The short answer is yes, it is…and no, it isn’t.
All too often on the Internet these days, people looking to move to sunny south Florida will spot a Boca Raton luxury condo for sale for around $30,000 or so in a gated community. They read the description, which tells them it’s got 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, it’s more than 1,000 square feet in size and has panoramic views of the golf course.
The buyer can’t find anything that says it’s a short sale; there’s no mention that the owner of this Boca Raton condo is in financial distress; and there’s nothing that says this luxury condo is an REO (Real Estate owned, aka “foreclosure”).
Boca Raton prices went up 30% last year, and it sounds too good to be true…
It certainly sounds too good to be true, but the facts appear to be staring this eager buyer in the face. There’s a luxury condo with nothing wrong with it for sale at a ridiculously low price in a 24/7 guard gated community in Boca Raton.
While this seems hard to believe, given the recent run-up of 30% or more in Boca Raton home prices over the last year or so, the price and the information in full computer generated color, complete with photos is staring that ready to fly to Florida, ready to buy in Boca customer in the face.
But I see more than one of these low price luxury condos…
And then, to confirm this miracle, the customer clicks on two more Boca Raton condos with similar prices in the community. Even if the buyer has been inhaling a substance that is still illegal in Florida, he sees that there’s no need to rush. These luxury condos appear to be as abundant as wheat in the fields of Kansas.
Now the eager buyer, having just purchased a plane ticket on the next flight to Palm Beach International Airport, calls a Boca Raton real estate agent and says she’s going to be in the area this weekend and needs a realtor to show her around. She’s tells that realtor that she’s ready to purchase a Boca condo. For cash. No mortgage needed.
To all of us real estate agents, “buy for cash” are the words we most like to hear. But then, the buyer gives the realtor the location and the price.
Here comes the reality check…
At this point, the realtor moves from ecstatic to depressed. And so does the buyer. Because this is the reality that the realtor has to relate:
That fabulous condo, (and it really is a fabulous condo), is located in Boca West, which is an absolutely beautiful country club community in west Boca Raton.
“If you are someone who is looking for a country club lifestyle,” the agent says, “and you are comfortable with country club fees, then this is a phenomenal buy.”
At this point the buyer, not being familiar with country club fees, but still excited about the condo at such a low price, will ask about the up front costs.
Those low prices come with very high fees…
The realtor will say that the condominium is everything you want at a very low price. However, in order to purchase this condo, you must come up with $75,000 in cash as an equity (membership) fee, and be prepared to pay somewhere in the area of $20,000 per year in mandatory club dues.
That is in addition to the monthly fees that are part of owning any condominium.
The bottom line is this: if you see a fabulous condominium for sale in Boca Raton, or a fantastic single family home in Boca Raton for sale at price that is astoundingly low for a value that appears to be so high, it is going to be in a country club community.
Non-equity community prices will be far higher for equivalent homes.
So if you’re looking for a Boca Raton condo or a single family home in Boca Raton, you should expect to pay several times the asking price of the homes you see in the country clubs for an equivalent property in a non-equity community.
The best way to find currently available Boca homes within price ranges that work for you is to call a real estate agent in Boca Raton.
Country Club home prices have fallen dramatically in many communities.
It is evident from searching through most Boca Raton country clubs that prices for single family homes and condos have fallen precipitously over the last few years.
With that in mind, if you are seeking a country club lifestyle and you’re comfortable with the attendant up-front fees and mandatory annual dues, then now is absolutely the best time to purchase a home in Boca Raton country club community.
Marc Jablon, the Jablon Team
Re//Max Complete Solutions