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Friday, February 29, 2008

Check the Sexual Offender Database BEFORE buying that Florida Home

So you have found that house and you are interested in making an offer. In all the excitement of searching for that home you may have forgotten one thing to check. That item - whether there are any sexual offenders or predators living in the area.

Of course you may say that it does not matter. To some folks, it is not an issue. For most, it is. I have had folks decide against an offer after checking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement web site. To check your neighborhood, click here.

Of course you can only know the situation as of today. What stops a sexual offender form buying the home next door to you or renting the house down the street? I am not sure you have any control over what happens in the future but you can, and should, know the present status.

I have reviewed the sexual predator and offender lists and, to my disappointment, there are many on the list. And no area or neighborhood can be totally immune from having sexual offenders. I will go even further - if yo are considering renting a house, check the list as well!

FDLE has also established the following toll-free number for public access to FDLE's Registration & Compliance Unit: 1-888-FL-PREDATOR (1-888-357-7332). By contacting FDLE at this number, the public can request information about Sexual Offenders living in their communities and around the state.

Do it for your children. Do it for your peace of mind.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Contact me by phone at 1-321-255-2600 or by email to .
Serving Viera, Rockledge, Suntree and north Melbourne Florida.

Are you really a motivated seller?

I reviewed a Brevard County MLS entry today. The real estate agent says the seller is motivated. Then I wondered....

If so, why has the home been listed for 182 days without a single price reduction? And, on top of that, why is the list price higher than any other home currently for sale in the neighborhood?

When working with my buyers I try to find homes that meet their needs. I try to find homes in their desired area. Then, when I see a home that screams "seller motivated" in the first sentence of the narrative - I get excited!

Then the disappointment of seeing the characteristics described above! At this point I must move on.....

If you really are motivated I suggest you price correctly and also adjust the price at some point if no one has looked at your property.

I believe that newly listed homes have their "golden period." That is the first few weeks when the new listing "hits the street." The greatest activity will probably happen early on. If you have passed the "golden period," look at your motivation.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida. Email me at or call me at 1-321-255-2600 or 1-800-651-6940 if you are interested in either buying or selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge home.

Please read my blog at

Moving to Brevard County Helpful Information

If you are considering a move to Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or any other central Brevard County area, here are some links to a few articles you may find helpful.
55+ Communities in Viera Florida
More On 55+ Communities in Viera
Short sales Opportunities in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida
Golf course homes in Viera and Rockledge, Florida
New Turtle Creek Golf Course Condos in Rockledge, Florida
Viera Florida Great Homes, Wonderful Lifestyle

Please feel free to contact me if I may provide any assistance whether buying or selling in the Viera and Suntree Florida areas. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Contact me at or by telephone at 1-321-255-2600.

I want to serve you but only as you require and desire!

So you are curious about the Rockledge, Suntree or Viera housing market. You would like to ask someone a question. You want to check a price on a house with a sign out front. You don't want to be hounded and dogged by someone trying to sell you a house.

I understand exactly how you feel! Believe me. I drive my vehicles for years because I really dislike dealing with sales people. I can not stand to go on a car lot and get trounced by 5 salesperson's trying to "sell me."

If that is your attitude as well, please feel free to drop me an email. If you have a question, I will email you a reply. I will not be calling you - unless you ask me to first. If you want me to email you some listings, just ask. I will be happy to do so and not call you. If you see something of interest, you can call me or send an email. I want to serve you but only as you require and desire.

If you have an interest in real estate in the Rockledge, Viera, Suntree and north Melbourne areas, let me know. I can be reached by email at or by phone at 1-321-693-3850.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21, Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Your Primary Residence is not the same as 1,000 Shares of Microsoft!

Listening to one of my favorite financial prognosticators, Mad Money's Jim Cramer on CNBC, I noticed how he is quick to look at the data, make a decision and go forward. Are there risks? Certainly. Anytime you make a decision in the financial world there are risks to be assumed. Such is the case when dealing with the real estate market.

If you are considering purchasing a home right now you may be sitting on the fence. Depending on who you listen to, the advice can vary tremendously. You are evaluating your circumstances. You are watching the home prices. You are hearing some folks say buy, some say wait.

Is the market near the bottom in your locale? No one knows for sure. But, as opposed to Mr. Cramer's investment advice, purchasing a home (unless you an investor) should be looked upon as, not an investment to grow wealth but rather, a necessity.

Historically home prices have appreciated. Some folks who bought years ago have reaped benefits upon the sale of the property. But these cases are usually long term. Sure, some investors made lots of money over the past few years as the market boomed. But, some less shrewd, Johny-come-late investors, lost their rear ends! In real estate no one has a crystal ball - even the experts!

Your primary residence is not the same as 1000 shares of Microsoft!

There may be short term risks. Will the price of housing continue to go down? If so, how much? What about interest rates? If the rates go up, could your purchasing power could go down? What about insurance costs? No one knows when, not if, the cost of home owner's insurance will rise. What about your income? Is there a good ( or go down as in retirement) chance it will rise in the future? There are a lot of unknowns in life and real estate!

My advice - purchase if you understand and can accept the risks.

This is probably not the time to buy at a level that will stretch your ability to pay. But, if you are ready to buy, this market may present some good opportunities. Only you - not any real estate agent - can tell you it is right for you to buy.

If you believe it is the time for you to buy and you are in the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Melbourne, Florida market, please feel free to call me.

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida, 1-321-255-2600. Email me at .

Looking for a mobile home in Viera or Suntree?

I was speaking with a lady today who was somewhat new to the area. She was complaining that there were no "family" mobile home parks in our immediate area. She was referring to the Suntree, Viera, Rockledge and north Melbourne area where my office is located.

I must say she is correct. Most of the mobile home communities are either south of us or to the north in Cocoa and other unincorporated areas. She indicated the only parks around were 55+ communities. I do know there are a few 55+ mobile home parks in the area although I must admit that I am not a mobile home park expert.

I have seen some really nice looking manufactured home communities over by the Tampa area. Some of these newer manufactured homes are being built to look just like "regular" construction.

She kept wanting to know why. My explanation to her was simple and based on my opinion.

Residents in any area determine the type of community and residential development they desire. Buyers choose the type of construction they want and developers provide it. Basic capitalism 101.

In Viera, Suntree and Rockledge there are mostly single family homes, several 55+ communities and condo/town home complexes. Some of these communities are golf course communities; some are gated; and most with deed restrictions and home owner associations.

