Condo Fees! What are they? What do they include? Are they all the same?
Very good questions. Condo fees involve paying a monthly fee to a condo corporation to maintain the building and in certain cases provide amenities such as a gym, pool, theatre room and more. These fees also help provide for healthy future financials to plan for required updates and maintenance (ie: new roof or windows). There may also be special assessments/levies applied to help with these repairs but that’s a discussion for another post.
All condos are not created equal and condo fees will vary widely from as low as $100 a month to well over $1000 depending on many factors including age, amenities, inclusions, parking, location and more.
Some condos include water/sewer while others include nearly everything you can think of from water to hydro to cable service. Other condos may not offer any inclusions beyond the basic building insurance and general maintenance. It is very important to know all the details before jumping in to buy a condo.
What should you do?
You should always look to clarify what is included/excluded while weighing the benefits of the inclusions to your lifestyle. Do you love the idea of sitting by the pool and having access to a hot tub? Are you a movie-buff and love watching movies on a personal home theatre? Maybe you are comfortable simply knowing all the exterior maintenance is dealt with. If you have a certain budget in mind, condo fees will be a significant factor in determining what you can buy. You’ll want to know the numbers so make sure you talk with your mortgage agent about your plans so they can factor in the added costs. Keep in mind, condo fees can increase over time. Be prepared for this eventuality and understand how it will impact you.
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