuals, instructions, small parts and guarantees for all appliances: stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, garborator, exhaust fan, microwave, washer dryer.

  5. Manuals, instructions and guarantees for fireplaces.

  6. Manual, instructions and guarantee for hot water tank if it is in the unit.

  7. Manuals, instructions and guarantees for security system.

  8. Copies of floor finishes guarantees. Brand names and colours of all carpets, vinyl flooring, ceramic tile, etc. Spares or extra materials for repairs.

  9. Contractor should thoroughly clean all spaces and all surfaces, including inside cabinetwork.




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