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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Which ball would you choose?

100_3671 The little rascal on the left is my Boston Terrier Diesel. He likes to play - all the time! While tossing around the tennis balls I decided to throw two of them at the same time and see which one he would select.

They both look the same on the outside. They have the same characteristics. Both when tossed were in the same area. Which would he choose? He chose the yellow one. Both were yellow..so why did he select the one?

Then I thought how closely this resembles my experience with home buyers in the Viera and Suntree area. Anyone who has not been to Suntree and Viera should definitely look it over if moving to Brevard County, Florida! Many of the homes do look similar but the developments all have their own distinct character.

I never "push" any particular home on my buyer clients. I never throw out an opinion - unless asked. The decisions are always made by the buyer. So, how do they decide between these equally nice properties?

Sure, price, condition, neighborhood (location), and other characteristics are important but sometimes I think it is the "intangibles!"

Considering a home purchase in the Viera and Suntree area, perhaps the 55+ community of Heritage Isle? What about a golf course community like Fairway Lakes or the Baytree National Golf Links? Regardless of your desired neighborhood, give me a call!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, serving buyers, sellers and renters along the Florida Space Coast.

Please read my other blogs at www.activerain.com/blogs/gwatersc21 and www.movingbrevard.blogspot.com.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Scientific Approach to Pricing Your Home

Recently while inspecting a property to provide an opinion of value to the lender (BPO) the occupant made an interesting comment.


This gentleman was a very educated, refined, analytical accountant-type (is that stereotyping?). He was aware of how many houses were on the market in Brevard County Florida. He also knew how many short sales and bank owned properties were on the market. He also appeared very knowledgeable and conversant on the state of the economy.


One remark he made really got me to thinking. He made the comment that trying to assign a value could be a challenge in this market.


I have worked with buyers and sellers who have resisted the hard data, scientific approach to valuing a property. Real estate agents must place an emphasis on what is on the market and selling when providing a price analysis. I believe lenders place a greater emphasis on what has just sold as well!


Pricing a property, whether buyer or seller, requires one take into account the three most valued considerations



  • location,

  • condition and

  • competition (i.e.market).

If you are looking to buy or sell I recommend you take a look at the three closest similar properties that have recently sold (within 4 weeks, if possible) as well as the three closest active for sale properties. [It is very important that these properties be similar in size, age, condition, construction.] This not scientific approach but rather a practical approach!

Pricing is not a matter of rocket science but likewise its not an emotional
matter

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, serving buyers and sellers in the Rockledge, Suntree and Viera areas of Florida's Space Coast. Email me at agent@moving2brevard.com or call me directly at 321-693-3850.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Suntree Short Sale - Stunning Scenery!

The theme of the title is obviously words that begin with "S." The above sentence was used to describe a property for sale in the Grand Haven area of Suntree, Florida (north Melbourne, Florida).

Continuing with the "S' theme...Lets see...

  • Sorry. The view while sitting on the back patio will rarely by itself sell a home that is not priced competitively!
  • Simplistic. A seller who believes the view, no matter how grand, even if on a great golf course like Baytree National Golf Links, will sell their home is taking a simplistic approach to the current market.
  • Start. When I list a property for sale I always ask the seller for their favorite characteristic of the property. It may not be the potential buyer's favorite but it is a starting point for emphasis when marketing!

I will be the first to say - curb appeal, great sunsets, great views and the exterior serve as the starting point to set the mood for the buyer but it is the price, location and condition that sells!

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

Monday, January 26, 2009

December Brevard County Florida home sales up....

I just read an article on the Florida Today newspaper's web site. It was a summary of the December 2008 Brevard County Florida home and condo sales.

And it was positive!
Will the article be front page tomorrow? Probably not so here is a link.

Not steal the newspaper's thunder...here is the scoop. December 2008 home sales were up 17% over the December 2007 sales. The figure represents 100 more than the 348 sold in November 2008!

Condo sales were up 10% over the December 2007 sales yet still is lagging in my opinion! Some will say these numbers are not that great however I choose to view it as a good sign. After all, interest rates are at historical lows and the choices for buyers are many!

Gary Waters, your Florida licensed real estate specialist for the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Cocoa Florida communities. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The $ecret to Selling Your House...

I have seen many infomercials hawking the ease of making big buck$ in residential real estate. Actually what I see most of the time is about buying tax certificates and the tax sale routine. And, it is never as easy as they make it appear!

I hear all sorts of secrets for selling. I saw a short piece on one of the local TV stations this morning about some 55+ community in central Florida that was having a mass open house and selling without real estate agents. The lady interviewed told the reporter that the market is so bad that they need to cut sales expenses. I can appreciate her situation.

Anyway, here is the secret to selling. It is all about...{drum roll, please}.....
  • Price
  • Location
  • Condition

All other issues are minor. Of these, there is only one which the seller can't control - location.

Considering buying or selling in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge, Baytree Golf Course, Heritage Isle and any other central Brevard County area? I would welcome a chance to discuss how I can assist with the marketing of your home.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Sully," where were you when....

the real estate markets needed you? In the words of Regis Philbin I am sure you would reply "I am only one man!"

By now people the world over have heard of pilot C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger and how he piloted the plane that averted disaster and will forever be known as the "Miracle on the Hudson"

That was quite a feat and from what I have read this man never lost sight of his situation. He remained calm, understood his environment and obstacles, chose a course of action and saw it through.

