Find Your Home!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"You ain't the boss of me!" To live with homeowner associations and deed restrictions or not?

The below was originally posted by me two years ago.  It is still an issue with many home buyers.  An association or not?

Having recently worked with several buyers in the Viera and Suntree areas of Brevard County, I noticed how their views on homeowner associations and deed restrictions were nowhere alike.

Some want rules to make sure things stay pretty much the way the neighborhood looks today.  Some want the freedom to do as they please.  Not surprising as we all have an opinion of these entities. 

In the Viera and Suntree areas of Brevard County you will find no escape from HOA rules.  Both of these areas are planned unit developments  consisting of many newer (and some older) developments with rules. 

A few of these have rules that sometimes throw up a roadblock for potential buyers. I know of areas where you can not have a pickup truck in the driveway at night. I know some where any commercial vehicle (including a vehicle with a magnetic sign)  must be parked in a garage.

There are plenty of other rules like changing paint colors, having a fence (or not), a boat being kept....and the infamous NO RV can be parked overnight.  The rules exist to promote uniformity and consistency in the homes.

I can understand the rules and the reasons they exist.  Likewise I can understand when buyers do not want the rules!

When you are looking for a home in Florida one of the documents you must be provided and given an opportunity to review is the HOA disclosure.  If I am the seller's agent I ensure I deliver a copy of the rules to the buyer's agent and get a signature.  If I am the buyer's agent I ensure they are delivered and signed for by my client.  The reason is simple - you must be given an opportunity (three days) to review the documents.

If you are the buyer - read the disclosure. Know what you are getting into before proceeding. Of course your real estate agent should ensure you receive the documents. It is up to you to read them - thoroughly! 

As a buyer, you know your lifestyle.  Please ensure these rules do not become an obstacle. By the way, if you travel in some areas of Brevard County (not located within a development) you will see all sorts of things.
Sure there are some things that code enforcement will patrol for - but that may not stop the neighbor from painting the house pink and placing pink plastic flamingos in the front yard.   OK, that may be a little extreme, however, save yourself some heartache and frustration- read the documents early!

I would go a step further. These documents are written by lawyers.  If you have concerns get an attorney to review them for you. 

Don't accept the sellers interpretation of what you can or can't do.

Considering a home purchase in the Brevard County, Florida comunnity of Viera,  please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email 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.

Originally posted on July 7, 2008, Observations of a Viera Florida Realtor

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What If I Don’t Like My New Neighbors?

When working with buyers I frequently urge them to take a late afternoon or early evening walk in the neighborhood they have an interest.

During the day, if we are out and  they are looking at houses and a neighbor is in the yard, say hello and chat.

It is these little moments of interaction that may help them decide if they like their neighbors.  After all, who does not want good neighbors?

Interestingly I have never had a buyer say “I hope the neighbors like me!”  What is that slogan from an insurance company…”Like a good neighbor?”

A neighborhood is more than just a house....

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.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What Goes Around Comes Around…Making Money In Real Estate

This is no sales pitch. This is only a statement of fact.

Real estate markets are cyclical.  Most things in life are cyclical – even your mood – some days up, some days down!

As real estate prices bottomed many sellers lost lots of money -some real, some on paper.  This can be easily evidenced by comparing the sold prices now against selling prices as recent as 2005.

In the Brevard County real estate market a drop of a hundred thousand IS A BIG THING. The average sales price so far in 2010 is about $145,000.

Because of the cyclical nature of the real estate market it will like be today's buyers who make the money as sellers down the road....much like the sellers of the early 2000s!

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.

Not Delusional But Rather Hopeful....Understanding the Real Estate Market

Maybe not delusional but rather more hopeful is how I would describe some real estate buyers and sellers in today's market.

I hear buyers and sellers, although at differing times, make the same confession - "I wish I had.... " 

Now that the market is a buyer's market I see sellers who either wish they had sold a few years ago or started their listing price near the lowest priced competition rather than the higher priced listings. [I call this pricing in the rear view mirror.]

At the other end of the spectrum I see sellers who purchased three or four years ago who wish they had not made the move.

In today's market a seller must accept the reality - prices are depressed and buyers are seeking only the best deals - not an over priced property from an overly optimistic seller.

Of course buyers must likewise recognize that a good price is a good price and not all sellers are desperate to give away their property! 

The market is what it is - a buyers market where being hopeful is okay as long as it is within reason!

