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Friday, May 30, 2008

4 Bedroom Pool Home Viera - Only $231,900!

If you are looking for a 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage pool home in Viera, look no further!

Only $231,900! 2001 built, 1902 square feet under air, solar heated pool, trussed porch overlooks enclosed pool.
Please contact Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida for more information at 321-255-2600 or email .

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rent or Buy? Look at the Housing Price to Rent Ratio

Housing price to rent ratio was being discussed on CNBC TV today. I caught the end of the conversation. The speaker (I failed to get his name, sorry) got my attention pretty quickly as I am a full time real estate agent. This tidbit of information got me to researching the topic on the Internet. Don't you hate it when you come across an interesting discussion and only get the tail end!

The premise of his discussion appeared to be if the costs associated with homeownership are less than the rental costs for a similar property then the money spent on purchasing a home may be a good deal if the ratio is below 20.

Of course, we do not have a crystal ball so we have no idea what the price of property or rent will be in the future. We can only know for sure what those prices are today.

How do you derive the housing price to rent ratio? During my Internet search this afternoon I read an intriguing article by NY Times writer David Leonhardt. Read his article here "As Home Prices Drop Low Enough, a Committed Renter Decides to Buy."

Mr. Leonhardt states "In concrete terms, a rent ratio above 20 means that the monthly costs of ownership well exceed the cost of renting." Please see the article for a very interesting graphic Mr. Leonhardt presents which shows a comparison of peak to the latest ratio for quite a few areas and cities.

This is interesting. I will not do the math for my market area (Viera, Suntree and Rockledge Florida). The formula is Price divided by Annual Rent = Ratio.

Does this mean that it now makes sense to buy?

Only you can know that for sure. There are lots of uncertainties in the housing market. No one knows if prices will continue to fall. No one knows if rental prices will increase. This is a personal, individual decision.

If you are considering renting or buying in the Viera or Rockledge area, give me a call. I will let you know what the rental rates and home prices are...then you can decide.

Regardless of your decision, I would welcome a chance to assist you in your search!

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

Open House (May 31, 2008) - Baytree Golf Course Home


If you are looking for a Baytree National Links golf course home that offers a very livable floor plan, direct golf course view, that is move in ready, stop by and see this home!

Located at 8197 National Drive in the gated Baytree development (Suntree) of Melbourne, Florida, this home sits on .31 acres on the 10th fairway of Baytree National. Featuring an open floor plan, this home was custom built and features lots of extras! The 12 by 37 back screened back porch, three sets of sliding glass doors to back porch, view from breakfast nook, and more.

Outstanding curb appeal! Features circular driveway, tile roof, hurricane shutters on all windows, and more! Built in 2001 by Joyal Builders you will be impressed with this 3 bedroom (plus a separate den/office) two bath home. The open floor plan makes the 2,174 sq feet of living area feel much larger!

Offered at $459,900.

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Can't attend? Please contact me at 321-255-2600 for a showing that meets your schedule!

Brevard County Market Inventory

I routinely receive inquiries about the Brevard County, Florida market. Most often I receive questions about the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas. Below is a table that represents all the properties currently listed as for sale in the Brevard MLS system. [These numbers were compiled from the Brevard MLS system on May 29, 2008.]

Vacant Land3511
Income Properties153

For the Viera, Rockledge, and Suntree areas (zip codes 32940 and 32955), the breakdown and percentage of total is shown below.

Income Properties31.9
Vacant Land992.8

One of the most telling thing about these numbers is that there is almost one-fourth of all townhouses and condos for sale located in the central Brevard County area! Also, if about 450 (an estimate) homes are being sold each month the current inventory is roughly a 15+ month supply! Bottom line - there is a lot to choose from in Brevard County!

The good news for buyers - sellers are negotiating if the offer is realistic!

If you are considering a home purchase in the Viera, Rockledge or Suntree area, please feel free to contact me at 321-255-2600 or by email .

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

The Greens at Viera East - Inexpensive condos, nice location!

I was discussing the Brevard County market yesterday, specifically, the condo market in the Viera and Rockledge. I am familiar with the market as I specialize in residential real estate in Rockledge and Viera (including Suntree).

The Greens at Viera East is a condo complex in Viera. I believe most of the units, if not all, were built around 1998. Nice location. Community pool, clubhouse, fitness facility, auto detailing area, putting green, close to shopping, I-95, golf courses, and more!

Several years ago these units were selling in excess of $200,000 for the larger units (3 bedroom). I remember I once had a two bedroom unit competitively priced at about $150,000 or so. That was then.

Now things are a very different. A two bedroom unit is for sale at about $85,000. A "short sale" three bedroom unit is for sale at $149,900. Now, this is a nice complex. But, the competition from additional properties and excess condo inventory has made this a great time to buy a condo! As a first time home buyer, a condo may be worth a look!

If a condo or town home complex is in your future, consider the Viera, Rockledge and Suntree areas. There are lots of choices from $85,000 and up!

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

Viera Zip Codes Confuse Some - Rockledge or Melbourne?

Having lived in Brevard County, Florida for the past 12 years, it never occurred to me that the zip codes for Viera were a little confusing. As a real estate agent serving the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas, I frequently have opportunity to forward MLS listing information to out of area parties.

Relatively new, Viera is a planned unit development in central Brevard County. Viera consists of areas to the east and west of I-95. Located 40 minutes from Orlando, 15 minutes to the beaches, great schools, great golf - you name it!

The zip codes for the Viera area include 32955 and 32940. The servicing post office for 32955 is Rockledge which borders the Viera area. This is the zip code for the majority of Viera development.

The other zip code is 32940 which is technically Melbourne. The servicing post office is located in Suntree.

The two different zip codes can further confuse folks when I send them MLS listing information for properties in Viera. If the zip code is 32955, then Rockledge shows up in the address. If the zip code is 32940, then area shows up as Melbourne.

If you are interested in Viera real estate please let me know. I would welcome a chance to answer your questions and assist in any way possible.

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Short Sales - Timing may be problematic!

Short sales are not fire sales! Short sales occur when the lender (3rd party) must approve the purchase offer because the sales proceeds will not cover the monies owed.

Short sales take time! I have been working with several buyer clients over the past few months in the Viera area. We always look at short sales. We look at "fair market value" sales. We look at new construction. I try to ensure my clients see the "big picture."

I will concede the short sale listings look attractive. They are not giveaways but still are well priced. The only problem with short sales - timing!

Buyers who are relocating have schedules that must be met. Giving a possible response to an offer is 60 days is not a choice! Thus, new construction or "normal" re-sales are often the choice.

If you have time, then short sales may present an opportunity. If you are on a less flexible schedule, short sales may not be a reasonable choice.

If you are considering a move to Viera, Suntree (including Baytree) and Rockledge, Florida, give me a call. Relocating due to a change in jobs? 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. I can be reached at 321-255-2600 or by email to .

Sunday, May 25, 2008

New construction choices in Viera!

I have been working with several buyers over the past couple of months. This is a good thing since it is a buyer's market here in the Viera, Suntree, Baytree and Rockledge areas of Brevard County, Florida!

The thing that amazes me is that the re-sale community (read that as listing agents and sellers) appears to be unaware of the competition from new construction! For sure, the builders are not producing a ton of move-in ready products. But, they are producing a steady stream of products.....

a steady stream at an attractive price!

I will admit that scheduling showing appointments for re-sales has been much easier lately. Folks are responsive to requests.

And many of the sellers are pricing fairly competitively...but given a choice between brand new versus re-sales at the same price, new construction has the advantage when the timeline fits! [Use a Realtor even if you are considering new construction, please!]

One other point as well...short sales. I have been told by several agents "I need at least 60 days" to get it closed. With no certainty of an offer being accepted, I see buyers opting for the other choices...fair market re-sale or new construction.

If you are considering a home purchase in the Viera and Suntree (including Baytree) areas, please give me a call. I would welcome a chance to be your Realtor of Choice.

Gary Waters, full time real estate professional, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida, 321-255-2600. I can be reached by email to .

Friday, May 23, 2008

Brevard County Sales rise in April 2008

I saw this article on the Florida Today web site this afternoon. As a full time real estate agent in Brevard County I am glad to see this hit the news.

I have been busier over the past two months. A very good sign for me as well as other full time Realtors!

The article of course reports April sales versus March 2008 sales. I will not bother to re-hash the numbers as this link will take you to the article. I did read elsewhere that sales have now increased three months in a row!

I will add that the median price of homes and condos that sold was down from a year ago. This is no surprise and is certainly further indication that it is a great time to buy that home in Brevard County, Florida!

If you would like information on homes for sale in Brevard County, please feel free to contact me by phone at 321-255-2600 or by email to .

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida - specializing in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas of central Brevard County.

There are Two Viera's - East and West of I-95

I have spent the past few weeks working with buyers. The major focus of the property search was Viera. For your information, Viera is a planned unit development in Central Brevard County.

Viera has much to offer its residents. After showing properties (both new construction and re-sales), it occurred to me that something very obvious to me may not be as obvious to someone relocating to Brevard County. If you visit developments east of I-95 you will find a "different" Viera than the developments west of I-95.

What are the differences? First of all, both locations offer excellent schools, parks, easy access to shopping, restaurants and more! There are 55+ communities of each side. There are single family homes on both sides. There are condo communities on both sides.

Additionally, there are golf courses on each side (two course east, one course west). If you are a golfer there is also the nearby Baytree National Golf Links and the Turtle Creek Golf course. Getting from one side to the other is easy with the recently opened Viera Blvd "flyover." Access to US 1 and I-95 is easy from either side so if you are a commuter, this should be a non-issue.

So, what are the differences? The major difference is the west side offers more newer construction (still some new construction east of I-95.). In addition to re-sales that were built from about 2004 onward, there are many new developments, including about eight or so gated developments.

Some of these gated communities are Sonoma, Eason Landing, Gatwick, Sunstone, Ravencliffe, Summer Lakes, Terramore, Heritage Isle (55+) as well as a few more. Some of these developments have or will have maybe 50-75 homes. I get the feeling there will be more of a "neighborhood feel" in these smaller developments.

If you are considering a move to Brevard County Florida and Viera is your area of choice, please feel free to contact me for information. Viera is a great place to live and work (my office is in Viera).

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

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Buying Your New Home in Viera, Florida

There are many homes for sale in Viera, the Brevard County Florida planned unit development. Viera promotes itself as the "New Town of Viera." Viera is a great place to live - one of the most desireable in Brevard County Florida!

There are lots of choices. There is new construction, re-sales, and developments with lots ready-to-build. Sort of like the story of The Three Bears - three choices. Some are overpriced (my opinion), some priced right, and some priced where a negotiated agreement will bring a good price. The choices are many!

As a buyer choose a real estate agent who knows your specific target area. Remember, sellers pay the buyer agent's professional fee - not the buyer!

If you like a home and it is over priced you may problems closing the deal. Why?
Because if you are getting a mortgage the property will have to appraise at the sales price. A lender is simply not going to "give" a loan for an inflated price.

