When you buy a condo, there's usually a monthly maintenance fee. This fee generates money for the association to help upkeep the building, grounds, and common areas.
A maintenance fee is usually associated with condos. However, some single-detached homes can have a maintenance too. In addition, some neighborhoods have a community association. For example, Mililani Town Association (MTA). If you bought a condo in Mililani, you'll have a monthly maintenance and a yearly community association payment too.
When you analyze a condo's maintenance fee, there are three things you should consider:
(1) It's important to see what the cost per living square foot is. For luxury condos, the maintenance fee could be more than $1 per living square foot. For non-luxury condos with minimal amenities, the maintenance fee could be less than .50 cent per living square foot.
(2) What's included with the monthly maintenance fee? Most maintenance fees include sewer and water. I'm listing at condo at 1414 Alexander Street #401. The monthly maintenance fee at my listing also includes hot water and cable TV.
(3) What type of amenities does the condo have? Amenities can range a pool, gym, and a resident manager and 24 hour security. Having more amenities can increase a condo's monthly maintenance fee.
A condo's maintenance fee is one metric of measuring how an association has managed the building. There are condos that are 30+ years old, but the maintenance fee is still less than $1 per square foot.