This Is our Village

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Hi all
As you are all aware, slowly but surely, 2010 Census data is being made available across the Nation, This includes the Census Designated Place (CDP), Century Village.
The chart above is particularly disturbing as regards Real Estate Values of all Condominium units branded Century Village. I have some ideas about this, but would first like to hear some well considered suggestions from our residents.
Please think about this situation, consider the incredible foreclosure rate and the reticence of many of our Associations to upgrade and maintain their buildings.
Please enter your ideas in the comment stream.
Dave Israel


  1. I guess I don't understand the chart. These are home sales HERE, in the Village. Okay, I understand that the NUMBER of home sales peaked in the third quarter of 2006 (red line, showing over 400 units sold). But the median price of the units sold was $160,000—how can this be right? I understand there is a difference between median and average, but I've forgotten what it is. Are you sure these figures aren't for another development?

  2. Not quite right in what I said. The number of sales peaked in second quarter of 2005, but my question about $160 ever being median price remains.

  3. Hi Lanny,
    May 29, 2011 8:45 PM,

    I will spare you the technical explanation of Mean, Median and Mode,
    My graphic is a statisical merging of all Century Villages in South Florida.

    Compared to Elaine's which is West Palm Beach only, the profile is the same and the questions are the same.

    Dave Israel

  4. dry your tears. there is no santa claus. the last unit that sold in my association for 135,000 was back in june of 2006. today i am writing a reverse check to a realtor for an investigation for the same unit on the ground floor and the sale price of this on is 33,000. the pity of it is the one that sold for 135,00 is still paying real estate taxes on that amount.even with a homestead deduction the higher priced condos are getting screwed. think about the snowbirds that bought back then in the high risers for over a hundred thousand dollars and do not even have the benefit of a homestead deduction. they are really getting screwed.i wonder how many of those have been let go and are in forclosure?
    but, have heart, this is still paradise and today we have a lot to be thankful for. god bless our troops, and all the men and women that have served our country and gave us the oportunity to be free and complain about stuff like this.

  5. Maybe we should dissect the problem into smaller pieces before looking for solutions. In my association 1/3 of the residents have passed away recently or moved to assisted living, this leaves non-resident owners paying the carrying costs of their empty units. These costs are from $5K to $8K or more per year. These costs are increasing because they are composed of contracts with built-in percentage increases each year (WPRF, maintenance company, plus all UCO contracts. Even property taxes, FPL and PBCWUD get increases frequently.) I have not forgotten added costs of bad debt, foreclosed units.
    The solution for individuals, who also have the cost of their other home - is to sell as soon as possible no matter how low, or to rent, or to break contracts in search of better rates. They can also challenge their tax assessment.

    Another part of the problem is the undermanned or absent, overloaded, uncompensated, unwilling Board. In the past there was an idea that the Association could buy units thru Right of First Refusal, repair and resell units. This takes a great deal of time, effort and knowledge. If this is beyond the capability of current Boards, could another entity or real estate company take on this task?

    Buildings are decaying and needing more care than in the past. This problem is exacerbated by weak Boards, as above. Can another entity take over? Sounds expensive!

    How are other Century Villages structured to take weight off the Boards? It appears all CV's have the same bubble / crash problem in values. When UCO visited other CV's - are they Master Associations or ?? What are other CV's doing?

  6. Is anyone getting a mortgage loan reduction? Reducing payments or wiping out debt! The ads look like scams.

  7. Thank you for your help (including offline) in understanding the graph, Dave, and thank you too, Elaine.

    To get to Dave’s main question: It has surprised me that our condo unit values went SO low, and it has surprised me that (until now with the present upswing) sales have been so poor. I’d have thought more people would have bought here because they couldn’t afford elsewhere.

    We have the lowest selling prices going. The problem here is the HOA fees. When you include the WPRF payment, we pay as much per month as many communities with better, more expensive homes.

    In my opinion, it is crucial to do everything we can within reason to keep our HOA fees down. Finding a way to save $10,000 a year on our insurance cost HELPS. Spending $500-700K to fight Mr. Waldman does NOT, but just makes our rates go up. The higher our HOA fees go, the more people will opt out of paying.

    If our condo units are beginning to sell again as I’ve been told, values should begin to go up. This will help.

    I can well understand why some associations are reluctant to maintain and upgrade their buildings. When you’re poor, some of this stuff simply has to go on the back burner. We need to be kept informed concerning good maintenance and to learn where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We need to learn how not to be taken for a sucker by contractors who would bleed us dry. These are judgment calls each association needs to make. I agree with Elaine that some association boards do not have the leadership they need. This is tragic. I wonder if we could ever implement such a thing as one association being a "Big Brother" to another.

    Some of our associations are rich by comparison with others. Some can afford almost anything. They should not be dictating to the poorer associations: “Look, you’ve got to do this and do that, and do it the expensive way.” That's NOT how a Big Brother should operate.

