We have a client right now who has been searching for freehold townhouses with NO CONDO FEES.⁠

“There’s no way I would EVER pay condo fees. What a rip-off!”⁠

We hear that language all the time. But if you examine what condo fees include – exterior maintenance, including roofs and windows in some cases, road maintenance, lawn care and monthly water bills – it doesn’t seem as bad. Right?⁠

But still… most people have an aversion to the condo fees.⁠

Let’s have a look at the costs. Right now, you can buy a freehold townhouse for about $800,000. ⁠

The equivalent value for a condo townhouse might float around the $625,000 range with an average of $400/month in fees in Milton. ⁠

Both houses would provide three-bedrooms, similar size, a functional basement and a smallish backyard.⁠

Let’s have a closer look at the two expenses that REALLY matter: how much you need UPFRONT, and how much ONGOING, and we’ll see where that takes us.⁠

FREEHOLD $800,000⁠

Down payment: $160,000(assuming 20% down, although you could buy with 5% down) Mortgage payment: $3,293/month (2.5% interest rate) Taxes: $256/month Condo fees: $0/month⁠

TOTAL PER MONTH: $3,548 + utilities⁠

TOTAL UP FRONT: $176,000(with 2% budget for closing costs)⁠

Now let’s look at the condo townhouse option…⁠

CONDO TOWNHOUSE $625,000⁠

Down payment: $125,000(assuming 20% down, although you could buy with 5% down) Mortgage payment: $2,643/month (2.5% interest rate) Taxes: $177/month Condo fees: $408/month (includes water, exterior maintenance and building insurance)⁠

TOTAL PER MONTH: $3,228 + utilities⁠

TOTAL UP FRONT: $137,500⁠

Now we’re talking! You save a total of $38,500 in up-front day one expenses, and $128 per month by buying a condo townhouse. ⁠

Over the next 25 years, you would SAVE $38,500 by choosing the condo option, including all those extra monthly condo fees.