Dispelling common myths about condo fees

Many people aren’t sure what condo or HOA fees actually pay for.

If you’re in the market for a new home in Florida, you already know about the perks like the great views and warm weather. But then comes the stressful part – figuring out how to get the most out of the money you’re about to spend. There’s a common concern with prospective buyers in the state who see great condos but feel like the associated fees (sometimes called homeowner association fees) are too high and that they’ll just end up paying for perks they don’t need or won’t use.

The truth, however, is that these built-in costs can offset the headaches of dealing with maintenance issues and upkeep, and in some scenarios save the homeowner money. With the help of the Ronto Group, one of the premier real estate developers in Southern Florida, we’ve put together some common misconceptions about condo fees and why they’re incorrect. The Ronto Group has built a reputation for creating a luxury lifestyle in premier locations like Bonita Bay – where the Omega and Seaglass towers exemplify stress-free, amenity-filled condo living – and can help potential residents navigate the need and uses for condo fees.

Misconception one: Condo fees are about luxuries you don’t need

Truth: They’re about the essentials for a homeowner

Sure, many condos offer attractive amenities like fitness or community centers, but that’s only part of what you’re paying for. Given the weather in South Florida, all homeowners need flood and windstorm insurance as part of their overall insurance portfolio plan and that can cost several thousands of dollars per year, especially if the house is close to water. Condo fees cover this, as well as water and gas, which as a single-family home owner, can also add up to a higher monthly total than a typical condo fee.

Misconception two: I can cut maintenance costs with my own home

Truth: The stress and costs are taken care of with a condo

If you want a home with a yard and a pool, you’re either going to have to take care of it all yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Basic monthly upkeep on a pool can cost well over $1,000 per year, and more if you need to shock it or something goes wrong with your filter or heater. Condo pools, which are typically large and luxurious like the pool at Seaglass, are regularly cleaned and maintained, so you never have to worry about pH levels, storing cleaning equipment, repairing a broken pump or spending hours with a skimmer before you can take a dip.

Lawncare costs can also add up – particularly if you have numerous trees, a lot of grass and other high-dollar, high-maintenance features on your property. With a condo, you don’t have to worry about mulching, weeding, tree pruning or similar tasks that take time and can leave you with a sore back. Plus, there won’t be any chance of your next-door neighbors letting their lawn grow to unsightly lengths.

Misconception three: Condo fees include maintenance I don’t need

Truth: They save you on major repairs and huge tasks so you can enjoy life

Owning a single-family home comes with a lot of “what ifs” and potential spending. With a condo, however, reserve funds are specifically in place to cover emergencies like a full roof replacement (which can range in price from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on home size). Instead, the condo association will take care of it. They’ll also keep your home’s exterior paint job fresh and make sure your parking area is in tip-top shape. If the pool heater breaks, the security gates malfunction or your favorite treadmill at the gym gets worn out, that’s all covered. You’ll really only need to worry about insuring and decorating the inside of your home, and you can look forward to weekend plans with friends and family, enjoying some time at Omega’s private theater or dining at one Bonita Bay’s many restaurants, rather than making a list of weekend chores.

If you’re curious about the specific condo fees of your residence – and what they cover – it’s best to discuss it with onsite management. You might find that even luxury condos like the Seaglass or Omega have reasonable condo fees that cover a wide range of necessities and coveted features.

 

By Dan Reilly, for The Ronto Group