There are many reasons to avoid buying a condo. As a condo owner for three years after owning homes for 35 years, I advise you to stay as far away from condo ownership as possible.
There are a number of articles online about the Pros and Cons of Condo Ownership, but they seem to be written by real estate people who want to promote the sales of condos.
Money Crashers has a good article titled Pros & Cons of Buying a Condo – Is It Worth It?
Realtor.com has Should I Buy a Condo? The Pros and Cons. Guess what they think! LOL.
PocketSense has Reasons Not to Buy a Condo. There is some good information in this article, but I believe all of these articles sugarcoat it and don’t seem to have true knowledge of condo ownership.
Reasons to Avoid Buying a Condo — Just DON’T
If you can afford to buy a home, buy a home. And buy one that doesn’t have a homeowner’s association. If you can’t afford to buy a home, I recommend that you rent a home, condo, or apartment. (Condos are usually nicer than apartments.) As a renter, your landlord has all of the problems discussed below…NOT YOU!
It’s Amateur Hour
Your neighbors run the condo. Do you really want a widowed senior citizen from Pasadena who was always a stay-at-home-mom deciding how you must spend your money?
Your condo association will be “managed” by people elected by you and your fellow owners.
From my experience, these people don’t know what they are doing and/or they have ulterior motives. As Board members, these folks are all-powerful. They have control of all the money and how anything and everything is done.
You Don’t Really Own Anything with a Condo – Reasons to Avoid Buying a Condo
Condo unit owners do not hold the title to the land on which the structure sits, so you only own what’s inside the walls, which is air.
With a house, you own the land and the building.
Please understand: You don’t own squat with a condo. I own 1,600-square-feet of air.
At Coach Houses at Leesburg, the owners are not allowed to rent their units, so no AirBnB income potential. That’s a bad deal.
You have No Control Over What it Will Cost YOU to Live in YOUR Condo in the Future
When I bought my condo, the monthly assessment (dues) was $300 per month. Thirteen months later, the three-member Board of Directors voted to increase my monthly assessment to $980 per month. SERIOUSLY!
I’m 72-years-old, disabled, divorced, live alone, and my sole source of income is social security retirement. $980 per month is half of my monthly social security payment. I was at break-even at $300 per month, but I am now having to use very limited savings to live in the condo that I allegedly own.
My Condo Association forecloses on people who are just a month or two late. If they foreclose on you, they own your condo, and you are homeless. I can’t risk that. I pray I can find someone who thinks they want to live in a condo to buy mine so I can move as far away from here as possible before I lose my condo.
Your State Agency that “Manages” the Condominium Businesses is Probably Incompetent and Possibly Corrupt
In Florida, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is responsible for the condominium business. I thought I would be saved by the government of the State of Florida. You are led to believe that these paid government employees are there to help condo owners. Nope. I believe the DBPR is totally corrupt. They are buddies with the condo association attorneys and condo association management companies who are your enemies as a lowly condo owner.
If your Board violates every rule in the book and you complain to the agency and they screw you, you could lose tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The only way to be protected is to NOT buy a condo.
Click on the Tag for “Department of Business and Professional Regulation” below, and it will link you to every page in my story that discusses DBPR.
Reasons to Avoid Buying a Condo – You are Legally Screwed in a Condo
Any time any of us have to go to a courthouse, we are screwed. Justice in America is rare for folks who aren’t rich or connected. If you have to hire a lawyer, you have to pay to be screwed.
If you get into litigation with the condo association, they get to use your money to pay their lawyers to screw you. In my case, the never-lawfully-elected Board has spent over $130,000 fighting me as I simply try to get them to operate legally. Why in God’s name would these people spend that kind of money? They must be hiding some bad stuff. Our condos are only valued at about $60,000. And by the way, guess who gets to pay part of that $130,000? You guessed it: ME. Screwed again.
There is no way to win legally because the corrupt deck is stacked against you. I’m doing it because I hate, loathe, and despise liars.
You can Lose Your Condo Home if the Condo Association seeks to Screwzee Vouzee Youzee.
As I said before, you have no control, and your condo association can pretty much do whatever they want to you.
