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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Shame of a Short Sale…

What is this thing called shame?  The Free Dictionary calls it painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment.

When one sells a house or condo for less than the mortgage owed, this is called a short sale.   The situation that resulted in the circumstance is not important to me.  
As real estate agents, our job is to advise, represent and sell – not judge!
The truth is that although a short sale is often emotional there should be no shame.  Similarly, foreclosures very often happen to good people.

As with other things in life…
There is no shame in getting defeated..The shame is in not getting up and trying again.
I counsel buyers when purchasing a short sale to remember there are real people on the other side of the table.

If a short sale is in your future, call me or drop me an email. We would like to assist you in this process.

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.  Read my blog Florida Homes and Condos for Sale.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do Florida Realtors Gloss Over the Negatives?

“Realtors are always quick to accentuate the positives about Florida and gloss over any negatives.”    My thanks to Karen Nichols of Fort Myers Beach, FL for the idea.  In her post she highlighted some of the perceived negatives such as:
  • Summers.  They are indeed hot at times.
  • Hurricanes sometimes happen!
  • Not an abundance of the refined “culture!” OK, I concede Broadway is still in The Big Apple!
I will add a few more such as:
  • Mosquitoes as big as birds.
  • Animals (not spring breakers!) like alligators, pythons in the Everglades, sharks in the ocean, and snakes (sometimes in your yard).
  • Slow drivers, with turn signals always on, wearing pastel shirts and Velcro fastener shoes (not true but I wanted to see if you were really reading this!)
The reality is it does get hot and there are animals. You must stay out of their habitat or take precautions. You do not play golf during the summer mid-day heat nor stay on the course when the lightening comes – and get out of the pool and off the beach!

So, do Florida Realtors gloss over the negatives?  Perhaps, but the negatives are not really so negative.  


They are part of the Florida lifestyle, the Florida experience!


Gary L. Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida serving Florida's Space Coast including the cities and communities of Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and the surrounding region.  

Whether your interest lies in a 55+ community such as Heritage Isle, a golf course community such as Baytree National Golf Links or water front, give me a call!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Immaculate Home, Lovingly Maintained Located in Viera Florida.....

Ahh, the descriptions one reads when looking at advertising for houses.  You know the stuff Mrs. Clean lived hereMove in ready – just bring your toothbrush!

Preparation and staging a house when selling is key.  You want to impress, not depress, prospective buyers.  You only get about ten seconds for someone to form that dominant opinion.

As a buyer, lets say you are impressed.  You make an offer and it is accepted.

The first major step…having an inspection done (your real estate agent probably put an inspection rider in the contract).

No buyer should ever overestimate the maintenance and care a seller has provided!

The family handyman or do-it-yourself whiz may not be such a whiz kid! Who knows what is lurking behind those walls or in that attic?  Need a recommendation on a home inspection company in Brevard County, Florida? Email me.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, working with buyers and sellers in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and all of Brevard County, Florida.

It is Alive…..Moving to Brevard County Florida – The Web Site…

Over the past couple of weeks I have switched web site hosts while at the same time revising my web site completely . 

My web site, Moving to Brevard County Florida, has been up for about five years – until this week.

This morning it is alive….

If you are looking for information on buying and selling a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, including Viera, Suntree, Rockledge, Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island, check it out please.  Yes there is still work to be done but it is alive…

As for my blog Florida Homes and Condos for Sale, it may or may not be alive today.  Still tweaking but it too, will be back! [If you get a www.godaddy.com advertisement it is still “in the works!”]

Sure Signs of Being a Tire Kicker..

Tire kickers are folks who walk on a car lot, look around, talk about cars but never act.  

I have not been on a car lot in years but I remember the first step car salesmen try is to get your personal info to “run a credit inquiry.”   In my opinion, a pretty shady technique, yet I can understand the need. 

As a real estate agent I do not run inquiries but I will ask you questions about your goals and mortgage status.  Why?

Shopping for a house or condo can be a time consuming, labor intensive process.   As a prospective purchaser your time is valuable.  You want to look at the most properties available that meet your criteria. 

Your primary consideration must be price.   If a property meets all your criteria except price, we have wasted your time.  If I have not shown you properties that you can afford I have not done my job either!

Speaking with a lender first shows signs of a serious buyer - not a tire kicker! 

Need a lender recommendation, email me  for a few suggestions.  Of course your lender decision is your decision! 

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

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Benefits of Buying a FSBO Home...The Truth About FSBOs Revealed!

[Disclaimer: If  you have the experience, buying or selling as a FSBO may be perfect for you. Notice the big "if!"]

As a real estate agent I am always curious as to why home sellers opt to sell themselves as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO - Fizzbo).  Most of the time it is to “save the commission” that real estate agents charge.  {By the way I have never had a FSBO acknowledge a real estate agent ever earns any commission.}

I saw a FSBO web site that said “purchasing real estate from anyone other than a real estate agent or broker is difficult. This myth is very far from the truth.”    FSBO sites want you to sell or buy as a FSBO.  

Remember: It is always the point of view of the writer that one must consider. As for me, I am a real estate agent who wants you to use me - full disclosure!

Again, buying from a FSBO may be perfect for you if you have the experience and confidence in your abilities.

