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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hey, Seller....Competition is a good thing!

I spent this weekend watching a lot of college football. The Southeastern Conference championship has been set as the Florida Gators meet the Alabama Crimson Tide in Atlanta this coming Saturday. OK, there are other conferences but this is the game for a lot of Florida fans!

The competition in some conferences was very keen. There was a time when the SEC was the toughest league to win a championship. This year it looks like it is the Big 12. With three teams at 11-1 it came down to Oklahoma as the south division representative. The other two teams, Texas Tech and Texas, were close but the competition apparently won over the voters.

When selling your Viera Florida home the competition is keen as well. And the voters you must when over are the potential buyers. How do you do this?

By impressing the voters by having great curb appeal, attractive staging, and a very attractive price. These are all factors which you as a seller control. When all is said and done, you have to attract your voters. After all, competition is a good thing!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, serving buyers and sellers in the Rockledge and Viera areas of Brevard County Florida.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Key players on your team when purchasing a home....

I read a post on another web site this morning about a purchaser who did not receive a home inspection prior to purchase. After the closing she did get the inspection done and there were lots of issues the seller may have repaired if they had been part of the negotiation process....

This is a buyer's market. Motivated sellers are making repairs to get the deal done. Motivated sellers are making price concessions to get the deal done. More importantly though, your inspection needs to be done to make sure you know what you are buying!

So, who are the key members of your real estate team when purchasing real estate?

  • Your real estate agent - don't leave home without him.
  • Your loan officer - they know what you can afford.
  • Your insurance broker - protect your interest.
  • Your Home Inspection Professional - worth every penny you spend!

This may be a simplistic approach to the buying process but the point is you are not in this alone. More importantly, you should not be in it alone. And the key member of your team should be your real estate agent who is there to advise and counsel on all aspects of the process.

If you are considering buying or selling in the Viera and Rockledge Florida areas, call me. I would welcome a chance to be part of your real estate team! Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, 321-693-3850 or email

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Construction Condos in Rockledge Florida

I was just reviewing some new listings in the Brevard County Florida MLS system. Because it is near my office I was surprised at the price of Bella Vista Condos in Rockledge. These, new construction concrete built 3 bedroom 2 bath units are in the $114,00-$120,000 range. These are units with an attached one car garage as well.

These buildings are all two story however the construction is such that units are on a single level. I have been in many of these units but my preference is the ground floor units. The second floor units are nice but that climb up the stairs is pretty steep! [Maybe this is just my age showing or the fact that I once owned a three level town house in Hagerstown, MD.]

An interesting point - some of the 1438+ square feet condos sold for almost $200,000 a year or so ago when the development started!

If you are considering a move to Rockledge or Viera, Florida and a condo is your choice, there are two Rockledge condo complexes that need to be checked out - Bella Vista and The Ventura at Turtle Creek. Both complexes are a short walk to the golf course!

Call me for information on either of these complexes. Remember the builder has sales staff that represents the builder - bring your agent with you (it is free!).

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me at

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brevard County Home Sales Up in October 2008

In an article in this morning's Florida Today newspaper it was reported that Brevard County's existing home sales increased 17 percent in October 2008. That is the good news...the bad - prices continued to decline when compared with last year. Of course the lower prices are good news for buyers!

The local home resale gain is in stark contrast with the national housing report that had U.S. homes sales falling 3.1 percent. In October 2008 there were 423 re-sales and 361 in the same month last year. The median sale price fell 20 percent to $152,200.

To read the entire article click on this link.

For information on any real estate in Brevard County Florida, especially the areas of Suntree, Viera and Rockledge, please feel free to contact me at 321-693-3850 or email

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

Friday, November 21, 2008

A New Real Estate Frame of Reference

Memory is a great thing. Even now as I have passed the half century mark in years I can sit and vividly recall events of my youth. I can remember my location on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I can recall spending my summers working in my grandfather's store. Lots of great memories, and a few not so great ones as well.

Unfortunately our memory can also taint our view of our present situation. Such is the case for some sellers in my local market of Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida. The new market is different from a year or two ago. The new market is different than the markets of the past.
The new market will not be like the old market so sellers, prepare yourself. Prices are lower. Mortgage loan approval procedures are different (read that as tougher!).

The new market is "the real estate market."

If you are considering selling your Viera or Rockledge Florida home you can rest assured the buyers know "the real estate market." You should as well!

I would welcome a chance to discuss "the real estate market" with you at your convenience. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Selling Your Viera Florida Home

What can I do to sell your Viera home?

  • Market it where it will be seen. The Internet is the primary resource potential buyers use in the 2008 market. That is where your home will receive the greatest exposure. I will not list the sites here but know that there are at least a dozen or so primary sites you want to be on.
  • Hold Open House. Sure this method is not the greatest strategy but it does on occasion work. Most agents do not conduct open houses as the results are most often not very favorable. But open houses occasionally do result in a sale!
  • Advertise in magazines and publication. Print media is not the most results-oriented methodology but it is still a necessary avenue to pursue.
  • Direct mail. This method will probably not result in a buyer but there is always the chance that a neighbor knows someone who wants a home in your current neighborhood.
  • Blog About it. Web logs are gaining more and more exposure. My blogs, http://What receive quite a few hits so I actively promote properties on these sites.
  • Recommend a realistic listing price. No explanation needed once you see the competition in black and white.
  • Educate you on the process. The process can be overwhelming however with a little education you will understand.
  • Guide you through the entire process.

What can you do to sell your home?

  • Price it right. I know the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge market. I will perform a comparative property analysis and recommend a realistic listing price. Ultimately it is up to you to decide if this is "your price."
  • Prepare your home for visitors - many visitors if the price is right.
  • Make your home accessible when the potential buyers want to see it.

The above does not contain al the nuts and bolts of the process and serves only as a very basic guide. If you are considering selling your Viera property, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email

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

Who will pull the real estate market out of its decline?

This short post was inspired by a conversation I had last week with my barber (is the correct word hairstylist?) and is only my humble opinion.

Who will pull this market out of its decline? I do not know the exact answer to this question but I do not believe it will be the investor segment. Why? Simply because the return on investment (ROI) is not there right now. The investors I know want a anticipatable ROI within a defined period. In a declining market that is not possible.

So, what will be required to solve the problem? In my opinion these things must happen:

  • Overpriced, wishful thinking sellers, will have to leave the market,
  • Banks will have to accept the offers they receive on short sales to reduce the inventory,
  • Foreclosure properties will have to be sold,
  • Banks will have to open up opportunities for buyers of primary residential properties by offering reasonable financing terms with no hidden "escalators."

So, who will be the leader that will pull this market of its decline? I don't have the answer. Time will tell but I do believe that the new market will not be like the previous market. Homes will sell at reasonable prices and appreciate at reasonable levels. That is what has been missing in the market - reasonableness!

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

Is there a market for the casual seller?

This is no market for the casual seller. What is a casual seller?

I define this as a person who really has no need to sell, does not care if they sell, and wants to price their property at the high end of the market. Each of these points represents a problem for the market. Why? Because the end result is an exaggerated inventory that does not represent a true market with ready, willing, able sellers.

There is a lot of work to the marketing process. Not just for your real estate agent but for you, the seller. The seller must prepare the property for viewing by the public. The seller needs to spend time de-cluttering and sprucing up the property. The seller has to be content with a potential buyer showing up at a moment's notice. The seller must be flexible. Notice I did not say anything about your real estate agent's efforts which are usually intense as well!

If a seller has no reason to sell (move up, relocate, etc), then there is little motivation to sell. It really makes no sense in a buyer's market for anyone to sell while prices are down - UNLESS THEY ARE LOOKING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MARKET. I have worked with a few sellers who realize they may not make much money on the current house but see the opportunity in purchasing a larger/newer home while the prices are depressed!

A seller who does not care if an offer ever comes is not ready to price their home competitively. In the current market if a home is not priced "with the market," it will never sell. It can not be overstated - pricing is the most crucial aspect of selling anything - from a car to a house!

For the above reasons I do not work for casual sellers. Folks who call on me are ready to sell their Viera, Rockledge or Suntree home. If you are such a seller, please give me a call to discuss how we (yes, it is a team effort) can market your home.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida - proudly serving buyers, sellers and rental clients in Viera, Florida and its surrounding communities. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How easily is your agent reached?

I had to schedule an appointment to show your home yesterday. I called "the real estate office" phone - no answer, only voice mail. I called the listing agent only to receive a message the "mailbox for this number is full!" I called the co-listing agent only to receive voice mail. I left a message.

Did I schedule the property these agents had listed? No.

Why not? Because there were another 7 active in the same neighborhood. The choices are many so if your home is listed, make sure your real estate agent can be reached.

