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I was talking to a fellow fatwallet member about my plans to buy a condo. He advised that it was a bad move as the monthly maintenance fees are a total waste and it can never be recouped. I agree with his point to some degree. However, I feel that as long as the fees aren't too low or too high the owner will benefit. Too high and no one will buy the place when you try to resell (less appreciation). Too low and the building isn't maintained properly, which also hurts resale and the rental market in the building and neighborhood to a lessor extent. Most of these buildings have doormen. I'm not sure how this affects appreciation in the long run. If anyone else has a better understanding of how these fees affect appreciation I would like to hear your thoughts.

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Exterior maintenence is included. Snow shoveling, replacing windows, etc. Plus they throw in water.

Not really crazy ... (more)

fatwallet102 (Jul. 05, 2013 @ 8:54p) |

I think some people didn't notice that OP is talking about New York City.
Canards like "all HOA fees are a waste" might r... (more)

Kanosh (Jul. 06, 2013 @ 9:56p) |

half acre in san antonio TX

rpi1967 (Jul. 15, 2013 @ 12:49p) |

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I would ask to see the financials from the association for the last (approximate) 5 years. Where has the money gone and what are they using it for? What have been the annual increases? What have been the purchase prices and selling prices of the units over the years? Is there a proviso for "special collections" which are collected in addition to the maintenance fees? Read and understand the association's by laws.
Knowing that information, you can make the determination.

Is this your primary residence or an investment property.

If it is a primary residence, your priority must be to see whether it serves the purpose as a dwelling. In particular, what is it that the monthly fees gets you? Is that something you want/care for (e.g., door man)? Is the fees reasonable for the services covered? Appreciation must be a very secondary consideration.

If it is going to be an investment property and you are going to mainly rent it out, look it from the perspective of potential renters. How will they perceive the services like door man and other condo services? How much in rent can you charge and would that cover your expenses incl. condo fees (with reasonable return). Appreciation would be good but if the income potential is substantial, appreciation is a secondary consideration.

My views...

1) If they didn't take care of common areas, I'd have to.
2) This means that taking care of the lawn, landscaping, paving the roads regularly, etc. are off my mind.
3) They know the routine things pretty well, like redoing roofs every X years, are responsible for insurance for the building structure, keeping the exterior "fresh" with regular painting, etc.
4) In the emergency situations or bad neighbor situations, they can step in, etc.

For me, I'm very happy with an association fee because it reduces what I have to deal with, budget for, and manage.

Condo HOA fees are not waste. You get value form it. It covers association expenses: trash, water (some times), lawn cut, pool, parking, security, insurance. None of that money is being pocketed by someone.. It is expense you would spend anyway (at lest 80% of it, 20% might be management costs) by having single family home or townhouse. I think you friend is wrong with his answer..

Just depends. Some HOA's are ran very efficiently but many HOA's are corrupt by design to enrich board member's or the builders. No one is going to spend your money as wisely as yourself. Once you subject yourself a socialized living arrangement waste will be a natural consequence.

My biggest problem is I don't want to be tied to the hip with my neighbors financially. They can make bad decisions that cost you a lot of money and\or destroy your personal freedom. It is like adding another layer of government that rules over you on top of the Federal, State, County, and City.

As long as they're not excessive, it's just a cost of ownership. Doormen, working elevators, nice common areas are all important things that need common fees. It's akin to maintenance/gardening/etc. costs if you own a house.

But definitely look at comparables. I recently saw a place that was listed incredibly cheaply (less than half similar places); I wondered why for a moment, until I saw a ridiculously high common charge (would've been more than the mortgage at the price they listed).

brettdoyle said:   Just depends. Some HOA's are ran very efficiently but many HOA's are corrupt by design to enrich board member's or the builders. No one is going to spend your money as wisely as yourself. Once you subject yourself a socialized living arrangement waste will be a natural consequence.

My biggest problem is I don't want to be tied to the hip with my neighbors financially. They can make bad decisions that cost you a lot of money andor destroy your personal freedom. It is like adding another layer of government that rules over you on top of the Federal, State, County, and City.

