Thursday, February 5, 2009

Landmark Towers-Even More Updates, Opinions

My posts about the Landmark Towers have sparked quite a bit of interest lately. Prices there are falling to levels that make the term "affordable" just downright jaw-dropping, so it's not a surprise that internet surfers see the prices and want to know more about the tower.

Here's some updated info, and updated links to the past posts now that we've imported old blogs (ButterHomes and NorthPhoenixAgent) into this spot at ThePhoenixAgents.

My original August 2008 post about the Landmark Towers and Orpheum Lofts

The August 2008 "Stats On Sundays" post that made me realize prices were dropping in downtown hi-rises and they were potentially a great investment

My October 2008 update on the towers

The text below is my comment in reply to a reader over at the old NorthPhoenixAgent site. I present some findings from my recent buyer client's purchase at the Towers.

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Hi All,
Glad this post has generated so many comments! I hope it’s a good resource for all readers.

I have a buyer who did recently buy in the Landmark. Couple things we discovered:

The front desk staff are overworked and underpaid, in my humble opinion. Try approaching them with the attitude "I'd like your help, please" instead of "these front desk people are mean" and see if that doesn't get you the info/service you need faster.

The pipes are a trouble spot. Building maintenance is replacing them as troubles come up. I can understand original 2005-era purchasers being upset the pipes leak, because I understand they were led to believe the plumbing was overhauled. But current buyers should use common sense: it was built in the late 60’s so plumbing replacement needs shouldn’t be a shock. I live in a 22 year old condo building and our pipes leak from time to time too. Water does run from top to bottom, and that's just gravity. Don't want to worry about your upstairs neighbor's pipes leaking on your head? Buy on the top floor.

My home inspector (a trusted contractor with many years in the biz) said the A/C chiller at Landmark Towers is actually in fantastic shape, and is way better maintained than the expensive chiller he saw earlier that same day over at a million dollar building at 24th & Camelback. As I’ve said before, that A/C blows COLD whenever I’m there (and I do arrive unannounced).

The HOA fees did GO DOWN for 2009 over 2008. While the fees sound high, it’s important to note that your monthly fee covers your electric for the A/C and heat. The HOA fee alsoc includes the usual for condos: water, sewer, trash, blanket insurance on the building, all maintenance inside & out, roof, etc. Essentially, a resident can pay the monthly HOA fee and have no further bills that month, except for a small electric bill for lights/coffeepot/stove in his/her own unit.

I heard something about a lawsuit, but what I heard is the Landmark is suing the AZ Republic reporter who originally wrote about trouble in the tower. Irwin, $35 million sounds like more than enough to rebuild the place from scratch. I think that estimate sounds awfully high.

Reader "Edmond" makes a good point about noise but folks who love the urban lifestyle shouldn’t expect the peace and quiet you get in the suburbs. Everybody’s got their own tolerance levels, prospective buyers should choose accordingly.

Edmond’s point about the water pressure & temperature is something I can’t refute or deny since I don’t live there.

Finally, a longtime Landmark resident was kind enough to speak with me some months ago about his experiences living at the Landmark. That resident said a lot of the people problems here were caused by tenants of the original 2005-era investor buyers. Those renters have moved on. It’s been a while since we talked but I don’t recall anything about pipes, leaks or the A/C being problems for that resident.

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Readers, a general disclaimer: I'm a Realtor, not an expert in living at the Landmark Towers. I did the best investigating I could on behalf of a buyer client who bought at the Towers. I'd do the same for you, but ultimately if you purchase here (or anywhere) it's YOUR responsibility (as buyer) to do your own investigating and due diligence. As I said, everybody's got their own tolerance levels for noise, old plumbing, front desk clerks' good or bad attitudes, and so forth. I'm presenting only what I found, saw and heard. Nothing here is designed or intended to be "the truth" about Landmark Towers. In short, don't sue me.