Every condo building has something to offer its residents. Pool, fitness room, restaurant, etc.. What's really worth it and should you be paying for amenities you may never use? What are some of the most important ones and what really matters on resale value? Read More on Market Value Vs. Assessed Value

I did extensive research on the subject and found some interesting facts. Some perks are simply not worth it and some never get used. So, what's really worth your hard earned dollars when it comes to condo building amenities?

Condo association fees can range from a couple of hundred dollars a month to over $2000 per month. If you're buying a $12 million condominium, a $2000 a month add-on may not seem like a lot, but what are you really getting for that extra $24,000 per year?

Condominiums in Brickell, Brickell Key, and Miami have a lot of perks that are drawing buyers in and create a good incentive to stay, but how many people are really using these perks and do they really work as a motivation to buy in a particular building?

Because I have helped hundreds of buyers find the right condominium throughout Miami and Miami Beach, I've listened to a lot of people talk about what really matters when it comes to condo amenities.

What Amenities Should I Be Paying More For in a Condo Building?

Here are some of the top things that most buyers look for when purchasing a condo in a particular building.

#1. Environmentally friendly.

Green living is a priority for a lot of buyers these days. The looking for Energy Star certifications, LED light bulbs and low flow water fixtures. This can have an impact not only on the environment but on their energy costs. A lot of buyers are looking for environmentally responsible materials used in construction and while this is not every buyer, it can be a great perk, which incidentally does not add a lot onto your homeowner's dues since it's not an ongoing amenity that needs a lot of maintenance after construction.

#2. Safety.

Most of the condominiums built after 2000 to have certain safety standards and regulations built into the zoning codes of the property. Those built after 2010 have even stricter codes so a lot of my recent buyers, especially with hurricanes and flood damage on their minds, are more concerned about the safety of the building due to high winds and weather damage.

Check out the article on the safest Miami and Brickell condominium buildings in the area.

#3. Location.

Although this is not a specific amenity to the building itself, location can really be a huge factor to buyers. Is it close to particular schools? Walking distance to the nearest café or grocery store, perhaps it has retail outlets and dining options on the ground floor. These can be a priority for some buyers and a perk for others. Those that prefer not to have a car choose a location that's within walking distance to most daily errands.

#4. Recreational features.

This really varies from person to person. You might find someone that loves to swim so a swimming pool, Olympic size or Olympic Junior size swimming pool is important whereas others who never set foot in a pool would not find this a benefit and may consider their association dues a waste of money.

Read More: Pet-Friendly Condos in Miami

Just about every condo building in Brickell and Miami has some sort of recreational amenities. This could be tennis courts, a bowling alley, a fitness center, state-of-the-art weight room, playgrounds or playrooms for children, dog parks, business and meeting rooms, media or theater rooms, wine sellers and game rooms.

Buildings with more recreational amenities need more upkeep and maintenance, which will naturally increase condo association dues. If you are looking for keeping your HOA dues down but still want the best amenities, look for a building with the lowest association fees and the amenities that fit your lifestyle. But, it's important to remember, if the Association has extremely low dues, and some major renovation is needed, you could be asked to participate in a special assessment to cover those additional fees.

Read More: Most popular Condo Buildings in Brickell

What is simply not worth the additional amenity costs?Doorman

There are some things that may not be worth the additional fees. Over the years I have found the buyers are not that interested in some of these condo amenities:

  • Champagne chambers
  • Complimentary lobby breakfasts
  • Many golf
  • Pets spas
  • Massage or therapy rooms
  • Outdoor space.

Of course, this is different for every person. Some people love having a courtyard that they can wander through, relax, sit and read a book, while others find that they will never stroll through an area like this.

Certain audio and video systems may be expenses that buyers really don't care about. These items become outdated quickly and unless the building has funds to keep up with these items, it may not be something you are concerned about.

Concierge or doorman services. People might think that they keep the building secure and safe but it is not their responsibility to intervene and security matters. Yes, they can accept packages and handle visitors when you're out of town, but the extra expense of hiring and managing may not be worth it.

Tax breaks. We won't see a lot of this in the Miami area but the "value of a tax abatement is a straightforward calculation based on the benefit amount saved over a specific. Of time. Once these benefits phaseout, they're gone. Keep the imminent increase in mind and avoid paying a premium for this trait." [Source]

Like I said before, nearly every condo building in the downtown Miami area has some amenities. It's important to find out how much more you are willing to pay each month for those condo association dues and what you'll really use.

Give me a call at any time. Because I have worked in nearly every building I know the amenities and the homeowner's dues of each one. Let me know what you're looking for and the price range in which you'd like to pay I'd be happy to send you a complete list of buildings that meet your criteria.



Image By Garry Knight (originally posted to Flickr as Hotel Doormen) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons