Owning a condo is great, but not when it comes to the fees. Other than your mortgage, condo owners must also pay condo fees, which include maintenance fees. It’s important to know exactly where your money is going to ensure there is no cent wasted. To help you understand what condo fees in Toronto cover, our experts are here to explain.
How Much are Condo Fees in Toronto?
Condo maintenance fees vary from province to province and condo to condo. In Toronto however, the standard cost can be a few hundred dollars. A modern building with luxurious amenities will most definitely see higher condo fees than an older building. The cost you pay will also differ from someone else in the building.
What factors influence the cost of your monthly condo fee in Toronto? Our experts answer your most pressing questions below.
Contributing Factors to the Fees
Unit Size and Design
The first and most indicative factor is the size of your unit and the design of the building. In general, a larger unit will cost the owner more per square foot. The monthly maintenance fees are calculated by assessing the value of your unit. The larger it is, the more value it holds in the building, so the higher the condo fees are.
As our experts also mentioned, newer buildings with more amenities and perks such as snow removal, party rooms, security systems, classy common areas, parking can hike up the price. These, along with other features that older buildings may not have, can contribute to increased fees.
The amenities your condo buildings offer will also be a key influencer of the extra monthly expenses. If you want a modern building with state of the art security, a parking garage, a pool, a workout room, and maybe even a theater or bowling alley, you can expect high condo fees in Toronto.
In Toronto, there is also something called a contingency fee or reserve fund that will add to the extra expenses per month, but more on that later. Our experts advise you to leave room in your budget to prepare for unexpected expenses just in case.
Other than the facilities you can enjoy, the condo fees include paying for additional features such as a concierge, security, and maybe even a cleaning and laundry service depending on how high end your condominium is.
While it can be awesome for condo owners to live in an extravagant condo, make sure you aren’t over-stretching your savings account just to cover the average maintenance fees per month.
Other Maintenance Fees
Other maintenance fees unit owners can incur when buying a condo are the everyday needs such as cleaners for common areas, gardening, trash collection and just general property management that is required for most buildings. One of the best things about living in a condominium community is that the maintenance of the property does not fall onto you, but you must be prepared to pay expenses.
The average condominium fee could also cover repairs, just make sure you understand where the monthly costs are allocated before purchasing your property.
Condo maintenance fees can in part go to the personnel or staff employed in your Toronto condo.
These monthly fees contribute to maids, security guards, concierge, and anyone else the condo corporation has hired to maintain the property.
Real estate companies or condo corporations will have a condo board of directors that manage the condominium. Some of your monthly fee will also be divided into this sector to cover the average cost of management.
The reserve funds are necessary for an average condo building, and even older buildings may not be exempt from this cost due to the Condominium Act . This fund is decided by the condo corp when any type of major renovation or construction goes on. Sometimes creating one of these funds is commonplace just in case of emergencies.
A part of your monthly maintenance fee will be diverted to the reserve fund to prevent any major expenses that may arise. Keep in mind that reserve funds will also contribute to higher fees and costs when you’re purchasing a condo.
Our experts advise you to create a reserve fund as a type of insurance just in case the board decides to increase the monthly costs in the near future without much warning.
Our team stresses the importance of the status certificate for a Toronto condo. The status certification offers a clear view of the financial situation of the real estate company and therefore, the building.
Important items that are included on the status certificate are the maintenance costs and where your money is going and sometimes it even gives you a projection of future monthly fees and whether you will be looking at high or low fees in the future.
The certificate also paints a picture of additional information such as reserve fund expenses, legal matters, a real estate lawyer and any special assessments.
Who Determines the Condo Fee?
Now that you know what Toronto condo maintenance fees can cover, you may be wondering who sets the fees. The price of your condo maintenance fees is set by the board of directors. These people will take into account the fees accrued last year, how they were allocated, the repairs needed and common elements that can influence the pricing.
Your condo corporation could allow residents to be elected onto the board. If this is possible, being on the board can give you a hand in the budget setting for the property.
Trend of Condo Fees in Toronto
Our experts say fees for condos in Toronto are necessary to keep things running. The price shouldn’t be too staggering, but let’s take a look at the trend. For example, the average fees for condos in the past few years has gone up by a couple percent.
It’s no surprise that the more facilities you get access to in your condos will also spike the price. An average condo may have simple facilities but even then, there are fees for hydro, heating, water, etc., to consider. The more people that move in and use these facilities, the higher the costs.
Condo fees are steadily increasing, but the real estate corporation you choose will have a definitive impact on the maintenance fees as well. How they divide the funds and such can be shown in the status certification, which is why our experts stressed that above.
If you are at any time concerned with the maintenance fees and the elevated costs per year for your condos, our team advises you to attend meetings. At any time, any resident has the right to view documentation stating where the funds are going. While high fees, such as a few hundred dollars to a thousand for example can be daunting, low maintenance fees are more of a red flag.
Many pre-construction condos may boast of record low fees, but in reality this is not sustainable in the long run. The pre-construction maintenance price per square footage might be very enticing, but that’s just the condo company’s way of getting you to purchase the property. Once they have the buyers locked in, you can say goodbye to low costs per square foot of your unit.
How much are condo fees in Toronto?
Condo fees in Toronto come in at an average between 50 cents to a dollar or above per square foot of your unit. Depending on the amenities, services and personnel your building employs, the costs can vary. However, the larger your unit is, the more you have to pay.
The extra condo fees in Toronto can be likened to taxes because it’s necessary to keep everything running. Sometimes it can be hard to swallow hiked up costs, but our experts urge you to take a more active role in the governance of your building so you can keep your finger on the pulse of the spending.
At any time, any resident can demand to view the status certification for a clearer picture of the community’s financial situation.