“I like Condos but Maintenance Fees are a Waste of Money!”

How to Read a Builders’ Floorplan
November 8, 2017
UOVO Condos
May 14, 2018

If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard someone say this, whether it’s a condo dweller, an interested client or a stranger on the street, I would have enough to live maintenance free for a year! I wish!

Condominium maintenance fees are an additional cost incurred by all condo dwellers in Canada and may seem rather irksome but lets take a deeper look. Condominium maintenance fees are collected by your condominium corporation to a) build and maintain an adequate reserve fund and b) to pay for the costs associated with the upkeep and repair of the common areas. For those of you who don’t know, common areas are those of the condominium that are easily accessible to you such as lobby, elevators, hallways, parking, amenity spaces, etc. Property management, landscape crews, cleaners and concierge are additional services that residents pay for through their fees. On average, 50 cents per square foot is an adequate and sustainable maintenance fee for most condominiums in the GTA, but it is not uncommon to see higher fees (ie. Ritz Carlton, Shangri La, One King, 8 Colborne, etc) This will depend on the age of the building, whether your building has a hotel portion as well as the kind of amenities that are being offered so do your research!

It would be silly to call maintenance fees a waste of money for a number of reasons:

  1. Compared to freehold ownership; your heating, cooling and your water are typically INCLUDED in these fees. This can represent a savings of $150-$300 per month compared to freehold ownership costs.
  2. Added amenities such as a gym, pool, sauna, squash courts or basketball courts add to the quality of life of the residents and in some cases eliminate a need for a gym membership. This can be a savings of about $50 per month.
  3. When you factor in other property maintenance costs associated with owning a detached home, semi, or a townhome (lawn maintenance, snow removal, exterior property repair) a different picture begins to emerge.
  4. Finally some condo corps will incorporate a cable TV service into your maintenance fees and we both know how expensive these can get through our beloved Rogers or Bell.

In conclusion, condominium ownership is a lifestyle choice for those that may not be interested in cutting their own lawn, shoveling their driveway or driving miles upon miles to the closest Tim Hortons to have a get together with their friends. Oh suburbs…