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.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fear, Doubt, Uncertainty - Common Emotions Among First Time Homebuyers

Buying a house or condo, especially the first one, brings a lot of emotions to the forefront.  Buying a house is not something one runs into without considerable thought.

Some of these concerns causing doubt and fear can be easily answered. Some require consultation with a qualified professional such as a mortgage lender, a real estate agent, a CPA or just a good friend.

What are some of these doubts?
  • Affordability
  • Readiness for the responsibility of home ownership
  • Employment security
  • Purchase in a period of declining property values
  • Potential of increasing taxes,  insurance or association dues
  • Putting down roots in an area for several years 
  • Mortgage rates
These are all serious issues. Once one makes the decision to purchase a house or condo other emotions enter such as excitement and anticipation! Prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster ride filled with some thrills, nervousness, excitement - a little bit of everything!

If you considering the purchase of a new house or condo in Brevard County Florida I urge you to contact me.  We can deal with the issues and go forward with a clear understanding of your goal.

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

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Property Inspections – What Do You Do About the Results?

In Brevard County, Florida (and most places I am sure) any offer to purchase real estate usually contains at least a couple of contingency clauses.  At a minimum the clauses cover the ability to obtain financing as well as a property inspection.

Even if a property is listed for sale "as is" [no repairs to be made by seller] an inspection is still recommended. 

By inspection I mean hiring a competent professional home inspector (termite/wood destroying organism inspection may be a different company).  I often provide my clients with a list of inspection companies as well as invite them to search on their own.

Once an inspection is conducted most inspectors provide a written report with digital photos of each area of concern.  In some cases issues are pointed out as "for your information" while others identify serious structural, functional or safety issues.

At this point a buyer needs to decide if repairs are worth the effort or walk away.  If repairs are requested the repairs should be completed by a licensed professional appropriate to the issue (roof then a roofer, etc).  Sometimes a seller may do the repairs in a case where it is a minor issue.

If the issue is not too serious I prefer a monetary credit as it allows the buyer to have it done to their satisfaction by whomever they prefer.

Regardless of who does the repairs I always recommend the the inspector come back before closing to see the repair as well as ask for copies of receipts.


Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent (Realtor), Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if you are in need of any real estate services in Brevard County, Florida.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Your Listing Says Impeccably Maintained but Your Exterior Says "What?"

While reviewing market activity in Rockledge, Florida’s Ashwood Lakes subdivision this morning I noticed one of the listings with a descriptive comment identifying how the house was impeccably maintained.

This particular Ashwood Lakes home may indeed be impeccably maintained inside but the curb appeal, based on the photo in the MLS, sure looks less than that!  With almost dead grass and obvious landscape neglect, the house gave no impression of its apparent interior condition. 

If there were There are three golden rules for real estate buyers. I think the top one is  "Buyers always seek impeccably maintained properties."   The number two rule is very similar to rule number one: "Buyers always seek impeccably maintained properties for bargain prices."  And the final rule is almost never broken by a buyer:  "Buyers never buy a house without going inside."

If your house is impeccably maintained, make sure your yard and exterior is as well! 

By the way there are 8 single family homes for sale in Ashwood Lakes, priced from $149,900 to $220,000. Most of these homes were built in 2000 and 2001 so they are not too old and well maintained.  Ashwood Lakes is convenient to shopping, major routes, 45 minutes to Orlando, 20 minutes to the beaches, so if you are relocating to Brevard County, Florida, consider Ashwood Lakes.

Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent/Realtor, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why FSBOs Dislike Real Estate Agents…

FSBOs (or as some say fizzbos or For Sale By Owners) are those brave owners who choose to sell their real estate without the services of a real estate professional. 

What is it that causes FSBOs to go it alone?  Is it the thrill of the hunt?  Is it the ability to manage every little aspect of the transaction (control freaks - I'm kidding)? No, I don't think it has anything to do with hunting or fishing for a buyer.


I am convinced it is not really a dislike for real estate agents but rather the perception that they will save money.  After all, how difficult is it to market a house in a buyer's market? [This is a rhetorical question...really!]

There have been many studies conducted on how much money a FSBO saves by going it alone.  I am not here to tell you that specific dollar figure because only you, as a seller of your own property,
  • know how much your time is worth
  • know how many Saturdays and Sundays you want to do open houses. 
  • know how many websites and blogs you will promote your house on.  
  • know how confident you are in allowing strangers in your house.
It is not that FSBOs dislike real estate agents but rather prefer not to pay a real estate agent for something they can hopefully do themselves!

If you have tried it as a FSBO in Viera, Rockledge or Suntree and would like to discuss turning the marketing to a real estate professional, let me know.

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Selling Your House – Treat it Like a Job Interview!

Here is the scenario: Two guys show up for a job interview where their is only one position available.

The first applicant arrives 10-minutes early with a perfect resume in hand,impeccable dress, a smile, firm handshake and positive attitude.

The second applicant arrives a couple of minutes prior to the scheduled appointment, spilled coffee on their clothing, no resume, and smelling of cigarette smoke.

Who gets the job?  You don’t have to be a human resources expert to figure that one out but my guess is the first impression will go a long way toward this decision.

Now consider how this mirrors selling your house or condo?  Your buyer shows up and either your house is prepared or not. Ready or not, your buyer prospects are out front!

Like a job interview, your first 10 seconds will determine the mental decision on whether you are a contender or dismissed!

Take the time to be prepared on day one as you only get one chance.

Overcoming a negative first impression is almost always impossible!  And if you do overcome the negative start, it will likely cost you in a lower offer!

This article first published on Florida Homes and Condos For Sale, June 21 2010.

Shopping for a House or Condo in Florida – What is on your menu?

Carol Culkin of Century 21 Alliance in Poughkeepsie NY  posted an article this morning that discussed how shopping for a house can be analogous to dining at nice restaurant.

To summarize, a real estate agent working with home buyers can help identify the buyer’s requirements and select the right properties to be seen making the selection easier.

In a real restaurant (sorry, McDonald's) a knowledgeable waiter can take a menu with many choices and make recommendations based on the customer's desires.

When buying a house or condo, identify your desires, tastes, and appetite for potential repairs/renovation, and let your real estate agent show you only the properties that meet your needs.

There is no need to go through the entire menu to decide on a meal!

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

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Truth is not all neighborhoods are nice...Nor are all neighbors nice!

When shopping for a house or condo your real estate agent can not mislead or steer you to or away from any specific neighborhood.

As a seller your real estate agent will almost always say "nice neighborhood" or even "established neighborhood" someplace in the narrative. Many times the agent will throw in excellent schools nearby as well!

The truth is not all neighborhoods are nice. Some are old and run down. Some are crime ridden. Some are on a property value downward spiral.  Likewise, not all schools are excellent!

As a buyer you must take some initiative and do some research on your own.
  • Call local law enforcement to check the statistics for the area.
  • Consult the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sexual Offender web site. 
  • Visit the schools personally before deciding on a house.
  • Consult the Brevard County Public School website or a site like SchoolsMatter
  • Drive around the neighborhood after school (or during the weekend) to see what its like when folks are home.
  • Get out and talk to neighbors. [I always encourage buyers to speak to neighbors...never know what they may say!]
  • How many folks are walking their dogs, riding bikes, out with their children.
  • What is the traffic like?
  • How are the nearby houses maintained?
  • How many houses are for sale or being foreclosed?
  • What is the percentage of owner occupied homes?
  • If there is a homeowner or condo association ask around about issues, effectiveness and organization.
This is not a comprehensive list, just some suggestions for consideration as you begin your home search!

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!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

After 444 Days on the Market the Grass Dies….

There is no correlation between the number of days a house is listed for sale and the grass dying, really.

Just yesterday I went by a property to preview the exterior and the neighborhood. The MLS photo was nice, showing luscious grass, neatly trimmed trees and shrubs. I was hoping this was as good better than the picture!

There I was looking for that beautiful landscaping and when I arrived it was dirt and brown dead grass, overgrown bushes, and the worst looking house in on the street.

Then I realized that during the 444 days the house had been listed the owners had moved out.  Yet still the MLS says occupied.

I guess if the owner cares not that the grass is dead then the owner cares not that the real estate agent has not updated the entry in 444 days!

Note to sellers:  Make sure you keep the curb appeal high and have a current photo of your property - even if it has been 444 days and you have already moved. It is extremely important that an MLS entry or any marketing material stay up to date including price reductions.

For information on homes for sale in Brevard County call me directly at 321-693-3850 or 321-255-2600 (office) or, if you prefer email 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.

Paranoia is not good in a client…Unless You are a Shrink (or a Real Estate Agent)

Paranoia is not good in a client unless you are a mental health professional or a real estate agent!  

