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Monday, May 31, 2010

It Happened Once, It Will Happen Again: For Sale By Owner Real Estate

Every morning when walking my Boston Terrier, the infamous Diesel Dog, I know he will do the same thing – look under my car for a cat. I think the habit stems from the one time he looked under the car and found the neighbors fat cat lazing around.

It happened once, it will happen again.

Reminds me of many homeowners who decide to sell their house or condo themselves (FSBO, For Sale By Owner) by placing a sign out front and waiting for the knock on the door. To be honest there are some real estate agents who think similarly as well! 

Several years ago in a different market they did succeed as a FSBO.  But in today's Brevard County Florida real estate market it will not likely happen again. I do not mean to discourage owners from attempting to sell themselves.

The reality is I have assisted FSBO sellers before in the Viera area and will continue to do so when asked. But times have changed and marketing real estate is not the same. Call me to discuss how marketing your home in 2010 is different than just 5 years ago!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, serving Brevard County Florida’s most popular communities including Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Cocoa Beach.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Word of the Day: "Puffery." For Example, "Puffery in the Real Estate Business"

 I read a short article on the Internet this morning that discussed the subject of puffery in the real estate business.   To be honest with you I am sure I have ever heard that word before much less used it in a sentence.

According to the dictionary it is praise, publicity or acclaim that is unduly exaggerated.” 

I know that here in Brevard County Florida I often [is that puffery to say often?] read descriptions of houses, condos, and views that have been exaggerated [pufferized?]. 

I think this is because the descriptions are very often based on the seller’s viewsnot an objective, unemotional evaluation. 

So as you browse the Multiple Listing Service or any other site, remember all that you read must not be taken literally as it may just have been pufferized! [I know that pufferized is not a word – humor me!]

Gary L. Waters PLLC, 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!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Selling Your Brevard County Florida Home: Using Buyer Feedback to Sell Your House

Success goes to those who are continually learn and adapt - especially in challenging times.  Selling your house or condo in Brevard County Florida in 2010 is definitely challenging times!

When selling your house or condo you will, if you are lucky, get feedback from buyer prospects who have viewed your property.  Although the percentage of real estate agents who will provide comments may only be 25%, you must cull through the generic and learn from objective feedback.

Consider the feedback and if the suggestions make sense and enhance your property’s attractiveness to buyers, do it.

Feedback is rare but when you receive good feedback, learn and adapt.

If you are considering selling your Brevard County Florida house or condo, call us to discuss who we can assist you.  Call me, Gary L. Waters, PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, at 321-693-3850  if I can help in any way.  If your preferred method of contact is email, please do so.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Fallout From the Real Estate Explosion (and Subsequent Implosion)

Several years ago it seemed as if real estate prices were going up overnight. People jumped in the real estate market for fear of being priced out of the market in the near future while others jumped in based on pure speculation (and hope for easy profits).

Then the market slowed and reversed itself. The reality now is quite different.

While walking this morning I noticed several vacant houses in my neighborhood. They have been vacant for some time.
  • There is the one that is currently a bank owned property listed for 65K. I remember talking with the former owner when he was considering selling several years ago when it would have sold for $200K.
  • Nearby is the foreclosure that has been vacant for a couple of years now. The investors got into the rehab and I guess ran out of money.
  • There is the foreclosure where the former owner just walked away. It is not on the market yet but when it goes on the market the buyer will certainly pay a lot less than the $220+ the previous owner paid back a few years ago.
This is just some (not all) of the examples of a real estate market explosion that are close to home for me.  I am sure you can find similar cases in any community throughout the USA.  These are just evidence of the real estate explosion and subsequent implosion.

The reality is:
  • Real estate is cyclical. When you are riding the up bubble things are good.
  • When things are down, things can be good - for the new buyers!
If you are in the market for a house or condo in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida, call me to discuss how I can assist you. If you are considering selling, perhaps as a short sale, drop me an email for a no obligation market analysis. 

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

Buy the Location First, Then the House (or Condo)

Florida golf course direct properties are in short supply! The truth is there are only so many golf courses. And only so many lots with direct golf course views.

With attractive prices and low interest rates many folks are deciding to buy a new house or condo.  Down the road when the real estate market recovers (and it will) and prices go up again (they always do), the houses and condos sitting on the best locations or views will be even more valuable. 
 
With the market prices down it makes sense to consider going for the best location possible, even if it means buying a little bit less house!   Waterfront, lake front, golf course direct, ocean front are prime property characteristics that carry additional value.  Viera, Suntree, Baytree, Cocoa Beach......all Brevard County communities that are very desirable. 

Why not place a greater emphasis on these factors with the depressed market?  After all, in real estate it is all about location, location, location!

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

Understanding the True Value of Your Home

Apparently homeowners still believe their property values have not declined over the past year.  The reality is that many still believe their property has gained value in the past year.

Admittedly, I have never met a seller or prospective seller that underestimated the value of their house or condo.

