Looking to buy a condo, but the fees too expensive? You’re not alone.

Are you interested in purchasing a condo but worried about the condo fees?

Don’t fret because you’re not alone. Debra Boens and her husband were looking forward to buying a new home, but are back on searching because of the fees.

The original fee was $378 but it would increase to $510 in January.

“Well, one of the things that we learned were the condo fees and we thought it was a major factor for us and part of our decision and the mortgage you have that you’re paying, which is a nice chunk, and then when you learn about the condo fees its almost half your mortgage in some cases as it was and that’s a big chunk of your budget when you’re budgeting,” Boens said.

According to Jonathan Daugherty, a Jacksonville realtor with Future Home Realty, the fee increases are a result of insurance increases and state regulation that was changed after the Surfside Condominium collapse in 2021.

Adam Wade loves his historic condo that comes with a lot of amenities but in his three years of living there, the fee has increased each year. It started at $450, and it’s now $750.

“I feel like I’m kind of trapped. If I wanted to move or sell my house, it’s a little bit of an albatross; it would be very hard for me to find a buyer who would be comfortable with coming in and paying that every month,” Wade said.

Wade understands the increase and said it’s not anyone’s fault because it’s based on new state regulations.

Daugherty said condo associations have to have more reserves available to repair the building, causing a domino effect of increased fees.

While HOA fees aren’t the only fee to increase, condo fees have also seen a rise. However, Daugherty said, potential buyers can use the higher fees as a negotiating tool to bring down closing costs and other expenses.

Also, HOA fees aren’t equally as high as condo fees because the HOA owner is responsible for rebuilding a home if it’s damaged, but if a condo is damaged, the responsibility to rebuild goes to the association and that’s a major financial responsibility that is covered by the condo fees.

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