If seeing is believing, then anyone interested in living in a true "sanctuary by the sea" needs to visit Fountains on Ocean Boulevard, a luxury condominium residence by The Dinerstein Companies, a privately owned and family-operated organization with a 50-year track record in building quality projects in 27 states.
So hands on is the family behind this successful company that three generations of Dinersteins -- Ted, Jack and Brian --can be found in the office every day, handling all details of the business.
"This is a family-owned business that takes a family approach to everything we do, including treating our customers like friends. We try to make this a personal experience for everyone," says Mark Foraker, senior vice president of sales and marketing with the company since 2005.
Putting people's minds at ease
Realizing that many buyers are a bit weary of today's market, The Dinerstein Companies has done two things to put people's minds at ease.
"A lot of buyers today are concerned with a company's staying power and about their HOA fees escalating out of control in the event that a builder gives a project back to the bank. We have never done that," Foraker says. "To reassure our buyers anyway, we took out a surety bond which guarantees that the insurance company will jump in and pay HOA fees for two years, in the unlikely event that we were to file for bankruptcy."
To be as fair as possible to buyers who originally signed pre-construction contracts in 2005, The Dinerstein Companies also had all the units reappraised and discovered that they were coming in at 25 percent less than the original sales amounts.
"We told these buyers that we would sell them the same units at 25 percent less with finish-outs or 30 percent without, and we included two secured garage parking spaces with every unit instead of one," Foraker says.
Twelve of the 14 people who have already closed (three in the last few weeks alone) were original buyers. There are another 23 pending contracts in various stages -- and all look solid enough to keep Foraker's goal of selling nearly all of the 61 units by year's end.
Priced to sell
"We are definitely getting our fair share of contracts and sales at a time when not all builders and developers can make the same claim," Foraker says. "We have learned that price is the ultimate factor in today's market. Instead of offering car leases and other similar incentives, we've kept our prices at 10 percent under the competition."
One more solid indication that the company is on the right track with its business practices and the quality of product they offer was the overwhelming turnout of interested parties at the April 30 grand opening celebration.
So far, most buyers have been locals -- with the two exceptions being a doctor from New York and one buyer from Ohio.
"One-third of our demographics is professional, 35 to 55; the other two-thirds are empty nesters downsizing to a more convenient lifestyle," Foraker says. "With our price point, location and the level of privacy we provide, we've tended to attract mainly primary owners. We don't get people who are looking for valet parking and concierge service."
Do not disturb
From the start, it's easy to see why so many people have wanted to make their new home at Fountains on Ocean Boulevard. Comprised of seven-story, twin detached towers each shared with only 30 other owners, there are lots of unique architectural details, including a landmark fountain plaza and entrance.
To ensure the privacy and safety of its residents, all gates and doors have biometric access control systems, which work with approved fingerprints; and the buildings are structured so that the elevator shafts only serve two or three units per floor. No long hallways or overstressed parking here.
As for common amenities, there is a fitness center and social area with ocean views in one of the buildings; a rooftop pool and sundeck with sunrise-to-moonlight views of the ocean and Intracoastal in the other building; and a rooftop garden for all to enjoy.
For those moments when residents want to leave their "sanctuary," the public beach is literally a stone's throw, as are restaurants and the water taxi to take you to further points of destination.
Floor plans, features for everyone
And the best reason of all to return -- the residences themselves, ranging from the most popular B Design with two bedrooms and two baths in 1,390 total square feet; to the D Design with three bedrooms and three-and-one-half baths in 2.284 total square feet.
One other model worth mentioning is the two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,671-square-foot A Design, only found on the ends of buildings and providing an east-to-west floor plans for great cross ventilation and optimal views of the ocean and Intracoastal. The A Designs are among the 36 units that offer this kind of pass-through floor plan.
In addition to the kinds of luxury features one would expect in a project of this caliber, there are others that are nice surprise, including: a "see-through" mirror that reveals a 15-inch television in the master bath; "Smart Home" technology (standard for sixth- and seventh-floor residences and an upgrade for all others) that allows owners to control their residential lighting and entertainment systems from a touch pad or via remote Internet access; and absolutely gorgeous marble floors in all bathrooms.
"The flooring is one of two options we offer but is by far the most popular," Foraker says. "It's from Vietnam; we get it from a company we've been doing business with for 20 years."
Lending a helping hand
With a price range of $350,000 to $750,000, and HOA fees of just 47 cents per square foot, the value is as impressive as the panoramic ocean views and prime location in one of the few stretches along A1A in Fort Lauderdale that has a truly residential feel. HOA fees include everything except cable, electric and insurance to cover contents.
"It's a point of pride for us to run the HOA so that we never fall short," Foraker says.
Owners also can lease their units for a minimum of four months, provided that the Home Owners Association approves the tenant.
For anyone concerned about being approved for a mortgage, The Dinerstein Companies has a good relationship with their preferred lender, Countrywide Home Loans.
It's just one more reason to visit Fountains on Ocean Boulevard, "where you can take in the excitement of a world-class resort city, or leave it behind."
CALL (954) 270-8922 VISIT FountainsOnOceanBlvd.com.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times