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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pricing a Short Sale Correctly

If it is a short sale - price it attractively. I did a search of Viera, Suntree and Rockledge homes listed for sale as short sales. Some of the homes look nice but the list prices were, in my opinion, still way too high.

In my opinion, some of these properties would be priced too high even if they were being sold for fair market value. (In the end the home will sell for the price set by the market.)

I do not follow the logic of pricing a short sale higher than any client would ever offer? [A "short sale" property is one where the probable selling price will be less than the monies owed the lender.] Lenders want these homes sold. After all, banks don't want to own a property.

If you want to sell, price it right. After all, I am not going to waste my client's time looking at your listing!

If you are interested in the "short sale" market in Brevard County, Florida, please let me know. I would be happy to forward listings for you to review.

Why a Real Estate Blog for Viera, Suntree and Rockledge Florida?

If you have seen or read some of my previous 250 posts you know there are a variety of topics covered. What purpose does my real estate blog serve?

[Am I a writer who sells real estate or a real estate agent who writes? Don't ask any of my former English teachers! The answer: A Realtor who SELLS!]

First, I am hopeful that I can give some information on the areas of Brevard County that offer a great lifestyle. Brevard County is located along the central Florida coast and runs about 75 miles north to south...plenty of coastline, for sure!

Home to the Kennedy Space Center and other "high tech" employers, Brevard County has great schools, great shopping, lots of great recreation venues...and more.

Secondly, I seek clients! After all, this is my livelihood. The use of the Internet has come to the forefront of real estate marketing. If you want to look at listings, where do you go? The Internet. If you are seeking a real estate agent, where do you go? The Internet! If you are going to sell your home, it needs to be on the Internet!

I will admit that Internet marketing is only one tool, albeit a major marketing tool. But, today's consumer wants expects a real estate professional who knows how to use the tools available to them!

If you are considering buying or selling in the Suntree, Viera or Rockledge areas of Brevard County, please give me a call. I would welcome a chance to be your Realtor of Choice!

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Behind the Blog - A little about me!

I was reading a post on the Internet site http://www.activerain.com/. The post talked about the "who" behind the real estate blogs. It was thought provoking, for sure.

The author's premise was that if a person wants to look for listings, they search the Internet (for Brevard County Florida, http://www.brevardmls.com/). If all they want to look for are listings, then there are MLS entries galore! She was correct. Her premise was that if you want to find a real estate agent to work for you, the blog should tell you a little about the "person."

So, here is a little bit about me, Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. I must admit that I do hope some of my character traits shows through the postings I place here as well as on my "other blog," www.activerain.com/blogs/gwatersc21 .

I am a full time real estate agent serving primarily the areas of Suntree (including Baytree), Viera, and Rockledge Florida. A small disclaimer - I work all over the County however my "Home" area is the are in which I have the greatest familiarity.

I am a retired U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps officer (health care administration). I have an undergraduate degree from The George Washington University and a Masters degree in Public Administration from Troy State University (now Troy University).

I retired from the Navy in 1995 and moved to Rockledge, Florida in 1996. I was previously the practice manager at Pediatrics of Brevard and served in a management position with Health First Health Plans.

I have been a real estate agent (full time) since 2003. As a Rockledge resident I am proud to serve and promote the great Central Brevard County areas of Viera, Suntree and Rockledge! By the way...my favorite movie - Toy Story...not sure what that says about me! And my son's dog....my friend "Diesel Dog!"

My approach to real estate is simple. If you are a buyer, I will show you the properties that meet your needs. I don't sell you a house...the house will sell you. Only you will know when the right house appears!

If you are a seller I will give you my honest opinion of its market price and how I will work for you. Then, if you decide to "hire" me, I work with you - always keeping your interests above all else!

Foreclosure Properties in Brevard County Florida

I read this afternoon on the Florida Today web site that 1 in 97 Florida homes is in some stage of the foreclosure process. Although this does sound alarming this also brings to light the opportunities that are in the market place!

I do not wish anyone to lose their home. I do not wish for anyone lose the "American Dream" of home ownership. For those in the process there are steps some are taking with the lenders to mediate the problem. If you are in a situation where you are behind or unable to make payments, please call your lender's loss mitigation department. Lenders do not want own real estate - at least not in this market!

Many of these pre-foreclosure properties are listed for sale on the MLS system here in Brevard County. Many are classified as "short sales." A short sale is a situation where the sale price is likely not to cover the monies owed. In these cases the sales process will require third party approval (the lender's approval). This process is not a quick so if you have time....check it out.

In the Suntree, Rockledge and Viera areas of Brevard County there are about 110 properties listed as requiring third party approval. That is quite a few choices! The prices range from around $100,000 to $1.3 million although most are probably under $250,000 (about 75 listings!).

I can provide information on any area of Brevard County if you are interested in short sales or pre-foreclosure properties. Just drop me an email to agent@moving2brevard.com and let me know the area (Palm Bay, Cocoa, Merritt Island, etc.), the price range, number of bedrooms and any other pertinent information.

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

Monday, April 28, 2008

Selling a House is not like the World Series

I was reading a blog this morning where the author was discussing the Detroit Tigers baseball season so far. Its author, Kris Wales is a Macomb County Michigan real estate broker. She is a big Tigers fan.

Her post got me to thinking about the home selling process as well as baseball. The baseball season is about 160+ games. It is a season that begins with preparation - off season, spring training and then the regular season. Selling a home is very much similar to baseball.

[Amazing how a real estate agent can link almost anything to the buying or selling of real estate!]

In the home selling process the off-season training can be likened to routine maintenance .... doing the things preemptively that better prepare you for the season. These could be things like maintaining the roof, the paint, updating the kitchen or bath (sort of like a team drafting new talent to replace the outdated player who has reached the end of his career).

Let's see..spring training. That is when the sports team get serious about prepping for the upcoming season. Fine tune the skills, get the house ready. Perhaps a pre-listing home inspection and address those issues, interview and select your agent and put the market plan in place.

Now - the season. It is in the MLS. The marketing is in place. The best effort is put forward. The buyers come and...then it happens -

You won the World Series! Season over, house closes and time to celebrate your success!

Hopefully your sales "season" is not 160+ games (showings)!

Selling your home is like the baseball season...success comes after all the hard work - during the off-season, spring training and the "real" season!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where are all the high rise buildings?

I had an interested prospect stop by the office yesterday afternoon. Saturday afternoon and I was doing floor duty - something I still do even in this market!

He was traveling north from Fort Lauderdale to visit friends in New Smyrna Beach (about an hour north up I-95). His friends had made the suggestion he check out the Melbourne area. As the Century 21 Baytree Realty is located near Interstate 95 in Viera he chose to stop by our office. (It could have been that big billboard at the off-ramp.)

