Find Your Home!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Study Assigns “Number” to Loss in Value of Foreclosed Properties

In a soon to be published study By Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Economists John Y. Campbell, Stefano Giglio and Parag Pathak, the loss in value of a foreclosed property has been determined to be 27% on average.

They found that when a house is sold after the death of the owner the price dropped about 5-7% (estate sale).  They also seem to think this death discount is related to less maintenance provided by older owners. 

Foreclosed properties are not the same as the standard fair market home for sale in the same neighborhood or even the short sale in the same neighborhood.  Foreclosure properties may have been vacant for some time and have possibly been vandalized, had the appliances and other contents stripped and even worse. (I have seen some with evidence of drug use, dead rodents and more health hazards!)

Furthermore, routine and required maintenance have most likely been neglected.  The foreclosure process takes time.  A year or longer of neglect can result in serious structural issues. 

If you are in the market for a new house or condo, you can not use the foreclosed sale as the comparable.  There are other factors influencing the sales price.

And, finally, if you are in the market for a foreclosure, note that the 27% average is not fifty cents on the dollar which is what I hear many amateur investors quote they are looking for in this buyer’s market.

For information on foreclosure homes and short sales in Brevard County, Florida - especially Viera, Suntree and Rockledge - call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.


Gary L. Waters PLLC, Realtor®, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida

Condos Sold and Market Activity Previous 12 Months - Heritage Isle in Viera Florida

During the previous 12 months there have only been six condo units sold in the 55+ community of Heritage Isle.  All of these units are 2 bedroom 2 bath although the size varies from 1,200 to about 1,430 sq ft under air.  All units have single detached carports.

Heritage Isle is Viera's choice 55+ gated community offering a 21,000 sq ft club house, pools, tennis, fitness center, concierge services and more.  Located next door to Duran Golf Course, near the new Viera Hospital, shopping, restaurants, churches and more, one visit and you will understand why Heritage Isle is "Florida's best kept secret!"

At Heritage Isle you will find single family homes, patio style homes, and condos with sizes ranging from the smaller condos to 3,500+ sq ft!


[The Days on Market for the 6 Month period is distorted because one unit was only on the market for 14 days - priced right under $119,000!]

It should be noted that there are 10 units listed for rent in Heritage Isle as well.

For information on houses and condos for sale and rent in Heritage Isle in Viera, email me or call me directly 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.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Market Activity in Heritage Isle Viera - Single Family Homes Sold

Heritage Isle in Viera is considered by many to be the premier 55+ community in Brevard County Florida.  The above chart shows activity in Heritage Isle for the period of Aug 2009 through July 30, 2010.

It appears about 3 houses (condos not included in these numbers) sell every month with some negotiation by sellers.


There are six properties under contract at this time while one single family home sold in July 2010.   For information on Heritage Isle in Viera, email me or call me directly at 321-693-3950.

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.

Phillips Landing in Rockledge Florida - Homes for Sale & Market Report July 2010

Phillips Landing in Rockledge Florida is one of the few neighborhoods in Rockledge with new construction and re-sales available to home buyers.  Phillips Landing provides opportunities with short sale and foreclosure properties as well as the new construction although most of the distressed properties are already in the purchase process.

Located near I-95 (45 minutes from Orlando), 20 minutes to beaches, near excellent schools and convenient to The Avenues Mall in Viera, Phillips Landing provides Brevard County residents a quiet community centrally located regardless of where one works!

The below chart illustrates the Phillips Landing market for the past twelve months.


For information on homes for sale in Phillips Landing, please call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.    (And before you go to the model home get a Realtor® to accompany you.  The builder representative in the model home represents the builder - not you!)

Information provided by Gary L Waters PLLC, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida conveniently located around the corner from Phillips Landing.

Ravencliffe in Viera Florida – Gated Community in Melbourne Florida

Ravencliffe subdivision in Melbourne, Florida's planned unit development  Viera offers large single family  houses in a gated community located on nice sized (not zero lot line)  lots, near parks, golfing, excellent schools, shopping and more.

Most of the homes in Ravencliffe were built in the 2005-2007 period, are concrete block with stucco exteriors and asphalt shingle roofs, and range in size from about 2,400 to 2,800 square feet under air conditioning. 

There are presently five active properties on the market with prices ranging from $349,000 to $489,900.

One property did did close in June 2010.  The house, located at 3411 Gatlin Drive, had 2,569 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 3 bath, private pool, on the lake sold for $375,000.