The definition of paranoia is “a psychological disorder characterized by delusions of persecution or grandeur.” As a real estate agent I have seen it many times.  As a buyer and seller of several houses I may have experienced it as well!

Much as a parent almost always sees their child as magnificent, many sellers see their house or condo as splendid or grand!  Never a flaw - just plenty of character!

Sellers sometimes very often view any buyer prospect as someone not to be trusted.  Some may go so far as to require their real estate agent be present for showings.  It happens on the other side of the transaction as well.

While buyers are always urged to have inspections conducted by qualified professionals some buyers are just certain, even after a clean inspection, the sellers are hiding something!

Note to "deal seekers" (novice investors): Understand the difference between upgrades and repairs - and the cost.

A real estate transaction is a major event in ones life.  When it comes down to real estate perhaps a little paranoia is almost always present and not such a bad thing!

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.  
 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The “Who” and “What” Of Pricing Your House To SELL In Any Real Estate Market

Understanding the “Who” and “What” of pricing your house to sell in any real estate market is key to marketing your house or condo.  This will not be a long dissertation on the theory of market pricing. Rather, it is just a head’s up for folks looking to sell real estate in any market.

The truth - understand that selling is a competition - with winners and losers!  In a downwardly trending market losing this competition will result in losing real money! 

I know this is the same old song but it is a classic... buyers (the market) sets the price, you decide whether to accept that price!

I am not going too repeat any of the verses here but rather offer you these links to additional information on selling your house or condo.

Five Keys to Selling Your House
If Your House is not Selling
Days on the Market do not matter when Selling your House 

Who is your competition?  Knowing "the answer" to those questions will determine whether you win or lose in the competitive environment known as the real estate market. Good luck!

If I can assist you in the marketing your house or condo in Brevard County Florida, call me or just send me an email for a free market analysis.

Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, serving buyers and sellers in Brevard County's most desirable communities like Heritage Isle, Viera, Cocoa Beach, Baytree Golf Course and more!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Should You Consider Buying A Short Sale?

Short sale – real estate offered for sale where the most likely sale price will be less than the mortgage owed.

The key component of the short sale process: any offer signed off on by the seller of a short sale will require lender approval.

This is where being an appropriate buyer candidate for a short sale comes in.... The time for approval varies from lender to lender.  I have seen some get approved in less than 60 days.  I have seen some drag on for a year! I have read cases where the lender foreclosed while the process was in this limbo land in between offer and approval!

Your buyer's agent will need to screen your short sale prospective properties as well to find out if the ground work has been completed.  There is a lot of paperwork that takes place before a property is ready for the short sale process. 

Short sales are usually discounted below the normal market price.  This is because of the process.  The market prices may drop during the approval process.  As a buyer, you could have had that earnest money in the bank earning at least a percent or two interest!

Although there are lots of short sale properties in Brevard County Florida, I believe very few buyers are good candidates for the short sale transaction because most have a less than flexible time line. 

If you are trying to decide if a short sale property is a realistic consideration, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or drop me an email.

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!

Viera East Houses “Old” Who told you that?

Speaking with a buyer prospect last week who had visited a model home in the Viera area (west of I-95), I heard the remark that the other side was old homes.

Something I learned long ago...When speaking of people or houses, age is relative! 

Actually the homes in Viera East are older than Viera west of the interstate but not that old.

Take Auburn Lakes subdivision, for instance.  Homes in Auburn Lakes were built in 2004-2006 mostly.  Four to six years old is not really old in the housing market!

Auburn Lakes offers some great prices – about $160,000 to $190,000 for a 3 or 4 bedroom house!

Or take the gated community of Capron Trace with homes built from about 2006 up to current new construction. Again under $200,000! 

There are attractive pries in some very nice communities both east and west of Interstate 95 in Viera, Florida - in all price ranges, gated, single family, town house, condo, golf course direct - whatever one desires!

For information on homes for sale in Rockledge and Viera, send me an email. I will gladly answer your questions or forward listings.

Gary L Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida, serving buyers and sellers in Viera, Suntree and all along Florida's Space Coast.

Viera – 16 Communities offering whatever one wants!

Viera, located in north Melbourne Florida, has about 19,000 residents and about 8,100 homes. The planned community will eventually cover about 22,000 acres and will provide residents with golf courses, conservation areas, lakes, parks, shopping, schools, a new hospital and more.