The truth is 85% of homes are purchased utilizing the services of a real estate agent.  The truth is less than 15% of FSBOs succeed. If it were really so easy then the percentage would be higher!

FSBO sellers want to bargain from a position of advantage (as we all do).  The FSBO seller wants the buyer to be unrepresented.  

This FSBO site asserts that most of the complications in  real estate transactions are caused by real estate agents who are looking out for themselves...again the implication is that the real estate agent has no concern for the client which is false.{Look up fiduciary duty!}

Call me if you are considering selling as a FSBO or buying from a FSBO.  Call me so you are bargaining from a position of advantage or at least on equal footing! Call me with the address and contact information of the FSBO and I will contact them for you. As a buyer you do not pay me!

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

Friday, March 26, 2010

“Your Majesty, Thy Crown is Not as Shiny These Days."

I can remember (about five years ago) real estate sellers behaving as if they were royalty and the peasants (buyers) would approach their throne and present an offering.  If they were lucky, the royal couple would accept the offering!

Today the buyer can be considered royalty.  It is you, the seller, who must offer the best gift – your "move-in ready" house or condo!

Sellers need to realize that buyers will move on to the next property if their property meets any of these descriptions.
  • Not priced appropriately,
  • Negotiation is not a consideration (Take it or leave it attitude),
  • Property is not "move in ready,"
  • Showing is not an easy arrangement but rather as complex as a ransom drop off!
  • Dirty, cluttered, smelly (If you can smell it, you can’t sell it!)
Selling in this market requires work!

If you are considering selling your house or condo in Brevard County, Florida call me to discuss how we can work together to get this done!

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

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is your tee shot really that good?

I was leaving my office this morning and as I drove by Turtle Creek Golf Course I noticed a guy waiting impatiently on the number nine tee box.  The previous foursome was at least 280 yards down center fairway.  I thought to myself that this guy was dreaming – or he is good?

Some sellers – even in my own neighborhood – over estimate the value and desirability of their own homes! Some real estate agent over estimate their value as well. 
Through ones own eyes the view is always skewed - at least somewhat!
When it is time to sell your home, listen to the words (as supported by the hard numbers) of your real estate agent when he recommends a realistic market price for your house or condo. Listen to the marketing plan and you decide if the value is as stated.   

I will go one step further - 
List your house or condo with me and if, at any time, you decide to take it off the market, tell me and I will release your listing!
Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me and let me show you how I can sell your Viera, Suntree, Baytree or Heritage Isle home.  

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

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cash Buyers Return to Real Estate Market

Cash buyers have always been an important part of the real estate market – primarily as investors.  According to the National Association of Realtors the share of home sales that were cash transactions was 26% in January, up from 18% in January 2009. 

In February 2009 the number of residential sales in Brevard County Florida was 516.  Of these sales, 253 transactions were cash deals in Brevard County.  [The average selling price was $143,000 in February (92% of list price).

The remaining transactions consisted of:
  • VA loans – 31
  • Conventional loans 138
  • FHA loans 89
  • Owner finance 3
There was also one exchange and one assumption of loan transaction. [Source: Brevard County Realtor MLS system]

Although most non-investor buyers seek mortgages, cash does find its way to the closing table in quite a few deals in Brevard County, Florida.   My experience with 55+ buyers has been many do sell their homes and pay cash when they downsize or retire to Florida.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can assist you in buying or selling a home in Brevard County, Florida.

Give and Take – The Process of Negotiating a Deal

Negotiating implies giving up something in return for something – quid pro quo. When you find that house and you are ready to place an offer you must decide several key points.
  • First, how badly do you want the particular property?
  • Secondly, how much are you willing to pay?
  • Can you move on if you do not get the property?
With my buyer clients I offer a few words of guidance such as:
  • Don't low ball an offer.  If unrealistic there is the chance of alienating the seller and never negotiating.
  • Don't offer list price. This is a buyer's market. Rarely will a house or condo be listed too low. [Sometimes if happens though so I will modify this parameter if needed.] 
  • Offer a price that will be reasonable, even if low, to stimulate negotiation process. 
  • Identify your upper price limit. This is a key decision that must be considered before you make an offer if you really want to get the house or condo.
  • Finally, do not let your emotions become an obstruction to the negotiation process or your clear thinking!
If you are considering buying or selling a house or condo in Viera, Suntree or any other Brevard County, Florida community, please contact me to discuss how I can assist you in teh process.  Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

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

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Ball is in Your Court – Shoot or Sit on the Bench and Watch!

The game will be played to its conclusion.  And there will be a winner.  Of course I write this as I watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Amazing the upsets that have happened so far.  It is nice to see the underdog see some success.

One of the keys to the underdog's success is taking the initiative and taking the game to the opponent.

As a short sale seller, you could be considered an underdog because of the short sale process and obstacles that lenders will put in your way!

To be successful you have to be involved in the process from the start and all the way to the final buzzer (closing).

If a short sell is unsuccessful and the property becomes a foreclosure, who wins?  The bank?  Perhaps. I say no one.  

If a short sale seemsto be in your future, call me to discuss how we can help you avoid foreclosure!

