Friday, May 30, 2008

The S*it Flies At Panorama Towers

We discussed this on this week's podcast but it was so startling I figured I'd mention it here, too, since there's some other interesting stuff to report on this front.

As many of you know, we are investors in a unit, now rented, at Panorama Towers across from CityCenter. I had already heard some not-great things about some of the residents over there, but this letter from the HOA was downright shocking.

"Dear Residents,

It has come to our attention that there have been numerous instances where residents are using their balconies to dispose of various trash (i.e. dog feces, cigarettes, debris, etc.)

As per the CC&Rs, these actions are prohibited and will not be tolerated. In addition to the aesthetic deterioration of the building grounds, there has been damage to residents' property. ...

Residents or their guests are to refrain from using balconies to dispose of any kind of waste. As unfortunate and incomprehensible as it may seem to report, certain pet owners are disposing of dog feces over the balcony. This waste has either damaged residents' properties or, worse, fallen on fellow residents.

All dog waste should be discarded in the various provided dog stations and/or in trash chutes."

Oh, Andrew Sasson, what have you wrought? This is the sort of place where Leo DiCaprio, Pam Anderson and Jeff Beacher live? OK, I can see Beach there. Ha ha. Just kidding, Jeff.

The poop letter came a few days before another letter of interest. You see, the HOA rules for Panorama -- designed, evidently unsuccessfully, to maintain a certain quality level among those in the buildings -- only allow owners to rent out their units once a year for a lease of no shorter than six months. That is, rent it to a real resident renter, not as short-term vacation rental with all the undesirable aspects of that practice.

But the latest letter is a petition asking owners to change the HOA rules to allow the place to become a whorehouse, err, I mean a vacation rental building. I empathize with speculators, err, I mean owners who are upset by the loss of the value of their investment. I just don't know that turning the building into that sort of place is the long-term answer.

Oh, and one more little nugget. I also got an e-mail from the Panorama resale office. They've been worthless for many months in selling the units, partly because of the economy and partly because they don't list any of them on the MLS, but they say they've closed on four units in the past few weeks and have four others in escrow. This, they say may imply "the worst of the housing slump is behind us." Or, perhaps "this spike can be attributed to the recent announcement of Viva, Station Casino's newest venture, slated to be built directly to the south of us."

That's really an interesting point I hadn't considered. Now we're sandwiched between Viva AND CityCenter. It reaffirms my hope to hang onto this thing for a few years and see where it goes.

I do wonder, though, if they warn the new buyers to carry an umbrella around the grounds and to watch where they step. Blech.


Mike Dobranski said...

You are absolutely right in thinking that opening the condos up to more renters is a bad thing. If the ratio of Owner Occupied / 2nd Home Units to Rental Units gets out of hand, it creates a whole host of problems for future buyers to get financing once current owners decide to sell their investment.

Panorama is in a position now where it has the opportunity to be hands down the most desirable condo project in the resort corridor. I think the consequences are dire if they open up rental policies. It might fix the short term for investors....but the long term will be massively compromised.

As far as the housing slump is concerned, every piece of data we have shows that the market actually bottomed out back in September / October of 2007. Where last year, there was no seasonal spike in activity in the spring and summer months, we have definitely seen a significant increase in activity this year.

Good luck with your investment. I hope Panorama's HOA keeps it the great one that you have already made.

Mike Dobranski, REALTOR®

Prudential Americana Group, REALTORS®


Anthony said...

The reason why they are selling unit is because the front of the building is finally finished...after a year and a half!

Mike Murphy said...

With over 600 owners and an democratic society, some crazy ideas can always be brought up for petition. The notion of allowing vacation rentals at Panorama was pushed by a very few shortsighted individuals and was overwhelmingly rejected.

And with certain overextended investors in great need of cash, their selection of tenants has not been too discerning either. So yes, there have been some surprisingly inconsiderate people here.

And the developer ran out of money, leaving us with some challenges finishing the project. But we've come a long way already.

All of these minor issues will shake out as people who can actually afford their investment take over from speculators who's analyis apparently included a perpetually skyrocketing market and the naive belief that in Vegas you get all the brochure shows...

Articles like the one posted May 30make for entertaining reading, but do miss the point that Panorama is already the coolest place in town to live. And at current prices, Panorama is a screaming buy for anyone with an investment timeframe longer than next month.

I love it here, and will continue working to make Panorama all it can be. And it can be something truly amazing.

Mike Murphy, HOA VP and permanent resident.

Anonymous said...

"I love it here, and will continue working to make Panorama all it can be. And it can be something truly amazing."

Yes, its truly amazing that the owner occupancy rate is lower than 50%, which means NOBODY can sell their unit to a buyer unless they are bartering or the buyer is paying cash, Fannie Mae will not allow banks to cut mortgages on Panorama anymore, nice job HOA!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what's happening here? There are probably around 45 units for sale currently (including the repos) and the price per sqft seems to be crashing? Comments?

mike dempsey said...

to mr murphy

I own a condo in tower 2.

using the fire lanes for parking(no wonder people there could give a shit about rules )
cig butts all over.
vomit down the front of the building.
a manager that shows up late.(got a problem "go pound sand".)
Ali Al Kabomm the delivery man walking the hallways .
sercurity sucks.
tony pez haveing his new floors done on a weekend until 6:30 at night satureday and sunday great sound for sitting by the pool on used furniture form tower 1 . dogs running around , women with hardly any clothes on and men in robes in the lobby(animal house)
and in closing RMI sucks and so does the HOA.


Anonymous said...

Mike Dempsey you are absolutely right. Parking in fire lanes all the time now. The manager now has her boyfriend working for us. Her son worked for us, which was a disaster. If you want to live in a soap opera this is the place. Manager takes vacations with residents, drinks with residents, but the rest of the employees are not allowed to fraternize with residents. The board likes her because she pushes things thru. We need a change in our board of directors which will be coming shortly. With new board members, we might have some hope. Maybe we can get rid of RMI too. RMI, it is not to late, if you just do your job. Get rid of all the conflict of interest in these buildings.

Michael said...

My offer to buy a unit was just accepted. I was reading your posts, and I am now concerned. Have things improved or are they the same? I checked out the place twice and it looked nice. Are the problems still evident?

A concerned buyer!

mike dempsey said...

good luck , if we can get rid of one or more of the current board members up for reelection and the RMI we'll be better off. don't expect to go to any board meetings they hide them in the middle of the week when your working. I hope you did not buy on the 4 th floor facing the strip theres a car wash (7 days a week) there you can thank Mike Murphy vp hoa for that one and you likely get burned by the cig butts coming your way and other trash.and yes nothings changed.
mike dempsey

Anonymous said...

The same board members were just re-elected. What a suprise.