For information on homes for sale in Ravencliffe in Viera Florida, 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.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

If it were only about looks....

This past weekend I was in Daytona Beach for a day or so visiting family.  It was pretty enjoyable except for the dining experience Saturday night.  As in life there is a lesson or point that can be garnered from experience - even less than positive ones.

So, while I will probably never dine again at Inlet Harbor Restaurant in Ponce Inlet, Florida, the experience has reminded of a real estate truth - some neighborhoods, while appearing inviting, can turn out to be less than what meets the eye!


© Gary L. Waters, PLLC, Realtor®, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, working with buyers and sellers (and renters) in some of Brevard County, Florida's nicest neighborhoods! Email me if I can help you!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Warning: Not All Web Sites Provide Reliable Real Estate Information

Again this morning I read about someone searching for a place to rent being scammed by someone posing as the owner of a rental property.

I have read similar stories about supposed option to buy schemes where the "buyer" has been scammed out of thousands of dollars.  As a real estate agent I have quit using Craigslist, for the most part, because of the increased potential for scams. [Scammers basically copy the data on a property and substitute their own contact information to lure the unsuspecting consumer.]

Where can you go to get reliable information? 
  1. Your local real estate agent [In Rockledge, Viera and Suntree, Florida call me at 321-693-3850] 
  2. Your local Realtor web site [ Gary l. Waters, PLLC in Brevard County, Florida]
  3. Your local Realtor Board web site [In Brevard County, Florida
  4. Your local brick and mortar real estate office [Like Century 21 Baytree Realty, 1211 Admiralty Blvd in Rockledge, Florida]
  5. A trusted leader in real estate - world wide like www.century21.com
  6. Web sites such as www.localism.com, www.activerain.com, www.realtor.com
  7. Other general information sites like www.zillow.com and  www.trulia.com 
If you are seeking a rental property, call a local real estate professional. If you are considering purchasing a home, call a local real estate professional. If you wan to sell, call your local expert.

In Brevard County, Florida, call or email me

EVEN CRAIGSLIST HAS THIS WARNING ON THEIR HOMEPAGE:  DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON!




©Gary l. Waters, PLLC in Brevard County, Florida

A Real Estate Blog about Brevard County Florida Real Estate Should Include....

I never had to choose a subject - my subject rather chose me.  Ernest Hemingway 


Some center around:
  • specific neighborhoods in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge.   
  • golf course communities like Baytree or Duran Golf Club. 
  • 55+ communities like Heritage Isle in Viera, Florida.  
  • some are  "How to” advice while others are  “Yesterday’s experience”  or even family events. 
  •  
These blogs serve multiple purposes including: 
  • providing real estate information about Brevard County, Florida, 
  • showing prospective clients who I am, 
  • helping first time or less experienced buyers understand the process, 
  • assisting FSBOs in Brevard County with my freebie advice!
What do I write about today?   I guess I will use the Hemingway method of choosing a subject.

Now, if that subject would only come to me…

Monday, July 26, 2010

There is a "Most" you can get for your house - Get It!

Yesterday I was reading an article about product presentation, with its point being the same product in two different packages can result in a perceived difference in value.

Regardless of product or service, there is a maximum realistic price  (MRP) a consumer will pay for the product or service.

When selling your house there is the real maximum realistic price that it will appraise out at (if the buyer is getting a mortgage).  The lender will have a maximum they will loan the buyer on your house.

Factors influencing that price will include, among other things:
  • Recent sold properties in your neighborhood 
  • Condition of your house 
  • Age of your house 
  • Quality of schools in area 
  • Presence of crime 
  • Condition of neighboring properties
  • Number of neighboring properties on the market 
  • Number of foreclosures in your neighborhood 
  • Perceived value a buyer  places in your property  
It is up to you, the seller to present your product in such a way as to make the buyer want to believe he must pay that maximum realistic price.
Gary L Waters PLLC, Realtor©/Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.  Email me if I can assist you with buying, selling or renting a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida.

You Need a Reason to Sell in This Real Estate Market

If you are thinking about selling your house or condo, consider if you are ready to sell now?  More importantly, why are you thinking of selling?

The current real estate market in Brevard County, Florida does not favor sellers.  I read many articles by real estate agents saying the time to buy is now.  I can agree with that wholeheartedly! 

