August 14, 2022 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Is there a type of person I can hire who will come to my condo, figure out what needs to be fixed/maintained/etc., and then do those fixes? A handyperson would do the fixes, but I really need someone to say something like 'oh, that gap really needs some caulk soon" or "that needs to be replastered" or "you're going to need a new water heater in X years" or whatever because I have no idea WTF I'm doing or what needs to be done to maintain my condo. Is this a thing? Is it a thing in NYC specifically? What is it called?
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
That's basically what a home inspector does. Obviously, most of the time, the context for that is when you're buying a home, but pre-listing inspections are a Thing, so presumably, you can just...hire someone to come over and do one.
posted by damayanti at 10:34 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

Buyers typically hiire home inspectors do this kind of thing prior to the sale of a home. Call a few and see if there's any that specialize in condos.
posted by jgreco at 10:34 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

Might be an off-the-wall suggestion, and I'm not sure about NYC, but I recently had a house inspection done for the place I'm purchasing and they did a good job of telling me everything that was wrong and needed attention, as long as it was visible. It included all the things you mentioned, loose toilets, furnace filters to replace, what had a little water damage that should be looked at, etc. Wasn't exactly cheap however, several hundred $$s in Vancouver, BC.

I will say there are good house inspectors, and there are crappy ones. I've always had good luck with referrals from a trusted real-estate agent.
posted by cgg at 10:36 AM on August 14

Response by poster: Thanks, that is helpful. I recently purchased but realistically, in NYC (with a lot of competition and rushing to beat interest rate increases) I got the cheapest, fastest, most perfunctory home inspection possible to make sure the thing wasn't about to fall or burn down imminently, but it's a good idea to see if there's someone else who can come in.

Anyone besides home inspectors that does this kind of thing? You'd generally have maintenance staff for a larger commercial property/rental building who would both figure out what needs to be done and do it, but doesn't seem like it's as much of a thing as an independent line of work...or is it??

Thanks again.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 10:42 AM on August 14

I once worked with a home inspector who was also a handyman. I don't know that they'd be easy to find, but they do exist.
posted by humbug at 10:51 AM on August 14

Everyone suggesting home inspectors is, in my opinion, correct.
I'm a licensed NY state home inspector and a handyman and this type of assessment is something I have done in that combined role.

The home inspector's experience can very helpful for doing a systematic and pragmatic assessment of the state of a property. I'm sorry that you received such a perfunctory report when you purchased. A decent report has a lot of value to the owner long after closing.

I don't have many home inspector colleagues who work in the city, but if you have any questions about the professional role and responsibilities of a home inspector, MeMail me.
posted by Glomar response at 11:53 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

A regular handyman will be able to look around and suggest the immediate fixes. Home inspection for the rest (and I would bet that your existing home inspection was fine for this and you don’t need another, if you get the handyman.)
posted by michaelh at 11:55 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

I have heard that it’s sometimes possible to hire management companies that normally manage rental properties on behalf of landlords to “manage” property that you live in, but that’s on an ongoing basis instead of as a one-off. My understanding is that you should expect to pay about 10% of the rental market rate for that kind of service.
posted by A Blue Moon at 1:19 PM on August 14

I guess you're basically looking for an "honest" handyman who won't suggest work that didn't need to be done.

I'd say if he can grade all the stuff he found that needs to be done in two categories: urgency (how soon will this fail) and necessity (how badly do you need it) you can then take the list and decide which one should be done first, and which you will put off later.
posted by kschang at 4:38 PM on August 14

My parents handyman will fix things and tell them what needs to be done (although not a lot of this, they know most of what needs to be done, but he does point some areas to keep an eye on if he's around and notices something) is a GC who's done some small remodeling projects for them . They know him because he did some remodeling work for my grandparents. It's a small town, so not sure how common it'd that would be to find in NYC?

For us our home inspector did a great job creating a list when we were purchasing. My husband asked him if he does non-sale inspections, in case we want things checked on again in a few years. And he does (and depending on what it is he'll do the repairs too), when he has time. So may be worth asking friends who have recently purchased/sold or friends who are realtors if they have any inspectors they'd recommend.

Neighbors in our old condo building were also a great resource for things to keep an eye on. Obviously not so much on the fixing things. They did usually have recommendations (and occasionally warnings) for local handymen.

You may also want to think of appliances as a separate category. With our condo and now our house we had a plumbing/HVAC group check things out right when we moved in. They gave us a run down of what was in good shape, what may need fixing soon, and what (if anything) is urgent. We've bought places with older appliances, so we also signed up for semi-annual clean and checks. It's helped us take care of problems before they have an impact (like fixing our AC motor before it kicked the bucket, right ahead of a heatwave). The check ups are included in an annual fee that also gives us a discount on parts and work if it's needed. I'm not sure it's saved us any money, but I prefer to be proactive rather than reactive.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:48 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]

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