I took about an hour or so and showed him around the Viera area. It is quite easy to get around as Murrell Road and Stadium Parkway run parallel to the Interstate with a convenient flyover and a couple of nearby exits and underpasses.

We viewed a nice townhouse at Capron Ridge (east of I-95) that was priced at $199,900. Nice but it was a two-story. We went over west of I-95 and stopped by the Daintree subdivision. There we saw a very nice, albeit priced out of our range, model home by Arthur Rutenberg Homes, a custom builder. What a nice home at almost $700,000!

We ended up at Heritage Isle, a 55+ community. After a tour of the 21,000 square feet club house, we stopped by a couple of models. These homes were nice. Some were 2,300-2,600 square feet with three car garages. I believe the highest priced home was $316,000. A lot of home with many upgrades like granite counters, stainless appliances, beautiful tile.

After we registered with the builder (Lennar Builders) he made a comment that really caught my ear....he remarked about the missing high rise buildings! The nearby courthouse and annexes are about 5 or 6 stories tall. Except for a few large churches and the future-to-be-built Health First Hospital at Viera- there were no tall buildings. A lovely area, close to lots of things but no tall buildings!

Want to see tall buildings? Take a 15 minute drive over to the beach. There you can find some taller condos!

Considering a move to Brevard County? Give me a call and please check out the Viera and Suntree areas. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Taking the Stress out of real estate!

Dealing with stress is something many of us face each day. I read an article just the other day in a magazine about exercise and how it reduces stress. Many folks reduce stress these days with the pill bottle...some with the beer bottle. Life is stressful at times. Reducing stress is important!

In the real estate business being a seller can be stressful. Who are these people coming inside your private domain? Who are these people who leave and talk about "your home?" When will that offer come? Keeping the house "show ready" at a moments notice can be stressful! Getting to the closing table is stressful....correction, can be stressful. A good real estate agent representing you can help reduce the stress, if not remove it!

Being a buyer is stressful. Deciding where you want to live. Deciding how much you want to spend on a house. Getting that mortgage pre-approval that really means something. Closing the transaction...moving....getting the kids in a new school....starting a new job if its a relocation. All very stressful activities.

The average number of days on the market in the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge areas of Brevard County Florida is about 110 days. That is a a lot of days to sit...and be stressed out if you are the seller. The best way to reduce the stress - price your house correctly initially if you are the seller.

The best way to reduce stress if you are the buyer - get a realistic pre-approval, look at houses within your budget, and offer a respectable price - and use a real estate professional!

Buyers and Sellers are not adversarial (really)... both sides can work together and win! The one thing I have seen that turns the relationship adversarial - GREED! Greed on the part of buyers or sellers. And, I have over the course of the past 5 years worked with both.

The real estate transaction has many components and players. Each has a purpose and a responsibility. Understanding the process, the purpose and who each of the players are is one of the things your real estate agent should explain early. If not, ask them! Knowledge of these issues will reduce the stress somewhat!

Looking to sell your Viera, Rockledge, Baytree or Suntree home? Looking to purchase a Suntree, Baytree, Viera or Rockledge home, give me a call (321-255-2600) or drop me an email to agent@moving2brevard.com .

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

Friday, April 25, 2008

How about a check-up for the old house?

I did it today. I went to the doctor for a physical exam. Actually I had it scheduled previously but found a way to have a conflict so it had to be re-scheduled. I guess once I passed the 50 mark I stayed away from check ups and the like. Not sure why as that seems to be when you need to be more diligent...

This got me to thinking about houses. Actually, being a full-time real estate agent I often think of houses...buying and selling them in Brevard County Florida especially the Suntree, Baytree, Viera and Rockledge areas.

As a home owner you should take care of maintenance issues as they occur. But many of us defer that maintenance just as I deferred that exam! You should have that air conditioning/heating system checked once a year. It saves money in the long run when the major appliances are running efficiently!

Some of the other potential issues can be looked at by the average homeowner. Check that safety reverse on the garage door opener. Check for leaks in the gaskets around doors and windows. If a faucet leaks, fix it or call a plumber. You will save on your water bill. Most of these issues are environmentally friendly as well as cost effective.

And when you get ready to sell, buyers will appreciate the love you have shown "their new home."

Thinking about selling that older home? Consider having a pre-listing home inspection done. It is not that expensive (a few hundred dollars or so) and it may just uncover some little issues that can be addressed before a potential buyer finds them! [likewise, all buyers should have an inspection done on any home they are considering purchasing!]

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

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reasonable Rental Homes in Viera and Rockledge, Florida

I was doing some research this afternoon for an owner of a rental property in Rockledge. I noticed that in the Rockledge and Viera area there are almost 100 single family homes for rent.

Although the prices range from about $900 to $5,000 per month, the going rate for a 3 or 4 bedroom home looks to be between $1,000 and $1250 a month. Some of these are relatively newer homes in deed restricted developments.

Considering a move to Rockledge or Viera and want to find a rental home while you get acquainted with area? Give me a call or drop me an email. I would be happy to assist you in locating your Viera or Rockledge home. If you are in the market to purchase, there are some really nice deals as well.

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

Pricing a Home to Sell

Pricing a home to sell in this market is not tough. The thing that is tough is realizing that the list price may be lower than you think.

I have not met a seller yet that has a realistic expectation of their selling price. Even in the days of the seller's market when homes were going as fast as you could put a sign in the yard the seller's expectations were high. I guess it is human nature to believe your home is worth more than it really is.

Who sets the selling price?

First, let me clarify. The "selling" price is the real price a buyer is willing to pay after considering all other competing properties. The "listing price" is something different. Consider it the "offering price." Is the offering price ever the selling price? Rarely, but it does happen.

Buyers have an expectation of negotiating a better price. This may be realistic. To close a transaction the seller wants to feel as if they got a good deal. Likewise, the buyer has an expectation of getting a good deal as well. A little give off the listing price may accomplish this.

In the real world the market sets the price. Regardless of the offer, a property has to appraise at least at the contract price. The banks have been burned in the past few years. The market has tumbled. Besides, you really don't want to pay more than the fair market value, do you?

Appraisers are going to get the prices of the last two similar homes sold in the immediate area which match the buyer's desired home. Unless the buyer is paying cash, an unfavorable appraisal will stop the deal.

So, if you really want to sell your home, price it right. Expect to negotiate down or give some little concession. And, it will sell. An over priced home only makes he others look like a good deal!

If you are considering selling your Viera, Rockledge, Suntree or Baytree home, please give me a call. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Selling Your Home - Consider ALL the competition when setting your price.

I am not sure why I have not addressed this topic before. A very astute client of mine mentioned to me that he was surprised I had not written on this topic. So, Ed - this one is for you! Thanks for the suggestion.

