We all wish we could pay as little as possible. Many wonder "where does my money go and how is it spent?" Some of the first time buyers have many questions regarding condo fees and special assessments, "what is included?", "how often do I pay?"Well, your usual condo fees include heat, water, sewer, management fees, insurance, maintenance, landscaping, snow removal, major improvements and reserve fund. I mentioned "usual" as some building like Centurian Towers include electricity and cable and some like the View or Gates on 17th carry their own furnace and water tank, so you have to pay for electricity, water and sewer on top of the condo fees. Also, the bigger the size of the unit, the higher the condo fees.
Another thing to note is that newer condominiums will have lower condo fees as the maintenance and reserve fund contribution is low. Older condos require to be upgraded and need more attention, therefore the costs run higher.
Here are some of the newer Edmonton Downtown Condominiums and the condo fees break down:
All utilities except electricity, phone and cable:
The Imprerial - 1 bed, 750 sq.feet condos fees 217.00
River Vista - 1bed, 720 sq.feet condo fees 254.00
The Legacy - 2bed, 824 sq.feet condo fees 309.00
Pelegrine Point - 2bed, 955 sq.feet condo fees 340.00
The Parliament - 1bed, 750 sq.feet condo fees 142.00
Panache on 12th - 1bed, 713 sq.feet condo fees 249.00
All others except electricity, water, sewer, heat, phone and cable:
Gated on 12th - 2 bed, 770 sq.feet condos fees 170.00
Glenora Gates - 1bed, 910 sq.feet condo fees 225.00
The View - 1bed, 865 sq.feet condo fees 169.00
One of the draw backs on the older buildings, especially built in 1960's and 1970's, that a special assessment is almost unavoidable. The cost of replacing old windows, elevators, flooring, painting or structural deficiences and others, most of the time can’t be covered by the reserve fund. The board of directors votes in a special assessment, usually paid through installments on the top of the condo fees. The extra payments can be unattractive for many buyers who will rather pay extra for a newer unit. A peace of mind most of the time, I say "most" because even newer buildings have issues due to poor construction like Glenora Gates, which is a topic for another post.