The majority of Canadian condo buyers are not aware that their monthly condo fees can increase at any time, says new research from TD Canada Trust.

TD Canada Trust conducted an online survey in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver and found that 68 per cent of condo buyers didn’t realize their fees could go up while more than a third (38 per cent) said they weren’t confident they could afford an increase.

“Purchasing a condo may help you build equity, but the financial commitment of owning a condo may be larger and more complex than many buyers may realize,” said Farhaneh Haque, Director of Mortgage Advice for TD Canada Trust. “It’s important to do your research before you hit the open houses to understand the true costs of condo ownership.”

From burst pipes to leaky roofs – as is the case with detached houses – maintenance fees and other costs can crop up unexpectedly, so Farhaneh recommends condo buyers create a cushion in their budget for unexpected expenses and build an emergency fund to cover possible special levies.

“Keeping a pulse on the health of your condominium’s finances, such as its reserve fund, can help you to create a realistic annual budget that anticipates condo fee increases and special assessments,” she said.

Worth noting: the survey polled 609 residents in the four cities – either condo owners, or prospective buyers – from October 20th to October 25th.

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