Condo Tips: Getting The Most For Your Dues

Insight into getting the most from your condo's homeowner association fees. Do you know what services are available?

So, you live in a condo? Congratulations! It must be nice to live in your own place, where you pay the mortgage, but still have some of the luxuries of apartment living!

Although, in order to enjoy these luxuries there's a price to pay- a financial one anyhow. There's never been such a thing as a free lunch!

Do you know exactly what your homeowner's association fees include? Sure, you probably knew all of them when you moved in. Your realtor made the condo's association fees sound minimal, while the benefits were totally played up! Do you still even remember all of the services that you are entitled to? Many times people forget because they don't read the whole document on what their fees include, or they only care about one or two of the services, so they forget what all of the rest of them are.

A good way to remember would be to either review the document that says what the fees include every month or so, or even go to the extreme- place the document on your refrigerator, or some other very visible place.

When you moved in, you couldn't wait to have your lawn mowed for "free!" But did you also know that when it snowed, you will have your shoveling done for free? Or that you will have a landscaper that does your gardening, and you will have a beautiful yard/garden in which you never had to tear a weed out of? You need to be aware of all of these services that your condo provides. Not only will it make you happy to know where your money is going every month, but it will also make you not do things that were going to be done under your fees anyhow. You don't want to go out and shovel the whole pathway to your door when you could have been inside and had someone else do it for you, for no additional money! And you sure don't want to pay someone to do that when you already paid for it!! You need to be aware of your services and take advantage of every single one that you are offered. You work hard for your money, and it shouldn't go to waste because you didn't pay attention to what the homeowner's dues offered!

In addition, it is important that you know exactly what is expected of the staff. If they were supposed to mow your lawn, but never did, then you have every right to call and complain, or at least ask why it was not done. On the other hand, if you really wanted them to shovel you out, but that is not included on your list of services, you need to plan accordingly and either have someone do that for you, or do it for yourself, and you will not have any right to complain that they did not do that for you.

It's always a smart idea to know exactly what your rights are, and aren't. In addition, it's also a good idea to know where your money is going, and what you are paying for. You don't want to spend a nominal fee every month and not take advantage of the services- that would just be like throwing money away. You need to take a pro-active stance and do your research""and enjoy those luxurious services that you are paying for!

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