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condos & fees

 
jandb15
(@jandb15)
Active Member

I may be living under a rock, but let me get this straight:

Condos can run anywhere from $50K (more or less) to upwards of a $1M (and let's face it, well over that), I get that. So, say you buy a condo for $200K - how do the condo fees work? I see on a lot of sites that they are monthly or quarterly, which can be pretty expensive as well. Are the fees factored into the mortgage loan for the condo itself?

Maybe it's just me but a $200K condo with $750 per month condo fees seem pretty steep, and I've only seen "insurance" and/or things like cable included. Also, most don't allow pets - yet I thought the point of a condo was to "own" it, or at least a "share" of it.

Insight?

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Topic starter Posted : May 21, 2015 6:13 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Of course this is nothing peculiar to the USVI and the costs vary hugely. In fact I have friends who own a condo in the $250K range here who would love to be paying only the $750/month in fees you mentioned rather than the $1250 a month they're stuck with! Here's a good article which explains all the ins and outs and variables which you may find helpful:

http://www.styleathome.com/homes/real-estate/condo-fees-explained/a/38726

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Posted : May 21, 2015 6:25 pm
jandb15
(@jandb15)
Active Member

So I assume they're paying $1250 for the mortgage, PLUS $750 in condo fees? Good grief. This is why people rent. Or own, if they can.

Of course this is nothing peculiar to the USVI and the costs vary hugely. In fact I have friends who own a condo in the $250K range here who would love to be paying only the $750/month in fees you mentioned rather than the $1250 a month they're stuck with! Here's a good article which explains all the ins and outs and variables which you may find helpful:

http://www.styleathome.com/homes/real-estate/condo-fees-explained/a/38726/blockquote >

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Topic starter Posted : May 21, 2015 6:49 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

No. They pay their mortgage plus $1250 /month in condo fees.

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Posted : May 21, 2015 6:57 pm
Future Islander
(@Future_Islander)
Advanced Member

Here's some real insight.

1. First, do the math....know all the facts and costs. Know what the "fees" provide to you.

2. Your question should be: What is the total yearly cost to own? Then break it down into monthly increments.

3. My condo "fees" include Common Area Maintenance, Hurricane Insurance, Water, Satellite TV, Internet, Local Telephone Service, 24 Hour Security, Resort Wide Shuttle Service and a $92/month contribution into a Capital Reserves Fund (for future repairs).

4. Property Taxes: Less than $500/Year - Stateside you would pay thousands....

5. Electricity: That's up to the individual.

Hope this helps.......

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Posted : May 21, 2015 7:38 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Some condos (a couple) won't qualify for a bank/lender mortgage loan and cash is the only way to buy in so check before you get your heart set on a particular location.

The condo HOA fees are in addition to your mortgage loan as OT mentioned, plus, occasionally, there can be periods of special assessments which will increase those fees if there are projects planned for improvements for your building, etc.

Most condos do not allow pets. There are a couple that do but then they have type, size, weight and number limitations.

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Posted : May 21, 2015 7:45 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

Just so you know, with a condo you "own" everything that is inside the exterior walls of the unit you occupy and you are personally responsible for it's upkeep, repairs as well as for the utilities (electricity, water, telephone, cable, satellite TV) you use. FYI - cable and/or Satellite TV are rarely paid for by the Condo Association.

The exterior of the building, the land and all the amenities (aka common areas) are owned by the condo association and all the costs necessary to operate the common areas are shared by the individual condo owners and are assessed as "Condo Fees".

These Condo Fees (aka Home Owners Association Fees) vary from complex to complex and take into account the costs to maintain all common areas of the complex, salaries for maintainance / management staff, insurance, common utilities as well as reserves for future required capital improvements or unanticipated repairs, etc.

Most condos assess their fees monthly but some do it quarterly. In addition there is always the possibility of a Special Assessment to cover shortfalls because expenses for the year were more than expected or in the event there were unanticipated expenses during a given time period.

The fees are in addition to any mortgage payment the individual condo owners may have. So,yes, if the condo you are living in has HOA Fees of $750/month and you have a mortgage payment of $1,250/month your monthly carrying costs for your unit will be $2,000. You'll pay $1,250 to your lender and the balance to your condo association.

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Posted : May 21, 2015 8:13 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Each condo association has different rules and regs for assessments. If you are thinking of buying, investigate. Just as an aside, you are buying a share of the physical property, but there are many other owners and the rules (e.g.,no pets, no loud music, no individual short term rentals, no this or that...) are made for everyone. 😉

It is expensive to live in Paradise.

