Boston condos for sale: What do condo fees pay for?

Along with your mortgage and taxes, the monthly condo fees is another expense involved with downtown Boston condo ownership. Boston condo buyers frequently ask me , “What is included in the monthly fee?”

How Condominium Fees are Calculated on Boston Condos

Condominium owners own the interior of their unit and a “percentage of common ownership” in the building. Overall, this “percentage of common ownership” is based off of the square footage of their Boston condo, to the entire condo building.  For example, 1 bedroom 700 sq.ft. condo is going to pay less monthly condo fees than a 2 bedroom 1,200 sq.ft. condo in the same building.

Boston Condo Fees: What They Pay For.

I have had some Boston condo buyers ask if these fees are just a way for the condo association to make money. The fees bring in money to pay for the common expenses for the condo association. These expenses include:

Common water to the building.

Water is supplied by most condo associations. Many times each condo has their own hot water tank so each owner would be responsibly for heating the water which many times is done by natural gas.

Common hallway electric.

 This also includes any exterior lighting the building has.

The master insurance policy and flood insurance policy,

if the building needs a flood insurance policy. In a condominium, the association has a master insurance policy which covers the structure of the building as well liability protection. Each Boston condo owner would need to insure the interior of the condo. This is commonly referred to has condominium insurance.

A management company to oversee the building.

The management company handles the the payment of the common bills, collection of maintenance fees and overall maintenance of the common areas. Some smaller Boston condo buildings sometimes choose to self-manage to save some money. The larger buildings like in Downtown Boston, the Seaport District condos, and high rises in Boston Midtown have on-site management to handle maintenance.

Funds to build reserve account.

As Boston condo buildings becomes older, issues may arise and repairs may need to be addressed. Many associations will reserve part of the monthly fees to build the reserve account to address these issues.

Heat & hot water.

Some of the older condo buildings in Boston do not have separate boilers, so the maintenance fees include heat & hot water. Most modern construction building have separate heating units or zones for each condo.

Building amenities 

like a on-site fitness center, resident’s lounge, pool, concierge. Many of the Boston waterfront luxury condo buildings include these amenities. The cost of these amenities are paid from the maintenance fees.

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