In Florida’s red-hot housing market, single-family homes are often out of reach for first-time homebuyers. Still, it is possible to find a great deal on a duplex, triplex, condo or rowhouse. If you have a contract to purchase one of these or another residence in a multi-unit building, you should not forget to arrange a home inspection.
You can expect your home inspector to look at your home’s structure and all major systems inside your new house. If your home shares a wall with another separately owned residence, though, you should also ask him or her to inspect all party walls.
Examine your side of the wall
Ideally, it is advisable for home inspectors to look at both sides of any party wall. If your inspector does not have the permission of the wall’s other owner, though, he or she may only be able to examine your side of the wall.
Either way, your inspector should check for structural issues that may weaken the integrity of the wall. According to ProBuilder, these may include cracks, bows, sags or even missing materials.
Your inspector also may be able to speculate on the lifespan of the wall. If so, you may have a general idea of when you probably need to repair the wall or replace it altogether.
Compare to the party wall agreement
Once your home inspector has given you your inspection report, you probably want to compare its party wall section to the existing party wall agreement.
Remember, the party wall agreement places restrictions on what you can and cannot do. Therefore, if your wall needs work, you must be certain the party wall agreement allows you to complete any necessary repairs.
Ultimately, by performing a thorough inspection of the party walls on your new property and all party wall agreements prior to closing, you ensure you are making a smart and safe investment.