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Good Reasons for You to Avoid Buying a Condo in Florida

Updated on July 23, 2017
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Dreamworker has a lifetime of business, career and financial experience she shares with her readers here.

Unless you have lived in a Florida condominium, it would be impossible for you to know just how miserable and financially risky buying one can be.

There are thousands of these places all over the state, many of which are making life a living hell for people who thought they were buying a piece of paradise only to find that where they have chosen to live out their golden years is actually a quagmire problems that has led them to the poorhouse.

Many, if not all of their problems, are the direct result of the state’s ridiculously ill-thought out and ever-changing laws that have allowed greed driven private companies to seize people's properties for pennies on the dollar.

Buying a condo in Florida could send you to the poor house!
Buying a condo in Florida could send you to the poor house! | Source

Condo Owners Are Financially Connected

What most people do not realize is that condominiums are not-for-profit corporations and therefore are subject to a special set of laws that, for one thing, bind residents together financially.

Most corporations are run by educated, trained business people who have staffs on call to handle their paperwork.

Condos, on the other hand, are expected to be run equally well by individuals who

  1. are not required to have any training or pertinent educational background at all,
  2. are often over the age of 55 (sometimes way over),
  3. may not have a good understanding of the English language,
  4. may not understand enough English to be able to deal with the legalese in the state laws and condo documents and
  5. may be highly medicated and thus mentally impaired.

Many who move into condos come to them from homes and do not realize that what they are purchasing or that they will have to share the financial responsibility of repairs and upkeep with their neighbors.

They do not understand (or even want to understand) the concept of communal living.

  • In short, people who buy condos come into them happy about the fact that they no longer have to mow lawns, paint their buildings, clean their pools or worry about their general safety.
  • However, the honeymoon ends as soon as they realize they will have to pay their share of buying somebody else's new roof, even though they may not be getting one themselves.

Furthermore, they are not aware of the fact that if someone becomes injured on the condo property, all residents are equally liable for any damages, the cost of which can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Inept Management Drains Finances

New residents feel secure because they have been told that there is a professional management company overseeing the business of the community. They often think believe that board members work for the management company.

The truth is that the company is employed by the board to handle important mailings, provide guidance when needed, and serve as a liaison between the association and the board’s law firm.

While this seems to be a good idea, the truth is that a management company is only as good as its employees. If they are lax, misappropriate funds or give incorrect advice, they can wreak havoc with the finances of a community.

The board can replace them, of course, but there is no guarantee that the new company will be any better. In fact, most of them do a terrible job. No matter how bad they are, boards are required by law to employ them, and the costs of doing so is significant.

Furthermore, there is little residents can do to protect themselves against companies that mismanage (or sometimes steal) their money.

When they overspend, they levy assessments and raise maintenance fees to make up for the shortfall. They then place liens on the properties of residents who refuse to pay.

The only recourse for owners is to take them to court, but this is extremely expensive to do, so most people simply tolerate the problems.

Condo documents provide rules that can be very expensive to enforce.
Condo documents provide rules that can be very expensive to enforce. | Source

Rules Are Expensive to Enforce

Although the laws provide guidelines, violations are expensive to pursue .

This makes it almost impossible for boards to provide consequences or residents to demand their rights.

For example, violators can be fined, but they must be given a two week notice and then meet with a “fining committee” and arbitrator to decide whether the fine is justified.

The problems with this is that

  1. the arbitrator must be a lawyer who charges the community a hefty hourly sum for conducting the meeting and
  2. finding residents who are willing to impose fines on their neighbors is almost impossible.

Thus, although consequences are written into the law, they are virtually useless.

The end result is that residents either have to put up with violators or move.

In most cases, owners are simply stuck in costly and upsetting situations from which they cannot afford to extricate themselves while they continue to lose money!

Florida Laws Make Buying Condos Risky

In recent years the State of Florida has passed laws that allow developers to overtake condo properties at pennies on the dollar.

The attached videos give excellent explanations of the types of things that have been happening, but the bottom line is that these laws are forcing owners to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars simply because the state has pulled the financial rug out from under them.

Many are senior citizens who have invested their life savings into their homes and owe far more than what they'll be paid when they're forced to move.

This not only will bankrupt many of them, but also will leave them homeless.

This is due to just one of the laws the state has passed that bring real financial harm to Florida Condo Owners.

All of them are good reasons for people to avoid buying condos in order to avoid the financial risks of doing so.

Don't Put Your Finances at Risk

The next time you start thinking about drinking a beer and basking in the Florida sun while watching workers mow your lawn and tend to your flower beds, you might want to consider that because of the way Florida is doing things, buying a condo here might force you into bankruptcy in the future..

It simply will not be worth doing until the Florida Legislature cleans up its act and starts protecting those who live in condominiums.

After reading this, do you still think you'd like to move into a Florida condo?

See results

© 2017 Dreamworker

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