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2008-05-29 15:50:02

Service Helps Investors Target Distressed Sellers of Luxury Condos

Real estate attorney and REALTOR in Miami Beach, Florida, Christian N. Folland, Esq, utilizes a specialized combination of legal and realty knowledge to assist the recent surge in international buyers interested purchasing Miami Beach real estate at deep discounts though pre-foreclosure or foreclosure transactions.

"Fifty percent of our recent transactions have been international buyers, usually from the UK, Germany, Russia, or Canada, cashing in on the combination of the weak dollar and deeply discounted luxury waterfront condominiums here in South Beach," noted Folland, who finds that international buyers believe the time is right to purchase in Miami Beach and South Florida. When asked why they are purchasing now, international clients often cite the many months of negative real estate media headlines leading to substantial decreases in listing and sales prices, the slowdown in the US economy, the number of foreclosures, and the weak dollar. Most international buyers say they have always been interested in South Florida for vacation and real estate investment, especially South Beach, and with the large number of new luxury beachfront condominiums available now, they are ready to buy, but are wary of the legal issues.

Even new luxury condominiums are subject to building changes, so it is very common that the final built product will not be the same as what was originally promised.

Using his combined expertise as both an attorney and REALTOR, he enables buyers in the South Beach real estate market to find and buy pre- and post-foreclosed or otherwise discounted properties, while avoiding the legal pitfalls of problem or "red-flagged" properties. Along with foreclosure title issues, condominium problems are often difficult to notice, including fraudulent developer contracts, lawsuits against the developer for construction defects, disproportionately large numbers of renters rather than owners, pending special assessments, large numbers of pre-construction buyers failing to close, downgrades in finishes due to materials cost, and lender blacklisting due to fraudulent sales and appraisals.

"Cash buyers have the upper hand and can often purchase luxury beachfront condominiums at pre-construction prices," stated Folland, pointing out that too many speculators purchased pre-construction at the height of the market in Miami Beach and now are desperate to sell in order to avoid losing their down payment. When researching available properties for buyer clients, he finds that most new luxury waterfront condominium properties have some owners who only closed to avoid losing their deposits, and will now sell for less than the developer's price on the remaining units. "Distressed sellers are often more comfortable accepting a lower contract price with a cash closing when the contract comes from a law office," says Folland, finding that some distressed owners will even sell for less than their pre-construction closing price.

Pre-construction contracts are another avenue of opportunity for buyers, as those being forced to close or lose their deposits are open to assigning the contract, sometimes for a loss. Folland employs his combined skills to assist buyers and sellers in these transactions and also in suing the developer for material changes in the condominium, as compared to what was promised the buyer. "Even new luxury condominiums are subject to building changes, so it is very common that the final built product will not be the same as what was originally promised," suggests Folland, who uses experienced inspectors and engineers to evaluate the property for the material changes needed to make a good case against the developer to return the buyer's deposit.

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