Home Buying in 02143>Question Details

ceduley, Home Buyer in Somerville, MA

what are the average condo HOA fees per month in somerville, MA for a 2-3 BR? are these negotiable with the condo cost?

Asked by ceduley, Somerville, MA Thu Mar 14, 2013

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Condo fees are not negotiable. They are set by the condo association and are calculated by the percentage share of each unit in relation to the total area of the building. The costs vary from building to building and unit to unit. The cost will depend on what's included - water/sewer charges, master insurance, any landscaping or snow removal, cleaning of common areas, building maintenance, parking, professional management, etc. Some condo fees even include heat/hot water.

When you are shopping for your new home, make sure to ask the listing agent what the condo fee includes, then you can properly calculate any additional monthly costs into your budget that aren't covered.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 14, 2013
Depends on the building. For instance if it is a full service building with an elevator and lots of amenities (gym, tennis courts, etc) expect very high fees >$600 / month. If, as another example, the building is a huge brownstone composed of over 10 units you can also expect higher fees (a lot of building to maintain). If it is a 2-3 condo association w/ very little amenities and shared common costs (master insurance, snow removal, etc) you can expect fees
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 20, 2013
It (monthly HOA fee) radically depends on the specific "complex" & services you get in exchange. Some condo sellers may be willing to pay a few months of condo fees up-front as a condition of sale. But, long-term, the required monthly HOA fees are decided by the managing association, not the person who is selling the condo. Therefore it is not really possible to affect this expense.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 18, 2013
I think Joanne covered the question well. I would add the most small condo associations can get into some trouble if their fees are too low. When a big-ticket repair comes up, a low-fee association will not have money in reserve for the replacement of a roof, or an exterior paint job.
Therefore, paying attention to common-area repairs needs and finding out about the reserve of the association is critical to avoiding a sudden need to lay out thousands for a repair. Low fees are not the answer to low-cost living.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 14, 2013
The majority of the condo associations in Somerville are smaller complexes between 2 and say 10 units in total. The average monthly condo fee for these size associations range from $125 to $225. They usually cover the basics like water, sewer, master insurance and possibly landscaping or snow removal. Condo fees are set by the associations and are not negotiable. Larger condo associations will have much larger fees usually because of the added expenses like professional management and elevators (crazy expensive to run). It’s important to understand what the condo’s finances look like and make sure the association is spending their money wisely and budgeting for future expenses. As much as a lower fee or no fee is appealing it is truly not in your best interest. In general mortgage lenders like to see at least 10% of the condo association’s total yearly budget being put into the condo’s reserve account every year for future repairs. Ask any realtor, they can tell you horror stories about associations who tried to run with too low of a condo fee or none and ended up with giant special assessments and/or big problems. Remember a condo is different from a rental it’s an investment you want to make sure is cared for and not at risk. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. Good Luck, Joanne
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 14, 2013
thank you all for your help, we've been looking around Somerville and generally have been seeing some of the condo fees around the $200 mark, but we're looking at a property with HOA fees at about $380 per month, which is quite higher than the rest. This does not offer parking either, so it will be a good question to ask to see what is included. thanks!
Flag Fri Mar 15, 2013
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