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

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pulling Strings to Sell Your House

In a toy store recently I observed folks (all adults) walk by a display of toy characters, and as if by compulsion, pull the string to hear the toy "speak."

Another person would come along, pull the string, listen to the same phrase…over and over again. 

When I began writing this my point was going to be how I will not just tell a prospective seller the same thing as the last real estate agentNo memorized response awaiting the pull.


But then I realized that while interviewing a Realtor to sell your house you may actually find a couple of Realtors who tell you the same thing.  And that is not necessarily a bad thing!

There will may be more than one that speaks the same words, perhaps differently, but the meaning is the same.

If they tell you
  • It is a buyers market.
  • Staging is important to getting the best price for your home!
  • Your price should be XXX to be competitive (and realistic).
  • Suggest a pre-listing inspection if your home is not newer construction.
  • Offer hints about curb appeal and exterior appearance.
  • Know what homes in your neighborhood have SOLD for recently.
  • Know that more than 85% of buyers use the Internet and market on the Internet!
Then you have a dilemma as you have a couple of reasonable choices…Now, flip the coin.

Actually I will make it easier for you.  Call me and we can get started selling your house or condo in Viera and Suntree (Melbourne), and Rockledge, Florida right away!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Email me.  If you prefer call me at 321-693-3850 (direct) or 321-255-2600 at Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Visit my website Moving to Brevard County Florida and my blog Observations of a Viera Florida Real Estate Agent.

And Your Point Is?.... No, I Asked What Your Points Are!

He was telling me about the interest rate lock he had received and I asked a simple question.  “How many points are you being charged?”

He had no clue. He did not understand what “points” I was referring to with my question.

What are points? 

Points are upfront fees paid to obtain a lower interest rate on mortgages. One point equals one percent of the loan amount.

When seeking a real estate loan talk to a professional who will explain the process and is available for questions. Research the process.  Ask your real estate agent for recommendations.

And my point is…Interest rates, points charged, loan origination fees, inspections and surveys all cost real money. Know what you are spending and why.

Buying a house is a seemingly daunting process. Let me help you!  Need a recommendation on local lenders, call me.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida serving buyers and sellers in the central Brevard County areas of Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and the beach side communities of Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach and Merritt Island.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Real Estate Price Reductions – Trickery or Marketing Genius?

I have seen some homes on the market in the Viera and Suntree areas of Brevard County Florida for years.  The usual culprit is the price is not consistent with location or condition (or both). 

I review the Brevard County Florida MLS listings every day (called the hot sheet) for changes in prices, new listings, etc.  Sometimes I notice where the selelr's real estate agent raises the price a hundred bucks today, lowers it a hundred bucks tomorrow, and repeat ad nauseam!

Is the purpose of these reductions to sell or what?  The purpose is to get attention. 

Pricing tactics like these tells me one thing - either the real estate agent is about to lose the listing and is desperate or the seller is! 

As a seller you want to get real attention from the real estate agents who will bring your buyer to your door?  Have your real estate agent price the property appropriately and see what happens!

Gary Waters, Florida Licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida working with buyers and sellers in Central Brevard County, Florida including Viera's 55+ communities of Heritage Isle and Grand Isle!

Tax Credit Extended For Active Duty Military Home Buyers

Military personnel who are out of the country for 90 days since 2008 may have an extra year to get the tax credit, up to $8,000, for buying a home.

To qualify the out of the country tour must be for “official extended duty outside the United States for at least 90 days after 2008 and before May 1, 2010.”

If the qualification is met then the service member has an extra year to buy a home - until April 30, 2011, to contract to purchase and until June 30, 2011 to close on the home.   First time buyers will get a maximum of $8,000 and others $6,500.

If you are stationed at Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, please contact me to discuss home buying opportunities in the local area.

As always consult a qualified tax adviser - not me as I am not an attorney or CPA.  The IRS publication is posted at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p3.pdf .

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

Read my blogs Florida Homes for Sale and Florida Homes and Condos For Sale.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finding a Brevard County Florida Real Estate Agent

Phone books are a thing of the past.  Don’t tell those “yellow publishers!”

The days "let your fingers do the walking" really means the keyboard not the rotary dial phone of yesterday.   

And if a service provider is not there – bad news!

When it comes to buyers and sellers the fact is…..
As you consider selling your Brevard County Florida home, consider that the vast majority of buyers moving to Brevard County Florida begin their search for a new house or condo on the Internet.

Your house and real estate agent should be there as well because your buyer is!   

So, Google search for Realtor Vieramoving to Brevard,  Baytree homes for sale and, my favorite, Heritage Isle Viera (do your own search as I do not want to steer you!)


Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida providing residential real estate services for buyers and sellers in Brevard County Florida. 

Why Would Anyone Live in Viera Florida?

Viera is a very popular area of central Brevard County, Florida, just east of Orlando on the coast.  Many of my clients end up buying their new home in the Viera area.  Why?

