Friday, May 15, 2015

Sunset Lakes in Merritt Island, Florida - Home Sold

Congratulations Mike and Diana on your new Sunset Lakes, Merritt Island home!  Thank you for hiring me to represent you in the purchase!

Welcome to Florida!  Enjoy the sun, the beaches and your pool!  

Considering a move to Merritt Island, Florida?  Let me help you!  

Ready to sell your Sunset Lakes, Merritt Island home?  Call me for your market analysis!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sonoma in Viera - Market Activity May 2015

Sonoma in Viera is one of Brevard County's most desirable gated communities offering home owners a convenient location near shopping, restaurants, golf courses (Viera East, Duran Golf Club) and much more. 

Conveniently located near some of Brevard County's finest schools and medical facilities (Viera Hospital), Sonoma is also very convenient to I-95, Orlando and the beaches of central Brevard County.

With the single family home inventory down there are presently only three homes for sale in Viera's gated Sonoma development.   The three active listings range in price from $244,999 to $450,000.  The lowest priced home is just over 2,000 sq.ft. which is one of the smaller floor-plans built in Sonoma. 

The other two listings are around 2,900 square feet under air.and both priced above $419,000.

Over the previous six months there have been 13 closed sales in Sonoma with 12 of these being standard sales.   Since April 1, 2015 there have been three closed sales.
  • 4606 Merlot Drive - 2005 built 3,391 sq ft two story home on a  lake with 5 bedrooms 3 bathrooms and 3 car garage which sold for $444,000.
  • 3610 Chardonnay Drive - 2005 built 2,200 sq ft one story home with 3 bedrooms 2 baths plus 3 car garage which sold for $305,000 on April 28, 2015.
  • 3018 Coppola Way - 2004 built 2,506 sq ft lake front home with 4 bedroom 3 bathrooms and three car garage plus pool sold for $375,000. 
For information on homes for sale in Viera, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Real Estate Tips: Multiple Offers, Appraisals and Financing.

As the temperature rises and summer approaches, the Brevard County, Florida housing market is warming up as well. With decreasing inventory, more buyers entering the market and continued low interest rates, multiple offer situations have become more common.

But who really wins in multiple offer situations where buyers are submitting competing offers (bids)?

With multiple offers buyers must guard against getting into an emotional bidding war.  The win at all cost mentality may be okay in Monopoly where the money is pretend but not when buying a house.

On the surface it seems there will be two winners.   First, the obvious winner is likely the seller.  The other winner is the buyer - maybe

But if offers are contingent on financing then the winner may not be decided until later....after the appraisal has been done.

But if the buyers are paying cash then the buyer and seller are guaranteed winners, right?  Maybe.

Most astute buyers will include an appraisal contingency with cash offers as well.  Even though there is no mortgage the buyer wants the property to be worth the selling price.  Thus, the appraisal.

A word or two about appraisals... Real estate appraisers independent.  They have no "horse in the race."  Appraisers use established techniques to determine the value of real property.  It is this value lenders use to make loan decisions.  

So back to the title question....Who wins in multiple offer situations?   Maybe the seller, maybe the buyer, maybe both, maybe no one.

Every transaction is different.  Sellers should always remember, "Under contract is not sold!"

Read more about appraisals and offers in this related reading.

Is an appraisal contingency necessary with a cash offer?
What if the appraisal comes in low?
When is the highest offer not the best offer?
Terms define the real price?

Ready to buy a home in Viera, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help.

Have a question, send me an email.

Monday, May 04, 2015

What does days on the market tell a buyer?

One of my previous posts talked about the days a property has been on the market and what it meant.   Buyers should use all available information  including days on the market when deciding on how much to offer for a property.  

If a house has been on the market for an abnormally long period or more than the usual what does it tell the buyer?  

Your Brevard County, Florida buyer's agent will be able to determine how many cumulative days a property has been on the market as well as the current days on the market
Cumulative days on the market is the total from listing date to current day.  It does not take into account any contracts, temporary withdrawals, etc.  The current days on the market is most useful as it reflects reflects the time since some event occurred such as a price reduction or a property's return to the market.
In a brisk residential real estate market like Brevard County, a buyer should interpret fewer days on the Marketa as a signal to look now because properly priced homes in move in condition do not last.   And if viewed and liked, decide now - not next week.

So why do some homes stay on the market longer?   There are a host of reasons ranging from priced too high,  priced wrong for condition, circumstances of sale (short sale, foreclosure) and other reasons.

Sometimes it may simply be a property is unique in style or its price range.