Why buy now?  Prices are lower than they have been in years.  The inventory of short sale and REO/bank owned/foreclosure properties is high.  Sellers are negotiating and buyers are paying cash for many of the deals.

On the other side of the transaction selling in this market may not be the best thing to do - especially if your expectations are not grounded in reality.

What is reality? 
Prices are lower than they have been in years.  The inventory of short sale and REO/bank owned/foreclosure properties is high.  Sellers are negotiating and buyers are paying cash for many of the deals.
Some  are selling in order to buy a larger house to take advantage of the market and lower taxes.  Some are selling due to a job change or transfer.  Some are selling because they are downsizing.  Some are selling as a short sale due to hardships.

Whatever the reason, these sellers all know the same thing - they are selling in a buyer's market.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Staging your house to Sell - not Fail!

This is not about selling your house.  This is not about hiring a real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida's Viera and Suntree areas.

This is about not failing when selling your Viera Florida house?  How so, you ask? 

First impressions are difficult to overcome. 

How many people have you met, disliked and became good friends with later?   I know of once in my 55 years of life I bumped heads with a person and later became friends.

It was in Okinawa, Japan in 1989 while stationed with the U.S. Marine Corps' Third Medical Battalion.  As a junior Navy Medical Service Corps officer I had to work with another officer who just seemed to irritate me from day one!  We butted heads but ultimately we became friends golfing buddies. 

When selling your house you do not have the time for a friendship to develop.  You have a very few minutes to grab the buyer’s interest. 

My recommendation: at a minimum, consider hiring a stager for a consultation.

The input of a neutral third party may just be the impetus to get your house sold.  And we are not talking about big, fancy houses...all properties benefit from staging!

In Brevard County, Florida , there are several good and inexpensive professional stagers. Give Nora Marek a call in Viera and Melbourne, Florida.  Or give me a call for other areas of Brevard County, Florida. I can be reached 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.

The Word Will Get Around – At Least In Brevard County

Brevard County, Florida is not New York or Boston although you see plenty of Yankees and Red Sox stickers on cars!  Brevard County is a relatively small community (less than a half million folks) with real estate agents who are, mostly, very knowledgeable about real estate prices.

So when you go to sell your house or condo in Brevard County, real estate agents know when your house is
  1. Over priced.  
  2. Not worth the money (same as 1 but sounded better).
  3. A complete waste of their client's time.
If you have your house for sale in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge and you are not getting much interest, you  better look at the price.   

Better to price it correctly than be disappointed six months down the road!




      Saturday, July 24, 2010

      Chelsea Park in Rockledge Florida – Big House, Little Price

      Size is relative. What is a big house?  What is a little price? 

      Chelsea Park in Rockledge Florida offers homes for sale that are bigger than the usual 1,600-1,900 sq ft cookie cutter homes ( like Bayhill) found in many of the Viera area developments.

      As of today there are 10 homes on the market in Chelsea Park ranging in size from 2,100 to 3,406 sq ft. You can find houses with as many as 5 bedrooms, garages up to 3 car, bathroom count up to 4, some with  pools and prices from $170,000 to $299,9000!  Now that is some choice!
      View Larger Map

      Within the past month two houses closed: 
      For information on homes for sale in Chelsea Park, email me or call me directly at 321-693-3850.  If you prefer, call my office, Century 21 Baytree Realty, at 321-255-2600 and leave a message for me! In Chelsea Park you will find big houses and little prices!

      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.

      Friday, July 23, 2010

      Brevard County Florida Short Sale Assistance

      Decisions made in a vacuum with little information can be bad.  Many times, a decision made with all possible information available may still turn out to be bad.  

      That is life.

      When one is born a birth certificate is provided - not a crystal ball or a Magic Eight Ball©.

      When you have to live with your decision for a while, it makes a big, sometimes painful, impression.

      Such has been the case for many who purchased real estate in Brevard County during the past four or five years. As home owners watched the value of their homes decrease, most have continue to pay their mortgages.

      Some even continued to pay even as their financial circumstances changed due to job loss, under-employment, medical expenses, and other hardship.  Some have let other debts go unpaid in an effort to maintain the roof over their heads.

      But, some have reached the point to where they decided the stress is not worth it.  They are ready to walk away and give the house back.  But a better response is to consider a short sale.


      Unlike some, I can say I really understand!  And I have a team of experts who can walk you through the process!


      Call me directly at 321-693-3950 or email meGary L. Waters PLLC, Realtor©, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida.