Somewhere along the way the real estate markets could have used a "Sully." Instead, everyone got caught up in the moment and made some decisions that were not the best. And now, at least here in the Viera area of Brevard County Florida, the REO/Bank Owned and short sale properties on the market are putting pressure on all market segments including new construction!

Considering buying or selling Viera and Rockledge, Florida? Please give me a chance to be your Realtor of Choice. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Viera Florida - spoiled, for sure!

I woke up this morning bright and early. It was not too cool this morning but the newspaper gave a grim weather forecast....It is going to be below freezing tonight!

. According to the newspaper article we were last below freezing three years ago. But folks know how to handle cold...this morning, at 53 degrees, I saw a lady in the car next to me wearing a knit cap and mittens. I guess that late model Lexus had a malfunctioning heater! I guess we in central Florida's Space Coast are really spoiled

Oh well, that is the reason folks move to Viera and Rockledge...great weather, great golf, great schools, great Florida coastal living...being spoiled.

If you're considering a move to Viera and north Melbourne Florida, give me a call. I would welcome a chance to your real estate agent.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent,Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, serving buyers and sellers of residential properties. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Taking the dive, the plunge, the leap...

I remember a long long time ago when I first took swimming lessons - yep I am not as old as water - and the day came for me to walk out on the end of that diving board. It was "the" test.

I was about 7 years old and to pass the class you had to jump in the pool from the terrifying height of three feet! I did it but only because everyone else was doing it. My first exposure to peer (pier) pressure!

I read many articles and hear many conversations about how buyers should be buying now. Why not? In some places the market is really attractive. But many are standing at the end of that diving board...pausing...undecided.

Only you know if backing off that dive board is the place for you or if you need to take the plunge and buy that home now. I know that in the Viera and Central Brevard County Florida area the new construction property is priced attractively and the re-sales even better.

If you are considering buying or selling Viera, Rockledge and Suntree Florida, please give me a call. I would welcome a chance to discuss the water temperature and depth!
Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Please call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me agent@moving2brevard.com.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Buyer opportunities in Heritage Isle, Viera Florida

I had a call today from someone interested in the Heritage Isle 55+ community in Viera. I had not looked at the active listings in Heritage Isle in a week or two but my "guess" was there were about 40 re-sales on the market.

I just checked and, sure enough, there are 41 re-sale properties listed as active in the MLS. And there are several (really four) short sales that look very attractive. Three bedroom two, two car garage properties under $176,000!

The lowest priced short sale is priced at $150,000. Of course, short sales are properties where the selling price will be less than the mortgage owed. Thus, lender approval (third party) is required.

If you would like information on Heritage Isle properties, as well as the other 55+ communities in Brevard County, please contact me. I can be reached directly at 321-693-3850 or by email at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, your Viera specialist.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Moving to Viera...consider new construction

I was speaking with another real estate agent today about the homes for sale in the Viera, Florida area. OK, once again, Viera is not really a city in Florida but a rather a master planned unit development in Central Brevard County, Florida.

He is encouraging all his clients to look at new construction before ever looking at the resales. This doe make sense to me, especially if Viera and Suntree are your target areas.

There are new construction "spec" homes available in almost all price ranges (from about $250,000 and up in Viera). And if you have time to wait for construction there are lots of choices. Some developments have homes that are ready for you to pick the colors, fixture, cabinets, flooring and the like - about two months to completion!

Once you are "armed" with the new construction data, then the re-sales can be compared with full knowledge of the market. By the way, take your own representation (real estate agent) with you to see the new construction.

If you are considering a move to central Florida's Space Coast, please give me a call if I can assist in any way. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Email me at agent@moving2brevard.com or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

Eason Landing in Viera, Florida

Viera is not (officially) a city. But as a master planned community it does have its own identity!

I was out at the Eason Landing subdivision in Viera this morning and picked up some new information on the homes being built in this gated community located west of I-95 in Brevard County, Florida. I do like the floor plans in this development, especially the Savannah II.

The Savannah II is a 4 bedroom 4 full bath 2 half bath 3 car garage home with 2,923 square feet of living area. Of course, the Savannah I is quite nice as well - 4 bedrooms 3 bath 3 car garage with 2,391 square feet under air. I especially like the detached building with bath.

Prices for homes in the Eason Landing development of Viera run from the mid $300K to well into the $500,000s! And if you are an investor the builders have a model leaseback program that will supposedly give you a 10% return on your purchase price.

If you are considering a move to Florida's Space Coast you should check out the Viera area. If I can assist in any way, please let me know.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Email me at agent@moving2brevard.com or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

Viera New Construction is plentiful!

I spent several hours today touring some of the new construction models in Viera. As I left this afternoon I tried to think which I found the most desirable floor plan and I could not decide. That validates the response I get when I ask buyers about the homes we have just viewed!

As a real estate agent who works primarily in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas of Brevard County Florida, I do have my own personal preferences - and they vary depending on the day of the week!

Some days I like the "maturity" of Suntree as it is an older planned unit development with mature trees and vegetation, nice golfing and nearby superb amenities! By the way, Suntree borders Viera so they are near or share many of the same amenities!

Some days I like the newness, the master planned living, new golf courses, new shopping, wonderful gated communities of Viera - especially west of I-95 in what is really central Viera. [West Viera is further development in the future, I heard!]

