Montgomery Plaza - Fort Worth

Sent in by one of readers.

1. If you’re considering purchasing a condominium at Montgomery Plaza, be sure to wear a jacket and tie when you visit or it will be made very clear to you that you are unwelcome at this location.

My experience at The Montgomery Plaza started as I was on my way to work. I own my own business, and we don’t have customers that come by our downtown offices. I therefore dress comfortably, usually jeans and a polo shirt.

I have been looking to move into or near the downtown area for a couple of years, but just haven’t been able to find exactly what I have been looking for. I am well aware of what real estate costs in the area ; i t isn’t cheap, but I feel it would be a good investment, and besides, I think I would really enjoy having a place within a mile of the downtown area : no more dealing with I-30! Actually the highway isn’t the problem; it’s all of the aggressive drivers that just make my daily commute miserable. And it just keeps getting worse.

So . . . I stopped in to see what this new development was all about. The sales woman who met me at the door gave me the “look-over” and grudgingly handed me the high dollar glossy sales booklet.

“I hear that there is a pool and deck area that ’s supposed to be very nice, ” I said to her.

“Yes, you are right, we do, ” she replied.

Someone had told me about their model of the deck area that they had in the showroom, so I asked to see it. “I usually swim laps in the mornings and have to drive to get to the pool. It would be really nice just to be able to swim right here where I live.”

“You would have to swim somewhere else. This is an infinity pool. It’s not for swimming laps, ” she informed me in no uncertain terms.

None the less, I was determined to at least see the model. “May I see the model of it?” I asked.

“The room the model is in is being vacuumed, ” s he huffed.

Now this was beginning to become more of a challenge than anything else for me. “The noise won’t bother me. I’d just like to see it.” I’d made a special trip to stop by; I was determined to get a little more out of the tour!

Grudgingly she le d me into the room with the model of the deck area . It really is impressive . . . much more so than their sales agent!

We then moved on to the pricing questions . (I am looking for something around 1600 square feet.) As I mentioned, I have been shopping the area and have a pretty good idea of asking prices. She told me the price, and it was pretty much about I had expected.

What I didn’t know, however, was that the construction on the condominiums was just getting underway , and that some units were still two years off from completion.

“So how does that work?” I asked. “If I wanted one, and move-in is two years off, how do I secure an option to purchase?”

“Well, ” she huffed once again. “You have to put 5  percent down and when it comes time for move in you have to come up with the rest of the money…” Now she looked me right in the eye as if to say “G et lost and stop wasting my time. ” Then she announced, “And if you can’t get a mortgage you forfeit your 5 percent!

The more she tried to get rid of me, the more determined I was to get more information and use up a little more of her extremely precious time. So I pressed on . . .

“The rail track that crosses 7th Street --how often does it get used?” I knew that the Tarantula Train used it but wasn’t sure if anything else did.

“Trains come and go at all hours of the day and night. We have no idea what their schedule is ,” she matter-of-factly informed me. And then she went on to tell me , “Look this is an urban environment, there is a lot of noise. If you are looking for a Zen- like environment, you need to move to the country!

I thought about this for a few seconds, and was going to tell her that I had grown up and lived in Hong Kong for fourteen years . So yes, I do know what an urban environment is, and compared to Hong Kong, 7th Street was a Zen- like environment. But I decided not to waste my breath.

As we were talking those last couple of minutes, something clicked (or maybe the word is “cracked”) inside her head. All of a sudden she had a completely different demeanor and was actually somewhat nice. She asked if I had some time to come back, so she could spend an hour with me and go over “everything .”

I thanked her for her time and went on to work.

A few days later, my personal banker from Bank of America stopped by my office with some papers to sign. I told him of my experience a few days earlier. He looked at me as if I was making the whole thing up . No, I insisted, it really did happen!

Right away he started to tell me of the great rate that he had, and that he could get any kind of paper work I needed drawn up ASAP. “No,” I said, I don’t think that’s the kind of place that I will pursue ”

  1. So  . . . I continue to look  . . .