WCOM NEWS

3-31-05

Residents concerned about security in Miramar home auction

MIRAMAR--A developer's planned home sales lottery may make winners of some prospective buyers, but neighbors think the event is putting them in a losing position.
G.L. Homes is getting ready to build Sunset Falls, a community of about 490 houses priced from $400,000 to at least $700,000 near Bass Creek Road and Southwest 172nd Avenue.
The sales office is within Sunset Lakes, a nearby complex of more than 1,800 homes, also built by G.L. Homes.
Upon learning of the lottery, Lakes residents began firing off a series of e-mails voicing concern about security at their gated community since nobody will be vouching for the visitors.
While G.L. Homes plans to add security on April 9, the day of the drawing, several homeowners say it should pick up the tab for the several weeks that the sales office will remain open.
"Right now, the guards are being paid for us, not for G.L.," said Isa Retamozo, who lives in the Isles of Sunset Lakes. "They should help us throughout the whole time they're here since we're going to be inconvenienced."
Robert Barea, president of Sunset Lakes' homeowners association, said he learned of the lottery in a newspaper advertisement. Although legally G.L. has the right to conduct sales from its Lakes office, Barea said he thought homeowners should have been given a heads up so they could prepare for the increased traffic.
On Wednesday, Barea said G.L. and the association had reached some compromises, but not on the approximately $100-a-day bill for security.
G.L. Division President Marcie DePlaza said in a statement, "It's always our goal to maintain a great relationship with homeowners."
Sunset Falls is one of the few remaining parcels zoned for houses, prompting some to think there could be big demand for the lots.
G.L. said it planned the one day lottery to prevent having people camped out at the sales office days before.
Under details of the lottery, people can register for the drawing from April 4 through April 8 with a $5,000 deposit.
Realtor Debra Anne Scialabba said such lotteries are becoming more common.
"I think buyers feel `I better buy now or otherwise I won't be able to afford to buy later,'" she said.

(source) Sun Sentinel (Georgia East) 3-31-05