So you have decided to sell your home. You call in a couple of real estate agents to interview. They all bring you comparable listings for homes similar to your property (age, square footage, construction materials, location, lot size, etc.)


But, if you are in an area with lots of new construction, another comparable needs to be added to the equation - builder and developer pricing.


Although new home construction has slowed in many areas, there is probably still new home inventory for sale. Mr. and Mrs. Seller, you will be competing with these houses as well.

Take for example the Viera and Suntree areas of Brevard County Florida. There are lots of existing re-sale inventory. And, builders are out there trying to complete construction in new developments such as Heritage Isle (single family homes, 55+ community) in Viera and Phillips Landing (single family homes) in Rockledge, The Ventura at Turtle Creek in Rockledge (condos).

Over the past couple of weeks I have shown existing homes and new construction. I have seen some very attractive new construction prices. The re-sales I have seen are priced at best equal to new construction price. Actually I have seen some priced way above the new homes.

(Why buy an older home when a new, never lived in home can be bought for the same price?)

If you are serious about selling, make sure your real estate agent knows what the developer competition is offering and consider that when you set your price. If you price higher than the developer, do so with the knowledge of ALL your competition.

A word of advice - use your real estate agent even if you are considering purchasing new construction. They represent you. The on-site agent works for the builder! Take your real estate agent with you to see the new construction, please!

If you are considering purchasing or selling a home in Viera, Suntree, north Melbourne or Rockledge Florida, please feel free to contact me. I would welcome a chance to be your Realtor of Choice in Brevard County Florida.

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

Monday, April 21, 2008

How does one choose a 55+ community?

You have worked hard. You have reached the point where you don't care to take care of that large yard. You want to spend time enjoying the activities that bring you pleasure.

Perhaps you are tired of the cold winters and shoveling snow, having to plan your activities around that "nasty weather." Maybe a 55+ community is in your thoughts. How do you choose the right location?

The first thing I recommend you consider is the type of community. Do you want one that is totally maintenance free (lawn, physical structure maintenance)? Do you want a situation where the outside maintenance is taken care of? Some folks enjoy working in the yard. Some folks don't mind the maintenance of the house? The amount of "maintenance free-ness (is that a word?) should definitely be a factor in your decision.

What about the general location? There are 55+ communities all over the United States. Do you want to be near your family and friends? Do you want easy access such as major transportation routes or a nearby airport or AMTRAK service? You are retiring, not going into asylum!

Once you have decided on the location then the question is how much house? If you have a large family and network of friends who may be visiting you definitely need a larger home. If you will be the one doing the visiting, then a smaller home or condo may be best.

In Central Brevard County there are several 55+ communities offering varying degrees of services to the home owner. Heritage Isle has condos, larger estate homes, smaller manor homes...lots of choices. Indian River Colony Club offers total maintenance free living. Grand Isle is another nice 55+ community in Viera.

Regardless of what you are looking for, please consider Viera! The prices are very reasonable. The location is great (near the beaches, near Orlando International Airport, near lots of great golf courses and more!).

Want more information on the 55+ opportunities in Brevard County Florida, please drop me an email to agent@moving2brevard.com or contact me by phone at 321-255-2600.

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

Want a slogan...hire a slick ad writer!

Want a slogan...hire a slick ad writer! Want to sell your home, hire me!

I was reviewing keywords used in searching blogs yesterday and someone found my blog by using a search for "great real estate slogans." I am not sure how my blog came up with that search!

OK, so you live in Viera or Suntree Florida. You have a really nice home in a nice subdivision. Perhaps it is even on one of the excellent golf courses in the area (Baytree National Golf Links, Viera East Golf Course, Duran Golf Club, Turtle Creek Golf Course). Now, you want a nifty slogan and lots of ads....lets see, you need a writer!

No? You don't want a slick slogan? Don't want pointless advertising that only wastes money? Oh, I misunderstood.

You want me to sell your house! I will admit I am not the flashiest guy in the world. I don't drive the flashiest car in the world. I may not be, no - correction, I am not the life of the party. But what I do, I do well and with drive and professionalism!

How will I sell your house? First, I will tell you what its real worth is....not some inflated figure to stroke your ego. Next, I will tell you how I plan to market the home. Then I will give you my recommendations for things that can be done to show it better. I may even go so far as to recommend a professional home stager who knows her stuff! And this is just the beginning.

The bottom line: I WILL SELL YOUR HOUSE.

If you are looking to sell your Suntree, Viera, Rockledge area home, give me a call. I would love a chance to work for you!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Conveniently located in Viera (next door to Denny's - coffee is on me!). I can be reached by phone at 321-255-2600 or by email to agent@moving2brevard.com .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Maintenance Free 55+ Community Living in Florida

55+ communities come in varying degrees of "maintenance free" services in the Viera and Brevard County Florida area. In some communities such as Heritage Isle the maintenance provided is exterior... i.e. yard, plants, landscaping and the like. Some folks are willing to maintain their private residence - they just don't want yard work. They want the sense of community and activity that comes with carefree 55+ living!

Now, take Indian River Colony Club in Viera. Founded in 1986 for former or serving officers of any U.S. uniformed service, this community's monthly maintenance fee is quite a bit higher than communities such as Heritage Isle. But, this fee is for total maintenance including roofing, appliances, pest control, painting, lawn care and the like. This is total maintenance free, worry free living.

I have enjoyed quite a bit of interest from foreign buyers who like the idea of a gated community that is totally maintenance free. Why worry, when you can just come to the States for a holiday?"

Indian River Colony Club does have a predominance of former military officers as residents (80% required to be). A community that is owned by its residents IRCC features an 18 hole par 72 golf course. It does have a 24 hour guarded gate, its own pool, three tennis courts, a "country club"(that reminds me of the officer's club) and more.

Admittedly, it does cost more for membership in the Indian River Colony Club than the other 55+ communities. The last I heard it cost $8,000 for membership. There are a bunch of other considerations that can be explained in person! If I recall correctly there is also a $3000 one time recreation fee which included access to golf and tennis for the first year. Afterwards, there are separate fees for tennis and greens fees. (If you are interested in Indian River Colony Club, call me and lets arrange a little tour!)

The totoal maintenance fee on your home depends on the model purchased, club dues, monthly club minimums, etc. If IRCC sounds like the place for you, drop me an email and I will get you the information requested. At the end of this blog is an information request form.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, retired U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps officer, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida.

There is a difference between 55+ Community Living

Anyone who has read my blogs recently knows I have been commenting frequently on Brevard County Florida 55+ communities, specifically the Viera area. I was reviewing my most recent issue of Military Officer magazine this morning and saw an advertisement for Indian River Colony Club.

[By the way I am a retired U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps officer and life member of the Military Officers Association of America , the publisher of Military Officer magazine.]