Some days I like the Augusta Trace neighborhood in Rockledge as it is near my favorite golf course - Turtle Creek Golf Course. I must admit there are about six or so of my favorite golf courses in the Viera area!

And my favorite golf course usually depends on how my game is that day! On really bad days I need the openness of the Patrick Air Force Base course, Manatee Cove, or Viera East Golf Club! Turtle Creek is a shot makers course!

If you are considering a move to Florida's Space Coast you should check out the Viera area. If I can assist in any way, please let me know.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Email me at agent@moving2brevard.com or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Word that doesn't belong in your vocabulary

When I work with sellers we (it is a team effort) price the property appropriately for the market, even a little aggressively. I always try to shape the conversation around "when" we get an offer, not "if" we get an offer.

Real estate is selling every day in my market area of Viera, Rockledge, Suntree and Cocoa, Florida.

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

Days on the Market...a good tool for buyers and sellers!

As a buyer one bit of key information you should consider is the number of days a property has been on the market. At a minimum the days on the market (abbreviated DOM) may give you some insight into the property or seller. Some of these include:

  • Price. If it was priced too high initially and has been reduced several times, the price may still be a little high.
  • Condition. If a property has been on the market longer than normal for the neighborhood or area (such as Viera or even Auburn Lakes in Viera), then it may indicate the condition is not appropriate for the price.
  • Seller motivation. Possibly directly related to the price or possibly offers have been received yet no negotiation!
  • Distressed sale. Short sale properties often receive multiple offers and some of these lenders are taking forever to respond. As a result some buyers walk leaving it on the market even longer!

I do like to caution sellers about putting too much reliance as to the "average days on the market" for an area as it really does not reflect the "real market." Short sales, over priced listings, and other issues can skew the days on the market. Take a look at what has sold in the past 60 days - that will tell the real story!

Sellers must not be complacent about themselves if they have had a house on the market 120 days and the average is 120 days. You want to be under the average!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate professional, serving buyers and sellers in the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Cocoa areas of Brevard County Florida.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sometimes you do; sometimes you don't...want to stand out!

As a seller of a home in "this market," you do want to make your home stand out for its positive attributes. Over the past day or so I have read three different accounts of people who are standing out not so positive attributes.
  • First, there is that case of a "stout ninja" attempting to steal ATM machines in West Palm Beach Florida. This guy (assumption as all you see is eyes on video) has been as a "potbelly" in a black ninja outfit.
  • Secondly, in yesterday's Florida Today newspaper web site, there was the story of some driver in a yellow Ferrari who was supposedly driving over the Melbourne Causeway at speeds in excess of 100 MPH. Anyone familiar with Brevard County, Florida knows there are not that many yellow Ferrari autos hanging around the The Avenues Mall parking lot in Viera or the Melbourne Mall!
  • Thirdly, there really was a third incident but obviously it was not as memorable!
As a seller in Viera, Suntree, Baytree Golf Course, or Rockledge Florida, how can I make your home stand out?

Initially, I considered holding an open house and showing up in a yellow speeding Ferrari, dressed in a gold ninja costume (I do have bit of a belly) and... OK, this it. We will:

  • Price your house competitively for the market
  • Promote and otherwise advertise on the Internet and in select print media

  • Hold professional open houses

  • Prepare flyers, direct mail materials

  • Provide recommendations for staging and preparing your to sell

  • Address your concerns and issues

  • Communicate with you frequently

  • Educate you in the process, as desired

  • Recommend qualified professionals as needed (title company, moving company, inspectors, and others as each transaction is different)

  • Be with you through the process!

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

Gary Waters. Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.


Who am I?

As a full time real estate agent serving buyers and sellers in the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge areas of Brevard Country, Florida, I attract most of my clients the new "old fashioned" way - through the Internet.

I post a lot of comments and short articles on my blogs (this one) and also here. Sometimes these articles are, in the words of Dragnet's Joe Friday, just the facts. Sometimes there is humor or even sarcasm.

It is through these writing styles I try to get folks to know me. I am serious about providing professional service to my clients but I am not a boring person. OK, I try not to be but...

If you are looking for your Realtor of Choice in the Viera, Suntree or Rockledge area, please read my blogs, give me a call...see if my personality and expertise is a match for you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Doing it by the book? What book?


What is "it?"
It is buying and selling a home in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida real estate market.

There was a time when by the book for a seller meant:

  • put it in the MLS,
  • put a for sale sign out front,
  • get a half dozen showings in the first week,
  • get an offer (little negotiating),
  • close...all in 30 days!

There was a time when by the book for a buyer meant:

  • find the 3-5 listings that met your criteria,
  • view the properties,
  • find the one that most met your criteria,
  • hope you can negotiate an acceptable price,
  • close...all in 30 days!

That was then...now is now. How has it changed?

Now a seller must:

  • price competitively,
  • stage professionally,
  • make your property stand out (read as Internet exposure),
  • be flexible/work around buyer schedules,
  • negotiate when and offer come in (patience)
  • submit an offer and wait and wait and wait if it is a short sale or bank owned property (if seller is a short sale),
  • hope the buyer's mortgage really does get approved,
  • hope the closing goes smoothly...
  • all in a month or two!
Now a buyer must:
  • hope the mortgage approval is good,
  • hope the home appraises,
  • see lots of homes and
  • choose from among 10 or 20 or more homes,
  • submit an offer and wait and wait and wait if it is a short sale or bank owned property (if seller is a short sale),
  • close...all in a month or two or longer!
Times have changed. Buyer and seller strategies have changed.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida, proudly working with buyers and sellers in the Suntree, Viera and Rockledge areas of Florida's Space Coast.

