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You Say Tomato, I Say We All Owe for the Lobby Repairs

Condo fees in downtown Boston neighborhoods like the South End and Back Bay can be craz-ee. They start somewhere in the upper dozens of dollars and can race into the thousands per month. Broker Jennifer Athas, writing in The Herald, lines up the pros and cons of what those fees pay for: namely, a self-managed condo buildings vs. a building managed by an outside firm.

The self-managed ones tend to be buildings with fewer units but the same potential clash of personalities (though self-managed ones tend to have lower condo fees): "'One of the biggest problems of condominium associations is the difficulties neighbors often have being in business with one another,' [the property manager] said. 'They often tend to let personalities get in the way, rather than focusing on the priorities of the business.'"

The professionally managed buildings? Well, roll out the red carpet! That's gold-star treatment: "... the benefit of a management company is they can advise on insurance, structural and legal issues, and head off any potential disputes by keeping all transactions on a strictly professional level." Read: they deal with your neighbors so you don't have to.

· Managing Condo Quandaries [Herald]
· Back Bay Fees: You May Ask Yourself, 'How Did I Get Here?' [Curbed Boston]