DID YOU KNOW CONDO MAINTENANCE FEES CAN INCREASE?
According to a new study by TD Canada Trust, the majority of condo owners don’t realize that there’s a possibility their monthly condo maintenance fees could change at any time. And they rarely, if ever, go down!
The survey polled condominium buyers in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto, and 68 per cent of the respondents said they didn’t know that condo fees could increase any time over the course of their condo ownership.
Almost 40 per cent of buyers said that they didn’t know if they could afford a significant condo fee increase.
As with houses, the financial commitment of owning a condo may be larger and more complex than many buyers may realize.
It’s important to do your research before you hit the bricks to look at condominium suites so you can understand the true costs of condo ownership.
Condo maintenance fees are a set monthly expense that you can budget for, but they can also increase if the building is in need of repairs that aren’t going to be covered by those fees.
Condo owners can avoid this happening to them by making sure they choose a reputable condo building that has a healthy reserve fund, so that large repair costs won’t be passed on to owners.
One of the important conditions that is inserted into almost every condo offer is a condition upon a satisfactory review of the Status Certificate. These documents will disclose whether there are any maintenance fee increases or special assessments expected in the near future.
Another important thing to note is when the last Reserve Fund Study has been completed. These are now mandatory every three years. A qualified firm will do a study of the condition of all the systems in the building (heating, cooling, roof, windows, common areas etc) and make a prediction as to their life span and what the future costs will be to make upgrades or repairs to them.
When comparing owning to renting, you have to weigh all the costs including the purchase price of your condo, the size of your down payment, condo fees, property taxes, immediate repairs or renovations, interest rates and insurance, and compare these with how much you are currently spending on rent.
Of course, you also have to place a value on the enjoyment and satisfaction that you will derive from owning your own home and building equity for the future as opposed to paying your landlord’s mortgage when renting.
Let’s set up a Condo Buyer Planning Session and start the process to create a custom plan to get you into your new home.
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