The advertisement referred to it as "country club living." The ad states it is not a resort but feels like one. I have written a few posts on the Viera area 55+ communities. Here are some quick links to some of the previous posts on this site as well as http://www.activerain.com/ :

55+ Community Living Does Not Mean Living in a Box

Heritage Isle - The Premier Gated 55+ Community in Viera

More information on Heritage Isle

55+ Communities in Viera

More Information on 55+ Communities in Viera

The reason the advertisement caught my eye was that Indian River Colony Club reminds me of "officer housing". I will admit that my experience was positive...officer housing nice, amenities nice, private, and more. The Indian River Colony Club (IRCC) club has a little "O' Club" feel as well. And the golf course....that is where the country club living comes in!

Although this 55+ community is not restricted to former military officers I do believe if you are a retired officer, you will love the environment. Of course you may very well like the Heritage Isle environment...or the Grand Isle environment. You will need to see them all....as there are differences in 55+ community living!

If you are interested in the 55+ communities of Brevard County, please let me know. I can be reached by email at agent@moving2brevard.com or by phone at 800-651-6940.

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

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Brevard County Florida Schools Information


If you are considering purchasing a home in Brevard County, Florida one of the most important considerations is the quality of schools in the area.
From what I know about our local Brevard County schools are, for the most part, excellent!
One of the nicest tools available to the consumer is this little tool, SchoolMatters.com. It allows you to select any school or school district in the country and instantly bring up information. The ability to compare local schools is a very useful tool when comparing areas within school districts.

Of course I always recommend you check with the specific schools in any area to ensure children from a particular address can attend a school. [Sometimes, because of redistricting or crowding or some other issue, the closest school may not be the school assigned to a particular address.]

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

55+ Community Living Does Not Mean living in a Box!

It seems that all I have been writing about over the past week or so is the 55+ community of Heritage Isle located in Viera, Florida. The community offers condos, "manor" homes and "estate" homes. There is a floor plan size that fits everyone's idea of 55+ living!

The Terraces at Heritage Isle is the condo community. These condos are currently offered in three different floor plans ranging from 1,194 to 1,408 square feet living area. All three models offer two bedrooms and two baths. Based on the latest information I have available, the monthly total homeowner association fees are $429 monthly for the condo complex.

The "Estate" models are the largest of the homes being built by Lennar. The three models offered are all 4 bedroom, three bath with three car garages. The smallest model is the Barclay with 2,167 square feet living area. The mid-size model, the Grafton, has 2,396 square feet under sir conditioning. Finally, the Coventry offers 2,695 square feet living area.

All three of these models are spacious! All feature separate living and dining rooms and a covered porch. All have granite contertops, 42" maple cabinets, GE stainless steel appliances and more! If you are looking for generous space, the "Estate" models deserve a look! Monthly homeowner's association dues for the Estate models is currently $294.20.

The smaller "Manor" models offer many of the same appliances and features as the larger models. Currently there are two 3 bedroom models and one 4 bedroom "Manor" models being built by Lennar. The "Raleigh" model is the smallest at 1,577 square feet living area. The "Brentwood" model has 1,840 square feet living area. The largest model, the "Williamsburg," is the 4 bedroom unit with 1,980 square feet living area. All three of these models can be purchased as new construction and some are available as re-sales! Homeowner's association dues for the "Manor" homes is currently $284.48 monthly.

The above models are examples of what is being built new. There are some re-sales with floor plans that are no longer being built but still quite desirable. Also available are duplex models with monthly dues of $290.49.

If you are looking for a 55+ community in Brevard County, Florida, Heritage Isle deserves consideration. For information on the homes available, please feel free to contact me at agent@moving2brevard.com or by phone 321-255-2600.

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

Friday, April 18, 2008

It is not easy being......

Was it Kermit the Frog who said it wasn't easy being green? I think so. It is not easy being a real estate agent in today's market. It is not easy being a middle class American trying to raise a family. It is not easy being 24 years old and learning life is not always fair.

It is not easy being....a SELLER!

There are tons of challenges that face us each day. If we were given our "druthers" we would choose other routes. Sometimes life's situations require that we sell our home in a buyer's market. That is not easy.

But, as with all of life's other challenges, there is a way to succeed and overcome the challenges we face.

How does one sell in a buyer's market?

The first thing is to price your home correctly. Regardless of all the marketing tools available, price is the most effective! I am not talking about a fire sale or giving away the homestead. No, just price it fairly on your current market.

I can't tell you what the right price is for your market...unless you live in Brevard County Florida. The person to tell you the right price is a competent real estate professional. Every market is different although the media likes to portray the market as one big market. No, real estate is local. And your local pro knows what the right price is!

There are other key considerations....taking care of the little problems you have deferred....getting rid of the excess "junk"....staging the home professionally...and other ways to be a successful seller.

My recommendation? Find a reliable, knowledgeable, local agent who knows your area and is willing to work hard! It is not easy being a seller but it is possible.

If you are looking to sell in the Viera, Suntree, Baytree, Rockledge and Cocoa areas of Florida, give me a call. Drop me an email to agent@moving2brevard.com . I will tell you what I think and you decide...no obligation. If the fit is right. I want to be your real estate professional.

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

Luxury or Necessity?

I was reading an article on a "real estate professionals" web site today where the writer asked the question of how difficult it is to be come a luxury market real estate agent?

I know what the agent is talking about however it occurred to me that owning any home is a luxury. But then again, I wondered...it owning a home a necessity?

Personally, I believe there is comfort in owning your own home. Over the long term there will more than likely be price appreciation. There are tax advantages to owning versus renting. I am not a CPA so I am not the one to give advice on taxes. With this question, call a tax consultant. I do know real estate taxes and mortgage interest are tax deductible. If you are an investor there are other tax deductions. There is a pride that comes with home ownership! There are responsibilities as well.

Only you can decide whether owning a home is right for you. Whether you consider it a luxury or a necessity, ownership of one's home brings a good feeling.

Some folks view owning their own home as the fulfillment of a life goal. Some view it as a necessity. If your circumstances and goals include owning a home in the Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida market, give me a call. Be it a luxury or a necessity, I would love a chance to help you find that home!

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

Do you own your house? or Does your house own you?

Does your house own you or do you own it? That is a real question for some in today's real estate market. I keep reading all these stories in the newspapers about foreclosures and short sales. I see listings where the home's value is obviously about 60% of the mortgage owed.

What does an owner do when they are making payments for another 25 or so years on a house that is worth very little. Most face up to the reality and go forward. They know that over the long run the market will come back. The home's value will appreciate, eventually. A house is where you make your home not to be viewed only as an investment!

