DON'T FEAR THE CONDO FEE
You are looking at condos because you love their price and having the perfect amount of space near major amenities. You’ve also heard a lot about condo fees and how they’re high, and that’s putting some doubt into you. However, condo fees are not something you should fear! They’re not bad at all. Here’s why:
Condo owners do not charge these fees to make a profit. They are mandatory payments that in many cases cover a portion of your utilities, building maintenance & upkeep, snow removal, gardening and sometimes a 24 hour concierge. Think of your home now; sure, you don’t pay a “maintenance fee”, but you pay anytime something goes wrong – furnace breaks down, window gets smashed, basement floods or roof leaks. You pay many one offs with house maintenance that add up over the long run.
With condo fees, you are covered in most cases when something goes awry. And all condo fees, cover building insurance and some even cable TV! Those are all things you’d have to pay for separately in a home anyway.
Condo fees also assist with upkeep of the building as a whole, including trash removal, exterior repairs, snow clearing, and on-site amenities such as swimming pools and fitness rooms.
In short, condo fees are really there for the protection and convenience of the condo owner. It may seem like an extra expense, but when you consider how much financial burden and unknowns that comes with a house, it’s not all that unreasonable.
Just be sure to clarify what is being covered in your condo fees before you buy a unit. The inclusions vary from building to building, and low condo fees – while tempting – sometimes mean you’re not covered for as many expenses.
It’s important to work with a Realtor that understands and knows condominiums so that you are protected when purchasing a condo.
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