You can't sell it if they can't see it!
Gary Waters. Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Email me at or call me at 321-693-3850.

My how we have fallen!

I am in my sixth year of real estate in Brevard County Florida (Viera, Suntree and Rockledge). That is not a long career when compared to my 20 years as a Navy officer!

But in those six years I have seen a market boom (more like a sonic boom) and then go bust! This was really pointed out boldly yesterday as I was reviewing some Viera and Suntree listings. One property I saw (and have been in several times) sold for over $600,000 about 5 years ago or, listing price (foreclosure auction) is $265,000!
My how we have fallen! Maybe it isn't that we
have fallen but rather gotten back to where we should have

If you are relocating to Brevard County, Florida, I recommend you consider the Rockledge, Viera, Suntree areas. There are very attractive newer homes, great 55+ communities, excellent golf course communities, very affordable short sales and bank-owned/REO properties - something for everyone.

I am Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Give me a call if I can assist you in any way - 321-693-3850, email

What is a BPO?

This post is written in response to many questions I have received from Brevard County, Florida real estate agents on BPOs (what are they, how are they done, any secrets, etc). If you are a seller involved in a short sale then this information is appropriate for you as well.

First of all...a BPO is a Broker Price Opinion. It is an opinion of a property's market value. It is not an appraisal as appraisals are conducted by licensed appraisers. These are usually requested by lenders who are facing a decision in how to handle a mortgage issue (restructure loan, accept short sale, foreclose on the property, etc).

So, is there a secret to a BPO? The short answer is no.

I conduct BPOs in pretty much the same manner as I conduct a comparative market analysis for potential seller clients. I consider three active listings that are very similar to the subject property. Ideally these are located in the same subdivision or, at a minimum, within a mile of the subject. I also look at three recent sales within the same parameters.

Because there are so many short sales in the market at this time several of these comparatives may very well be short sales of even REO/ Bank Owned properties. Upon selecting these comparative properties adjustments are made for any differences such as a private pool, upgrades, repairs needed, etc.

My opinion of value is then supported by these nearby "comps." No secret or specialized formula used at all. By the way, when I conduct a BPO on a specific proeprty I am not allowed to discuss the opinion submitted.

If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge home, please give me a call. I would welcome a chance to discuss my marketing plan and how I may assist you in the process. Likewise, if you are considering a purchase in the Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, I would be honored if you gave me a chance to assist you as well.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockeldge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at

What is wrong with an old car?

I was noticing yesterday that even in the "nice area" of Suntree and Viera, Florida, lots of folks drive older cars. I was not alone!

I have always been the kind of guy that bought a vehicle and kept it forever. OK, maybe not forever but at least 10 years! This got me to thinking about residential resales. People buy "used" cars so what is wrong with "used houses?"

The answer is there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a resale residential property. One of the big differences between a new house purchase and a new car purchase is the depreciation issue. You don't lose 10-20% of the house value when you take possesion as opposed to cars that have been sold once!

In both situations, whether buying a used car or home, inspections are critical. A good mechanic can give you a reasonable assessment of a vehicles condition in just a couple of hours. A good home inspector can do the same for your house. Get the inspection prior to purchase so you know the condition at the time of purchase. Unfortunately no inspector or mechanic can tell you the future....

If you are considering purchasing a new or used home in Viera, Rockledge or Suntree Florida, give me a call. If you are considering other areas, please give me a call. I have colleagues who specialize in the beaches, Palm Bay and any place in Brevard County Florida.

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

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Is it a bailout or a sell out?

I started this draft post on September 27, 2008. Now, a month and a half later I am going to finish it. The text in purple (not sure why I chose purple) is the original.

I am getting a little tired of all the debate by the talking heads. No, I am not talking about the television commentators - I am talking about the politicians!

Poor decision-making has led a lot of corporations to the brink of failure. Washington Mutual, who in my opinion has always provided sub-par service has failed. Part of me wants to say good, part of me wants to say that is bad. I don't know. And I do not believe that most Americans know what to believe.

Does this post relate to real estate in Brevard County, Florida? Not really but that is OK.

As I write this today, November 13, 2008, the election is over. The markets are still in turmoil. The bailout has not done what it was supposed to accomplish. I am still not sure what direction the powers that be are tasking on this.

General Motors is looking for a bailout. AIG took the government loans and have since been caught in a couple of extravagant adventures that appear to be wasteful. Chrysler wanted federal money to assist it with a GM merger. So, where is this going? Not sure yet but the thing that appears to be obvious....the taxpayer will be footing the bill!

