Buying a Condo on Sanibel Island, How to Tell if the Building is Structurally Sound

Buying a Condo on Sanibel Island, How to Tell if the Building is Structurally SoundSince Hurricane Ian has made its way through Sanibel Island and we are not too far gone from the tragic Surfside Flordia condo building collapse, interested Sanibel Island condo buyers may be wondering if a condo building is structurally sound. 

There is good news for the discerning (and smart) Sanibel Island condo buyer. There are ways that you can ensure a condo building is structurally sound to ensure your safety and that you are making a sound investment. There are also ways to report any concerns to help keep yourself and everyone else in the building safe. 

Investigating the Structural Safety of Sanibel Condo Buildings

Take A Look Around the Grounds

During your private showing make sure to check out more than just the interior of the unit being sold itself and the community amenities. Look around at the buildings themselves. Look for what seems to be major cracking. Make sure they are not just cracks in the paint however, look for cracks in the building structure itself. 

Look for water intrusion in the ceilings, check for sloped flooring, look for exposed rebar, and check for what seems to be signs of corrosion. All of these could be the beginning signs of something significant. if you notice these issues and are still interested in the condo property it is time to request an inspection of them or proof of inspection. 

Ask Plenty of Questions

Have your trusted local buyers' agent ask the sellers agent about the integrity of the building. Ask them if they have information about the upkeep of the building. Ask them for any records of repairs made to structural items or a record of the COA making sure inspections are being performed. 

You can also try and chat with any residents that you see hanging out in the condo community while you are there. Ask them if they would be willing to answer some questions about how well the building is maintained. This may get you the most honest information. Ask them if they know of any major repairs that were needed and how quickly the COA dealt with getting the issue fixed. 

Talk Directly with the COA 

If you are already in the due diligence process for a Sanibel Island condo property it is now your job to do as much homework on the property as possible. Ask to communicate with the Condo Association. Ask them for inspection reports, engineering reports, building certifications, and records from the board meetings. Look into the association's cash reserves, this will help to ensure they have the means to make significant repairs when needed. 

Have an Extra Inspection Done

The only way to be completely and entirely sure that you have looked into the safety of a condo building is to have an inspector look over the outside and the structural integrity. Often when moving into a condo buyers only go as far as to inspect the inside of the unit they are buying and other areas that they have sole ownership of and responsibility for. But when you live in a condo you have partial ownership in all of the common areas and it is wise to make sure they are well-kept and the entire building is safe to live in. 

For more information on purchasing a condo property in Sanibel or Captiva Islands please contact us any time. 

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