For example, high end properties (over a million dollars) have a smaller potential buyer pool in Brevard County, Florida.  There are currently 13 properties for sale in Brevard County listed at $3,000,000 or more.  There are ninety six residential properties listed at or above a million dollars.  The number of buyers shopping in this range is certainly limited.  No wonder some of these sit on the market for years.

Regardless of the specific DOM standard used the time a property has been on the market is an indicator of something.

Extended days on market always indicate an issue - whether disclosed or not!  Here area a couple of related articles....

Ready to buy a home in Brevard County, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On the Real Estate Fence? Look at this March 2015 Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Market Report

I just read a JP Morgan Chase & Co. survey that indicated almost 70% of prospective home buyers worry they may have already missed the chance to buy a home at the best time because of rising home prices.

Real estate is cyclical.  That is not something newly discovered.  In an ideal world buyers will know when its the best time buy and sellers will know when their optimal time occurs.

But the real estate market is dynamic - always in a constant state of change.  Timing the absolute bottom (or top) is not a realistic goal.

Although prices are rising (including in Brevard County, Florida), interest rates continue to be low.   See the text box which compares March 2015 to March 2014 residential sales.

If one is considering the purchase of a home the time to act is now rather than lamenting the missed opportunities. When interest rates also increase the hit will be even greater than that of just rising prices.  As interest rates rise purchasing power (loan amount) usually goes down as well.

If you are on the fence about buying a home discuss the current market with local experts (real estate agent and mortgage lender). 

Need a local Brevard County, Florida mortgage lender, give me a call for some suggestions.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Real Estate Statistics: Days on the Market

In the real estate world it seems everyone tosses around statistics.   While they may sound impressive when quoted in some national publication, on TV or the internet, statistics need to be interpreted within the context of  a local real estate market.

One of these real estate statistics prospective buyers very often want to know about is the number of days a property has been on the market (DOM).

Does the number days on the market really mean anything?

Days on the market can be interpreted a couple of ways.  There is the total cumulative days on the market.  This is the number most buyers think of when they ask their agent how long a property has been for sale.

But there is another more important days on the market number.  It is the current days on the market which reflects the time since some event occurred such as a price reduction perhaps or a property's return to the market after being previously under contract.

So, in the general sense, in March 2015 the Florida statewide median days on the market was 56 days.  This means half the homes that sold were on the market for slightly less than two months.

In paragraph one I said statistics need to be interpreted within the context of a local market.  In Brevard County, Florida the median days on the market for single family homes in March 2015 was 30 days.

That is a big difference.  Half the homes that closed in Brevard County in March 2015 were on the market for less than a month.

That is a brisk market.

So how can a buyer use the days on the market when buying a home in Brevard County, Florida?   The answer in my next post!

Ready to buy a home in Brevard County, FloridaCall me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Ready to sell your Melbourne or Viera, FLorida home?  Call me for a market analysis.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Friday, April 24, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: What is the first thing a new home owner should do?

Finally you have closed on your new home.  So many things to do as you prepare to move in but what do you do first?

While this advice is more applicable to re-sale properties than new construction the number one item on the to do list should be calling your locksmith.

Hand them over!   While the final step in the closing process is the turning over of the keys how does a buyer know there are not other keys? 

Through the years there may have been multiple copies made and given to family, friends, caretakers  or even tenants if it has ever been a rental property.

So, congratulations on your new home purchase.

Now call your locksmith today.  Here are a few local locksmiths to consider....

  • Lacey's Locks in Rockledge at 321-632-5900
  • Kwik Key of Brevard in Palm Bay (321) 722-2939
  • Beach Locksmith in Cocoa Beach (321) 783-4118
  • Allstate Locksmith in Melbourne at (321) 593-1178
Ready to buy a home in Viera, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Brevard County, Florida Closed Sales and Median Sales Prices By Zip Code March 2015

The below table reflects sales prices by zip code for Brevard County, Florida single family home, townhouse, condo and manufactured home sales for  March 2015.

Some (refer to this zip code map of Brevard County)  of the areas by zip code include these communities:
  • Beach side communities like Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach (32931, 32937),  
  • Merritt Island (32952, 32953)
  • Suntree and parts of Viera (32940)
  • Rockledge and parts of Viera (32955),
  • Cocoa (32922, 32926)
  • Port St. John (32927)
  •  West Melbourne (32904

For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida including Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, please call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Monthly Market Detail - Single Family Homes - Brevard County, FL for March 2015

Below is a detailed summary of the Brevard County, Florida single family home market for March 2015 as provided by the Florida Realtors®.

Not only are the prices rising but the inventory is not growing which will likely lead to continued climbing prices.

