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Why Buy a Condo Hotel When You Only Have Limited Information

I'm interested in some of the new condo hotels coming on the market, but you offer very little specific information on what I'd be buying. How is one supposed to make a buying decision in the preconstruction stage without important details like pricing, unit sizes, availability and rental splits? Why not wait until more information is provided by the developer?

Rest assured, it is our desire to provide as much information, including exact prices and related data, on properties we promote when that information is available. Unfortunately, in today's fast-paced real estate market, often by the time that information is available, you've already missed out on the buying opportunity. Wait until you have all the facts, and you could end up paying second or third tier prices and will be limited in your selection of units. That's why, sometimes we feel obligated to promote a property even when the details are sparse. Fortunately, in nearly all cases, your deposit is fully refundable up until the point that you are provided with all the relevant information including a detailed contract that spells everything out. To give you an example, we recently promoted the Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico condo hotel in Baja, Mexico. We had only one building rendering and very little information. For numbers, we only had a starting price range. Nonetheless, we knew these units would move quickly. We sent out our Property Alert to our subscribers and within two weeks, over 60 people sent in deposit checks and reserved units. Other realtors probably had comparable success. The result? Anyone sending in a deposit even a few weeks after the property first came on the market would be much farther down the list when it comes to unit selection and pricing tiers. And of course, all this sales activity took place in pre-construction, many months before the first shovel hit the dirt. Another example. At Trump International Hotel and Tower at Waikiki Beach Walk, only 460 units were available. Over 1,500 people sent in deposits. Were there any details available on the property? No. Did anyone who sent in a deposit know what they'd ultimately pay for a unit or if they'd even get a unit? No. But the property sold out long before this information was provided by the development team. Pretty much anyone who didn't send in their deposit within the first day or two didn't even get the opportunity to buy. So what should you do if you see a popular condo hotel come on the market that you're considering for purchase? Fill out the registration form and send in your REFUNDABLE deposit. In other words, reserve your place in line. You'll get the facts before you sign your contract and are committed to the purchase. At least, this way you've kept open your option to buy.
* The above question was submitted via e-mail by a visitor to www.CondoHotelCenter.com. The answer was prepared by Joel Greene, a licensed real estate broker with Condo Hotel Center which specializes in the sale of condo hotel units.

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