Be Aware of the Fees

There is a lot to be said for condo living, it is simple and convenient.  You never have to worry about shoveling snow in winter or mowing the lawn in the summer.  Your building has a fitness center so no more expensive gym memberships, there is a pool and sauna you can use whenever you like and the Toronto nightlife is right on your doorstop.  There is a cost to all of this luxury and convenience and you need to be aware of the fees.

What are Condo Fees?

Essentially condo fees cover the costs of managing the complex along with the maintenance costs.  Your condo fees will pay for things like landscaping, snow removal and cleaning.  They will also cover any repairs that need to be done to the building.  In many cases repairs needed to the inside of the condo are your responsibility, clogged toilets are your problem but needing a new roof is not.

How Much Are Condo Fees?

Condos fees can vary a great deal.  Generally the close you are to downtown the higher they will be, there are exceptions to this rule.  Also the more amenities that are in the building the more you can expect to pay.  If you have fitness facilities, pools, business area and onsite restaurants or spas then you can expect to pay far more.  Don’t expect to pay less than $300 per month in fees and finding a place that low won’t be easy.  Luxury buildings will charge per square foot, for example One Bloor charges $.50 per square foot each and every month.  That means for a 1,500 square foot condo you are looking at $750 a month plus you will pay for parking on top of that.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay?

Not paying your condo fees is not an option. The management company can and will take legal action against you in the event that your condo fees end up in arrears.  They can put a lien on your property and you may find yourself in court.  You won’t be able to sell your property until the fees are paid.  Never fall behind in your condo fees it will cost you in the long run.

Before you buy into a condo you should also make sure the management company has the finances in order.  If the reserves are too low and something happens you can get stuck with a bill you didn’t expect.  Condo fees are a trade-off for hassle free living.