      Thursday, July 22, 2010

      REO and Short Sales – That is the Fair Market….

      I have done a lot of BPOs in Brevard County Florida.  [A BPO is a broker price opinion – an opinion of value on real estate done for a lender who is either evaluating an offer of some type (short sale or foreclosure) or making another decision regarding a loan.]

      Most of the time the lenders will specify whether they desire a “distressed sale” value or a “fair market" value.

      Recently I had a BPO rejected because my comparable properties were all either bank owned properties in Rockledge or short sales in Rockledge, Florida.   Many of the "for sale" properties that are not short sales are…get this – overpriced!

      The fair market value  if a seller wants to sell their house or condo is going to be close to the  short sale and REO prices!

      Reality..is what it is....

      Of the 5,200 single family homes on the market in Brevard County, Florida, almost 1,300 are short sales or foreclosures!



      Wednesday, July 21, 2010

      I am sure, pretty sure, hopeful your house will sell for…

      Some purport to be the best in the business - whatever their business.  Confidence is a necessary ingredient in any successful endeavor.  I am one of those types myself.

      However, even the best real estate agent in the world (notice I did not limit myself to real estate Brevard County Florida) will find a way to hedge their bet when telling a prospect what a house will sell for in this market.

      The reality is there is no guarantee what your house will bring in this market.

      The real estate market is not like a gas station where you will find the ultimate selling price displayed out front. 

      The reality is sellers wish for the listing price while buyers expect to negotiate from it!   

      Real estate agents can provide the facts based on what has sold and what is on the market and make a pretty good estimate of the list price - and ultimate selling price - but can't guarantee that price.

      If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Coca Beach house or condo, call me.  I can tell you, but not guarantee, what I think your house will sell for and, best of all, its free!

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





      Tuesday, July 20, 2010

      Hey, Renters - Check Out the Owner Before You Rent From Them!

      In Brevard County Florida there are almost 1,500 rental properties active in the MLS system.   Owners seeking tenants will always check the prospective tenant  (credit history, employment, sexual predator list, etc).

      As a renter, before you lease from any private owner, check them out as well.  The real estate agent showing you  the rental properties probably knows less about the owner than they do a seller client.

      The stories are plentiful and well documented – owner collects rent, never pays mortgage or association dues, property foreclosed, tenant evicted!

      A new law in Florida allows homeowner and condo associations to collect owner dues directly from the tenant.

      I am not a lawyer but this does not seem like a bad plan. After all, if more than 15% of the owners are delinquent, buyers may not be able to get mortgages.  Plus, delinquent dues restrict associations from managing the property for the owners advantage. 

      As a prospective renter, ask for proof mortgage is current as well as dues.

      If the owner wants a responsible tenant, then they should expect the tenant wants a responsible owner!

      If you are looking to buy, sell or rent in Brevard County Florida’s central area (Viera, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge), call me directly 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.

      Monday, July 19, 2010

      Don't Let Your Listing Become a Billboard!

      Here is a marketing plan for any real estate agent that wants to get their name out in the public.  Go around and get as many listings as possible and put your signs out front.

      Don't worry about a thing like price...if it is overpriced, the signs may stay out front even longer!  Collecting overpriced listings is a way to get your signs and name in front of people. I am not advocating this practice but it is cheaper than a billboard!

      For those who do not recognize it - this is meant to be sarcastic!

      Pricing your house or condo to sell is critical.  Marketing is more than a sign out front as most buyers search the Internet.  With the price of gas, it is less expensive than driving around!

      Actually overpriced listings is a very bad marketing practice for real estate agents.  Don't let your listing become a billboard!

      If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree, Rockledge, or Merritt Island house or condo, let's talk.  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

      I don't need a billboard but I do need serious sellers!

      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.

      Friday, July 16, 2010

      Getting Your House Ready For the Market

      Once the decision to sell your house or condo has been made, the first major step in the process is to get it in the best possible condition.

      Let me modify that a bit - go ahead and find your real estate agent and get their recommendation on preparing your house  to be shown.  I would shy away from a real estate agent who suggests you go ahead and list the house and then get it in shape later.  This reasoning is flawed because you get only one chance to make a good impression and with a lot if competition you will be discounted early on in the process.

      Another issue to address is the do-it-yourself project that has not been completed.  Or, even worse, unfinished with poor craftsmanship!   I have seen projects with no permits pulled, no inspections done, even safety hazards!

