Being sued by Russo and having my million dollars worth of property — my retirement “stolen” in Court was one of the worst events in my life. Felt like I was being assaulted, had to take tranquilizers, sooooo sad. I’d get bills, attorney fees, $5000 a month, more than I spent on a European vacation!
Took me awhile to realize my lawyer’s tactic was to file bogus motions to make Russo want to settle; although Russo is an attorney, he hired one for this. At one time, my lawyer was almost sanctioned for filing a frivolous motion! My lawyer did tell me they hardly ever go to court but settle instead … I thought I was going to get a jury trial. My “settlement” was about $125,000, about the same amount as my attorney fees. Plus I lost the $1,000,000 properties! Insult to injury!
My lawyer never raised the issue of the HOA being unconscionable or at least the agreement we had with the construction liens on our lots was unconscionable. The liens never expired! After the housing bubble popped in 2006, we lost all the equity on our lots because the $35,000 liens accrued interest every year.
At one time, near the end, he said, “if you don’t like what I’m doing, fire me”! Well yeah, after you took all my money what am I going to do?!
So I posted a question on a legal forum where lawyers answered for free. Both agreed my lawyer, Steven W. Cheifetz was unethical!
Live and learn! 😦
8 November 2017, TUCSON, Arizona – Sunbelt Holdings, the developer of La Estancia, a 556-acre, 2,500-lot master planned community, has sold 350 lots in 2017 with Meritage, Richmond and now Lennar Homes there.
La Estancia has sold more lots than any master planned community in metro Tucson, making it the best performing community for lot sales this year. Residents benefit from community amenities including a sparkling pool, splash pad, shaded ramadas and play equipment, ready for use. Future plans include sports fields and more.
Lennar closed on 112-lots for $6.16 million, or $55,000 per finished lot and $1,100 per front foot.
Senior Vice President at Sunbelt Holdings, Bob Bambauer* who oversees the La Estancia project told us that due to the increased demand for the 50-wides, they intend to replat the 65-foot wides to 45-foot wide lots.
“With the recent lots sales and the replatting of the larger lots, we are now focused on planning the southern half of the site,” said Bambauer. “We will have a variety of lot sizes ready for development throughout 2018 and beyond.”
Read more: https://realestatedaily-news.com/lennar-joins-meritage-richmond-la-estancia-tucson/
- Bambauer came to one of our HOA meetings to tell us we were getting tipped-off by the prior majority lot owners.
Just received a call from Daniel Feig of Chapman Lindsey real estate who is contacting owners of lots for Russo to buy in Unit 8. He offered me $5000 for an undeveloped lot and I said OK. He also said he is buying lots in other Units. Said he recently bought an acre lot in Unit 7 for $12k.
Mr. Feig’s phone number is: 520-747-4000 ext 103.
5 April 2017 — D.R. Horton wrapped up the final 43 lots of 184 total at Sycamore Vista [Unit 5] in Vail, Arizona for $795,000 ($18,500 per lot). Previously known as New Tucson, these lots were re-platted and sold by NT Properties. This concludes the Sycamore Vista lot sales.
Hmmmm, only $18,500/lot?! Must mean that D.R. Horton will put in the curbs and streets, sewer and utilities are already there.
Final phase of Unit 5: Where will Russo go next?
Read more: D.R. Horton, Tucson’s Largest New Home Builder’s Latest Buying Spree
Santa Rita Ranch III
From March 2017, this is east of Sycamore Vista and south of Camino Del Torro, also looks better than Sycamore Vista. Huge competitor for Russo.
Richmond American and Lennar Homes are the first two homebuilders to enter Santa Rita Ranch Phase III. Each builder purchased 68 SFR lots recently from Crown West Realty (Dean Wingert, VP) for a finished cost of $50,750 per lot, or $6.9 million.
Santa Rita Ranch III
Read More: Santa Rita Ranch III Moves Ahead with Two New Homebuilders in the Vail Area
Sycamore Canyon II
Article is from January 2015. Paper lots for $5452/lot, looks much better than Sycamore Vista.
The Remington Group plans to donate 30 of these lots, or about 5.5 acres, to the Vail School District, for next year’s construction of a new elementary school.