The truth is:
  1. Like our views of our own importance, we tend to overestimate the importance (value) of our real estate.
  2. The market will ultimately set the value of any house or condo.
If you are considering selling your Viera Florida house or condo, contact me for a free, no obligation, comprehensive market analysis.

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!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Real Estate Tip: Pricing a Short Sale

A short sale is considered a “distressed sale” because it is a property being offered for less than the mortgage(s) balance.  That is, an offer for less than the money owed that will require it be accepted by the lender(s).

Does that mean the seller/owner should not care what the list price (and subsequent offer) is? Of course not. 

In a short sale the lender is going to be “eating” the short.  How they handle that difference depends on the lender. They may turn around and offer the seller a note for the difference (seller still on the hook).  They may decide to write off the short and send the seller a 1099 with possible tax implications. There may be other routes as well (I am not an attorney or accountant.)

Regardless, the seller needs must be concerned about the list price.

Pricing a short sale way under the market may result in you wasting your time with an offer that is near "list” which is ultimately rejected by the lender.

Your short sale property needs to be attractively priced – priced at the market with a realistic discount due to the distressed nature of the sale.

How do you price your short sale? Market price minus a discount that will entice a serious buyer to make a serious offer

For information on short sales in Brevard County Florida, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me.


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



Hurricane Season – Part of the Normal Florida Lifestyle

I saw a poll this morning on hurricane preparedness. It basically asked if folks had purchased their supplies yet (Season starts June 1st). The results – 16% are already prepared.

If you have ever lived here in Florida and a hurricane threatened the area you know what it is like to go to the local Publix or Wal-Mart for food and water or to Lowes or Home Depot for plywood to pick up supplies. Chaos may be a light description.

So as June approaches, do yourself a favor and get ready now.

There are plenty of resources available with information on hurricane supplies and preparation. Here are a few to get you started.

National Hurricane Center
10 Things You Can Do Now To Prepare For A Hurricane
Brevard County Emergency Management Center

Hurricanes are not fun and can be dangerous. But, as I was told by a former client about moving to Florida from Connecticut,…”You can run or hide from a hurricane but the snow and cold just stays!”

Be prepared. Stay safe.

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.

If Considering Selling Your House or Condo in Brevard County, Florida – Consult an Expert (or two or three)

Homeowners need to consult experts when considering selling a house or condo.  How many and what type of expert one should consult varies based on the circumstances surrounding the transaction as well as experience/education. 

Simple straight forward sales, short sales, estate sales, divorce sales or whatever type of sale are not all treated the same. There can be differing tax implications, differing legal issues, possible structural issues and possibly differing closing issues. 

In most cases a real estate agent (working with a good title company) can serve your purpose just fine.  However most real estate agents are not attorneys, CPAs or another “expert'” thus the need for consultation.

It is a given that one may never have 100% knowledge about something however decisions made with the most information available are usually the best!  

If you are considering selling your Brevard County Florida house or condo, please call me.  But remember my expertise is limited to marketing real estate and I may advise you to consult another expert as well.

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tips For Selling Your Brevard County Florida House or Condo

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Indian River Colony Club Viera Florida - A Different 55+ Community

Indian River Colony Club is one of several 55+ communities located in Viera, Florida (Brevard County).
This 700+ unit (single family home) gated community, founded in 1986, provides a golf course community with the amenities many seek in retirement. Initially formed as a community for former military offers, the membership/ownership criteria now allows up to 20% non-military residents.

IRCC Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation owned by the members thus a one time mebership caital contribution of $8,000 is required when purchasing in IRCC.  The monthly maintenance fees are based on
floor plan (1,000 to 3,000 sq ft) and includes all appliances, inside maintenance as well as outside maintenance. 

For information on Indian River Colony Club and Viera's 55+ communities of Grand Isle and Heritage Isle,  call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.





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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Selling Price to List Price Ratio May Be Deceptive: Setting Your Real Estate List Price

When pricing your house or condo for sale there are lots of factors to consider.  One of the key considerations when pricing your home is what has sold recently in your neighborhood.  It is these recent sales that buyer agents, buyers and real estate appraisers consider and so should any seller.

It is these sold properties that tell the real story.  There are several factors to consider when looking at these recent sales.  What are some of these?
  1. Type of Sale.  Was it a short sale, an estate sale, a corporate relocation sale, an REO (foreclosure). Circumstances determine seller motivation and selling price.  
  2. Listing History.  The days on the market tell a lot about the price. If a house has been for sale for 438 days, and finally the price was lowered to the market price, you should know it. 
  3. General Condition.  This speaks for itself. Often the REO/Foreclosure property is in a state of disrepair or neglect which is reflected in the sale price. 
  4. Amenities and Location.  Any views affecting value (good or bad)? On the water or golf course, gated community? The same structure on different lots may very well sell at significantly different prices.
  5. Sold Price to List Price Ratio. Look at the selling price and divide it by the list price (for sale price) at the time of sale. I urge folks to be skeptical of this ratio as I suspect many agents end up changing the list price to match the contract price in order to show sold at 100% of list.[This makes good marketing material in "I got 98% of my last seller's list price!"]
Pricing your home to sell is a challenge and requires consideration of multiple factors. Knowing the whole story about what has sold will be provide you with a lot of insight.

