This was a question asked and answered today in the Sun News , the daily newspaper for Myrtle Beach, SC. As I was reading the article, I starting thinking about all the buyers who purchased homes in these "Big Box" communities over the past four years. Centex, Portrait Homes, DR Horton and other state and national builders who blew into town and began buying huge tracks of land, clearing them of all vegetation, and creating new communities overnight. They drove the costs of land up and the costs of homes down. These communities provided the product that was affordable and purchaser ignored a few facts. The very nature of the initial offerings was to entice buyers who needed a cheap product that they could afford. Second, it attracted investors who had no intentions of living in these communities; they wanted tenants to pay for their investment. Third, the offerings attracted "flippers" who sometimes purchase 3, counting on flipping 2 to pay for the 3rd. Of course, we all know what has happened. Investors and resident homeowners have walked away leaving the remaining residents to pick up the tab for maintaining the pools, landscaping, insurances, management fees. Some of these developers have survived and they are completing the projects they have started while others blew out of town the same way they came in. How do you know whether a developer has to pay for vacant properties? You need to read the community's Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. According to the author, there are no laws in our state that regulate the developer's liability.
It amazes me that with all the inventory we have at the beach, we still have developers clearing tracts of land, and what amazes me even more is that buyers are still buying in those communities, even with all the many, many lots that are vacant. Can you imagine if that developer pulls out what will happen to those homeowners? Whatever happened to "common sense."