Besides, in many areas, zoning does not allow mobile homes. You just can't buy a piece of land and put a mobile home on it. There was a time when that may have been true.

She was not happy with that explanation. She felt that it was not fair. I am not sure which part was unfair. I believe the community standards dictate the type and condition of local development.

As a Realtor who has only sold condos, town homes, duplexes and single family homes, I am not an expert on mobile homes and mobile home communities.

If you are in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge market area and looking to purchase a home or condo, I would be more than happy to assist you in your efforts. If you would like listings emailed to you, just let me know.

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida, 1-321-255-2600. Email me at .

New Resident Information For Brevard County Florida

Some useful information to know when relocating to Brevard County, Florida:

Automobile Tags: A Florida auto license plate and title must be applied for within 10 days of moving to Florida or within 10 days of beginning a job in Florida.

Drivers License: A new resident must obtain a Florida driver's license within 30 days of obtaining employment in Florida or establishing residency. If yo have a valid license from another state all that will be required is a vision examination. Make sure you take advantage of the opportunity and register to vote at the same time as you get your Florida license!

New utility service:

  • Electricity - Florida Power and Light Co. , 321-723-7795
  • Gas - Florida City Gas, 800-993-7546
  • Telephone - AT&T, 888-757-6500
  • Water, Service, Garbage - Barefoot Bay/Snug Harbor, 772-664-5916
    Port St John south to Pineda Causeway including Merritt Island,Cocoa Beach, Suntree, Viera,321-639-7500

For more information on Brevard County Florida please visit . Have specific questions on Brevard County, please feel free to email me at .

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Phillips Landing Subdivision Rockledge Florida Market Report

We are now on day 58 of 2008. The real estate market in Brevard County, Florida seems to be hovering on the edge...not sure which way to go. Some days buyer activity appears to be strong. Some days the listings all seem to drop a little in price. Some days the market appears to be on the rebound. Some days I wonder. Such is the real estate market.

Have we hit bottom? Who knows. I heard a financial commentator say this morning you should never catch a falling knife. As for the market, if the time is right for you, then buy. If the time is right (or circumstances require, sell).

I want to devote a little time to what is happening in the Phillips Landing subdivision of Rockledge, Florida.

Phillips Landing is located off Fiske Blvd near Interstate 95 in Rockledge. Convenient to great shopping, entertainment, the beaches, excellent schools, it offers residents much!

Since January 1, 2008 there has been only one home sold in Phillips Landing. It was a 2500 plus square foot 4 bedroom, three bath home that sold for $250,000. It looks like there are three homes in the development under contract right now. So things may be looking up for sellers. After all, the prices have fallen to some very attractive levels with bargains to be found!

There are 13 properties listed as active in the Brevard County MLS system. The prices range form $200,000 to $309,900. Since most of the homes in Phillips Landing are only three years old or newer, these prices are attractive. And, the builders just completed the community pool. My opinion is the pool was put in sooner than planned to spur sales and compete with other newer developments in the Viera area.

As for the homes on the market, some are priced very nicely and some, again my opinion, are ...well...let me say I would have to see them to really feel good about the list price.

There are a couple of homes listed for sale as short sales. Short sales are situations where the lender is owed more than the probable sale price. These require approval by the lender and take time to close.

If you are interested in Rockledge properties for sale, including Phillips Landing homes, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached by email to or by phone at 1-321-255-2600.

If you are considering selling, please contact me as well! I know the central Brevard market area including golf course communities like Baytree golf links homes. (Baytree is in our name!)

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Condo and Town House Short Sale Opportunities in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge Florida

I wrote a short post yesterday on single family home short sale opportunities in the Viera, Suntree, and Rockleldge Florida areas. I really had an unexpectedly large number of reads for this post and even a couple of inquiries.

Because of all the interest shown in the short sale opportunity in Brevard County Florida I decided to take a look at the short sale listings in this same area for condos and town houses. In case you did not read yesterday's post there are 77 single family property short sales in the area from Suntree to Rockledge. If you are familiar with the area you know that Viera is right in the middle of those areas.

There are only 20 condos listed as short sales in the same area. I really expected this to be a higher number. With all the newer construction I suppose the builder's still own a lot of the vacant units. There has been a lot of new condo construction over the past few years. But given the state of the market this smaller number is a positive for sellers!

The price range for these short sale listings is $85,000 to $240,000. One of the nicest units I saw listed was a 4 bedroom 3 bath, 2 car garage unit with 2,292 square feet living area at $228,000. That sounds awfully enticing for a 2005 built unit!

I have said it before but it needs repeating...short sales usually take time and requires patience!

If you would like information on the short sale opportunities in Melbourne Florida and the surrounding areas of Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, please drop me an email or give me a call. Want me to email listings, just send me an email with what you are looking for including the area of the county. I have business associates who specialize in other areas so if your desired area is south or north, please let me know.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida. I can be reached at 1-321-255-2600 or 1-800-651-6940 (office) or by email to .

Please read my other blog at and visit my web site .

Monday, February 25, 2008

Short Sales in Viera Rockledge and Suntree areas of Brevard County Florida

Since February is nearing its end I wanted to review the short sale market here in Brevard County Florida. As of today there are 773 properties (single family homes) listed in the Brevard County MLS listings as short sales.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a short sale is basically a situation where the proceeds form the sale will likely be less than the lender is owed. These sales involve negotiation with the lender after the potential buyer and the seller have agreed to a contract price. The thing about short sales...patience is required. There is usually no quick answer on the offer. But, if you have the time, the bargains are certainly available! Please read my post about short sale bargains.

Since I specialize in the Central Brevard County areas of Rockledge, Suntree, Viera, and North Melbourne, I looked more closely at the short sales in this area. About 10% of all the short sales listed for the County are in this area.

A breakdown of the "short sale" listings -
  • 27 Rockledge
  • 2 West Rockledge (Rockledge area west of I-95)
  • 27 Viera East of I 95 13 Viera West of I-95
  • 8 Suntree area South of Wickham Road

If you are familiar with the central county areas you will know that many of these homes are newer construction. Some have never been lived in! The price range for these properties go from a low of $89,000 to $1.3 million! If you are looking for a nice home in this area there are some excellent choices. In the short sale market there are 30 homes priced for $175,000 to $249,000.

If you are interested in receiving short sale information on Brevard County, please feel free to send me an email request to .
Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Do great slogans sell houses?

Do great slogans sell houses? What about being number 1? I was looking through a real estate magazine this morning, actually a couple of them, and noticed some of these catchy phrases.