If you are a first time home buyer and have questions about the process, let me know. I will provide the answers to all your questions or refer you to the one who can provide the answer.

This is a great time to buy in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge. The choices are many. Choose carefully!

If you are in the market for a home in Viera, Suntree, Baytree or Rockledge, 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. I can be reached by email at or by phone at 321-255-2600.

Smile....Say Cheese!

I spent the day showing properties to potential buyers. These buyers have been researching listings on the Internet for sometime. A remark my clients made today was on the importance on photos on the MLS.

It can not be overstated. Humans are visual. The MLS system, at least here in Brevard County, only offers so much space for narrative comments. Great pictures can say a lot more than the MLS space for comments. Photos give the seller the chance to give buyers a glimpse into their home. It is an opportunity that should be used!

Virtual tours are a little more difficult to produce but worth the effort. Taking pictures is not complicated. Duhh! Taking pictures is a necessity in this market!

Our MLS system allows up to 12 photos. The web site allows, no requires, at least six photos. allows four photos. Other web sites provide opportunities as well. Use these opportunities - please!

If you are selling your home in Viera, Suntree (including Baytree Golf Course), and Rockledge, insist that your agent place photos. If potential buyers are going to look at your listing why not entice them with photos?

Thinking of selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge home? Please give me a chance to be your Realtor of Choice!

Gary Waters, Realtor (member of National Association of Realtors, Florida Association of Realtors, Melbourne Area Association of Realtors, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

I can be reached by phone at 321-255-2600 or by email to .

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

If you can't say something good....well, you know the rest!

The title of this post is nothing new. It is something most, if not every person, have heard before.

Over the past week I decided to research new cell phone plans. I visited all the major providers in our area including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Most of the sales representatives were professional although a couple were more into their own "private visitors" than customers.

One particular representative, coincidentally my current carrier, proceeded to tell me how bad the services were that competitors offered. Why take that approach? In the end, I switched.

This got me to thinking about the real estate transaction and we, as Realtors, interact with potential clients.

When I meet with potential sellers or buyers, for that matter, I don't offer criticism of my competitors. I must "sell" my professional services based on what "I" can offer - not what a competitor does not offer!

In the end I switched for two reasons - price and the attitude of my current provider. My current provider made me feel like I had no other choice. He was wrong!

As a real estate agent, I want to be your Realtor of Choice. If you are looking to sell your Viera, Suntree, Baytree or Rockledge home, I would like an opportunity to tell you what I will do for you. If you interview my competitors they will tell you what they can offer. Just as I made the decision on phone carriers, you will make the decision on who your Realtor will be.

Buying or selling your Rockledge, Viera, Suntree or Baytree home, I would welcome a chance to discuss my services. Give me a call at 321-255-2600 or email at

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How to make your home irresistible to buyers.... It is work!

Selling a home in the current Brevard County market is really not that hard! If you have had your home on the market for some time, you may disagree with that statement.

It is all a matter of supply and demand. The supply of properties for sale in the Viera, Suntree,, Baytree and Rockledge market is high. The demand is less than the supply. But, there is another way to look at the current market.

The supply of "irresistible" homes is low and the demand for these homes is high. I have not gone off on the deep end. Let me explain my reasoning.

Properties that are in excellent condition, in an excellent location, easily shown and priced right are in short supply. In this market(actually any market) a seller must accept the fact that price, above all else, is the major consideration for purchasers. Unfortunately, the market is what it is. [And competition from new home construction is just an added price pressure.]

If your property is in one of the more desirable areas such as Baytree, Suntree, Viera (east and west of Interstate 95) or south Rockledge, the location is popular with buyers.

Further, if your home is well maintained (no deferred maintenance) and has curb appeal, the demand is increased.

Finally, for your home to sell, it must be "staged" right to demonstrate its strengths. None of this is breaking news, really. And, lest I forget, your home needs to be able to be shown when it is convenient for buyers. All the above does take work...but it will be rewarded.

So, if your home is priced right, in a great location, staged, and available for convenient showings, you have and irresistible home. And it WILL SELL!

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Central Brevard area, give me a call. I would welcome a chance to be your buyer's agent or seller's agent. If you are looking to do both, even better!

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

Monday, May 19, 2008

Now, Tell me again...why is your child so special?

Those of use who are blessed enough to be parents take every opportunity to spread the word about our children's achievements. We are so darned proud! And rightfully so, after all, a child is certainly a blessing and a responsibility.

When I go to a listing appointment one of the points I query the seller abou is their house's characteristics. I say in a round about way "Now tell me, why is your house so special?" It may not be direct but through my interview I seek out this answer.

As a seller, no one knows your home like you. You know what is so special about it. It could be your neighborhood. It could be the layout. It could be the wonderful views. It could be...well, it could be anything!

Why is this important to me? It will help me to market your home. Your favorite characteristic about your home may not be the potential buyer's favorite but it just might be.

We certainly would never try to market a property by promoting the negative aspects of the home. As a seller and Realtor we certainly need to disclose any issues known to us. This is an ethical and potential legal issue. But, we need to sing the praises of the home!

When you discuss listing your home for sale, remember to make sure your chosen agent is aware of why your home is special. If the agent doesn't ask, tell them!

If you are considering selling your Rockledge, Viera, Suntree or Baytree home, 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. I can be reached by phone at 321-255-2600 or by email to .

Saturday, May 17, 2008

When will the market bottom?

I have listened to all the talking heads on the television and radio. I have read all the real estate and financial publications I can get my hands on. I have looked at the sales data. I keep abreast of what is on the market. Do I have the answer? Nope.