    Our parents got through the Great Depression. May we manage to do the same now using good judgment and doing the best we can with understanding for those who may be having a tougher time of it than ourselves.

  8. Lanny (and Dave and the Board,)
    your comments present good food for thought. Why are our monthly fees so high? We have a wonderful community, and hopefully each association trys to keep up its property so as to preserve the value. True, some have larger reserves, due to smaller spending or due to higher monthly fees, and larger set-asides per month.We did just get a large reduction in our insurance premium, and that belongs to those who paid the extra earlier in the year.It would probably help many in meeting their expenses.
    However, expenses that are difficult to control are those imposed upon us by WPRF. We have wonderful recreation facilities. Why do we need so many pools? Even in the midst of winter when our population is so high, do we fully utilize our pools? Would it be feasible to shut down 3 or 4 (or more) pools and save on the maintenance costs? Maybe in the summer, when our population drops off drastically, half of the pools could be closed,and allow us to save on maintenance?
    We also have many shows (theater) in the "season". It seems to me, and many of my friends, that the weeks when we have 4 shows or even 3, are just too many. Could we have WPRF reduce the number of shows, saving us a lot of money and reduce our WPRF financial responsibility each month?
    As I say, food for thought. I have been aware that our expenses are too high in comparison to many people I know living in much more expensive communities. Why? How about if we all think about that??

  9. Bob, I asked the Operations Cmte today about subsidies for the WPRF shows, the WPRF accountant explained that the shows make a profit and there is no subsidy. So there goes a long-held belief of many villagers. Cutting shows would not be a money saver.

  10. Hi Bob B,

    In addition to the WPRF dues we all pay, the dues we pay to our associations are higher than they would be otherwise because of our free bus service. That's a terrific benefit (best anywhere in southern Florida I've heard), but of course we are paying for it.

    David Israel is trying to keep bus costs down. He put a stop to the buses idling at the Clubhouse, which has saved a lot on gas. Now I understand he and others are looking into the possibility of electric-powered buses in case the price of gas goes over $4/gallon.

    I have also heard that buses can be retrofitted to burn propane. I understand that propane is abundant and promises to remain so in the US for 50 or more years, If you go to electric, true you save on gasoline, but it's very expensive at present buying an electric-powered bus—far more than retrofitting for propane. And electricity doesn't appear by magic: plants burn coal to produce electricity for the most part, I think, although some plants of course are nuclear, and then there are windmills, etc.

  11. Do we have PR, advertising, and real estate experienced villagers who would form a CV advertising cmte. Everything does not have to be paid advertising, there is the internet, internal campaigns, news stories, social networking ...

  12. (not my idea) But help Mr Levy get thru the legal blocks to do remarketing, REMARKET.

  13. Hi Elaine,
    May 31, 2011 6:36 PM,

    Now you are on the edge of an idea.
    For a number of years, H.I. Levy has been trying to float a Re-Marketing of the Village plan.

    The concept is simple, massive advertising in appropriate markets;
    This idea, which is clearly a good one, has been rejected for two reasons:

    1) It will cost money, which of course will be made up over time by way of increased Realty Value.

    2)A pathological hatred of all things Levy, which is simply ludicrous, if one takes the time to think about it; and get beyond the gibbering of a few malcontents.

    Finally I will leave you with the following warning, upgrade and maintain your buildings, before 40 year recertification is passed and costs go exponential and mandatory!

    Dave Israel

  14. Hi all,
    Well, you will never believe this, but we got the explanation of why Real Estate prices are so low in Century Village.

    The answer was revealed during the Executive Board meeting today, when a member of the Executive Board stated that it is this BLOG, which is "seen all over the world", that is the cause of low sales and prices.

    Specifically, the fact that the UCO Reporter appears on this BLOG was indicated as a causative agent!

    Isn't it wonderful that we have such clever people on the Executive Board?

    What do you all think about this breakthrough finding?

    No doubt, this also explains the National trend as well!!

    Dave Israel

  15. Actually Dave, some of the attendees at the Executive Board meeting probably scare a number of people away from C.V. If some of them get back in power--what a mess we will have. This blog has been the first breath of fresh air here in years.

  16. Hi Peter,
    The small knot of malcontents simply hate the openness of the BLOG and UCO Reporter; they bring nothing to the table, every meeting is an opportunity for orchestrated disruption.

    They loved the fluff, pap and drivel that came forth, when the Presidents wife was the Editor in Chief, and the galley proofs were all read in UCO pre-publication.

    What emerged was a UCO house organ, in which criticism of UCO was essentially non-existent.

    If more reasonable and thoughtful folk do not stand up, the old crew will be back, and all the advances and improvements will be washed away.

    Dave Israel


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