Some of my favorites include:
  • not just another pretty face
  • artfully uniting extraordinary properties with extraordinary lives
  • results you can count on
  • real estate made easy
  • exceeding your expectations
  • personalized not franchised.

Every real estate agent I know is number one is their own mind. To be successful, one must be confident.

It has been written by some including Dr. Deming that slogans are not a good thing. I am not an expert but I guess slogans do help "brand" any business. And, in the real estate business, branding is critical.

So, do great slogans sell houses? Of course not. They help brand and branding is important. What sells houses? Hard work. Efficient, smart marketing. Property promotion. Having a slogan is great as long as you deliver! What is my motto? I don't have one but if I did it would be ...

"Make me your Viera, Suntree and Rockledge Realtor of Choice!"

Selling or purchasing a home in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Melbourne, Florida. Give me a call. I want to be your Realtor of Choice!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty,Melbourne, Florida. Call me at 321-255-2600 or email me at . Please visit my other web log at and my web site .

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What is selling in Viera Florida?

What has been selling so far this year in Viera, Florida? Most people would respond "not much." But there are single family homes that are selling... a few so far.

If you are familiar with Brevard County Florida, and Viera specifically, you know that Interstate 95 separates Viera into an east and West side. Getting from one side to the other is not a major commute. The newer developments are primarily located on the western side of the highway. Homes in Viera are convenient to new shopping, theatres, Space Coast Stadium, 40
minutes to Orlando and only 15 to 20 minutes to the beaches.

So what has sold?

So far, in 2008, 36 homes (18 properties on each side of the interstate) have sold in Viera. The "Sold" prices ranged from $150,000 to $1,300,000. That is quite a spread which demonstrates that Viera has something for everyone!

On the east side of the interstate the two subdivisions with the most sales were Bayhill at Viera East and Capron Ridge.

Bayhill at Viera East homes are selling at very attractive prices with a 1900 sq ft 4 BR 2 bath 2 car garage home going for about two hundred thousand. Here is a 1911 sq ft 4 bedroom 2 bath pool home that is offered for less than $239,000!

Capron Ridge is a gated community off Viera Blvd and has some large single family homes, patio homes, and duplex type homes. Looks like folks are picking up 2,000 square ft living
area Capron Ridge homes for about $240,000 or so.

The west side of the interstate had 6 of the 18 sales being for property in Heritage Isle. Heritage Isle is an absolutely gorgeous, amenity filled over 55 community near the new Duran Golf Club. Sold prices in Heritage Isle ran the entire spectrum from the low $200,000 to $283,000. prices have dropped considerably in Heritage Isle as the inventory has risen. Looking for a great maintenance free community, Heritage Isle is worth a look!

A few of the 18 sales so far this year (west side) were for million dollar plus homes. With a variety of developments to choose from, Viera does truly have something for everyone!

For information on the Viera market including short sale opportunities, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached by phone at 321-693-3850 or by email to .

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

That's OK, We will get another offer? Ya' think?

The Brevard County real estate market is down. Home prices have fallen to a very enticing level. Heck, if I were wealthy, I would be buying here! I was talking with an agent yesterday.

To understand the conversation you need an understanding of the market here. Here is my summary of the Brevard County real estate market .... With the average days on the market for Brevard County hovering around 120 days, selling prices averaging around 92% of listing price, 7,250+ homes for sale....well, you get the picture. Buyers in Brevard County have lots of choices.

Back to my story....home on the market for six or seven months. Priced in the lower $200,000 range. An offer finally comes in. The negotiations start. The negotiations end. Bottom line, buyer and seller are $5,000 apart. No problem....seller says....

Another buyer will come

Are you sure? Several similar size and age properties have recently sold in the neighborhood for around the final offer price. The buyer's agent has done the homework. The seller's agent has done the homework. They know the negotiated price is probably the best they will get in this market for that property. After all, with financing involved, the property will have to appraise for the requested loan amount. But, the seller is optimistic that another buyer will come along.

And you know what? I believe the seller is right but it will probably be a lower offer....certainly not higher in the current market.

If you are considering selling in the Viera, Suntree, Melbourne and Rockledge areas, please feel free to give me a call or drop me an email for a no obligation price analysis. And, if you are selling and have an offer close to to your price, understand your market before you say "another buyer will come along."

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Call me at 321-255-2600 or email me at . And, read my blog at .

Friday, February 22, 2008

Have the "Grocery Store" Mentality when Selling Your Home

I prepared a *Broker's Price Opinion (BPO) this afternoon. I had to peruse the Melbourne Association of Realtor's web site for comparable properties. The homes were in the Cocoa, Florida area. Cocoa Florida has some very nice areas but, like most areas, there are some which are probably less desirable.

I was actually appalled, although not surprised, by some of the exterior photos on the Internet. These homes may have been very nice on the inside. But, how would a buyer ever know?

I thought of the products we see on the aisles of the supermarket. There is a lot that goes into product marketing including shelf placement (height and space) and product packaging. When you look at that cereal, there are a lot of choices. Does your decision rest, at least partially, on the packaging and product appearance? For most of us, I would guess yes.

Why do you choose a particular product? I am sure packaging and pricing play an important part! When selling your home, you need to have that same "grocery store" mentality. Your buyers will certainly have it!

What is that "grocery store" mentality? Easy, pricing and packaging.

Packaging starts outside your home and continues throughout. Think......your lawn, landscaping and paint. If the outside package does not look attractive, how many people will never see the gorgeous inside?

Some of the things that can spruce up the outside are inexpensive. Perhaps you just need a little fertilizer. some lawn watering, some new plants. Maybe the driveway needs a little pressure washing. Is that paint around the front door and shutters peeling? Break out the paintbrush. None of these are very expensive but they can make a big difference!

Secondly, you need to make sure the price is appropriate for the package! The package may look enticing but if the price is inconsistent with the product, then you have lost the battle. Work with your real estate agent to establish a competitive and realistic price.

Price it right and package it nicely and you will definitely find the buyers knocking on your door!

Selling your Viera, Rockledge, Melbourne or Suntree home? Call me, Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty for a free price analysis. Call me at 1-255-2600 or email me at . Please read my blog at .

*Broker's Price Opinion is an opinion of value usually prepared for a lender or other interested party.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cocoa Florida Pool Home $795,000

This 2005 built pool home is located near the historic Cocoa Florida area of Cocoa Village. Only a couple of blocks from the Indian River this home offers quiet living in a central area that is close to everything.

