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Monday, January 31, 2011

Home Buyer Tips: First Place Does Not Always Mean You Win!

The home buying process is not always easy. Frequently you encounter a hurdle or two along the way to closing the deal.

For instance, this morning I am working with a buyer who put in a reasonable offer on a property in Viera, Florida.  But two other offers arrived yesterday as well.  We were first - on Saturday!

Now that the other offers have arrived the seller's real estate agent is at a "highest and best" situation.  In this case all buyers have the opportunity to submit their best offer and they will all be presented.

This leads me to believe that most of the offers were close although the seller's agent can't disclose such information.  If one offer really stood out from the rest then why go through this extra step.

The big unknown is where we line up in the current stack of offers

We have done our homework. We know the value of the property.  Now I must go back to my buyer and see if our first offer was our best offer!

Of course I will have to explain to my client that in real estate...

First Place Does Not Always Mean You Win!

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.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Town Homes for Sale in Suntree and Viera - Part Two

Yesterday I wrote a short post about the  town houses for sale in Suntree and Viera. I wondered what we would find, considering the prices were so attractive. Let me tell you..we were not disappointed.

The properties we viewed for sale in Suntree were attractively priced and the condition of all, except maybe one was less than desired.  In excellent condition with excellent prices..what will we see tomorrow?

There are truly some bargains to be had in the Florida real estate market!

Looking for a nice town house in Florida for less than $125,000?  Take a look at what Suntree has to offer!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Townhouses For Sale in Suntree and Viera–The Choices are Many, Prices Attractive!

Tomorrow I will be showing townhouses and villa-style (half duplex) homes in Viera and Suntree to my out of town buyers.

As I approached the scheduling today I wondered which, if any, turns out the be the best opportunity. 

Likewise, I wonder which will be the greatest disappointment.  There always is, it seems!

I wondered which will be just right.  I wondered which will get my buyers excited.

What are we going to looking at?    Primarily two bedroom two bath one (or two) car garage town homes.

All are priced between $104,999 and $129,000. Some were chosen by my buyers as “A” list and some are “B” list.

One thing I have found to be very true in real estate you can never predict when that second tier choice may become the first tier!  

I know what to expect with the listings in Heritage Isle.   Newer construction, a gated community, 21,000 sq. ft. club house, manicured neighborhoods with HOA dues about $290 a month!

I know what to expect from the duplex unit in Capron Ridge – gated, newer construction, foreclosure, community pool, nice amenities. 

What will tomorrow bring? 

A very nice, yet busy, day!  It will be sunny, mid-upper 60s.  Saturday will be sunny and 70.

Perfect January weather for looking at homes for sale in Viera and Suntree!  

When you are ready to buy or sell in Viera and Suntree, I would welcome a chance to work with you. Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

The Best Town House Community in Viera – Stoneridge Town Homes

The best town home community in Viera is the Stoneridge development in the Villages of South Salerno in Viera, Florida.

You can also find town homes for sale in the Viera East gated community of Capron Ridge but Stoneridge seems to stand out.  Capron Ridge town homes are two-story which many find less desirable.

With its own fitness room, pool, cabana area, tot lot and basketball court, there is no reason to leave Stoneridge – unless you are heading to the parks, tennis, biking or maybe walking over to Space Coast Stadium to watch the Washington Nationals' spring training games.

One of the strongest positives about the Stoneridge town homes is they are single story.   Stoneridge town homes feature three bedroom  two bath units with two car garages. New construction town homes can be purchased from about $165,000 with a construction time of about 8 months.  Interior, under air square footage runs from just under 1,500 to over 2,200 sq ft.

The 2011 assessments for this community include $145 per year for the Central Viera Community Association and $215 monthly for the Stoneridge District Association.  The association fee includes lawn maintenance, pool maintenance and exercise room and playgrounds.

Currently there are six properties on the market with two being new construction with no waiting and four foreclosures.  The foreclosures include a couple of 3/2/2 with 2,255 sq ft listed at $180,000.  These foreclosures were built in 2008 and 2009.  The two new construction properties are listed at at just above $172,600.

For information on Stoneridge town homes in Viera, west of I-95, call me directly 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.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Even a $600,000 Short Sale Needs to be Clean!

I previewed a short sale in Wyndham at Duran in Viera this morning.  There are a couple of short sales in this gated community bordering Duran Golf Club in Viera.

I was disappointed when I viewed one home as it was dirty - dirt, dust, etc under where the refrigerator once stood.  The microwave and oven were in dire need of cleaning. 

There were other issues but the lack of preparation in this price range was disappointing.

This property's condition made my first comment to the buyer prospect sound a bit like, "Its a short sale. Its overpriced for its presentation."