What is so great about Viera?
  • It is new.  Seems people like new.   New homes, new parks, new streets, new shopping, new churches, new restaurants, new golf course, new schools, new hospital.
  • Viera offers choice.  Choice in home prices (mid-$100K to several million dollars). Choice in type of community whether gated, on the water, on the golf course, 55+ communities, condo communities, townhouse communities, single family home communities.
  • Location is ideal for commuting.   With I-95 running through the Viera area, commuting is a breeze.  Major employers in Melbourne as well as Cape Canaveral are within an easy drive! Likewise, Orlando is only about 45 minutes away!
  • Beaches are only 20 minutes away!
  • Prices are very attractive now!  When the housing crunch is over, who knows where they will be.
I sell Viera because I like Viera which makes it easy to show and tell!  Get the real skinny on Viera!

For information on Viera, email me at agent@moving2brevard.com!  

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

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Remember, Even Plastic Surgeons Must Have Something To Start With!

If you have a little “defect,” call a plastic surgeon.  However, even a plastic surgeon must have something to work with!  Forgive me...I was being "ugly!"

Investors know the same holds true for fixer upper and investment properties.  While the need for rehab may be obvious, experienced investors know the “bones” have to be good.

If you are in the market for a house or condo and an older (or abused) property is a consideration I suggest thinking a bit like a real estate investor. 

Look at the neighborhood. No house exists in a vacuum.  There are neighbors, crime statistics, school quality and other factors to consider.  If the neighborhood is older (real estate lingo is "established neighborhood"), this can be critical especilally for the long term. 

Major systems must be solid.  The price of repairs can get steep if you start digging and find foundation, roof, plumbing and electrical issues. Get an inspection done!   Most home buyers consider cosmetic issues to be minor – even a kitchen update later.  A home inspection will give you a clue to the reality of your real estate plastic surgery!   Remember, even plastic surgeons must have something to start with! 

Real estate investors know what they are doing.  Don’t gamble if you don’t have the money to lose.  It is not as easy as the Saturday morning television shows!

In Brevard County, Florida, contact me if we can help you buy or sell that next property.  

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Price to Get the Offer....Then Negotiate

It is not bait and switch.  It is not being deceptive. Rather it is the only way to sell your house or condo in any housing market – even Brevard County Florida.

The key to real estate pricing is pricing to get the offer. No one has to sell at the list price but your price must be attractive enough to get the prospective buyer in the door.

Offers greater than list price are acceptable as are multiple offers.  Buyers must remember all sincere offers must contain a bit of reality.

Ultimately, regardless of list price or offer price, unless it is a cash deal….the appraisal rules the transaction unlike the time when the appraisal was like spandex pants...a fit regardless!  

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why Buy a House Now? Difficult Choices for Challenging Times

Some may ask “Why buy a house now?” while I prefer to ask “Why not buy a house now?”  [Sort of Robert F. Kennedy-esque in the “why, why not” sort of way!]

In less than two months (April 30, 2010) the Home Buyers Tax Credit (The Worker, Home ownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009) will be gone permanently (or until Congress decides to offer something else!).

Will the end of the tax credit cause people to quit buying homes? No, I am sure it will not.

Are people buying now because of the tax credit?  Some are for sure but not all.  It may be increasing the urgency if not the decision for some.  Some are buying because they are relocating due to a job change, retirement and a hundred other reasons! 

While the reasons for buying are many…the Home Buyers Tax Credit is just the frosting on the cake! 

To take advantage of the Home Buyers Tax Credit your new purchase must close by June 30, 2010 so the time to act is now!

For information on the Home Buyers Tax Credit and buying your new home in Brevard County, Florida drop me an email.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida.  Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or 321-255-2600 (office).  I work in conjunction with Century 21 Baytree Realty as an exclusive referral agent.

For Sale By Owner (FSBOs) in Brevard County

I have always admired the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) seller for several reasons.  As a whole FSBOs are some of the most determined sellers I have ever seen.

If folks who list their homes for sale with real estate agents had just half the energy most FSBOs possess, selling would be much easier - and possibly a bit faster!

I try to stop by FSBO open houses (and occasionally knock on the FSBO door while driving around Viera and Rockledge) whenever I have a chance.

I do not approach the FSBO seller as if I am there to save them from themselves..
No, I only stop to find out about the property should I have a buyer looking. I also offer any advice or suggestions if they ask!

[Most FSBO sellers are willing to pay a real estate commission if a buyer comes to them through the real estate agent even if it is not in the MLS!]

I always wish FSBOs luck. I know that even in the boom time of a few years ago only about 15% of  FSBO succeed this 85% will call on a real estate agent later.  I want to be in the running!


Gary L. Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida serving Florida's Space Coast including the cities and communities of Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and the surrounding region.  Whether your interest lies in a 55+ community such as Heritage Isle, a golf course community such as Baytree National Golf Links or water front, give me a call!

Read my blog Florida Homes and Condos for Sale Moving to Brevard County, Florida, and  Brevard County Florida Real Estate Information.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Who Says Buying or Selling a House is Stressful? You Are Such a Know-It-All!

Relationships are, at times, stressful.  Often it is the circumstance, not the players, that creates the stress. No, I am not Dr. Phil or Oprah! 

This can be true with the relationship between seller and real estate agent!  Especially in a time where the number of short sales and foreclosures are major market influences! 

Sellers, as well as buyers, sometimes develop tunnel vision when involved in the real estate process. They only see what they want to see and will disregard the realities! 

The right real estate agent will step in, counsel appropriately and help keep things in perspective and focused. 

