It would be most helpful if a condo buyer is made aware of these extra costs
Q: What are included in a condo’s association fees?
A: Association fees are dues collected by the property management office or the homeowners’ association of a condominium building to be used for general upkeep and other operating expenses. Before getting a condo unit, check with the salesperson or real estate broker for fees that come with owning a condo unit. Condo fees are often overlooked or not properly explained. It would be most helpful if the buyer is educated about these extra costs.
But why charge the unit owner extra fees?
Some people may get turned off by the thought of hidden charges associated with buying a condo. Common perception conveys that homeowners only have to be responsible for their units and their parking space. As mentioned beforehand, association dues cover the maintenance costs of the building of which the condo unit is part of. Instead of the homeowners doing the maintenance themselves, the property developer outsource this task to qualified personnel of employment agencies.
How much is a condo association fee?
The amount a condo owner pays depends on the size of their unit. Some condos, especially high-end ones, charge as high as Php96 per square meter, while low- and mid-end condos charge between Php35 and Php65 per square meter. The more amenities and the larger the common areas to maintain, the higher the association fees that units owners may have to pay.
What expenses are covered by association dues?
In case you remain unconvinced, these are the things paid for by association dues:
1. Regular upkeep of amenities
Payment of dues is needed to maintain the amenities and areas commonly used by the homeowners. This would entail the upkeep of the condo’s swimming pool, lounging area, playground, jogging path, gym, clubhouse or multi-purpose function hall, gazebos and other physical amenities. Dues also shoulder landscaping and whitewashing expenses.
2. General repairs
The property management office has to ensure that condo facilities and amenities are functional. A portion of the dues goes to the payment of general and simple repairs such as painting, electric repairs, and plumbing. Consult with the property management office regarding repairs that are not mentioned in this article.
You probably worry about thugs sneaking at night to vandalize your property or to steal your valuables. Aside from the wide gates and walls that secure the building, the presence of security personnel providing 24-hour security gives homeowners peace of mind and comfort in knowing that the building is secure.
4. Waste disposal
In a condo setting, the property management takes care of the homeowners’ solid-waste disposal concerns.
5. Payment of salaries
A portion of the dues is set aside to pay the wages of personnel employed by the condo to attend to its upkeep. They include security personnel, utility workers and other persons hired for specific jobs or services. In most cases, however, the condo corporation hires a third-party property management, who takes care of all these.
What are the exclusions?
Prospective homeowners should clarify with their agents or brokers other fees to be paid aside from monthly condo association fees. For example, owning a parking space means additional condo fees on top of that charged for the condo unit you own. In addition, repairs that need to be made inside the condo unit are not covered, as they are normally shouldered by the unit owner. Furthermore, although fire extinguishers are included when the unit is turned over, getting them refilled annually would be the owner’s responsibility.
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