July 12, 2023
costs of owning a condo
Breaking Down the Costs of Owning a Condo: A Guide for First-Time Owners
By LLCR Staff

Owning a condo offers numerous advantages, from the convenience of shared amenities to a vibrant community lifestyle. However, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the costs associated with condo ownership.

In this guide, we’ll break down the various expenses you need to consider to budget wisely and ensure a smooth condo ownership experience.

Costs of Owning a Condo

1. Monthly Condo Fees and HOA Fees

One of the primary costs of owning a condo is the monthly condo fee, also known as the Homeowners Association (HOA) fee. These fees cover the maintenance and upkeep of common areas, landscaping, security, and building insurance.

Monthly condo fees can vary significantly depending on the condo complex and its amenities. On average, condo fees in Chicago can range from $200 to $600 per month. For example, a condo in a high-rise building with extensive amenities like a fitness center, pool, and 24-hour concierge service may have higher fees, while a smaller building with fewer amenities may have lower fees.

2. Parking and Storage Unit Fees

If your condo includes designated parking or a storage unit, you may be required to pay additional fees.

Parking fees can vary based on the location and whether it’s indoor or outdoor parking. In downtown Chicago, monthly parking fees can range from $100 to $300 or more. Storage unit fees may cost an additional $50 to $150 per month, depending on the size of the storage space.

3. Repair and Maintenance Fees

As a condo owner, you are responsible for maintaining your unit. While the condo association takes care of common areas, you’ll need to budget for repairs and maintenance within your condo, such as fixing appliances, plumbing, or any interior upgrades.

Repair and maintenance costs will vary depending on the condition of the condo and any necessary upgrades. On average, condo owners should budget around 1% of the condo’s value annually for maintenance and repairs. For example, if your condo is valued at $300,000, you should budget around $3,000 per year for maintenance and repairs.

4. Special Assessment Fees

In some cases, condo associations may impose special assessment fees to cover unexpected expenses or major repairs not covered by the regular condo fees. It’s essential to be prepared for these additional costs that can arise on short notice.

Special assessment fees are usually one-time expenses for unexpected repairs or improvements to the condo building. These costs can vary widely depending on the nature of the assessment. For instance, a special assessment for a roof replacement may cost each unit owner $1,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the size of the building and the scope of the project.

5. Utilities

Condo fees usually include some utilities, such as water, sewage, and garbage collection. However, other utilities like electricity, gas, internet, and TV are typically the responsibility of the condo owner.

Monthly utility costs will depend on your usage and the rates in your area. On average, Chicago residents can expect to pay around $100 to $150 per month for electricity, $50 to $100 for gas, and $50 to $100 for internet and TV services.

6. Insurance and Taxes

As a condo owner, you’ll need to have insurance to protect your personal belongings and liability. Additionally, property taxes are another cost you should factor into your budget.

The cost of condo insurance can vary based on the coverage and location. On average, condo insurance in Chicago can range from $300 to $600 per year. Property taxes will depend on the value of your condo and the local tax rates. For a condo valued at $300,000, property taxes may amount to approximately $4,000 to $6,000 per year.

7. Mortgage Payments

If you financed your condo purchase with a mortgage, make sure to budget for the monthly mortgage payments.

Mortgage payments will vary based on the loan amount, interest rate, and loan term. For instance, with a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4%, the monthly mortgage payment on a $300,000 condo would be around $1,145.

8. Lifestyle Expenses

Owning a condo may come with lifestyle upgrades or higher living costs, such as dining out more frequently, exploring nearby entertainment options, or engaging in community events.

Lifestyle expenses will depend on individual preferences and choices. On average, dining out and entertainment expenses can range from $300 to $500 per month per person.

Being aware of the costs associated with condo ownership is essential for first-time owners to make informed financial decisions. From monthly condo fees and parking fees to utilities and insurance, understanding the full range of expenses will help you create a realistic budget and enjoy the benefits of condo living with confidence.

If you’re ready to begin your journey to buying a condo in Chicago, Luxury Living is here to help! Our team of real estate professionals have years of experience helping new buyers navigate the costs involved in homeownership, the ins and outs of the Chicago homebuying process, and more. Contact us to begin your search today!

Searching for more information on additional living expenses in Chicago to consider? Follow the link below.

Chicago Living Expenses You'll Need to Consider

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