Buyers and sellers are really interested in the same thing - price.  Of course sellers want high, buyers want low!

When you get ready to enter the real estate market, either as a buyer or seller, remember your real estate agent is your adviser with your interests as the primary consideration  

Choose your real estate agent wisely and then...relax!

In Brevard County Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me. 

Gary Waters, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida  working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Don’t Need Another "Fixer Upper" – I Married One!

I saw an article on one of the news channels yesterday about all these half built homes in South Florida.   Apparently when the boom went bust many builders just left for lunch and never came back!

Now the lenders are selling them at a discount.   All at varying stages of construction – definite fixer uppers.

These types of properties – fixer uppers – can be found in Brevard County, Florida as well although not many of the abandoned new construction types.

But is a fixer upper right for you?  I remember asking an older couple the question once and the wife responded - “No, she did not need another fixer upper – I married one!”

In the end she purchased a new construction home in Viera – Brevard County Florida's most desirable non-beach side community!

For information on new construction and “fixer uppers” in Brevard County, Florida, please let me know. 

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

Read my blog Florida Homes and Condos for Sale for more information on the Florida real estate market.

When is a Pool Worth $150,000?

There is rarely a time when a pool in your backyard is worth $150,000.  My answer is presented at the bottom of this article.

I was reviewing properties for sale in the Sunstone subdivision in Viera, Florida (Melbourne).  These homes are all larger homes in the 2,400-3,300 square foot range (most have 3 car garages as well).

Five are active listings with prices in the range $274,990 to $425,000.  All are four bedroom units and the square footage variation was not that great! 

A couple of these properties are listed under $280,000 and a couple are under contract for under this price as well (short sales). 

Two of the $400K+ listing have private pools while one (also in $400K range) has no private pool. Is one overpriced here? I don't know for sure....Just tossing out a question…

Maybe the larger, highest priced homes with pools are worth the extra money but then something I read a long time ago keeps bugging…
don’t buy the biggest, most expensive house in any neighborhood, regardless of price range.
Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida, working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty. Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if we can assist you in buying or selling a pool home in Viera Florida.

Answer to title question: Never!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Capron Trace in Viera – Only Short Sales and Foreclosures!

Capron Trace in Viera (Brevard County), Florida is a prime example of a real estate market seeking balance. 

There are no regular (fair market) non-distressed properties on the market at this time in Capron Trace.   Like many neighborhoods across this nation some may want to sell but are going to wait until the foreclosures and short sales clear.

The reality in some neighborhoods is your only competition is short sales.   And, if one hopes to sell, the competition forces them to price near their level!

There are six properties in Capron Trace discussed here… all about 2,000 square feet, all 2 car garages, all built in 2006, all 3 bedroom 2 bath. 
  • Five of these are short sales.
  • Three are under contract and awaiting acceptance by the lender. 
  • Two are active listings. 
  • All are priced at $190,000 to $199,000.
  • One bank owned (foreclosure) sold in January for $178,500.  Foreclosures are typically in worse shape than a short sale.
If an owner in Capron Trace hopes to sell, the price will be in the $190,000 range – that is reality.  If you want to purchase in Capron Trace your price will likely be somewhere around $180,000 – negotiate, baby!

That is the reality of a real estate market seeking balance!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida, working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty. Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if we can assist you in buying or selling a house in Viera Florida.

Baytree Golf Course Homes for Sale – All Prices, Sizes, and Views!

The Baytree National Golf Links gated community offers residents many choices in size, price, golf course (or water) views, maintenance free living, and more!

Whether you are looking for 7,000 sq ft (Arundel), 1,700 square feet (Isles of Baytree) or something in between, this gated development in Suntree (Melbourne, Florida) should be on your must see list if you are buying a house in Brevard County, Florida!

Prices in the Baytree Golf Course communities range from $225,000 (short sale) to $1,480,000!

As one of the most desirable communities in Brevard County, Baytree offers an excellent golf course, a guarded gated entrance, playgrounds, tennis courts and more!

With about 30 properties on the market at this time you have plenty of choice.  About half the properties for sale are in the $400-600K price range.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Baytree, call me or email me and we will gladly forward you information on the Baytree Golf Course community.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, teaming exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

It is Not a Castle Even If It is Gated and On the Water!

Browsing the Internet one sees lots of real estate market reports.  Just do a Google search for market report Viera.  I have not looked at any of these results but I will bet there is a bargain priced home or two listed as sales in the Viera Florida area.

But a selling price is not always a "sale!"  Some properties are considered distressed.  They are either short sales or foreclosuresAnd most of these need TLC or even more!

When reviewing market reports keep in mind that although it may be a nice area, such as Viera and Suntree in Brevard County, Florida, don’t assume the property with that bargain selling price is a castle - even in a gated, golf course community on the water!

For information on buying or selling a house or condo in Brevard County Florida, especially Viera and Suntree, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.  

©Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Read my blog Observations of a Viera Florida Real Estate Agent for additional information on relocating to Brevard County, Florida. 

Do I Look Like I Only Want Cheap?

I don’t always wear my Brooks Brothers suits nor do I always drive my BMW.   Sometimes I just like to dress like a stereotypical Floridian – pastel shirt and Velcro fastener shoes. 