Then there are the situations where life throws a curve ball. There is a serious illness in the family. A death in the family where someone has passed away. There is a job loss or the "new" job" pass so much less. Circumstances of life just seem to be making you feel as if the house owns you. The ability to make mortgage payments is jeopardized. The resources to maintain the home are not there. Even if you make the payments, repairs can not be made.

Sometimes you reach that point where there seems to be no solution. There may be a solution and and it needs to involve the mortgage lender. Contact the lender's loss mitigation department? Discuss the options openly and ask for some type of loan readjustment. Ask about some type of loan forbearance. See what the options are from the lender. In a worst case situation I would ask about consideration for a short sale (selling for less than the mortgage amount owed).

There are options and each one has its advantages. In my opinion the most important thing is to prevent a foreclosure proceeding!

If you are facing some tough challenges and a short sale may be a consideration, please feel free to contact me if you are in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge are of Brevard County, Florida. I don't have all the answers but I will give you my honest opinion!

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

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Construction Permits Up in Brevard County

According to a report published in today's Florida Today newspaper, the new construction permits issued for March 2008. The increase of 25% is welcomed news for the local builders and hopefully indicates the market will be looking up.

The numbers are still down from the permits issued several years ago but still, any positive news on the Brevard County real estate market is certainly welcomed. To read the entire article, please click here.

With prices at such an attractive rate, the time for buying in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge - and all of Florida's Space Coast - is now.

If you are interested in purchasing a new home in Viera Suntree or Rockledge, please contact me for your information needs. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida, 321-255-2600, email agent@moving2brevard.com .

Please visit my web site at http://www.moving2brevard.com/ and read my other blogs at www.activerain.com/blogs/gwatersc21 and http://www.movingbrevard.blogspot.com/ .

Heritage Isle - the premier 55+ gated community in Brevard County, Florida

I am convinced the premier 55+ community in Brevard County, Florida is Heritage Isle. I have spent three of the past five days showing and selling Viera and its community amenities! (I must admit that my office is in Viera, I have lived in Viera and the nearby town of Rockledge for 12 years!)

The area will sell itself.

Viera offers great shopping, easy access to Orlando, lots of recreational opportunities, excellent schools for families with children, several golf courses(at least 4 nearby courses), easy access to Patrick Air Force Base, nearby restaurants and health care facilities (a new hospital being built by Health First) and more.

What does Heritage Isle offer? In a word "lifestyle!"
  • This includes a 21,000 square foot club house with lots of activities
  • A huge pool
  • Activities and classes such as Ceramics, painting, computer classes, CPR training, billiards tournaments, shows in the ballroom, movie night, poker night and more! How about boccie ball, poker tournaments, yoga classes and more!
  • A fitness club/exercise facility as nice as any gym you can find anywhere!

All in a gated community!

The nearby Duran Golf Club and Baytree National Golf Links in Suntree are absolutely pristine! Also close by are the Viera East Golf Club and the Turtle Creek Golf Course located in Rockledge.

Heritage Isle offers new construction and existing re-sale properties. New Construction prices start around the $235,000 range go upward. There are also condos as well. Except for the condo units the monthly fees are approximately $300 per month.

Not in the market for a 55+ community, there are some great great deals in the Viera and Suntree areas, including the Baytree golf course community!

If you would like information on the premier 55+ community in Brevard County, please drop me an email at agent@moving2brevard.com or a call to 321-255-2600.

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

Monday, April 14, 2008

Viera - Florida's best kept secret!

Today was a busy day for me. I, along with my colleague John Feeley, Spent most of the day with a client visiting the Viera, Florida 55+ gated community of Heritage Isle. My client made a comment which I believe is the truth - Viera is the best kept secret in Florida! As a real estate agent that specializes in the Viera area, I can't agree more!

Whether you are looking for a 55+ community, a gated golf course community with a huge home, a condo community, a townhouse community, a neighborhood close to schools, new construction....you name it, Viera offers it all!

If you are considering relocating to Brevard County, Florida, Viera deserves a look! For nformation on Viera and the surrounding communities, please drop me an email to agent@moving2brevard.com or call me at 321-255-2600.

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

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Does a "HUGE" Price Reduction mean it is a good deal?

We all see those ads about products with "huge" savings. Every area in which I have lived has had at least one or two car dealers or furniture stores who had an enthusiastic pitchman screaming about the "huge savings" this weekend.


I see the same thing in real estate. OK, I don't see a little chunky guy yelling on TV about the great deal on Deercroft Drive in Viera Florida or any other Brevard County area.

[By the way I do have a listing at 2397 Deercroft Drive that is a good deal!]

Now, let's return to the scene of the crime...I mean to the question about price reductions. Are they a good deal? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. How is that for an answer? Sounds a little lawyer-ish! I will explain.


If a home is already overpriced a huge markdown may still not be competitive for the market! Sometimes the "huge" reduction is actually minimal but intended rather only to gather attention.

If your home is already overpriced, buyer's agents know this. A buyer's agent is not going to show your overpriced home - correction, overpriced homes do get shown in order to make the really good deals look good! The competition is just too keen for unrealistic pricing.


[Personally, with all the work involved in marketing a home, I fail to understand why agents take these non-competitive listings.]


If your strategy is to list high and then make a "huge" reduction, I recommend you re-think the strategy. Price it right from the start!


Want to sell in the Viera, Suntree or Rockledge areas of Brevard County? I would be very grateful if you would contact me and give me a chance to earn your business!


Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida. Visit my web site at http://www.moving2brevard.com/ . Read my other blogs at www.activerain.com/blogs/gwatersc21 and at http://www.movingbrevard.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 11, 2008

Market Report for Auburn Lakes development, Viera Florida

Here is a quick summary of what is happening in the Viera neighborhood of "Auburn Lakes." If you are not familiar with the location of Auburn Lakes, the development is in off of Clubhouse Drive in Viera, near the Viera East Golf Course.

For a Google map of the area, Auburn Lakes development, Viera Florida.

Most of the homes in this deed restricted neighborhood were built around 2002 and 2003. The community has a community pool, basketball court and tennis courts.

As of April 10, 2008, there are currently 12 homes listed for sale. Of these, 4 are "short sales." The price range for these homes are from $169,000 to $299,000. The majority appear to be in the $170-210,000 range. Currently there are 2 homes "under contract." The most recent two sales occurred in March 2008 . One of these homes sold for $165,000 (listed for $180,000) and the other sold for $208,500.

If you would like more information on the homes for sale in Auburn Lakes, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached by phone at 321-255-2600 or by email to agent@moving2brevard.com . Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Market Report for Ashwood Lakes subdivision, Rockledge Florida

Here is a quick summary of what is happening in the Rockledge, Florida real estate market for the neighborhood of "Ashwood Lakes." If you are not familiar with the location of Ashwood Lakes, the development is in Rockledge near the intersection of Murrell Road and Barnes Blvd.