Information provide by Gary L. Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida working with buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida. Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can assist you in any way.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Price, Means and Opportunity - The Ideal Match When Investing in Real Estate

Most investors know it already.   Home buyers should probably consider it as well.  That is, when to pull the trigger and purchase real estate.

There are lots of books out there that will tell you how to calculate ROI (return on investment) or capitalization rates.  I am not an investment adviser, attorney or accountant....just a real estate agent working with buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida. 

The decision to purchase a house or condo is a major decision which adds considerable obligations. A common sense approach to the decision to purchase a house or condo involves considering the right factors. [By the way, "want" is not the major factor.]  

Real estate prices are down from the highs of several years ago.  This is in part because the inventory of short sales and REO/foreclosure properties remains high. [When about 25% of all houses and condos on the market in Brevard County, Florida  are distressed properties, prices will be depressed even further.]

A stable employment history (and outlook for continued employment), savings for down payment/closing expenses, the ability to live on a budget are all part of what I consider the "means" to buy a house or condo.

The cost of borrowing (interest rates) has continued its drop and is now at historical lows at about 4.90% , down from 4.99% last week on 30 year fix rate loans.

When all is taken together price, means and opportunity, it makes sense to consider a real estate purchase.

In Brevard County, Florida, if you are ready to make the decision, call me to discuss how I can assist you in the process.

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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Don't Let TMC Stop Your House From Selling [And other barriers to selling in a buyer's market]

While speaking with someone a few days ago about sellng their house in Rockledge, Florida I advised they go forward with the preparations now so we can move on it when the time comes.

My advice for the initial preparation was a simple thing, just de-clutter, de-personalize, or however one may word it.  There was just too much "stuff" (or as I would like to say but don't usually voice "Too Much Crap!")

There are a few other things besides the wrong price that can derail your house or condo sale.

Things such as:
  • Agent to accompany appointment required.  I saw this in an MLS entry for a $200,000 house. As a buyer's agent I would steer away from this property. Buyers want to look at a property in an atmosphere of privacy! Having the listing agent present is a big negative! 
  • (A) Shown by appt. only (B) Easy to show but need two hour notice please (C) 24 hour notice appreciated (D) No Showings on weekends. These are all variations of the same theme - limited access.  Buyers very often have limited schedules as well. Sometimes, such as in our central Florida area, they are in town for a short period on a relocation/house hunting trip. These may just be have been your buyers!
Selling your house in the current market of excess inventory, plentiful short sales, and REO/bank owned foreclosures requires sellers to do all they can to get buyer prospects inside.  And sometimes they maybe inconvenient!  I guess this is the Inconvenient Truth!

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 at 321-693-3850 or email me!

Turtle Creek Golf Course (Rockledge Florida) Townhouse For Sale $114,900

For the golf enthusiast this two-story townhouse is located on the 18th fairway of the Turtle Creek Golf Course in Rockledge, Florida, a short walk from the club house, practice range, putting green and first tee!

Enjoy the view from the tiled covered porch which looks out over the 18th fairway as you read your morning newspaper.

The two bedroom, two and a half bath condo, two car garage condo is ready for a new owner.  The best thing – the price at $114,900 is over $20,000 less than any other unit for sale in the Admiralty Lakes Townhomes.

The owner is motivated to sell. There are some minor items of repair that will be needed but none that interferes with its move in condition. The low monthly association fee ($60) provides lawn service as well as common area maintenance.

Some of the recent improvements include the garage door and opener replaced, new gutters in the rear, new washer and dryer, appliances only a few years old as is the Berber carpeting. This 1979 built unit is in good condition but needs a new owner!  [Owner will consider 12 month lease for $900 a month but prefers to sell.]

If you are not familiar with the area, here is the scoop. Rockledge Florida is located in central Brevard County about 45 minutes east of Orlando and 20 minutes from Cocoa Beach, Florida. With excellent schools nearby, great shopping in the neighboring Viera, plenty of nearby medical facilities (two hospitals), this location can’t be beat.

For information on this townhouse, located at 1244 Admiralty Blvd, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or 321-255-2600 (office) or, if you prefer, send me an email.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Most Important Thing To Know When Selling Your House or Condo...Free Advice Here!

The Multiple Listing System (MLS) is a tool - one of the variety of tools available for listing and selling real estate in today's market!

When selling your house, be it in Viera or Suntree (Melbourne, Florida) or even a small town like Palatka, Florida, it is critical that the tools be matched to the property.

To effectively market your house or condo, your real estate agent (and you, the seller) must understand who your most probable buyer will be.  Your buyers may be retirees, outdoor enthusiasts, golfers, young families, first time home buyers, or whatever.

If you live in a small, rural area then the local newspaper or real estate magazine maybe the right medium. If you are marketing to those relocating from out of the area then the MLS with an intense Internet campaign may be the appropriate direction.

