Even the Big Real Estate Deals Have Problems– New York

You would think that paying $53.5 million for two separate penthouse apartments in New York’s famed Plaza Hotel would get you what you paid for. Not always! According to published reports about one recent real estate transaction, Andrei Vavilov, hedge fund financier, has sued the hotel developers El-Ad Properties and real estate brokers Stribling & Associates for breach of contract, fraud, deceptive trade practices and negligence, demanding return of his $10.7 million deposit and $30 million in damages because the Penthouse was “attic-like.”

Another story of buyer beware– sometimes very aware. Vavilov reportedly made the luxury purchase after watching a video- shot, produced and directed by the sellers. Apparently, the video didn’t do the small windows, low ceilings, obstructed views and ugly drainage grates justice. According to the lawsuit and published reports, every time the buyer tried to investigate and inspect the apartments (four times), they were “denied access” to the units.

The Sellers have counter-claimed in New York State Supreme Court, accusing the buyer of libel and filing a “sham” lawsuit– seeking $36 million in damages.

Apparently the advertised penthouses are not the “one of a kind” oases, perched on top of one of the city’s most magnificent addresses, which originally induced Vavilov to risk $10.3 million down.

The bottom line– be sure you have your house inspected before you plunk down your life savings to buy that fixer-upper, even if it does cost $55 million.