For a Google map of the area click the following link, Ashwood Lakes subdivision Rockledge Florida.

Most of the homes in this deed restricted neighborhood were built between 1999 and 2002. The community has a community pool, basketball court and tennis courts.

As of April 10, 2008, there are currently 13 homes listed for sale. The price range for these homes is from $180,000 to $364,700. The majority appear to be in the $180-230,000 range.

Currently there are also 4 homes "under contract." The most recent sale was March 7, 2008 in which a home listed for $229,000 sold for $195,000.

If you would like more information on the homes for sale in Ashwood Lakes, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached by phone at 321-255-2600 or by email to agent@moving2brevard.com . Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Market Report "Phillips Landing" Rockledge Florida

Here is a quick summary of what is happening in the Rockledge neighborhood of "Phillips Landing." If you are not familiar with the location of Phillips Landing, the development is in Rockledge off Fiske Blvd not from Interstate 95. For a location map, click here. This location is excellent for those who need easy access to major highways for commuting (drive time to Orlando International Airport is about 40 minutes).

Most of the homes in this deed restricted neighborhood were built between 2004 and 2007. Community amenities include a community pool and playgrounds.

As of April 10, 2008, there are 12 homes listed for sale. The general price range for these homes is around the $190,000 to $230,000. Currently there are 2 homes "under contract." The most recent sale was March 3, 2008 in which a home listed for $265,000 sold for $235,000. There is also new construction available in Phillips Landing!

If you would like more information on the homes for sale (including new construction) in Phillips Landing, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached by phone at 321-255-2600 or by email to agent@moving2brevard.com . Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"I Don't have time for you real estate agents!"

I was speaking with a potential seller client this afternoon. This particular seller has a couple of properties she is interested in selling. I thought she wanted a real estate agent to list it so I called her as a result of a referral from another agent. I guess I misunderstood.

She apparently does want to get the properties sold but not through a real estate agent. She said there are people who will buy her homes immediately. In her words "I don't have time for you real estate agents!"

I asked how much she wanted for one of the homes. She said she would be happy to "walk away with XXXXXX dollars." I am sure that would make her happy - but it ain't going to happen! Why?

Because there are 5 homes for sale in her neighborhood. Two are short sales way under her "happy price." Her home is frame (wood) construction while the others are concrete block. From the outside they all look the same - stucco with paint! In this market frame construction is not as desirable as concrete (block or poured).

I explained the importance of pricing. However, she is convinced these investors will buy her properties. I asked how she will get them. Her answer - the signs are along side the streets. Yep, there are some of those signs around. These folks are not in the business of giving market price. They will want huge discounts from the market price.

I wished her good luck. Now, for the truth (from my perspective):

  • Accurate, realistic, competitive pricing sells quickly. Investors will buy your house if you are having a fire sale or giving it away.
  • Average Days on the Market is about 110-120 days. This means those priced right sell a lot sooner.
  • Real estate agents are not slow. It takes only a day or so to take photos, post the listing on lots of blogs, prepare direct mail, prepare flyers, get the print advertising lined up. Of course, if priced right, you may have an offer before all this happens!

Interested in selling or buying in Suntree, Viera, Rockledge or Cocoa Florida? Please contact me at 321-255-2600 or email agent@moving2brevard.com . Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida.

Short Sales - It is time for Lenders to get serious!

One day you read how the lenders have recognized the huge pre-foreclosure problem and are working with owners. Another day you read how the lender is dragging their feet and delaying "short sale" decisions until the home is foreclosed.

Do the shareholders of these financial institutions want to be shareholders in vacant properties? Do the shareholders want to see the values of neighboring properties further decline so the owner's equity vanishes (as does the mortgagor's interest)? Of course not!

If you have read any of my previous posts you know there are a lot of short sale properties listed for sale in Brevard County, Florida. I believe there were something like 800 last month. Today there are a little over 900! Regardless of the specific number, there are millions of dollars of lender money sitting here in these potential foreclosure properties!

So, are the short sell listings moving? For the period of January 2008 through April 9, 2008, there have been 53 single family homes marked "sold" that were listed as short sales. This information is extracted from the local MLS system and is dependent on real estate agents updating the system (in a timely manner).

I believe the above numbers demonstrate one of the pitfalls of the "short sale system." Either the lenders do not care or the "salaried guy" in the cushy job has no motivation to improve the turnover. I think it is the latter!

Short sales take a while to get "done" so be patient.... the guy in the "cushy job" took a long lunch!

If you are interested in the short sale market in the Brevard County areas of Suntree, Viera, Rockledge, Cocoa or Merritt Island, please give me a call or drop me an email!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Call me at 321-255-2600 or email to agent@moving2brevard.com .

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The price of gas, the price of hops, and the price of your time!

I was reading the local mullet wrapper this morning. Yes, nothing like starting my day with "Morning Joe" on MSNBC and the Florida Today.

There was an article about how the "experts" predict gas prices to "peak" this summer at around $3.60 a gallon. All-righty now.... I guess that is positive news! Lets see...also buried in the newspaper was the very disturbing story about the price of "hops."

Now I am not a brewmeister so I don't know the specifics but that sounds like the price of beer is getting higher! I guess that higher gas prices, when combined with the higher beer prices, will mean a proportionate decrease in drunk-driving incidents. Flawed thinking at its best! The drunks will switch to cheaper beer!

My original intent was to use the price of gas as a reason to do conduct your home purchasing research online. Why drive neighborhoods and look at houses, only to cross them off your list? Your "time" has a cost as well, doesn't it?

More and more real estate agents are using the Internet to market their listings. With digital cameras it is so easy to place a dozen or so photos online as well, even a virtual tour or slide show. For some of my listings I take even more photos and keep them on file just in case someone requests more photos.

Research does show that the majority of home buyers begin their search online. My experience is that most sellers search for their agent online as well. The Internet - a great research tool that does not cost $3.60 a gallon!

Buying or selling in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge, Baytree areas of Brevard County Florida? Give me a call or drop me an email. I would welcome a chance to discuss how I can assist you in the process.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida, 321-255-2600, email agent@moving2brevard.com .

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How does a real estate blog help you as a buyer or seller?

Search the web. You will find an abundance of blogs authored by hundreds of real estate agents. The topics are as varied as the locations from which they blog from! But, as a buyer or seller, how can you use these blogs? Do these blogs serve any purpose?

First of all, a real estate agent who is producing a blog is obviously in tune with the massive marketing power of the Internet! As we have become more technologically advanced so has the marketing of services and real property. If you are using the Internet to research real estate, shouldn't your selected real estate agent also have an Internet presence?

