Home Buying in Bethesda>Question Details

Abebe4, Home Buyer in Bethesda, MD

I wanted to buy an apartment and saw both HOA fee and CONDO fee. Please explain why both, and also I heard condo fees are uncontrolled

Asked by Abebe4, Bethesda, MD Thu Oct 10, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello Abebe4!

1) Condo HOA fee: These fees are used to maintain, and insure the building and surrounding lawn, carports, storage area... (you will still want to carry and interior contents policy much like a renters insurance policy) In addition this fee may cover items such as: cable, internet, pest control, trash, property management, accounting, water, sewer, irrigation etc. The list of items included will vary from community to community. The Condo HOA fee that is higher may be the better deal since Condo Associations get bulk rates on services. These fees vary as are collected monthly, quarterly, or Semi-annually.

2) Master HOA fee: This fee is utilized to pay for common grounds, guard gate, street lights, club house, gym and other amenities. This fee may be billed may be monthly, quarterly, or Semi-annually and is often separate from the Condo HOA fee. Not every community designates a Master fee but instead builds it into the Condo HOA fee. So at first glance one Condo fee may look very high until you realize the community you are comparing it to has both a Condo and Master HOA fee.

I hope this helps.

Bridgette "Kyria" Chase
Exit Bennett Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
Many neighborhoods have a master home owners association which covers community amenities that serve everyone in the neighborhood (HOA).

And then they type of ownership within that community can be Condo. Those properties classified as condo ownership would have their own fees for maintaining and insuring the building and provide monthly services often including water and sewer and some unit maintenance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
Each Condo building determines through their "Board of Directors" what will be included in both the HOA (Home Owner's Association) and the Condo Fee. Typically the HOA is responsible for the building's upkeep and rules of the building, inside and out, while the Condo Fee concentrates on fees specific to your individual unit; ie: utilities, insurance and other items that have been decided on when units were initially offered for sale. It is easy for an agent to make a mistake in the Multiple Listing System to include both. Condo fees are determined by the rising costs of what is included in that fee, such as: Utilities. That fee has to be passed on to the owner and is only controlled by the Utility companies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
HOA Fee will probably cover items such as exercise equipment in the gym, items provided in the meeting/party room, life guard for the pool, etc. The condo fee will cover maintenance of the building, parking garages and common areas, including garbage removal, landscaping, mowing, snow removal etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
It is not unusual for a condominium to be located in a Homeowners Assoc as a result the unit owner is a member of both the condo council of unit owners and the HOA in which the condo is located. The fees of the condo are determined by the budget (operating cost of the condo). The budget is developed by the officers that the owners elect to its condo board. Condos are a specialty, so if you want further information about a specific condo, I am glad to provide the information to help you in your decision.
Lucy Kessler
Associate Broker RE/MAX Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
HOA and condo fees will cover the lawn care, building maintenance, building insurance and more.
When they list both fees, you will need to look closely at what each fee covers.
Condo fees are controlled by the condo association meaning they vote on the monthly fee. HOA can be monthly, annually or 4 times a year. This fee will typically be lower, overall, than the condo fee.
In summary, read the details of what is covered by both.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
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