Still, if your property and neighborhood are popular with buyers who use the "drive by" method, then an open house - properly staged - may be the right tool.

Selling a house is not rocket science but it does require one to use the most effective (including cost effective) tools available.

And the key to it all is to know who is your most probable buyer and market to them.  

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. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

There Was a Time When a Sign was All It Took....

...to sell your house or condo.

Richard Weisser of Coweta Fayette Real Estate had an interesting take on his recent golf outing – something he had not played a couple of years.  His summary (linked below) can be applied to real estate as well as many of life's other routines.

“Never assume that something that you did routinely years ago will work as effectively today as it did back then. Times, trends and attitudes change and unless one remains honed sharp and sure and ready to go, the consequences of a period of inactivity can be a real pain in the neck.”
  • Markets change. 
  • Marketing techniques change. 
 There was a time when you could place a sign out front, perhaps even run a newspaper advertisement and get you house sold as a for sale by owner (FSBO).

There was a time when a real estate agent could put a sign out front and an entry in the MLS system and that was all it took – deal done!

"Those were the days my friend... "

If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree, Melbourne or Rockledge, Florida home, call us to discuss how we market and sell real estate in Brevard County!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Realtor, Century 21 Baytree Realty, 1211 Admiralty Blvd, Rockledge, Florida serving buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida.

Hey, I am Serious…With a Capital “S” [ Serious sellers know how to reel in the buyers!]

Looking over the price changes yesterday morning in the Brevard County Florida MLS I amazed  - though not surprised – by some of the price changes. 

For example, a $600 dollar price reduction on an almost $200,000 price house.  Wow! Now that indicates a serious seller!

Or, say a Titusville house that is reduced…now get this…$100!  Yep. what a motivator! Goes from $214,600 to $214,500!

And, just one more example…. a Suntree home goes from $227,999 to $227,500! I am shocked at these dramatic reductions in list price! 

Not really…here is the real scoop -

To sell a home, list it at a reasonable price. If after a month you have not received an offer, adjust the price to a realistic price.

Buyers are smart and they know that “dangling” a hundred dollars reduction in front of them is not going to make them jump!  Even a used car salesman will dangle more than a hundred bucks! 

I understand that many real estate agents think that a slight reduction will get people’s attention. They are right although if only for a brief moment as they skip to the next listing!

Considering buying or selling a house or condo in Rockledge, Suntree or Viera, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can help in any way!

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Terrace at Heritage Isle - 55+ Condo Living in Viera’s Premier Active Lifestyle Community

Heritage Isle, Viera (Melbourne), Florida’s premier 55+ community offers residents several choices of dwellings.  Some prefer the larger homes (3.000+ sq ft), some like the patio style homes and others, the Terrace at Heritage Isle condos.

The Terrace at Heritage Isle condos overlook the Duran Golf Club and are conveniently located near the 21,000 square foot club house, pools, and tennis courts! Regardless of much house or condo you desire, Heritage Isle has it! 

As of today there are 11 active condo listings priced from $125,000 to $160,000.  Although all are two bedroom two bath units they are available in several floor plans from 1,194 to 1,432 square feet.

Prices seem to vary based on floor number (4 floors), view (golf course/water), location (corner/end unit), etc. although this not always the case.

On the surface I can not really get a grasp of why there should be a 20% difference in pricing.

There was one unit sold in April for $119,500. This 1,194 sq ft, 3rd floor unit overlooked the golf course and lake.  The MLS entry  stated seller wanted an offer so the seller motivation seemed pretty high.

For information on any properties for sale in Heritage Isle, condos and single family homes, cal me at 321-693-3850.  If you prefer, email me gwatersc21@aol.com.

Our brokerage, Century 21 Baytree Realty, even has a rental house available in Heritage Isle at this time for $1,300 a month! 

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, serving buyers and sellers in Viera’s 55+ communities of Heritage Isle and Grand Isle, Indian River Colony Club (buyers only).

What Kind of Home Loan is Best for Me?

There are lots of home mortgage choices out there. Qualification varies somewhat among these products but still there are several choices.

For instance there is the old standby - the conventional loan. One of my favorite loan type is the VA loan. 

VA loans are interesting in that the VA does not make loans but rather insures the loans.  As a general rule, VA loans do not require a down payment. 

And then there is the FHA loan….The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are mortgages obtained with the help of the FHA. With a small down payment, buyers can purchase a home. FHA loans make it easier for people to qualify for a mortgage, but they’re not for everybody.

There are fixed rate programs as well as adjustable rate mortgages (personally my least favorite – been there, done that!). 

When considering a home purchase the first step is the mortgage. Call a professional lender (credit union, bank, mortgage company, etc)  to discuss your options.

In Brevard County, Florida give Joe Harris of Morgan Financial a call. After you speak with Joe Harris, give me a call to discuss how I can assist you in your search for your new Brevard County, Florida house or condo. 

As a real estate agent my job is to help you find and purchase the perfect house or condo.  The lender you choose is a critical issue because it is this first step that determines your success in getting the best mortgage advice( and product) to suit your requirements. 