What I do know is that the buyer calls have picked up over the past few weeks, maybe the past month. I do know that we are in the typical buyer season. Even when the market is slow the May to October period seems to be the usual buyer period.

This is the transition period. Folks are shifting employers. Some folks are retiring and relocating. Some folks are on vacation and decide to find a second home. (I jokingly refer to this as "getting orange juice in their veins!") Either way, activity is picking up in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida.

It does seem that list prices are now more in keeping with the eventual selling price. Recently, it looks as if homes are selling for about 92-95% of listing price. So, sellers are negotiating and, in my opinion, listing the homes at realistic starting prices.

So, has the market bottomed?

I don't know but that is usually an answer that is best given after the fact!

If you are in the market for a new home, the interest rates are reasonable, prices are attractive and this is a good time. If you are interested in 55+ communities in Viera such as Heritage Isle, give me a call. If you interested in new construction, give me a call. Regardless of your residential property needs, if it is in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or north Melbourne, I want a chance to be your real estate agent!

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

Pricing Optimization Tips for FSBOs

I was reading an article this morning on selling homes, particularly as a For Sale By Owner seller. One of the points made in the article was that if your price is too high it takes too long to sell your home. I think this statement is wrong!

In the current market in the Viera, Rockledge and Suntree area of Brevard County, Florida, pricing too high won't delay a sale, it will keep you from ever selling!

In this market any seller, whether represented by a real estate agent or choosing to go it alone as a "FSBO," must optimize the sales price from the start!

I have always used the phrase "the golden period" when referring to new homes on the market. True, I am a Century 21 real estate agent but the "golden period" has nothing to do with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

It refers to that period of time, usually the initial few weeks or month, when a property hits the market. It is during this period that a property generates the most interest or activity. As a seller, you need to optimize your price so that during the "golden period," interest generates showings and, ideally, an offer!

How does one set the price? Certainly not by pulling a number out of the air. Certainly not by calculating what you paid a couple of years ago and adding a property appreciation factor! By research. Research the current closed (sold) transactions. Research the properties that were withdrawn from the market. Most properties end up being pulled from the market because the seller has just given up on finding that buyer willing to pay their asking price (too high)! The nearby, recently sold price is the most critical consideration.

You can get a lot of answers on this from the local property appraiser or tax collector's web sites. Another excellent resource is a local real estate agent. Another source of answers - ride around. Of course, at $3.75 a gallon you may not choose this route very often! You know your neighborhood. You know which properties are on the market. You know the properties that have been "pulled."

Optimizing your listing price is critical...too high, it just won't sell. What about pricing too low? Just because you get an offer does not mean you have to take it!

You can never negotiate if you never get an offer!

If you are going it alone in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge and need advice, drop me an email or give me a call. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

And, if you have tried the FSBO route but are ready to hire a real estate agent, give me a call, please!

Friday, May 16, 2008

'Tis the, not Christmas!

We are already in the middle of May...almost half way through 2008. The season has arrived. No, not Christmas but the "other season."

It is now that we are approaching the time of the year when the kids get out of school and job transfers happen.

If you are a seller, get ready. Motivated buyers will be arriving sooner than you think. When folks have a timeline, the motivation to buy is heightened. What more motivation than a job transfer! As as seller, you have to be ready!

What does a seller do to get ready? Hopefully you have already done the necessary things. If you have taken care of the curb appeal, great. If not, get the lawn green. Get the flower beds and plantings clear of weeds. Touch up that paint. Look at the front door. Could a little cleaning or painting be required. Remember, you can't sell if you can't get them inside the front door!

And once inside, is your home clean? You do not want anything negative to distract the buyer's attention. Highlight your homes strengths. You know what the house offers. You know what you like the most about your home. Make sure potential buyer's can see the same thing!

'Tis the season to sell your home. Make a list of "to do's" and check it twice!

Thinking of selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge home? Give me a chance to be your Realtor of Choice!

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

First Time Home Buyers in Viera? Why not!

I spent a couple of days out of town this week. At almost four bucks a gallon, the trip was more expensive than in the past. I spent time with family - always interesting, always enjoyable!

My niece's son ( he is 4) is a real character. It has been about 6 weeks or so since I last saw him at another family gathering. By the way, I do value these family events and attend any opportunity I get. So what has little Russ done lately?

He got a new bike for his birthday on April 15th. It had training wheels on it. Before he hopped on it he had his dad remove "those wheels." He is definitely all boy. He is a boy who tries anything and everything. Why? Because he has not been conditioned to believe he can not do something!

If you have thought about buying a home, why not? Have you been conditioned to believe that home ownership is out of the question. Have you talked yourself out of pursuing a home purchase?

Prices are as attractive in Rockledge, Viera, and surrounding areas including Cocoa, that if a home is in your future plans, this may be a great time to look. Mortgage rates are still very attractive. It is possible to get a home loan. Sellers are negotiating. This could be your time!

If you are a first time home buyer and would like information on the process, please let me know. If you would like me to refer you to a mortgage lender, let me know.

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

4 Bedroom 2 Bath Viera Pool Home Reduced - $231,900

This 2001 built 4 Bedroom 2 bath Viera home with screened solar heated inground pool is move in ready and at a great price!

Located in the Bayhill subdivision this home features built-ins, ceiling fans (5), walk-in pantry, 20 inch ceramic tile in foyer, kitchen and family room. Trussed porch. Master bath has garden tub and shower. Hurricane shutters, security system, laundry room. All appliances stay!

To view the MLS entry and photos, please click on this link:


Viera is one of the finest new areas in Brevard County Florida in which to live. If you are considering a move to Florida's Space Coast, take a look at Viera!

