When considering buying a condo it’s important to review what’s included in the maintenance fee. It’s more often to find an ‘all inclusive’ fee in older buildings which don’t have seperate electricity meters. All inclusive maintenance fees usually aren’t better values… it might be easier for budgeting but most condo owners find lower carrying costs if they’re in control of their individual usage. Typical monthly maintenance fees include:
· heat and/or hydro
· building insurance (does not include the condo unit’s insurance)
· building reserve fund contribution
· building property taxes (does not include the condo unit’s property taxes)
· common element repairs and improvements (drain system, roof, garage, grounds maintenance, exercise room, pool, utilities for common areas, concierge, security, cleaning, gardening, snow removal etc.)
Condo buyers should investigate the recent history of the building’s monthly fee as well as any planned increases before firming up their purchase. This is done by having your lawyer review the ‘Status Certificate’ of the building. If you want a condo with all the amenities, you have to be comfortable with a higher maintenance fee. If you’re looking for a low condo fee, then you should search for buildings with few amenities, no concierge and few staff.