Comment of the Day: So Condos Are Forever?

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SO CONDOS ARE FOREVER? Condos“My condo complex sits on about 6 acres of land on the western edge of River Oaks. We’ve been approached a few times by developers, but our bylaws require 100% owner approval to terminate the condo regime. There was a reported offer of $39M, which comes to about $270,800/unit (not accounting for differences in common ownership). That wouldn’t buy squat inside the loop today, so we will probably never get every owner to sell. Fine by me!” [roadchick, commenting on Randall Davis Trying To Buy an Entire Westhaven Estates Townhome Complex, in One Fell Swoop] Illustration: Lulu

14 Comment

  • Take the money and run. You can do better than the dump you’re in now for $271k, even inside the loop. As a free bonus you won’t have 20 trains a day rumbling through your side yard.

  • Wow Bernard, do you know this guy, or do you just go around calling random people’s homes a dump?

  • Where around River Oaks could he possible find anything for this price? Are you even familar with this area? –and yeah, don’t call his condo a pejorative, find a better way to express yourself. Frankly, most people would live in a box if they could live in that area–oh and 10 million dollar houses back up to that train track–seriously, are you even from Houston?

  • Sit tight. I love that it takes 100%. You will actually be doing your part to preserve “less expensive” housing in the area.

  • I’m assuming Road Chick is a guy, it seems logical, right –lol, sorry Roadchick I should have looked and addressed you as she–my bad;)

  • You folks apparently have not been keeping up with what our Supreme Court says about private condemnation…
    It won’t take long to solve this once decent litigation/real estate attorneys get involved, condo decs or not…

  • I have been keeping up, Kazaleh, and you still need a governmental entity to do the condemnation and some form of a public purpose. The scenario Roadchick describes, which is the common one (private developer wants to buy to build new upscale private development) doesn’t check those boxes.

  • It gets one out of two. The Kelo decision said that increasing the tax base was enough of a “public purpose” to allow the government to exercise its eminent domain powers and hand the land over to other private developers.

  • I’m a chick, not a dude. ;) And thank you VWGTO, for understanding that in our own way, the homeowner’s association IS doing its part to keep housing affordable inside the Loop. And for those who think our complex is a dump, I’d rather live in a half-century old well-built and well-maintained property than some of the claptrap fire hazards they’re building nowadays.

  • It all depends on how badly the developer wants the land and how much time he’s got. He could always buy out the units individually, take control of the HOA and make the life for the holdouts miserable. Issue fines for every minor infraction, followed up by lawsuits, unilaterally increase HOA fees (if he owns the supermajority). Nobody who lives in a couple of hundred thousand dollar condo can afford to keep that fight up for too long.

  • @commonsense;

    I’m actually surprised developers haven’t tried the strategy you described. Since our property has $2M+ mansions to its north and east and Oak Estates to the south, I’m pretty sure the neighbors would mount a costly legal fight to stop midrise or highrise development on the property, similar to Ashby. I think they see our complex as a nice little buffer between them and the RR tracks and they don’t want anybody looking down into their back yards. We shall see!

  • I believe there are some statutes that were enacted a few years ago which would prevent the type of situation Commonsense mentioned. Someone else correct me, but I think the limit of ownership is 10%-15%. Of course,
    someone could set up a bunch of phony LLC’s but this probably would be obvious in a smaller complex especially
    if it has a first right of refusal clause. And depending on the condominium rules of incorporation, to change a rule
    like the 100% voter approval, it may take another 100% of owners to change the percentage for the future. Then you have to post the meetings, file the changes with the city, pay lawyers etc…… other words it’s a colossal headache.

  • >>Nobody who lives in a couple of hundred thousand dollar condo can afford to keep that fight up for too long.
    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that complex houses many rich widows and folks with seven figure stock portfolios who are quite content to fly under the social status radar.

  • I agree! Take the money!