When looking for a new home, some potential homebuyers steer clear of condo-style homes and look solely at single-family houses simply because they don't want to pay condo association fees. But while it is important to be aware of these fees and how they fit into your budget, avoiding condos completely just because of this fee is a bit short-sighted.
Condo association fees don't line the pockets of managers or agents. They go towards making the community better for those who live in it, and in most cases, you really get a lot in exchange for the fees you pay. Here's a look at some of the things condo fees often go towards covering.
Lawncare and Landscaping
If you owned a single-family home, you'd either have to pay someone to mow your lawn or purchase a lawn mower and other lawn care equipment so you could do it yourself. When you live in a condo, your condo association fees go towards these costs. You never have to spend a Saturday mowing the lawn or planting flowers, and you don't have to find extra money in your budget to replace a lawn mower or buy gas for it.
Playgrounds and Recreational Facilities
Even if a residential community has a park, you may need to walk a ways to reach it, and the fact that it's public means it could be rather crowded. Plus, when taxes are cut, public park maintenance tends to be one of the first things to go. Many condo communities have parks with playgrounds, baseball diamonds, all-purpose fields, and similar amenities. They're usually only open to condo community members, so they don't get as busy. And since they're covered by your condo association fees, they tend to be maintained in good condition.
Since you have these convenient recreational facilities on site, you may actually save money by participating in fewer off-site activities that cost cash — like going to the movies and going golfing.
When you own a single-family house, you have to pay for all of the utilities, from water to gas. But in a condo community, the condo fees sometimes cover some of the utilities. Water, for example, is often included in condo fees. Garbage collection is often covered, and in some cases, there may even be a community WiFi network paid for through your fees so you really only need to buy your own Internet service if you need a higher speed.
Before you say "no" to a condo because of the fees, check into what the condo association fees actually cover. You may be getting a lot more for your money than you'd think.
For more information, contact local professionals like MacPherson's Property Management.