      A poorly prepared property will not bring a buyer as quickly and for as much money as a well prepared, well staged, clean, competitively priced property.  I would even go another step and recommend a pre-listing inspection be conducted to assist in your preparation.

      Sellers in Viera, Rockledge and Suntree, call or email me to discuss how you can get the most money for your house or condo!

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

      Thursday, July 15, 2010

      Is Your House Talking or Just Making Noise?

      This is not some science fiction short story.   What if, while driving the streets of your city, all the houses for sale could talk and you – only you – could hear them?

      It is happening.  Every day in every state of the Union.  Real estate can talk!

      And, no, this is not an advertisement for one of them “Talking House” radio systems that allows people to pull up out front and get a recorded message about a property.

      Every house on the market for sale or not does talk. It says a lot about an owner.  If you are a seller in a market that has a high inventory of short sales and new construction (like Viera and Rockledge, Florida), that person hearing your message is a prospective buyer driving through your neighborhood or looking at photos in the MLS system.

      The message is, hopefully, "Come on in. I am even better on the inside!"  Unfortunately, the message sometimes is a very faint  "I am gorgeous on the inside." - which may as well be inaudible noise.

      Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, working with buyers and sellers in Brevard County Florida's most desirable communities.

      Wednesday, July 14, 2010

      Short Sales and Foreclosures in Brevard County Florida: Reality and Delusions

      Short sales and foreclosures have brought people's expectations to a new level when "shopping" for a new house or condo in Brevard County, Florida.

      The first step in the home buying process is getting a mortgage and then finding a house that meets your needs and your budget.  Obtaining a mortgage has gotten a little more difficult as a result of the housing crisis.  Find a good lender (I prefer real people in a real office - not some online service).

      I have learned that there is nothing to be gained by feeding a prospective buyer's delusions. Here is the scoop, short and direct:
      • The market is what it is; 
      • Prices are what they are; 
      • Short sale does not mean desperate seller.
      • Short sales are mostly already priced at a discount. Don't ask for fifty cents on the dollar! 
      If there is no room for the dream (the perfect house) and reality (what your budget will buy) to merge, I recommend a buyer sit on the fence until reality shows up.  [The reality is this market is not bad!] 

      For information on short sales, foreclosures, new construction and any houses for sale in Brevard County, Florida, call me 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.

      Tuesday, July 13, 2010

      "The rich are different:; they are more ruthless."

      “The rich are different: they are more ruthless.”   Those are the words of CoreLogic’s senior economist Sam Khater.  I ran into that statement while researching articles of mortgage defaults, short sales and strategic defaults.

      It seems that some believe the wealthy among us have the ability to walk away from an upside down mortgage and not be as concerned about the ramifications of a credit hit. I read last week that one is seven million dollar plus mortgages is delinquent (vs. one in twelve under the million dollar mark).

      I don't believe the wealthy are more ruthless but rather just have the resources available to easily move on with their lives after a default or foreclosure.

      The ability to continue to live without having to borrow may be the only difference.  And it is this difference , I believe, sometimes forces the non-wealthy to continue paying a mortgage even while other bills go unpaid!

      Circumstances change.  Jobs are lost, income reduced, death, major illness..hardships that make getting out from under a mortgage a necessity - not a choice.

      In these hardship cases there are are options available.  The short sale is an option.  The deed in lieu of foreclosure is an option.  Talk with your lender.  Consult a real estate attorney.  Call a real estate agent who understands the short sale process.

      Are the rich different than anyone else?  I think W.C. Fields summed it up rather appropriately when he said

      “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.”


      If you are in Brevard County Florid and a short sale is a possible consideration, contact me to discuss how we can assist you.

      If you are a buyer looking to purchase a short sale, call me at 321-693-3850 (email me).  There are short sales available as condos on beach, in golf course communities like Baytree, 55+ communities like Heritage Isle…most communities in Brevard County, in all price ranges!

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

      Monday, July 12, 2010

      Who Needs a Real Estate Agent Anymore?

      Americans are a transient people.  Employment opportunities make several moves during ones career very common.  Affordable travel makes it possible for mature Americans to retire to places like Florida without giving up family and friends.

      Technology allows some to relocate and grab a flight to work in a distant city or just telecommute. 

      The same technology that enables us to relocate allows access to massive amounts of information on the new area, the schools, property vales, what is for sale, etc.  And, although all this information is available, buyers (and sellers) still need a real estate agent.

