IS IT SMARTER TO SELL?
Published October 29, 2021
Let’s face the sad truth: Many of the older condo hi-rises have
not been maintained properly and are now facing serious
structural repairs, needed to pass the 40- or even 50-year
inspection. As we have seen in many of the media articles
following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South these
repairs can cost millions of dollars. Remember: The board of the
Champlain Towers South association sent some days before the
collapse a letter to the owners, telling them that a $15million
special assessment is going to be levied – with some of the
owners having to pay $80,000.00 on short notice.
I can assure you that there are quite a lot of similar cases –
especially down South. Over the years owners got used to “easy
living” – reasonably low monthly fees – and voting down the
budgeted money for reserve funds each year.
But sooner or later there is a heavy price to pay and these
owners are now facing the reality: CONDO-LIVING ISN’T
The owners of quite a lot of these older buildings are now
facing the harsh reality: Pay for the necessary repairs or get
kicked out of your home. Remember: Some of these older buildings
in South Florida have already been evacuated, making the owners
But the necessary repairs come with a heavy price: HUGE
SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS! Assessments many of these often
elderly condo-owners can’t pay. These owners are facing liens
and foreclosures according to FS 718 – meaning the other owners
have to pay even more to make up for the missing funds caused by
And that’s where the developers come in – often with very good
offers to buy the property. Land is expensive down South and
developers are looking to erase the old building and build
modern, high-priced hi-rises on the lot.
Let’s be honest: For many owners selling out to developers will
be the only feasible solution – if they don’t want to leave with
If you live in one of these old buildings with serious
structural problems and no reserve funds to pay for the repairs
these developers may save your financial welfare. So the
developer’s offer should be considered seriously – it may save
you from being foreclosed upon.
Even if it sounds tragic that you have to sell your home you
lived in for so many years, it may in the end be the better
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking