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Old 04-07-2012, 12:13 PM
 
9 posts, read 25,044 times
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Hi All,
I recently attended a seminar in Toronto re: Real Estate in Florida. The brokers talked at length the above properties.

I am an investor from Toronto, and I am undecided which one will be a better investment? I am planning to buy for renting purposes. Also, which units rent faster? Ground floor level as opposed to 2nd or 3rd floors? Units facing south for brighter units? Units facing a lake, a pool or near the Club house?
Which one will appreciate better in 5-10 years?

Thank you so much for your comments on my post!
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Ohio/Sarasota
913 posts, read 2,200,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian dreamer View Post
Hi All,
I recently attended a seminar in Toronto re: Real Estate in Florida. The brokers talked at length the above properties.

I am an investor from Toronto, and I am undecided which one will be a better investment? I am planning to buy for renting purposes. Also, which units rent faster? Ground floor level as opposed to 2nd or 3rd floors? Units facing south for brighter units? Units facing a lake, a pool or near the Club house?
Which one will appreciate better in 5-10 years?

Thank you so much for your comments on my post!
We looked at Vintage Grand before we bought three years ago. It is a conversion, which means the construction is somewhat suspect. Also, IMO the complex is not kept up very nice. But they do have a lot of perks, two pools, a lake, basketball and tennis courts and a great location. We looked at 3-4 units and 2 had extensive mold issues. The company that was converting the apartments still owned over half the units. This meant they controlled the HOA and could raise fees as they wanted. Not a good situation.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
3,893 posts, read 5,834,334 times
Reputation: 4328
Vintage Grande was originally called Camden Apartments, built in 1989 and converted during the real estate boom years to condos. There have been some complaints over the years about mold. The developer that coverted it to condo still has a substantial number of units that are unsold and are being rented out. Neither of the 2 pools are heated from what an on site rep told me back in October, which means the water will be too cold for swimming in the peak winter rental months. Of the units that have been sold, many are owned by investors using them for rentals. The complex allows short term rentals. The clubhouse is being used as the on site sales office for the developer. I too am not impressed with the overall maintenance of the complex and grounds.

If you are asking about Serenade on Palmer Ranch, it too is an apartment complex converted to condos that was originally called Savoy on Palmer. It was built in 1999 and converted in 2005. This complex has a much higher standard of maintenace and overall appearance than VG. There are still a number of units that are delinquent on their HOA fees (ie in foreclosure), but that number has come down substantially from 3 years ago. Rental terms are minimum 6 months, 2 times per year. The clubhouse is well kept and available for use as an actual clubhouse, the fitness center is clean as are the tennis courts and grounds. This complex is gated with a code or clicker required for access. The buildings are 3 story and there are only stairs, no elevators, which does impact the price of 3rd floor units to some extent.

For those considering purchasing a condo in a converted complex in FL, you will have to purchase with cash as banks will not finance a mortgage on a condo conversion for a number of reasons. Most of the conversions took some big hits to their finances over the past 5 years due to the huge number of foreclosures. Some are recovering, others still have not built up sufficent reserves or may still have operating budget issues. Without sufficient reserves you could be hit with a special assessment that wipes out all of your profits for several years.

The best advice I can give to condo buyers is ALWAYS get a copy of the current year's budget on any condo you are considering purchasing BEFORE you write the offer. You should also request a copy of the Rules & Regulations, By-laws and Question & Answer Sheet. While you're at it, ask for a copy of at least the past 2 or 3 months minutes of the Board meetings to see what is being discussed. These are items (except for the meeting minutes) that in FL the seller of the unit is required to give you as the condo docs to review within a specific time period after you have executed a contract to purchase a unit, but it makes more sense to me to see these documents before you put down a deposit and sign a contract. If the numbers don't work or the rules and regulations regarding rentals don't fit your needs, then you can move on without having to get released from a contract first. At the very least, ask to see the current year's budget/financials and the Rules & Regulations so you will know rental restrictions, pet restrictions, etc.

I would strongly suggest coming to Sarasota and visiting the condo communities in question before purchasing anything. That way you can assess the condo complexes first hand. While you're here, also meet with reps from at least 2 or 3 of the local property management companies as managing condo units in FL from Canada is no easy feat without the help of a local property manager. (They are also the best source for answer as to which floors rent best and for the best rental rates.)

Don't forget to factor into your calculations your rental management fees, insurance (interior), taxes, monthly maintenance fees and wear & tear on the unit.


Before deciding on complex A or complex B, perhaps it would pay to research other condo communities in the area first, rather than taking one person's word at a seminar as to what makes a great investment for you?
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:15 PM
 
9 posts, read 25,044 times
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Your comments made lots of sense, Sunshine Rule. THANK YOU!

I do plan to go Sarasota in the next six months. What are the properties that you would recommend? Do you have reliable property management company that you would recommend? Have you worked with Canadian purchasers before?
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:17 PM
 
9 posts, read 25,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davery5872 View Post
We looked at Vintage Grand before we bought three years ago. It is a conversion, which means the construction is somewhat suspect. Also, IMO the complex is not kept up very nice. But they do have a lot of perks, two pools, a lake, basketball and tennis courts and a great location. We looked at 3-4 units and 2 had extensive mold issues. The company that was converting the apartments still owned over half the units. This meant they controlled the HOA and could raise fees as they wanted. Not a good situation.
Thank you for your input, Davery5872! I am considering all the comments posted.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Ohio/Sarasota
913 posts, read 2,200,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian dreamer View Post
Thank you for your input, Davery5872! I am considering all the comments posted.
Here is a thread I posted when we bought three years ago. It may be a bit dated, but maybe there is some useful info.

//www.city-data.com/forum/saras...nally-got.html
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,979 posts, read 9,524,243 times
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Here are some tips I give for Canadian Investors:
1. Be educated about the market and the process of buying in Florida
2. Work with the right people that are experienced in working with Canadian investors
3. Get the right management company and tenants
4. Buy long term rather than flipping
5. Select properties in solid, desirable and safe areas
6. Check with a financial advisor about tax consequences

Keys to investing in any market
1. Job growth and economic growth
2. Population growth
3. Desirability
4. Supply and demand
5. Return on investment

Here are some blogs I wrote that might be helpful.

Florida Landlord and Tenant Laws
Who should be aware of the Florida Landlord and Tenant Laws?
· A person looking to purchase a home that already has a tenant in place.
· A homeowner that wants to rent a property and therefore becomes a landlord.
· A person that wants to rent from a landlord.
· A Rental Specialist.
· A Real Estate Agent or Realtor dealing with properties for rent or already rented
This web site from the Florida Division of Consumer Services gives helpful information on Before you Rent, Oral and Written Rental Agreements, Deposit and Rent Requirements, Who is Responsible, Access to the Premises, Failure to Meet Obligations, When You Decide to Move, Military Service, and Additional Resources. You can download the brochure or order a free copy. http://www.800helpfla.com/landlord_text.html
If you are a do it yourself landlord, here is another web site that will be helpful to you from Florida Landlord. It covers Rental Statues, Tenant Screening, Rental Agreements, Security Deposits, Rent Collection, Tenant Evictions, Tenant Safety, Record Keeping, Property Maintenance, and Landlord Resources. http://floridalandlord.com/rental_statutes.html

Are you considering an investment property?
Here are some things to keep in mind if you are planning to purchase an investment property. First of all decide how long you plan to own the property before you buy it. The longer you own the home, the more money you will need to put into it for maintenance, repairs, and improvements. Then decide your purpose for investing. Is it for rental income? Are you looking for a quick flip? Are you looking to build up appreciation and resell?

Don't count on appreciation. With the market the way it is right now, appreciation is not a guarantee. When looking at homes, you want to purchase a home that would have an attractive resale value no matter what the market is like. Obviously you would like to make a profit if you did resell.

If you decide to rent the property, it is necessary to make sure your rental income will cover your out of pocket expenses such as the mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs and vacancy rate. Right now, demand is higher than supply. Check with local real estate agents or call rental ads to see what the going rental rate is within the areas you are looking to purchase a property.

Try an investment calculator such as the one at goodmortage.com. Go to their web site: Should I buy an Investment Property or Rental Home?. This will give you a good idea of the financial situation if you decide to rent an investment property.

There are tax benefits in any real estate investment whether it be rental homes, apartments, vacant land, commercial buildings, industrial, shopping centers, or warehouses. Check with your local tax advisor before entering into a purchase agreement for any investment property to make sure you qualify and follow the strict requirements.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:49 AM
 
50 posts, read 120,315 times
Reputation: 49
I am also from Canada and attended a fhf seminar a while ago. Visited the vg condos and bought elsewhere. Message me for more details.
Btw,im in Sarasota right now as I came to check some properties.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
3,893 posts, read 5,834,334 times
Reputation: 4328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian dreamer View Post
Your comments made lots of sense, Sunshine Rule. THANK YOU!

I do plan to go Sarasota in the next six months. What are the properties that you would recommend? Do you have reliable property management company that you would recommend? Have you worked with Canadian purchasers before?
There are a number of condo communities in the Sarasota area that are similar in price to Serenade / Vintage Grand. Some like Admiral Walk (Clark Rd), Bella Villino (also in Palmer Ranch), Villagio (by the ballpark on Tuttle) and Las Palmas (north, by University Parkway) are also condo conversions that went thru similar financial issues as the two you mentioned.

Other are older commumities built in the 1960's to 1980's. Here are a few in the south Sarasota area that I can think of right now: Trinity Village on Clark Rd, Baywood Colony off of US41 by Stickney, Imperial Place (just north of Clark on Swift), Gulf Gate Gardens & Carrington Place on Beneva by Gulf Gate. Citywalk on Wood St near downtown is another one. Village Brooke on Beneva has really cleaned up their common areas in the past couple of years, these are older condos (1970's) but the complex has great amenities with 2 pools, tennis courts and an exercise room.

Eagle Creek in Palm Aire, a master planned community on University Parkway near Lakewood Ranch, sometimes has nice little 2 bedroom units available. It's a small, well kept community and Palm Aire is also popular with seasonal renters. Another complex there is Tradition at Palm Aire.

These are just a few of the condo communities out there.

Some have more flexible rental options than others. I forgot to mention in my other post - be sure to check rental restrictions carefully as some communities do not allow rentals for terms such as 1 or 2 years after purchase. Casa del Sol on Cattleman Rd is one of those.


As to management companies, there are a number but here are 2 of the largest and best established:

Stringer Management
Sarasota, FL
941-922-4959
http://www.stringermanagement.com/


Sarasota Management
Sarasota, FL
941-377-8400
http://www.sarasotamanagement.com/owners_choose.html?gclid=COiWw9qvtqsCFYlM4AodaE9Ze g



The more information you have, the better choices you can make.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:09 AM
 
45 posts, read 158,719 times
Reputation: 19
Default "Serenata", NOT "Serenade"

Sorry to revive an older thread, but I;m confused about whether the OP was referring to Serenade in Palmer Ranch or Serenata. Are they the same place? The Florida Home Buyers site says "Serenata" is a complex built in 2005. Does anyone have any further info or observations on this complex? Thx.

Last edited by johnnyboy5; 05-17-2012 at 08:00 AM..
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