      Even the government, Bureau of Labor Statistics states on its web site, 
      One of the most complex and significant financial events in peoples' lives is the purchase or sale of a home or investment property. Because of the complexity and importance of this transaction, people typically seek the help of real estate brokers and sales agents when buying or selling real estate.

      The local knowledge, familiarity with the process and local custom (like who pays for Title Insurance in Brevard County, who selects closing company in Brevard County), allows your real estate agent to be a calming force as the or she guides you through this complex process.

      And remember, the sellers pay the real estate agent's fees - not the buyer!

      If you are relocating to Brevard County, Florida, for any reason - retirement, job change, or whatever - call me to assist you in the process.

      Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge Florida serving buyers and sellers in the areas of Suntree, Viera, Rockledge, Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach!

      Grand Isle - 55+ Community in Viera Florida - Market Report July 2010

      Grand Isle, one of the three 55+ gated communities in Viera Florida offers residents a gated community with resort style amenities, close to shopping, golf, medical facilities and more.

      Currently there are 14 single family homes for sale with prices ranging from $189,900 to $319,900.  Seven of the homes on the market are priced below $220,000.

      One property closed last month - 1670 Lago Mar Dr, a 3 bedroom 2 bath, 2 car garage house with 2025 sq ft sold for $215,000 (about $106 a sq ft). This property was on the market for 104 days which is just about average for the Brevard County Florida real estate market.

      For information on homes for sale in Grand Isle, Heritage Isle or Indian River Colony Club in Viera, call me 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.

      Sunday, July 11, 2010

      Hello, My name is Gary...and I am a Real Estate Marketer…

      The truth is I am in the business of marketing real estate. I was speaking with another real estate agent last who who said hew as not in the marketing business but rather the "helping" business.  Like many in the marketing business is helping people achieve a goal - finding a house or condo to call home!

      When did the term "marketer" come to have such a negative connotation?

      In the end, all of us in the real estate profession are marketing specialists.  But, not all marketing specialists are created equal. (Is that the Battle Hymn of the Republic I hear in the background?  Just kidding – relax!)

      Regardless of product (real estate, financial instruments, college recruitment, health care services, legal services, etc),  success comes down to two things:  (1)  Product knowledge and (2) Marketing skills.

      A real estate agent's product knowledge includes your neighborhood.

      A real estate  agent’s marketing skills will be demonstrated by how they respond when you question their market plan for your property. Property specific marketing is critical in this market for any house or condo.

      When choosing a real estate agent to assist you with relocation and the purchase of a house or condo, product knowledge includes your new area of interest.  Product knowledge includes the schools, the neighborhoods, the medical facilities, the selling prices of recent transactions and other local details.

      Whether buying or selling, real estate clients need a marketer - not a real estate agent who is in denial!

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

      Saturday, July 10, 2010

      A Real Estate Agent's Opinions on Politics and Religion....

      I like politics, current events and "serious" subjects although I am not a serious person.  I know that does not make sense!

      As a real estate agent I meet people from many walks of life.  These clients and contacts are sometimes very open with their opinions.  Sometimes they blurt out opinions while seeing properties…like when a buyer sees a book on the shelf and comments “Oh good, the seller is a democrat!”

      I have heard other comments (including the above)  I chose to "ignore" as I am focused on the end goal - buying and selling real estate in Brevard County, Florida.

      My online profiles indicate I am a retired U.S. Navy officer, a Christian, a conservative, a graduate of The George Washington University (BS) and Troy State University (MPA).

      But my opinions are off limits as they have nothing to do with real estate.

      And don't look for bumper stickers on my car... They are not good for the paint!

      Call me to discuss real estate in Brevard County, Florida. I will definitely tell you what I think!

      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 at 321-693-3850 or email me.

      Friday, July 09, 2010

      I’m Gorgeous on the Inside…

      There are so many directions the title of this post can take me .  If I had a sense of humor  I would probably be talking about a blind date.  Sort of the old “she (or he) has a nice personality!

      But, being the always serious and never sarcastic real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida, I must reveal I am talking about your house!

      Yes, your house. The one you have so meticulously maintained on the inside for many years.  The house that is staged so beautifully. The house with the new carpet, new paint, renovated kitchen…your gorgeous house.

      But…on the outside it looks like crap (poo-poo for my overseas readers!)  [Yes, I do have them!]

