Florida Condo Fees Explained
When people consider purchasing a condo in Southwest Florida the first question they usually ask is “what exactly is covered in the condo fees?” The answer is quite a lot! Below is a list of the most common items paid for with condo fees. Every condo is different of course but the items listed below are almost universally included in Florida condominium association community fees.
- Insurance on the building. All you pay for separately is insurance on the inside of the unit if you choose to purchase that extra insurance.
- Flood insurance on the building. Again if you want flood insurance on the inside of your unit and your contents, you could purchase extra insurance for that.
- Insurance for the association and public areas of the condominium.
- Grounds maintenance, tree trimming, grass cutting, mulching, weeding, etc.
- Exterior building maintenance, painting the building, power washing, repairs etc. Basically everything outside of the unit you own would be taken care of by the condo association.
- Maintenance of the gate and entrance roads, parking lot repaving and sweeping etc.
- Security. Some associations might have a guarded gate or neighborhood watch.
- Management services to enforce condo rules and regulations, collecting condo fees, paying contractors for services, accounting, etc.
- Pool heating and cleaning, maintenance and repair.
- Clubhouse maintenance, cleaning, electricity, water bills, etc.
- Maintenance and repair of any amenities like tennis courts, pickle ball, bocce ball, volleyball courts, basketball courts or the workout facilities, billiard rooms, libraries, etc.
- Pest control throughout the complex and even inside your unit.
- Escrow reserves funding. Part of the condo fee goes into a savings account to pay for large expenditures like replacing the roof or repaving the parking lot when necessary, etc.
- Water and sewer (usually)
- Basic cable (usually)
How are Florida condo fees paid?
Condo fees are generally paid monthly or quarterly. A quarter is 3 months, so to calculate what a quarterly payment would be monthly, just divide by 3. For example, a condo fee of $1500 per quarter equates to a monthly fee of $500 per month.
Who decides what condo dues are charged?
As a member of the condo association, you get to vote on what the condos fees are and how they are spent. The elected officials of the condo association will usually get with the management company to come up with a budget that everyone can get along with and then it's voted on.
Do the fees change over time?
In all probability yes the fees will change. As the price for services rise and fall so do condo fees.
Why are some condo fees so much more expensive than others?
There can be many factors on this one, but here are some of the more prevalent ones:
- Escrow Reserves. This is the saving for the rainy day fund. If this part of the condo fee is too high, the condo will be well funded but everyone will complain about the high monthly dues. If the escrow reserve part of the condo fee is too low, the monthly condo fee will be lower but there will not be any money in the budget for unforeseen expenses. This leads to special assessments for larger expenditures. Also, low escrow reserves turn off prospective buyers because they are worried the condo association is not well funded.
- Condo Insurance. A newer condo built away from the beach will be cheaper to get insurance on than an older unit closer to the beach. The insurance portion of the condo fee can be quite large in some instances.
- Amount of Amenities. Condos that have many amenities such as elaborate clubhouses, pools, etc. cost more to maintain, and fees in these types of communities will be higher.
Where do I go from here?
Whether you decide on a condo or home we are happy to help you purchase the perfect property. Feel free to contact us here for more information on how to get started. Of you can always call me directly at 941-740-8000.