Buying a condominium townhouse was the best decision for our family as immigrant, first-time homeowners. I stress the "immigrant" part because home structures and maintenance look very different in Nigeria than they do in Canada. We didn't know the what stucco was, had never lived in a place where it snowed regularly, didn't even know what proper winter jackets were before we moved to Canada from Houston. Living in a condo where the external and structural maintenance was the responsibility of the condo board gave us a chance to learn about home ownership in Canada at our own pace.
It's been 8 years of living in our townhouse and we've learnt a lot! We're now fairly confident that we can manage a single family detached home and are currently house hunting. One of the reasons why we want to move is that while condo living is low-maintenance, that carefree living comes at a price. For us, that price is in monthly condo fees.
Our monthly condo fees are $702 and breakdown as follows:
It's easy to look at the above breakdown and figure out which expenses would be off the table if we were not living in a condo. If you're thinking of owning a condo, these are some of the costs you can expect to see in your condo fees.
PS: Owning a unit in a building with an elevator has a significant impact on costs
PPS: This cost breakdown does not consider special assessments which can come up. For transparency sake, I can share that we've had 2 special assessments in the last 8 years.
Owning a condo may be carefree, but it comes at a price. It's the price we chose to pay but are ready to move away from.