Real Estate

Townhouse condo maintenance fees

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 21st, 2016 10:36 am
Tags:
None
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 18, 2005
3103 posts
43 upvotes

Townhouse condo maintenance fees

I'm researching townhouses. I understand that there are two kinds: freehold & condo. The former has no maintenance fees, but tend to be a little more expensive to buy. The latter has maintenance fees.

Question: What exactly is included in these "maintenance" fees for condo townhouses?

This would help me understand if I have to budget separately for bills like water, electricity, cable, etc etc. I know taxes (to the city) are always separate. I'm looking in the area of West Mississauga (anywhere west of Mavis, and south of the 407 upto Lakeshore).

I've also been to the newinhomes website, but was unable to see any new developments. My price range is around 250k (not sure if that's reasonable or not).
26 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2004
4012 posts
1571 upvotes
Vancouver
Maintenance fees for townhouses generally include the following:

- Fire Insurance
- Yard Work
- Contingency Funds (roofing/outdoor repair)

They can also include garbage pickup/recycling, depending on if your townhouse complex has individual pickup or collective pickup. For instance, my friends townhouse has individual garbage pickup, so they pay the city directly. Because of this, their strata fees are very low ($200 a month for 1600 square feet).

I have never heard of a "freehold" townhouse with zero maintenance fees. That would be a very stupid idea, because, if one of the townhouses burns down and the owner doesn't have fire insurance and walks away, then who will rebuild the house??? You can't have a row of townhouses with one missing/burnt down. This is why strata's have fire insurance.

Condo's are generally more expensive with strata fees because a lot of condos also include things like:

- Gas/Hydro
- Internet
- Swimming Pool
- Concierge
- Heating System/Boiler maintenance

Townhouses generally have individual boilers/heaters... so when your heater breaks, you fix it, where as, a condo has one huge boiler/heater that the whole complex shares so condo fees go towards maintaining that and paying for its operation.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 18, 2005
3103 posts
43 upvotes
adamtheman wrote:
Aug 14th, 2010 2:13 pm
Maintenance fees for townhouses generally include the following:

- Fire Insurance
- Yard Work
- Contingency Funds (roofing/outdoor repair)

They can also include garbage pickup/recycling, depending on if your townhouse complex has individual pickup or collective pickup. For instance, my friends townhouse has individual garbage pickup, so they pay the city directly. Because of this, their strata fees are very low ($200 a month for 1600 square feet).

I have never heard of a "freehold" townhouse with zero maintenance fees. That would be a very stupid idea, because, if one of the townhouses burns down and the owner doesn't have fire insurance and walks away, then who will rebuild the house??? You can't have a row of townhouses with one missing/burnt down. This is why strata's have fire insurance.

Condo's are generally more expensive with strata fees because a lot of condos also include things like:

- Gas/Hydro
- Internet
- Swimming Pool
- Concierge
- Heating System/Boiler maintenance

Townhouses generally have individual boilers/heaters... so when your heater breaks, you fix it, where as, a condo has one huge boiler/heater that the whole complex shares so condo fees go towards maintaining that and paying for its operation.
Thanks for the first part, but I think you've misunderstood me for the second part. There are TWO kinds of townhouses: freehold (where you just buy a townhouse and it's yours ... there's no maintenance fees paid to the condo townhouse board). Then there's the condo-townhouse (where you buy the house, but you have maintenance fees to pay, and are restricted by what you can do to the exterior of the house).

I'm not interested in a condo in a building. Just townhouses :)
Penalty Box
User avatar
Feb 9, 2003
15520 posts
1266 upvotes
Langley
Townhouses will always have maintenance fees, because there's shared walls and roofs. Townhouse does have several meanings, but it's commonly understood to mean 3+ units in one building.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 27, 2007
2909 posts
63 upvotes
Our new "freehold" townhouse has a fee of $60. They said this fee is for clean/pave/snow removing the common areas.

EDIT: $60/month
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2004
4012 posts
1571 upvotes
Vancouver
tigger03 wrote:
Aug 14th, 2010 2:39 pm
Thanks for the first part, but I think you've misunderstood me for the second part. There are TWO kinds of townhouses: freehold (where you just buy a townhouse and it's yours ... there's no maintenance fees paid to the condo townhouse board). Then there's the condo-townhouse (where you buy the house, but you have maintenance fees to pay, and are restricted by what you can do to the exterior of the house).

I'm not interested in a condo in a building. Just townhouses :)
Please post an example of this "freehold townhouse" you speak of. I have never heard of such a thing. I think you're a bit confused. How could any townhouse development NOT have a maintenance fee? What if one of the townhouses burns to the ground and the owner refuses to fix it? What if the there are roof issues? I think you are talking about a Duplex or Fourplex, not a townhouse.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2004
4012 posts
1571 upvotes
Vancouver
samm wrote:
Aug 14th, 2010 4:42 pm
Our new "freehold" townhouse has a fee of $60. They said this fee is for clean/pave/snow removing the common areas b
How are fire insurance addressed and roof issues addressed? Perhaps you can shed some light.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 27, 2007
2909 posts
63 upvotes
adamtheman wrote:
Aug 14th, 2010 5:00 pm
How are fire insurance addressed and roof issues addressed? Perhaps you can shed some light.
Good question. Regarding fire insurance, the $60/month covers all insurance cost to the commmon elements. It states that owners MUST obtain their own insuranc coverage for their own property.

