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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Does it matter if the buyer's offer is "cash" or getting a "mortgage?"

Cash talks, right?  

So does a mortgage - when it is done right!

There are times when cash is the only method to purchase a home.  Such is the case in many foreclosure and auction properties.  

Lenders (especially government mortgage loan guarantors like the FHA and VA) have standards that require a minimum standards be met (think health, safety).  Sometimes, as in the case of a property in poor condition, cash is the only available option.

In those cases where cash is not the only option, cash buyers need to remember cash does talk but it does not always talk louder than a better offer that has financing.
    Most cash offers will still have conditions like inspections and appraisals.  

    In the case of a low appraisal the cash buyer has the option of going forward anyway while the mortgage applicant  will likely have to dig for more cash.

    Of course the reality is, whether cash or mortgage buyer, who really wants to buy a property that is worth less than what is being paid?

    Still, sellers do get excited about a cash offer if it is reasonable (and does not contain excessive contingencies).

    Still, sellers should understand  a buyer who is obtaining a mortgage should not be considered less desirable than a cash buyer.   A mortgage does not mean the buyer does not have the means.

    Especially when the mortgage buyer has already been through underwriting.

    Not all mortgage pre-approvals are the same!

    I am aware of one lender who offers a mortgage product that has been though the underwriting process already and its just a matter of finding the right house...just like a cash buyer! Its called the "TBD Loan."

    I am not a mortgage lender.  But I know one who can tell you about his mortgage product that allows you to compete with the cash buyers.  Complete the form below and I will put you in touch immediately.  


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    There is nothing in this for me - except,hopefully, you will choose to let me help you buy your Melbourne, Florida home.

    Finally, a word of advice to sellers  - evaluate every offer as a whole, not just the offer price.

    Considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email for your free market analysis. 

    Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at

    Friday, February 12, 2016

    55+ Community Update - Viera, Florida - Grand Isle

    There are three 55+ communities in the planned unit development of Viera (Brevard County, Florida).  All three of these #age-restricted-communities share some characteristics like gated, clubhouse facilities and some degree of maintenance provided.

    Currently there are four homes for sale in Grand Isle.    All four of these homes are recent listings with two just recently being listed and two during December 2015.  
    All are standard sales and pricing ranges from $239,500 to $295,000. 

    Three of these homes are very simialr with 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage and just over 2,000 square feet under air.  The similarities are not unusual as the Grand Isle community was developed by one builder - Lennar Homes.

    Over the previous six months there have been nine homes sold in Grand Isle as reported in the Brevard MLS system.

    During the month of January 2016 there was one home sold in Grand Isle - a 2001 built three bedroom two bath two car garage home located at 1622 Keys Gate Drive that sold for $260,000 (as reported on Brevard MLS system).

    For information on buying a home in some of  Florida's premier 55+ communities in Viera, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

    Why Consider the School Zone When Buying a New Home?

    For parents of school age children schools matter when shopping for a home.  I suggest schools should matter when anyone is shopping for a home.  

    I will concede that there probably are a couple of buyer populations where school quality may not be a consideration -  Buyers seeking a 55+/age restricted community and most retirement age condominium buyers (think downsize, beach-side). 

    I have spoken with a few teachers over the years who told me that the grades are not really an accurate indicator of how good (or not so good) a school may be. 

    But, just as a scale is not an accurate indicator of how healthy a person is, the results may be an indicator.

    Still, smart buyers should take into consideration the quality of schools when shopping for a home.   There have been numerous studies conducted that show a correlation between school quality and home prices

    Why are some schools better than others?  I am not qualified to answer that question however I do believe there are some obvious influences.  The major factor - funding.  Higher home values equate to higher taxes which should mean more funds for education.  The environment, both physical and social, likely has an impact.  Then there are busing and school assignment zones.  And the list continues....

    I just reviewed the 2015 school grades report for Brevard County, Florida.  Since I market mostly in central Brevard County I wanted to check just some of the #2015FloridaSchoolGrades.  

