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Condo owner questions appraisal after law allows home to be taken

Posted at 6:17 PM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 08:36:18-05

We've been following the stories of Phoenix condo owners who are the latest to fall victim to a bizarre state law.

In June, Courtney Hoogervorst and her neighbors in Solstice Arcadia Condominiums, near 54th Street and Thomas Road, were informed that their complex was being taken over by a local investor, Travis Karl, using the condominium termination statute. It says if 80 percent of the units agree, a condominium association can dissolve and force the remaining owners to sell at fair market value.

She bought the unit for $93,000 in September 2016, and says she spent more than $15,000 in upgrades. Hoogervorst says she was offered $95,000 despite the appraiser nor the investor never setting foot in her unit. She believes that number is low. So does Valley realtor Dean Ouellette, who says the area went up in value from the time she bought her place until the appraisal.

"Forget the upgrades. She didn't even get the six percent appreciation that the area had, so she got it coming and going," he says.

Her appraisal is dated May 10, 2017, but includes units sold between September 2016 and March 2017.

One in particular sticks out -- it’s actually her condo from her original sale eight months earlier.

"I just think there were better units to use that were closer to value," Ouellette says.

In fact, the Multiple Listing Service shows there were others to choose from, like a condo that closed January for $117,000 or a unit in the complex next door which closed for $122,000 in March.  All with similar square footage, number of bedrooms and within one mile of Hoogervorst's place. 

She has a lot of questions. "A lot of other comparable units around this neighborhood that weren't included and you know, why weren't they included?"

She finally gave up her home. But not before filing a complaint with the Arizona Board of Appraisal.  The appraiser declined to comment for our story citing a confidentiality agreement.

We're told state lawmakers are finally looking at what do to about this law, and we'll be following it every step of the way.