So what kind of  home loan is best for you?  Discuss it with several mortgage experts!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, 321-693-3850.  Email me at gwatersc21@aol.com.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hey, Buyer...Would You Buy My House If You Knew What I Know?

I was talking with another real estate agent today about getting sellers prepared to sell their house or condo. Specifically, we were taking about what we in Florida call a “Seller’s Real Property Disclosure.” 

The seller’s disclosure is a series of questions where the seller is asked to provide responses to all sorts of questions like any roof issues, systems (AC, heating, etc), appliances, Home Owner Association rules, water damage, zoning or future use changes, etc.

The seller provides responses to the best of their knowledge and agrees to advise the buyer of any changes within 5 days after it is under contract (pending closing).

I have the seller complete the form at the time of listing as any serious buyer will request the disclosure prior making an offer.

The bottom line is buyers can respond like a cornered animal if they discover something was left out of the disclosure! Don't alienate your buyer or break the trust!


As a seller (even as a FSBO) do not hide anything – period. Disclose! Disclose! Disclose!

Most transactions have a degree of stress regardless of an individual's role. Don't risk a transaction or some legal issue by "forgetting" to disclose!

Considering selling a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida? Call me at 321-693-3850 or drop me an email.

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. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Properties Are Not Distressed …It is the Sellers

I received a call this morning from Realtor Richard Weisser in Cowetta County Georgia.  Nice to get a call just to say hello from another of the guys in the trenches of the real estate market warsOK, I exaggerated.

During the conversation I remarked that short sale properties are in good (often better) condition than the non-distressed (standard, regular sale) properties.  Buyers need to be aware of this.

Although a short sale is considered a “distressed” sale it is not necessarily a distressed property.

I know Richard Weisser works with buyers of HUD properties northern Georgia and has seen his share of distressed properties. Call me about HUD properties in Brevard County, Florida.

I will admit that in short sales, as in all transactions, the seller (and often the buyer) is often distressed!

Need help selling your distressed (short sale) and non-distressed real estate in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Melbourne, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.  I would welcome a chance to work with you!

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, serving buyers and sellers along Florida’s Space Coast!

Don’t Let the Cats Out and other MLS Clues… [Other title: Beauty is in the eyes of the seller!]

When we go to schedule showings for our buyer clients there are sometimes often subtle hints in the MLS narrative that can give us a clue about the property.

On the other hand I have read descriptions before, arrived at the property, then had to confirm the address because the description was off the mark by a long way!

Being a real estate professional I know the “secret words.” Now this is really written with a tinge of sarcasm and humor...but sometimes there are things to be learned in sarcasm!

Here are some secret phrases and the meaning…ssshhh, don’t tell anyone where you got these. Tomorrow I will show you the secret handshake!
  • “Owner will be taking ceiling fans.”  Check to see what else will go with seller… 
  • “Value in the land.”  POS!  
  • “Roof is in good shape.”  Better have it inspected on a sunny day! 
  • “Buyer backed away!”  Previous buyer did not just walk...they would not even turn their backs as they hustled on down the road! 
  • “This is truly an opportunity knocking...Needs just some updating.” I priced it as low as the sellers would go but come on. lets see if they will take a lower price, please! 
  • "Owner is allowing a carpet allowance" If the carpet is so bad even the owner acknowledges the condition, leave your shoes on! 
  • “Needs a little cosmetic help, but in great shape”  Not sure...This may have been what my last girl friend said about me! I married my last girlfriend over 31 years ago!
There are other “code words” like charming, cute, bring your toothbrush, and my favorite, just needs TLC that should be interpreted figuratively. Besides.. beauty is in the eye of the seller!  

Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, serving buyers and sellers in Brevard County Florida's most popular communities - Viera, Suntree, Heritage Isle, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge and all of central Brevard!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Dieter's Approach to Buying A House!

How much can I buy is what gets some in trouble.... It should be how much should spend? 

I did a Google search on how much can I borrow and all I got were calculators so I can determine the mortgage or car payments. 

This is good information but buying a house is not necessarily like being on a diet.  Through the years I have seen a few people go on diets (myself included) and the lengths they will go to just to calculate caloric intake.

When these dieters hit the restaurant it is always how much can I eat and not max out my calories? The same approach occurs often when people go to buy a house with the attitude "what is the maximum limit I can buy!"

The appropriate approach should entail a couple of key issues.
  1. How much house (or car) do I need? and 
  2. How much do I borrow to meet my needs?
If you treat the house buying process like a buffet you may end up sitting around feeling miserable later!  Is it going to be the apple or the cupcake?

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.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chelsea Park Subdivision Rockledge Florida – Big Houses + Big Lots = Big Deals

Rockledge, Florida’s Chelsea Park subdivision provides home owners with larger homes on larger lots – no zero lot line parcels here. Conveniently located near I-95 and US 1, Chelsea Park provides commuters easy access to major employers in Melbourne and Orlando (45 miles). 

As I was driving by the subdivision on my way to get a haircut this morning I took a quick spin through the neighborhood.  There are some real estate signs up but not anywhere the number some of the nearby neighborhoods boast. I guess this is indeed a good sign!