So, what is the answer to the question posed in the title? We shall see...

Today is November 26th.... Let's see, last night I heard the President of the United Autoworkers proclaiming how his members are not the bad guys. This morning I heard a talking head on CNBC claim that this was not a bailout but rather the acquisition of assets by the government. We all have a "regardless of topic" as long as we have an interest.

My is a good time to buy real estate in Brevard County Florida. Prices are depressed, inventory is high, sellers are motivated, interest rates are low.

For information on Viera Florida homes for sale including the 55+ communities of Heritage Isle and Grand Isle, please give me a call. I can be reached directly at 321-693-3850 or by email to

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

Selling in Viera Florida? Are you "Searchin' for a Rainbow"?

I was discussing listing a Viera home with a caller today. He started the conversation by stating he hoped I would tell him what he wanted to hear. Apparently I was not the first Viera Florida real estate agent he had spoken with over the past few days.

rainbow He was searching. There was an old song in the 1970s called "Searchin' for a Rainbow" by The Marshall Tucker Band. I asked what he wanted to hear. His response indeed revealed he was searching.

You see, he had purchased his home two years ago. He wanted to sell it and walk away with cash in his pocket. Not unrealistic if he had some equity in the property. However, he had obtained 100% financing with an interest only loan. Not only had his property value decreased but he also had not reduced the principal. Like many owners today he was upside down.

I had to lay the cards on the table. He will not sell his home for anything near his original purchase price. Further, there would not be any "walking away cash."

Will he be listing his property for sale? I doubt it. If he does will he find his "rainbow?" Again, I doubt it. Selling for a profit now is a rarity.

The positive I took away from this conversation? My fellow real estate professionals in Viera are telling it like it is! This is what it will take to reduce the glut of homes on the market.

Interested in selling your Viera home? Give me a call, please. I will not mislead however I will share my view of your options. Why not call? It is free!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. I can be reached by email at or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

Do you need to sell that Brevard County, Florida House?

There are 6,450 or so single family houses for sale in Brevard County Florida. That is a lot although less than the almost 8.000 or so from some time ago. This excess inventory includes a lot of short sales and REO/Bank owned properties.

Short Sale is a sale where the probable sales price will be LESS than the monies owed and will require third party (lender) approval. REO properties are bank owned/foreclosure properties.

How many short sales and other third party approval (bank owned) listings? 1,385! Lets see..that is about 21% of the entire inventory of single family dwellings!

So, if you are a "regular seller," consider your competition. These distressed properties are putting immense pressure on your marketing efforts and chance of success. Obviously if you are not a short seller, you have the financial resources (funds, equity, etc) to to sell without being "short" at the closing.

But, should you sell now? Only you know the answer to this question. Some folks are retiring. Some folks still have a lot of equity in their homes and will still end up in positive territory. Some folks are relocating due to job change.

One thing I have noticed is that folks who really have no need to sell are not rushing to test the market! This is a good sign. Only when the inventory decreases will the market stabilize.

If you are considering selling your home in Viera, Rockledge or Suntree (north Melbourne, Florida), please give me a call. By the way, I also serve the Cocoa and Merritt Island areas as well!

I would welcome a chance to discuss the market and my marketing program as well as answer any of your questions. Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Email me at or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

What if we sold houses like they sell cars?

This is not some negative commentary on the purported aggressive nature of auto sales persons. I am not talking about taking a potential buyer to a house and twisting their arm until they, I am only speaking of advertising!

I will admit that real estate advertising in the print media (read this as newspaper) is a usually, ineffective, expensive method that does not usually bring great rewards. If you are reading this you have found the most effective advertising medium available - the Internet!

Reading this morning's newspaper I saw a couple of ads for car dealers. Although I am not in the market for a car I noticed some of the prices were very attractive! Then I read the fine print:

Advertised price reflects ______ dollars cash down payment.....

Another advertisement had this:

Advertised price reflect $3,000 down payment, approved credit and Beacon
score of 740.....

In the real estate business the list price of houses is the "asking price." OK, like a car for sale, this is the sticker price. The Viera, Suntree and Rockledge Florida area has an oversupply of inventory (new and re-sales). Sales prices are about 93% list price so you can see there is some give and take between buyer and seller (if the seller is motivated).

But the difference is - the sticker price of a house is the price with no disclaimer that shows up in the fine print!