Close to I-95, The Avenues Mall, great restaurants, excellent schools including the new Viera High, Space Coast Stadium, great golfing and more! This home is an Exceptional Value in an Exceptional Location! Need easy commutes? It is only 40 minutes to Orlando International Airport and I-95 is close by!

For information on homes for sale or rent in Viera, please contact me at or by phone 321-255-2600.

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

FSBO Seller Tips

Consider a pre-marketing home inspection PRIOR to putting that "for sale by owner" sign out front. The fact that you have had an inspection completed, addressed the findings be they large or small, and made the information available to potential buyers shows your real desire to sell your home.

Besides, fixing the little things will make your house even more desirable to buyers! It may cost you a few hundred dollars but the satisfaction of being able to show the potential buyers a "clean bill of health" will add to your confidence as a seller.

I always encourage home sellers who have a property that is more than a few years old to have an inspection done. While you are at it, have a termite inspection done and get a transferable bond/warranty.

Also, investigate offering a home warranty for the purchaser. These home warranties may cost you three or four hundred dollars but it is just another marketing tool for you as a FSBO seller!

Attractive price, pre-inspection accomplished, minor issues addressed, clean termite inspection with bond and a home warranty....all excellent tools to set yourself apart from the others!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I may not know all the answers but I will give it my best shot...or at least tell you I don't know!

If you have tried the FSBO seller path and have decided to consider a real estate pro, give me a call. I specialize in residential properties in

the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Cocoa areas of Brevard County Florida.

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

FSBO Assistance in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida

Selling a home in this market can be a daunting task. No surprise in that statement! If you have chosen to sell it yourself, prepare yourself appropriately. How does a For Sale By Owner property seller prepare? Here are some suggestions.

  • Know the market - buyers do! Price your home competitively.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. Buyers know you are "saving a real estate agent's fee" and will demand you drop your price even more.
  • Require all potential visitors be pre-approved for a mortgage (letter in hand). (In all honesty these pre-approval letters are often worth less than the paper they are written on...)
  • Don't "throw" your money at the newspaper ads.... can be expensive.
  • Know the process!

These are only a few of my suggestions for those anticipating the FSBO process in Viera, Rockledge or Suntree. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for no obligation information. Why would I offer to give your, a FSBO, free assistance? Hey, if you sell your home then that is one less competitor for my listings!

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

Monday, May 12, 2008

Spend now, Save later

Not long ago I finally took a trip to the dentist. I am not a fan of dental offices so this was big step. Likewise, a few weeks ago I took a trip to my family doctor's office for a physical exam. I must admit, both of these had been put off for some time as I did not want to spend the money. But, in the end, these are necessary and, hopefully, save money in the long run.

The same holds true for your home. There is already a lot of expense involved with home ownership. Besides the mortgage, there are taxes and insurance, home owner's association dues, and more! But, another necessary expense should be considered as well... preventative maintenance.

Just as your physical and dental health will be promoted by spending a little now on preventative maintenance, so will your home ownership costs!

Take the time to get that termite inspection. Get that air conditioner and heating systems serviced. Fix that minor leak. Deal with the weeds and green up that lawn. If the paint is peeling, spend the money to protect to exterior surface material. These expenses now will save money later!

The cost of termite treatment is certainly less than the repairs after termite damage. Tuning up the AC and heating system will save on energy costs later (actually now). It is much less expensive to take of the lawn than replace it with new sod later!

When you get ready to sell that home, the sale will go easier if there is no "deferred maintenance" issues. The green lawn will certainly increase the curb appeal. And we know you can't sell a home very easily if you can't get the prospect inside!

When it comes to real estate and your body... spend some money now and make life better later!

If you are considering selling your home in Viera, Rockledge or Suntree, please feel give me a chance to be your Realtor of Choice.

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

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It is, and always will be, about location!

Wasn't "It" a character in the 1960s TV show "The Addams Family?" It has been written many times. It has be been quoted many times. It has been true for a long time and it remains so today. What is "it?"

"It" is location...location....location!

I continue to the see the same thing in the Rockledge, Viera and Suntree real estate market of Brevard County Florida. Over the past several years (the "boom years") builders and investors went wild! There were homes built, subdivisions developed, construction every place - even less than the most desirable locations. And the market has changed. And some of these locations are struggling!

I spoke with a gentleman yesterday who has a couple of these investor houses. He has the resources so it did not appear like he was too worried. His subdivision is really nice but in a less desirable area than a lot of the competition. The homes have some really great energy efficient "green built" features. It is gated, is centrally located...but other areas provide the same homes in a better location for a similar price.

I have done a couple of BPOs (broker price opinions) for lenders over the past month or so that are located in similar places. These newer homes, in newer subdivisions, are really nice...but they were built in a less desirable area than the competition. In a boom market these seemed like good moves. In a down market, there is just too much competition.

Actually, because these locations are less desirable in this market, the prices may really be are much more attractive.

If you are looking for a great deal on home and plan to live in it for 3-5 years, these locations may present opportunities! You may get them at a better price but keep in mind that the location is "fixed."

Remember, "It" is, and always will be, about location!

Interested in purchasing a home in the Rockledge, Suntree, Viera and Baytree areas of Brevard County, please feel free to contact me. Interested in selling your Viera, Suntree or Baytree home? Give me a call for a no obligation consultation.

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

Short Sales, Mortgage Readjustment, Preventing Foreclosure in Viera and Suntree

I know someone who has recently had their "Option One" mortgage readjust. The new interest rate is 10.25%. They have requested "Option One" work on a mortgage readjustment. That request was submitted 6 months ago. I told them to hang in there....