100% agreed. To some extent, I wonder if they'll have pricing advantages because they have volume orders (pave a neighborhood, not just 1 driveway) and probably experience to the extent that it bugs them. This might be something like a bad contractor who they have to deal with later to get things done - a good one will get their repeat business because it's done right the first time.

I am a board member of my condo HOA. In my opinion, it's only a waste if the HOA is not properly maintained. There was a thread not too long ago where a 12 unit association was being 'maintained' by a old man for $15,000 a year. Not only that, the HOA reserve has only $300 in the bank... What I've told people who are purchasing in a condo is to be active and involved in the HOA. That doesn't mean you have to be a board member (although preferred since you get to be part of the decision makers). You can request monthly financial statements and look over expenses that the HOA has incurred and ask questions if something doesn't look right.

Also, a HOA is not an investment, so you don't 'recoup' anything. The job of the HOA is to maintain the common areas (i.e. repair things that needs to be fixed, pay bills.. etc.) So you are paying for something that the HOA as a whole is using.

The contractors will be reciprocal buddies of the managers/directors mostly. If you live freestanding, no need for lawyers, accountants, auditors, treasurers, etc. which are clearly the waste producers. And little Mussolinis will run your life to the extent possible; they will NOT be your friend if you are a sensible person.

brettdoyle said:   Just depends. Some HOA's are ran very efficiently but many HOA's are corrupt by design to enrich board member's or the builders. No one is going to spend your money as wisely as yourself. Once you subject yourself a socialized living arrangement waste will be a natural consequence.

My biggest problem is I don't want to be tied to the hip with my neighbors financially. They can make bad decisions that cost you a lot of money andor destroy your personal freedom. It is like adding another layer of government that rules over you on top of the Federal, State, County, and City.


As a condo owner, I would have to agree that in general condo fees are used somewhat wastefully. We are currently going through an assessment to determine whose decks need to be replaced but there is going to be a huge battle over how much and who gets the repair work done first. Secondly, it always seems arbitrary in what the condo assn deems as common area and what is the responsibility of the unit owners (my condo is really more like a townhouse). Thirdly, our water is not metered to individual units so we share the total water bill. Our water bill for each unit probably comes out to 3-4X what other individually metered units and 2x the other unmetered condos in the area. So obviously there is some issue but no one can figure out whats really going on (leaky toilet, excessive usage, etc.) and no one else seems to care.

Also, condo fees have gone up nearly every single year but my overall mortgage payment has gone down over time through refinancing. It would definitely been a better investment over the long run to spend the extra to get a townhouse (or possibly a SF) since the interest on 100K to buy a townhouse is nearly equal to my condo fee each month (plus condo fee is not tax deductible).

I just joined HOA board of one of houses I own, just to see what the heck goes on there. They waste a lot of money. Work that can be done at a fraction of cost, they hire most expensive companies to do repairs, landscaping, payment to community manager etc.

king0fSpades said:   I just joined HOA board of one of houses I own, just to see what the heck goes on there. They waste a lot of money. Work that can be done at a fraction of cost, they hire most expensive companies to do repairs, landscaping, payment to community manager etc.

That's why I recommend people to be active in their HOAs. Request invoices/financials and ask for different bids. There are some unscrupulous HOA managers out there. That is one of the main reasons I became involved and ran for the board member as a treasurer. This way I see all checks disbursed by the management company since I have to approve each one. If I am paying $xxx a month to a HOA, I better know what it is being used for. I feel people who complain about the HOA don't do anything about it.

a neighbor who lives alone and can not do anything around her home, felt that 250 dollars for condo fee a month was terribly high but she spends 100 dollars per week for lawn service and 1000 dollars a year for tree trimming. Of course she would be much better off in the condo but the fees seem to her to be a waste.

Thank you everyone that responded! I definitely have more insight into these fees and where they go.

