Six ways to save money on condo fees

condo fee

Condominium living offers a great lifestyle. You don’t have to do anything. Just move in and enjoy. No lawn maintenance. No shovelling. If you are a retired down-sizer or otherwise independently wealthy, you can lock up and go away for months at a time and not have to worry about a thing.

Condos are also relatively cheap to buy. For first-time homebuyers, condos are a good way to get into the market. Instead of paying rent, you can be building equity and riding the market prices up, up ,up.

Of course, condos come with fees and no one likes high condo fees.

Six ways to save money on condo fees

1) Forget about the pool

Face it, you’re never going to use it. Maintaining a pool is a major expense for condominiums. Join a gym with a pool instead. It will be cheaper.

2) Underground parking

Yes, it is nice to park underground. You like it. Your car likes it. It is surprisingly expensive to maintain.

3) Join the board

If you join the board, you have a say into how money is spent. If you don’t join the board, at least attend the meetings.

4) Newer is better than older

Condo fees go up over time. They are low to start. But the reserve fund has to be built up to take care of big future expenses like replacing roofs and driveways two decades hence. Most people would rather put off paying until they have to so the first ten years of a condo are almost guaranteed cheap years.

5) Townhouses are cheaper than high-rises

It must have something to do with the high cost of the inner city land that makes the apartment style condos so much more expensive. Also, further to the above mentioned pools and parking garages, elevators are expensive to maintain.

6) Ask your real estate agent

Most agents that have been around for a while have a pretty good idea of which condos have low fees and which ones have high fees. Some condo buildings have issues not related to age or amenities that have lead to high fees. Your agent likely knows which ones these are.

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