If you are in a similar situation, talk with your lender. If you are falling behind in your mortgage payments, talk with the lender. There are options for resolution....your mortgage is not forever, really!

A word of caution.... in these tough times there are scammers out there. There are companies and people out there willing to talk to the bank for you - for a fee. Be cautious of what you sign and who you pay!

If you are in a situation where you can not afford your house any longer, then a "short sale" may be a consideration. A "short sale" occurs when the probably sales price will be less than the monies owed. These situations require "third party approval."

If you are in a potential short sale situation in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge Florida, please feel free to give me a call. My advice to you is, most importantly, prevent foreclosure - even if it means a short sale. But the first choice is to attempt to re-negotiate the loan terms.

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida... located next door to Denny's in Viera Florida! Email me at .

Friday, May 09, 2008


Open house Saturday, May 10th from noon until 4:00 p.m. at 8197 National Drive, Melbourne, Florida.

Located in the gated Baytree National Golf Links development, this golf course direct 3 bedroom (plus office) 2 bath 2 car garage home is offered at $459,900.

To view the MLS entry, click here.

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

Viera Florida Area Rentals

As we near the summer some folks are considering moves to the Viera area. The ultimate goal may very well be purchasing a home but some folks prefer to rent for a year to get to know the area. The Viera area offers many rental options for those in the market.

There are condo communities. There are very nice golf course communities. There are 55+ communities. There are lots of choices! As for what is available in the Viera area (east and west of I-95), here is a summary of the single family home rental market.

The rental prices run the entire range from $895 to $5,000 monthly. There are 71 single family properties actively listed as for lease as of today. Of the 71 available, 16 are listed at $2,000 a month or higher (highest $5,000).

It looks like the majority of homes (3 BR / 2 Bath) run in the range of $950 to $1250 monthly. There are six available in the 55+ community of Heritage Isle.

If you would like information on the rental properties available in the Viera and Suntree areas, please let me know. I can be reached by phone at 321-255-2600 or by email to

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Save Gas When Shopping for a new home

I am not sure how high these gas prices will go but they sure have not slowed down any lately. From the looks of the market today they probably won't anytime soon, if ever!

How many miles does a person drive to find the right home? I am not talking about the long drive from out of the area but rather the miles once you arrive at the new city or town. Once you have gotten the scoop on the new area how many miles to that perfect home is found? [FYI, Brevard County is about 75 miles north to south...]

I don't have the answer to that question. I do have a few suggestions that may help save some gas though.

Number 1 petro saver? Use the Internet! The ability to see digital photos, research neighborhoods, check out schools, mapping services such as access to Florida sexual predator information, email communications with real estate agents, local newspapers, local healthcare information, and other resources makes using the web the best way to save money!

Know your new surroundings. If you are relocating due to an employment change, how far are you willing to commute? Are you going to drive the children to school or will they ride the school bus? If you will be driving to the school a couple of times each day, check the distances.

Back about 5 years ago I remember the days of driving mile after mile trying to show clients the area. Today I prefer to provide maps, information on the area, and be available for the questions. I prefer to let the prospective homebuyer (or renter) locate the areas of real interest and then we proceed from that point.

Besides, there is a little bit of adventure and excitement when exploring a new town!

So, if you are considering a move to Brevard County Florida, save some gas...use some of the resources listed above. And, I am available by phone or email to provide any assistance I may!

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

FSBO Representation

I received a voice mail message a couple of days ago. It was a friend leaving me a message about a "guy down the street who wants to sell." That sounded like good news...something promising anyway. But, then, the message was one I have heard before...

This "seller" wanted to put out the word that he would take $XXX,XXX for his house and even hold the mortgage. If I had a buyer, please bring them by to take a look. I have a couple of concerns with these types of FSBOs.

First, your home is no different than many in the MLS system already. Actually, your $XXX,XXX price is too high. There are several competitor properties listed that are priced more attractively and in more desirable locations.

There is a lot of work that goes into selling a home these days. Selling your home as a FSBO is the right move for some folks. If you have the experience, time, availability to show your home, and other resources, I applaud your efforts.

But, by taking on a case like this I end up working "both sides of the transaction." Actually I would be representing my client, the buyer as I am a buyer's agent in this situation. More importantly, real estate transactions can be complex. That is the reason buyers choose a real estate professional to represent them. For this same reason most sellers choose representation.

Who will represent you?

This is a buyer's market. The competition is keen. Your price must be in the range for similar properties. Your marketing efforts need to be more than just calling a real estate agent and telling them about your house.

Selling in this market requires differentiation. Selling in this market requires exposure - more than a phone call! Selling in this market is easier with representation.

If you are considering selling your home in the Rockledge, Viera and Suntree areas, give me a call to see how I may assist you. If you are a FSBO and have a question, let me know. If you are considering buying a home in the Brevard County area, call me, please. As a buyer you do not pay your real estate agent...the seller does! If you are a first-time homebuyer and have questions, I would be happy to address your concerns.

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

What is happening in the 55+ communities of Central Brevard County?

I received a call yesterday from one of my readers. She wanted to know what was happening in the 55+ communities, especially the Viera area.

I realize many of those who find my blog find it as a result of searches for "55+ homes Viera," "over 55 homes Viera," and the like. For that reason, I will try to at least keep you abreast of what has happened and how many properties are currently for sale.

If you are not familiar with the 55+ communities in Central Brevard County. Florida, there are primarily three communities. All area gated. All have club houses and pools. All have nice homes. All have different strengths.

Here are a few links to my previous posts on 55+ communities. Please take a look if 55+ community living is possibly in your future!

