Realty Check

Florida Taking Its Toll (Brothers) On Daughter's Condo

You just can’t make this stuff up. Apparently even a big builder’s daughter can’t seem to keep faith in the Florida housing market. According to an SEC filing, Wendy Topkis, daughter of Toll Brothers co-founder and Vice-Chairman Bruce Toll, is walking away from a Florida condo, just like everyone else. A Toll Bros. condo!! The Palm Beach Post says it best: Et Tu Wendy?

According to the home builder’s proxy statement:

Prior to fiscal 2007, the Company entered into an agreement of sale to build and sell a condominium to Wendy Topkis, Bruce E. Toll’s daughter, and her husband for a purchase price of $2,468,075. In January 2008, the buyers informed the Company that they did not intend to make settlement on the condominium. The Company intends to pursue its rights under the agreement of sale.

Does that mean they’ll sue darling daughter? The company’s general counsel says they are pursuing normal procedures.

Daddy is quoted as saying she just changed her mind because she had another child and the place would be too small, but I’m guessing the 13 percent drop in Florida prices was screaming at her a little louder than the baby. So Wendy just adds to the company’s 61 percent cancellation rate in the Sunshine State.

Now, if Wendy was required to put down the same 7 percent deposit on the new home as everybody else, then she could be out $172,765. Of course, daddy owns almost five percent of the company (market cap around $3.5 billion) so maybe he could help out, or perhaps he wants her to learn about fiscal responsibility the hard way. None of my business of course; just family business…or lack thereof.

And check out the video on my discussion about home ownership, with Richard Gaylord, National Association of Realtors president.

Realty Check: Buying a Home Now

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