I remember for roofing, we're on our own. But the new shingles must match the existing ones.
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2008
2455 posts
12535 upvotes
Mississauga
adamtheman wrote:
Aug 14th, 2010 4:58 pm
Please post an example of this "freehold townhouse" you speak of. I have never heard of such a thing. I think you're a bit confused. How could any townhouse development NOT have a maintenance fee? What if one of the townhouses burns to the ground and the owner refuses to fix it? What if the there are roof issues? I think you are talking about a Duplex or Fourplex, not a townhouse.
This must not be a very popular thread for you to have challenged this not once but twice without anyone retorting. :razz: I live in a freehold townhouse -- albeit an end unit with lots of windows and a traditional two-floor layout, so it feels more like a semi-detached -- and so can assure you they do exist! And it's not even three years old yet, so freeholds are still being built although the condo variety is more common around here.

Regarding the fire situation, it's simple: each owner has to buy their own home insurance -- it's the law (and in the case of a builder-bought home at least, a requirement before you can even get the keys). That doesn't change just because the units are attached and you're not paying a monthly condo fee to cover it. Otherwise by your logic, semi-detached houses would have to be condos too when in fact they're always freehold.

Roof issues are the responsibility of the respective homeowner, just like any other maintenance of the interior, exterior, or surrounding lawn for that unit.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 12, 2006
3713 posts
44 upvotes
adamtheman wrote:
Aug 14th, 2010 4:58 pm
Please post an example of this "freehold townhouse" you speak of. I have never heard of such a thing. I think you're a bit confused. How could any townhouse development NOT have a maintenance fee? What if one of the townhouses burns to the ground and the owner refuses to fix it? What if the there are roof issues? I think you are talking about a Duplex or Fourplex, not a townhouse.
http://www.newinhomes.com/ontario/scarb ... 15962.html

Free Hold Townhouse in the heart of Downtown Toronto
Ban Steve Downie from NHL
Self Proclaimed PYwner Late Miss. Masco:My Gramma is gooder than your typos Says GrammerNazi.
smitty9999 on saving power: nooB Powers on the PC just to post stfu.
board123:when challenged runs away as fast as it can, hide behind mommy.
Deal Addict
Feb 18, 2005
1879 posts
14 upvotes
Markham
Why is so difficult to believe? I live in freehold town house too.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 3, 2002
1312 posts
60 upvotes
Ottawa
adamtheman wrote:
Aug 14th, 2010 4:58 pm
Please post an example of this "freehold townhouse" you speak of. I have never heard of such a thing. I think you're a bit confused. How could any townhouse development NOT have a maintenance fee? What if one of the townhouses burns to the ground and the owner refuses to fix it? What if the there are roof issues? I think you are talking about a Duplex or Fourplex, not a townhouse.

They are very common here in Ottawa. Maybe it depends where you live. Most townhomes here being built by new home builders here are completely freehold. cut your own grass. shovel your own driveway. Fix your own roof and windows. Get your own insurance. It's not a stupid idea - it lets homeowners have more control over their home. It would be stupid to purchase a freehold townhome, and then not get your own home insurance for it. As for a middle unit burning down - well, you would need to talk to the insurance company to find out how that works but I would assume that the insurance companies of all affected units would have some stake in paying to repair the damage.
Member
Dec 9, 2007
433 posts
24 upvotes
In Ontario, I believe there are 3 types of townhouses..


1. Condo Townhouse - any changes to the exterior, eg. need permission to paint your garage door pink. Usually the condo cuts your grass. Need permission to have satellite dish.. Back yards are not enclosed with fencing..You live on a private road with a unit number...The only reason I would purchase this type would be because of curb appeal......

2. Freehold Townhouse- You can make any changes to exterior. You can paint your garage door pink..The maintenance you pay for is for garbage pick up, snow removal and any landscaping (maintenance) of the complex like grass cutting(not your house), pruning trees,park etc..You live on a private road with unit number.

3. Townhouse- You live on a public street. No maintenace

So usually, if it has maintenance fees(private road) your address will look like this

john doe
123 yonge st
unit 6
m1m 1m1

No maintenance fees (public road) your address will look like this

john doe
123 yonge st
m1m 1m1
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2008
2455 posts
12535 upvotes
Mississauga
yummie wrote:
Aug 15th, 2010 6:13 pm
In Ontario, I believe there are 3 types of townhouses..


1. Condo Townhouse - any changes to the exterior, eg. need permission to paint your garage door pink. Usually the condo cuts your grass. Need permission to have satellite dish.. Back yards are not enclosed with fencing..You live on a private road with a unit number...The only reason I would purchase this type would be because of curb appeal......

2. Freehold Townhouse- You can make any changes to exterior. You can paint your garage door pink..The maintenance you pay for is for garbage pick up, snow removal and any landscaping (maintenance) of the complex like grass cutting(not your house), pruning trees,park etc..You live on a private road with unit number.

3. Townhouse- You live on a public street. No maintenance
I don't think #2 is right. A freehold townhouse is owned by an individual; it's not like a condo where the corporation owns the building and you just own the space within your unit and a proportionate share of the common facilities (which a freehold typically won't have anyway, hence no shared maintenance fees). A freehold townhouse would also have its own independent street address, and not just be a unit number like a condo townhouse.

Until a few years ago I'd never even heard of condo townhouses; I'm sure all of the ones in Mississauga in the 80's and 90's (when there weren't even many condo apartments) were of the freehold variety. It was only in the last few years that I became aware of townhouses where you pay a monthly fee for landscaping, snow clearing, and water/hydro.
Deal Addict
Sep 30, 2008
1556 posts
169 upvotes
i6s1 wrote:
Aug 14th, 2010 3:52 pm
Townhouses will always have maintenance fees, because there's shared walls and roofs. Townhouse does have several meanings, but it's commonly understood to mean 3+ units in one building.
False.
× < >

Top