I wanted to respond to fwuser12. This condo will be a primary residence in Queens, NY. I was considering two apartments. One in trendy area with a door man and common charge (CC) of $660, the other in a slightly less trendy adjacent neighborhood without a doorman and a CC of $330. I don't really need a doorman. In this case it just so happened that the first apartment could rent for $2600 and the second for $2300, respectively a month. The asking price and other amenities are all equal. Both seem comparable to me as the net if I were to rent would be around $2000. Living there I would be losing on the first apartment.

Fwuser12 did say not to worry about appreciation. I understand, real estate is not that different from stocks in some ways. I'm just curious, all other things being equal how that CC affects price in the future. As mentioned in my first post, it is easy to see what happens when it is either too low or high. but what about in the middle ground? Is there a sweet spot? From some of the responses I gather that the quality at which the HOA is run has alot to do with the chances of having lower fees. Then the market decides appreciation?. If anyone has more input I would like to hear it!

I'm a broker and have sold many condos. Most of them haven't been corrupt. Those are the exceptions, not the rule. If you watch the news, you'd never drive because all they report are car accidents and all people talk about are how bad HOA's are. When there's nothing wrong, there's nothing to talk about. Check the condo docs/financials and also talk to a couple of neighbors. In terms of appreciation, you're basically comparing yourself to other associations. In a down market, condos tend to drop the most, single and multi's tend to hold their value more, but there's not much you can do about that. People either buy condos because they're cheaper than single families or that's really the only thing available in the city.

If a condo is well run, the HOA fees can be comparable or lower to the maintenance costs of a single family home. If you have a poorly run HOA, then the fees can waste a lot of money.

henry33 said:   I'm a broker and have sold many condos. Most of them haven't been corrupt. Those are the exceptions, not the rule. If you watch the news, you'd never drive because all they report are car accidents and all people talk about are how bad HOA's are. When there's nothing wrong, there's nothing to talk about. Check the condo docs/financials and also talk to a couple of neighbors. In terms of appreciation, you're basically comparing yourself to other associations. In a down market, condos tend to drop the most, single and multi's tend to hold their value more, but there's not much you can do about that. People either buy condos because they're cheaper than single families or that's really the only thing available in the city.
The trustees in my HOA generally do the following:

1) Put services out to bid regularly.
2) Replace contractors who don't meet their commitments.
3) Don't spend money unless it's really necessary except for a reasonable amount of landscaping which makes the place look really good.
4) Keep fees low and charge for unexpected expenses with an assessment payable over a few months.
5) Listen to feedback from residents and respond to it.

They're not perfect, but the combination of the above attributes makes for a pretty well managed HOA with low fees.

When people say just get involved with the HOA... that seems self defeating to me.

The whole point of the HOA was suppose to be convenience. I.E. I pay a fee and not have to worry about problems such as maintenance. Now you're going to have to waste your time in HOA meetings babysitting and playing politics. Time is your most valuable resource.

With the HOA you ultimately either choose to be price gouged or time gouged.

And of course simply going to the meetings doesn't ensure any positive action. Bad decisions can perpetuate as you are still one person that can be overwhelmed by majority rule.

brettdoyle said:   When people say just get involved with the HOA... that seems self defeating to me.

The whole point of the HOA was suppose to be convenience. I.E. I pay a fee and not have to worry about problems such as maintenance. Now you're going to have to waste your time in HOA meetings babysitting and playing politics. Time is your most valuable resource.

With the HOA you ultimately either choose to be price gouged or time gouged.

And of course simply going to the meetings doesn't ensure any positive action. Bad decisions can perpetuate as you are still one person that can be overwhelmed by majority rule.


Some people just have unrealistic expectations as to what an Hoa is or isn't. The point of an HOA is to manage the property which each owner has a percentage interest in. In a single family or multi, there's no HOA, but then you have to do things yourself like figure out who to use to replace a roof, fix plumbing problems, electrical, landscaping, insurance etc. And if you don't keep a close eye on things, or don't know enough about a particular subject, little problems can turn into big problems.

