If you're looking primarily at price (you shouldn't; there are many other factors to consider), consider both the monthly mortgage payment and the condo fee . . . and what you get for that total expense. Some condos legitimately have higher fees because they offer more services--more bells and whistles. A pool, a tennis court, a clubhouse, an exercise room, on-site management, and so on. So figure out what your total monthly expenses would be, and then compare that total figure to what you're getting--the condo itself, the services, the location, etc.
One tip: Be sure to look at a condo's financial statements. One with exceptionally low condo fees may be cutting corners, especially on maintenance and capital improvements. Or they might have low condo fees, but every year or two impose a hefty assessment. And just make sure the condo is in decent financial shape. Are all/most of the owners current on their condo fees? Or are 20%-30% or more delinquent?
Admittedly, when you go to sell, buyers will be looking at condo fees, just as you are now. And some just will reject properties with high condo fees. That's inevitable. But you really have to look at more than just the condo fees, but at the total cost of ownership, and what you're getting for it.
Hope that helps.
Association dues very rarely go down. Association dues go to pay property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. When is the last time the prices of those services went down?
If you paid off your mortgage 100%, you would still have to pay association dues every single month. Make sure you are comfortable paying these dues every single month for as long as you own the thing.
Keller Williams Elite - Dallas, TX
Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills South
I like condos with high association fees, if they're being spent wisely. There's a certain amount that it costs to run a condo: master insurance policy, utilities - you're going to pay for them whether or not they're included in the common charges - janitorial, landscaping, elevator . . .
So look closely.