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How are Property Condition Assessments different in Baltimore, Maryland?

Property Condition Assessments (PCAs) in Baltimore, Maryland, are performed to evaluate a property’s physical condition, including its exterior and interior features. These assessments are often used by buyers, lenders, and investors to assess the condition of a property before making a purchase or investment decision.

In Baltimore, PCAs are typically performed by a qualified professional, such as an engineer or an architect, who has experience in evaluating the condition of buildings. The assessment process typically includes a visual inspection of the property and the review of any available documentation, such as building plans and maintenance records.

During a PCA, the assessor will evaluate the property’s structural components, including the foundation, roof, and exterior walls. They will also assess the condition of the property’s mechanical systems, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and electrical and plumbing systems. The assessor will also evaluate the condition of the property’s interior finishes, such as flooring, walls, and ceilings, as well as any appliances and fixtures that are included in the property.

Based on their assessment, the assessor will provide a written report that includes their findings and recommendations for any necessary repairs or upgrades. This report can be used by buyers, lenders, and investors to determine the property’s condition and help them make informed decisions about the property. 

Local experts weigh in on what makes Baltimore’s PCAs unique: 

  1. The City of Baltimore and surrounding suburbs have a dense urban population, and many historic structures and neighborhoods. Due to the potential for aged properties, extra attention should be paid to supportive infrastructure and utilities, as well as the physical condition of the buildings/sites themselves. 
  2. While not directly related to a PCA report, Industrial Hygiene scopes, such as asbestos-containing materials (ACM) and lead-based paint (LBP), can impact projected costs for repairs on existing buildings, especially multifamily, if abatement is needed/warranted. 
  3. Other concerns to be aware of are moisture infiltration, particularly in subterranean areas, as site drainage and foundation waterproofing issues are common. 
  4. Lastly, roof access can be a hurdle as many older structures do not provide safe access to attic spaces for pitched roofing and/or flat roof areas. Coordinating roof access ahead of time, as well as building permit review, accessing historical/current aerial photos, and potentially recommending additional services to assess roof condition are prudent measures.    

Hiring an experienced professional for your commercial real estate due diligence is important.