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Canadians don't mind paying for the perks of condo living

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 8:30 AM


- Three-quarters of condo buyers say monthly fees are a small price to pay to enjoy the convenience and amenities of condos, according to annual TD Canada Trust Condo Poll -

TORONTO, April 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Attracted to the urban lifestyle, three-quarters of Canadian condo buyers say condo fees are worth the extra monthly expense to enjoy the benefits of living in a condominium.

The TD Canada Trust 2012 Condo Poll surveyed urban Canadians who recently bought or intend to buy a condo and found they are drawn to condos because they require less maintenance (60%), are more affordable (45%), and offer more amenities (25%) than a house.

"Managing your housing expenses is about prioritizing your needs and budgeting accordingly. It's clear that the convenience of condo living is important to many Canadians, and they are willing to pay the monthly fees that come with owning a condo," says Farhaneh Haque, Director of Mortgage Advice, TD Canada Trust.

The poll found that one-third of condo buyers (35%) are willing to pay up to $200 per month in condo fees, 44% would pay up to $400 and 17% would pay up to $800. Across all cities, Torontonians are willing to pay the highest fees; 38% are willing to pay more than $400 and 16% more than $600. Conversely, the majority of Montreal residents (59%) wouldn't pay more than $200 per month in condo fees.

Even though they've set these limits, many condo buyers understand that monthly fees can increase at any time and have a plan: 29% have a buffer built into their current budget and 34% say they could cut back in other areas in the event of an increase.

"The possibility of a fee increase can be a little unnerving," says Haque. "While there's no way to 'lock-in' to a monthly fee like you can with a mortgage, you can prepare for a fee increase by building a buffer into your monthly housing budget, as some Canadians have wisely done. That way if fees go up, it won't be a major shock to your cash flow. If they don't increase, you have extra money to put aside in savings or towards your mortgage. You can also explore flexible mortgage options that allow you to pay more towards your mortgage when you can, then, upon an approved application, ease off on payments when you need to.


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