Recent Closings @ The Belvedere

Downtown_reno_162
Man, I wish I could take credit for this one, but I cannot. An anonymous tipster sent this to our friends at Downtown Makeover, who checked for general accuracy and generously shared with us. These are recent closings at The Belvedere Towers, including close date, price, square footage, price per square foot and cities where the buyer mailing addresses are.

Word on the street is that The Belvedere has 100 out of 150 units under contract. DM comments, "What’s their secret? Maybe being so close to the University? Maybe
because they are priced under $300,000? 283 sf has got to be the smallest unit
I have ever seen for sale… that’s about the size of one of the rooms in my
office LOL."

Whoever is responsible for this, I owe you at least a couple of beers at the Imperial…

  10/4/2007 $135,000 283 $477 WALNUT CREEK CA

10/5/2007 $220,840 611 $361 SAN RAFAEL CA

10/3/2007 $220,840 611 $361 PETALUMA CA

10/19/2007 $245,000 611 $401 SANTA ROSA CA
10/4/2007 $135,000 358 $377 WALNUT CREEK CA

9/28/2007 $130,000 432 $301 HAYWARD CA

9/27/2007 $240,000 611 $393 MILL VALLEY CA

10/5/2007 $220,705 611 $361 SAN RAFAEL CA

9/27/2007 $243,500 611 $399 OCEANSIDE CA

9/27/2007 $243,500 611 $399 SAN CLEMENTE CA

10/9/2007 $238,500 611 $390 CARSON CITY NV

10/9/2007 $125,000 283 $442 CARSON CITY NV

10/3/2007 $250,000 567 $441 RICHMOND CA

10/25/2007 $258,000 567 $455 DANVILLE CA

10/1/2007 $258,000 567 $455 EL CERRITO CA

10/15/2007 $269,000 567 $474 SACRAMENTO CA
9/26/2007 $258,000 567 $455 SAN RAFAEL CA

10/9/2007 $269,000 537 $501 MILL VALLEY CA

9/28/2007 $241,376 537 $449 FAIRFIELD CA

9/28/2007 $259,000 537 $482 MILL VALLEY CA

9/26/2007 $259,000 537 $482 MILL VALLEY CA

9/26/2007 $254,043 537 $473 MODESTO CA

9/25/2007 $254,043 537 $473 RENO NV

10/25/2007 $269,000 537 $501 SANTA MONICA CA
10/3/2007 $269,000 537 $501 TUSTIN CA
AVERAGE   $230,614 535 $432    
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45 Responses to Recent Closings @ The Belvedere

  1. Avatar GreenNV says:

    Damn, I’ve met my match. I’ve been meaning to check out the Belvedere, but figured the project was a sure-fire failure in this market. My bad.

    A single dorm room at UNV is about $450. With 20% down on one of the 283 SF units, you are looking at about a $600/month payment + HOA. Not a bad risk for Mom and Dad. And absentee owners next door don’t know about bong water!

    For comparison, the is a link to the the current sales at Palladio http://www.mediafire.com/upload_complete.php?id=29pwxly8n9x#

    I HATE it when I get scooped!

  2. Avatar Reno Ignoramus says:

    Interesting data. So what to make of it? Is the Belvedere going to become a de facto UNR dormitory? Are all these out of towners going to use their units for weekend getaways? Are there going to be ANY owners living there full time?

    Maybe the Anonymous Tipster can keep us updated as things develop?

  3. Avatar Rory says:

    Having grown up in Mill Valley before moving to Reno for school, the data surprises me. Maybe a lone speculator that purchased several units early on who hails from Mill Valley? Hard to imagine the overly snobbish and yuppie town of Mill Valley having more than one buyer at the Belvedere.

    Very interesting indeed. Maybe they thought they were buying units in Belvedere, CA a mere 10 minute drive from Mill Valley??? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Avatar Reno Ignoramus says:

    $432 a sq. ft. is far more expensive than anything comparable. Now it’s a bit difficult to find anything comparable because these units are so small. But here’s what I found:

    397 sq. ft. at the Riverwalk for $125,000, or $314 sq. ft.

    440 sq. ft. at Park Towers for $130,000, or $295 sq. ft.