Differences in 55+ communities

General information about 55+ communities in Central Brevard County

How does one choose a 55+ community?

So, what is happening in the 55+ community market in Viera? As of today there are almost 120 properties listed for sale. Of these, Indian River Colony Club has the most properties - about 60 or so.

Heritage Isle has about three dozen homes (and condos) listed. Heritage Isle is the only 55+ community that has condos as well as single family residences. Heritage Isle is the only complex where new construction is being developed at this time.

(Although it is not a 55+ community, The Ventura at Turtle Creek in Rockledge offers new units, excellent prices and carefree living.)

Grand Isle, located off Viera Blvd, has about 16 units for sale. Most of these are priced between $210,000 and $350,000.

In April 2008 about 7 of these 55+ units closed and another 13 went under contract. This does not take into account the new construction sales. (It takes some time to get the sales data into the county appraisers site.) Regardless, 55+ developments are alive and well on the Space Coast of Florida!

For information on 55+ living in Florida, please drop me an email to or call me at 321-255-2600.

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

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Baytree Golf Course Home - $459,900

Absolutely wonderful home located on the 10th fairway of the gated Baytree National Golf Links in Melbourne, Florida - $459,900.

Conveniently located near great shopping, restaurants, beaches, Orlando (45 minutes), Viera recreational areas, great schools, and more! Custom built in 2000 by Joyal Builders, this home features almost 2,200 square feet of living area under air conditioning, three bedrooms (plus an office), two baths, two-car garage and features all the touches you expect in a Baytree home!

Hurricane ready with electric shutters, even the screened porch has electric shutters, this home is move in ready! You will be impressed from the moment you pull into the circular driveway all the way to the spacious screened porch.

Located only a few houses down the street from the community pool, playground, tennis courts and club house, this home offers the Florida golf course lifestyle you seek!
With a presevervation area view across the street and the 10th fairway out back, you will enjoy your privacy on this .31 acre homesite.

Inside you will find a split bedroom plan that has it all! With three sets of glass doors leading to the porch (from master bedroom, second bedroom and living room), the views are tremendous. Enjoy the view from the glass three-sided windows in the breakfast nook over looking the golf course!

The kitchen features white 42 inch cabinets with ornate molding, solid surface counters, plenty of pantry area and storage, and more. Lots of nice touches such as chair rails that adorn the great room and dining room, decorative molding over the kitchen cabbinets, easy to maintain laminate flooring in kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms.

The master suite features his and her walk-in closets, a master bath with handicap accessible shower, dual vanities and separate water closet. This home was built so that you can access the laundry room from the master suite! This home promotes carefree living!

This home has it all...
  • All appliances including washer and gas dryer stay,
  • Sprinkler system,
  • Gated community, golf course living at its best!
  • Ceiling fans in most rooms,
  • Recessed lighting in kitchen and living room,
  • Plantation shutters throughout,
  • Built in cabinets in laundry room,
  • Triple sliding glass doors from living room to porch,
  • Solid surface counters in kitchen and bathrooms,
  • 10 ft ceilings in living and dining rooms.
Offered for sale by Gary Waters, FLorida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. To view the MLS entry, please click here. For more information on this property, please contact me at or by phone at 321-255-2600.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Folks are buying...and not just short sales!

In Brevard County Florida there were about 470 single family homes sold in April 2008. Of these, according to the local MLS system, there were 30 sold properties that were listed as "short sales."

I was really surprised by the low number of short sales. Some of these short sales are priced very attractively. The positive news for sellers is that there were over 400 sales that were not short sales.

As of today there are just over 1,000 listings that are noted as short sales. That leaves another 6,000 listed that are not short sales! There are 110 properties in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge area listed as short sales (3 sold in April). Of course once these short sale properties are sold, or the inventory reduced, they will continue to impact the "fair market" pricing for other properties.

So, although the market does have a high inventory of short sales in the market, a lot of other homes are selling. That is good news for sellers...although I will admit the homes that are selling are priced a lot more competitively than in years past! Price it right and there are buyers in the market!

Interested in buying or selling in the Rockledge, Suntree, and Viera areas of Brevard County, Florida? Please give me a chance to be your Realtor of Choice.

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

Moving in the Rockledge and Viera Florida area? What do I do with all this "stuff?"

I spent some time this weekend working in the garage. It is amazing how "stuff" just accumulates!

Back in the "old days" when I was in the U.S. Navy we moved frequently. A move every few years was exciting and it also served as a reason to get rid of "stuff." If you are now facing a move why take all this extra stuff with you? Why not donate it to an organization that can get some use out of it?

In central Brevard County I donate most of my "stuff" to the Wuesthoff Hospice Thrift Shop located at 185 Barton Blvd. in Rockledge, Florida. I will also admit to finding some good deals at the Thrift Shop as well! They can be reached by telephone at 321-690-6696. These folks provide a wonderful service to the Brevard County Community and certainly deserve our support.

By the way, I am sure they are always looking for volunteers. For other volunteer opportunities, visit the Wuesthoff Hospital's web site.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

It WILL be revealed!

I just read an article on the Foxnews web site. It was about a 17 year old girl in California who gave birth to her child in the shower and walked four blocks to the hospital. Fortunately, the story has a happy ending for mom and baby. She was afraid to disclose her pregnancy.

Just as the girl did not want to disclose the pending bundle of joy, some sellers seem to forget to disclose past or current issues with their home. As a seller in Florida you have a responsibility to disclose known defects. As a Realtor in Florida, I have a duty to disclose known defects (defects known to me).

[Disclaimer: I am not an attorney but I would guess that if a defect was really serious there may be some legal implications for failing to disclose material defects.]