Many of these amenities are already operational including The Avenues at Viera Mall, Health First Viera Hospital (opens in 2011), Duran Golf Club, Space Coast Stadium (minor league baseball, Washington Nationals spring training facility), Viera High School, Manatee and Quest Elementary Schools and more!

Regardless of price range, Viera has a place for you to call home.  For the sake of space I am providing just a comment on the neighborhoods. For specific information on these, just drop me an email!
  • Wyndham at Duran - Million dollar golf course homes, 4,000+ sq ft and more! 
  • Charolais Estates - Gated community, $500,000+,  executive homes. 
  • Colfax Landing- Gated community, executive style homes, $400,000+ prices. 
  • Chelford- New construction $300,000- $400,000s, large homes, nice! 
  • Cortona - Gated community, $700,000 range. 
  • Daintree - Affordable homes in $200,000 range. 
  • Eason Landing- Great custom built homes by Viera Builders, in $300-400,000s. 
  • Fairway Lakes at Viera- Gated golf course community, $300,000 to $700,000s, nice! 
  • Gatwick Manor - Semi custom homes around $300,000. 
  • Heritage Isle- Exclusive 55+ community offering condos and single family unit. 
  • Levanto - Custom built homes in $400,000s.  
  • Ravencliffe- Gated community, mostly in the $400-$500,000 range. 
  • Stoneridge - New townhouse community offering units under $200,000.  
  • Summer Lakes - Large, exclusive exclusive homes in premier gated community, $800K to $2 million! 
  • Sunstone - Large Lennar built homes mid-$200,000 to mid-$400,000. 
  • Terramore - Priced in the $300-$600,000s, semi custom homes.
There are new construction, re-sales (even some short sales) available in most of the above developments.

For information on any houses or condos for sale in Viera, just ask!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chelsea Park Subdivision in Rockledge Florida – Brevard County Homes For Sale

Chelsea Park subdivision in Rockledge Florida provides home buyers an opportunity to purchase large home on large lots at (mostly) attractive prices.

There are seven properties for sale at this time – two of which are short sales.  Prices range from a short sale listed at $169,900 to $299,900.

There were two closings in May 2010.  One of these was a short sale that sold for $175,000.  A great price for 2,350 sq ft but…it went under contract in September 2009 – eight months of waiting by an obviously patient buyer!  The other, a six bedroom 3 bath home, closed at $215,000 for a rather spacious 3405 sq ft ($63/sq ft!) under air!

For information on homes for sale in Chelsea Park in Rockledge, send me an email. I will gladly answer your questions or forward listings.

Gary L Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida, serving buyers and sellers in Viera, Suntree and all along Florida's Space Coast.

Check out Viera and Suntree Florida Real Estate Happenings!

There is always one in the crowd....Is it a bird or a seller?

I was reviewing prices of homes for sale in Indigo Crossing subdivision in Viera yesterday and noticed one price above all the rest. Actually way above all the rest!  Similarly I was reviewing prices in the Three Fountains gated condo community also in Viera.  Again, one unit was priced over twice the price of a recent sale.

Brought my mind back to this picture I took in Punta Gorda Florida last month where the one bird would not pose like the others... There is always one in the crowd!

For information on houses and condos for sale in Viera Florida, drop me an email. I would be happy to email you some listings - even set you up on an auto system to email properties that meet your criterion!

Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida serving buyers and sellers in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and all of Central Brevard County!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Five Keys to Selling Your House….

There are lots of web sites that go to great detail to instruct one on how to sell their house or condo. Admittedly, I have posted a few good ones!

Forget all the guide books like “House Selling  for Dummies”.  Here are the five key components to selling your house.
  1. Make it light, 
  2. Make it bright,
  3. Make it uncluttered,
  4. Make it clean,
  5. Make it a reasonable price!
All else a seller does is supportive but the above list is key.   I still love the catch phrase “if you can smell it, you can’t sell it!” 

Call me for assistance selling your Brevard County, Florida house or condo!

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!

Using The Old Bring the Teacher An Apple Trick To Sell Your House

I sometimes run across real estate listings where the seller's agent has included words to the effect of "$XXXX bonus for full price offer."

My response is almost always the same...."Overpriced....but can I bribe you?" That is probably an extreme reaction but you get my point I am sure.

The reality is all prices are negotiable. 

As a buyer's agent my job is to get my client the best price and terms possible.  If your list price was that price, then no bribe incentive would be required!"

