Real Estate in Val Vista Lakes, Gilbert Arizona

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives - Phoenix AZ

 

The RTC finishes up...

Part 4 in a 7 part series

As the savings & loan debacle worked its way through the Arizona economy in the early 1990's, no one was spared. Locally, that meant a degree of pain for the developers & builders working in Val Vista Lakes. The Val Vista Lakes Partnership went into bankruptcy during this time, and the position of "declarant" (the legal entity in charge of assets & money until homeowner control is conveyed) fell to the RTC. We here in Val Vista Lakes were fortunate to have as our RTC liaison an honorable local attorney named Cary Forrester. Besides assembling the various remaining assets for sale to the highest bidder, he was responsible for the monthly subsidy to the HOA. Often, in the early years of a project, builders will keep resident HOA dues low, by way of a subsidy. Val Vista Lakes was no different, and our dues of roughly $30 per month were actually subsidized by another $25 - 30. This was a sizable check to write each month, but the checks always cleared. Cary continued the practice of allowing the homeowners to have a chartered (surrogate) HOA, which was called a Homeowners Rep Group, and performed the basic functions of the HOA, which at this time, existed only in his name. He WAS the HOA for legal purposes, while a group of dedicated homeowners held monthly meetings, addressed concerns that HOAs have, and basically kept Val Vista Lakes Community Association a viable entity for residents & guests.

During this timeframe, the RTC also packaged and sold the remaining lots (both commercial & residential) that were not already privately owned. The package that was finally sold was likely worth much more than the roughly 8 million dollars paid by a Chicago based partnership, the Public Pension Fund II - headed locally by the very nice Jeff Newburg. Where Val Vista Lakes was fortunate to have Cary Forrester, we were twice lucky with Jeff Newburg. He continued the funding of the subsidy until that obligation ended in 1994, and he agreed to fund the reserve account for the HOA to at least the amount that the partners had always bragged about - $50,000. This was as good as we could have hoped for... Many articles appeared in the local papers, telling of failed developments in the PHX area, where the RTC sold the assets to vulture funds, and where very vulture-like activity took place. Again, Val Vista Lakes came out ahead of the pack. Real estate sales were brisk, and resales were beginning to outnumber new build sales...  times were good, and soon to get better.

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Patrick Harfst

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