Maintenance fees, also known as AOAO fees or HOA fees or strata fees ( for our Canadian clients) usually cover "common" expenses like water, sewage, trask pick up, basic cable, internet, landscaping, maintenance of the pool and maintenance of other common areas. On the properties where there is central air, one may see that the maintenance fee also includes the cost of electricity.
Maintenance fees need not be confused with management or rental management fees that pertain to the use of the property. An owner of a condominium is automatically responsible for the maintenance fee, no matter how the property is used.
To give you an overview, there are a few variables that determine the amount of the monthly maintenance fees:
Maintenance fees are usually calculated based on square footage: the larger the unit, the higher the maintenance fees. There are exceptions to this rule though, where all units pay the same monthly amount, like at Kaanapali Plantation .
Some properties, like Mahana, Maui Kai, Kaanapali Shores have central air and thus electricty is included in the maintenance fee. As a result, maintenance fee for a 2bd unit at Papakea, is $949/month and it does not include electricity. The maintenance fee for a 2bd unit at Kaanapali Shores is $1,242/ month.
If electricity is not included in the maintenance fee, for an oceanfront 1bd condo, with a pool, you can expect a maintenance fee around $600/month.
- swimming pools
Properties that have swimming pools typically have higher maintenance fees than the ones that dont. For instance, maintenance fee at Napili Villas, maintenance fee for a 2bd/2ba unit, with no swimming pool on the property, is $380/month. A similar size unit on a property that features a swimming pool would be around $700/month (electricity would not be included)
- land and landscaping
The more land, the more landscaping one needs and thus higher maintenance fees. Particularly in Hawaii, where everything grows faster:-))
- number of units in the complex
It is fairly obvious that high density condos typically have lower maintenance fees.
If you are looking to buy an oceanfront condominium, you should expect to pay approximately $1/sf in maintenance fees.
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