What are those Townhouse and Condominium monthly fees all about?

Every Townhouse or Condominium community in Basking Ridge and everywhere else has monthly fees that are paid to an association or a property management company.  These fees vary widely throughout each condominum and townhouse community.  Sometimes these fees are based on a particular model, number of bedrooms,  square footage of the townhouse or condominium, number of shares if  a co-op , or they may be the same for everyone.

These monthly fees cover a wide variety of services and maintenance.  In most cases – yes, there are exceptions – it covers everything that needs maintenance on the exterior of the townhouse or condominium. Trash and snow removal is almost always included in the monthly maintenance fee.  Maintenance of the exterior of the building, maintenance of the common areas and landscaping are also included.  If you live in a townhouse community that is well established, has a high density or lots of sloping land the maintenance fees may be higher because it takes more time to mow the lawn, shovel the snow off the walkways and or weed, mulch and maintain the landscaping.  This versus a wide open space that the landscape company can just get on one of those wide mowers and be done in 10 minutes.  The Maple Run Townhouse community in Basking Ridge is one example of that.  Lots of nice level open grass to mow!  Then if you look at  The Ridge townhouse community there are very mature and specimen plantings that need a little extra time to hand mow or shovel.  Number of units in the community can and will affect the monthly fee also.  The Ridge townhouse community for example only has a little over 100 units.  Compared to various communities and sections in The Hills of Basking Ridge which have hundreds of units.

The exterior of the buildings are also maintained.  This includes the roofs, siding and in some cases maintenance of the decks and or patios. In most cases however, windows and doors are not included.  the Amherst Mews Townhouses even have their mailboxes included!  Townhouse owners may be limited as to what they can leave outside or plant.  Usually the townhouse association doesn’t mind if you plant a few flowers along your side of your unit. Planting or removing a tree however is a different thing and you must seek permission of the association.

In some cases your water will also be included in your monthly fee.  The Ridge Condominium complex includes the water in the fee whereas Lord Stirling Village townhouses do not.  Various amenities can affect your monthly fee.  If you have a pool, tennis courts, playground, etc.  All these things need maintenance as well.

If you live in The Hills you pay a monthly sewer charge to EDC of around $59 per month.  No exceptions.  Other townhouse communities get billed a flat sewer fee semi annually like singe family homes.  Currently, in Basking Ridge  that fee is $160 semi annually.

There are townhouse communities that are fee simple where the owner must maintain some or all of the exterior of their property.  The Patriot Hill townhouse community in Basking Ridge is one of them.  You must shovel your own driveway there so if you are not going to be home during the winter make sure you have this taken care of.  In the Spring Ridge Condominium community there is a section that has many duplexes and several single family homes that are fee simple.  The fee is drastically reduced – currently under $50 per month – but you not only maintain your grounds you maintain the exterior siding and the roofs.  Better like your neighbor because if your side of the roof needs replacing you should really do the whole building.  You wouldn’t want two different colors on the same building!  And, you could have one side that is well landscaped on the exterior and the other side isn’t.  This could significantly affect resale of the townhouse or duplex.

Every townhouse and condominium community is subject to special assessments for capital improvements.  That’s another blog, another day.  And when buying in any Townhouse or condominium community in Basking Ridge the buyer will pay a one time, non refundable, contribution fee for capital reserves to the management company.  This fee is usually a factor based on the monthly fee and is usually the same for all the units in the townhouse community.

If you would like more information about any townhouse or condominium community in Basking Ridge, click here.

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