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House maintenance fee.

GovernorARNOLD

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hey there

Just wondering what it costs to maintain a house. I would like to compare prices with condo fees. So what does it cost for an average home, for gas, hydro, taxes. Please let me know your breakdowns. Thank you.
 

MBS-Guru

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i'm guessing house maintenance is cheaper than condos, assuming you have the competence to do the things yourself. Mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, painting every few years etc. doesn't cost much ..... but then again you have to change windows, roofing, repave driveway every 10-20 years.
If you're cheap you can forego maintaining a house and save some money but you can't do that when you're in a condo.
 

dosbox

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would be great to see a breakdown
Err, any reason why you can't do that yourself? List all the things you'd need to do, along with the time it would take. Multiply by whatever your hourly rate is. For anything that only requires doing once every X years, divide accordingly.
 

Jarrek

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would be great to see a breakdown
Every home is different.

On my 3300 sq ft Triplex (3 apartments) in South Etobicoke (all prices rounded up):

Expenses:

Property Taxes: $3600/year
Electricity: $50/month (common), $40 for our apartment
Gas: $200/month (includes water tank rental)
Water: $600/year
Insurance: $90/month
New Garbage Fee: $180/year (starting October, I increased the rent for the other two apartments)
Landscaping: Father in law does it for free :D

I do most of the plumbing/electrical myself. I did have the AC line moved recently however, that set me back around $300. Starting to replace some of the old windows, already spent about $3000 on new windows and exterior doors over the past 3 years. Will need to spend another $4000-$5000 to replace the rest.
 

gei

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i'm guessing house maintenance is cheaper than condos, assuming you have the competence to do the things yourself. Mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, painting every few years etc. doesn't cost much ..... but then again you have to change windows, roofing, repave driveway every 10-20 years.
If you're cheap you can forego maintaining a house and save some money but you can't do that when you're in a condo.
I think in the long term house maintenance is considered to be higher. A leaky roof, or pipe, dealing with animal infestations, broken windows, etc etc, can all run hundreds or thousands of dollars. All sorts of things can (and will) go wrong in a house that you will have to pay for out of your own pocket.
 

northstar

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house maintenance

Here's my point of view, having owned both a house and a condo. (apologies in advance for the long post) :)

I think over the long-term, condo maintenance is cheaper (providing the building is well-managed).

I made the mistake of thinking that maintenance costs in owning a home would be cheaper because I wouldn't have some yahoo down the hall who cranks up the air conditioning, yet at the same time has all his windows open to allow for fresh air. Without question, this is a total waste of money, but net/net it's a small factor in calculation of the total maintenance cost.

CONDO Example:

Fully one-third of the maintenance in my condo building went to the reserve fund, which covered roof repair, maintenance of water pipes, siding on the building - among other things. NOTE: Maintenance costs seem high, but they are evened out over time because one pays the same amount each month.

House Example:

Now that I own a home, it's true that in one month my maintenance costs that relate to Utilities might be lower as a percentage. But I have more house to heat (3 bedroom ~ 1400 sqft). Therefore the saving is not as much as one would have previously thought.

In three years of living at the house, I've had the following costs: Roof replacement (~$6000), Basement crack and foundation repairs (~$800), Repairs to siding and new windows (~$750). Within the next few years, the concrete sidewalk to the street will need replacement, plus the wooden deck on the back porch needs to be repaired or replaced. Eventually new siding or brick repairs will have to be done to replace worn out brick.

In addition Insurance costs are much higher (about $900/yr higher). In the condo, I simply had to pay for contents insurance, because the maintenance fees covered building insurance. Also, taxes are higher because I've got more house per square/feet of land. Taxes are generally lower on a condo because of the higher density zoning (although a component of land value does play a factor). My taxes jumped about $1800/year with the purchase of a house. That difference alone almost makes up for any "presumed" savings on maintenance fees.
________________


In summary: A condo vs. a house is a lifestyle choice. We wanted a place that afforded some privacy with a back yard for entertaining and barbecues. Also, it is nice to sit on a private patio in the morning and enjoy the paper while having a coffee. (One could also do this on a private balcony, but being surrounded by trees and a garden is more aesthetically pleasing).

Also, speaking of gardening, it's nice to be able to plan and design the layout of a backyard garden space, without having to get consensus from 50 other unit owners. (That is, if there's a backyard garden space to begin with - as many condo's have only a rooftop patio).

Net/Net: I believe a condo is less expensive in terms of maintenance and upkeep costs... the question is how much are you willing to pay to enjoy having a private barbecue in the backyard?
 

jackiechandc

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Houses are more expensive overall as they are much bigger. If you calculate the costs based on square footage, then condos are waaayyyyy more expensive so you are really comparing apples to oranges here. Also you have to consider how old the house/condo is.
 

dpylyp

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Maintainence fees

While concerned about fees,
Security/Conceirge 24 hours per day
Pool and exercise equipment
Sauna
Theaters and Video equipment and updates,
Party Rooms and Guest Suites,
24 security lighting in all underground hallways and parking,
are all included in the fees.

So you must also compare what amanities exist in a complex vs a bare bones building.

I agree with the comment above about deferred maintenance, some owners just let it slide til they sell.
 

nekz

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if you would like to know how much will it cost you to maintain your house beautiful better visit urbanthink.ca coz they had help me a lot more on house issues like maintaining stuff in my house and how to pick the best house for my family. They really approachable and nice. I trust them for about 5 years.

My first experience with them is on how to pick my first ever bought house they offer great advices for some real estate in toronto. And as toronto real estate agents they really helped me a lot. Thanks to urbanthink agent Marc Paille.

Thanks Marc!

.... ban!
 

lenaitch

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As others have mentioned, finding an apples-to-apples comparison is the key and the challenge. Things like location and square 'footage' are part of it. A new or newer downtown condo competes with much older downtown housing. The maintenance costs of an older home depend on how much it is has been upgraded and that will affect maintenance costs especially in terms of energy use. Suburban homes tend to be newer, but even that is a broad statement. Clearly, something built in the 1950s will be closer to current standards than something built in the 1900s, but still lags something built five years ago. Much depends on the due diligence done at the time of purchase. For example, older, inefficient windows can be saved for and hopefully reflected in the price you paid. Deteriorating clay brick usually occurs over the long term. Older electrical wiring can remain perfectly safe if used 'as is', but increased demand and renovations could trigger and significant cost.

For a condo maintenance fee, you would have to somehow isolate out the costs for thing like exercise rooms and other common use elements that don't compare to an older home. As well, you have to separate 'maintenance' from 'renovation'. Maintenance is repairing/replacing the roof; renovation is a new stone counter top replacing the possibly dated but still functional laminate one. On that note, I never experienced or heard of having to replace paved driveway - properly installed in the first instance - every 10-20 years.
 

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