Vacant Condos Gone Wild

Jon Real Estate Leave a Comment

It’s no secret that Atlanta is oversupplied with condominiums, nor is there a  shortage of finger pointing as to who’s responsible for the glut.  The question now facing current residents, developers (and their lenders) is how to deal with the remaining vacant supply.

I’m not an expert in such matters, but I can tell you this: finding out that one of your vacant, unsold units is being used as storage depot for 122 pounds of marijuana is probably not the “”spark”” in the market that you were looking for.  Such was the case a few weeks ago at Sky Lofts, a condominium development in the West End.  From WSB-TV:

An Atlanta police narcotics team got called to the complex after a real estate agent made an unusual discovery in a vacant condo owned by the developer.

“”Once officers got inside the third floor, they found an AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol and bales of marijuana, in total, 122 pounds of it,”” resident Zaven O’Bryant said.

I can’t imagine what the real estate agent’s reaction was when he or she walked in on the AK and “”bales”” of marijuana.  I’ve definitely been distracted by some pretty strange odors and objects when viewing homes, but I’m usually pretty good at keeping myself and my clients on point, so that we can judge the home itself on its own merits.  In this case, probably not possible.

The real shame is the impact on those who currently own units in Sky Lofts.  The development has been on the market, according to FMLS, for nearly four and a half years.   Developer owned units have seen their prices slashed upwards of 30%, despite significant down payment assistance programs in place and jumbo agent commission promotions. And yet, there’s still plenty of inventory available.  Only Kreskin can tell you how much of an impact that this latest bout of bad publicity will have on sales volume… but it’s hard to imagine that this will be viewed as an additional amenity.

Yet another reason why home vacancies matter.  Nothing good comes of it, not on a balance sheet, not in a community.

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