Often, condos are praised for their affordability compared to traditional homes. They are seen as a great option for young people looking to get on the property ladder or retirees that don’t want to maintain an entire house. At face value, condos boast better prices. However, once you dig past the surface, you might find that condo fees are the catch. Condo fees are monthly dues that condo owners must pay in addition to their mortgage payments. In general, condo fees cover the maintenance of common areas in the building. This might mean, landscaping, window washing, snow removal, pool maintenance, etc. If you’re curious about the fees associated with condos in Edmonton, continue reading this article.
Below, I will go over the basics of condo fees in Edmonton!
How do Fees get Calculated for Condos in Edmonton?
Usually, condo fees are calculated as a percentage of the total amount of maintenance required for the building. Annual maintenance costs and additional money for the reserves will comprise the condo fee. The reserve fund is set aside for any unexpected expenses or long-term repairs like redoing the roof. Finding a building with a healthy reserve fund is always ideal when searching for a condo. All of these costs are managed by a condo board that oversees the budget and tracks annual maintenance expenses.
Typically, the amount that you contribute is calculated based on the value of your unit. To provide an example, Sterling Homes writes that “if there were 100 condos of equal value in the building, each condo owner would be responsible for one percent of the total annual charge, divided into 12 monthly payments.” Obviously, not all condos in a building will be of equal value because of size, amenities, view, etc. So, when you purchase a condo, you can expect that the more valuable your unit, the more expensive your condo fees will be. Be sure to inquire about condo fees prior to purchasing a unit.
Condo Fees Aren’t Set in Stone
A diligent condo board will maintain an organized budget and follow it. However, depending on the age of the condo the reserve fund might be sparse. In this case, any unexpected costs that cannot be covered by the base condo fee will require a “special assessment”. A special assessment must be paid by all owners.
Although, special assessments can happen whether there is enough money in the reserve or not. For example, if the board uses all of the money in the reserve to repaint the interior and then the elevator breaks, you and all other occupants are on the hook to cover the cost of the repair.
For newer buildings, you will generally have to pay a greater condo fee at the start to help build up the reserve fund. Contrastively, you will have more special assessments.
Average Fees and What to Consider
Condo fees vary immensely from building to building. And, it is almost impossible to give an average because the range is so large. Some condo fees may be at the low end of $200-300 per month. Whereas, others may be closer to $1000. While you search for the right home for you, be sure to factor in this expense. A high condo fee can sometimes equate to being the same or more expensive than owning a single-family home.
Before you sign anything, make sure you understand what is covered by each condo fee. Take a close look at the fine print and ensure that you aren’t paying for a ton of amenities that you aren’t going to use. For example, if your building has a pool, but you hate public swimming, you might resent paying for the upkeep each month. Especially, if/when something breaks. In general, you want to be sure that your condo fee covers the important stuff. For example, landscaping, heat and water, insurance for the structure, security as needed, reserve fund contributions, etc. Looking into condo fees is essential in preventing yourself from being hit with a bunch of surprise fees.
Contact Me About Condos in Edmonton
Contact me today to learn more about the fees associated with owning condos in Edmonton. For more information on selling or buying condos, contact me today. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about how to achieve your real estate goals. Feel free to reach out to me at any time! Be sure to check back next month for more real estate-related information. I look forward to working with you in the near future.