This is SE of Sycamore Vista. Looks like Russo is going to have a hard time selling lots.
Sycamore Canyon II
Read more: Remington Group Closes on 431 Lots, Donates Portion to Vail School District
As you know, I lost my lawsuit or actually ran out of money, spent more than $125,000 on it and settled with Russo for not much more, essentially broke even or maybe lost something but I’m moving on. It was one of the worst experiences in my life, had to take many tranquilizers. I lost my retirement income property >$1-million in assets for which we never should have paid development fees on.
Had to take this website down because of the hyperbole, name-calling because I was furious. Blog is now up because it’s the sad history of the Sycamore Vista subdivision.
Of concern to us all is future development and water. Most of the competing subdivisions nearby have larger, nicer lots. Will be interesting to see how Russo can compete, can he get enough water? Will he try and turn SV into “affordable housing”? As you know, he is affiliated with several non-profit corporations that try to benefit first-time homebuyers or low-income homebuyers.
My guesthouse-office (built 1924?) where I spend the day, since this pic was taken in 2010, there are new windows, TV, speakers and printer. I lived here more than 35-years. There’s a kitchenette on the far left. Would like to find another home far away.
Made an offer to sell my two lots in Unit 2. If this lot sale goes through I’ll lose a little money, lots are selling for $35-$40k. I have about $30k invested in each of them — for more than 10-years, some Unit 2 lot owners owned their lots since the 1970s! The $27k HOA liens (assessments) for development (streets, sewer, water, etc.), were imposed around 2006.
It’s worth losing the anxiety this caused and focus on more important things if this sale goes through.
My two lots are premium for size and/or location and there are no two-story homes next to it — if there was, then the builder couldn’t build 2-stories next to it.
One of my friends has called this my Moby Dick and we know how that ended, lol.
EDIT: I sold the two lots for $25k each and as a condition of the sale had to delete disparaging remarks from this blog. Truth is not disparaging.
The devil is a slanderer, false accuser, one thing I truly dislike is liars. If there is anything untrue, including errors of omission I will correct it and apologize!
Unit 2 Lot 131, the grass wasn’t bad but the weeds (a few tumbleweeds and several Desert Broom) were hard to get with a lawnmower.
Lot cleanup time, hopefully the last time. All I could think about while cleaning the lots was how rotten Russo is for “stealing” our lots and not helping us sell our lots in Unit 2 and how things went wrong in this subdivision. Plus how hard it was, how many bruises I’d get and if I was going to die of a heart attack, dehydration (temp was about 90 and I have hyperhidrosis) or drinking bad water. (I forgot the bottled water so I drank from a clean six-gallon plastic jug filled from garden hose that was for mixing into a weed-killer sprayer but it tasted like plastic.)
If you own a lot in Unit 2 or 5 and you asked Russo to help you sell your lot or, if Russo offered to buy your lot (at a huge loss to you) please contact me (Raquel Baranow), I’m preparing a lawsuit against the HOA and Russo for not helping us sell our lots, breach of contract (Article 10 of the CC&R’s) and self-dealing.
Thought of my friend who once (or twice) helped me clean these lots and committed suicide – or got drunk and fell onto the train tracks and got run over – I’m still not sure what to believe.
Thought of another Unit 2 lot owner who sent me many emails, their last email said they both just got out of the hospital (they’re in their 80’s) and if I didn’t hear from them again . . . .
Lot 131 finished (10-second timer, drenched in sweat), with ticky-tacky houses. Note the Desert Broom on the 15-foot easement on the right. Pretty sure that’s Mica Mountain (elevation 8666-ft, in the Rincon Mtn Range, Saguaro National Park, if not, it’s Tanque Verde Peak, el. 7049) on the far, left.
Land Advisors is selling 296 platted lots south of Sycamore Vista for $4.4 million, that’s $14,864 per lot. Dimensions of the lots are Approx. 115’ x 135’ – a little bigger than most of the lots in Sycamore Vista.
Development Cost Estimates: Approximately $40,000 (Based on current bids and additional consultant review). Homebuilder to be responsible for individual lot pad development, i.e., sewer, water, electric, streets, (cost to vary).
Read more at Land Advisors website (PDF).