Why do Condos have monthly dues and what do they cover?

Most condos have a monthly fee that can range from $200 to $400 (an upscale development with tons of amenities will cost more). Ask the board exactly what that fee cover - after all, you'll be shelling out month after month, and year after year.

What's usually included is anything outside your condo, from cleaning public areas to removing snow to maintaining the community pool.

Owners themselves generally pay for whatever is inside the walls of their condo, like painting and appliances. Make sure what you're getting is on par with what you're paying for, says Nelson. And always ask if the board sees the fee rising anytime in the near future, and how much it's risen in the past.