The following article was written by Condo-Check, reprinted with permission.
Do Not Shop For the Lowest “Fees”
Condominium Fee amounts are often the first concern of a condominium buyer. The goal is to find that condominium where the monthly contribution is as minimal as possible.
If you think about the fact that the term “Monthly Contribution” means: “an owner’s monthly contribution towards the maintenance of their condominium investment” would it not be rational to expect the monthly fee to be appropriate (enough) to ensure the property is being maintained and the services are being provided both consistently and professionally?
Look for clear information on the use of the fees, not the amount of the fees.
Request all the financial documents needed to assess if there are adequate funds to sustain the property values. This includes the current year operating budget, a recent financial statement, the most recent year-end financial statement, the Reserve Fund Study and the Reserve Fund Plan.
Condominiums never have condominium fees that are too high. It is those condos that are afraid of charging what is really required to maintain the project that end up costing owners large sums of money. Low fees too often are a sign of deferred maintenance. Although there are exceptions to this rule, the only way to tell is by reviewing the documents of the condominium corporation.
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