Every condo has fees, but for the first-time buyer, this can be confusing. Why take on another monthly expense on top of your mortgage payment?
Let’s take a closer look: what exactly do condo fees get you? Here’s where your REALTOR® can help.
We consulted RDR’s Denise MacDonell, co-owner of The Condo Company, a Halifax-based source for information on the local condominium market: “When you purchase a home that is not a condominium, you have to maintain it, clear snow, mow the lawn, heat it, and insure the structure,” she says; “You can hire someone to do the work, or do it yourself, but you will still pay for materials, fuel, insurance. A condo fee pays for all those things, just in an organized way.”
Take this Downtown Dartmouth condo, for example:
Known as Admiralty Place, this condominium complex includes an indoor heated pool, fitness centre and hot tub – allowing you to cross a gym membership off your monthly budget; the gardens eliminate the bother and expense of maintaining outdoor green space; and the heated indoor parking keeps you and your vehicle warm, dry and protected from the elements year-round.
Also in Dartmouth:
At Morris Lake Vistas your monthly condo fee pays for heat, hot water, underground parking (#102 includes TWO deeded parking spots – one heated, underground), maintenance and snow clearing. What’s really special about this condo complex is the deeded lake access!
Meanwhile, across the water in Halifax:
This classic Clayton Park condo boasts what appeals to every new homeowner or student looking for a well-maintained home that builds equity: a low condo fee that includes heat, water, landscaping, snow removal, underground parking, and storage.
And this is where paying condo fees can protect your home equity.
“Your condo fee has three components generally”, explains MacDonell: “One part goes to operating costs, one to insurance, and one part goes into a reserve fund. It is the reserve fund that builds over time so that when it comes time to replace windows, roofs, and retaining walls (among other things), there is enough money in the fund to cover the work.”
A good condo corporation manages and utilizes its reserve and contingency funds well. Summer Gardens is one such corporation.
The condo fee for this 13th Floor unit includes everything that it takes to operate the building outside the unit front door. That means the beautiful indoor pool, fitness centre, hot tub and sauna are waiting for you when you come home after a long day; the common room is available for your entertaining needs; and during the sunny months you can enjoy the private and peaceful gardens – all of this is cleaned and maintained through each owner’s contribution of condo fees. It’s like the whole Summer Gardens community chips in so everyone can enjoy these unique features.
Parkhill Terrace is another solid, well managed condo corporation.
At 105 Dunbrack Street #402, condo fee includes heat, water and hot water. Not only that, This unit comes with a storage locker, and there is a private party room in the building!
Condo life is not for everyone, but more and more people are discovering its conveniences – and that includes condo fees! For more information on condos, contact Red Door Realty’s Owner/Broker, Pam Cherington, or any of our knowledgeable REALTORS®.