We were really excited about flying down to West Palm Beach and picking up a condo for $37,000. That’s so cheap that even if you just like to go down to Florida a couple times a year for the warm weather, it could easily pay for itself over several years. But now we’re thinking twice after a reader posted a link to this article in the South-Florida Sun-Sentinel:
Diela Narrabe may be forced to leave her Deerfield Beach condo next month, even though she’s done everything right.
Narrabe is one of 28 unit owners — out of 168 — in the Deerfield Palms condo association who still pay their monthly maintenance fees, which are used to pay the community’s water bill.
Residents owe the city $90,000. If they don’t pay $12,929 by the first week of March, the city is threatening to turn off the water. Because the community has master meters rather than individual unit gauges, the city can’t separate owners who are current on their bills from delinquent customers.
Yikes. So no matter how cheap a condo is, if your neighbours aren’t paying the bills, you could be really screwed. And unless there were some way to rig up your own well or plumbing — extremely doubtful in a condo — a place without water is worth somewhere around $0.
Now if we had a little more cash, we might think about buying up an entire building of delinquents and turning the water back on. That just might work.