Price a property at a point that will bring a realistic offer, and thus, negotiation! No extra incentive required!

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. 

If Your House Is Not Selling, Is It Really the Fault of the Housing Market or Bad Economy?

Blame is always the easy way out. Rationalization is always a tool we can rely on when it supports our opinion.

The real estate market has been challenging this year, especially in Brevard County, Florida.  But, real estate is selling. Last month there were over 500 houses sold in Brevard County.  Last month there were over 4,500 house that did not sell.

If you have your house or condo on the market and it is not selling, consider:
  • Price - Consider the competition.
  • Curb Appeal - That "bass" or "manatee" mailbox may look good to you but does it signal what is behind your door? What about the landscaping?
  • Exposure - Marketing where your likely buyer will see your property is key.
  • Ease of Access - 24 hour notice for showing does not usually work!
  • Staging - Once they are inside, does the clutter make your rooms look small? That red paint may look good to you but neutral works best.
Real estate is selling. There is a reason yours is not moving and it is not just the fault of the market!

Selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida house or condo? Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can help. If your listing has expired, call me.

Gary L. Waters PLLC, Realtor, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, serving buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida.

Short Sales - Trying, Frustrating and Demanding…Be prepared!

Many of the short sales on the market in Brevard County get priced very low.  I have seen some priced so low that even if the offer came in at the price I doubt the lender would sign off on it!

This is not about pricing but rather dealing with the process… As about a quarter of the homes on the market in Brevard County Florida are listed as short sales, it seems every buyer out there wants a short sale.

Most buyers are not good candidates for short sales but they still want to see them.

As a seller you will be bombarded with showings.  Some are more curious than serious.

As a short sale property you will find folks feel you are so desperate you will allow showings at any hour. Some people who come through may even make hyper critical comments.

Selling as a short sale can be a stressful time.  I can understand how a short sale seller (and buyer)  could be bombarded and frustrated.

Patience is required by all parties when the transaction is a short sale.

If you are considering selling your Viera house or condo as a short sale, give me a call to discuss how I may assist you. If you prefer, email me, Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Indigo Crossing Subdivision Viera Florida – Short Sales Dominate Market Activity

Indigo Crossing subdivision located in the planned unit development Viera (north Melbourne Florida) provides home buyers seeking attractive prices great opportunity.

These newer homes (originally constructed around 2005/2006) are near excellent schools, shopping, golf, the new Viera High School, and the new Health First Viera Hospital (opening in 2011).

Currently there are 7 active listings for sale in Indigo Crossing. With the exception of one, all are short sales!  All of these homes are similar: 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage, 1900+ sq ft under air. 

Prices for the short sale listings range from $155,000 to $189,000.  Incidentally there are 6 short sales under contract at this time awaiting approval by the lender.

If you are looking for a short sale in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, then Indigo Crossing is a place you should check out! 

For information on short sales in Viera, including Indigo Crossing, drop me an email or give me a call  at 321-693-3850. I would be glad to forward you some listings or answer any questions. 

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











Technorati Tags: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Take a “Chill Pill” – The Stress of Buying and Selling Real Estate

Let’s face it, as humans there are situations where any of us (even you!) can be stressed, ill tempered and just difficult to be around.  Hopefully, it is not all of the time...relax, I'm kidding!

Buying and selling a house or condo can trigger some deep emotions although the transaction is strictly business, right? 

No, it is more than just a business transaction.  It is a commitment. It is a major financial obligation. It is a life changing experience – for both sides of the transaction.

So, as you enter the process, remember, that ultimately the other side is not your enemy and, most of allthey are not moving in with you!

There have been times where I have encountered a difficult person and I always brush it off the same way – at least I don’t have to live with them!

Keep focused on the end goal.

Use your real estate agent as a sounding board.  Put yourself on the other side of the table…and take a “chill pill!”

Need a "chill pill?"  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me. I would welcome a chance to work with you as a buyer or seller's real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida.

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

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Heritage Isle in Viera - The 55+ community in Florida!

Over the past several years this blog has routinely discussed the 55+ communities in Brevard County, Florida. Among these are Heritage Isle, Grand Isle and Indian River Colony Club.

I was out at Heritage Isle yesterday to pick up their monthly newsletter and noticed quiet a bit of new construction happening. Folks are buying in Heritage Isle. 

