Las Vegas has experienced a bit of a slowdown in real estate sales. So much so that several development projects have been canceled, outright.

Suppose you put down a deposit on a condo project, months before the developer broke ground, and then suppose the developer changed his mind, and decided to not build, at all.

What would you expect to get back? Your deposit? Your deposit, plus interest? Your deposit, plus interest, plus a penalty fee for your loss due to having the money tied up for months or a year or more?

In my opinion, a buyer should expect to receive nothing more than their money back, plus, maybe, interest.

I mean, be realistic.

Others, however, want more. A lot more.

Three weeks ago, Eli Verdnikov, an engineer in Los Gatos, Calif., received a letter saying that the apartment building he planned to retire to — Icon Las Vegas — would not be built. In the envelope was a check for $73,672.81, the 10 percent deposit Mr. Verdnikov had paid, plus interest.

The developer of the building, Related Las Vegas, a partnership between two large and well-known companies, expected Mr. Verdnikov to accept the refund as payment in full. (Its letter explained that, by depositing the check, Mr. Verdnikov would be waiving any further rights.)

But Mr. Verdnikov wants more than the $73,672.81. Since he agreed in May 2005 to buy the 1,400-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment near the Las Vegas Strip for $728,900, its value, he says, has increased. “To purchase something similar, we would need to pay $200,000 more,” said Mr. Verdnikov, who has been looking for a new apartment with his girlfriend, Gitty Stone. So Mr. Verdnikov is suing for the gain he would have realized if the apartment had been built.

Complete article: The Disappearing Las Vegas Condos – by Fred A Bernstein, The New York Times

Updated:  2018

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