This property features a 3247 square foot main home and a 720 square foot apartment above the detached garage. With a pool, palms, Ket West style porch, this two story home offers old fashioned Florida living!

For more information on this listing please visit my other blog here. To view the MLS entry, click here.

Offered for sale by Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Mlebourne, Florida, 1-800-651-6940, email

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sellers Disclosure if you are in Florida

There is a lot of paperwork involved in the selling of a home or any real property in the state of Florida. One of the key items a seller provides to prospective buyers is the Seller's Real Property Disclosure Statement provided by most, if not all, Florida licensed real estate agents.

When I am working with a buyer client this form is reviewed prior to any offer to purchase a property is submitted. Although the form is about five pages long it is not a complex task to complete.

This form is basically a questionnaire regarding pertinent issues surrounding the subject property which the seller - not the seller's real estate agent - completes. What are some of the items discussed?

  1. Issues regarding any claims and assessments.
  2. What are the deed/Homeowner's Association restrictions?
  3. Property Related Items such as surveys conducted, boundary disputes, or any fences.
  4. Issues regarding the land such as drainage problems, sinkholes, soil movement, etc.
  5. Potential environmental issues such as hazards, any proposed changes that may affect the property value, etc.
  6. Zoning issues such as current zoning, appropriate current use, etc.
  7. Flood issues.
  8. Termite and wood destroying organism questions such as a termite problem (current or past), any termite inspections, treatment and the like.
  9. Any structural issues.
  10. Roof related items such as age of the roof, any leaks (past or present),roof warranty, etc.
  11. Plumbing related issues.
  12. Pool/hot tub/spa questions.
  13. Identification of appliances owned, leased, etc.
  14. Electrical System.
  15. Heating and Air Conditioning.
  16. Any other equipment such as security system, sprinkler system, garage door openers and the like.
  17. Any other matters that may affect the value of the property.

The list above covers a lot of areas. As a seller or buyer knowledge of the subject property is critical. As a buyer one of the most important pre-closing items to have accomplished is a home inspection. A home inspection can bring to light issues that may be present or even on the horizon.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida serving the Viera, Suntree, Melbourne and Rockledge areas of Florida's Space Coast - Brevard County.

Please read my other blog at and visit my web site .

Get off the Interstate and see the real Florida and Georgia!

I had to take a quick two day trip up to Georgia for a funeral this past weekend. Driving up form the Viera Florida area I took the interstate highways, I-95 north to Savannah and then I-16 west toward Macon, Georgia. Not too bad as it only took about 6 1/2 hours to get to Metter, Georgia.

Coming home yesterday I decided to take the back roads, the less speedy route. Sometimes it is nice to relax and enjoy the scenery! Was there anything of significance? Probably not, lets see.

There are a lot of little towns in south Georgia and north Florida. Between al these towns are some two lane highways with different "Woodpecker Trail." One of the towns we went through had some very nice homes. I believe it was Blackshear, Georgia. Several of the other towns had nice homes so I am not intentionally slighting any.

I remember seeing a Chinese restaurant sign in one two. A catchy name, "Wok in Roll!" I wondered if the head chef was "Elvis Chang?" I wonder if his favorite song was "You ain't nothing but an eggroll!"

All in all it was an interesting trip...some of the towns I can't recall. Surrency, Hoboken, Callahan, Hilliard, Cobbtown, Reidsville, Palatka... and others. So, if you are ever taking a trip to Florida and coming through south Georgia and north Florida, I recommend you get off the major routes and see the scenery!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Sometimes You Gotta Check the Price of the Shaving Cream!

I stopped by a local CVS store this morning to pick up a few odds and ends. I was not in a hurry so when an older gentleman approached the check out register at the same time, I waved him forward ahead of me.

He only had two items...a gallon of milk and a small can of Old Spice shaving cream. The young man at the registers rang up the milk and then the customer asked the price of the Old Spice. From working in retail I know that sometimes you can't just check a price. You can ring it up and void it out if they don't want the item. The register also has the ability to verify the price although the loss prevention folks look suspiciously on these "price verify" transactions. I am not sure why but I know it is the case.

The check out operator pointed to a scanner about three paces away, maybe ten feet, and instructed the man on how to check the price. His response was simply "Then, I don't want it."

It did not seem like a big deal or difficult process to check the price. However, this customer just felt it was not his responsibility. The check out associate went over, checked the price and the man purchased the item. This got me to thinking about the real estate transaction.

There are lots of small steps along the way to purchasing a home. All essential but some not that complex or tedious. But, sometimes the customer does not want to do it. They just see it as your responsibility to as the salesperson to do it all. It may be something as simple as sending a fax to the mortgage lender.

As a real estate professional I work with all types of clients. Some clients take care of all the details. Some I have to walk through the entire process. Whatever it takes, I adjust my methodology to fit the client. All buyers are not created equal!

I take special care to understand my client's needs and do what is necessary to make that transaction as painless as possible. Unfamiliar with the process, that is OK. A first time home buyer, that is OK. Have a question you need answered, just ask. I want to be your real estate agent of you are buying or selling in

Viera, Suntree, Melbourne or Rockledge, Florida.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Email me at .

Long Term Consequences of Purchasing a Home

Recently I was showing a new community and condos to a family. This was a great new gated complex on a golf course with a lot of amenities. The builder is even offering incentives that include paying the homeowner association dues for about four and a half years.

[By the way, want more information on this Turtle Creek Golf Course area community, send me an email to .]

On the surface this sounds like a very good deal - and may in fact be one. The discussion turned to five years down the road. None of us know what will or will not be in five years. Think back 5 years..... Has your life changed during that mere 1,825 days?

We can take the facts as we know them today and "guess" about the future. What will the HOA dues be? What will be the value of the property? What will be the cost of taxes? What will....? The questions continue.

To think about the long term consequences is only logical. Some decisions really have no long term implications but purchasing a home does! Some folks who received adjustable rate mortgages at very attractive rates did not think of the readjustment period down the road. Now they face mortgage payments at such an increased cost that they cannot continue to make the payments. Of course, the "guess" was that the values were going to continue to rise which was not the case. So, when buying a home, think long term.

There are some great bargains out there today if it is the right time for you to buy!

However, look before you leap because home ownership is a really serious responsibility! Call a good mortgage company, a reputable and knowledgeable real estate counsel and think long term!