A check of the MLS reveals 7 active listings within the Chelsea Park development. These homes are mostly 2,400 – 3,000+ sq ft living area on almost a quarter acre lot.  

There is only a single short sale – a small (2,100 sq ft) 3 bedroom 2 bath home listed for $191,000.  The other properties are priced from $209,000 to $319,000 (most are $220-240K range).

There are several homes under contract at this time. One of these is a 3,400+ sq ft, 6 bedroom 3 bath house listed for $245,000.  Two homes sold in April 2010, a short sale for $175,000 and a standard sale that sold for $259,000.  

[The higher priced house did have a 3 car garage, an in ground pool and was 6 years newer.] 

For information on homes for sale in Chelsea Park subdivision, contact me at 321-693-3850 or email me, Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, serving buyers and sellers in the Rockledge,Viera and Suntree areas of Brevard County.
 

"Want" to buy a new house or "Need" to buy a new house?

I was speaking with a young lady yesterday who told me she wanted a new house.  As a real estate agent that is good news to me – especially if she asks me to work with her. 

Why do people buy new houses these days?  This is not a scientific study but rather my opinion only.

In Brevard County Florida, with prices as attractive as they are, I believe people buy a new house or condo for one of these reasons:
  • Get more house when prices are low,
  • Downsizing i.e. empty nest, income change, life change (family addition, divorce or death,
  • Condo lifestyle -  instead of the single family home with yard to maintain, etc),
  • Investment (yes, some with the resources are still investing…2 bedroom condos under 50K!)
  • PLACE YOUR REASON HERE.
Regardless, buying and selling are good as long as you understand your reason for doing so.  Remember, "want" and "need" are two very different things that need to be kept in perspective!

If you are ready to buy a new house or condo (or sell one), call me at 321-693-3850 to discuss how I can assist you in the process. 

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

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why should the short sale be an option for modest homes only?

I read an article this morning about how a seller felt they were stuck in their house.  They could not look at a short sale as they were in a luxury home.  In some areas these homes may even be considered “executive homes" as what is luxury varies by locale.

I see short sales on million dollar homes - one priced at 2.5 million over on Melbourne Beach!  

In Brevard County, Florida today there are 27 properties listed for sale priced above $500,000.  Some of these are over "on the beach" while others are in Viera and Suntree.

You will find short sales....
  • in gated communities, 
  • within 55+ communities, 
  • in golf course communities like Baytree Golf Course and Duran Golf Club
  • in the northern rural areas of Mims - all over Brevard County,
  • in all price ranges and condition.  
In Brevard County, a half million dollar priced property is not considered modest, moderate or "run of the mill" housing.
Why should the short sale be an option for modest homes only? It is not!

In this market if you're a buyer and looking for luxury, there are short sales to consider.  If you are considering selling your "luxury" home as a short sale, let's talk and see if we can't get this process underway. 

Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can help in any way.

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

Strategic Default - "because everyone else is doing it .."

60 Minutes did a segment last Sunday night that centered on strategic defaults - people walking away from their house even though they could afford to make the payment!

There has been considerable discussion on this topic and I am sure it will continue. I wrote a short post about strategic defaults about six months ago on this blog as well. 

Some say is it simply a business decision.  A very rational  case can be made for walking away when you look at the numbers. I am not sure this is taught at Wharton School of Business or Harvard Business School, but businesses have employed this practice for years.

Some say it is a moral decision. Perhaps a dichotomy does exist. 

It is a tough call.  I remember as a child being told  that "because everyone else is doing it is not a valid reason?"  I think my folks were a bit more dramatic as I tried this excuse and it usually cost me.

Strategic defaults and short sales will cost but I am not one to judge motives.  I understand that behind every short sale and foreclosure (and standard sale) is a person (or family) with issues I am not qualified to judge.

If you are having a difficult time making your mortgage payment due to job loss, income loss, illness or whatever reason, a short sale may be an option to consider rather than a foreclosure.

Call me, Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent/Realtor, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge at 321-693-3850 or drop me an email if you prefer.

Will the Sinking Prices Make Some Neighborhoods "Boiled Frogs?"

There is an old wives' tale about how a frog if placed in boiling water will jump out but if the water temperature is slowly increased it will stay in the water until it is boiled to death.

Although false, this does illustrate many things in life…  
like gradual change can be accepted while rapid change will be met with resistance (people jumping)!  
"Boiled Frogs" has been used metaphorically to illustrate many different business and/or life points such as in the song by Alexisonfire.

As I see the number of short sale and foreclosure homes being sold to investors I can envision some older neighborhoods in Brevard County Florida transitioning to investor owned rental neighborhoods.

This transition may in fact be a slow process..a gradual heating of the water.

I have nothing against investors or rental properties however I feel there needs to be a balance in any neighborhood.

Condo associations have long known this and most limit the percentage of properties that can be rented out at any given time. 