If you are in the market for a home in the Viera, Rockledge or Suntree areas of Brevard County, I would be honored if you contacted me. I can be reached by email to or by phone at 321-693-3850.

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

Brevard County foreclosure filings remain high

This morning's Florida Today business section had several front page articles. Not a lot of good news on the business pages these days, regardless of which paper you read!

According to the article there were 827 foreclosure filings in October 2008. This was down from the 850 in September but still the number is the third highest monthly number for Brevard County. There have been over 7,800 filings in Brevard this year. [I wonder how many have actually been foreclosed? Check that out.]

Not all foreclosure filings end up in a foreclosure proceeding. The lenders usually file the notice after three months of non-payment. The discussion on the CNBC television network centered on the bailout of GM but the foreclosure problem remains high on the list.

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, serving Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First things first....Find your area then look at houses!

I received a call from an out of town caller yesterday who was considering a move to Viera, Florida. He asked a lot of questions about Viera, Florida. Some of my responses:

  • Newer area of homes in deed restricted subdivision
  • Planned unit development in central Brevard County, Florida
  • Excellent schools nearby
  • Lots of golf, recreation, shopping and restaurants
  • Great deals available on homes including short sales, REO/Bank Owned and "regular" sales
  • Nice area, very desirable.

He obviously had never been here but he wanted to know if I would show him some houses. I suggested he come into town, meet me, and ride around the area. The best way to learn about an area is to explore it!

If you are considering a move to any new area I recommend you get a map, use a GPS device or even just drive! Explore. Discover the area. Then, decide if the area is for you! I, nor anyone else, can make that decision for you. I believe an area will sell itself to you. You will get a "gut" feeling that the fit is right.

If you are considering a move to Central Brevard County I invite you to explore Viera, Suntree, Rockledge, and north Melbourne. Take notes of areas that interest you and then - talk to me, please.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, FLorida. Email me at or call me at 321-693-3850.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Heritage Isle Viera Home for Sale $299,900

3191 camberly If you are in the market for a wonderful home in the Heritage Isle 55+ community in Viera Florida, you must take a look at this 2004 built property!

With 2176 sq ft under air, this three bedroom two bath three car garage home is a former model home (Merlot modal) that has plenty of space for all your needs. Featuring an office, solid surface counter tops, 42 inch maple cabinets, upgraded tile, carpet and brick paver driveway. All for only $299,900!

Located on a corner lot in the maintenance free 55+ gated community of Heritage Isle, enjoy the 21,000 square foot club house, pools, tennis, cafe, nearby Duran Golf Club, shopping, and more. Just want to relax, enjoy the waterfront view from your screened porch! Monthly homeowner fees are $283 which includes lawn maintenance!camberly back porch

For information on any properties in the Heritage Isle community, please feel free to contact me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at

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

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Whatever you want, its free.....

I was speaking with a client about open houses and getting folks to attend. Our discussion included offering food, gifts, freebies, etc. Of course, this would be advertised in the newspaper which I do anyway!

I said no to any freebies except for the pens, letter openers and the like which I always give attendees. Why?

Because it they are not in the market, why bring them into your home. I was told a few days ago by a gentleman that he was going to get a free turkey. Hey, I am all for free except not his way.

You see, all he had to do was listen to a water conditioner presentation. He has no intent on buying anything. Work has been slow so it is a freebie! He asked me about if I would do it. I said NO WAY!

Being in the marketing business I do not ever want to take advantage of someone else's freebie (expense) when I do not have any intention of purchasing. It is deceitful. It is misleading. It is even ego beating (disappointment with poor job,etc)!

I am in the job of selling houses in Rockledge, Viera and Suntree, Florida. I may buy you a soda but not your business by offering freebies! Call me if you are interested in residential properties in Brevard County!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Reach me by phone at 321-693-3850 or email me at

Friday, November 07, 2008

Viera First Time Home Buyer Opportunties

I was reviewing home sales today. Amazing the prices folks are getting for Viera homes. A couple of years ago I would have said the same thing. Then, the prices were unbelievably high. Today, the prices are unbelievably low!

I am not a mortgage expert so I am not here to tell you that you can or can't afford a home. That is the job of the mortgage professional. I was speaking with a gentleman earlier today who asked how much condos (The Greens at Viera) would rent for. He was tossing around the idea of investing in one or two. The he asked how easily they would rent.

My response - rents are competitive and for the price a smart buyer would purchase instead of renting. My point - prices have dropped so much in the Viera area that purchasing may be a better or, alt least preferable, to renting.