Considering a move to Brevard County, Florida? Call Gary Waters, Realtor, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida .....your Viera, Suntree and Rockledge real estate expert! Email me at or call 321-693-3850 or 1-800-651-6940.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Some Materialize, Some Vaporize

I was reading an article today about how successful real estate agents develop long term relationships with clients. In today's high technology world we have the ability to communicate at a moment's notice. With cell phones, computers, Internet, email and old-fashioned snail mail, there are multiple ways to communicate.

And we all have our preference. I spoke with a potential client this week in New Jersey. He did not have email or a computer. He did have a fax machine. So I faxed him information and mailed a packet. He plans on coming to Florida one day, perhaps next month.

Been dealing by email with a couple of potential clients in the United Kingdom. Of course they found me on the Internet so they are knowledgeable in the "ways of the web." I have been researching property information and emailing the information. I hope to meet these folks one day.

I have been showing property to one couple off and on for a couple of years. They do a lot of traveling and when the automatically emailed listing that comes to them is of interest, they call. One day they will find that perfect property!

The bottom line is that I am in the people business. I develop relationships with potential clients over the long haul. It is not all a completed transaction in one day or month!

And, sometimes these long term (and long distance) efforts do not work out....Some materialize, Some vaporize!

If you are considering a move to Florida (Viera, Suntree, Melbourne or Rockledge) and would like information, just ask! Email me at .

Friday, February 15, 2008

Who Am I?

This blog and my other blog, , pick up about 1,200 readers each month. I spend a lot of time on here trying to give my opinion of the Brevard County real estate market and general information. One thing I find missing is information on me.

I want those who read my posts to get a feel for who I am - really. So, who is this guy behind the web log? A little information on me....

I am a Florida native who loves living in the Sunshine State. I have lived in many places through the years and the climate here can't be beat. When the temperature gets below 65 degrees, I am not pleased!

I spent twenty years in the United States Navy in the medical field. Initially as a Hospital Corpsman and later as a Medical Service Corps Officer (health care administration).

My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree from The George Washington University and a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from Troy State University (now Troy University).

For years I have been an avid, although very poor, golfer. (Having played a lot of golf I am familiar with the Melbourne golf course communities.) Additionally I have been working for years on a fictional book which is somewhere between humor, satire, semi-biographical.... all a reflection of my personality!

In my fifth year as a full time real estate agent I have concentrated my efforts in the central Brevard County areas of Viera, Suntree, Melbourne and Rockledge. My entire real estate career has been as an associate with Century 21 - The Gold Standard in Real Estate!

My real estate business is built on the foundation of "it is all about relationships."

My goal is to be the Realtor of Choice for my market area. And that is only accomplished by developing those relationships that result in referrals from past clients and repeat business!

So who am I? I am the real estate guy in Suntree, Viera, Melbourne and Rockledge Florida. And who is this? This is my little buddy, Diesel Dog!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Why Search? Let the Listings Come Automatically!

If you are searching for a property to purchase in Brevard County Florida you may be perusing the Brevard MLS web site on your own. That is probably a great way to start but why not let the system do the research for you?

After you have established your wants, needs and desires, just let the system forward listings to you that meet your criteria! Any real estate agent who is a member of the local association of Realtors has access and the capability to set up the search.

Then, as listings enter the market in your desired area that meet your needs, you receive an email link in your mailbox. Pretty simple and you don't have to worry about it. I always advise my buyer clients to review the listings and then drive by the area and house. If it looks like it has possibilities and you want to see it, just let me know. This system works great as we see homes my buyer clients have reviewed and on their schedule!

What type of search criteria works best? Because the number of properties is so great I recommend you use the following areas, at a minimum, to define your search criteria:

  • Age of house. For example, built after 1995, etc.
  • Location. City, zip code, subdivision, etc. depending on how specific you desire. Also, your familiarity with the area will help define this item.
  • Number of bedrooms,bathrooms.Pool. Private or community pool. Or, none - not everyone wants a pool!
  • Garage. Car capacity/size.Type of Property. Single family detached, condo, town house, etc.
  • Square footage. Some folks don't want to clean a large house; some want lots of space!
  • Price Range. Probably the most important factor. Why get listings you can't afford?

Some sources state that up to 75% of all buyers begin their search for a home on the Internet. Why not let the Internet work for you?

If you are in the market for a home in the Viera, Suntree, Melbourne and Rockledge areas of Brevard County, I would be hapy to set up a search for you. Just email me at agent@moving or give me a call at 321-255-2600.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

HUD'sGood Neighbor Next Door Program offers buyer assistance

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Affairs has special programs that assist some first time home buyers. One of these programs is the Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program.

This program offers a special incentive by way of a discount of 50% from the list price of the home. OK, there is a slight catch - you must live in that property for 36 months!

This program has an intended eligible target area of law enforcement officers, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, firefighters and paramedics.

Eligible homes are located in designated revitalization areas. There are some of these properties located in Brevard County Florida although the number is limited. If you would like information on these properties, feel free to contact me. If you are buying or selling in Viera, Suntree, or Rockledge, Florida, please give me a call. I would welcome a chance to assist you in any way possible.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Email me at or call 321-255-2600.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Don't Let Your Listing get "Dismissed"

I know my market area. I know what is for sale. I know what has sold and for how much.

How do I react when I see a new listing that is obviously overpriced?

I mentally cross it off the list. I am almost always working with a buyer client. I know what my client's require in a home and scan the MLS in search of a matching property. I also know what the price range is for their desired property.

A real estate agent can not know all areas. I specialize in the Suntree, Viera, Rockledge and Melbourne areas of Brevard County Florida. Because I limit my market area I have the luxury of knowing the details of my area.

When I see a new listing I review it. If it is unreasonably priced, I usually see who the agent is that is marketing the property. I initially dismiss the property as a newer agent trying to get listings no matter the cost. Sometimes I am wrong and see a familiar name on the listing page. But, for the most part, I will concede the newer agents are the ones who price high. [By the way, although I don't profess to be an expert in all areas, I do have some excellent neighborhhod experts who I would gladly refer you to!]

Folks, this ain't a seller's market. I remember the "old days" when my buyers lost out on a house even though they offered 100% of the list price with no contingencies! Buyers today have lots of choices. Buyer agents now sift the multitude of listings to match their client with the best potential properties!

So, when your listing is getting ready to expire, it is time to take a hard look at that price and marketing plan. I am not in search of expiring listings. I do re-list properties that have expired but only when I am called. I will not "put down" the other agent. But, if called, I will speak my opinion, truthfully with no potential for a misunderstanding.

