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Patience pays off for first-time homeowner

More than a year of waiting is about to come to an end for Joann Main.

Main signed a contract in July 1996 to buy a home at Palm Bay Condominiums, a complex under construction at 10760 70th Ave. in Seminole.

The condos were supposed to be finished in November 1996. But construction delays repeatedly pushed back the completion date. A month passed. Then another. Then another.

Finally, this December, Main's patience will be rewarded when her condo becomes ready for occupancy. Her building, the first of eight, should be livable about Dec. 15, regional manager Donna Adamski said.

"I'm really glad I've hung in there," said Main, 47, who has been renting a one-bedroom apartment in Largo for the past six years. "It'll be nice to have all new appliances. And to actually have my own washer and dryer, that will be so nice."

The condos, geared toward first-time buyers, range in price from $49,000 to $79,000. Main's two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo costs $69,900.

It was the price that attracted her to the complex, which is being built on the former site of Chief Charley's restaurant.

"You see new-home prices in the paper, and it's like, I can't afford anything that's six figures," Main said. "So this, for me, is perfect."

The complex will have eight buildings and 194 units when it is finished, Adamski said.

But only the first building will be completed in December.

The rest will be built after half of the condos in each building have been sold, Adamski said.

Amenities including a swimming pool, clubhouse and exercise room also attracted Main to the complex, which will have security gates at the entrance. Location was another plus.

"Most of the new construction that would be anywhere near my price range was way north county," said Main, who works as a records keeper in Largo.

"I really didn't want to move that far."