Will you use them?

The reality is that most owners will be paying a lot of money to maintain and refurbish expensive amenities that most of them will not use.

A party room is a standard amenity that may double as meeting room for owner meetings. Fair enough.

A well equipped fitness room may be the most used amenity in most condos. Libraries get used as do card rooms. A few park benches and tables under shady trees are a nice feature, especially for seniors.

A car wash station in the garage will be used.

Guest suites? I have mixed feelings about these very expensive amenities. The builders loves them as they get to sell a couple of "dog units" to the corporation who's owners get stuck paying for them with long-term mortgages.

Yet, many amenities sit empty or appeal to only some owners.

If you own a cat, you will not use a dog run. Few, maybe only 10% of the residents will regularly use the swimming pool. Even fewer, the hot tub. Saunas get little use.

Just how often do you think you will have a half-dozen people over to watch a DVD movie in a theatre room? Will you ever play pool in the billiard's room or ping pong in the table tennis room?

How much time will you spend in a lobby that is larger and grander than the lobby of the Royal York Hotel? (Loitering is forbidden.)

A few condos have a baby grand piano in the lobby. Looks nice. Useful; not really.

Yet all of these amenities add extra costs to your monthly common expenses.

Amenities are open to abuse. Directors and managers have been known to block the use of one of the guest suites to just their families.

Some owners need to pay to use the Party Room while others do not.

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