My advice to you is to not let your listing get dismissed. Make it competitive and it will sell! Review your strategy!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida. Email me at if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: If your house is currently listed this is not a solicitation or an attempt to interfere with your relationship with your current Realtor.

Some but not a lot of 2008 Built Homes in the Viera Market

The real estate market in Brevard County has undergone "equalization." That is a term I read the other day used by a local broker in an article for the local mullet wrapper - the Florida Today.

I prefer to say the market has corrected itself. Personally, I do believe the investor segment of the market really fed the price increases and feeding frenzy to buy! Regardless, new construction has slowed considerably and will allow the inventory to return to a manageable level.

I decided to see now that it is mid-February how many homes are listed in the Brevard County MLS with a construction year of 2008. With only 81 properties fitting the 2008 criteria I was actually very surprised. Of course there are builders in the area with new construction homes that are not listed in the MLS. By the way, even if you are going to go into these new developments to consider a new home, I recommend you get yourself a real estate agent to accompany you. The agent on duty at the model home represents the seller - not the buyer.

The price range was all over the market. I noticed a listing or two where the construction was stopped with almost complete homes. Perhaps this was a funding issue or someone cutting their losses. The range did run from about $139,000 to the $2 million range for a 4500 square foot new Indian River front home.

Since I live and specialize in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas of the County I drilled down a little in these areas. In these areas there are 66 homes listed as new construction. Not a lot considering all the building boom of the past several years! The good news is that there are 300 homes for sale in this area that were built in 2007 so there are choices!

If you are considering a move to Brevard County and want information on any properties for sale, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached by phone at 321-255-2600 or by email to .

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Overpriced listings require patience.....

So you want to sell that Viera, Suntree or Rockledge house or condo? Ready to team up with a professional real estate agent and a flagship real estate brokerage? And, you already know how much you want for that property, right? How much??? Did I hear right???

I received a call from a seller wanting to place their home on the market. Apparently they have been trying to sell it for some time as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner). It is a very nice house in a convenient location. The problem - price!

These folks purchased their home about a year ago. They now want to sell it for 15% more than they paid.(And it looks like they paid fair market price - no special deal!) Now folks, just in case you have not heard it, the market has been down for about two years.

I do believe that prices have somewhat returned to an appropriate level although you still see reductions. Most of the new listings are priced realistically from the start which was not the case in the past!

As for my potential seller.... if logic prevails the list price will be realistic, if not...patience will be required. A property that is priced too high will just sit. It will become one of those properties people look at to justify the other "good deal."

If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree, Melbourne or Rockledge home and are unsure of the market price, let me know. I will provide you with a no-obligation opinion of what I believe its market value is at this time. If you are looking to purchase, please let me know as I welcome a chance to work with you.

And, if you are a first time home buyer, call me. My business Associate, John Feeley and I enjoy working with and educating first time purchasers. FYI, buyers do not pay the real estate agent fees, sellers do!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty. Melbourne, Florida. Call or email me at (321)255-2600 (office) or .

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My credit score is in the middle

I was speaking with a young lady the other day about purchasing a home. Actually she approached me. After a discussion about credit I asked the question: "How is your credit?"

Her response, "it is not is in the middle." I am not sure what she meant. She had no clue. I asked why she did not speak with a mortgage lender. Her response, "I am afraid of what they might say."

If you have never purchased a home and have no clue as to your credit-worthiness, just ask! Lining up a mortgage is the first step in the home buying process!

Credit scores are assigned numeric values that determine what an individual's credit-worthiness. The score will determine whether you qualify for a loan - be it for a car or a house. The higher the score, the better! Scores above about 730 are considered excellent and above 700 are good. By the way, a score in the middle may not be indicative of good credit.

There are several different companies that score credit so the lenders will usually look at all of them when making a decision. If you have never "pulled" a copy of your credit report, go ahead and do it. A consumer inquiry on their own credit report does not reduce the score. Go to to request a report.

The bottom line: Don't assume your credit is good or bad, check it out. Don't be afraid of what they may say either. Mortgage lenders are in the position to help you buy a house. They don't make anything if you don't get that loan!

So who do you call? Call your bank, your credit union, a mortgage company. Look in your phone book. Call a local real estate agent. Most real estate agents have personal contacts in the mortgage business. It does not hurt to ask!

If you are looking to buy a house in the Viera, Suntree, Melbourne or Rockledge areas of Brevard County Florida, please give me a call or drop me an email to .

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida, 1-800-651-6940.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Change how you see....

not how you look.... I saw this on a bumper sticker today. Not sure exactly what the bumper sticker was referring to but it stuck in my mind.

Perhaps it was intended as a way to look at yourself, your body, your weight? I could see where that would be good advice. Some folks, albeit most folks, are not happy with something about themselves. Just ask them, ask yourself.

As a real estate agent I can see some application for sellers and least the first part "change how you see." We all see our homes as the best in the neighborhood. We try hard to justify why our listing price should be higher than the other similar homes on the market. Unfortunately, the market sets the real price.

I propose we detach ourselves from the emotional attachment and take a well-reasoned, unbiased look at that house. Pricing unreasonably high for your market will not sell your house. Make that price competitive and potential buyers will come! Force yourself to see what others see! After all, rarely, if ever, is a home sold without having a buyer look at it first.

What about as a buyer? When we see a house we like we have a tendency to find the faults. My experience has been that a lot of buyers will nit-pick faults in greater number if they like the house. Take a look at the property from the seller'sperspective - offer a reasonable - not a potentially alienating low ball offer. After all, it is business and we are adults - really!

Either way, regardless if buyer or seller, I suggest we modify how we see things. Buying and selling a home is an emotional event and requires work to see things as others see them!

Buying or selling a home in the Brevard County areas of Viera, Suntree, Melbourne or Rockledge? I would appreciate a chance to earn your business. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida.

Don't Choose Your Realtor from an Open House......

I was reviewing my usual real estate blogging web sites this morning. I was really surprised to read a real estate agent's article that told consumers to "not choose an agent doing open houses." I am not sure where he was coming from although his summary was on target - check out any real estate agent before committing!

Choosing a real estate agent is not unlike choosing a physician, an investment broker, an attorney or any other professional. You do not use one single criteria. Choosing a professional is not like choosing a gas station - use whatever or whoever is convenient!

As a real estate agent who does conduct open houses I was surprised by the author's thesis. I will quickly agree that most open houses do not sell the home. Open houses are conducted because owner's want them and real estate agents want work! I will hold the Open House to recruit new clients. Of course, my primary goal is selling my client's house! Generating leads is part of the real estate agent or for that matter any sales pro's life blood!

