I wrote this feb 2014 for the coastal star. would like to do an update…
Yes, it is possible to buy a home on the water and near the beach for around $40,000. If…
…If are over 55 years old, don’t have a pet, can get through the screening, have cash, don’t mind small spaces and don’t need to rent.
For those who can and do, they reap the rewards. They end up sitting poolside watching boats go by on the Intracoastal. Or they are at the beach taking a breather, because, well, the beach is just there.
Tropicana Gardens, at 4001 S. Ocean Blvd., a co-op with 65 units ranging in size from 350 to 700 square feet does have a few units for sale. Studio #106 is priced at $34,000 through Diane Duffy of Illustrated Properties. Studio #209 and a one-bedroom unit #210 are offered for sale together for $80,000 through Victoria Corsel, a realtor with Lenson Realty, Inc. And there are others.
“We do have a lot of restrictions, which won’t meet people’s needs,” said Peggy Beutel, president of the Tropicana Gardens Homeowners Association. “But having restrictions makes living here so nice. Because we don’t allow renting, for example, we know everyone.
“On the positive side, we have no assessments and aren’t planning any, our maintenance is caught up, and they just gave us a $22,000 reduction on our insurance because our building is so sound.”
This really is home sweet home, not an investment, she added. “My husband Al and I bought our unit ten years ago.
“We have a one bedroom, about 550 square feet, but that’s big enough for us. We paid $40,000 back then and it’s probably worth around that much today.”
To clarify, there are difference between condos and co-ops. Often co-ops are land leases and things might change when the lease comes up. So, ask about that.
Maintenance fees vary, and also, do ask about past, present and future assessments.
For example, unit #109 at the Dune Deck, 3610 S. Ocean, is a short sale, with an asking price of $99,000. There are issues, says listing agent Roger Basso with Jeffrey Ray & Associates. A $1.5 million loan to make repairs – some of them structural – is in the process of being paid off, costing each unit’s owner around $18,000 to $25,000 depending on square footage. Another $1.6 million assessment needed for more structural repairs is, as of this writing, under discussion.
“Some owners are walking away and there are foreclosures in that building,” he said.
On the other hand, “the majority has made repairs since the hurricanes, so they are in better shape than they were before and that’s making them more desirable,” said Courtney Fallon of Scott Gordon Realty Associates, Inc.
Now, here’s information for those with a pet, younger than 55, or want the option of renting: On the strip from The Ritz Carlton north to Sloan’s Curve, 235 units sold in the past year and 46 percent of them were less $200,000 according to the Regional MLS, Fallon reported.
“There are some nice deals out there,” noted Jennifer Spitznagel, broker of Manatee Cove Realty Inc. “We are at historic lows for this area. Prices have rolled back to 2001-2002 prices.”
And another thing, distressed properties are hard to find on the strip, she added, noting a short sale at Southgate, 3605 S. Ocean Blvd, #439, which is listed for $89,900 by Anthony Petrollia, Jr., a realtor with Re/Max Services. Another Southgate property, bank-owned unit #139, where mold remediation work has just been completed, is listed for sale for $79,100 by Barbara Lilley, a realtor with True Blue Realty Inc.
Satu Barish, a realtor with Coastline Realty agrees. “Foreclosures and short sales? I’ve been looking. You can’t buy them.
“Foreclosures get multiple offers and one of my clients offered $10,000 more than the asking price and didn’t get it.”
To compare with other coastal areas, there’s nothing for sale under $100,000 on the ocean in Highland Beach, and there’s only one unit for sale in Briny Breezes under $100,000 — K-27 Juniper, for $64,900.