OK I am kidding.  I do not have Velcro fastener shoes!  

Over the weekend I went to this big chain store to purchase tires for my Toyota (no BMW either!).  The salesman quoted me a price for four tires.  Not bad I thought until asking about what I would be getting.   He said they were the cheapest he had available.  

I did not want cheap; I wanted good.   In the end I went elsewhere

When you are ready to sell that house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, I recommend you interview a couple of real estate agents -perhaps even three.   And tell them when you call you want good - not necessarily cheap. 

[Like most consumers, you don't want to spend money unnecessarily but then you want the biggest bang for the buck!]
 
When you call me (email) I will ask you up front what you are looking for in your Brevard County real estate agent.   If I (and my colleagues at Century 21 Baytree Realty) can provide it, we will gladly meet with you.   If we can't, I will recommend you to someone I know who can!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge Florida, working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty as a referral real estate agent in Brevard County Florida.


Monday, March 08, 2010

Sometimes Walking is the Best Option….

Sometimes walking away is the only best option.  It may be a job loss that leads you to the decision.  It may be a catastrophic illness that causes the hardship.  It may be a death in the family that leads to it.

And leaving it behind is the best option. What is it?  Your house.  

Sometimes a short sale may be your best choice.  [A short sale is when you sell a property and you owe more than the selling price will be.  These require lender approval and can take months!]

Drop me an email if you owe more on your house than it is worth and you are in a hardship situation.  

You do not have to be in Brevard County, Florida as I have real estate contacts all over the United States and Canada

If you don't want to sell then talk with your lender about a possible loan modification.  Lenders are more flexible these days.  They have enough foreclosures on the books already!


Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida, working exclusively on a referral basis with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Home Buyer Tips: All Sellers Eventually Fall in Line with the Market...

If they ever sell.  That is reality.

Many sellers choose their listing real agent when they hear those glorious words - the highest price

Sellers, a word of caution, that real estate agent sitting in front of you does not set the price – the market does!

Getting your hopes inflated with an inflated listing price, only to come back later and get the price reduced, is a common practice - and a time waster!

Price it right if you want to sell because buyers know that you will eventually fall in line with the market - if you ever sell!

If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree (including Baytree) and Rockledge home or condo, call me to discuss how I (and Century 21 Baytree Realty) can assist you in the process. 

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida working on an exclusive basis with Century 21 Baytree Realty as a referral agent to get homes sold in Brevard County!

Is a Condo Right For You? Some CONsiderations....

Condo living is a great lifestyle – especially in central Florida!  I previously discussed some of the positive points of condo living.

Here I would like to point out a few other CONSiderations before purchasing that Florida condo.
  • A major consideration these days is the number of vacant units in the complex.  This is a major consideration by lenders and should be of concern to any prospective buyers as well!
  • How many units are up for sale at the present time? How many of these units are bank owned/foreclosure properties? How many of these units are short sales?
  • How many of the units are rented and what percentage may be rented should you decide to move and keep your unit. 
  • What are the monthly assessment fees? When was the last time the assessments were changed? 
  • What about the condo association's financial status?  When were the books audited and what is the financial stability of the association? How much is the association reserves?  What is the current budget? 
  • What about the covenants, restrictions, bylaws?
As a condo owner you have ownership rights in the common areas.  Likewise as a condo owner you have responsibilities when it comes to maintaining the entire complex. 

The bottom line - every owner is on the hook for the association responsibilities and liabilities so know where you are headed!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty as a referral real estate agent.

By the way, here is a good book on condo buying: 

The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Condo, Townhouse, or Apartment: What Smart Investors Need to Know - Explained Simply

Sunday, March 07, 2010

No Deal Busters Allowed – How to Save a Real Estate Deal Even With Home Inspection Problems!

I have seen more deals go south as a result of the home inspection than for any other reason.  It is for this reason I always recommend a pre-listing home inspection

But few sellers take this step and would rather deal with the issues later.

It is at this point a seller must be reminded that responsiveness to inspection issues is the key to saving the deal.  This needs to be in every listing presentation by every real estate agent.

At some point you, as a seller, you will receive an offer to purchase your property.  The offer will likely include an inspection contingency.  All buyers should have an inspection contingency in any offer - period. I would not even buy a used car without having a mechanic look it over!

How a seller responds depends on the circumstances of sale. 

In a short sale or foreclosure situation the seller is probably selling "as is" so there is usually only a take it or leave option for the buyer.

In a “normal” transaction the options are usually: (1) deal with the problems or (2) offer a dollar concession for the buyer to proceed and deal with the issues later.  Depending on the issue(s) and if a loan is involved some issues must be corrected or the loan will not happen!

How quickly you respond is key - not necessarily what your response is but rather showing your willingness to save the deal.

Don't let the inspection be a deal buster. Better yet, get the pre-listing inspection done so you can avoid this stress!


Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida, working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Viera East, Viera West and Suntree (Melbourne) Florida Real Estate Activity Since January 2010

Here is a quick summary of real estate activity for a few of the most popular central Brevard County, Florida communities.

This area is home to the 55+ communities of Heritage Isle and Grand Isle, several golf course communities, new schools, great shopping and more! 