      When selling your house you must remember two things:
      • You can’t sell if your buyer never gets inside
      • If you can smell it, you can’t sell it (cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness!)
      Remember, the sign out front may say one thing but the appearance may say another.   

      What's your message?

      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!

      Thursday, July 08, 2010

      The “Best Approach” To Selling Your House With An Open House

      Most sellers want their real estate agents to conduct open houses.  Most real estate agents know very few houses are sold at open houses although the real estate agent has a chance of picking up new buyer clients.

      I have never been opposed to holding open houses. I have held enough!  But, just as in life, experience has taught me a thing or two about open houses.

      Not all properties are suitable for an open house.  It may be a poor location.  It may not be in "show off" condition (curb appeal, repair state, cleanliness (this where I usually say "if you can smell it, you can't sell it" but I won't this time)!  The price may be so high you can't reasonably explain why its worth $100K more than the one around the corner!

      If a property is a good target for an open house, this is what I consider “My Best Open House Strategy.” 

      As a seller, price it competitively, make repairs, get it in the best condition possible, and advertise that first public showings will be at an open house on X date!

      With marketing in place and all preparatory conditions met, you may just find that buyer during the listing's golden period. 

      The first showing at the the first public open house with a good price - a potential winning strategy! 

      Ready to sell your house in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge using my winning strategy for marketing, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me

      Gary L. Waters, Realtor, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida - your Realtor of Choice in Viera!


      Don't Get so "Wowed" By a Property that You Overlook the Details!

      “Wood” you pay the same for a house with “wood” floors regardless of type of “wood?”  I bet you “wood” not.

      I see many listings wherein the narrative comments identify the flooring as “wood” floors.  But there is a difference in "wood" floors although they may all look like “wood.”  [Disclaimer:  cheap laminate looks like cheap laminate!]

      Some floors are hardwood.  Some are engineered wood. Some are wood laminate.  Know the difference and don’t get “woo’d” by thinking you are getting wood when you aren't!

      If the property is advertised as wood, get the facts.  Find out when it was installed; where it was purchased; the warranty information, if any; and if it has been refinished (limits on how many times can be refinished).  Lastly,  evaluate the replacement cost as well as the remaining life of the flooring. [You should take the same approach with other flooring materials as well.]

      Understand the terminology like composite wood and man-made wood.  Understand the maintenance requirements.

      With flooring, as well as counter surfaces, pools, and other upgrades, consider whether it is consistent with the neighborhood.  Paying for over improvements to a property is not in a buyer's best interest!

      Don't get so wowed by a property that you overlook the details!

      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.

      Wednesday, July 07, 2010

      They don’t build them like this anymore….

      And you should be glad!  No, this is not a photo essay on any specific construction technique or whatever.  After all, I am just a real estate agent, not an engineer.

      While on my walk this morning I bumped into a guy that lives down the street.  He was picking up fliers from one of the half dozen houses for sale on our street.  Looking at the price, he made some comment about the low prices.

      Being an on-the-ball  real estate agent I threw out a couple of suggestions where, for the same money, a 5 year old house could be purchased for the seam money (like Phillips Landing subdivision in Rockledge Florida).

      His response, much like most owners of older homes, was “yeah, but they don’t build them like this anymore!”

      That may be true….like the new hurricane standards; the new 140 mph windows, greater energy efficiencies, etc.

      The reality is the Brevard County Florida real estate market is a buyers market with sellers of older houses and condos having to  compete with newer construction – on price and qualities! 

      For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, cal me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.



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

      Tuesday, July 06, 2010

      Two Down, Seven To Go: Short Sale Houses For Sale in Rockledge Florida’s Phillips Landing Subdivision

      Short sale houses and condos continue to comprise a large sector of the real estate market in Brevard County, Florida.  One area where this is easily evident in central Brevard County is the Phillips Landing subdivision.

      During June 2010 there were two short sales that closed in Phillips Landing.  Both of these houses were water front, 2005/2006 built, 3 bedroom 2 bath homes (1,600+ sq ft) with 2 car garages that sold for $133,000 and $135,000!

      Pretty good prices for a newer house in a subdivision near excellent schools, with a community pool, park, nearby Rockledge Ice Rink and Turtle Creek Golf Course and easy access to Orlando and the beaches!

