The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

The La Terraza Circus

I accompanied my parents clients to the La Terraza sale day this morning. To review: this is a brand new condo conversion about half a mile south of the Biltmore Fashion Plaza. The condo conversion is being handled by the same company that did The Montage condo conversion, just north of Kierland Commons at the end of last year. I had another client who purchase a Montage condo and was therefore on the early contact list for La Terraza. I knew my other clients were interested in purchasing a rental property, so I alerted them to this event.

My thoughts on rentals have always been: location, location, location. In general, most people are aware that renting is not exactly the wisest use of money. If you’re paying off a mortgage, that money is actually for the most part going back into your pocket, but if you’re renting, that money is simply going. So generally, people who are looking to rent, are interested in living in area that is too expensive for them to buy in. They want to live close to work, or close to school, or close to the party. This is Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale. People buy in Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler, but they rent in Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale. The point is, this new condo conversion is in a great rental location. Not only will people working downtown be minutes from the office, but also right down the street from some of the nicest shopping and restaurants in the valley.

Anyway, we did quite a bit of research before attending sale day this time. We got a copy of the HOA CCRs, a copy of the sample contract and even visited another condo complex in the area to see how it measured up. We previewed the models, picked the best one and even checked out which had the best driveways (another big plus to the condo is attached garages with every unit). We were well prepared going in.

That said, it was still a bit of a shock how quickly the sale process moves. We were herded in like cattle through a maze of check ins and registrations all with a ‘circus’ theme. I have to tell you it was a somewhat bizarre backdrop. On one hand I was amused that they embraced and incorporated the craziness and general circus feeling I think we all came away with at the last condo conversion sale day but on the other, the creepy clown on stilts, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the 1970s version) playing on plasma TVs and that mime who would just not leave us alone, were a bit much (although I kind of enjoyed the deep fried Twinkie tent).

Other than the surreal setup, things went fairly smoothly. We did feel a bit rushed at the moment of decision, and managed to just miss out on the one my mom (sorry, female CLIENT) really wanted, but all in all, it was a success. The floor plan we liked best was the B1 model; a two bedroom, two bathroom ‘flat’. It was the cheapest of the two bedrooms, but felt the roomiest to us, and was the only two bedroom floor plan that didn’t have a steep set of stairs to climb. There weren’t many of these units to be had and we could tell they were going quickly, but we did manage to snag one that’s already rented for my clients through October.

So there you go. We made it through another ‘Sale Day’ alive and one condo richer. I think I may finally be getting the hang of this, which is a good thing. These condo conversions are here to stay, I think, and I for, one, wouldn’t want to go through one as a consumer without an agent. Call me if you think you want to buy one. I’ve been there and can help you through the chaos (except for the mime, I’m not helping with the mime. They freak me out.)

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