Condo Fees #103: Why Boutique Condos can make for Lousy Investment

Radio City Toronto Condos Lofts and Condos So what are condo fees? these are the funds that are required for the building’s operation, such as maintenance, security, waste management, cleaning, water, power to common elements, boilers, etc. For a typical 800 sq. ft. condo expect to pay approx $400/mo. in condo fees, and remember that in most cases, the larger the complex you live in, the more amenities you’ll get for the same fees.

Smaller boutique buildings usually have no amenities, but owners still pay the same 50 cents per foot. Why? b/c the fixed costs for the building are split over a smaller number of participants, making each owner’s share bigger.

So, if the front door of your building is smashed by a drunk on a Friday night, it’ll cost say $300 per owner in a small building, but only $5 in a 600-unit complex. The larger building will enjoy pool, movie theatre, roof top patio, a gym, billiards, while the small building has nothing to offer in terms of amenities.

Investors: be sure to understand what your common element fees include, and how this will effect the future value of your property and the likeability of renting your condo to qualified tenants, as tenants prefer a condo building with sparkling amenities vs. none. Grounds are also maintained using condo fees, so look for buildings (see Radio City in the picture) with great public sex appeal – and you’ll find value attached.

© 2007 Yossi Kaplan is Toronto’s expert on condos, lofts, and urban real-estate. He represent buyers and sellers of Toronto condos, lofts and homes, and has access to new developments before they are released to the public. Kaplan  is a licensed Realtor with Harvey Kalles.

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Keywords: Toronto Condo Fees, condo maintenance fees, eye weekly, Chris Bilton, Nick Clayton, Rent or Buy, Yossi Kaplan, amenities, reserve fund

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