Eventually if your home is priced right, you will have a buyer. The buyer will have an inspection. The inspection will probably reveal that non-disclosed issue. Your buyer may walk away. Your buyer may ask for a price reduction or credit.

The best course of action - disclose, reveal, disclose. After all, just as the girls pregnancy was eventually disclosed, so may your issue. Like your mom said, honesty is the best policy! The forms we use as real estate agents require the seller to answer questions. There is even a miscellaneous question at the end of the form... If something is not asked about but you think it is important, mention it.

Selling a Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Baytree area home, please give me a call. I would love a chance to discuss how I can assist you. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

What if you held a garage sale and nobody came?

What would you do if you held a garage sale and nobody came? That certainly would be disheartening, for sure. You put all the work into getting ready. You place the signs out for the public to see. You maybe even ran an advertisement in the newspaper. You get up early and with the highest expectations, open up the house. And wait...and wait. Disappointment sets in.

Now, what if you had an open house and nobody came? You got up early and finished all your preparations. You have the house clean, sweep off the drive way and porch. Open the windows to let the fresh air inside. You make sure your advertisement is in the newspaper. You place your signs where they are easily visible. Then, no one or only a few people show up. Disappointment sets in.

Having an open house in this market is one of the tools we, as real estate agents, use to hopefully sell your home. Your preparation as a seller is appreciated. After all, selling a home in a buyer's market is a team effort- you and your real estate agent.

There is no guarantee that your home will sell at an open house. Some statistics say that less than 1% of homes are sold through an open house. That may very well be true. But, if you are that "1" then open houses are a great tool!

As an agent I do conduct open houses. Why? Because I am looking for buyers. When folks show up I am going to try to sell your house to them. I am going to give it my all. Some folks are just looking. Some folks are only out driving around and wasting time. Some folks are your neighbors. Yes, sometimes the visitor may only be a "nosey neighbor." But, that still does not stop the effort.

If you have had an open house with no success, be not discouraged. It only takes one buyer showing up at the right time. I remember once I sold a house because I was placing a sign in my car and the seller happened to be parking in the spot next to me. Talk about luck. Good luck...because that listing led to an open house which led to 5 transactions.

With open houses, sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. But, you know what? I have not quit!

Interested in selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge home? Please give me a chance to be your Realtor of Choice. Considering buying in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, give me a call.
Or, stop by one of my open houses - I do believe in them!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida. Please read my other blog at .

The Ventura at Turtle Creek - Golf Course Condos, Rockledge Florida

I went by my favorite golf course yesterday, Turtle Creek Golf Club in Rockledge, Florida. On my way I stopped by the builder's model at The Ventura at Turtle Creek. I wanted to check in and make sure I had the latest prices in the condo complex.

The Ventura at Turtle Creek is a new construction gated condo complex near the Turtle Creek Golf Course being built by Pulte Homes. The floorplans offered include:

  • Napa, 1,112 sq ft under air, 2 bedroomsSonoma, 1,247 sq ft under air, 3 bedrooms/2 bath
  • Santa Rosa, 1,412 sq ft under air, 3 bedrooms/2 bath
  • Santa Cruz, 1,391 sq ft under air, 3 bedrooms/2 bath
  • Santa Anna, 1,447 sq ft under air, 3 bedrooms/2 bath

The Sonoma model is offered as a corner unit and the Napa as an end unit. Although the buildings are four stories, elevators make it easy to get up and down! Some units offered single car garages and others have single carports with storage. The homeowner's association fee includes the community pool, 4 pavillions, clubhouse, gated entrance, lawn maintenance and maintenance of the building.

Examples of pricing (units were ready for occupancy/about ready) that I picked up yesterday were:

  • Santa Anna models from $151,631
  • Napa models from $135,421
  • Sonoma models from $141,371
  • Santa Cruz models from $148,431
  • Santa Rosa model (one was available) from $172,501

[Note about builder pricing information. Builders price sheet included comments: Prices for limited time. Subject to Change without notice. Subject to errors and omissions.]

There are five units listed as resales in the MLS as well. Email me and I will send you the listings!

Built by Pulte Homes, if you are considering a condo community in the Rockledge and Viera areas of Brevard County, Florida, The Ventura at Turtle Creek may well be worth a look.
For additional information on The Ventura at Turtle Creek, please feel free to contact me at or by phone 1-800-651-6940.

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

Friday, May 02, 2008

Got a quick offer? Don't reject it too fast!

I have heard it from other agents. They have a home listed an get an offer within a few weeks or even a month. The offer is not the greatest, however, it is reasonable. The seller rejects the offer believing that if one offer came that quickly, then another one, even better will come soon enough. Keep in mind none of us - even real estate agents - can know if another will arrive and at what price!

After a few months and several price reductions, an offer is received that is substantially below the refused initial offer.

In a declining market (or a buyer's market), the first offer may be the best you are going to receive. Consider the offer seriously before a refusal without even offering a counteroffer.

I have written several times about what I call a listing's "golden period." This is the first few weeks or month where the most activity and interest will be generated. This is the period you may very well receive that first offer. Don't dismiss an early offer as the interest tends to wane as the listing becomes stagnant.

As the seller you are the only one who can make the call to reject or accept an offer.

Of course the quality of the offer is a major consideration. If the down-payment is substantial (10-20%) or it is a cash offer, then maybe a reasonable offer may be worth accepting. Proof funds of course is an issue for any cash offer. A short escrow period (quick closing) may also make the offer more appealing. Consult your real estate agent for advice - they are the expert!

Just remember, pricing in the rear view mirror is not good and an initial offer may just be good!

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

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