    Some of the "A" graded schools included 
    • Rockledge High School, 
    • Viera High School, 
    • Merritt Island High, 
    • Cocoa Beach Jr-Sr High, 
    • Edgewood Jr-Sr High,
    • Satellite Beach High School,
    • Kennedy Middle School, 
    • Manatee Elementary, 
    • Quest Elementary, 
    • Ralph Williams Elementary, 
    • Andersen Elementary, 
    • Suntree Elementary.  
    The above list is not a comprehensive list of all central Brevard County public schools but it is an indicator of the area school quality.

    If school quality is a consideration then central Brevard County, Florida is a good starting point for your new Florida home. 

    Key Point:  Just as school quality may change over time so do assignment boundaries.  confirm with the local schools which school your child will attend before placing an offer on a house.

    Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin at

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

    How Can I Compete With Cash Buyers in the Current Melbourne, Florida Housing Market?

    Price is really not everything when buying a home.   Still, the highest offer, on the surface, may have some additional appeal to a seller if the prospective buyer is paying cash.

    But an offer is more than just price.    It is the whole package including contingencies and conditions.

    Some of the more common contingencies include property inspections and financing.   All buyers have (or should have) an inspection contingency.   This is a powerful tool for a buyer's protection. 

    When a mortgage is involved there will be a financing contingency which will include an appraisal.  Even cash buyers commonly have an appraisal contingency.

    The cleanest offer (least contingencies, quickest closing, greater likelihood of a closing) will usually be the preferred choice as long as it meets the seller's goals.

    Let us assume two offers are equally appealing but one is a cash buyer while the other is a mortgage (typically at lest a 45 day closing, if approved.).

    Which will a buyer choose?   Most likely the cash buyer will win. 

    But, if a buyer has already been pre-approved through the underwriting process then the game just changed!

    As a buyer I think there is an increased comfort level with an already stressful process if a buyer knows they have already been pre-approved.

    Just because you don't have the cash on hand does not mean you can't shop like a cash buyer!

    I just became aware of a Florida mortgage banker who offers a "TBD" loan.  This mortgage loan can even the playing field.   Buyers get fully underwritten conditional approvals before they find the house.  Who says you need 45 days to close your home purchase - even with a mortgage????

    I am not a mortgage lender however if you want information on this program I will gladly share the lender with you.  I do not make anything off this referral but do hope you will allow me to assist you when buying your new Melbourne, Florida home.


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    If you want some other local Florida lender contacts, just send me an email.

    And when you are ready to shop for your new home in Melbourne, Florida, let me help you!

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    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

    Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Market: 2015 compared to 2014 (Single Family Home and Condo)

    If one is wants to know the direction Brevard County, Florida real estate is headed in 2016 then a look at 2015 performance against 2014 should provide the answer. 

    The single family detached comparison reveals...
    • Closed Sales went up 7.8% in 2015.  The number of units closed were 10,113 compared to 9,382 in 2014.
    • Cash Sales saw a decrease by -9.6% compared to 2014.
    • New Pending Sales went up 10.6%.
    • New Listings increased 2.5% in 2015.
    • Median Sales Price for Single Family homes climbeed18.6% to $162,500 compared to 2014 which was $137,000.
    • Months Supply of Inventory is down -12.1% to 2.9 months compared to 3.3 months in 2014
    • Traditional Sales increased 23.4% with a median sales price of $176,625.
    • Foreclosure/REO Sales declined -28.7% with a median sales price of $99,950.
    • Short Sale Closing went down -36.8% with a median sales price of $120,000.
    The Townhouse/condo market comparison looks like this....

    • Closed Sales increased 12.6% for 2015.  The number of units closed were 2,752 compared to 2,443 in 2014.
    • Cash Sales increased by 9.2% compared to 2014.
    • New Pending Sales climbed 20.0% in 2015.
    • New Listings are up 1.3%.
    • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 9.9% to $133,000 compared to 2014 which was $121,000.
    • Months Supply of Inventory is down -16.9% to 3.5 months compared to 4.2 months in 2014
    • Traditional Sales increased 24.8% with a median sales price of $141,500.
    • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -28.3% with a median sales price of $75,375.
    • Short Sale Closing decreased -46.1% with a median sales price of $105,250.
    Considering buying a house in Brevard County, Florida, we can help.  
    Contact Waters Realty of Brevard at 321-693-3850 or send us an email.
    *Statistics provided by the Space Coast Realtors. 

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