Boston’s Highest Condo Fee

David Bates / January 13, 2011-1:06 pm

Most buyers wince a little when they hear the term “condominium fee.” But have  you ever wondered which Boston property has the dubious honor of the highest condo fee? A recent survey of condominium fees for properties on market showed the median fee in Boston is around $285 a month. In Back Bay, which includes a number of full-service buildings, the median fee is around $660 a month. Well, what would your facial expression look like if your Realtor communicated that the fee for the condo you liked most was $10,246 a month? Would the middle vein in your forehead suddenly become visible? Would the sound of the fee warrant an “Are you kidding me?”

After all, we are talking about $123,000 annual condo fees (the most of any condo currently on market). Considering the Boston median household income is around $39,000 (according to Wikipedia), that’s three family incomes to pay just one condo fee. Wow! I hope the service is good in that building.

Well, to get the opportunity to pay the $10K a month condo fee, you would have to buy the $16.9 million condominium that goes with it. A home described by the listing broker as “Boston’s most awe-inspiring penthouse ever,” an 8,000-square-foot property in the Mandarin Oriental (776 Boylston, Back Bay) with unobstructed views of the Boston skyline and Charles River. In terms of what the fee covers, according to the MLS listing information, the fee covers “Water, Sewer, Master Insurance, Security, Elevator, Landscaping, Snow Removal.”

If that fee for the Mandarin Oriental penthouse sounds a little steep and you aren’t wedded to that outstanding building, you might consider Unit 1515 at The Four Seasons (220 Boylston), which came up as the second most expensive condo fee for property listed in the city. This 4,000-square-foot condominium home with magnificent views of the Public Garden is being marketed for $7.95 million and has a condominium fee of just $9,477 a month. The annual total of $114,000 in condo fees is a savings of about $10,000 a year. And, besides, you do get use of the building’s swimming pool, exercise room and sauna/steam room.