In general it seems like only 20-25% of owners end up going to the meetings and that's usually the annual meeting, attendance at monthly meetings are usually even lower.

brettdoyle said:   When people say just get involved with the HOA... that seems self defeating to me.

The whole point of the HOA was suppose to be convenience. I.E. I pay a fee and not have to worry about problems such as maintenance. Now you're going to have to waste your time in HOA meetings babysitting and playing politics. Time is your most valuable resource.

With the HOA you ultimately either choose to be price gouged or time gouged.

And of course simply going to the meetings doesn't ensure any positive action. Bad decisions can perpetuate as you are still one person that can be overwhelmed by majority rule.


I agree somewhat that it does take some of my time to go through invoices to pay and manage. However, isn't that what I will be doing if I have a single family home without a HOA anyways? If something breaks and I need a plumber or roofer, I would have to spend the time looking for one and figuring which to go with and track the expenses to pay them.

As long as the fees are in line with the services provided, then it is fine. You should chose the place that best meets your needs. If you buy into a doorman building but resent paying for doormen, then you are not going to be happy. If you buy in a cheap walk-up building but hate climbing stairs, you will regret it. The fees are not a punishment, they go to provide the services that the residents have (theoretically) agreed are worth it. Assuming no corruption or gross mismanagement, which do occur but are relatively rare, it's just about finding the apartment that works for you, and I don't think there's a tremendous difference in terms of appreciation. There are, and will be, buyers out there in either instance.

Iím serving my second stint on our association board. We are a small property with a budget under $100K. Iím sure these buildings have fewer concerns to deal with than larger developments.

As others have pointed out, this sort of ownership structure can lead to savings compared to owning a property not subject to an associationís rules and fees. It can also lead to overspending due to a number of variables.

The suggestion to look at the financials for the past several years is a very good one. Additionally, if I were in the market again, I would ask to have access to the list serve if the association has one. (Good luck with this in a sellerís market!) Owners and renters often communicate building concerns through such a system rather than direct communication with the officers or management company. It can be a source of valuable information about a property. I would have found out that our roof had terrible problems from the very start (2002). It has been very costly and one leak still has not been repaired adequately after over 10 years! Water damage has probably taken up about10% of our annual budget since inception. Of course, the previous owner didnít disclose the water issues to me and didnít need to, as in our jurisdiction he only had to disclose known issues with the unit and not the entire building.

The association does take care of many things, saving owners the time and hassle of dealing with the issues. However, some HOAís are not run efficiently, as brettdoyle suggested. In our building some reported issues have been put off for quite some time. This may have led to the need for mold remediation (or that may have been necessary anyway). Thatís not cheap!

Another form of inefficiency is using whatever contractor the management company wants to use at that time instead of getting a few bids through the other contractors that the management company can easily send out. Weíve had plenty of work done that was quite expensive and likely done no better than a cheaper service. However, since contractors get so much work through management companies, they are more likely to want to please customers who complain. With little effort, Iíve gotten work redone that wasnít necessarily covered under the contractorís warranty. One problem, though, is that officers or their designees are much less likely to complain/take action or even check that work was done properly because their portion of any expense is so small that they donít feel the effort is worth the time. Weíve also had 25%+ cost overruns on three of our four most expensive projects. Most FWF would do a better job reviewing a contract before signing and be more likely to complain if the contractor billed so much more than the agreed upon price. Often, board members just sign off on whatever costs are invoiced.

Comparable association fees are also important, as another contributor suggested. Ours were very low in the beginning. Developers set the association fees as low as possible to attract buyers. Only later does the association realize that the fees are unrealistically low. Ours have gone up substantially over the years just to keep up with expected maintenance costs and upcoming capital expenses. We donít really have funds for a rainy day. Recent buyers have indicated that our fees are higher than comparable properties that they visited. While ours are on the high end, some places Iíve heard of are outrageous. Lower yet realistic fees are attractive to buyers, especially first time buyers, as they donít really know what to look for and their realtors usually are just interested in making a sale, not watching out for the buyers.