I say - don't dismiss the working agent. I do believe you need to do research on any agent. Look at their history, their market area, their internet presence, their brokerage placement in the local real estate market, ask for previous client references. There are other areas to consider in hiring your real estate agent.

If you are looking for a real estate agent to sell your Viera or Suntree home, give me a call. If you are looking to buy a home in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Melbourne Florida, give me a call. I may be working at an open house because I am actively seeking clients!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida. I can be reached by phone at 321-693-3850 or by email to .

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Let Your Listing Agent Know If You fall Behind in Your Payments

The real estate market in Brevard County Florida is filled with cases of short sales, pre-foreclosure listings, and bank owned (referred to as REO for "real estate owned") properties for sale.

Folks are finding themselves in difficult financial circumstances so it is not too unusual for someone to miss a mortgage payment. If you are having problems with your payments, contact your lender as soon as possible. Perhaps it was that darn adjustable rate mortgage and now your payments are through the roof! Try to work out some temporary arrangement to weather the situation.

If your property is listed for sale and the payments have become an issue, do not keep your real estate agent in the dark! I spoke with an agent the other day who received a call form another real estate agent about gaining access to his listing to perform a BPO (a broker price opinion). For your information, BPOs are typically requested when a property as being looked at as a short sale or possible foreclosure. Needless to say this agent was quite surprised! My advice to him was rather direct - call your client immediately!

If you have your property listed for sale or are even considering listing it for sale and the mortgage is not current - tell your real estate agent right away! Treat it like a toothache - the sooner you address the issue, the sooner a fix can be addressed!

If you have any real estate questions you would like answered, please feel free to email me your question to

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida, proudly serving buyers and sellers in the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Melbourne areas of Brevard County Florida! Visit my web site at .

Perfect Does Not Come in a Rental - Live With It!

I ran into a real estate agent today who could not hide her frustration. Apparently she has been working with a rental client now for over three weeks. When I say working - I mean actively showing properties.

This particular client has seen over 30 properties all over Brevard County. Apparently every one of these potential rental properties had something wrong.....incorrect counter surfaces, color of carpet or floor surface, location, layout...something. "Just not right...."

All of us have our particular desires when it comes to our living space. Unless you have a home custom built it is unlikely you will find the perfect property - even if you are purchasing it.

As you look for a rental home it is important that you create your "must have" list, your "nice to have" list" and "I can live with it list." It is doubtful you will find perfection, especially in a rental property! It is important that you prioritize this list and be flexible.

My suggestion to you as you search for a rental home is simple.

  • Budget. Set you price range.
  • Location. Decide on the area.
  • Type of property. Single family, condo, townhouse, apartment. Single story, multi-story, duplex.
  • Lease term. Short term/temporary vs. long term.
  • Pets allowed. Yes or no, period.
  • Bedrooms required.
  • Community amenities.

Once you have decided on these basic factors the decision will become much more clear. And, remember, a rental is more than likely a short term solution, it probably will not be perfect!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Serving buyers, sellers, renters and all residential clients in the Brevard County communities of Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Melbourne.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

DC Nationals' Spring Training Starting in Viera

You know summer is on its way when the Major League Baseball teams start heading to spring training. The time has arrived for the Washington Nationals!

As the spring training home of the DC Nationals, you really see Viera spring (no pun intended) to life as the boys of summer start arriving. I was speaking with a member of the National's medical staff today and I believe he told me pitchers and catchers arrive next Friday or Saturday.

Although the spring training season is relatively short it is a great chance for fans of the Nationals to see their favorite players, get some great photos and really feel like a part of the team!

Space Coast Stadium, located in Viera right off I-95, is a great place to watch the games. Seating 8,100 fans fans, regardless of seat location, you are always near the action! Built in 1993 Space Coast Stadium is modern, comfortable, easily accessible, with a great atmosphere!

With home games on the schedule against the Braves, Mets, Dodgers Orioles, Cardinals and more...this is a great chance to see major league players up close! So, if you can make it to a game, take advantage of the opportunity. Ticket prices are really reasonable running for $8 to $24 behind home plate!

See you at the ballpark!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent working with buyers and sellers in the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Melbourne areas of Brevard County Florida. Give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me at .

Friday, February 08, 2008

Short Sales in the Higher End Market of Brevard County Florida

Even the most casual reader of real estate news stories, I am certain, has heard the term "short sale." Just in case you are not familiar with what a short sale is, here is a brief summary.

A short sale is a "for sale" situation where the anticipated market value/price is less than the lender is owed. Basically, the seller is "upside down" and the lender may accept less than the mortgage payoff. Potential buyers make an offer and it is totally at the lender's discretion whether they will accept such an offer. Some buyers have ended up purchasing properties at fairly nice discounts.

A word of caution with short sales: patience is required as it sometimes takes a while to get a response from the mortgage holder.

I have seen a lot of short sales in the low to mid price range of the market. I checked the Brevard County MLS for listings marked as possible short sales and found an interesting fact.

There are 18 properties listed in the MLS as "short sales" where the list price is $500,000 to $1.3 million. I was really amazed! When I think of short sales I was expecting lower end prices - not what I consider luxury type homes.

Bottom line - there are bargains in Brevard County for buyers in all segments of the market. If you are fortunate enough to have the resources and want a good deal on a high end home, take a look at the short sale market.

For information on the short sales listed in Brevard County, drop me an email to or contact me by phone at 321-255-2600 (office).

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Free Money....Get Your Free Money.....Free Money...Get Your Free Money!

Free money..... I read on a real estate blog today an article that asked "what are you were going to do with that "free money?"

Free money..... when is money ever "free?"

The original post was speaking of President Bush and the recently passed Congressional Economic Stimulus Package. Free money to stimulate spending. This sort of reminds me of when I was a kid. My grandfather owned a store. He would give me money at times as long as I spent it in his store. I guess this was his own economic stimulus package!

How does this "free" money relate to real estate? Surely you can not buy a house for $600 or even $1200 dollars. In the end, this money is not really "free" as someone will pay it back!

When you purchase a home and request the seller pay closing costs, is this also "free" money? It may seem like it is free but it really isn't. Had the seller not paid closing costs would they have negotiated the purchase price even lower? With a lower purchase price then perhaps the mortgage payment would have been less and your costs decreased over the long term. My advice....if you don't need the closing cost assistance, negotiate the price down!

