The dues are high but are they more than what you already pay?


Before deciding that the monthly association dues for a condo or townhouse are too high, find out what they cover and do some comparisons.

I don’t pay association dues, but it costs about $110 a month for homeowners insurance and another $25 for trash pick-up but that doesn’t include the part we pay through our property taxes. Water is about $53 a month. Add that up and we are already at $188 a month for items that are typically included in association dues.

We had the place reroofed a few years ago that cost several thousand dollars and is typically paid for with association dues. There are other items that are covered like snow removal and lawn care.

Some associations cover heating, cooling, cable and internet which can easily add up to another $300 a month.

People who live in condo buildings with underground heated garages pay for it through their association dues.

Some condos owners enjoy shared amenities like balconies, decks, swimming pools, party rooms, and exercise rooms with equipment. There might also be a library, a craft room and maybe a guest apartment.

Owners also pay for security access, professional management, mail rooms, laundry rooms and elevators. It all adds up.

People who do not want to pay for all of the amenities might be able to find a condo with fewer amenities and lower dues. Either way it is important to understand what the dues are paying for and to make some comparisons before deciding that association dues are too high. It is even possible that living in an association will be less costly than owning a house or renting an apartment.

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