What can be done to prevent this from happening? Probably not a whole lot however it is good to be aware of the dynamics in your own neighborhood.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Florida Real Estate Information and More

I have several blogs and rarely does any single article make it to all of them.  Here are a few of the articles recently posted on the others:

Know Who Your Real Estate Agent Represents
Home Ownership is not for everyone
The House is Nice But The View Is Better
Those With The Capital, Vision, And Guts Can Make Money!
Negotiation 101 – How to Sell Your House
Use an Expert – The Tuition is Cheaper!

If you are in need of real estate services in the Brevard County Florida area, please let me know how I may assist your efforts.  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if you prefer.

©Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, 1211 Admiralty Blvd, Rockledge, Florida.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Ventura at Turtle Creek in Rockledge - Condos for Sale But No Buyers….Think Its The Price?

The Ventura at Turtle Creek is a relatively new condo complex in Rockledge, Florida.  Its gated complex provides some units with golf course views (Turtle Creek Golf Course), others with water views. The pool and conservation area provide a relaxing environment for those weekend days!

With only about half the complex built out so far, some units come with garages while others have carports. Yes, the complex is very nice but nothing selling right now.

Why?  There are five units listed for sale – one short sale at $84,000.  The others are all listed $136,000- $157,000 range. Days on the market for these units are 308,174, 159, 96, 15 (average about 5 months).

There is one under contract…listed at $109,000 and under contract in less than two months. This 3 bedroom 2 bath unit was priced very attractively from the start.

One must wonder if it is that these units that linger on the market for months are priced too high…I say very emphatically yes! 

Why?  Since June 2009 there have been four units sold that were listed in the MLS system.  The sales prices ranged from $93,000 to $122,000!

For information on condos for sale in Rockledge and Viera (or Cocoa Beach!), call me at 321-693-3850 or email me, Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Retiring In Florida is Not What It Used To Be! Why a 55+ Community in Florida?

There was a time when “Retiring to Florida” stirred some folks to envision a small condo or even a manufactured home (trailer) community where your days were spent playing shuffleboard or bridge with an early bird special for dinner...and retiring to your rocker.

Those days are long gone!  -> -> -> -> ->

If you are considering retiring to Florida then check out the modern 55+ communities in Florida

Along the east coast of central Florida you will find a couple of such developments in Viera – Heritage Isle and Grand Isle.

What do these new 55+ communities offer their residents?
  • Gated,
  • Solid newer construction structures (condos, single family home, patio style),
  • Pools and spas,
  • Fitness centers,
  • Clubhouse(billiards anyone?),
  • Basketball courts,
  • Bike trails,
  • Tennis and shuffleboard(hey, its a classic game),
  • Clubs and interest groups (bridge?),
  • Social gatherings and movies,
  • Library on site,
  • Access to golf course next door (some like Indian River Colony Club have the course within gates),
  • Maintenance free lifestyle(Varies).
Check these 55+ communities out and you may just find this kind of rocker among the residents... they all have one of these guys!

Call me at 321-693-3850 or drop me an email if you have an interest in retiring to Florida -  55+ community or elsewhere!

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

Monday, May 10, 2010

Is the view any better from up on the fence?

I remember as a child going to my grandfather’s small farm although it was big to me.  As a short and rather chunky guy – almost said little guy – I would climb on the fence to look out over the fields.  The view was a bit better from being on the fence.

Now, fast forward to today, 2010.  The real estate market in Brevard County Florida (and elsewhere) has been down for several years.  Prices are attractive. Interest rates are as low as ever. The inventory is high. Sellers are negotiating.  Bargains exist in short sale properties.

As a real estate agent I have seen a lot of buyers who have been on the real estate fence now for several years.  I have witnessed sellers wait the market out as "prices would certainly get better," only to see them sell later at a lower price!

I have seen buyers who sat on the fence waiting for the price on the house they loved to drop – only to have another buyer come along who recognized the value and jumped at it.

As we near the half way point of 2010 I wonder…Is the view better up on that real estate fence?
 
If you are ready to hop down off the fence, call me at 321-693-3850 or drop me an email. Let's get together to discuss what is really for sale and selling in the Brevard County, Florida real estate market. 

Sure you may sell for less but you will also buy much more for less. 

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida serving buyers and sellers along the Space Coast of central Florida...where the view is best enjoyed on Cocoa Beach instead of the fence!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Lets See...Weekends at Cocoa Beach, Baytree Golf Course or Lowes? D

Big aspirations. Going to make it my own...going to personalize it! Lots of potential here! Yep, we all have had such aspirations.

I remember trying it with a VW Bug about twenty years ago.  M son nicknamed that car “Ug” which was short for ugly. Of course, I thought the California orange VW Bug was sharp! I guess beauty is truly in the eye of the driver (beholder)!

I have seen houses that have been placed on the market with a half way complete renovation..some with as little as a note in the MLS that says…ready for your makeover!

Not all buyers (real estate or auto) are cut out for the handyman, renovator role. Fortunately there are lots of houses to choose from that are move in ready – from new construction in the Viera area to the already renovated classics on the Indian River in Rockledge, Florida!

