Believe it or not, high-end, upper-level condos have to be checked for roof leaks!
You would think that condo fees go toward not only regular maintenance, but immediate needs!
But you have to look!
The evidence might be slight.
In this condo it was in the ceiling (the owner had tried to paint out the stains) as a small line and near the wall.
It was in the cavity both near the ceiling and near the HVAC register.
And the stains had "ghosts."
What are ghosts?
That is the slang term, at least used by home inspectors, for different sized stains within other stains.
Those ghosts indicate that more than one leak has occurred.
It is evident here that the water had done something interesting.
It found its way downward INSIDE the window framing.
It manifested below by swelling the wooden window sill.
There is staining in the corner under that window sill.
And also floor damage.
The floor damage is shown by stressed polyurethane, stained wood, and swollen seams, separating and moving.
It was apparent to me that this roof leak had been there a while!
When asked, the homeowner reported that indeed it had been happening for some time and that requests (plural) had been made to the condo maintenance department for repairs.
So, this is the kind of information a buyer needs to know!
My recommendation: check out a condo purchase carefully, inside and out. Look to see how well the building and area has been maintained. Check the condo info to see what expenditures will be coming up (a new parking lot, new windows, new roof) because those will be folded into your HOA fees and could very well be the reason the unit is for sale! But most of all, get a home inspection to see how well the unit you wish to purchase has been taken care of!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560