My goals as a real estate blog author include

  • prospective clients will get to know me before they call me.
  • tell the buyer or seller my area of specialization. Real estate is local and you need a local expert!
  • tell folks that I can have a sense of humor. Yes, I try to throw in a bit of humor occasionally. Humor can be used positively as a de-stresser!
  • tell folks about me, know my background. It gives folks a snapshot of my personal characteristics and traits. It gives folks a glimpse of who I really am!
  • give the consumer market reports from my local Brevard County area.
  • serve as a marketing tool as I advertise listings on my blog.
  • highlight communities such as 55+ communities, gated communities and golf course communities in Brevard County Florida
  • give you information on contacting me and information about my office, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida.

Yes, my goal is to provide information that will influence the decision to give me a chance to be your real estate agent.

I am just the navigator - not at the helm!

As a real estate agent who works with sellers I always take the position of being an advisor. After all, I see my role as being paid by the seller for what I know and, in the case of a seller's agent transaction, I do know the direction. I hold the map. I am the seller's GPS device that will lead them to their destination - a successful closing!

When an offer is presented by the buyer's agent it is not my role to dismiss the offer with that agent. It is my job to present EVERY offer to my client, the seller.

I never comment to the other agent in such a way as to offer a response on the offer. I may ask some clarifying questions such as buyer financing arrangements, timelines, who the lender is, etc. I just gather the facts (in writing) and make the presentation.

I make my recommendations but the seller is at the helm, in the driver's seat. I am the navigator! I answer questions the sellers may have concerning the offer. I may need to go back to the buyer's agent for additional information. I provide my clients with my honest opinion keeping my client's interest at the forefront of the transaction.

The trip from listing a property to closing on a sell is a route that can be filled with wrong turns and detours. That is OK because I am the navigator and it is my job to successfully make it the destination!

If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or north Melbourne Florida home, please feel free to give me a call. I welcome a chance to discuss how I may assist you and answer your questions.

Gary Waters. Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida. I can be reached at 321-255-2600 or by email to agent@moving2brevard.com .

Meet me at my Viera real estate office, please.

I made a comment on someone else's blog this morning that was talking about carrying some type of protective device. I remarked that "With the appropriate training a taser or a gun can be safe .... In this market, who needs a weapon...just a carry a "real estate agent for hire sign" and no one will come near you!"

The comment was intended to be a little sarcastic, perhaps a little humorous. But it got me to thinking that in our business safety is a very serious issue to be concerned with every day!

I read another article last week about one more real estate agent being the victim of a crime. This happened in south Florida and involved an agent who was robbed after meeting his prospective clients at a rental property site. He was fortunate, as others have not been so lucky.

There was young woman of 24 working at a RE/MAX in Canada who was murdered while showing a property. There are stories of agents being robbed in all areas of the country. Yes, the threat is real.

Real estate agents are in the "people" business but some "people" are dangerous. So, when your real estate agent requests you meet them at their "brick and mortar office," please understand. Please understand that most real estate clients are strangers when they first meet a real estate agent. Hopefully that relationship will develop into a long term one!

As for me, I will meet you at Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. We are located in Viera, next door to the Denny's restaurant...yeah, that is us in the big yellow building! Need directions, give me a call at 321-255-2600 or drop an email to agent@moving2brevard.com .

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Real Estate Blogs...a few great resources and links

I always start my day by reading about 20 real estate blogs (web logs). The authors are all very different. The focus of the blogs are not the same.

Some focus on the market area in nearby areas. Some focus on marketing techniques and the like. Some focus on home staging (preparing your home for selling). Some focus on nice to know information about the area. Some have an entertaining writing technique. Heck, there may be one here that sounds like the old character "Joe Friday" from Dragnet...you know - "just the facts."

Regardless of the focus, I wanted to share some links to a few of my favorites! Actually there are several more but I will save them for later!

Midori Miller of Daytona Beach, FL

Lisa Hill of Daytona Beach, FL

Gary White of Grand Rapids, MI

Melissa Grant of Crossville, TN

Faina Sechzer of Princeton, NJ

Terry Haugen of Melbourne and Palm Bay, Florida

Looking to buy or sell in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Melbourne Florida, please give me a call. I want to be YOUR buyer's agent.

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida, 321-255-2600 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com .

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Attention Getting Real Estate Headlines

I was looking over some Internet listings during the past couple of days. Some listings by real estate agents, some by owner investors, some by for sale by owners.... the entire spectrum. Some caught my eye - for different reasons.

First of all, let me say that I use multiple (I think about a dozen) web sites to advertise my listings as well as my services as a buyer's agent. The Internet is THE PLACE to promote your properties! I guess these headlines worked because I looked at the ads....that was the point.

Take "build wealth with cash flow properties" for instance. If you are a novice investor this may not be the best time to jump in the market. If you have the funding though there are some very legitimate bargains in the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and north Melbourne areas.

What about "smart people are buying now! What are you?" I see this as a little condescending and arrogant. I would not use this myself.... perhaps I am not smart.

One that caught my a few days ago..."buy one of these houses, get a car for free." Since there were several houses listed my guess is that it was an investor selling some of his "cash flow properties!"

In the end the goal is to get your property noticed and I believe a For Sale By Owner sign in the front will not do it in this market! As I stated in the first paragraph, some caught my eye - and that is the first step to real estate marketing! But it is not the only step!

Want to sell your Viera, Cocoa, Rockledge or Suntree property, call me. Give me a chance to come up with a creative headline and tell you about my total marketing plan!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent,Century 21 Baytree Realty, located in Viera. For those familiar with the area we are the "two story yellow building next to Denny's!"

Friday, April 04, 2008

Ordered a burger but offered steak?

What would you do if you went to the local Applebees Restaurant and ordered a burger for $6.99 and was brought a steak for $15.99?

That would not be a pleasant surprise! OK, if they give you the steak dinner for the price of a burger, maybe. But that is not usually the case.

Such is the experience of some homebuyers when they call their local agent and say "Let's go house shopping!" Before you know it you are being bombarded with homes that are priced higher than your budget. Fact is, I had a new client call me last week because several other agents had persisted at offering him higher priced properties than he wanted to consider.


In his case he had the money. He just did not want the larger, more expensive properties. He only wanted what he "ordered!"

If you are considering purchasing a home in the Viera, Suntree or Rockeldge, area, call me or email me. I promise I will only show you properties you are interested in seeing. And, as a buyer's agent I will only make money when you find the right house...because I get paid by the seller!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida. Email me at agent@moving2brevard.com or call 321-255-2600.



Lenders, Lenders....everywhere

I received proposal to accept real estate client referrals from an out of state brokerage yesterday. Sounded good initially so I asked for more information. Then I declined, why?

