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Cell residence homeowners really feel burned after sale of land in Florida
Cell residence homeowners really feel burned after sale of land in Florida
Over the summer season, resident-shareholders of Caribbean Isles, a 55-plus cellular residence group in Largo, Fla., determined to promote the property to Murex Properties, a giant participant in Florida cellular residence communities. They now remorse the choice. (Photograph by Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Occasions through AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Nancy DeCamp can not bear to enter the house on lot 257.

Her sister Tootie lived right here, only a golf cart experience from the place Nancy shares a spot together with her husband of their manufactured residence group in central Pinellas County. After Tootie died in October, the DeCamps tried, with out success, to promote her residence.

“It’s nonetheless Tootie’s home,” Nancy DeCamp mentioned, her eyes welling. “It’s very laborious to be there.”

The DeCamps by no means anticipated this drawback in Caribbean Isles, nestled between Largo and Seminole. Promoting within the 55-and-older park, their actual property agent mentioned, was as soon as really easy she scarcely had time to stake “on the market” indicators.

Then the park modified arms.

It seems like a quintessential Florida story: The land beneath a cellular residence park sells, and the brand new proprietor hikes the lease past what residents can afford.

Caribbean Isles was presupposed to be totally different. Years in the past, as buyers circled over the past actual property growth, residents fought for his or her land and received: They purchased it themselves to thrust back the menace.

Final 12 months, nonetheless, they offered the park – and their safety. The patrons supplied sums that the homeowners felt they couldn’t flip down, making certain monetary safety into their twilight. Some say they have been satisfied to promote by what they took as a assure that the park would stay reasonably priced.

However rents for brand new residents have almost doubled since final summer season. Actual property brokers say the sharp will increase have made the houses residents nonetheless personal almost unattainable to promote.

The park’s new administration, Murex Properties, has informed residents it disputes their account. Murex didn’t reply on to a number of detailed questions posed by the Tampa Bay Occasions, but it surely supplied a press release defending its charges as affordable.

To residents, the battle isn’t nearly cash. It’s a couple of lack of autonomy.

As soon as, Caribbean Isles was an reasonably priced facet door right into a Florida retirement dream. Now, residents say, the maze of heaps, encircled by a white fence, looks like a entice.

The 400-lot park offered for $41 million.

Half-a-dozen shareholders mentioned that that they had been led to consider that lot lease for brand new residents would enhance by solely about $175 a month. Some mentioned they heard that determine instantly from Murex management; others mentioned they discovered it from the co-op board’s attorneys.

“I believe everybody would have voted otherwise if we’d identified what was coming,” mentioned Rick DeCamp.

New residents later discovered that month-to-month rents can be $1,147 on the low finish, $1,305 for heaps subsequent to the park’s ponds.

That meant residence costs must come down for any proprietor who would possibly need to promote sooner or later. No purchaser would pay outdated Caribbean Isles costs for a cellular residence with the brand new lot rents.

Potential patrons stored strolling away after listening to about prices, texts shared with the Occasions present.

“Lot lease outrageous,” one mentioned. “Sorry.”

Amongst listings was the one as soon as occupied by Nancy DeCamp’s sister. With out a purchaser, the DeCamps have been renting it out.

The realtor dropped the value on her residence a number of occasions, from its authentic $113,900 to $89,900.

“Cell houses (in different parks) are promoting at asking value or near,” she mentioned. “And shortly.”

Residents informed the Occasions they knew of solely two houses which have offered in Caribbean Isles since Murex took over. One in every of them was initially listed at $69,900, in keeping with, however the Occasions couldn’t affirm its sale value. The agent concerned within the sale didn’t return requests for remark.

The opposite was confirmed by Mary Lee Rades, an actual property agent who mounted up and offered a bank-owned residence. She had the carpets cleaned and vary changed and thought she may discover a purchaser for $48,000, not less than.

“We ended up nearly giving the place away,” she mentioned.

The ultimate sale value was $11,100. The customer, she mentioned, was Murex.



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