      As this article’s title indicates, there are still seven short sale houses on the market in Phillips Landing.   Four are already under contract and awaiting approval by the lender while another three are active listings priced at $144,900, $159,900 and $165,000!   Attractive prices indeed 2005 and 2006 built houses with 1,900 to2,100+ sq ft under air! 

      If you are not in the market for a short sale there are five other homes for sale in Phillips Landing that are not short sales. These are priced from $169,900 to $212,000.

      New construction is also available in Phillips Landing. A word to you home buyers looking at new construction – hire your real estate agent and take them with you when you visit a new construction model such as Phillips Landing in Rockledge.  As for whether you should buy new construction when short sales area available, read this post.
      • [Remember two things: (1) the builder/seller pays for your real estate agent’s services and (2) the representative in the model home represents the builder – not you!
      For information on homes for sale in Phillips Landing in Rockledge or any of the neighboring communities like Chelsea Park, Plantation Point, Augusta Trace or Heritage Acres, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

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

      Monday, July 05, 2010

      Heritage Isle in Viera Florida - Affordable condos in premier 55+ gated Florida community

      Heritage Isle located in Viera (between Melbourne and Rockledge) Florida offers those seeking a gated 55+ community several choices.  For some who are downsizing the patio style homes may be what they seek.  While others, although they are retiring to a 55+ community, still want that 3,000 square foot house.  And then some choose the condo lifestyle.

      In Viera's Heritage Isle, regardless of structure, they all enjoy the same facilities in a perfect location!

      As of today there are nine active condo units for sale within Heritage Isle, Viera's premier 55+ community.  All of the units within the complex (there are 4 buildings) are two bedroom, two bath units although the square footage varies from 1154 to slightly over 1400 sq ft.

      Prices for these active units are $125,000 to $160,000.

      Two units went under contract in June 2010 and another sale was closed - $145,000 for a 1,408 sq ft unit.  This is good news as only two units closed during the previous five months.

      For information on homes and condos for sale in Heritage Isle in Viera, email me or call me directly at 321-636-2500.




      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, July 04, 2010

      Short Sale Properties Moving in Brevard County Florida During June 2010

      Single family houses selling as short sales in Brevard County Florida comprised about 23% of all single family homes sold in June 2010.  That is an increase over the 110 or so that closed in May 2010.

      Could it be the banks have become more responsive to offers?  Only time will tell if that is the case.  Short sale prices in Brevard County ranged from a $25,000 to $510,000 – quite a range, for sure.

      Areas experiencing the most closings included the Palm Bay area and Melbourne areas (south Brevard County) which accounted for almost half of all short sales in Brevard County.

      These areas also have about 500 of the 1130+ short sales on the market at this time.  Incidentally the total number of single family homes for sale in Brevard County is 5,134 with 22% of this number being short sales. 

      [The above information does not include condos and town houses on the market as short sales.]

      For information on short sales on the market in Brevard County, please email me 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.

      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, let me help you!

      Saturday, July 03, 2010

      What is it about Heritage Isle in Viera that creates so much interest?

      What is it about Heritage Isle in Viera Florida that creates so much interest from those looking for a gated, 55+ community in Florida?

      Perhaps it is the 19,000 square foot club house, the pools, the tennis, the clubs and organized activity, the golf course next door, the new Viera Hospital being built a mile away.  There are lots of reasons but I think he biggest reason people seek out Heritage Isle in Viera is the affordable prices for resort style living!

      As Independence Day approaches there 27 active listings in Viera's premier 55+ community.  Of these active listings there are only three short sale properties.

      It seems that when one listing sells, another shows uow on the market. Over the past 30 days six new listings in Heritage Isle have come on the market. Prices for all these active listings range from $119,000 to $589,000.  The lower priced homes are two bedroom two bath patio style homes (have a shared wall) while the highest prices are large 4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage styles.   [Personal opinion: No one asked me but paying over $400,000 for a house in Heritage Isle is not a smart move!  Guess I will not get any listings in that range!] 

      During June four homes closed with sales prices from $165,000 to $205,000.  According to data in the Brevard MLS system these homes included:
      • 6727 Sutro Heights Lane $165,000
      • 7136 Mendell Way $185,000
      • 2902 Boddington Way $198,5006717
      • Sutro Heights Lane $205,000
      For information on homes for sale in Heritage Isle (or Viera’s Grand Isle), please call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

      Gary L Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent/Realtor, Century 21 Baytree, Rockeldge, Florida, serving buyers and sellers along the Space Coast including Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Cocoa Beach.

      Follow by Email