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Are Condo Fees a Complete Waste of Money? ūüíĶ

What do 'Condo-Fees' pay for? How does owning a condo compare to owning a house?
Bo Kauffmann Jul 29, 2020
Are Condo Fees a waste?
Some potential buyers point to 'Condo Fees' as a reason NOT to buy one.

Let's take a closer look at what they are, and how condo ownership compares to house ownership.

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Let's Compare Costs
Comparing ownership costs between a house and a condo of similar value.

Let's say $200,000 each, and the condo has a monthly condo fee of $275.00
Water Bill
Water is usually included in the condo fees, but will cost about $60/month for an average house
Savings for Condo owner - $60/mth
Home Insurance
Condo-owners only require condo-insurance, which is much cheaper than normal house insurance.

This is because the condo-building is already insured.
Savings for Condo-Owner - $75/mth

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Home Heating Costs
A $200K home in Winnipeg will be older, and most likely leak heat like there's no tomorrow.  Estimate $100/mth for heat.

Apartment style condo, on the other hand, will cost approx. $50/mth
Savings for Condo-Owner - $50/mth
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Emergency Fund
A homeowner is well advised to establish a separate savings account for emergency repairs.

Unexpected repairs and maintenance can (and will) come up, especially in an older home.

What kind of things can go wrong?
Furnace Repair             $350
Clogged sewer line      $300
Hot Water Tank         $1,000

or

New Furnace              $4,000
New Roof                    $6,000
Foundation Repair   $15,000
What Could Go Wrong
Let's start small and put aside $50/mth into a separate account.
Part of the 'dreaded' condo-fee is a contribution to a common reserve fund, to pay for future building repairs, renovations and upgrades
Condo Owner saves    $50/mth
Let's Add All That Up
Water Bill           $60
Insurance           $75
Heating              $50
Emergency         $50

Total  Savings      $235.00
Condo Fee ($275) - Savings ($235)

Cost of Condo Ownership = $40.00
Condos are not for everyone
You may LOVE living in a condo, or you may have great reasons NOT to buy one. 
  
Hopefully, I've shown that 
Condo Fees, by themselves,
should not be one of those reasons.

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