Buying a home with an elevator installed is a symbol of luxury. However, don't be caught off guard. There is a level of responsibility that comes along with owning an elevator. Before you buy, it's essential you know what you're getting into, but more importantly, that the elevator is in excellent condition. Discover some elements you should focus on when making this type of purchase.
Request a log from the original owner. The elevator service log will be your go-to guide during the buying process and even afterward if you decide to purchase the property. An elevator log will detail the maintenance records of the elevator, including the last service performed and any technician notes. If you see long gaps between services in the log, this is a red flag and likely means that the owner has not kept up with maintenance as guided. Notes about needed repairs from the technician that have not been addressed are also a red flag.
Be confident in your purchase with an inspection. Schedule for a service technician to come to the property and look over the elevator. If possible, provide the inspector with a copy of the log beforehand so that he or she can compare the information. The inspector will check its cabling system and electrical connections among other areas. Keep in mind that a standard home inspection typically does not include a thorough inspection of the elevator unit, so don't hesitate to schedule the service.
Ask the owner if they mind preparing a short cost sheet for you to review. The information can give you a rough estimate of how much extra you need to set aside in your budget to pay for the cost of operating the elevator. You should also keep in mind that the elevator will also use electricity, so the amount of energy you use might be slightly higher than what you've been used to in the past. However, the more information you have, the better you can prepare.
Find out what safety features the elevator already has installed. If you have children, see if the elevator already has a sensor installed. A sensor will prevent the door from closing if an object is in its path. You should also see if the elevator has a backup power system. In the event the power was to fail while you were in the elevator, you need to have a mechanism in place that would allow you to exit. If the elevator doesn't have these features, it doesn't have to be a deal breaker. A technician can install these features for you.
If you have concerns about the condition of the elevator, don't hesitate to contact a professional for an inspection. Your peace of mind is well worth the extra step. Call a technician for assistance right away.