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Posted : May 21, 2015 8:19 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

Where we own, STC witch is on STX, the fees are $617 per month. That includes insurance, outside maintenance, 24 hour security, cable with 5 HBO channels, water, and money being set aside for capital expenses. We also have one of the best views on island.
Some are as high as $1800 per month.
We only allow one cat, no dogs or birds. Most nice condos there go in the range of $100K. Some have sold lately for much cheaper but needed MUCH work.

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Posted : May 22, 2015 2:11 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

We lived at mill harbor for a Year. The mortgage was about 395 and the condo fees were 1250.

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Posted : May 22, 2015 10:53 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

We lived at mill harbor for a Year. The mortgage was about 395 and the condo fees were 1250.

Yikes!

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Posted : May 22, 2015 10:54 am
COLDER
(@COLDER)
Advanced Member

My condo fees are based on square footage and billed monthly on STX
If you are doing a mortgage, make sure that condo's insurance includes hurricane/wind coverage and is thru a insurance company
Mortgage companies will not except coverage thru condo associations that are self insured
I found this out the hard way
My hurricane insurance costs me about $20 per $1000 of coverage per year and this is on top of my mortgage payment, HOQ fees and utilities.
You will need to have hurricane coverage up to the amount of your mortgage

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Posted : May 22, 2015 1:00 pm
bathiel
(@bathiel)
Trusted Member

We also carry insurance on the contents of our condo, which are not covered by our association's insurance. Basically, it's similar to the "renter's insurance" one would buy when renting an apartment in the states.

Bernie

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Posted : May 22, 2015 1:07 pm
stxdreamer
(@stxdreamer)
Advanced Member

Home ownership always has costs. I live in a nice single family home here in Kentucky. My cost of home ownership, in addition to my mortgage, include insurance, property taxes, maintenance, cleaning and lawn care. My monthly expenses for these items is approximately $1000/month. That is in addition to my mortgage. My cable and internet fees are an additional 175/month. These are costs that you will incur, one way or another, whether you pay via a monthly condo fee, or simply individually to each provider of services each month. Nothing is free in this world.

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Posted : May 22, 2015 9:18 pm
rmb2830
(@rmb2830)
Advanced Member

condo common charges on island usually include the cost of insurance on the property itself...all the buildings and sometimes certain interior features as well. At one of the VI condos where we used to own, the entire premium for the common insurance was about $25,000 before Hurricane Hugo, for coverage totaling millions of dollars. Subsequent to that storm, and after about 10-15 years, the premium had increased to more than $300,000 a year, and the deductible increased from about $5000 to hundreds of thousands....so go figure this cost divided by how many units, and see why the monthly fees are so high.

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Posted : May 22, 2015 9:37 pm
jandb15
(@jandb15)
Active Member

I hear ya, Dreamer! Currently own a home in TN and my mortgage includes homeowners insurance and property taxes. HOA fees are $30 per month and only cover common area lawn care. As I'm looking into relocating and starting to explore housing options on the islands, I'm incredibly discouraged by the amount of money it's going to cost for just a condo. I'm much better off owning my own home there, but I totally follow you guys: insurance premiums are astronomical. I can't quite wrap my head around spending $2K a month on a mediocre condo with outrageously expensive condo fees. Ugh!

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Topic starter Posted : May 23, 2015 12:46 am
explorer
(@explorer)
Advanced Member

I owe a condo and my Condominium Association fees includes Hurricane insurance and pay $330.00 a month.
I have a mortgage with the bank in Canada. Why wouldn't the bank accept the claim?
The Condominium Association is insured with the reputable Insurance in St.Croix.
What do you mean by Condominium Association is self insured?

I also have a personal insurance for my content and rental coverage separately?
To pay extra hurricane insurance would be very expensive and double insuring the hurricane and wind coverage.

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Posted : May 23, 2015 5:00 pm
explorer
(@explorer)
Advanced Member

The question was for "Colder" about the hurricane insurance.

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Posted : May 23, 2015 5:14 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

If self insured the condo association itself puts money aside for windstorm damage through their condo fees to have in reserve aside from maintenance reserve and does not go thru an insurance company.

Lenders don't normally lend on self insuranced associations. Crystal Cove/Sapphire West is an example. If you wish to purchase a unit there, you'll have to pay cash. There are others this applies to as well. There can also be a combination of elements, in addition to the self insurance, that can result in not being able to get a mortgage loan for specific condo associations.

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Posted : May 23, 2015 9:52 pm
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