I remember a few years back all the hoopla and grand opening celebrations at Bella Collina in Montverde, FL. This upscale community brought a lot of anticipation and hope for the area residents and businesses. A lot of investors gathered, many from out of town, We almost purchased one of the lots on the golf course. Now looking back it was a blessing in disguise that we didn’t get our number pulled. Prices escalated to exorbitant amounts and many purchased lots with the intention to flip them. Then, the market turned. Many investors could not flip the properties and property taxes came due. The fall was fast and very sad to witness.
Today, Bella Collina looks quite deserted, except for a few mansions that have been completed. The equestrian and sports complex has not been completed, or even started for that matter. There are many lots that once were sold at hundreds of thousands of dollars now available for as low as $39k. You’d think that for those who were looking for an incredible deal or wanted to buy there would jump at the chance. But they are not moving, even at these incredible prices. Perhaps buyers have been intimidated not knowing what will happen, not only with the economy but also with the community. Perhaps it is the cost to maintain a property there. The property taxes are still high — although they have dropped about $4000, you can still end up paying between $6300 to over $$10,000 for a vacant lot (which includes a CDD fee). Additionally, the HOA is over $3600 a year, and you may need to pay the $40,000 Club Membership Deposit, unless you can get the current owner to transfer it to you and pay any past due fees.
Still, I believe that Bella Collina has the potential to become what was originally intended to be – but many things have to take place for this to happen – including having new owners who intend to become residents and not flip the lots again.
Bella Collina still is a stunning community surrounded by water, rolling hills and Tuscan details everywhere. The Clubhouse is a sight to see, sitting majestically on top of the hill providing breathtaking lake views. Most lots offer beautiful views and surroundings.
The Club is now opened to the public. They are offering invitational memberships to the general public for a limited time.
Let’s all hope for the best of this community as this economy turns for the better.
© By Irma G. Yapor