I’m thinking about becoming a doomsday prepper. I didn’t capitalize the title, or the occupation as it seems to be on the television shows, because I’m certain I wouldn’t be very good at it. Last night some guy in Arizona spent untold fortunes burying a large pipe in his backyard so that he and his family might escape should marauders attack his home. He was very confident in this effort, but as I sat and watched I discovered a fatal flaw in his plan. This giant escape tube resurfaced outside his property, where he planned to hide a Jeep that would serve as his escape vehicle. The hidden escape tube popped up under a piece of plywood with a garbage can attached to it. The idea was that the garbage can would look just like a garbage can until POW! he flips the plywood back and his family jumps in the Jeep and drives off into the apocalypse.
The problem seems me that when the world is in the process of ending, people will be hungry. I’ve watched The Road, I know this is what happens. And if people are hungry, they’ll look in garbage cans. We will become a society of racoons, forever tipping over cans in search of something edible. If this escape hatch is disguised as a garbage can, I’m betting hungry vagabonds will check its contents, and when they try to tip it over and it doesn’t tip, then they’ll enter the tunnel. They’ll appreciate that direct route into your home, where they will kill everyone and eat your dog. The garbage can escape hatch represents bad planning, especially because now if I happen to find myself in Phoenix at the end of the world I’ll know right where to go. The escape hatch garbage can is a fatal flaw. You know who doesn’t have a fatal flaw? Abbey Springs.
There isn’t much I can say about Abbey Springs that I haven’t said before. The association continually attracts fresh buyers because there is absolutely nothing like it in our market. Further, there is nothing quite like it in the entire Midwest. Golf, beach, tennis, pools (indoor and out), exercise facilities, clubhouse, restaurants, etc and etc. Abbey Springs spent a significant sum of money a few years ago aimed at giving a tired community a fresh look, and while there was excessive grumbling at the time, it’s quite obvious today that these expenditures were necessary. To look at the market in Abbey Springs today and to not credit those renovations is nearly impossible.
Currently, there are 26 available properties in Abbey Springs, ranging from small condominiums in the upper $100ks to large homes near $900k. There is literally everything in between. Small condos, large condos, old ones and not so old ones, big homes and small homes, new homes and old homes. While style choices abound, the inventory is incredibly low. 26 available properties out of a development that is 592 units strong creates a stronger sense of immediacy in buyers, and that motivation is, at the moment, pronounced.
There are 26 available condominiums and single family homes, and another three are pending sale. The three that are pending are all priced over $400k, at $425k, $445k, and $549k. Year to date there have been 18 sales in Abbey Springs, which is rather significant when you consider that 2012 was also a great year and YTD 2012 only 14 properties had closed. I spent the better part of the downturn expecting volume to drop and prices to get crushed at Abbey Springs, and while prices are likely down 20% from the peak, these values have held up much better than has the broad vacation home market.
One reason for the outstanding strength is the utter lack of toleration for foreclosures. A development of this size, with dues that are not light, should have generated many foreclosures. That hasn’t happened, and it’s likely safe to say that it isn’t going to happen. Foreclosures in Abbey Springs have been few and far between, and one or two a year creates opportunity for buyers and doesn’t do much to hinder other sellers. Abbey Springs has remained strong during the past five years, and there’s no reason to expect it to stop now.
I have a great little Alpine unit for sale listed at $269k. Alpine units were selling in the $350k range at the peak, so this is an obvious value. The unit is fresh and clean, the views of a densely wooded ravine, allowing for a rare bit of solitude in an otherwise active property. It’s a great unit, and I’d like someone to buy it for many reasons, but mainly because this giant escape tube isn’t going to be cheap.