If you are a first time home buyer or at least considering the rent vs. buy option I would highly recommend you discuss the cost of home ownership with a mortgage lender. Decide for yourself and then:
  • If purchasing is an option, please give me a call


  • If renting is your preferred option, give me a call.

I am Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida, proudly serving buyers, sellers, and rental clients in the Viera and Rockledge, Florida community. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Let me know when you see any good deals....

I ran into a gentleman the other day at the local Lowe's store in Rockledge, Florida. He knew I was in real estate as he is a previous client. He told me he was ready to sell his current home and get another when a good deal comes along.

I was happy to hear that he was considering another purchase. The kink in the chain is that he wants to find a good deal and then put his house up for sale. Sellers, especially motivated sellers, want a buyer to act now. The current average days on the market is about 120 days - about four months.

A seller can not be reasonably expected to agree on a selling price, take the property off the market and wait an unknown time to close. The greater the time between a contract and the closing, the greater the potential for the transaction to "fall through."

There are some good deals in the Viera and Rockledge areas of Brevard County Florida. There are some, OK lots of, motivated sellers. Many of these motivated sellers are dealing with short sales. The decision process on a short sale may take 60 days or more. Besides, I do not believe a lender will accept a contract for a short sale that is contingent on the sale of another property as most require a loan approval letter with the offer. Of course, you never really know for sure.

If you are looking for a property with a motivated seller in the Viera area, let me know. [How do you find a motivated seller? Sometimes it says so in the listing. Sometimes it says so by the price!] Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Email me at or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Rockledge Florida Pool Home - Price Reduced $179,900

This 3 bedroom 2 bath pool home located at 887 Brunswick Lane, Rockledge Florida has been reduced to $179,900! Featuring a split plan, this 1978 built home has been meticulously maintained by its owner. Recent updating includes new kitchen cabinets and counters, new appliances, new laminate flooring in the living room and dining room and more!

The screened pool offers privacy in your fenced back yard, a huge covered porch and glass doors from the master bedroom. Features also include sprinkler system, tiled floors, ceiling fans, and more. Interior laundry room is large and could be used as an office or hobby room as there are laundry hookups in the two car garage as well.

For information on this home or any Rockledge, Florida homes for sale, please contact Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. I can be reached by phone at 321-693-3850 or by email to

Where is the bottom of the housing downturn?

Foreclosures and distressed properties dominate market - that was a headline on CNBC this afternoon. Duh! This is not news but rather a continuing saga. Sort of like listening to a speech that just will not end.

But, just like that long drawn out speech, it will end. How soon? That depends on several factors. Buyers are hesitant to buy now. They are afraid the prices will continue to drop. How low can prices go?

There is a real bottom to the new house market. Builders have fixed costs. The total cost of construction has a floor. Materials, land, labor and business cost create a price point where a builder has a bottom line. Factor in some profit (builders can't break even!) and you have a bottom price for new construction.

I do not believe these distressed properties have the same bottom. After all, a lender is not in the real estate business of holding properties. Perhaps the lenders can create these massive property management organizations and rent out all these bank owned properties? Of course that does not make sense to me. Lenders do not want to own residential real estate.

So, where is the bottom for resales? I think that will be set, neighborhood by neighborhood by the distressed property market. As long as there are short sales and foreclosures in a neighborhood, the prices will be forced downward. In neighborhoods with little or no distressed properties, the prices may bottom sooner.

Holding out for the lowest price is guess work. What will a seller accept? You never know as every seller is different. So where is the bottom of the market?
No one knows...

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

Opionions expressed in this blog are those of the author.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Pricing Your Home to Sell - Optimism and Realism

Some sellers are still in denial even at this point in Brevard County Florida's housing down turn. I just got through reviewing some listings in one specific Viera subdivision that I received an email inquiry about. I was astounded (is that too strong?) to see the prices ranging over $50,000 for the same properties on the same street!

Optimism is a great thing, for sure. Realism is even more admirable!

Pricing competitively is key. Pricing in the ball park is necessary if you want to be in the game! With a little over 6,000 listings active in the Brevard MLS it is easy for a buyer to cull out these outliers.

There are a lot of homes for sale. If you want to be in the game, you must be somewhere near the competing properties. How does one establish a listing price?