Please read my other blog here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Why consider seller financing?

I saw a listing today that mentioned owner financing with 20% down and good credit. In this price range the 20% would be about 50,000! And the owner financing interest rate was mentioned as 4.5% - not bad.

I am not a mortgage broker nor do I work for any lender but I do know that interest rates are at historically low rates. I know that housing affordability is the best it has been in about twenty years. There are opportunities for buyers with good credit and money to put down.

Opportunities from lenders, I am told!
I heard some "expert" on Fox News this morning that a credit score of 740+ was required for the very best rates...pretty high!

If someone asks me about owner financing I always recommend they speak with a lender first - maybe a couple or three even. I have heard and read of cases where renters were evicted when the owner was foreclosed even though they had paid the rent. I read of a case where the owner who had "owner financed" a property collected the down payment and the monthly payments for six months. Then his buyers were surprised at the foreclosure. Seems he did not pay his mortgage although they paid theirs!

For these reasons I urge you to consider third party financing first. Owner financing and lease with an option to buy are a couple of other options, if necessary.

Of course this is not an indictment of all owners who hold the paper themselves. However, it is a reason for caution.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me if you are considering a move to Brevard County Florida. Your single source for information on Viera, Suntree, Baytree Golf Course, Rockledge and Cocoa Florida homes for sale.

Please read my other blogs at www.activerain.com/blogs/gwatersc21.


Either "it is" or "it is not"

You may heard it said that someone is either pregnant or not...There is no "sort of." Similarly, it has been said you either will or will not...There is no try. And, when it comes to selling your house, you either are or are not selling.

Finally, our MLS system has agreed. They have removed the status "temporarily off the market."

I have never understood why we used that classification. If you are a seller and circumstances require you to remove the property from the market, cancel the listing. Your real estate agent should be willing to work with you on this.

I have seen cases where the seller was going to be out of town for an extended period and did not want anyone to enter the home while gone. Better to withdraw the listing than just have the office state no showings for an extended period.

Why? Because the "days on the market" [the total time listed] continues to add up and people see it as either:

  1. An indication that something is wrong with property
  2. An indication of it being overpriced
  3. An uncooperative seller or
  4. Some unknown but perceived "negative" issue.

Regardless of reason or validity of such issue, the perception works at a disadvantage. This decision made by our MLS is one that works for the client!

Considering buying or selling in Brevard County Florida, please give me a chance to be your Realtor of Choice. Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida. Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me at gwatersc21@aol.com.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Financial Disaster teaches a lesson ....

I was speaking with a potential short sale client today who lives in Viera Florida. He was considering selling his home for less than he owes (definition of a short sale). This would require lender approval.

His reason for a short sale - job change with income loss! He felt bad but was realistic about his circumstances. As I left his home he said something that really hit a nerve...
This financial disaster has taught me something I should have learned long ago....pay as you go!

He was now living on a cash basis. Sure his credit was in the tank. He does intend to pay his debts but he can only do what he can do...and now it is just a survival game!

His circumstances are not much different than others I have met while working in this real estate market. Some are angry. Some are looking to blame others. Some are looking to find someone to sue. Some though, accept that mistakes were made. Some are glad they have learned a difficult lesson while younger so they will not make it later in life!

The easy credit markets combined with skyrocketing real estate prices created a dangerous environment for those (most) who were not extremely cautious.

Hopefully a lesson has been learned by all!

If you are in difficult financial circumstances and considering whether a short sale is an option, please give me a call. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.





I will not be an angry old person...I won't..I won't...I won't!

I went into a local Big-Mart a few days ago and the the greeter scowled at me. OK, perhaps that was only my perception but anger sure seemed to be the "attitude du jour."

For a second I thought... January, 75 degrees, sunshine all around, low or no crime, great golfing, Orlando 40 minutes away, beaches 15 minutes away, Port Canaveral and cruises nearby....

Upon reflection (I almost said deep thought) I had the answer.

They retired from up north down here to enjoy Florida living. They were supposed to be playing golf, enjoying the great sport fishing or playing bridge!

But instead they find themselves working - at Wally World! I would be angry too!

At that point I decided I will not be an angry old person!

Why, you ask? Easy...

I already know I will be working when I am old and I have plenty of time to get over that anger!

Actually, this is a serious subject.

Folks have purchased homes that have decreased in value. There will be no reverse mortgages as the equity is not there. They used all that "profit" from the previous home sale to put down on the new place. All that profit has vanished.

The market will come back. Until then, "Welcome to Big-Mart!"



Viera's Indian River Colony Club

This morning's Florida Today newspaper had an article on the 55+ Viera Florida community of Viera. You can read the entire article here.

This was an interesting article but it did stimulate a couple of questions as it differed from perious information I had on file (in my brain!).

I called and left a message. If I get a return call I will update this post.

If you are considering a move to Brevard County and a 55+ is a possibility, please give me a call. I am familiar with Indian River Colony Club, Grand Isle and Heritage Isle, all located in the Viera planned unit development.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida. Email me at agent@moving2brevard.com or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

Friday, January 09, 2009

It is all about age...discrimination

MPj01849510000[1] Old is relative. Old is something someone else is, not you. Someone once said that you will always be young if you hang with older people - maybe that is why they are sticking close by...nah, must be my sparkling personality!