The Viera area offers shopping, easy access to Orlando,  recreational opportunities, excellent schools for families with children, several golf courses, easy access to Patrick Air Force Base, nearby restaurants and health care facilities ( Health First Viera Hospital opens in 2011) and more.

What does Heritage Isle offer?  In a word "lifestyle!"
  • This includes a 21,000 square foot club house with lots of activities
  • A huge pool, tennis, basketball
  • Activities and classes such as ceramics, painting, computer classes, CPR training, billiards tournaments, shows in the ballroom, movie night, poker night and more! How about boccie ball, poker tournaments, yoga classes and more!
  • A fitness club/exercise facility as nice as any gym you can find anywhere!
  • Lawn care, exterior maintenance, concierge services 
All in a gated community! Heritage Isle offers new construction,  existing re-sale single family houses and condos. New construction prices start around the $200,000 range.  Except for the Terraces at Heritage Isle condo units the monthly fees are approximately $300 per month.

Gary L. Waters, PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne Florida, your Heritage Isle resource in Viera! Email me or give me a call at 321-693-3850.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Days on the Market Do Not Really Matter When Selling Your House or Condo

In the real estate business folks, especially sellers, seem to have an inordinate attraction to the words “days on the market.”  You see news articles discussing the current market using average selling price and average days on the market as "the measure."

As a seller, your primary concern should not be the number of days on the market.  Have I gone astray as the purpose of having a house for sale is to sell it?

Stick with me here… Days on the market is only one measure of the process/ 

The most important measurement. in my opinion, is activity. 

As a seller I urge you to consider how often these occur....
  • Showings.  If it doesn't show, it doesn't sell!
  • Second showings.  Second showings is a good sign, a sign of real interest.
  • Requests for additional information.  A request for additional information or even the association documents is a good sign. 
  • Offers. Not all offers will be good offers but this can be realistic feedback on market efforts)
I believe there is a golden period for a listing, that period of time which the listing generates the most activity.

The most important feedback a seller can get is activity. If the activity has diminished or vanished, it is time to look at the entire marketing effort including the price. 

Don’t let your listing become stagnant, an orphan property, a comparison property used by others!

If you are considering selling your Brevard County Florida home, call me. If your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge listing has expired call me before you renew that listing agreement.

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

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Interest Rates are a Primary Consideration…Now and Later When Purchasing a House

Interest can be defined in lots of ways. Occasionally you will hear an older person refer to it as the "carrying cost."

I prefer to think of it as the price of renting someones money, the cost of borrowing

With a major purchase like a house or condo, the interest rate can make a big difference in the rent you pay for that money.

Suppose you found a house for sale in Viera, Florida (or wherever) with a $250,000 purchase price. You place 10% down and finance $200,000 for thirty years.

At a 5% interest rate, your monthly payment for 30 years is approximately $1,074 a month. [This does not include other costs like taxes, insurance, association fees, etc.]

Being a shrewd home buyer you decide to wait on the purchase. After all, prices have been dropping for a couple of years.  After six months prices have stayed about the same.

But interest rates have risen a modest 1% to 6%.

At 6% interest, the same loan is $1,199 a month.  This is only $125 a month ($1,500 a year, $45,000 over the course of 30 years).

Prices and/or interest rates may change. No one knows for sure.  The bottom line is the interest rate greatly impacts your monthly payment as well as how much you may qualify to borrow.

Pay attention to prices but do not ignore the interest rates!

In Brevard County, Florida call Joe Harris to discuss mortgage options.  I have found the folks at Regions Bank to be quite helpful as well!

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

Property Taxes Never Stay the Same….Never!

Price is the primary consideration when purchasing a house or condo. There are other items that impact total housing costs including property taxes, insurance and homeowner association fees.

When considering a real estate purchase buyers always want to know what the current taxes are for the property.   

In Florida, property taxes are based on the property status as of January 1st (although taxes are not paid until the end of the year).

As a new owner you will either get the benefit (or pay the price) of the current year property status. Also, the tax basis for a property will be adjusted upon the new sale price.

A couple of factors include the Homestead Exemption and the Save Our Homes Amendment.

Homestead Exemption  provides Florida residents a special property tax exemption on their homesteaded property which is used as a permanent residence.  If granted, an exemption can reduce the taxable value of your property by up to $50,000 (also Amendment One).

The Save Our Homes amendment limits increases to property taxes. But once it sells, it is no longer protected.  Follow this link to estimate your property taxes in Brevard County Florida.