It is necessary to compare what is selling (sold) that are similar to your property. Some of the factors to consider include:

  • Age

  • Type of Construction

  • Living area (under air conditioning)

  • location (subdivision, close proximity)

  • Total square footage

  • Pool/spa or other amenities

  • Roof type (tile vs asphalt shingles)

  • Gated community

  • Golf course or on water

Things to not consider or weigh heavily:

  • Price paid for the property

Establishing a list price must be based on the facts, not emotional attachment. What a property will sell for will be set by the market.

If you are considering selling your Viera or Rockledge home, please give me a call. I would welcome a chance to discuss a marketing strategy for your property.

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

October 2008 Market Report - Viera Florida

The homes for sale in Viera represent about 5.5% of all the single family homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida. As of today there are:

  • 350 active for sale listings in Viera
  • 110 active for sale listings that are in Viera 55+ communities
  • 54 "short sale" listings in Viera
  • 4 "short sale" listings in the 55+ communities of Viera

So, what happened during October 2008 in the Viera market? A quick summary shows:

  • 36 single family homes closed during October 2008
  • Average days on the market for closed listings was 131 days
  • Average selling price was $213,670
  • Homes that sold were sold at an average of 94% list price
  • Median selling price was $199,975
  • About 50% of the homes sold were priced from $180,000-$199,900 (17 properties)
  • 12 of the closed homes were on the market less than 60 days (priced right!)

Viera, Florida offers its residents excellent communities, great recreational facilities, nice restaurants, shopping, newer schools and a great environment. With easy access to Orlando, centrally located within the county, 20 minutes to beaches, and more, Viera remains a very popular destination for folks relocating to Florida.

If you would like information on the Viera housing market, please feel free to contact me by phone at 321-693-3850 or by email to Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Market Report for Ashwood Lakes subdivision Rockledge, FLorida

Ashwood Lakes is a development centrally located in the Brevard County, Florida community of Rockledge. With easy access to both Interstate 95 and US 1, the development provides commuters with relatively easy drives to any place in Brevard County.

Located near excellent shopping, great schools, restaurants and several golf courses, Ashwood Lakes provides buyers attractive opportunities for purchasing a home near Viera. Ashwood Lakes provides residents with a community pool, basketball court, and tennis courts which are shared with the neighboring Ventana development.

There are 11 properties currently listed for sale in Ashwood Lakes. Three of these properties are listed as short sales requiring third party (lender) approval. The prices for the homes for sale in Ashwood Lakes range from $169,000 (a short sale) to $249,900.

During October 2008 there was 1 closing for a home in Ashwood Lakes ($190,000) and 1 closing for the neighboring Ventana development (short sale for $210,000). Additionally there are two homes listed as under contract (both short sales).

If you would like information on any homes for sale in Ashwood Lakes or any Rockledge Florida properties, please feel free to contact me. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge FLorida.

Plantation Point subdivision Rockledge Florida Market Report October 2008

Plantation Point is a subdivision located in Rockledge Florida just off Barnes Blvd. Convenient to Interstate 95 and US 1, this central Brevard County community presents some very attractive opportunities for buyers in Brevard County.

As of today there are six listings active in Plantation Point. These homes were all built in 2004 and 2005 so they are relatively new. With square footage from about 2,000 and upwards these homes are not small by any means.

List prices for these active properties run from $239,900 to $449,000. Three of the active listings are short sales which require third party approval of any offer.

There are two properties under contract at this time (both short sales). One property did close in October for $307,000. This was a large 3200+ square foot home. Amazing how the prices have dropped over the past couple of years!

If you would like information on any of the homes for sale in Plantation Point or Rockledge / Viera, please feel free to contact me. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Faster than a short sale? I am not sure...

I saw a flyer this morning from one of the local builders. The prices advertised were fairly attractive. The one thing that caught my eye was the statement that the "average build time - 4.5 months - faster than a short sale."

I do know that short sales take time. I have not seen any statistics but I believe 60-90 days from the offer to close may be a realistic period. I have never seen a 4.5 month wait for an answer (that is 18 weeks). Maybe this builder has some statistics I have not been made aware of yet.

I will concede that buying a short sale does take more time than the usual 30-45 days for a straight sale with financing. A cash deal is only a couple of weeks or so until closing if there are no problems.

Buying a short sale does take patience. There is no guarantee your offer will be accepted. And there is no specific period for a firm response. If you are considering a short sale you may have a little wait.

If you are interested in purchasing a property in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida, please give me a call. I would welcome a chance to email you some listings or discuss the market.

