We received a long comment yesterday from an Orlano buyer who also bought a unit in Charlotte that can be found in our first post on whether to Buy or Walk Away. We are pasting her note here in full so it gets maximum visibility. As mentioned yesterday, the more information we can get from Orlando the better we can ensure our experience in Charlotte is different. This same note can be found on the Buyers’ Facebook page. The phone number to contact her with questions is in the comment. If you find out anything more please share it with us here!
FROM AN OWNER IN THE VUE ORLANDO AND VUE CHARLOTTE.
Well, unfortunately, I am an owner of a condo in The Vue Orlando AND The Vue Charlotte. The latter which was entered into in 2005. I have a deposit for $106,000 at stake in Charlotte for a corner unit priced in the mid $700’s. I am telling you this so you can feel better about your position!
Here is the risk and what happened with the Vue Orlando. Yes, almost 200 units were purchased in an auction this Spring. There is good news and bad news associated with this. The good news is that we have someone that is paying the exorbitant HOA fees for those units whereas before the HOA was not collecting on them and the amenities were in fear of declining rapidly. The bad news is that the new owner of all these units is NOW CONVERTING THEM TO RENTAL APARTMENTS. The plan is to release them as sales once the market turns around in a few years. What does that mean for the remaining unit owners in Orlando, like me? We will never be able to sell a condo in an apartment complex. There are so many short sales in that building it’s not even funny. The unit that I paid $450,000 on in 2004 (and closed on right before the market tanked in 2008) is now going for $279,000. I can either walk away and ruin my credit or stick it out. I am chosing to stick it out. The buyers of another condo complex in Orlando, called “55 W” had better luck. The developer reimbursed everyone’s deposit and converted the entire building to apartments. We could only be that lucky.
The other risk everyone is facing in The Vue Charlotte is similar to what happened to another downtown Orlando project. When sales didn’t reach the sales levels desired by the developer, the developer cut back on the quality of his materials. A couple of years later, tiles starting lifting off, cracks appeared in the ceilings, etc. I have already noticed that the fixtures in my master bathroom have been downgraded since the original brochure.
I am very interested in seeing what these units appraise for at the Vue Charlotte and how people will get financing, especially as rental property and non-conforming (ie. jumbo) money. This is a loan over $417,000 and credit is very tight for these loans as they are not insured by the govt.