Monthly association dues for Condos and Townhomes pay for a variety of items, including exterior upkeep, landscaping, snow removal, trash hauling, amenities such as indoor and outdoor pools, exercise and party rooms and the like, certain categories of insurance and other items. These monthly dues are viewed as part of your monthly housing payment and are included in the qualifying calculation for your mortgage. This latter fact can make a huge difference in your decision making, because a $250 monthly association payment will fund approximately $50,000 of additional mortgage dollars (at today’s interest rates) if applied in that direction. So, does the appeal of low maintenance housing offered by condos and townhomes outweigh the possibility of more living space with you handling the upkeep and maintenance? This is the sixty four dollar question. In another post, I cover the important topic of differences in monthly association dues, even between similar complexes.