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Why do condo fees differ?

Highrise Condo Fees in Burlington seem to be all over the map.  Why do they vary so much?

On average, maintenance fees range from a low of approximately $0.33 /square foot to a high of $0.94/square foot.  Why?

Well, the first, most significant factor that affects the level of condo fees in any building is the number of units.  Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT the extent of amenities.

 

Example #1:  We will compare 3 buildings.  All buildings have an indoor swimming pool, party room, games room, underground parking garage, and landscaped communal BBQ area.

All buildings are separately metered for hydro.  All have 24 hour security.

 

Size                       Condo Fee/sq ft.

Building #1          330 Units             $.57/sq ft

Building #2          187 Units             $.61/sq ft

Building #3          117 Units             $.68/sq ft

 

Example #2:  We will compare 2 buildings with very few amenities, in fact none.  No security, no pools, underground garage, and small party rooms.

 

Size                       Condo Fee/sq ft

Building #1          13 Units               $.67/sq ft

Building #2          135 Units             $.47/sq ft

 

Note:  Building #1 in the second example has condo fees as high as Building #3 in the first example.  And Building #3 in the first example is loaded amenities!

So, to get the lowest condo fees, buy into the largest development with no amenities.    The single most costly amenity is security – especially 24 hours around the clock.  This is one of the largest items in a condo budget.   A topic for another day.