If the condo association raises your dues to an amount that you can’t afford, they can foreclose and take your condo, and you get nothing.
If your condo association does a special assessment for $250,000 to fix faulty foundations, and you are one of 32 owners, you owe $7,812.50. If you can’t pay it, they can foreclose and take your condo.
If the next year, they say $500,000 is needed to repair plumbing, electrical, roofs, or whatever, you owe $15,625. If you can’t pay it, they can foreclose and take your condo, and your “investment” in your home is gone.
How do you like the idea of being homeless? That is one of the risks you take if you buy a condo.
After what I have experienced, I don’t believe anyone in their right mind should buy a condo (except mine, of course, because I need to get the Hell out of Dodge aka Leesburg Florida).
Your Neighbors may be Dumber than The Little Old Lady from Pasadena – Reasons to Avoid Buying a Condo
At Coach Houses at Leesburg Condominium in Leesburg, Florida, I have been amazed by how dumb many of the owners are. I don’t mean to be rude, I’m just telling it like it is. Dumb people are easily manipulated by those in power (the Board).
These folks do not seem to have any understanding of laws or legal documents, and they can’t afford attorneys. Most just want to live in peace and hope they can ignore what’s going on around them.
The Condominium Management Company may be Less than Competent at Best and Corrupt at Worst
Sentry Management was the condo association management company for Coach Houses at Leesburg Condominium Association.
Sentry Management is a horrible company, in my experienced opinion. You don’t want anything to do with them. Consider the laws and condo governing documents that SENTRY MANAGEMENT violated at Coach Houses at Leesburg.
A management company is supposed to know the law to ensure the amateur Board members don’t screw up. In my case, SENTRY MANAGEMENT violated the laws and rules again and again and again. From my evaluation, the only reason for them to act as they did was to try to cover up for their malpractice.
You Could Go to Jail
The Tavares Police Department actually issued an All Points Bulletin for me.
I attended a meeting held at the offices of Sentry Management. About half of the owners of Coach Houses at Leesburg Condominium Association were there. I tried to speak. Association members are allowed by Florida law to speak on as many of the Agenda items as they choose. Charlie Ann Aldridge refused to allow me to speak. She ordered me to leave. I immediately gathered my stuff and got up to leave to have her escort me out, and she summoned the Tavares Police Department. I later learned all of this had been set up in advance with the Tavares Police Department by Neal McCulloh of Clayton & McCulloh, the Association’s law firm. I kid you not.
The Condo Association’s Attorneys may be Incompetent at Best and Corrupt at Worst
Clayton and McCulloh of Maitland, Florida is the law firm for Coach Houses at Leesburg Condominium Association, Inc.
I have sued CLAYTON & MCCULLOH for malpractice. Read the linked portion of my lawsuit about the wrongdoing and malpractice of Clayton and McCulloh. If you decide to retain them after reading this, I believe you will undoubtedly make an outstandingly incompetent Board member or a potentially-screwed condo owner.
I believe CLAYTON AND MCCULLOH has committed the largest case of legal malpractice in history, at least with condominiums. I believe Clayton and McCulloh’s attorneys are either absolutely incompetent or corrupt or both. I believe both.
You should also read my article about all the malpractice committed by Clayton and McCulloh.
Here is a pdf file of my BIG lawsuit regarding Coach Houses at Leesburg.
I’m Going to Begin Helping Other Condo Owners with Problems
I’m William M. Windsor. I’m not an attorney… just smarter than most attorneys. I know a lot about condo laws and related problems in Florida. If you need help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 352-577-9988 and leave a message for a return call.
So, I’m becoming a Florida Condominium Consultant.
As I’m not an attorney, I don’t have to charge hundreds of dollars an hour. $25 bucks an hour. I can at least tell you how badly I feel you are screwed. I can definitely give you a game plan for fighting the wrongdoing. You should get $25 worth of “pleasure” out of speaking to a fellow screwee.
I didn’t write this article to start a new business, but when I got to the bottom of the page, I realize I have a valuable service to provide.
Copyright William M. Windsor, 2021