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January 10, 2008

Are My Fees Going To Go Up In My New Philadelphia Condo?

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:07 pm

Not only is this a good question, it is often asked, and it is relevant. There are many issues to consider when answering this question. Let’s assume you are looking at a new condo building here in town that has a new elevator, roof, windows, common area hallways, etc. The answer to your question can be a strong yes, or a strong no.

Yes- Your condo fees are going to rise significantly in the first year:

If an initial review of the budget reveals that the developer has artificially kept fees low, and really skewed the budget to an unrealistic level of operation, then there is no way in hell your condo fees are going to be what the developer is suggesting, in say years two and three. This introductory “teaser’ fees are bullcrap, and that is kinda’ shady of someone to pull that kind of stuff on buyers. A close examination of the condo budget can easily reveal such trickery if you know what you are looking for.

No- Your condo fees should remain stable for the first five years or so:

If your building has a new roof, new windows, a new elevator, new fire systems with a new stair tower(s), new common area carpeting, paint, etc. then you can reasonably expect that your condo fees are going to be stable for the first five years or so of the inception of your Philadelphia condo association. The key is to look at the budget again, and determine if the developer is being honest and truthful, and to see what the fees cover. Do your fees include water and sewer, or are they being billed separately? Does the master insurance policy adequately cover the replacement value of the building? Is a management fee included in your monthly dues?

Generally speaking, I think fees do remain stable in new construction condo buildings here in most Center City Philadelphia condo buildings. Just keep a sharp eye on the budget to make sure that all possible items are accounted for.  And make sure there is money set aside each month into a “rainy day” fund (aka: capital improvements fund).

I personally fell in love with Philadelphia real estate in the late 1980’s and became a resident when I bought my very first condo here in the Old City section of town.  From working with bank foreclosures on multi-unit buildings to helping developers turn apartment buildings into condominium buildings, I have pretty much carved my niche as a condominium specialist.  Today, as a realtor with Prudential Fox and Roach’s Society Hill office and once again an owner of an Old City condominium, I can say with confidence that I am intimately familiar with the lofts and condos (and their association fees ) here in Center City Philadelphia!    

Are you looking for honesty and insight into your future condo fees? Pick a realtor with a lot of knowledge and experience in Philadelphia condominiums, and you might just be happy you did!

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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