Another issue I have is that our treasurers (and other board members for that matter) have never fully understood the accounting behind the financials. I was treasurer before and canít say that I did either. However, itís not essential to understand double entry accrual based accounting in order to keep track of expenses but I find that other board members and treasurers have not kept on top of things and basically just sign off on any charges presented. At the end of 2012 we wrote off an accounts receivable refund for work that we were double charged for a few years ago. That treasurer and subsequent ones didnít make sure that we received that refund.

I also find that the comment about little Mussolinis is likely to be accurate for many associations. On FWF weíve heard news stories of board members gone power crazy. Look for the thread on a complex in Alexandria, VA that had an issue with the posting of political signs! These situations happen when association members donít want to serve on the board or when members donít care to vote or are intimidated by an officer. Perhaps itís good to inquire about how many people run for office at the annual meeting. Very few is not good and one person who wants to serve perpetually isnít either. Just like in politics, periodic changing of the guard is healthy for an organization.

Finally, serving on the board allows me to know exactly whatís going on with our expenses but it sure does take up a lot of time here and there. Then there are quiet periods. All said, I put more time into my association work than I do taking care of my own unit. Donít know how it would compare to a residence not part of an association.

Sorry this reply is so long. I got carried away.

My grandmother used to own a condo and belonged to an HOA. One of the more frustrating things about that HOA was that many of the building residents, and thus board members, were well-to-do retirees. They tended to spend very freely and didn't think anything of issuing ANNUAL assessments for all sorts of stupid things like replacing the carpets in the elevators. The assessments were a couple of THOUSAND dollars per unit. I have no idea where they were buying their carpet, but those elevators got redone with that extremely expensive carpet every single year. And the board didn't think it was in the least unusual or extravagant. However I sure felt sorry for people who didn't have the same deep well of extra money hanging around to dip into every year for trivial stuff like that. And no, the carpet never looked worn out and like it needed to be replaced.

So yes, it is important to look into the kinds of stuff the HOA typically has issued assessments for in the past. Sometimes strange patterns emerge that you may not be willing to live with.

gooddealie said:   I have no idea where they were buying their carpet, but those elevators got redone with that extremely expensive carpet every single year. And the board didn't think it was in the least unusual or extravagant.

Board were big spenders with no concept of frugality or big recipients of kickbacks?

If the assessment is an ongoing annual thing, they should drop the assessment and add it to the monthly dues.

taxmantoo said:   gooddealie said:   I have no idea where they were buying their carpet, but those elevators got redone with that extremely expensive carpet every single year. And the board didn't think it was in the least unusual or extravagant.

Board were big spenders with no concept of frugality or big recipients of kickbacks?

If the assessment is an ongoing annual thing, they should drop the assessment and add it to the monthly dues.


In this case I don't think there were kickbacks. Just wealthy individuals to who did not need to shop for deals and were used to simply paying whatever sticker price when they wanted something. Their attitude was "just make it happen and don't waste my time with the details" and they didn't want to invest the time to shop around. They controlled the board so their financial attitudes were reflected in how the board operated.

Yes I totally agree that they should have rolled that into the monthly fees. I suspect they didn't do that because 1) the board was semi-dysfunctional and 2) they didn't want the monthly dues to look higher than comparable developments to future buyers. That could have an affect on the resale value of the units. A lot of prospective buyers don't read through the minutes as thoroughly as they should or check out how many special assessments there have been, but every single prospective buyer will myopically focus on how high the monthly HOA fee is when they consider a purchase.

You'll sometimes find HOA meeting minutes kind of sanitized too, with the thought of not wanting to scare future buyers off. Meaning disagreements and arguements that occur during meetings can be minimized or not reported at all in the minutes. Heck, in my father's current HOA if an issue is not pre-submitted in writing prior to the meeting, then it is not considered "official" business and any discussions regarding the subject that occur in the meeting won't show up in the minutes at all, as a rule.

