There is always a misconception from purchasers that condo fees are a negative. There seems to be a belief that this is money pulled away from the home-owner on a monthly basis serving no purpose. The reality is that homeowners who purchase a home without condo fees typically do not set aside the appropriate amount of monies to do their own regular maintenance, as well putting aside a reserve for the eventual replacement of product within a home.
Let’s break down the major maintenance/replacement items in a free-hold (no condo fee) home:
- Vinyl Siding – 20-year lifespan
- Asphalt Shingles – 20-year lifespan
- Windows – 20-year lifespan
- Garage door – 20 years
- Siding Cleaning – every 2-3 years
- Eaves trough – Requires cleaning yearly
- Weed control treatment in grass areas – every 1-2 years
- Lawn mowing – once per week during spring/fall months
- Snow shoveling – once per week during winter months
- Re-Paint exterior trim siding – every 5 years
- Re-paint front door – every 5 years
- Weed picking – weekly spring/fall
- Window cleaning – every 2 years
All of these items have a cost involved, whether it is their own time or money. A free-hold homeowner, should be setting aside monies for the replacement as well as some of the maintenance items that they do not feel they have the time or capacity to complete.
Now let’s consider that you are a very competent free-hold home owner and that you do all of the required maintenance, and place away a reserve fund for the eventual replacement items. What if your neighbors do not? Now you have the only house that has a maintained exterior and yard. What does this do to the resale value of your community?
The beauty of a multi-family project is that everything is completed for you through you fees. You do not have to worry that these monies are not being allocated properly, and it will have the same appeal at the original time of purchase as well as 20 years in the future as everyone has to contribute to ensure the value is maintained, regardless of homes selling and new home owners coming in.