    440 sq. ft. at Park Towers for $158,000, or $359 sq. ft.

    468 sq. ft. at Arlington Towers for $140,000, or $299 sq. ft.

    560 sq. ft. at the Village at Idlewild for $160,000, or $285 sq. ft.

    626 sq. ft. at Arlington Towers for $200,000, or $319 sq. ft.

    550 sq. ft. and 529 sq. ft. at the condo down the street from the Belvedere on 4th Street for $149,000 and $145,000, or $270 sq. ft. and$274 sq. ft, respectively.

    Nothing close to $432 a sq. ft. The Village units are new construction, the others are resale. Some of these appear to have pretty decent views. Does the Belvedere have views of anything?

    All of these units have pretty much been languishing on the market for months with no takers. We all know that the Village had to convert half the project to rentals to survive.

    So, did these new owners at the Belvedere overpay, perhaps yielding to preconstruction hype when the market was better? Or will these Belvedere prices set the new bar?

    What do you all think?

  5. Avatar MikeZ says:

    This could be a scam.

    Who are the lenders?

  6. Avatar smarten says:

    MikeZ queries “This could be a scam.”

    I agree.

    The first thought I had when I saw the breakdown of addresses was that this must be the hypothetical project we’ve been speaking of that caters to rich California retirees.

    My second thought is who are the lenders? Or more pointedly, who are the originators? Wanna bet they’re common to most/all?

    I’ve learned that if it looks, waddles and quacks like a duck, that’s generally what it is.

  7. Avatar Grand Wazoo says:

    This sales data doesn’t make any sense. Today there’s an article in the RGJ that the downtown Sparks condo project is in trouble, plenty of unsold units at the Montage and Palladio, yet people are paying $500 sq/ft at the Belvedere for a motel room sized unit with no deck or opening windows?

  8. Avatar Mike Van H says:

    I know, it’s definitely weird aye? Diane and I excluded the APN numbers that the tipster sent me for the sales for privacy reasons, but I checked out at least 4 of them to double check for accuracy.
    These are presumably the first 25 closings of many more to come, since these condo projects seem to close units in groups (Palladio and Riverwalk did as well). Can’t wait to see the next set come out! To those asking who the lender is, I’m not sure if these sales had a non-associated lender or how that works, but according to their web site http://www.thebelvedere-reno.com/home.html Countrywide is the preferred or primary (or whatever they call it) lender.

  9. Avatar GreenNV says:

    Of the first 29 units to close, BofA was the lender on 13, Countrywide on 11, Flagstar on 4, and Clarion on 1. 2 families bought 2 units. 28 of the 29 units were purchased by people who have never invested in Reno before, and the last was purchase by a long time investor from Ferrari Lund (the only Reno purchaser in the group).

    I scoffed at first at smarten’s conspiracy theory – not a grassy knoll anywhere around. But what are the odds of 28 investors coming into the Reno market for the first time, and ending up at the Belvedere of all places? And where are the Wells Fargo, WaMu, Home/Wachovia mortgages? Where are the cash sales from the rich Californians?

  10. Avatar DataGuy says:

    I provided the data to DMD. They come straight from the Washoe County Assessor Real Estate Sales data file…

    Go here…

    http://www.washoecounty.us/assessor/SalesRpt.htm?PHPSESSID=d1d0ef2e819eb8d6e50955da353eb3c6

    and click “2007 sales YTD” to download a rather large excel file (Warning: don’t do it unless you have a high speed connection).

    Go down the file to APN 007-461-01 and you will find the first Belvedere condo sale (currently on line 560 but that will continually change as new real estate sales around the county are added to the file almost every day).

    When I sent the file to DMD – that he forwarded to Diane – there were 25 sales listed. As of now there are 29 listed.

    As I understand it, new buyers will not begin moving in until sometime after Jan 1.

    The predominately out of state buyers could be…

    1) Relocating to Reno
    2) Purchasing a 2nd home and planning to split time between CA and NV
    3) Near retirees, buying a 2nd home but planning to later retire and move
    4) Getting a college residence for a child

    …or other reasons

    The units are not cheap, but they are nicely appointed and not a whole lot of money (by Bay Area standards where a lot of the buyers seem to be located).

