Expensive Condo Fees

Your Questions Answered

At Ashlar, I firmly b that an educated home buyer or seller is best equipped to make their own decisions. That’s why I take time out of my day each and every day to answer someone’s real estate question.  And, when I think the answer can be useful to you as well, I share it here.  So without further ado:


Why are condo fees so high?

Condos in Tampa are actually a bit cheaper than ones on the beach and in St Pete, usually by a few hundred per month.

Condo fees are “high” for a few reasons compared to single-family homes.

Main reason is that condos by nature have to structure maintenance, which most homeowners don’t do. If a homeowner were to set aside and budget for a new roof, a/c, water heater, and multiple paintings every 15 years it’d come out to roughly $150-$400 a month.

Now add in the additional amenities that condos usually bring… pools, seawalls, weight rooms, community rooms, tennis courts, landscaping, and all the attendant manpower and insurances to cover that and maintain those areas.

And finally, there are some things that get thrown onto your condo fees like sewer, water, trash, and sometimes event cable tv and cable internet.

As part of buying a condo by state law, you are required to be provided with the full condo documents including financials so you can gauge the health of a condo.

While low condo fees sound great, it can indicate the residents don’t actually understand what it takes to maintain a multifamily structure and they will be short when major capital expenses come due (roofs, elevators, paint). Roofs on even small buildings can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So far as buy or wait, that part is pretty easy to determine. If you planning on staying here longer than about 12 months it is cheaper to buy versus rent now, even factoring in closing costs.

Kyle Sasser

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