Not all want to play handyman. Unfortunately some find out too late.

If you want to spend your weekends on the sands of Cocoa Beach or the Baytree golf course, then a property that needs TLC may not be your best choice...unless you have the funds to pay a contractor!

If you are considering buying a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.  Let me help you locate the right property - new, move-in ready or fixer upper!

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

The 8 Most Expensive Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make

OK, this is not a list of the 8 Most Expensive Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make...sorry.   

The truth is:

I read a post this morning by Laurie Scalf which listed the 8 Most Expensive Mistakes Sellers Make.  The list is pretty much common sense so I thought it was kind of ironic such common sense steps were so frequent.

Number 4 on Laurie’s list “Not hiring a competent agent” got me to thinking that as real estate agents, do we ever drop listings because the client is not competent or just refuse to take a listing?

That is a question to ask that real estate agent you decide to market your Rockledge, Suntree or Viera Florida home...Think about this way:

Do you want a real estate agent who takes every listing?  Marketing a house or condo is not like fixing a car.  Most auto repair shops will take any make of car and perform routine maintenance.  But selling your house is not "routine!"

A key question to ask when you interview that Viera or Suntree Realtor: "Have you ever dropped a listing or refused to accept a listing?"


Gary Waters, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida serving buyers and sellers in Brevard County Florida.  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if you are considering a real estate decision in Rockledge or Viera!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

How Much Brevard County Florida “House” Was Purchased in April 2010 For Exactly $200,000

Very often buyers will question home affordability in Brevard County Florida by asking “How much house can I get for $200,000 (or another number)?”

Here are some actual properties that sold for exactly $200,000 in April as posted in the Brevard County Florida MLS system.
  • 2335  Papaya PL, Merritt Island:  1.01 acre lot, 4 bedroom, 4 bath, 2 car garage, pool house, 3136 sq ft built in 1964
  • 7142 Rossi Way, Melbourne (Viera): 3 bedroom, 2 bath 2 car garage house in Heritage Isle (55+ community), 1779 sq ft built in 2006
  • 1027 Jacaranda Cir, Rockledge: 4 bedroom 2 bath, 2 car garage, 1994 built pool home with 2,236 sq ft under air
  • 8759 Banyan Way, Cape Canaveral: 3 bedroom 2 bath, 1 car garage, .07 acres, built in 1978, 1107 sq ft living area
  • 665 Bimini Rd, Satellite Beach: 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage. .3 acres built in 1976, pool home with 1713 sq ft under air.
None of these properties was a short saleWhat it does illustrate is one must recognize that how much house (size, age, pool, gated community, etc) depends on its location, location, location!

For information on how much house (or condo) you can buy in Brevard County, Florida, send me an email or give me a call at 321-693-3850. 

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

***NONE OF THESE PROPERTIES WAS SOLD BY ME PERSONALLY. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF SELLING 5 PROPERTIES IN ONE MONTH FOR EXACTLY THE SAME PRICE?***

I thought about titling this "You’re buying a house not a casket!" but changed my mind....

I read an article this morning telling me why my Facebook account should be limited to only the most serious, real estate related topics in order to promote my business as a real estate agent in Florida

I was so shocked to find out how wrong I was approaching the real estate business in Brevard County Florida!
 
The truth is I have a Facebook page where my Brevard County real estate posts show up – Moving to Brevard County Florida.  That page is all about business.

Posts on my web logs such as this page as well as Observations of a Viera Florida Real Estate Agent and Florida Homes and Condos for Sale give folks a clue as to who I am as a person and as a Realtor. The same goes for my  my web site.

Buying or selling a house or condo means a lot of contact and it is best to have an idea of who this guy is!

I enjoy people. I like to share a smile with those around me. I like to have fun.

Buying a house should not be drudgery although it is a very serious point in ones life.  I think you can (and should) enjoy the excitement of of the search (you’re buying a house not a casket! ).

If you are looking for a real estate agent in Brevard County Florida, check my web sites out, please.

Gary Waters enjoys being a real estate agent with Century 21 Baytree Realty because I can be me! Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can assist you in the process!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Where Are Real Estate Prices Going?

For the past several years real estate buyers have read and heard prices will decline even further. Many buyers have lost out on the "perfect house" because they felt the price was too high.

There are many who claim to have a crystal ball but somehow few are able to discern clearly what it is saying!

As a real estate buyer you need to recognize that if all the boxes are checked, then maybe it is time to buy. 
  1. Price
  2. Location
  3. ♥ the house!
  4. No repairs required (an inspection will tell you this for sure)
  5. Great neighborhood
  6. Seller willing to negotiate (your agent can get this information I bet!)
  7. Meets your time line
  8. Got the finances covered (mortgage, down payment)
As a real estate buyer when you find all the boxes checked off then maybe it is time to write the check (escrow!).

Will the price go down? Who knows?

Will another buyer come along tomorrow and think the current price is a good deal? Who knows 

I may not know the future but I do know the reality of the Viera and Suntree real estate market.

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 at 321-693-3850 or email me.!

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