There is nothing wrong with a little experience as long as care has been taken along the way to maintain your body systems. The same is true with houses. .

This has never been more important than in today's real estate market. In the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge Florida market I see lots of homes for sale that are, in some eyes, old. Not antique - only 10-20 years old.

The newer construction, especially in Viera, Florida, that occurred over the past four or five years has created an oversupply of resale properties in this down market. And this inventory has put some real pressure on prices.

So, how can you sell an older home when yo have to compete with the "youngsters?"

Sometimes you can't. Sometimes people want new or barely used. Sometimes you can as some folks care more about location, layout, condition, and not looking "cookie cutter!"

However, the key to success when selling an older home - maintenance. I will go one step further and say that as a seller go ahead and get a pre-listing home inspection done. If there are issues, address them. And then leave a copy of the inspection on the counter for potential buyers to peruse.

It will help because it may be about age!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, proudly working with buyers and sellers in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas of Florida's Space Coast.

[I am now eligible for the "senior discount" at some establishments. They are now giving us youngsters discounts too!]

Viera Pool Home Reduced for Quick Sale!

This 2001 built 4 Bedroom 2 bath Viera, Florida home with an enclosed solar heated in-ground pool has been reduced to $212,900.

Located at 2397 Deercroft Drive in the Bayhill subdivision of Viera (east of I-95) this home features lots of built-ins, ceiling fans (5), walk-in pantry, 20 inch ceramic tile in foyer, kitchen and family room and more.

The trussed porch (roof is same as house - not an aluminum add on!) overlooking the pool offers a relaxing environment! The master bath has both a garden tub and shower.With hurricane shutters, security system, a separate laundry room and all appliances staying - this home is ready for you to move.

I have seen it written many times...."bring your toothbrush" as an indicator that a property is ready to move into immediately. I have always refrained from using it but today I will..."bring your toothbrush!"

Close to I-95, The Avenues Mall, restaurants, excellent schools including new Viera High, Space Coast Stadium, medical facilities, golf courses and more...

This is an exceptional value in an exceptional location!

For information on this property or any Viera or Rockledge, Florida property, please contact me at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

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

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Auburn Lakes Viera Florida Market Report January 2009

I usually try to post subdivision specific market reports at the beginning of the month. Seems like I have fallen behind...sure hope this is not a 2009 thing!

Auburn Lakes is a subdivision centrally located in the planned unit development of Viera, near excellent schools, shopping, I-95 and U.S. Highway and lots of other amenities. Nearby golf courses (several within a few miles), restaurants, and more.

As of today, January 8th, there are 8 properties for sale in Auburn Lakes. The list prices range from $169,900 to $299,000 [my opinion - way overpriced!]. Most of these homes were built in 2002 and 2003.

There was one home that sold in December 2008 - a 1618 square foot home for $167,000. [I represented a seller a few years ago and the same size home in this neighborhood sold for almost $100,000 more!]

If you would like information on any homes for sale in Viera, please let me know. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

You are kindly invited to read my other blog at www.activerain.com/blogs/gwatersc21 and visit my web site at www.moving2brevard.com.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Satan is running loose....

This is not some religious right or whatever rant. Satan is a dog - a real dog.

I was showing properties some time ago and the showing instructions were simple. The owners are moving. There is a pit bull named Satan still here but he is in a crate. Pulled up, looked inside as the window treatments were already removed and, sure enough, Satan was running loose! We did not show this property.

On another occasion the showing instructions were "vacant, on an electronic lock box." Then the agent added "there are two pit bulls but they should be in their crate." I was young(er), (more) energetic (in case I had to run), and not as smart. I went in. Relief - no dogs anywhere. As I went around the corner I heard a frightening sound - yep, barking - aggressive sounding barking! They were in the crate and sleeping until I disturbed their tranquility.

I have had a couple of other near misses with pets. I have found there are two entities that you must work around when selling a property. Entities that can present a problem - pets and tenants. Neither is bad. However, each requires special handling!

As a seller, especially in the Brevard County, Florida market, you need to maximize your showings and make the absolute best impression possible. Having someone remember your home as the one with the dog is not the way!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, Call me, please, if you are consider buying or selling a home in the Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Cocoa areas of Florida's Space Coast!

[The doggie to the left is Diesel...my son's Boston Terrier. He is dangerous - may lick you to death!]

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sellers, please paint me a picture....

Humans are visual beings. Seeing is believing. Paint me a picture. There are lots of phrases that describe our desire or requirement to see things!

But it seems some sellers are trying to sell their homes without photos! You know how good at writing an agent must be to sell a house with only narrative prose.

I will admit that this is not restricted to our MLS system. It happens all over I am sure! I guess this is a problem as our local Realtor Board just posted a memo that states you must have a photo in the MLS system within 5 days after inputting the property in the system.

If you are selling your home you must have more than one photo. Our MLS system allows 12 photos and other web sites I use allow a little less (6 at a minimum). Furthermore, a virtual tour or slide show or some additional visual renderings will only help you sell! [My opinion - if your agent has not input at least one photo within 24 hours, call him!]

The narrative comments are restricted and condensed because of space limitations. Good photos, when combined with a decent narrative, will increase your buyer interest!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida, specializing in the Space Coast areas of Suntree, Viera, Rockledge, Cocoa and Central Brevard County. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Sometimes you just have to get moving....

