What Are Those Condo Dues For, Anyway?

    You’ve found the right location and a condo you love. You and your agent have negotiated a purchase price. This is usually when buyers start asking, “What are those condo fees for?” with hesitation in their voice. We’re here to tell you, those fees aren’t a bad thing.

    When purchasing a condominium, you’ve got lots of things to consider on the finance side. Obviously, condo fees, or Home Owners Association (HOA) dues, will be a part of your monthly investment in your property. Some consider them an “added cost” but in reality, they represent one of the major benefits of condo ownership: someone else is handling all those things covered by those fees. You don’t have to cut the grass, paint the halls or fix the driveway. You just have to write the check. For many, the trade-off is a welcome one.

    Here’s a list of areas typically covered by HOA dues:

    Interior maintenance and cleaning of common building areas like parking structures, storage rooms, laundry rooms, game rooms, fitness centers, saunas and hallways. Also covered is operation and maintenance of utilities systems like heating, cooling, electric, gas, plumbing and elevators.

    Exterior maintenance of common assets like fences, walls, gates, pools and landscaping. Seasonally, things like window cleaning, winterizing and landscape changes are typically covered, as well.

    Security costs vary among properties but they might include full- or part-time guards or video surveillance equipment.

    Utilities costs, such as water, sewer and trash fees are typically included. In come cases, cable tv and Internet are, also.

    Insurance policies for homeowners’ insurance that covers exteriors and shared common areas. Wind, flood and other dangers might also be covered, depending on the location.

    Reserve funds are usually included, to prepare for larger, non-recurring issues such as paving, reroofing, etc.

    During the purchase process, you are entitled to review the HOA bylaws and review other documents related to their previous activities. At The Henry Group, our agents will work beside you to ensure you know exactly what your fees will be and what they will cover.

    Written by The Henry Group

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