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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Brevard County, Florida Residential Real Estate Market Report for January 2017

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for January 2017 compared to January 2016 - inventory down, prices higher.  

Details include....
  • Closed Sales are up 2.7% for January 2017 in which the number of units closed was 600 compared to 584 in January 2016, with a decrease in cash sales of -17.9% compared to January 2016.
  • New Pending Sales are up 5.6% and New Listings are up 16%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family Homes is up 18.2% to $195,000 compared to a year ago, which was $164,950.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -10.3% at 2.6 months compared to 2.9 months in January 2016.
  • Traditional Sales are up 12.4%, with a median sales price of $200,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -43%, with a median sales price of $128,800.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -73.3%, with a median sales price of $285,500. 
Want to buy or sell a house in Brevard County (Melbourne, Florida)?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Brevard County, Florida Condominium Sales Report For January 2017

Provided below is a summary recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for January 2017 compared to January 2016:
  • Closed Sales are up 24.8% for January 2017 with 186 units closed compared to 149 in January 2016, with a increase in cash sales of 40.7% compared to January 2016.
  • New Pending Sales are up 15.3%.
  • New Listings are down -5.6%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 4.8% to $143,000 compared to a year ago, which was $136,500.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -5% to 3.8 months compared to 4 months in January 2016.
  • Traditional Sales are up 31.6%, with a median sales price of $144,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -41.7%, with a median sales price of $95,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -100%. Year-over-year data is not available as there were no sales in January 2017. The January 2016 median short sale sales price was $62,000.
Ready to buy a condo in Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Buying a Home in Viera, Florida: How Much Money Do I Need to Close? Where to start?

The home buying process requires a strategy... successful transactions don't just happen (usually).

Among all the considerations and concerns about buying the key one is almost always the finances. Let' face it, a home purchase is probably the most important financial decisions a person makes.

So how does a buyer formulate the best strategy for buying a home?

There are a couple of critical steps

The first is identifying a local knowledgeable real estate agent to guide them through the process.  The buyer's real estate agent does not cost the buyer anything so this step is an easy one.

The next step can be expensive if the wrong choice is made.... choosing a lender.  I suggest buyer's consider a lender they trust.  Start with your own current lender.  If they do not offer mortgages I am pretty confident they can refer to a lender they can trust. 

Another referral source - your buyer's agent!

Once a lender is contacted the lender can discuss the specific types of loan specific buyers should consider based on their credit history, needs and resources.

Your lender can help identify how much money will be needed for closing.

The lender will likely provide the information dealing with pre-paids and lender related closing costs (taxes, insurance (12 months home owner insurance, mortgage insurance, mortgage application fees, credit report fee, appraisals, etc.).  This information, combined with your agent's estimates, can provide a solid estimate of cost to close.

Your agent will be able to provide estimates for things like property inspection, septic system inspection (if not on sewer system), termite (WDO) inspection, survey.  

Some buyer costs like title insurance are negotiable.  Here in Brevard County, Florida it is customary for the seller to pay this for the buyer however this varies by location - even within the state of Florida.

All of these costs can add up.  Most of these inspection costs are money out the door regardless of whether the property sale closes

Understanding the type of mortgage being used will help guide the property selection process as certain condition issues may be acceptable with a conventional or cash purchase but will not fly with an FHA or VA loan!

So how much  money is needed for closing?  It all depends on the loan type, property type, location and purchase contract.

So if there is no specific answer what does one do if they want to buy a home in Viera, Florida?  Start with a good plan - call a local real estate agent!

Ready to buy a home in Florida?  Here are some key things to know...

Considering the purchase of a home in Viera or Melbourne, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.  Want a local lender reference?  I will gladly help!

Ready to sell your Rockledge or Viera, Florida home?  Call or text me for your free market analysis.  Waters Realty of Brevard is a small office, delivering personalized results to the most experienced or inexperienced buyers and sellers.  Try us!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Realities of Shopping For a Home in a Seller's Market

Shopping for a new home can be an exciting process.  It can also be a nerve wracking process when the market is one that favors sellers.  That is the current market in the Viera and Rockledge, Florida area.

Technically a seller's market is one in which the number of buyers is greater than the available properties from which to choose.   A common measure of a seller's market used by real estate professionals is a market where the available supply of homes for sale is less than a three month inventory.

The dynamics and processes are different in a seller's market.

First, sellers are less apt to negotiate on their list price.   In Brevard County, Florida a good general measure is the selling price is almost, about, somewhere near 95% of list price.

However, this can be much different. In some areas of the county as well as some neighborhoods and communities there may be little give or even a great deal of flexibility.  Remember the old adage about real estate .... location!

Second, good properties don't last long.  Notice I did not say good prices.  While the median days on market in Brevard County is around 30-35 days remember that means half are on the market less days.

Third, when you find the property act now.   If a buyer finds a house that meets their defined needs (budget, condition, age, location, size, school zone or whatever), it likely will meet somebody else's ideal as well.

Fourth, be prepared to buy on day one.  The time time get a mortgage pre-approval letter in hand is not after a house is located.  Not only does this cut down on competitiveness (cleanest offer with supporting documentation usually wins when there are multiple offers)  it also means a buyer is really not certain of their mortgage qualification status.

Five, don't ask for the moon!  This point is linked to the reference above about the cleanest offer.   Evaluate the issues and don't ask for trivial, less urgent things such as patching nail oles, painting rooms a different color, etc.  Depending on a buyer's circumstances there are certainly things that can be asked for such as closing cost assistance.  However, keep in mind that if there are other offers then this may be a negative.

The real estate agent in the model home or the listing agent with the sign out front work for the seller - not the buyer.  Get your own agent!   Remember you are not alone.  It is critical buyer's get their own real estate agent who understands the local market and the buyer's goals.

Here is a great little article on the Florida home buying process.... Contract to Close in Twenty Steps

Have a question about buying or selling a home in Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Home Buyer Tips: Are Builder Upgrades Worth It?

Like most things in life the answer depends on the circumstances.

If one is already committed to buying a new home and has already decided on the model and the upgrades are offered as an enticement to go forward then why not take the upgrades?

If the upgrades are add-ons to the agreed upon model with up charges then think twice.

My view of builder upgrades is much like the "options" car dealers like to throw into the price of your new car.   I know some options like pin striping have already been added so you can't easily opt out of those. 

I have seen a lot of these "Builder offers $15,000 in upgrades."  Look at these upgrades and the "free price."  Quite often the builder is quoting full non-competitive retail prices much like a car dealer with optional packages..

But with a house to be constructed the buyer is in charge - really.

Builders will negotiate.  Of course if it is the last model in a development like Heritage Isle in Viera there may be more competition among buyers and less give by the builder.

What is the secret to buying new construction from the builder?  First, get your own real estate agent before you go see the builder model.  

The reason - the builder representative works for (represents) the builder - not the buyer.  In Florida there is no such thing as dual representation so there can be no representation of both sides.

So why not get your own real estate agent when the builder will pay your agent's professional fee?  

Your real estate agent can even negotiate on your behalf if you desire.  Your real estate agent can guide you through the process to closing making key recommendations along the way including things like the often forgotten property inspection.  Yes, I do representative property inspections on new construction.

Important Point Here.....  Your real estate agent should accompany you on your first visit to the model center. 

One final general comment regarding the upgrades and builder options...Consider the disruption and additional hassles to have something done later.  If you are going to do it later why not go forward at construction?  

So are builder upgrades worth it?  Re-read sentence one above!

Ready to buy a home in Viera, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for a market report on your desired area and type of housing.

Need to sell your Viera, Florida home?  Waters Realty can do it for you with little hassle.

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