  11. Avatar Gina says:

    Couldn’t these have been pre-sells, with the closing just now happening? Is this building totally constructed?

    A friend who moved to Reno last year has already purchased 2 investment rentals – 1 SFR in Spanish Springs and 1 “executive” condo in South Meadows, which the seller did a 2-year leaseback on.

    These leasebacks are popular, especially in the commercial arena in Reno currently. But the leasebacks do make the sale price look higher than it actually turns out to be, therefore further muddying the true comps.

    I am considering buying a small condo there myself, to live in while I sort out where I want to buy a SFR, then rent out later.

  12. Avatar DataGuy says:

    Another point worth mentioning…. On its website, Belvedere writes this initial sentence regarding the developer – Menlo Oaks Corporation. “Menlo Oaks Corporation and its affiliates have, since 1979, developed residential communities throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.”

    If this developer has been building in the Bay Area for decades, it should not be surprising that a large number of Bay Area buyers, who may have dealt with the company before, are buying in another venture. How many are buying to occupy – rather than to invest – is an open question.

    BTW, I believe the closings are currently limited to floors 1-3, which are probably less desirable than higher floor units – and “perhaps” somewhat less expensive per sf.

  13. Avatar DataGuy says:

    Gina, these closings could have been contracted at any time – from the day they began presales to the day before they closed. Belvedere JUST started closing on the 29th of September and the latest close in the file is currently dated Oct 29. But, who knows when the contracts were signed.

  14. Avatar Lindie says:

    Thanks DataGuy for the info. I’m sorry, though, I just can’t buy the notion that well off folks from places like Mill Valley are going to sell their no doubt lovely homes there and move into a shoebox at the Belvedere. Nope. Use it for weekends in Reno? Ok. Rent it to a UNR student? Ok. But make it the full time residence? Come on.

    Perhaps Smarten or GreenNv or MikeZ can elaborate a bit on their grassy knoll ideas. What are you thinking? Straw buyers? Cash back? Please share. I also have to say that it seems curious that out of the first 29 buyers, 28 are from out of town. Or is this what the proponents of the Rich Californians Theory have been espousing? I thought the theory was that the Rich Californians were going buy up all the $2.5 million houses in Montreux, not all the $250K condos at the Belvedere.

  15. Avatar SkrapGuy says:

    Lindie, perhaps the much heralded arrival of the Rich Californians is in fact, finally, at hand.

    Perhaps it turns out their arrival is not what some people had predicted it to be.

  16. Avatar MikeZ says:

    RE: “Perhaps Smarten or GreenNv or MikeZ can elaborate a bit on their grassy knoll ideas. What are you thinking? Straw buyers? Cash back?”

    Some kind of cash out scam. The appraisals are all wrong. $300/sqft?! $200K for 600 sqft?! I don’t think so.

  17. Avatar stjoe says:

    The NY Times has an interesting article on the economy in Reno. See

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/business/08borrow.html?hp

  18. Avatar DataGuy says:

    Very good NYT article, which very much sums up the pain that many consumers are now feeling – particularly if they got carried away by refinancing and overspending for EITHER immediate consumption or added investment in an overly hot real estate market.

    Several of the 29 sales that have already closed may have resulted from just that kind of overexuberence. But, they did occur – as did another 70+ sales that have yet to close according to agents at Belvedere.

  19. Avatar Gina says:

    For folks with money, looking for new investment opportunities is an ongoing thing. So I can see how this could have been marketed to a group of people and took off like it seems to have done. The real estate run-up hit a lot of people as a gold-rush. Look at your own Reno residents who bought multiple homes with the intention to flip. Is it then so hard to imagine Californians would come in and do the same? I think they did.

    The fact they didn’t pay cash is not an indicator these are not investment props. On the contrary, that’s what you would do if you intended to flip instead of rent.

  20. Avatar Gina says:

    Actually, this makes total sense to me. Californians MOVING here to live in Montreux or where ever is not what happened (to the extent expected)), but lots of Californians invested in rentals and flips in Reno and a much greater extent in Vegas.

    I’ve been looking for commercial in Reno too, and most of the sold listings the last few years are California buyers as well.

    Apparently, Californians are/were very bullish on Nevada!

  21. Avatar SkrapGuy says:

    Gina, if, as you suggest, these California Belvedere Shoebox owners bought intending to flip, they are in deep, deep, doodoo. If in fact this first group of buyers signed contracts back in 2005-06, when the Greater Fool Theory was still in effect, they very badly timed the market. They overpaid relative to where the market is now, and the notion of turning around and flipping these places for a profit in this market is laughable.

  22. Avatar Gina says:

    Yes, if these are indeed flips, as they seem, they are toast now, I agree. The Reno commercial market is even more laughable, as many properties sit, newly built but not totally built-out (shells-only), empty. Waiting for the Charming Prince of Bail-Me-Out from California comes and pays top $ for it.

    Well, look at the bright side, at least it ain’t Miami!

  23. Avatar DataGuy says:

    SkrapGuy, TIMING – as they say – IS EVERTHING.

    The first 25 Belvedere closes ranged from $301-$501/sf and averaged $432/sf. I don’t know exact current offering prices at Belvedere, but a relatively recent document stated that 1 Bedrooms “start at $277,000”. If that still holds and given an average square footage of those units of about 600 sf, it would come to about something like $460/sf which apparently remains higher than the $432/sf average of the first 25 sales.

    So, lets compare Belvedere with the first 50 closes at Palladio (the number currently closed) which averaged $387/sf and ranged from a low of $300/sf to a high of $502/sf (for the non-penthouses). One of the penthouses sold for $534 per sf.

    The two “ranges” are about the same – $300-$500 per sf, but the average is higher at Belvedere ($432 vs $387). Perhaps more Belvedere units were priced near the market top whereas Palladio may have started sales a bit earlier and sold more before the prices blew to the ultimate highs?

    I don’t know when the two developments began pricing, but I seem to recall that Palladio was first (Diane – or someone – correct me if that is wrong).

    I know an early Palladio buyer who paid a low $/sf for one of the very best units and was subsequently offered $100K to give up his unit before closing. His “timing” was clearly better than most.

    Right now – according to listing data I received a week or two ago – there are 34 units for sale at Palladio (31 original offers by the developer and 3 resale offers). Offers range from $381-$532/sf and the average is $456. So at Palladio, as well as Belvedere, current offers appear to remain higher than the average sales price to date ($456 vs $387) even though a handful of the original offers have now been reduced.

    Some recent downtown condo buyers almost surely paid more than their units are now worth. Same is true of recent local single family home buyers as well.

    It will be very interesting to see how long it takes the overall market to settle down and level out. And, for downtown in particular, what kind of price concessions might eventually be needed to sell out at the various condo developments.

  24. Avatar SkrapGuy says:

    DataGuy, ASKING PRICES-as they say- DON’T MEAN SQUAT.

    Just because I offer to sell my 1991 Subaru for $25,000 does not mean it is worth $25,000, or that anybody will pay me that much.

    Asking prices, Smasking prices. And let’s not get lost in the fogbank of trying to compare a 500 sq. ft. unit in one project with a 1200 sq. ft. unit in a different project. There are way too many variables, such as view, and location, and amenities. Show me an instance of anybody who has resold one of these downtown condos for more than he paid for it from the developer.

    But, DataGuy, I do say a hearty thanks to you for supplying this info. For decades the real estate industry has operated under the cover of darkness where only the dues paying six-percenters who knew the secret handshake were privy to what was really going on. So for any light you are willing to shed, I say thanks.

    One final thought: Would not the Riverwalk be a more comparable project to the Belvedere than the Palladio? Both are former burnt out hotel-casino condo conversions that appear to be aiming at the same market segment? Just a thought.

  25. Avatar GreenNV says:

    Friends and Family. I can track 8-10 of the sales to people directly affiliated with the project. In an “up” market, the FnF’s are usually the last to close, and then flip. I would guess there are buy-back price guarantees built into these sales, allowing Belvedere to establish a high end sales track record.

    I happened to drive by it today. There were only 2 Sold signs posted in the upper floor windows on the west side of the north tower.

    I’m no Palladio fan (as MVH knows), but at a 5-10% PSF premium over the Belvedere’s cludged together floorplans based on an old hotel, it looks like a bargain! Belvedere has sold/closed 1, maybe 3, units locally. That’s with models open for over a year with a staff of 3. The locals seem to have spoken pretty clearly on this project.

  26. Avatar stjoe says:

    I would guess there are buy-back price guarantees built into these sales, allowing Belvedere to establish a high end sales track record.
    ——————-

    I know am friendly with a large out-of-town builder. When I talked to him about FnF sales, he stated while they might be used to get a project going (e.g., you need X presales in order to get your financing) you NEVER, NEVER let them close with any understanding you will bail them out later. All you need is for problems to arise. The non FnF buyers will start complaining and if they see one group get its money back, they will start asking too many questions. All you need is for one FnF buyer to spill the beans and you are up the wazoos in litigation. You also have the problem of disclosures, etc., if any of these people took mortgages.

  27. Avatar stjoe says:

    As to the Palladio, Riverwalk, and the Montage, do not forget that some people are buying for a LIFESTYLE change.

    I have signed a contract for two units in the Montage: one residential and one as my โ€œhome office.โ€ I am buying them because (1) I love Reno and (2) it is getting hard for my spouse and me to maintain/manage our home.

    Three years ago, I had a series of meals with the retired director of trademarks for a large international company. Over the course of the meals, I learned how he had sold the villa in Monaco and bought an apartment in Milan. His rationale was that (1) he was retiring, (2) the villa was too big and hard to maintain, (3) break-ins were a constant problem when he went away and (4) it was much easier to lock his door to the apartment, take the elevator down to the front desk and tell the concierge that he would return in three months. After hearing that a light bulb went off and my spouse and I decided to move into a condo if the right one came along.

    We looked at the Arlington Towers, but there is no parking per se. I had a unit reserved at the Riverwalk but I walked when I read the contract. At the Montage, I was the one of the first โ€œbuyersโ€ on the first day. By my rough calculations, even if the current price is dropped 25%, it is still more than I am paying.

    SJ

  28. Avatar stjoe says:

    I signed contracts for two units in the Montage the first weekend it opened.

    Both have westerly views and are on HIGH floors (one is in the 20s the other the high teens.)

    The two-bedroom unit is approximately $406 a sq. ft. Last time I checked, the sales office at the was asking $560 a sq. ft for a similar size unit with a worse view on a much lower floor

    The studio is $460 a sq. ft.

    SJ

  29. Avatar SkrapGuy says:

    Asking, asking, asking. I know COE is still months away, but you let us know how many units they SELL at $560 a sq. ft, ok?

  30. Avatar MikeZ says:

    RE: “For folks with money, looking for new investment opportunities is an ongoing thing.”

    The rich Californians theory again? Now they’re buying up 500 sqft minicondos instead of 5,000 sq ft McMansions?

    Folks with money aren’t usually this stupid (even those from Cali), especially this late in the game.

  31. Avatar Reno Ignoramus says:

    Yes, MikeZ you are getting it. The Rich Californians Theory (“RCT”)is the local Northern Nevada variation on the Greater Fool Theory. The RCT holds that it does not matter what one pays for a property today because there will always be a Rich Californian who will come along later and pay even more. Thus, one can rationalize any price paid today as the consummate great deal, as future profit is assured.

    The RCT is flexible, and can be adpated to fit virtually any market scenario. The RCT has been applied to justify prices across the market spectrum, from the 280 sq. ft. minicondo at the Belvedere to the multi-million dollar 7,000 sq. ft. monuments scattered across the Washoe Valley.

    The RCT is most notably utilized by a price proponent when logic and reason are no longer available. When faced with rational and persuasive argument that a certain price is not supportable given local market fundamentals, the price proponent predictably falls back upon the RCT, stating with well rehearsed assurance: “it doesn’t matter that the price is unsupportable by local Northern Nevada market dynamics, because to a Rich Californian, the price will be quite attractive.”

    The RCT is frequently cited by realtors and other persons financially connected to the Northern Nevada real estate market. It is commonly cited by such persons when being interviewed by the media. The RCT is, however, often cited by individual property owners as justification for refusal to lower their asking price.

  32. Avatar Gina says:

    “Folks with money aren’t usually this stupid (even those from Cali), especially this late in the game.”

    But if these folks purchased a while back (presales orders) and are just now closing, they didn’t buy “late in the game”.

    Obviously, as the records show, it was Californians who purchased these units.

    What the records can’t show is whether they are going to be occupying, renting or hoping to flip these units.

    I guess time will answer some if those questions. I do know that for the past 5-some-odd years, real estate investing is THE hot topic. Neighbors, friends, relatives. It replaced the DotComs for the Gold Rush fever of the moment. Friends took equity out of this one to buy that one, exchanged this investment for that one, took money out of the stock market to buy the other one, etc., etc.

    Also, “Folks with money aren’t usually this stupid” – see Miami, once again. Folks with money take more risks. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose.

  33. Avatar SoCal says:

    I have it, right from the horse’s mouth (an agent at the Belvedere), most of the sales are to FnF. Said agent was planning a defection to Thoma St. lofts.

  34. Avatar smarten says:

    According to SoCal, “I have it right from the horse’s mouth…most of the sales are to FnF.”

    So for Lindie’s benefit, here’s how I see this game being played out. Now that the developer has been bailed out financially, it has agreed to hold its FnF free and harmless from liability. So there will probably be deeds back to the developer/its shill “subject to” existing financing. Or so as not to kick in mortgage due on sales clauses, you might see something like a notices of existence of some type of agreement [contract of sale, equity share, lease/option, etc.] recorded in lieu thereof.

    The developer then rents out the units and pays the debt service thereagainst. Of course if things go south in let’s say 4 months or so, you’ll start seeing notices of default being recorded. If/when you do, that will be your sign that these transactions were just as some of us suspect; bogus.

    This developer is located in Northern California and as such, its FnFs who would agree to participate in scheme such as the one I describe likely reside in…you guessed it; Northern California. This explains why so many Northern Californians have become owners [in name only]. It has nothing to do with the invasion of rich retirees from the west.

  35. Avatar SkrapGuy says:

    I guess I have little experience on insider real estate deals. What is FnF?

    This blog is just smokin’ today. You guys on this thread are shedding light on an apparent pretense at the Belvedere, and on the other thread Lindie is taking on the MLS data.

    This is much better than television.

  36. Avatar Mike Van H says:

    Now before you guys go all ballastic on the Belvedere…..don’t forget they supposedly have about 100 units under contract, surely ALL of those can’t be friends and family…..these projects close in blocks, you just have to look at the sales records of ANY condo project to see that….so it will be very interesting to continue following the closings for this project.
    If you think this thread is smokin’, wait until Diane hopefully posts the sales data on another infamous Reno condo project I emailed her..that is if I can talk her into it…it’s a bit more controversial than the Belvedere’s.

  37. Avatar Ann O. says:

    I don’t have much to contribute to this discussion so I will answer SkrapGuy’s question: FnF is friends and family. GreenNV introduced the term above.

    The only other thing I wanted to say is that the Belvedere’s location has appealed to me since the project was announced. I like that it’s near St. Mary’s hospital, the university, and both freeways. The idea of giving up suburban life sounds good sometimes. (Couldn’t get my husband interested, though!)

  38. Avatar DataGuy says:

    I think the conspiracy theorists on this board need to all step back and take a VERY deep breath.

    Although an average sales price of $432 per sf is high relative to some other offerings, it is certainly not unprecedented. For example, the 179 closes on Hotel Condos at Grand Sierra have averaged $608/sf and just over 450 sf in total floor space. Of those 179 sales, exactly two are from Reno and the vast majority (137) are from CA – mostly Northern CA.

    Grand Sierra buyers are limited to only 2-4 weeks of annual use (forgot the actual number) and apparently get some type of rental income when the hotel rents the rooms.

