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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Condo busts galore

This couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of people.

Comments (11)

How long until said condos-turned-apartments start accepting section 8?

Duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes make so much more sense than these Le Corbusier era towers, as far as multifamily housing goes. Less costly to build, easy to construct incrementally, consonant with preserving greenspace and yards within the city, and less of crime-causing anonymity that comes with large projects.

Property owners don't yet seem to understand that short term incentives are no substitute for a reasonable sale or rental price.

Within the past month, property managers have sugared their advertisements with promises to deduct hundreds from the first month's rent and to charge no move-in fees or deposits but leave in place outrageous monthly rents, obligatory application fees, do not allow pets and demand that prospective tenants make 2 to 3 times the amount of the monthly rent in take home income. The result - a lot of Portlanders are still barred from renting.

As for luxury condos, who wants to pay a fortune for a condo apartment and then continue to "rent" the unit by paying high condo fees in addition to utilities after they sign the papers? Chrisnw is right; duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes make more sense and create a sense of shared community. This is something that doesn't happen in what amounts to a bunch of big, high-rise apartment buildings.

Property managers with commercial properties seem to be just as stubborn in holding out for high rental and lease figures. They are apparently willing to let storefronts stay boarded up and empty rather than settling for less and allowing small business owners a reasonable chance to operate.

Nowadays the chain of leeches attached to a property is so lengthy and ravenous that any approach that doesn't "maximize the asset" is seen as irresponsible management. LLCs, partnerships, layers of management, shareholders . . . simply making money is not enough. They must make an increasingly mythical "market rate" or nothing.

Increasingly they are getting nothing.

Altho the previous poker party gone bad is still with us in the form of bloated housing supplies, the casino operators namely the Federal Reserve and Treasury have tossed in an even bigger bag of chips to get every body back to playing poker. Obama is hosting the same party Bush did, namely, manufacturing an economic recovery via housing construction. Maybe next time around folks will be forced back on to the gold standard and the chips will be actually limited and have to be earned.

In spite of discounted purchase prices or favorable interest rates, some of those monthly HOA dues I see listed are still pretty stiff - $400-$600 range on a 1200 sf condo? Who are they kidding? Is there a 24-hour concierge in the lobby at your call, or what?

And ORS 100 allows deferral of the HOA dues owed by the developer on unsold units until after they sell, meaning the rest of the owners are likely holding the bag if the developer declares bankrupty.

Think I'll pass.

I heard from a friend that the 'Street of Dreams' will be in the Pearl this Aug.
No financing in the burbs is available, so the condo weasles will be showing off their unsold inventory.
Go by streetcar!

NW Portlander is completely correct about commercial landlords. I'm selling my business later this year; and have already told the people buying my business that unless the current property owner is willing to do a three year lease for at least $200.00 less per month, than to simply move. During recessions like this, I've found there are at least a few properties that will accepy lower leasing rates rather than staying vacant. Unfortunately, the larger firms never see the light until commercial vacancies go above 10%. And that will be coming along sooner than most of those weasels think!

635 square feet for only $220k?


No wait, I bought a 1500 sq. ft. split level home, with a front and back yard, garage, and 3 blocks from a park for $270 last year in inner SE Portland. No HOA. No sharing walls with people. No noise complaints from having another house 5 feet from mine.

Can't imagine why they can't move those things...

Are those HOA fees monthly or yearly?

635 square feet for only $220k?

Heh. That's what I thought too.

Prices are still too high.

HOA fees are monthly and often a few hundred $. I live in a high rise and pay over $600 a month. The fees pay for security, garbage, water, common area property taxes, cleaning, landscaping, swimming pool, utilities (other than for the unit), and reserves for big things that crop-up like major elevator repairs, roofing, and lobby refurbishment.

Bottom line is that even if you own a condo in downtown, you still have to fork out a lot of money. Some of it you would do even if you had a SF house, but other expenses are simply characteristic of high rise buildings and the need for costly security, which is a must in the city.

635 square feet for only $220k?
Heh. That's what I thought too.
Prices are still too high.

Hey, thats a bargain. I remember seeing 600 sq ft studios listed for nearly $400k.

I just cant believe the HOA fees are monthly. I mean holy cow, what about the "affordable housing" units? Do they have to pay that too?
Some of those fees alone are more than my rent. And I rent a 1500 sq ft townhouse.

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