Unless most of the residents are seniors or in wheelchairs, why do you need a doorman? I ain't tipping anyone everytime I enter or leave the building just to open a door for me.

atikovi said:   Unless most of the residents are seniors or in wheelchairs, why do you need a doorman? I ain't tipping anyone everytime I enter or leave the building just to open a door for me.

Safety and packages for two. For myself, being able to receive packages at home during the day when I'm at work is a huge convenience. And no one tips everytime you enter and leave, nor is holding doors their main purpose in most cases (or at all when the doors are automatic).

GodelianKnot said:   atikovi said:   Unless most of the residents are seniors or in wheelchairs, why do you need a doorman? I ain't tipping anyone everytime I enter or leave the building just to open a door for me.

Safety and packages for two. For myself, being able to receive packages at home during the day when I'm at work is a huge convenience. And no one tips everytime you enter and leave, nor is holding doors their main purpose in most cases (or at all when the doors are automatic).


If holding the door isn't their main purpose, why are they called doormen? Maybe I've watched too many Sienfeld reruns but I'm pretty sure the doorman gets tipped every time.

tchen811 said:   I am a board member of my condo HOA. In my opinion, it's only a waste if the HOA is not properly maintained. There was a thread not too long ago where a 12 unit association was being 'maintained' by a old man for $15,000 a year. Not only that, the HOA reserve has only $300 in the bank... What I've told people who are purchasing in a condo is to be active and involved in the HOA. That doesn't mean you have to be a board member (although preferred since you get to be part of the decision makers). You can request monthly financial statements and look over expenses that the HOA has incurred and ask questions if something doesn't look right.

Also, a HOA is not an investment, so you don't 'recoup' anything. The job of the HOA is to maintain the common areas (i.e. repair things that needs to be fixed, pay bills.. etc.) So you are paying for something that the HOA as a whole is using.


1. Fees in a Condo HOA go towards these categories:

(a) building and structure insurance. Remember, when you have a single-family, detached home, you insure the structure yourself. In a condo, typically, your own homeowners insurance covers 20% of the structure's cost, and whatever you have inside (like floors, kitchen, bathroom, etc),

(b) utilities for common areas, and in some cases, for your own usage. this includes: (i) electric for hallway and garage lighting, elevator operation, (ii) heating and cooling for common areas, (iii) sometimes water / sewer, heating, hot water for your own use,

(c) common area maintenance, which can be brought down into two parts: (i) operation, like operating and maintaining the elevators, and (ii) fixing issues like repair / replacing roof, outside walls, garage doors, hallway paint and carpet, etc. Related to this category, it is good to understand what is included. The best type of maintenance deal is when you, as a homeowner, are responsible only for walls-in, and everything else is covered by the HOA. Of course, the HOA fee will be very high.

(d) paying for professional management,

(e) extras like luxury amenities such as pools, tennis courts, gyms, private security, doormen, 24-hour on-call, etc,

(f) paying into reserves.

I think it is important to understand what is included in your HOA maintenance.

E.g., in New York City, maintenance for typical condos is $1 / a month per square feet. Let's say you have a "comfortable" (for NY City standards) 1500 SqFt apartment. Maintenance is going to be $1500 a month. If you have a terrace or some outdoor area, your monthly maintenance is probably higher.

In some associations, especially townhome, there is a bare-bones HOA fees, which covers almost nothing.

I believe the in terms of purchasing your own private residence, or a rental property, you have to take into consideration what is common in your area. In a Midwestern city where suburban living is preferred, buying a downtown condo with a high fee might become a liability. In NYC, you buy a condo (or a coop), and you have to face a large, $1-2.5K a month maintenance fee.

tolamapS said:   tchen811 said:   I am a board member of my condo HOA. In my opinion, it's only a waste if the HOA is not properly maintained. There was a thread not too long ago where a 12 unit association was being 'maintained' by a old man for $15,000 a year. Not only that, the HOA reserve has only $300 in the bank... What I've told people who are purchasing in a condo is to be active and involved in the HOA. That doesn't mean you have to be a board member (although preferred since you get to be part of the decision makers). You can request monthly financial statements and look over expenses that the HOA has incurred and ask questions if something doesn't look right.

Also, a HOA is not an investment, so you don't 'recoup' anything. The job of the HOA is to maintain the common areas (i.e. repair things that needs to be fixed, pay bills.. etc.) So you are paying for something that the HOA as a whole is using.


1. Fees in a Condo HOA go towards these categories:

(a) building and structure insurance. Remember, when you have a single-family, detached home, you insure the structure yourself. In a condo, typically, your own homeowners insurance covers 20% of the structure's cost, and whatever you have inside (like floors, kitchen, bathroom, etc),

(b) utilities for common areas, and in some cases, for your own usage. this includes: (i) electric for hallway and garage lighting, elevator operation, (ii) heating and cooling for common areas, (iii) sometimes water / sewer, heating, hot water for your own use,

(c) common area maintenance, which can be brought down into two parts: (i) operation, like operating and maintaining the elevators, and (ii) fixing issues like repair / replacing roof, outside walls, garage doors, hallway paint and carpet, etc. Related to this category, it is good to understand what is included. The best type of maintenance deal is when you, as a homeowner, are responsible only for walls-in, and everything else is covered by the HOA. Of course, the HOA fee will be very high.

(d) paying for professional management,

(e) extras like luxury amenities such as pools, tennis courts, gyms, private security, doormen, 24-hour on-call, etc,

(f) paying into reserves.

I think it is important to understand what is included in your HOA maintenance.

E.g., in New York City, maintenance for typical condos is $1 / a month per square feet. Let's say you have a "comfortable" (for NY City standards) 1500 SqFt apartment. Maintenance is going to be $1500 a month. If you have a terrace or some outdoor area, your monthly maintenance is probably higher.

In some associations, especially townhome, there is a bare-bones HOA fees, which covers almost nothing.

I believe the in terms of purchasing your own private residence, or a rental property, you have to take into consideration what is common in your area. In a Midwestern city where suburban living is preferred, buying a downtown condo with a high fee might become a liability. In NYC, you buy a condo (or a coop), and you have to face a large, $1-2.5K a month maintenance fee.


As one addition, maintenance in a co-op covers a lot more than a condo fee in a condo - most notably, property taxes.

rpi1967 said:   a neighbor who lives alone and can not do anything around her home, felt that 250 dollars for condo fee a month was terribly high but she spends 100 dollars per week for lawn service and 1000 dollars a year for tree trimming. Of course she would be much better off in the condo but the fees seem to her to be a waste.
100 a week for lawn care?
How many acre's does she have?
That seems quite high to me.

My daughter's condo fees are $381 a month. Water and Electric are included. It is a high raise condo with a pool, a gated entry and the property manager and the maintenance man live on premises. It is well worth is to me for her to be there.

Exterior maintenence is included. Snow shoveling, replacing windows, etc. Plus they throw in water.

Not really crazy about it, but it is a cost somebody has to pay. But I wouldn't get involved if it was much more then $200 a month or so

I think some people didn't notice that OP is talking about New York City.
Canards like "all HOA fees are a waste" might ring true in most of the country but are simply inapplicable to somewhere filled with high-rises where the need for things like working elevators pretty much necessitates an association of some sort.

That said, study the association documents carefully, and try to get a handle from multiple residents about how well run it is. Realize that efficiencies increase as you scale up. A 6-unit building will by its nature have more expenses per-unit and offer fewer services than a 600 unit building. Do your homework when buying an investment condo.

JonnyRock said:   rpi1967 said:   a neighbor who lives alone and can not do anything around her home, felt that 250 dollars for condo fee a month was terribly high but she spends 100 dollars per week for lawn service and 1000 dollars a year for tree trimming. Of course she would be much better off in the condo but the fees seem to her to be a waste.
100 a week for lawn care?
How many acre's does she have?
That seems quite high to me.

half acre in san antonio TX



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