A very important aspect of condo living is the monthly condo fee you are being charged. Condo fees vary widely but usually so does the level of service. It is important to recognize that one has to look beyond the condo fees to get the “true picture”. For example, if two neighbouring buildings have a difference in condo fees of $100 per month, the initial inclination would be to favour the lower cost building. However, there may be reasons for this fee discrepancy. One management company may be projecting future capital expenditures and hence charging a higher monthly condo fee so when the need arises there will be adequate cash on hand to carry out the work. If these expenses weren’t budgeted for, then the unit owner may be faced with a potentially significant special assessment to cover these costs. Today, because of the many mismanaged buildings, recent condo legislation makes it mandatory for each condo corporation to do a periodic reserve study analysis and set their budgets based on the future projected capital expenditures. For many buildings, this has meant a significant increase in maintenance fees because the building initially was under funded. The aim in these cases is to build up the reserve fund so that there will be adequate money available in the fund to finance future projects.
If the condo complex has few or no amenities (i.e.: pool, tennis court, etc.) then it stands to reason that the monthly condo fee will be lower. A buyer needs to assess whether these conveniences warrant paying the incrementally higher condo fees.
Traditionally, condominium town home maintenance fees are lower than those of condo apartments. The reason being is twofold: