Older condos in pricey country club communities sell for as little as $1

TRD MIAMI /
Mar.March 31, 2019 03:00 PM

Former Manhattan resident Paul Green paid $1 for this one-bedroom condo at Boca West Country Club (Credit: New York Post)

Some older condos in South Florida communities built around country clubs are selling for as little as $1.

Stephan Burklin, for example, recently cut the asking price for a one-bedroom condo at Boca West Country Club from $10,000 to $1. Burklin also is offering to pay the buyer’s homeowners association fees for the first year. His mother and father lived there, but she died and he is moving to an assisted living facility, and the condo is too small for Burklin, 51, who is married and has three kids.

Many owners bought condos in country club communities when they were built during the 1970s and 1980s in such South Florida cities as Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.

As owners age and move to senior living facilities, their heirs often are unwilling to occupy their vacant condos because they don’t want to relocate or pay the pricey membership fees that country club communities charge.

Buyers of condos in most country club communities in South Florida can expect to pay a membership fee ranging from around $40,000 to more than $100,000.

But some sellers are making the country club lifestyle more affordable by asking five-figure prices – or less – for condos in communities where newer or renovated residences have six-figure asking prices.

In February, a new condo building opened at Boca West with unit prices starting at $1 million and ranging as high as $4.5 million. Boca West features four golf courses, seven restaurants and a $50 million clubhouse, plus shows by such performers as Jay Leno and Diana Ross.

Country club condos that sell for less than $100,000 are a bargain in Palm Beach County, where the median sale price of a condo increased to $589,130 in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 16.5 percent from the same period in 2017, according to Douglas Elliman.

Former Manhattan resident Paul Green, 68, paid $1 for a one-bedroom home in Boca West with a terrace that overlooks a golf course. The seller is covering half of Green’s $70,00 initial membership fee at the community. Green told the New York Post that the former owner, a 92-year-old man whose wife recently died, sold his Boca West condo for just $1 because “people get scared off by the country club fees.”

Professional golfer Jonathan Margolies, 41, paid $2,000 for a condo at Hunters Run, a country club community in Boynton Beach, and resold it for $80,000. Then he paid $14,000 for an 1,800-square-foot condo after the previous owners spent $100,000 renovating it before moving to a larger home. Margolies relocated there from Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2018.

Margolies told the Post his annual property taxes for the Hunters Run condo are $200 a year, “and I spend about $1,700 a month in total. My friends are wary of the club fees, but they are renting for $2,000 to $3,000 per month, and I own my home.”

However, low-price listings for condos in country club communities are becoming scarcer in South Florida as more buyers become  aware of them, according to Rhonda Scott, a Keller Williams agent in Boca Raton. [New York Post]Mike Seemuth


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