Questions about a condo

We are considering putting an offer in on a condo and after reviewing the disclosures we have some questions about potential issues. We're located in the Bay Area of California. If anyone can provide their perspective we would appreciate it!

  1. There are a couple of references to a known plumbing issue – apparently the shower makes odd noises at times (probably not a big deal), but it also had issues with clogging and had been repaired at least once and possibly several times with the HOA paying for it. How should we go about investigating the extent of the issue? Obviously a standard inspection won't thoroughly investigate plumbing – should we hire a plumber?

  2. The HOA fees seem pretty high. The building is about 13 years old and it appears that they may have been underfunding reserves for a while (currently ~30% funded) and then in the last few years had to take out a loan as maintenance came up, plus they are starting to make up the gap in reserves. As a result once the loan is paid off the fees will stay at the same level to add to reserves, so they will likely remain elevated for the foreseeable future. Is this a sign of mismanagement or are we likely to find a similar situation in other buildings that have passed the 10 year mark?

  3. In addition, the reserves analysis has a line for investment income which is 0. Is it normal not to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in reserves invested? Is this some kind of legal or common sense requirement?

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