Could Maintenance fees be WORTH IT ????

Thursday Feb 07th, 2019


Are Maintenance fees REALLY so bad?


I recently had a friendly debate with a friend about condo maintenance fees.  Being on my own, I am considering condo-living, and the first words I always hear are “but the maintenance fees are crazy!”  Are they really?  Let me play the devil's advocate:

The list of maintenance items required in my detached rural home never ends.  Ever.  It is completely unpredictable, irregular and impossible to keep up with.  My home always has a list of  to-do’s on stand-by that hopefully I will be able to get on top of before I sell.  But when I reach the end of the list, I can start at the beginning again. 

Consider all of these items that will NOT need to be done or paid for in condo living EVER!

  • New shingles
  • Replacing/updating Windows
  • Furnace maintenance and eventual replacement
  • Air conditioner maintenance and eventual replacement
  • Replacing/increasing insulation
  • Repair of damaged eaves troughs/fascia/downspouts
  • Landscape bushes and trees– purchase and maintenance
  • Levelling/repair of walkways and exterior steps
  • Foundation /chimney leaks/crack repair
  • Repainting/replacing decks and fences
  • Repeated painting of any exterior railings/window trim
  • Garden shrubs/flowers/fertilizers
  • Emptying of rural septic tank
  • Grass seed/top soil/fertilizer
  • Repair/maintain/purchase of lawn and trim equipment
  • Re-paving or sealing of driveway
  • Grading and retaining wall repair
  • Salt/shovels for driveway
  • Potential well drilling in rural areas
  • Dealing with fallen trees/dead shrubs

Add to that the labor that goes into snow shoveling, mowing/trimming, garbage removal, gardening.   I’m not evening going to talk about pools and hot tubs or how much it costs to capture critters in your attic!

On Average, condo maintenance fees are in the neighborhood of $600/mo more or less, depending on many factors, so although “maintenance fees” of home ownership aren’t laid-out clearly on a per-month basis, the often unexpected and massively costly repairs that can occur can be far more devastating than the regular predictable and controlled monthly payments in condos.  It seems that everything breaks down at the same time, and when it’s not one thing, it’s another.

I personally look forward one day to never having to replace my septic medium again for $2200, or repairing the fascia that the wind blew off for the third time!   I look forward to never mowing my lawn or pulling another weed, and lazily riding the elevator down to the warm pool and sauna, enjoying my clean and warm car coming out of the underground parking in the dead of winter and never hearing a squirrel in the attic again.   I will know exactly how much my monthly payments will be, without an emergency need for a new furnace just before Christmas.  

To each his own, but there is an argument to be made.   Condo living can come in many forms - highrise buildings of course, townhouses or gated community executive style living.  So many options, for different stages in life.  If you're curious to see this alternative relaxing lifestyle, give me a call to view some properties!






Post a comment