Ocean Shores, WA Ocean Shores, Washington Real Estate Rip Off Ocean Shores, California
My husband and I purchased a lot in Ocean Shores, WA several years ago. Now -- along with property everywhere -- of course it has gone down in value. However, I believe the Ocean Shores situation to be a bit different than other cities. It seems incredible to be able to purchase Pacific Ocean property for $20k or less, it seemed like a great investment. But underneath the surface is a different story. Ocean Shores has many, many unbuilt lots. There is not a lot of industry in the area except tourism. But I think their dirty little secret is this: they have made a cottage industry out of selling those empty lots. When real estate slows down, they either run campaigns to sell property -- the most recent used the CHiPs actor in the TV ads -- or they plop a big fat fee for community improvements on all property owners. When we purchased our lot, a road improvement fee of about $2000 was just winding down, this was in 2006 or so. Now in 2011, there is another fee of nearly $4000. My first payment came in the mail, the principal payment was $206, the interest portion was $269. So, in this era of low interest rates, they have complete freedom to slap these large project improvement fees on property owners -- and let us pay it off over 18 years -- more than doubling the amount of the original fee with interest charged. It's in the form of a lien, so no payment means they can take your property. So, what happens next? People start selling their property of course! So the real estate industry is stimulated, people sell at a loss, other unsuspecting victims buy up the lots at now-reduced prices, and are okay with paying off the fees since they paid only $10k for the lot. Then when prices go up, they will sell their lots, more real estate activity... and I bet in another 6 years, there will be a new $2000 - $4000 improvement package forced on the property owners, or perhaps another TV campaign. Add to this, the fact that the property owners are forced to become members of the Community Club at $120 or so a year -- or face what? -- a lien on your property! So, buyer beware in Ocean Shores!