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

Auburn Lakes, Viera Market Report October 2008

I am leaning toward the conclusion that things are improving in market for the Auburn Lakes subdivision in Viera, Florida. Why do I have that feeling? I do not see any short sales or third party approval required listings as of today.

It looks like there are only 7 properties listed as active in the Brevard MLS system with prices running from $189,900 to $205,000. Appears to me the prices have settled in a narrow range which seems appropriate since 5 of these have the same square footage (1,911).

As for October 2008 activity there was one property that closed, another two under contract and two newly listed during the month. Not a lot of activity for sure but that may just be a good sign!

For information on buying or selling a home in Viera, Florida, please feel free to contact me. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Can I get a do over??????

Can I get a do-over? If you have ever seen kids (and some adults) playing games..actually hang with some adult guys playing will certainly hear someone want a do-over. In golf they call it mulligans but it is still a do-over!

I was thinking about that yesterday as I was having lunch with my wife at Jimmies Restaurant at the Turtle Creek Golf Course in Rockledge, Florida. How many people who purchased their homes over the past three years or so would like to say that to their mortgage lender?

Who has not heard that a lot of folks are upside down in their mortgage because of the pricing/value collapse. Many folks are in that boat (and it ain't no Love Boat!).

But lots of folks are responsible. Responsible as in accepting responsibility - not blaming anyone. They continue to pay those upside down mortgages knowing they may never recoup the "losses" suffered. But they are responsible. They are the folks who are not playing a "mulligan," but rather just accepting life's circumstances and going forward.

Wouldn't it be nice if more folks did so?

There are times when short sales are unavoidable and the responsible plan of action. If you are considering selling your home in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida, please give me a call at 321-693-3850. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Market Report October 2008 - Phillips Landing Rockledge Florida

During October 2008 there were almost 400 single family properties that were closed in Brevard County, Florida. Average days on the market for the entire county was about 123 days with the average selling price around $182,000.

Now, how are things going in the Phillips Landing subsdivision? Phillips Landing is a newer development in Rockledge, just off Interstate 95 and near the area of Viera. Most of these homes were built in 2005 but some are as new as 2008.

Active Homes for Sale: 9 ($169,900 - $294,900)
Homes under contract in October: 2
Short Sales actively for sale: 4 ($169,900 - $199,900)
Sold in October 2008: 1 (2119 sq ft for $209,000 - short sale)

If you would like information on the homes for sale in Phillips Landing and Rockledge, Florida real estate market, please feel free to contact me. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, 1211 Admiralty Blvd, Rockledge, Florida.

Brevard County Florida Market Report October 2008

This is an early report of the October 2008 real estate activity in Brevard County, Florida. The numbers may change a bit over the next few days as data is entered form the last few days of the month but it will serve as an early indicator of the month's activity.

Single Family Homes Sold 382

Average Days on the Market 123

Average Selling Price $181,238

Average Listing Price $194,448

Median Selling Price $151,850

Median Listing Price $159,900

List-to-Sell Price Ratio 93%

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

Sellers turning to rent as way to beat the market!

I was reading this morning's Florida Today newspaper. The real estate section had as its main story how sellers are looking at renting homes out during a slow market. This is probably not a bad idea if a seller does not need to sell at this time.

What are the benefits of such an arrangement? Does it work for all sellers?

First of all, the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge (all of Brevard County Florida) has more properties for sale than buyers. The competition is keen. Sellers are competing with short sales and foreclosures. Prices still seem to be dropping although not as quickly as they once were!

Sellers are not seeing these huge windfalls as they once did! And, sellers are for the most part still required to pay that monthly mortgage! Carrying a home while it is on the market can be devastating to some sellers. I have been there myself and it is not fun! At least a little income to offset the cost can be a little relief.

There are challenges to be faced if you intend to continue attempting to sell with a tenant in place.

Will the tenant be on a month to month rental basis with the ability (or desire) to move out if you get a contract? Will the tenant accommodate prospects seeing viewing the property? My personal experience has been it is a challenge to sell tenant occupied property unless your buyer prospect is another investor looking to keep it rented.

Do you just take the home off the market and rent it out for a couple or three years? The general consensus is that prices may rebound a little eventually but not to anywhere near the boom market. Do you just accept the market for what it is and sell at the current market price?

There is no easy answer.

Interested in buying or selling real estate in the Viera, Rockledge and Suntree area (including Cocoa Florida)? Please give me a call. I would welcome a chance to discuss how I may assist you in your efforts. Gary Waters licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

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