Have you ever been in a situation or at a point in your life when you knew you wanted to do something? But, you just can't bring yourself to commit! You start, make the initial move and then...it is like a wall has encircled you.

That wall is procrastination. And it impacts all of us to some degree!

This post is really about real estate. Some who know me are aware that I have been writing this book (who hasn't?) for several years. A humorous, satirical, comical and equal opportunistically offending look at...well that is enough. I have even gone so far as to establish a blog to post it bit by bit. Eventually I will put it here.

Now, how does this all relate to real estate? Easy. I talk to many potential buyers in the Viera, Rockledge and Suntree areas of Brevard County Florida. I exchange emails and phone calls with folks from other parts of the U.S. and world (OK, mostly Canada) who are considering a second home purchase or retirement move to Viera. After all, Viera has several premier 55+ communities such as Heritage Isle.

These folks all have one thing in common - want to - "but." Some do not know if the prices will come down further. Some wonder if interest rates will get lower [although they are near historical lows]. Some see too many choices and can't make a decision.

None of us have a crystal ball but if you are considering a Viera or Rockledge Florida purchase, please give me a call. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Email me at agent@moving2brevard.com or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

This market rocks!

I do not usually speak with such brevity or use the word "rocks." The above quote is from a client. Not one of my clients but of another agent.

I was entering the office a few days ago and a gentleman was leaving the office with another agent. I asked how they were doing, you know, the usual pleasantries. They were going out again to look at listings in Viera, Florida.

I inquired what the out-of-towner (Wasn't there a movie called The Out of Towners?) thought of what he had seen earlier.

His response - the title!

I guess it is all perspective. Prices are attractive in Viera and Suntree (north Melbourne) Florida. Could have been the warm, almost spring like weather (80 degrees today).

If you are considering buying a home in the Brevard County area, I encourage you to take a look at the homes for sale in the areas of Viera, Rockledge and Suntree. If you want a golf course community, you have several choices. If you want a 55+ community, take a look at Heritage Isle or Grand Isle. If you want luxury, take a look at Wyndham Lakes or Summer lakes or Eason Landing or Fairway Lakes or...the choices are many!

If I can assist you in any way, please feel free to contact me - Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, century 21 Baytree Realty - at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

After all .... This market rocks!

It really should be about quality of life....

I was reading an article in today's Palm Beach Post (online edition) about the number of folks leaving south Florida. As a central Florida real estate agent I know that many of my clients have been folks who have "fled" the south Florida area as well as the winter wonderland known as "the northeast!"

Why are people fleeing? OK, fleeing may be too harsh Why are people leaving? Because....

Its all about this thing called quality of life!

I have read many articles and surveys about quality of life. What is it? They all have differing criteria used for the their specific purpose (slant) but I believe quality of life is an individual thing. Only you know what constitutes a high quality of life.

Here in Brevard County, Florida, specifically the Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Cocoa Beach areas where I live and work I see it as...

  • ease of commute
  • low crime rate
  • Outstanding schools
  • lots of recreational opportunities
  • easy access to excellent dining
  • good golf (a recreational category of its own)
  • educational and personal development opportunities
  • opportunities for religious expression
  • reasonable tax rate (taxes can always be lower!)
  • excellent municipal services

If you are relocating to Florida, check us out. Our quality of life is among the best!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida proudly serving Viera, Suntree, Rockledge, Suntree and all of the central Space Coast! Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Not just any short sale property will do - Being Selective

I was speaking with a potential client yesterday regarding short sales. In Brevard County Florida there are lots of them. And some appear on the surface to be very good deals.

I have noticed several, OK more than several, neighborhoods in Viera and Rockledge where more than half the properties listed for sale in the subdivision are short sales. Let me repeat - on the surface the prices sure seem very attractive.

However, I wonder how many of these neighborhoods have other homes in the process of entering the foreclosure or short sale market.

Why would a homeowner who paid $250,000 for a home two years ago keep paying his mortgage when the homes in the area are now going for $150,000? This is not a lecture on personal responsibility or personal pride....

Short sales do present opportunities but caution is certainly warranted. In a market where there is....

  • excessive re-sale inventory
  • growing unemployment
  • competing new construction
  • declining prices

....caution is the rule of the day because not just any short sale will do!

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

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Car For Sale, Like New - thousands less than paid last year!

The title of this blog may not be too unusual. After all, we have long known (and experienced) the almost immediate depreciation experienced when purchasing a car. Once "titled," it is now used and worth a whole lot less!

Such is not what we have grown to expect with real estate, specifically residential real estate. But many across the country, and in my market of Viera Florida, have experienced such.

Some do not call it depreciation but rather a market correction. However you want to phrase it...it caught some by surprise. OK, it caught most by surprise!

In Viera Florida and the surrounding communities of Rockledge and Suntree (north Melbourne), there are lots of short sales. These are situations where the probable selling price will be less than the mortgage.

I checked a few of these in a nearby golf course development. Of the 7 properties listed for sale (all in the $300,000+ range), three are short sales - with listing prices more than $100,000 less than the price originally paid! That is a market correction depreciation!

I saw another subdivision I wrote about on my blog recently that had 50% of the active listings as short sales - a common phenomena in this culture of correction (did it again) depreciation!

