Condo vs Home Inspection

“Condominium vs. Home Inspection: Understanding the Differences”

Sponsored By: Cornerstone Home Inspection


I. Introduction

A. Brief explanation of the importance of property inspections

B. Overview of the focus of the article: Comparing condominium inspections and home inspections


II. Purpose of Property Inspections

A. Clarify the objectives of property inspections

B. Emphasize the role of inspections in assessing the condition of a property

C. Introduce the idea of tailored inspections for different property types


III. What is a Home Inspection?

A. Explanation of a home inspection

B. Typical components covered in a home inspection 1. Structural elements 2. Electrical systems 3. Plumbing systems 4. HVAC systems 5. Roof and exterior 6. Interior features

C. Importance of a home inspection for single-family homes


IV. What is a Condominium Inspection?

A. Definition and purpose of a condominium inspection

B. Key differences between condominium and home inspections 1. Focus on shared and common areas 2. Emphasis on unit-specific components 3. Limited responsibility for exterior maintenance

C. Importance of a condominium inspection for condo buyers


V. Scope of a Condominium Inspection

A. In-depth exploration of the scope of a condominium inspection 1. Common areas and shared facilities 2. Individual condo unit components

B. Explanation of specialized inspections for shared spaces 1. Elevators and mechanical rooms 2. Roof and building envelope (if not maintained by the HOA)

C. Highlight the importance of reviewing the condominium association’s documents


VI. Role of Condominium Associations

A. Discuss the responsibilities of condominium associations

B. Clarify the division of responsibilities between condo associations and individual condo owners

C. Explain how the association’s financial health can impact condo inspections


VII. Importance of Documentation

A. Stress the significance of thorough documentation in condominium inspections

B. Highlight the role of condo association records and maintenance logs

C. Discuss the importance of reviewing repair and maintenance history


VIII. Hiring a Qualified Inspector

A. Tips for selecting a certified and experienced condominium inspector

B. The importance of hiring an inspector familiar with condominium-specific inspections

C. Emphasize the value of referrals and references


IX. Conclusion

A. Summarize the key differences between condominium and home inspections

B. Reiterate the importance of tailored inspections for different property types

C. Encourage prospective condo buyers to prioritize a thorough condominium inspection to make informed decisions.


“Understanding the Differences: Condominium Inspection vs. Home Inspection”


The process of purchasing a property is a significant milestone in anyone’s life. Whether you’re considering a single-family home or a condominium, a crucial step in the home-buying journey is a property inspection. However, it’s essential to recognize that not all inspections are created equal. In this article, we will delve into the distinctions between condominium inspections and home inspections to help you make informed decisions when purchasing your next property.

 A condo inspection and a home inspection are both types of property inspections, but they differ in several key ways due to the distinct nature of condominiums and traditional single-family homes. Here are the main differences:

  1. Scope:
  • Condo Inspection: A condo inspection typically focuses on the interior of the unit and its immediate surroundings. It assesses the condition of the individual condo unit, including its structural elements (walls, floors, ceilings), systems (plumbing, electrical, HVAC), appliances, fixtures, and any visible issues within the unit.
  • Home Inspection: A home inspection covers a broader scope and includes the entire structure, both the interior and exterior, of a single-family home. This includes the foundation, roof, siding, landscaping, driveways, and other elements in addition to the interior systems and components.
  1. Responsibility:
  • Condo Inspection: Condo inspections are usually the responsibility of the prospective condo buyer. The inspection is conducted within the boundaries of the specific unit being purchased.
  • Home Inspection: Home inspections are typically requested by the buyer of a single-family home. It assesses the entire property, including the land and any outbuildings, and is more comprehensive than a condo inspection.
  1. Common Areas:
  • Condo Inspection: Condo inspections do not typically cover common areas of the condominium complex, such as hallways, elevators, and common amenities like pools or gyms. These areas are managed by the condominium association.
  • Home Inspection: Home inspections do not involve common areas because they are not relevant to single-family homes. The inspection is limited to the property boundaries of the home being purchased.
  1. Ownership and Maintenance:
  • Condo Inspection: In a condominium, the unit owner typically owns the space within the unit’s walls, while common areas and the building’s exterior are collectively owned and maintained by the condo association. This distinction affects the responsibilities and scope of the inspection.
  • Home Inspection: In a single-family home, the buyer is responsible for the entire property, both the structure and the land it sits on. Therefore, the inspection encompasses all aspects of the property.
  1. Association Involvement:
  • Condo Inspection: Condo associations may have rules and regulations governing inspections and may need to grant access to certain areas of the complex during the inspection.
  • Home Inspection: In the case of a single-family home, there is no association involvement, and access to the entire property is typically straightforward.