This particular brokerage wanted me to refer any clients they send to their "chosen lender." Nope! After almost 5 years in the Brevard County real estate market I have learned a few things.

First, I do not send clients to any specific lender, period. I do have a few that I have experience with, both personal and as a real estate agent, that are a real pleasure to work with in a transaction. Over the years I have had clients who selected lenders who were difficult to deal with, difficult to get in contact with, difficult in general. The real estate purchase transaction is challenging enough without the client having the stress of a non-responsive lender!

I prefer my clients work with a local lender? Why? Because they know the local customs and practices. They know that in our area the sellers typically pay for the owner's title insurance policy. They have relationships with many of the local closing agents. They know the local appraisers. They know about special programs like first time buyer programs and the Florida State Bond Programs!

My preferred lenders are those who are accessible. They are lenders who have a local brick and mortar office. I have never had an "easy" transaction with an Internet lender. Perhaps I should be considered a "mortgage snob!" I like the local banks, credit unions, and mortgage bankers, period.

If I am asked, I will provide the names of some of the local lender contacts. But, I will not send any buyer to anyone....not in exchange for a referral.

I do what is in my client's best interest. I believe that is why they choose me to be their buyer's agent!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent proudly serving buyers and sellers in teh Viera, Suntree, Rockledge areas of Brevard County Florida.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

"Short Sale" Market Report for Brevard County March 2008

Another month has come and gone in Brevard County Florida so what does the short sale market look like now? I was showing properties to a buyer client last week and I used the term "short sale." That was when she stopped me. Those of us in the real estate business sometime forget that not everyone knows our terminology. After a quick apology I explained the short sale process.

Briefly, a short sell is a situation where the probable selling price will not cover the mortgage amount owed a lender. Many lenders would rather sell "short" of the mortgage payoff to minimize their losses. Of course, there are usually extenuating circumstances so this is not a case where a seller just decides to sell at a loss!

A couple of points about the short sale....third party approval is required and the process can be lengthy. A normal sale is usually closed within a month or 45 days of the contract date. Obtaining lender approval is not as quick. An agent in my office just got an acceptance from the lender today. Her buyers had submitted the offer over 60 days ago! So, patience is required!

As of today there are 811 properties listed as short sales requiring third party approval. As I specialize in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas this will give you a snapshot of those central Brevard County areas.

Currently there are 87 properties in those areas listed as short sales. The list prices for these range from $89,000 to $1,300,000. Many of these properties are newer construction properties with 50 built after 2000 ( 21 are 2006 and 2007). The Viera area is a relatively new planned unit development and about 50 of these fall into that specific area.

Short sales present opportunities for buyers who have the time and money to pursue them. If you would like information on specific listings and prices, send me an email to agent@moving2brevard.com .

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

Viera Suntree Rockledge Florida Real Estate Market Report March 2008

The March 2008 Viera, Suntree and Rockledge real estate market is provided below. As a point of reference this report covers the city of Rockledge, the planned unit developments Viera and Suntree (including Baytree golf course communities).

Homes Sold - March 62


Average Sell Price - March $248,204 [93.4% of list $$$ ]


Average List Price - March $265,538

Median List Price - March $196,950

Median Sell Price - March $172,500

The average days on the market (from listing date to closing date) was 110 days for this area. This is consistent with the 111 days average for all of Brevard County for the same period. The average selling price for the entire county was $215,505 during March.

If you would like additional information on these central Brevard County areas, please feel free to email me at agent@moving2brevard.com .

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. The source of the above data is the Brevard County Realtors' MLS system.

Brevard County Market Report March 2008

The Brevard County real estate market continues to plug along at a relatively slow pace although I have experienced increased buyer activity over the past month. Currently, as of today, there are 7169 single family homes and 2177 condos for sale in the entire County. That is actually a net increase (when you subtract homes sold in March) of 945 properties over last month.

So, how many homes and condos sold in March 2008? Take a look at the below information and if you have any questions, please give me a call or send me an email.

RESIDENTIAL NEW LISTINGS = 1,369 (Down 5% from last month.)
RESIDENTIAL SOLD MARCH 2008 = 424 (Sales up 14% from last)
RESIDENTIAL AVG SALE PRICE = $215,505
CONDO NEW LISTINGS = 299 (Down 2.61% from Feb 2008)
CONDO SOLD MARCH 2008 = 62 (Down 12.68% from Feb 2008)
CONDO AVERAGE SALE PRICE = $195,798 (Roughly same as last month)

Data extracted from the Melbourne Association of Realtors' MLS system. Gary Waters is a Florida licensed real estate agent with Century 21 Baytree Realty in Melbourne. Email me at agent@moving2brevard.com or call 321-255-2600.

Proudly serving the Brevard County areas of Rockledge, Viera, Suntree, North Melbourne including Lake Washington and Baytree.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Are You "Acting" like a buyer or a seller?

I was reading something this morning. It was actually my daily morning mediation but it got me to thinking about how we behave. The real point was that we may profess to be something but others will know us by our actions!

This particular reading was targeted toward the way we live our lives. But, it also can be applied to the real estate business. In actuality it can be applied to sellers and buyers!

First, let me tackle the "buyer" actions. If you really are a buyer you will/ have

  • Your financing in place before you start looking at homes.
  • Know what you must have in a house. I
  • Know the area of your search.
  • Know your timeline.
  • You are ready to make a decision.

If you are "acting" like a buyer you will skip most of the steps above and, above all else, not be committed to really finding a property! I am sure you get the picture.

Now, what about the "seller" actions? If you really are a seller you will:

  • Select a knowledgeable real estate agent who knows your neighborhood
  • Price your home at a competitive, reasonable list price
  • Prepare your home to be shown to "strangers"
  • Make your home available at reasonable hours for showing appointments
  • Negotiate in good faith when a reasonable offer is presented
  • Accommodate the potential buyers when it comes to inspections and other necessary actions to close the deal.

If you are "acting" like a seller you will select your agent based on the one who tells you they will list for the highest price. You will make it difficult for your home to be shown. You will not worry about "fixing" anything. You will let the potential buyers try to envision the home without all that "stuff" in the way. Again, I am sure you got the picture.

There are two good matches in the residential real estate world -

Buyers who are acting who view property offered by sellers who are acting. And, buyers who are really buying finding the perfect home offered by the seller who is really selling.

Which match would you rather be a part of?

Interested in really buying or selling in the Brevard County Florida areas of Viera, Suntree, Rockledge, or Cocoa? Please feel free to give me a call or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com .

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

Viera Pool Home $238,900

This 2001 built 4 bedroom 2 bath home is located in Viera (Melbourne) Florida. With over 1900 square feet of living area it offers plenty of space and privacy!

Please take a moment and view the MLS listing here and a slide show.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. For more information please email me at agent@moving2brevard.com .


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