The VUE Charlotte meets Prospector Pete

We are up to about 60 posts now, and once in awhile I get feedback that inspires me to keep going. Another one came in a comment yesterday, where the Beachdogs posted a very nice note of appreciation (thank you Beachdogs!) while also sharing their current intentions on moving forward with their purchase. This was followed up by another complimentary comment (thank you!) but with the essential plea of “Beachdogs, don’t do it! Save your money!”

This ambivalence was reflected in our not-to-be-relied upon poll, where many said they were going to close while others aren’t sure or definitely don’t intend to. I had one reader write to me and say essentially, how can someone read the Deja VUE post and see values collapsed 50% and still vote that they are going to close on their unit?

Frankly, I would love to sip wine at the Dunhill with Dennis Marsoun (if he’ll still have me after my confession of eating a hotdog with someone else) and folks who voted in the poll and hear their reasons for voting the way they did. But let’s remember, it was not long ago we voted for a President, each side of which couldn’t possibly understand why someone wouldn’t vote for their candidate.

My VUE? Well, first off, the fun I had with this was looking into what might behind the name Beachdogs, and I came to the conclusion they must be Long Beach State fans. I came to learn that the mascot is Prospector Pete, a 49er and gold miner. I’m sure back in 2005 he thought sure he struck gold in Uptown Charlotte. I know I did. Now the question I am asking myself is it fool’s gold!

While I welcome debate on whether to buy or not to buy, and encourage people to share their reasons for their decisions, I see my role as not to persuade one way or the other, but to inform, and where possible, have some fun doing so. And because I know that there are folks like the Beachdogs that want their unit and intend to purchase it, while there are others that want very much not to see the Beachdogs face any financial harm, I will share with you what I learned while visiting the Metropolitan a couple of weeks back.

The Metropolitan does not have pre-sales contracts in place to coerce buyers into purchasing. Rather, they have to incent buyers to write checks, and therefore have to meet the needs of those buyers and overcome their objections. A nifty little offering they had when I visited was called their “Value Protection Plan.” Without getting into the disclaimers and exclusions, it was essentially this: “Buy your unit today, and 5 years from now, have it appraised and if it is lower than your contracted price, we will refund you the difference up to 10% of the purchase price.”

Clearly many are concerned that real estate values may continue to decline. The Metropolitan has put this program in place to try and give buyers some relief from worry that this will happen to them. Will the VUE Charlotte give the Beachdogs and the rest of us some value protection like the Metropolitan does? It can’t hurt to ask!

The motto of Long Beach State is Vox, Veritas, Vita (latin for Voice, Truth, Life).Ā  Wikipedia says this means “speak the truth as a way of life.” We’re doing the best we can on this blog to do so given the information we have, and I want to thank the Beachdogs and all the readers that visit the site and that also share their feedback and knowledge that helps us all come to our own conclusions on what to do with the VUE. There may be no financial gold to be had by moving in, but there are other riches that may make it worthwhile.

Please post feedback in a comment or share your private thoughts at vuebuyer10@yahoo.com. Thank you!

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2 Responses to The VUE Charlotte meets Prospector Pete

  1. Holly says:

    This just gets more interesting every day! I see that Arthur C. made a comment asking why anyone would proceed with closing and their pre-contracted price. I have a few possible answers:

    1. They feel obliged to fulfill their contract despite the actual market value of their unit. They are trying to act in good faith, and in a sense act as if they had purchased the unit 4 years ago and the value it lost is on their backs, not the developers. (Admirable but I’d say if you walk away from your down payment and let the developer have their unit back, you are being more than fair to them.)
    2. They are very financially secure and don’t mind buying something today that is worth 1/2-3/4 the price they are paying for it and they don’t mind taking the risk that the financial equation doesn’t close on homeowners fees due to low occupancy, etc. (walk away, buy again at the lower price, and donate your savings to the United Way!)
    3. They are simply not paying attention. (anyone reading this blog probably IS paying attention).

    I am curious if I left any reasons out? Why else would you close? Perhaps this is a question worth asking on the main page– “If you plan to close, what is your rationale for doing so?”

  2. RJC says:

    Holly – my reason for closing did not fit into any of the answers you outlined above. I don’t believe this a question that can be generalized. Everyone has their own personal financial and living situation. Each buyer will have an independent appraisal conducted for their unit. And The Vue has committed to “work with each buyer individually” (to what extent is also an individual situation). Why did I close? My original reasons for purchasing had not changed (I still think it is a fantastic project), I do believe Uptown real estate will rebound in the long-term, and my appraisal wasn’t even close to as dreadful as many are speculating. With that said, I can tell you that appraisals will vary wildly depending on the type of unit, floor location, when purchased, upgrades, who does the appraisal, etc. However, it isn’t a black or white answer until until the buyer has all of this info compiled.

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