In summary, the key difference between a condo inspection and a home inspection lies in their scope and focus. A condo inspection is limited to the specific unit being purchased, while a home inspection covers the entire property of a single-family home. Buyers should be aware of these distinctions and choose the appropriate inspection based on their specific real estate transaction.

Purpose of Property Inspections

Property inspections serve as a critical tool for buyers and homeowners alike. They offer a comprehensive assessment of a property’s condition, helping potential buyers make informed decisions and current homeowners identify maintenance needs. The key lies in recognizing that different types of properties require different inspection approaches.


What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a comprehensive evaluation of a single-family dwelling. When you’re considering the purchase of a standalone home, a home inspection is a vital step in understanding the property’s condition. It typically covers various essential components of the home, including:

  1. Structural Elements: This includes an assessment of the home’s foundation, walls, roof, and overall structural integrity.
  2. Electrical Systems: Inspectors check the electrical wiring, outlets, and the functionality of electrical systems.
  3. Plumbing Systems: The plumbing inspection includes a thorough examination of pipes, fixtures, and drainage systems.
  4. HVAC Systems: The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are assessed for functionality and safety.
  5. Roof and Exterior Features: The condition of the roof, siding, gutters, and other exterior elements is examined.
  6. Interior Amenities: Home inspectors also assess interior features such as appliances, windows, doors, and more.

For prospective homebuyers, this comprehensive inspection provides a deep understanding of the property’s condition and can be instrumental in negotiations and future maintenance planning.


What is a Condominium Inspection?

A condominium inspection, on the other hand, focuses on the unique aspects of condominium living. Unlike single-family homes, condominiums come with shared common areas and facilities, and their exterior maintenance is often handled by a homeowners’ association (HOA). Consequently, condominium inspections differ significantly from home inspections.


Types of Condominium Inspections

A. Pre-purchase Inspections

  • These inspections are crucial before buying a condominium unit.
  • Choose a qualified inspector with experience in condominium assessments.

B. Routine Maintenance Inspections

  • Regular, scheduled inspections can help catch minor issues before they become major problems.
  • Consider the frequency and decide whether DIY or professional inspections are more appropriate.

C. Specialized Inspections

  • Depending on your location and specific concerns, you might need environmental, structural, or safety assessments.


The Condominium Inspection Process

A. Preparing for the Inspection

  • Communicate with the condominium association to coordinate the inspection.
  • Gather necessary documents and records for the inspector.

B. Inspection Day

  • Understand what to expect, whether you’re inspecting common areas or individual units.

C. Post-inspection

  • Receive the inspection report and review it thoroughly.
  • Address any issues discovered and negotiate repairs or upgrades if necessary.


Scope of a Condominium Inspection

The scope of a condominium inspection encompasses two primary areas:

  1. Common Areas and Shared Facilities: Condo inspectors assess shared spaces such as hallways, lobbies, elevators, parking garages, and recreational areas. They look for safety hazards, maintenance issues, and compliance with building codes.
  2. Individual Condo Unit Components: Inspectors also evaluate the condition of the individual condo unit, including structural elements, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. Unlike a home inspection, condo inspectors focus more on interior features and systems within the unit.


Role of Condominium Associations

Understanding the role of condominium associations is pivotal for prospective condo buyers. These associations are responsible for the management and maintenance of the entire condominium complex. Their duties often extend to shared areas and exterior elements. Consequently, the presence and effectiveness of a condominium association can significantly impact the scope and outcome of a condominium inspection.


The Importance of Hiring a Professional Condominium Inspector: Why You Need One

Purchasing a condominium is a significant investment, and it’s crucial to ensure that you are making an informed decision. One of the key steps in the condominium buying process is hiring a professional condominium inspector. This article delves into the importance of hiring a qualified inspector and why their expertise is indispensable when it comes to assessing the condition of a condominium.

1. Specialized Knowledge and Expertise

Professional condominium inspectors possess specialized knowledge and expertise in assessing the unique aspects of condominium living. Unlike single-family homes, condominiums come with shared common areas, amenities, and complex ownership structures. An experienced inspector understands the intricacies of condominium inspections, including the evaluation of shared spaces, individual unit components, and compliance with condominium association rules and regulations.

2. Comprehensive Assessment of Common Areas

Condominium inspectors thoroughly evaluate common areas such as hallways, lobbies, elevators, parking garages, and recreational facilities. They identify safety hazards, maintenance issues, and adherence to building codes in these shared spaces. This in-depth assessment ensures that you have a complete understanding of the condition of the entire complex, not just your individual unit.

