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Additional Condo Fees Toronto

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Additional Condo Fees Toronto 
 
Why do I have to pay additional fees to a condo after I have purchased it? 
 
I already am paying my mortgage, taxes and insurance for my purchase. 
 
It seems some of them are really high and others are pretty low. 
 
Can you tell me why the difference?

Answers

By Swift Sells Toronto

This a great question for condo owners everywhere.  Your monthly additional charges are an important factor that gets figured into your monthly expenses as well as how much money you will qualify for in a mortgage.

 

The condo fees as similar to monies one would (or should) set aside of the regular maintenance of a home.  Eventually the lifespan of the roof, window, paint, plumbing, electrical, furnace, appliances, etc. will be reached.  These will need to be replaced, hopefully with your housing reserve fund covering the costs. 

 

With a condo corporation, the fees are very similar.  There are costs associated with having a 24 hour concierge, a gym and pool, snow shoveled in the winter and landscaping maintained in the summer.  Heating and cooling the common spaces, maintaining the elevators, electrical and plumbing, the roof and other areas, all need to come into account.  A condo corporation has certain obligations to meet and monies collected from your monthly fees go to cover those cost. 

 

In addition, there is a reserve fund to cover those longer term planned expenses, such a a renovation of the condo lobby or replaced of the HVAC system.  A condo corporation has to undertake a full review and assessment every 3-5 years to assure the city in which they are incorporated, that their reserve fund meet or exceed the monies for planned repairs, maintenance and replacements.  If not, your condo fees are increased and/or a special assessment is levee against every homeowner to cover the costs of repairs.  These special assessments can be a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars.

 

Fees vary from building to building and are a consideration when buying into a condo community.  Often, older buildings or boutique building (under 100-150 units) have higher fees.  Older buildings have to cover planned maintenance and monthly costs for utilities and amenities.  Older building fees can tend to approach or exceed $1.00 per square foot per month in fees.

 

In Boutique buildings, there is a smaller pool of residence to share the costs of maintaining the property and likely have or will have higher monthly fees.  It is important for anyone entering a new community to make sure that their real estate lawyer has thoroughly examined the Status Certificate and Condo Balance Sheet to make sure you are not going to have any surprises once your purchase has been completed.  This is one condition that I would hesitate to waive in any deal negotiation - it can set one up for unnecessary surprises after you take possession of your new home.

 

As well, get involved in your condo community.  Attend the annual general meeting and social events to keep abreast of anything happening with your building.  If you have time and inclination, become a member of the Board of Directors or volunteer to be part of a community committee.  These are all way to help protect your investment and be part of your new condo community.

 

If you have more questions about condo fees, how condos work or are looking to find that perfect new home, let me know.  I am always willing to sit and have a conversation and see how I might assist.

3 comments
Level 4 (XP: 1450)
last year
solid advice for any first time home buyer
Level 6 (XP: 2500)
Hey crazycatlady, it's not so bad if you take Tim's advice and do your research, ask your questions and save the appropriate amounts. I know it can seem overwhelming but if you learn what is required early on it isnt so bad!
Level 4 (XP: 1150)
I really want to buy a condo but all these extra fees are scary! At least this is informative enough to let me know what to expect. Now I know how much more I should be saving.

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