Some home buyers may opt for a condo over a single-family home for a number of
reasons. A condominium can provide a less-expensive entry into the housing market,
and is a low-maintenance downsizing option for seniors. However, misconceptions
about condominium ownership abound, which can often keep potential buyers from
considering them as an option.
Many home buyers view condo fees as an additional expense, compared with owning a
single-family residence. However, it’s important to look at what’s included in that figure.
Typical condo fees generally include a contribution toward the building’s upkeep and
maintenance, but also may include heating costs, water, sewer, garbage-collection fees,
and even electricity and cable TV, in some cases.
Even well-managed condo associations may have what is called a “special assessment,”
which is an additional fee that condo owners must pay when the regular condominium
fees are insufficient to pay for a major repair. Not unlike living in a single-family home,
even homeowners who routinely save money for repairs may encounter major
unforeseen expenses, such as foundation or roof repair.