3. Individual Unit Inspection

Beyond common areas, professional inspectors assess the condition of your individual condo unit. They examine structural elements, electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC systems, and interior amenities. This comprehensive inspection helps you uncover potential problems or necessary repairs within your specific living space.

4. Identification of Hidden Issues

Experienced inspectors have a keen eye for spotting hidden issues that might not be apparent to the untrained eye. They can identify structural concerns, electrical faults, plumbing leaks, and other potential problems that may require immediate attention. Discovering these issues during the inspection allows you to negotiate with the seller for necessary repairs or adjustments to the purchase price.

5. Documentation and Maintenance History

Inspectors play a crucial role in reviewing the condominium association’s documents, including bylaws, budgets, and minutes of meetings. They also examine maintenance logs and records. These documents provide insights into the financial health of the association, ongoing maintenance projects, and any history of maintenance or neglect. This information is invaluable for making informed decisions about your purchase.

6. Negotiating Power

Having a professional inspection report in hand gives you negotiating power. If the inspection reveals significant issues, you can work with the seller to address them before finalizing the purchase agreement. This negotiation can save you money and provide peace of mind about the condition of your new condominium.

7. Peace of Mind

Ultimately, hiring a professional condominium inspector offers peace of mind. It ensures that you are making a well-informed decision and protects you from unexpected expenses or safety hazards down the road. Knowing the true condition of the condominium allows you to move forward with your purchase confidently.



In conclusion, the importance of hiring a professional condominium inspector cannot be overstated. Their specialized knowledge, comprehensive assessments, and ability to uncover hidden issues provide invaluable insights into the condition of the condominium you are considering. This information not only empowers you to make informed decisions but also offers peace of mind as you embark on your journey of condominium ownership. Investing in a qualified inspector is an investment in the long-term security and enjoyment of your new home.



  1. International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI): InterNACHI offers resources and articles on property inspections, including condominiums. Their expertise and educational materials can be referenced in your article. (Website:
  2. National Association of Realtors (NAR): The NAR website contains information on various aspects of buying and selling real estate, including articles about the role of inspections in the real estate transaction. (Website:
  3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): The CFPB provides resources and tips for homebuyers, including information on inspections and their importance in the home-buying process. (Website:


ABOUT Cornerstone Home Inspections:

Cornerstone Home Inspection
Michael Ford
Hubertus, WI 53033

Located in Hubertus WI, Cornerstone has been trusted by home buyers to help them make informed buying decisions. Our home inspections typically range from 2.5-3.5 hours depending on the size of the house or condo. You are invited to follow along with your inspector as they perform their inspection.

We have achieved the distinction of Certified Master Inspector as determined by the Master Inspection Certification Board. All Cornerstone Inspectors are trained to these standards and operate under a Certified Master Inspector.

Areas Served:

1.         Waukesha

2.         Menomonee Falls

3.         Germantown

4.         West Bend

5.         Hartford

6.         Pewaukee

7.         Sussex

8.         Grafton

9.         Cedarburg

10. Oconomowoc

11. Watertown


Cornerstone Home Inspections include our thermal imaging of the main electrical box to add even more value to our inspections at no additional cost. Please see our thermal imaging page for more information on what thermal imaging can do.


Cornerstone follows the Wisconsin State Standards of Practice. We are fully licensed by the State of Wisconsin. State license number 2355-106.

We are fully insured, carrying both general liability as well as errors & omissions insurance, including agent and broker inspector referral coverage.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, having a professional home inspection from a leading home inspection company will give you peace of mind and assist you in a fair and smooth transaction.











We now feature a computerized report that allows our inspectors to add pictures and comments to the report onsite. This type of report delivery allows for a more detailed explanation of the area of concern, giving you the knowledge to make an informed purchase decision. The computer report is then emailed directly to you and your realtor, saving precious time in the real estate transaction.


Cornerstone Home Inspections include our thermal imaging of the main electrical box to add even more value to our inspections at no additional cost. Please see our thermal imaging page for more information on what thermal imaging can do.











Master Certified:





Google Site:


If you have any questions regarding your house, just call and we will answer it. If we can’t answer it right away, we will find the answer for you. At Cornerstone, your total satisfaction is our number one priority.

Call us today to book your next inspection.

For more information about Cornerstone Home Inspection and their inspection services, visit their website at or call them at 262-607-CSHI to schedule an appointment.


©Copyright - Cornerstone Home Inspection - Website by Spectora