If you are in a position to purchase real estate this may be the right time to take advantage of the recent market correction. [I used correction as I am now convinced it is only a correction and properties will eventually appreciate again (until the next correction).] Hopefully folks will approach the market with moderation and common sense!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida serving the Brevard County areas of Viera, Suntree, Rockledge, Cocoa, Baytree Golf Course, Heritage Isle and many more. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Short Sales in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida

There are still a lot of opportunities with "short sale" properties in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida areas.

IShort sale signt is interesting to note that of the 86 active listings in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas only 5 have been in the Brevard MLS system for less than 30 days. A check of days on the market 31-60 days reveals 11 properties listed during that time period.

It looks as if the short sales entering the market are slowing - at least in these central Space Coast areas! It will be interesting to check next month and see if this hypothesis holds true!

During December there were 7 short sale properties that closed and another 28 remain under contract! Hopefully this will help in getting the total single family inventory down. [There are 690 single family homes listed as "active" in the Suntree, Viera and Rockledge areas as of this afternoon so less than 13% are short sales.]

A few more facts about the short sales in these areas.

  • prices of the active properties range from $59,900 to $999,900.
  • In the Viera area alone the prices of 38 active listings range from $115,000 to $999,900
  • 48 properties in all the areas are priced under $200,000!

If you are looking for a short sale opportunity, then this central Brevard area is probably worth checking out. If you would like information on any properties for sale in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me at gwatersc21@aol.com

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

December 2008 Market Report - Heritage Isle in Viera Florida


The Heritage Isle 55+ active lifestyle community of Viera (north Melbourne) Florida continues to offer buyers lots of opportunities. A summary of the Heritage Isle market as of today, January 2nd, reveals....
  • Active properties for Sale: 41 (prices range from $160,000 to $419,000
  • Number of properties under contract: 5 (three of these are short shorts)
  • Number of properties that sold in December 2008: 5 (Lowest priced was a short sale $165,000)
  • Number of "short sale" properties for sale: 5
Heritage Isle is what many consider to be the premier 55+ community i the Viera area. With its 21,000 square foot club house, pools, gated/security, pools, tennis courts, fitness center, concierge service and more, it is quite impressive. And its location near the Duran Golf Course, shopping, new medical facilities [information on the new Viera Hospital], and restaurants can't be beat! Plus...15 minutes to the beaches, 45 minutes to Orlando, 30 minutes to Cape Canaveral and its cruise ships!

For information on the Heritage Isle community and any Viera/Rockledge real estate, please feel free to contact me at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

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

Viera Buyers Sellers and Renters use the Internet!

The Internet is the life blood for real estate professionals and their clients! Even during the slower period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, folks were still looking to buy, sell and rent homes in the Viera area. How do I know they are using the Internet?

Simple...I have

  • had owner's looking to hire an agent to place a tenant in their rental homes in the Viera area.
  • had buyer's contacting me about opportunities in Brevard County.
  • had buyer's contact me about purchasing a home in Heritage Isle - the premier 55+ community in Viera.
  • Assisted folks move into rental properties.
  • had seller's contacting me about listing their property for sale.

All of whom found me on the Internet! If, even during the slow times, people are using the Internet for real estate, shouldn't you as well?

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Rockledge and Viera (including Suntree) areas of Florida's Space Coast (and you found me on the Internet too), please give me a call if I can assist you in any way.

Gary Waters Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

December 2008 Market Report Viera, Suntree and Rockledge Florida

We made it through the holidays! Although December is usually a slow time as folks celebrate, there were some real estate closings in December 2008 for the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas of Central Brevard County.

In December 2008 Viera, Suntree and Rockledge had...

  • 43 Single Family Homes were sold.
  • Average Days on the Market for sold properties was 158 days - a bit more than the average for the entire County(114 days).
  • Average selling price was almost $254,000 (about $90,000 higher than the average for the County).
  • Sellers negotiated as the homes sold were for about 92% of list price.
  • Average listing price was just under $276,000.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Rockledge and Viera (including Suntree) areas of Florida's Space Coast, please give me a call if I can assist you in any way. Gary Waters Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

December 2008 Market Report Brevard County Florida

The period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day typically is slow for real estate, even in the sunshine of Central Florida! So a preliminary look at the Brevard County Florida December 2008 sales information from the Brevard County MLS system reveals the following.

In December 2008...

  • 383 Single Family Homes were sold.
  • Average Days on the Market for sold properties was 114 days.
  • Average selling price was almost $162,000.
  • Sellers negotiated as the homes sold were for about 91% of list price.
  • Average listing price was just over $177,000.

Interest rates are now at historical record lows. A lot of owners are apparently re-financing as the mortgage applications rates are up. The real estate market does present some opportunities for some!

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Rockledge and Viera (including Suntree) areas of Florida's Space Coast, please give me a call if I can assist you in any way. Gary Waters Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

The Ventura at Turtle Creek - Condos at Great Prices!

In my continuing effort to provide folks with a little information about the Rockledge and Viera real estate market I wanted to highlight the December 2008 market activity for The Ventura at Turtle Creek Condo complex.

The Ventura at Turtle Creek condos are conveniently located near the Turtle Creek Golf Course in Rockledge, Florida. Built primarily in 2006 and 2007 these gated condo units offer residents excellent facilities, garages, carports, elevators, easy access to great chopping, recreation, schools, churches and more.

During December four of the six units listed for sale were sold. These 2 and 3bedroom 2 bath units, some with garages, all were floor plans with1447 square feet of living area. The list prices were in the $140,000 range and ALL SOLD FOR $119,900! Now that is quite a bit lower than the original prices!

