Condo Question

I am looking to buy a condo and am currently under contract. I had the condo inspected yesterday and aside from the norm there were two concerns from the inspector. There was a crack in the basement wall that mirrors a crack on the exterior brick. There was moisture stains but no moisture present. The crack also did not go all the way to the ground. I have a picture but I am currently at work and cannot upload it. There is a very small hole that allows sunlight in, it is not visible by the eye, his camera was the only thing that could pick it up. I was wondering if this should be an HOA expense or will this be something that will cost me a ton. What puzzled the inspector is it did not go to the floor. It just stopped basically in the same spot it did outside.


No pictures,and not seeing it will not substitute for being a Structural Engineer.
Have your Lawyer,obtain the minutes of the recent association meetings to see what was being discussed as it may be a known problem.
Secondly make sure that your association has a reserve fund to pay for major repairs.
Third ,there should be a reserve study that covers approx 5 years.

If the HI has no idea in person ,and he is trained for these things,then more HI’s on a forum will not do any better from a text description.

Not knowing your location,or anything more is not enough.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the info. We are having the HOA contacted and I will tell them to get the HOA minutes. I live in east Tennessee. I will try and get that picture up around 4 or so. This is my first home and I do not want to get in over my head.

Also, on the HI report it stated, “appears serviceable and cracks noted are typical.”

I do lots of Condo Inspections and always give that advise to my clients.
How many units are there out of curiosity?

Also , you may wish to get involved with the decision making ,as you seem like a hands on kinda guy.

Try and get on the board and help make choices.

There are 10 units. The one we are looking to buy is an end unit. I tried to take the picture out of the Inspection report but it was in PDF form and is password protected. I took pictures for myself but I do not have one that shows the light. If you think I am hands on, you have not heard the wife, haha. I will be there every step of the way. I want to get out of my apartment so bad but I will stay if this is a problem that cost me to much.

Good luck with your purchase.

Be sure to restate your concerns to the HI and see if he has an alternative suggestion.

Just for the record, a foundation crack thru which you can see daylight is certainly not typical and needs a stronger opinion than just “looks ok for now”.

I would advise the seller that you are hoping to buy but need this one detail checked out first. Get an extension on your agreement, so you can search out a qualified opinion. Then find out if a repair is advised, and if so, who will pay how much. Good luck.

John Kogel

“appears serviceable”, Man that is one canned comment I hate.

Was your inspector referred to you by the realtor?

Thanks for all the replies. The inspector is someone I picked and no realtor had influence. We talk to our realtor and they contacted the seller’s realtor. They are in contact with the HOA to see if this is something they will fix. If so we do not have to worry about any cost, if not we have to look into getting it fixed on our own expense. Our closing is not until the end of Feb. so we have plenty of time to get this looked at. I will try to post a pic, my mac and the camera are not cooperating at the moment.

Inside basement.

Outside of condo.

The basement/garage is not fully underground. This crack is mostly above ground and does not go all the way to the ground in the basement.

May need to be sealed (plugged) and observed over a period of time.
Only a structural engineer can make final determination.

That is what the HI said. He recommended some kind of special tape. Not sure what that is but he said it would break if there was any movement.

Sounds about right David.
Listen to your HI if you are happy with how he handled everything else.

When you come on to a forum ,you have a bunch of guys that take opposite viewpoints just because…

You have been very helpful Robert. Thank you for the advice. I should have a verdict if the HOA will cover this problem. If they don’t I can back out of the contract. In your experience, how much will this cost to get plugged? Also the HI was very helpful. He told me everything, even if it was the most simple problem.

Not enough that I would kill the deal.
I am not a lawyer, but it would not be unheard of to ask a contractor or three take a quick look at it with estimates.

I have had clients make sure the pre-existing conditions are not saddled to them as a special assessment.

In Illinois where I am Licensed ,they can foreclose your unit and toss you in the street if you do not pay a special assessment determined by the association.

I am kinda confused as to what is a special assessment. As you have read I am a newbie to all this home stuff.