    The setup at Belvedere is apparently similar. They openly tout themselves as “investor friendly” and Myrna over at Reno Discontents further reports this… “Downtown Makeover Dudeโ€™s tip on the positive sales report for The Belvedere condo project inspired a flurry of comments on Reno Realty. Most interesting is the number of buyers from Northern California who are probably investors taking advantage of the propertyโ€™s rental service. The Belvedere has the capacity to function like a hotel/condo property in which vacant units are made available for rent for short periods of time.”

    While the net rental incomes (after the developer takes out his share) realized by both Grand Sierra buyers and Belvedere buyers are probably far less than their expenses, I would suspect that both groups of buyers tend to be relatively frequent visitors to Reno (many are likely gamblers) who see these “investments” as giving them a desireable place to stay with some cash flow and the “possibility” of making an eventual real estate profit.

    Additionally, Belvedere units – if they are eventually marketed to new arrivals who want rent for some months (but not years) as they look for a permanent residence – might well rent for a decent premium to other rental stock which usually demands longer term contracts.

    There is a very good possibility that many CA residents who have done previous deals with the Belvedere developer may be involved in this project (the FnF assertions). But, that may not at all suggest that under the table deals have taken place.

    In any event, the redevelopers of Belvedere, Montage and Riverwalk have or are spending hundreds of millions of dollars converting decaying old hotel casinos into very nice living space. If they all get completed (and I sure hope they do) it will not matter in the long term whether the developers or initial buyers made or lost money on their investments. If initial pricing is too high, the prices will eventually come down.

    Regardless, hundreds of new residences that did not exist WILL EXIST and hundreds of new full or part time residents will eventually fill them. And, more residents will mean more restaurant and retail to serve them and all of downtown will benefit.

  39. Avatar MikeZ says:

    RE: “But if these folks purchased a while back (presales orders) and are just now closing, they didn’t buy “late in the game”.”

    Irrelevant. They’re closing now – at prices per sq ft that are about twice market. Smart people walk away from deals as bad as these.

    I hadn’t considered a buy back guarantee, though. Still, if it were me, I’m a vapor trail. I’m not going to count on a builder staying in business and honoring a buy-back clause.

  40. Avatar RNHanson says:

    Okay, I’m not an investor nor am I from California so I am looking for any thoughts on this approach: could the investors be looking to retire in California but buying property in Nevada to change their state of residence and the amount of taxes they would pay on retirement income (none in Nevada)? They would not only get the tax break on their income but also an eventual return on the property investment when it is sold down the line.

  41. Avatar Reno Ignoramus says:

    RN, what you are describing has been a time honored practice at Incline Village for decades. There is a reason why so many of those houses/condos at Incline appear to be unoccupied as often as they are.

    I suppose there may be a few folks contemplating it with Belvedere condos. It’s a pretty risky business though. I am aware of one man who got prosecuted for income tax evasion by the State of California because he cliamed his Incline condo as his main residence even though in actuality he was there less than 60 days a year. He didn’t go to prison, but he did end up paying all of the assessed taxes with interest and penalties. I personally would not recommend it as sound tax aviodance planning.

  42. Avatar Grand Wazoo says:

    So – the Belvedere is going to be a rental joint. So is the GSR. So is Village @ Idlewild Park. Ski resorts have been doing this for years and years, so I suppose it is not such a big deal. Unless you don’t make this fact widely known up front of course, something the GSR did do, but then again that is not a property pitched as a downtown residence.

    So when does the Montage follow suit? Huge building that would seem to be difficult to fill at “those prices”.

    How about the Palladio? About a third of the condos are still without buyers.

  43. Avatar Downtown says:

    I did go view the Belvedere one last time before I closed on a unit at the Palladio (I had it in contract since early 04′). They are definitely shoe boxes and I think we will see a mix of college students, 2nd home vacationers, and younger renters occupy the majority of the units. Itโ€™s still a solid project and will be a good addition in the Downtown.

    On a lighter note-There were hundreds of little ghosts, princesses, vampires, etc walking around the Palladio this year. Can you believe that!

  44. Avatar ???????????? says:

    oh, i think so, when ll be similar post?

  45. Avatar SCOTT says:

    Does anyone know what happened to the tenants living in the Belvedere
    at the time of the time of the fire, were they compensated for damages?
    Thanks Scott

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