There are a couple of units listed for sale at this time ...both for about $132,000 - still attractively priced. [One of these is a short sale.] By the way, there is still new construction [builder Pulte Homes] in the complex as well so if you want brand new, it is available!

If you would like information on the real estate market in Viera and Rockledge, Florida, please give me a call or drop me an email. Gary Waters Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Phillips Landing Market Report January 2009

As we enter this new year I wanted to highlight some of the best buying opportunities in the Rockledge and Viera Florida real estate market. One of the subdivisions that looks to present some opportunity is Phillips Landing.

Situated just off Interstate 95, this subdivision of homes built from 2004 to 2008 offers its residents a convenient location, underground utilities, some waterfront homes, a community pool and playground, nearby excellent schools, shopping and more!

As of today there are 11 properties for sale in Phillips Landing. Interesting to note is that over half of these properties for sale are short sales! [A short sale is a property fro sale which will likely sell for less than the mortgage owed and will require lender approval. Some of these are really attractive offerings!]

Prices in Phillips Landing range from two short sales for $149,900 to a short sale at $309,000! Five of the properties listed are offered for less than $170,000. Amazing that when these homes were first built I believe the starting price was from the low $200s!

[My how the times have changed! - GO GATORS!]

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Rockledge and Viera (including Suntree) areas of Florida's Space Coast, please give me a call if I can assist you in any way. Gary Waters Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Will all these Brevard County Florida listings go away?

Yesterday, New Year's Day, I noticed almost 900 listings in the Brevard County Florida MLS system expired...caput..went away. The inventory dropped considerably.

That was a welcome site. [Of course none of these listings were mine.] I get an extension signed before the listing expires (usually).

Yes, I have had listing expire but that is OK because I sometimes take listings for short periods. Actually I usually go for a minimum of three months. And I have a no-fee cancellation policy so folks can withdraw without penalty if there is a change of circumstances.

And to answer the title question - probably not!

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Rockledge and Viera (including Suntree) areas of Florida's Space Coast, please give me a call if I can assist you in any way.

Gary Waters Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.

Pulling a "Plaxico"....Who is at fault?

Plaxico Burress is a New York Giants professional football player who, if you did not hear, shot himself in the leg with his own gun a few weeks ago. There he was, in complete control of the situation and yet did it to himself!

As a full time real estate agent in Viera and Rockledge Florida I see sellers (and their agents) who are pretty good at pulling a "Plaxico" themselves!

For example I saw a recent listing in the Admiralty Lakes area of Rockledge. A great area near my favorite Brevard County Florida golf course, The Turtle Creek Golf Course. It was a property for sale with these issues:

  • Agent note said "owner anxious" but the property was priced more than $40,000 higher than a half dozen competing properties. Does not sound anxious to me...
  • Our MLS system allows a maximum of 12 photos of properties listed. This one had a single photograph. Perhaps the owner was "anxious" but the agent was not...oh yeah, the property had been in the system for over a month!

There are lots of ways to help sell your competition...the above are just a few. As a seller you are in control - really.

How you exert that control will determine when, and if, you sell your home. And two of the easiest ways:

  • Price it right.
  • Get it noticed by maximizing listing opportunities!

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Rockledge and Viera (including Suntree) areas of Florida's Space Coast, please give me a call if I can assist you in any way. Gary Waters Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me at agent@moving2brevard.com.



Thursday, January 01, 2009

How is your Brevard County Florida Property Appraised?

When working with buyers one of the earliest questions to surface is "how are your property taxes?" Regardless of a buyer's experience as a homeowner, this is one topic even the rookie, first time buyer has been taught to ask!

First of all the value of a property is established on January 1st of each year. If you purchase a property during the year it is the January 1st value and exemption status that will be used for the property taxes due at the end of the year.

Property taxes are paid in arrears in Brevard County so if you sell during the year your share of the taxes will be paid by you at closing.

The below is an excerpt from the Brevard Property Appraiser web site.

The Property Appraiser is not the Tax Collector, and the Property Appraiser has nothing to do with the total amount of taxes collected. As a property owner, however, you should not only be interested in what value the Property Appraiser places on your property, but in how the amount of taxes you must pay is determined. This is the way it works:

If the Property Appraiser has found the assessed value of your home to be $55,000 and you apply for and are found to be eligible for the $25,000 Homestead Exemption, that $25,000 is deducted from the assessed value of your home to leave a taxable value of $30,000.

For this example, assume a total tax rate of 17 mills ($17.00 of taxes per $1,000 of taxable value) which is an accumulation of all the tax rates set by each of the taxing authorities. Divide the taxable value of your home ($30,000) by $1,000, which is 30; multiply that 30 by $17.00 to determine what your property tax will be, which in this case equals $510. This is the amount of tax due on your home by March, unless you pay the Tax Collector early and receive a discount. If paid in the following months, the discounts are: 4% in November, 3% in December, 2% in January and 1% in February.

For an in depth look at the property valuation and assessment process, follow this link to the Brevard Property Appraiser web site.

When purchasing a home consideration must be given to the cost of homeowner insurance, property taxes, and home owner association assessments, and community development district assessments (such as the planned unit development of Viera).

Purchasing real estate is about more than just the mortgage payment!

For information on homes for sale in Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Cocoa and other central Brevard County areas, please call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email agent@moving2brevard.com.

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

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