However, if your circumstances require down payment assistance, go for it. Ask for the seller assistance and at some point your income may increase and your circumstances improve. Until then, use the seller assistance knowing it is not free but rather a cost you are willing to accept.

News is not "free" if it comes from the seller, the government, or a relative!

Buying or selling a home in the Melbourne areas of Suntree or Viera? What about Rockledge, Florida? Give me a call, please. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent with Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Email me at . Please read my other blog here.

Gated Properties in Viera Florida Area

If you are considering a gated community in the Central Brevard County area of Florida's Space Coast, take a look at all Viera offers! According to the active listings on the Brevard Country MLS system, there are 150 properties for sale in Viera gated communities.

About 90 of these are located in several of the 55+ communities, however there are another 60 or so in non-age restricted developments. Because Viera is a newer planned unit development you will find the majority of these homes are all newer construction (some brand new) and the oldest being built only 5 or 6 years ago! Viera is located near new schools, new shopping and restaurants, easy access to I-95, 40 minutes to Orlando, 20 minutes to the beaches....great golf...the list goes on!

Prices for the gated lifestyle varies considerably from around $230,000 to the higher end million plus dollar homes of Summer Lakes and Wyndam at Duran.

What does one find for $230K? Lets see, how about a 2001 built 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage patio home, 1600 sq ft living area in the Viera East Golf Course community of Stratford Place.

What does one get for $1.75 million? How about new construction, 4500 sq ft living area, 4 bedrooms, 4 bath, 3 car garage, pool, at the golf course community of Wyndam at Duran which is located on the new Duran Golf Club! Wow!

In between these two extremes of Viera gated communities you will find others to choose from such as:

  • Fairway Lakes at Viera: Beautiful Toll Brothers homes in the $500-700K range.
  • Tralee Bay: JerJef Homes around $500K
  • Colfax Landing: $500-600K range
  • Sonoma: $250K-500K range
  • Charolais: $700-800K range
  • Cortona: $700 range
  • Capron Trace
  • Capron Ridge
  • and others....

So if you are in the market for a Viera home and a gated community is on your "must have" list, the choices are many. Want more information on Viera homes? Please feel free to contact me by phone or email. I can be reached at 321-693-3850 or by email to .

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Check Your Real Estate Agent's Online Reputation

Is it Live or Is it Memorex? I may be telling my age but years ago there was an advertisement for magnetic music tapes (Yes, before CDs, DVDs,Ipods and MP3 players) by one company named Memorex. The advertisement coined the subject question.

Real estate clients are getting much more sophisticated today. They are interviewing multiple real estate agents before hiring one to sell their home or assist with a property purchase. And, they are going even further!

Many of these potential clients are reviewing the agent's Internet activities such as web sites and blogging. In other words, they are also checking the agent's "online reputation."

With more and more technological tools available many agents are using the Internet as a business solicitation tool. Something I read today opened my eyes regarding blogging. Did you know there are services out there that will automatically ghost write the blog and post it to the real estate agent's web log?

I guess I am a little old fashioned because I write all this stuff myself! [Of course, some of you may be thinking that if I were paying for this, it should be better!]

A web log can tell you a lot about your potential real estate agent. It can tell you what they think and how they see the market. It can reveal communication skills and technological acumen. It can tell you a lot about the "person" behind the real estate license. When someone posts something to the Internet it is there for the world to see - no going back. I am not here to say if "ghost written" blogs are better or worse but I do believe it says something.....perhaps about being too busy, taking short cuts, not being tech savvy, something.

If you are in the market for a home in the Melbourne Florida areas of Suntree and Viera, give me a call. Looking for a Rockledge property, please give me a call. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida, 321-255-2600 or by email to .

Rockledge City Council Rejects Proposed Low Income Housing Complex

Last night the Rockledge City Council rejected the request by a builder to construct a low income housing project in the Country Club Estates area of the city. The proposed development on 11 plus acres of vacant land was opposed by the homeowners in the immediate area. [Disclaimer: I am one of those homeowners.]

Rockledge Country Club Estates is an older established community in Rockledge. The tree lined streets wind along the fairways of Rockledge Country Club in a quiet, well maintained, residential environment. It is an area where the residents feel safe to walk the streets at night, jog during the early morning hours and know their neighbors. Rockledge Country Club is a private, member owned country club.

With an active neighbrhood watch program and no formal homeowner's association, the involvement and pride of the residents was very evident as they voluntarily came out to a couple of City Council meetings over the past few months to voice their opposition.

Apparently the owner of the proposed Hammock Harbor development intends to file a lawsuit over the "political decision." Any time elected officials vote one way or another, it is for the votes according to the developer. Could it be what is best for the city? At the center of the dispute is a parcel of land the city of Rockledge apparently owns. Regardless, as a real estate agent and a resident I say "Well Done!"

Rockledge is the oldest city in Brevard County Florida and one that I am proud to call home. If you are interested in relocating to Brevard County and would like more information on Rockledge, Viera or Suntree, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached at my office, Century 21 Baytree Realty, at 321-255-2600 or by email at .

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Think Relationship When Selling Investor Owned Rental Properties

I was reviewing Brevard County MLS listings this morning as I do every day. I saw a very interesting listing which looks like what my clients are looking for in a house. But, then I saw those dreaded words - Tenant Occupied, 24 hours notice required!

I understand that as an investor-owner it is in your best financial interest to have a tenant in place. However, I have issues with such listings for a couple of reasons.

First (this issue is not as important as the next), most buyers are on a fairly rigid schedule especially if they are in from out of town. This is a buyer's market right now. Buyers have lots of choices so unless a house is an unbelievable bargain, they just are not going to be inconvenienced to see such a listing.

My greatest concern about such an arrangement is ......the relationship between the owner and tenants. Why?

I have shown properties where the tenants did nothing but volunteer negative information about the neighborhood, purported problems, whatever. Were the issues real? Who knows as we never got to that stage because the buyers did not want to did deeper.

Also, many times the tenant does not help the seller put their best foot forward by keeping the property clean and uncluttered. Unless a buyer is an investor, the potential owner wants to see a nice home, staged well, very presentable, clean. In other words, they want to visualize themselves in the house. I have heard it said many times: "if you can smell it, you can't sell it!"

A cooperative tenant makes this so easy!

If you are an investor-seller I encourage you to develop a cooperative relationship with your tenant. Perhaps some incentive to work with you - not against you!

If you are looking to sell your home in Viera, Suntree or Melbourne Florida, please give me a call. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate professional with Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. I can be reached at 321-693-3850 or by email to .

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