I remember as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, Red Buttons would do a commercial that aired in New York, promoting Century Village.  You were promised beautiful spacious apartments, amazing views, golf courses, endless entertainment and simply the perfect dream place to retire to.  So forty years later, we learn what Red’s commercial left out:

  1. While living in your new retirement kingdom, we won’t even make you put money away for when your building needs repairs.
  2. When your building hits the 40 year mark, we will make you pass an electrical and structural inspection, and if you don’t —– you will need to chip in with your neighbors to fix the place up, even though we didn’t make you put money away;
  3. One day, you will need to either have expensive sprinklers or an expensive engineered life safety system in your community. Can’t afford it? Tough.
  4. The cost for insuring your property will rise to levels nobody ever thought possible and you will be forced to pay it;
  5. It may be difficult to sell your home because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac won’t guarantee mortgages unless your building has funded reserves and is otherwise in good physical and financial shape;
  6. When the state finally makes you fund reserve accounts, you may not be able to afford the increase in your assessments;
  7. If you can’t afford your assessments, the association can foreclose on your home;
  8. You will unfortunately learn that buildings that don’t make timely critical repairs can collapse, killing its occupants;
  9. While you’re dealing with items one through eight, gasoline will be $5.00 a gallon, food prices will soar and inflation will rise at the fastest rate in forty years;
  10. Despite all of these problems, your own state legislature won’t even address any of these issues, except for insurance;
  11. If your sole income is social security you will have a big problem being able to afford all the sunshine, views, and activities we have to offer.
  12. If you would rather rent instead, you can forget it, because rents are unaffordable too;

With all due respect for Red Buttons, not even he would be able to convince you to move to Florida in the 80s if he told you what the Florida condominium crisis would look like in the year 2022.

I had the honor of being interviewed by Jim Defede from CBS News this week about lots of these issues and more.  Next Sunday, May 7th at 11:30 that interview will air on his Facing South Florida TV Show.  Here’s the problem……it airs at 11:30, so if your listening to the Condo Craze and HOAs radio show that starts at 11, you won’t be able to also listen to my interview by Jim.  So do what Red Buttons would tell you to do……use your VCR to record the TV show and listen to the radio show on your transistor pocket radio.  And can you please stop the annoying clock on the VCR from blinking?

And, if you haven’t listened to my interview by The Miami Herald yet, click here to listen.

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