What you need to know as a first-time buyer and resident.

Living in a condo is undeniably convenient. The grounds and common areas are professionally maintained, and shared facilities such as gyms, lounges, and entertaining spaces, as well as services such as the concierge are a bonus.

You share these expenses with your neighbours in the form of a monthly maintenance fee.

Your fees are typically calculated based on the square footage of your condo (the larger your condo, the larger your share). The money is then pooled and allocated to one of two categories: the condominium’s annual operating expenditures, and the condominium’s reserve fund.

The operating expenditures cover costs such as staffing, taxes, common area upkeep, repairs, insurance, and cleaning. The reserve fund is a requirement of all condominiums to ensure there is adequate funding to address any major or unforeseen issues, such as structural problems.

Each condo differs in terms of what is covered by their operating expenditures. It may, for example, include some utilities but not others. Submetering is becoming increasingly popular in new condos, where residents are billed directly and pay only for the water and energy they use themselves.

You can expect maintenance fees to increase each year due to inflation, property taxes, or the needs of the building. If the building has relatively few expenses, it is possible that maintenance fees can even come down.

The decisions that affect common expenditures, and thus your condo fees, are usually discussed at length by your condo board at annual meetings. Staying engaged in your community is a good way to ensure you’re getting the most for your money.

The Wilmot is great option for first-time condo buyers in the Oakville area. Register today to find out more and to secure your spot.

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