Where is Brevard County, Florida? 40 miles east of Orlando, home to the Kennedy Space Center and Cocoa Beach…us lies the communities of Viera and Suntree (north Melbourne).

Here is a snapshot of single family home real estate activity (active and sold) for Viera and Suntree since January 1, 2010.


If you are considering buying a house or condo in Viera or Suntree (including the golf course communities of Baytree, Wyndam at Duran and Viera East Golf Club), call me to discuss how we can assist you

I am not going to say there are lots of " sweetheart deals " but the prices are attractive!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, teaming with Century 21 Baytree Realty to serve your real estate needs in Brevard County, Florida. Email me if I can help!

Is a Condo Right for You? Who Are These People Living in These Florida Condos?

Florida condo living is not all older folks running around in pastel colored shirts, Bermuda shorts, and sipping on mimosas!  I will admit there are a few like that but you usually can spot them as the slow drivers with their right turn signal on for miles!  [I am kidding, lighten up...you'll spill your drink on your pink shirt!]

Many prospective home buyers in central Florida consider condos and town houses as possible alternatives to purchasing a single family (detached) home.  Many single professionals and professional couples consider condos as they fit their active lifestyle.

Who should consider a condo purchase?  Some who may include the following.
  • If you are not the handyman type and don’t like to spend your off hours grooming the landscaping then condo living may be right for you.
  • If you like having a pool, a spa, exercise facilities but don’t want to worry with upkeep, then a condo can be a good fit.
  • If you don’t mind being close to your neighbors then a condo may be right for you.
  • If you don’t mind being bound by the often strict condo association rules, then a condo may be right for you.
If you are in the market for a condo in Brevard County, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or drop me an email.

There are condos available on the beach, on the golf courses, on the river, in 55+ communities….wherever you may desire to live (and at all price ranges)!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Who Are These Buyers and Sellers and Where Do They Get Information? 2009 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Provides Clues.

After several months of sitting on my desk I finally looked through the ©National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2009 report.

A few of the interesting tidbits (this survey is comprehensive!) revealed:
  • Primary information source for all buyers: Internet (90%), real estate agent (87%)
  • First step in buying process: Look online (36%)
  • Purchased with financing: 92%
  • Sellers who used real estate agent to sell: 85%
  • Median Age of Seller: 46 years old
  • Sold as "for sale by owner" (FSBO): 11%
  • Number of agents interviewed: 64% interviewed only 1 agent
  • Characteristic buyers compromised on most: price (18%)
  • Characteristic buyers compromised on least: quality of schools (3%), quality of neighborhood (5%)
As a prospective seller keep in mind - Buyers will compromise on price but not poor schools(or neighborhoods) and Buyers look on the Internet – not in the newspaper!

If you are considering buying or selling a house or condo in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida, give me a call or send me an email to discuss how we can assist you. Choosing a real estate agent and company that knows where the buyers are is key when marketing your house!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Selling You House Using the SOAP Method…

You have probably heard the phrase “Its a dirty job but someone has to do it.”  Selling your house or condo is not really a dirty job.  The SOAP method does not involve cleaning your house although that is always highly recommended!
Years ago as a Navy Hospital Corpsman I remember using the "”SOAP” method to document patient treatment during sick call.

Very briefly, the “S” was for subjective issues; the “O” was for the objective findings; the “A” was for the assessment; and the “P” stood for the plan (as in treatment plan). [Simplified here]

Now, selling a house using the SOAP method involves similar steps:
  • S: What you as a seller tells your real estate agent about desired price, time line, why your house is worth the price, its condition,etc.
  • O: What your real estate agent tells you about the process, the market status,cost, etc.
  • A: The market analysis – what your house should “go for," a recommended listing price.
  • P: The marketing plan. How your property will be competitive and get the best price for the market in your time frame.
Just as the SOAP method will provide a logical clinical examination and result in a successful treatment plan so will it provide for a logical (and successful) real estate transaction. 

Call me if you are considering selling your Brevard County Florida house or condo. Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida, working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Real Estate Blog Guest Post Opportunity

Guest bloggers are welcome to submit post ideas to me at at Florida Homes for Sale.  

Please keep your topics real estate related although the topic can be very broad!

What kind of topics?  You name it - financing, home inspections, staging your home, home improvements that pay off, choosing a real estate agent,  moving tips, short sale experiences, whatever - any idea will be considered.

This is a great way to get your blog and web site further exposure.  And, best of all, it is free! 

Its Only a House!

In real estate some forget they are selling a house - a physical structure.   The "home" will always go with them wherever they may go!

The real estate business is all about selling a house, be it a condo, townhouse, single family residence or whatever. A house is "real property," a physical conglomeration of bricks, mortar, sticks and stones. It has been said many times that a "house does not make a home." A real estate agent may sell you a house but he can't sell you a home! So, what makes a house a home?

When selling a home it is critical that the sellers remove, or at least hold in check, the emotional attachment they have with "their" house. Your emotional connection to a house has no monetary value whatsoever to a potential buyer. 

Selling your house may be is a stressful and emotional process.  Don't let an emotional attachment to the physical structure itself make it even more stressful!

Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help.  If you would rather drop me an email, please do so.  You are under no obligation to use me and I will not bother you  in the future! 

©Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Six Weeks and Only Two Prospects…Missed Opportunities

I was reading this morning about a seller complained because they had only two buyer prospects in more than a month.  My thought – you missed it.

A real estate listing has a golden period.  

 The longer a property sits, the less appealing it is to prospective buyers because there is something "wrong!"



If you are considering selling your Brevard County, Florida home, especially in Viera and Suntree (including Baytree Golf Course), give me a call to discuss how we can assist you in the process.

Gary L. Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida serving Florida's Space Coast including the cities and communities of Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and the surrounding region.  

Whether your interest lies in a 55+ community such as Heritage Isle, a golf course community such as Baytree National Golf Links or water front, give me a call!

Viera, Suntree and Rockledge Florida Home Sales in February 2010

A few of the real estate sales in the Viera, Rockledge and Suntree areas of Brevard County, Florida that closed in February 2010.


The above sales are presented for general information.  The days on market reflects the number of days from the listing being offered and an offer being accepted.   

The days on the market for short sales can be misleading because although the seller accepted an offer the approval process by the lender can take months!

©Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Its Spring Training Time in Viera Florida for the Washington Nationals!

Spring training is starting here in Viera (Melbourne Florida).  It was 37 degrees this morning and itis official...baseball is on teh agenda in Viera!
It doesn't feel like spring but then the Washington Nationals don't seem like a baseball team either - I am kidding!

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. this morning for the New York Yankees game on March 12th in Viera.  With so many folks from up north making their home in places like Viera's Heritage Isle and Grand Isle, it is no wonder the Yankees are a big draw! 

If you are a Nationals fanatic, check out the Nationals official blog. To check the Washington Nationals spring schedule or purchase tickets, here is your link.

For information on Viera's 55+ communities, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty selling Viera and central Brevard County, Florida!

Home Buyer Tips: Days On Market (DOM) Can Reveal Much!

When looking for that new home one of the key indicators to consider is the number of days a property has been on the market (Days on Market). 

Unless a property is a distressed property (short sale or bank owned/foreclosure) where the days on market will probably be longer, excessively large days on the market may just tell the real story!

Such as..
  • Price is too high for neighborhood.
  • Price is too high for condition.
  • Seller restricts access so as to make it difficult to be shown to prospective buyers. (Owner or agent must be present; only certain days and times; no weekends, etc.)  Even if price is reasonable some prospective buyers don’t want the hassle!
  • Seller is not really motivated. With the stress involved with selling it is a wonder anyone who is not serious would even give it a try!
When you find that house you want to purchase knowing the days on the market can be in developing your offer.

For information on homes for sale in Brevard County Florida (Melbourne area), contact me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

And Then Someone Comes Along And Tells Us No…

Children are so idealistic.  They don’t know of nor have limitations.

They are positive…until someone comes along and says you can’t....and sadly they sometimes believe what they are being told.

Such can be the case when someone decides they want to buy a house, especially for a first time home buyer, in this market!  They are likely being told "the economy is bad, the job outlook with the Space Shuttle Program ending is questionable, the values keep falling"...the whatever!

There will always be naysayers.  If the time is right for you to buy that house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, then talk to the right professionals. 

I suggest a good real estate agent (hint, I am available), a good mortgage lender, a good insurance broker for homeowner insurance issues, and a good home inspector.  I know a lot of good real estate professionals in Brevard County, Florida - drop me an email.

In the end, after all your research is concluded, decide for yourself and..
Don't worry about what others think but rather what you think when you look in the mirror every morning!
If you have questions about buying or selling real estate in Brevard County, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 (direct) or 321-255-2600 (office - ask for me).

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, working exclusively with Century 21 Baytree Realty.

Having a Toyota Moment…

Remember when houses were selling…and Toyota cars were the talk of the auto industry. 

Times have changed according to many of the naysayers out there!

But, upon further review, yes...the ruling has been overturned (I miss football season!)..... 

Toyota is still the talk of the auto industry and houses are selling. 
Could it be the good old days have returned?
Pricing your house competitively, realistically and appropriately preparing it for the market will result in your house being sold....probably more quickly than that Toyota gets repaired! 

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Bucci Realty, Rockledge, Florida.  Call me at 3210693-3850 or email me to discuss buying or selling a house or condo in Viera Florida!

They’re All “Fixer Uppers!”

Ask any seller and they will tell you “my house is in good great condition!”  Another couple of responses I often hear is “its in move in condition!” and the old don't ask me too much position - "its in OK condition for its age!"

The reality is sellers see their home as a castle with a great view!

Another reality is...
buyers see your house as a shack!

My experience as a buyer's and seller's real estate agent is that one thing holds true…
buyers believe most all houses are fixer uppers when it comes time to make an offer!
Offer prices, as well as listing prices, must be reasonably consistent with the property condition. The lender is going to require an objective appraisal that takes into account the condition (good or bad) and reasonable sales nearby.

Real estate deals require the parties come to a reasonable agreement on the property condition as reflected in the final price.  Otherwise,  there is no deal!

Are you in search of a "fixer upper?" Call me!  After all, they're all fixer uppers!

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