Single Home Prices in Brevard County, Florida climb in March 2015

March 2015 single family home sales in Brevard County, Florida continued to improve with traditional sales once again gaining in sales volume and sales prices compared to March 2014.

The below chart shows the continued, steady increase in Brevard County, Florida single family average sales prices as well.  The double digit year over year increases during 2015 appear to be strong - good news for sellers.  The median sales prices are gaining as well.


The above data provide by the Florida Realtors®.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Do I have to really clean my house when I sell it?

Sometimes buyers and sellers have different perceptions of how clean a house should be for the closing.  I advise my seller clients to have it broom clean.  Sometimes I just ask them how they would like to find their new home on the day of close?

One of the last steps in the home buying process is for buyers to perform a final walk through inspection.  With my buyers I prefer to do this on the way to the closing appointment or the evening before, if necessary.

While the main focus of the final walk through is to make sure the house is in the same condition it was in when contracted  there is also an expectation the property will be clean.   While there will not be a white glove inspection it is expected that the property will be emptied of trash and personal contents.

It is expected that hazardous materials like old paint cans and insecticides and flammable items will be gone as well and not left in the garage.

Trash at the curb is usually not a problem.  Even older appliances or TVs that will be picked up is not a problem as long as a special pickup scheduled by seller, of course

While it is not necessary to have Merry Maids clean your house before going to closing please respect your buyers by having your house ready for the new owners.

"Cleaning "image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at
"Garbage Truck Driver"  image courtesy of vectorolie at

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Home Buyer Strategies in a Seller's Market

How is the Brevard County, Florida housing market?   One way to summarize the market for buyers is through this advice I recently read:  "Don't sleep on it or you won't sleep in it."

The Brevard County, Florida housing market favors sellers with more motivated buyers competing for fewer homes.   Decreasing inventories with rising prices are also creating more multiple offer situations.  Are we headed to the days of buyers commonly paying more than list price again?  I don't think so yet.  

So how should a motivated buyer in search of a move in ready home approach this market?

First, be prepared.  Have your mortgage pre-approval in place before shopping for a home.  This does not take long to get done.  If you need a local Brevard County mortgage reference, just ask.  If you are paying cash, obtain a proof of funds letter.

Know your requirements.  Begin with the thing you can't easily change - location.

Then further refine the physical characteristics of the property you want (must have, can't have, age, construction, size, HOA, etc.).

Put together a plan.  The home buying process can be stressful - especially if time becomes a factor.  The closing process takes about 30-45 days for the normal mortgaged home purchase (inspections, appraisal, survey, etc).  Give yourself time. 

Select your local real estate expert who knows your targeted area and understands your requirements. Then start your search.

Finally, submit a well reasoned, document supported, timely offer.    If you don't someone else, may.  With the number of move in ready homes low you may not have the time to sleep on it.

If you have thought about buying a home in Melbourne, Florida, consider doing it now.  Prices are rising, inventory levels are low and interest rates are still very attractive.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: Multiple offers are the number one cause of...

The real estate purchase process can be somewhat mundane.

After all the steps are pretty basic.  Start by obtaining a mortgage pre-approval and selecting your real estate agent.  Then find a suitable property, agree to terms with the seller, perform due diligence (have appropriate inspections/survey/review association documents) and close the deal....simple, right?

But with the current Brevard County, Florida housing market favoring sellers many buyers find themselves in multiple offer situations.  Unfortunately there may be one or two more buyers wanting the same property at the same time.

This is usually the place where a listing agent will tell all agent's involved to have their client customer submit their best offer.   The less than exciting  process mentioned above can very easily become the opposite of mundane - especially if a bidding war ensues.

Buyers now find themselves in the unfortunate position of sitting with a decision hold, walk or raise their offer.    And then there are some unknowns to consider.

For example, does the listing agent have one of the competing buyers as a client? Advantage listing agent.  Does another agent within the listing office have a competing buyer?  Advantage Listing office.

Is the buyer's original offer already the highest on the table?  Could the buyers end up bidding against themselves?

Will the decision going to be made on something other than just the price?   After all, sometimes it is not the price but rather the cleanest offer that a seller selects.  A quicker closing, fewer contingencies, for example, may trump a higher offer price.

If one is obtaining a mortgage then the uncertainty created by multiple offers may extend to the mortgage approval.  After all, the appraisal could very well limit a buyer's ability to compete.   Lenders make loans based on value.  Value is determined by the market.

Regardless, multiple offers are the number one cause of price creep!

Ready to buy a house in Melbourne, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 to begin your search process.