The headlines in the Charlotte Observer this week were healthy in my opinion in that it got many buyer concerns out into the open and put the Developer on notice that we are not sheep ready for slaughter. The article in the press that triggered this was his “60% sold” hype and that everything was terrific in paradise. Having said that, I want to make clear that it is the Vue’s job to sell product, to promote the product, and to make buyer’s happy. Despite the punitive contract terms, all signs point to the Developer trying to work with the buyers one-on-one. So I don’t subscribe to the view that anyone is out to get anyone else. This is a business transaction and everyone is out to protect their interests. The Vue cannot and should not return all deposits no questions asked. But there are other avenues to help, and they seem to be on the path to doing so. No matter how much they try though, they will be limited in what they can do.
I have said in previous posts the problem is not the product or the Developer. It is simply the market. And where I was ready to accept that we have to stop speculating and just wait and see where the units appraise, I thought I would check in with that earlier Vue project in Orlando. I am now back to being scared to death.
Visit the Vue at Lake Eola and you will see a carbon copy of the Vue Charlotte site. I have read several articles about the Vue at Lake Eola and it is a prime piece of real estate and is top quality. Only 1 problem…half the units recently went to auction and were sold. Why? Not the product. It’s the market!
Here is one link to an article describing the auction: WSJ. Essentially, the units that were auctioned are now selling at 1/3 less than the original buyers who moved in paid.
The talking points from the Vue’s side will probably be…well, that’s Orlando, but Charlotte isn’t Orlando. If you do cost of living comparisons, like I did at BankRate.com or similar cost of living comparison sites, Charlotte and Orlando seem to be very comparable on housing.
It will be impossible for the Developer to reduce the prices we paid by 30%. We all will have to decide whether we want to be in the position of the buyers in Orlando…on the front end being under-water 30%, or on the back end, buying at a substantial discount.
We need to pursue this more, but the discussion now needs to move to Orlando. It is the best comp you could ask for to figure out what your next move is.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section!