This information is provided as a service by Gary L. Waters, PLLC, Realtor, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, serving home buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida.

Circumstances Sometimes Distort Our View....

Reading some of my older posts (over 1,500 so far), I came across this one and wanted to recycle it.  Although lighthearted, the point is serious - short sales can be a viable solution to mortgage problems.

I read a little humorous web post that told how a woman's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months. However she she stayed by his bedside every single day. 

When he came out of the coma, he motioned for her to come nearer.

As she sat by him, he said, "You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times.
  • When I got fired, you were there to support me. 
  • When my business failed, you were there. 
  • When I got shot, you were by my side. 
  • When we lost the house, you gave me support. 
  • When my health started failing, you were still by my side... You know what?"
"What dear?" She asked gently. "I think you bring me bad luck." 

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where our own actions caused the problem. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where the cause is external - like the real estate market nosediving! 

If you are having problems with your mortgage, talk with your lender. If your circumstances have changed and you need to sell, perhaps a short sale is something to consider. The key is to talk to someone and not ignore the issues! 

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



*Thanks to Diane Daley, Groveton, New Hampshire Realtor with Caron's Gateway Real Estate

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Orphan Properties – Always a Buyer Somewhere.....

Recently I read an article that referred to real estate's orphan properties - unwanted/having no appeal to buyers or limited usage prospects. I ran a search of the Brevard County Florida MLS system to look for these "orphans."

I am not sure if these fit the definition of an orphan property but there are 101 single family detached homes listed in the MLS system that were placed on the market between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2008. 

I wonder if these orphan properties were "left behind" because of ...
  • Price 
  • Location 
  • Lack of motivation by seller 
  • Incurable structural defect or blemish 
  • Neighborhood blight or crime
I do know that some of these were definitely not because of neighborhood blight or crime as 12 homes are located within the Indian River Colony Club, one of Viera's 55+ gated communities.

My belief is these have lingered on the market because of the great alienator in real estate - price! 

No property should be an orphan because for every property there is a buyer - for a price!

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.

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.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Charolais Estates Viera – Where $600,000 is the Difference in List Prices!

I was looking over the homes listed for sale in Charolais Estates in Viera (Melbourne, Florida) this morning and noticed the differences in listing prices ($600,000!).  With the average selling price in Viera being the the $230,000 "ballpark" this is quite a spread in prices.

Key Point: When working with buyers I always urge consideration of a purchase price in the middle range of the prices (and size) of homes in the neighborhood. 

Having the largest home in any neighborhood diminishes your prospects for property appreciation when you sell in the future. 

Charolais Estates is a gated community located west of I-95 in Brevard County Florida’s Viera planned unit development.  These homes are all located on larger lots, typically have at least a 3-car garage, tile roofs and private pools (most). 

Charolais Estates homes are custom built and extremely nice! 

Key Point: There are subdivisions in Viera that will fit every budget with prices from the mid-$100s to millions! 

The five active listings are priced from $455,900 to $1,090,000. These executive homes range in size from 3,064 sq ft under air to 4,467 sq ft (4 bedroom, 4 bath). There are a couple of short sales under contract in Charolais Estates at this time but no active short sale listings on the market.

For information on homes for sale in Charolais Estates in Viera, drop me an email (or give me a call at 321-693-3850).

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. 

Surprise! Short Sales Dominant Force in Brevard County Florida Real Estate Market in May 2010

Short sales (and foreclosures) remained a market force in Brevard County Florida real estate activity in May 2010.  This is not a surprise to anyone familiar with Florida real estate these days! 

The below numbers refer only to single family homes – no condos or townhomes. 

Of the 556 single family homes sold in May 20010 about 105 (about 195 of total) of these required third party approval (short sales and foreclosure).  

The area where the greatest number of short sales sold in May 2010 was Palm Bay (southern Brevard County) where there were 37 sold. 

Southern Brevard still remains the largest market for short sales with about 28% of all the active short sales located in Palm Bay (398 active of 1,183 total). This makes sense when you realize that during the run-up a lot of new construction at high prices sold in Palm Bay.

A couple of central Brevard County areas of note:
  • Viera – 22 sold (5 short sales),
  • Suntree – 9 sold (1 short sale),
  • Rockledge – 26 sold (3 short sale)
For information on short sales in Brevard County Florida, send me an email. I will be happy to email you some listings and information. 

Gary L. Waters, PLLC, Realtor, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, serving buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida.

Follow by Email