My feedback to the seller's agent will be simple.  Hire someone to clean this vacant house! A vacant property should remain clean for a long time!

I tell it to the $100,000 seller and it applies to the executive million dollar neighborhoods - the first step in preparing ANY home for the market is cleaning it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

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

I spend a great deal of time writing about Viera’s two most popular 55+ communities - Heritage Isle and Grand Isle.   I wanted to take the chance to remind folks Viera offers a third – albeit different - 55+ community – Indian River Colony Club.

Indian River Colony Club (IRCC) is a gated community founded in 1986 whose membership is composed of 80% former military officers and 20% others.  It is a not-for-profit membership owned corporation providing fitness center, golf course, tennis and much more.

One of its most attractive features is it is totally maintenance free in that inside and outside maintenance is provided as well as lawn service.   Monthly maintenance fees are set based on floor plan. [There is also a "buy in fee" as part of the purchase process.]

A word of advice if you are even considering Indian River Colony Club – all properties are listed for sale by the same company.  I always recommend you get your own real estate agent to accompany you before visiting or even calling IRCC.  The listing company represents the sellernot the buyer!

There are 33 active listings in Indian River Colony Club priced from $89,900 to $195,000.  These single family detached homes vary in size from two bedroom two bath to even larger four bedroom two-and-a-half bath homes (square footage under air varies from just above 1,400 to 2,500).

There have been seven properties sold in IRCC since December 1, 2010.  The sold properties included...

  • 1377 Independence Ave – 1,723 sq ft $79,000
  • 1120 Ironsides Ave – 2.032 sq ft  $90,000
  • 1314 Pilgrim Ave – 2,433 sq ft $140,000
  • 1697 Old Glory Blvd – 1,498 sq ft $85,000
  • 1295 Continental Ave – 2,488 sq ft $157,000
  • 1360 Mayflower Ave – 2,211 sq ft $190,000
  • 995 Mayflower Ave – 2,008 sq ft $133,500
For information on 55+ communities in Brevard County Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me. 

Gary L. Waters
LT MSC USN Retired
Florida Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Baytree Realty

Monday, January 24, 2011

Junk Expands to Fill Available Space: When It is Time to "Down" Size of "Up" Size in Brevard County, Florida

It is a well known fact that junk expands to fill the space available! I will admit I am not fully aware of the scientific basis for this (although it may be a take-off on Parkinson's Law) but just play along….

Most, if not all of us, will reach a point where we begin to think “less is OK."

Do you really need that extra large 3-car garage space for your “stuff?”  Do you really need that third or half acre of lawn? Is it necessary to have those extra two bedrooms and bonus room?  Who needs all that furniture?

When the time comes to downsize consider the 55+ communities in Viera, Florida - Heritage Isle and Grand Isle.

If a 55+ community is not what you want, what about a condo on Cocoa Beach or the Indian River?

When you are ready to sell that house and downsize, let me help. 

On the other hand, maybe that junk is expanding because your family is growing!

If your family has outgrown that condo or townhouse, maybe it is time to expand.  Call me if you are ready to move up to a larger home in Brevard County, Florida.

Selling Your Viera Florida - After Eight Months, Give Up!

Rarely would I ever tell a home seller in Viera, Florida (or any other place) to pull their house off the market but here is a case where those words are probably needed.

First of all, this is not my listing.   I am only looking at listings in Viera for possible showings next week to an out of state buyer.

A couple of observations about this listing....
  • This particular house has been on the market for 245 days with a single insignificant price reduction two months ago.
  • This particular house is “easy to show but requires three hour notice.” 
  • This particular house is “easy to show but has an alarm that is on, two dogs and the listing agent must accompany all showings.
  • This particular house has had one price reduction two months ago but is still priced $70,000 higher than the other four active listings in the neighborhood.
  • This particular house is not really any different than the others as people view square foot under air and bedroom/bathroom count as major comparison tools.
If a house is so much better than any other house in the neighborhood the listing agent must be able to communicate it in such a way as to take away all doubt imposed by the price!

Otherwise, after eight months, give up for now!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Augusta Trace at Turtle Creek Golf Course - The "Hidden" Secret of Florida Golf Course Living

Augusta Trace subdivision in Rockledge boasts some of the nicest golf course direct homes available in the Rockledge, Florida and Viera East areas of central Brevard County.  My favorite course in Brevard County,  Turtle Creek Golf Course offers some of the most scenic and challenging golf in all of Brevard County, Florid!

Augusta Trace offers very reasonably priced larger homes, all built in 2004 and 2005, that once sold for $400,000 to more than $500,000.

With the recent market “correction,” some of these Augusta Trace properties can be purchased for less than $300,000!

With seven homes presently on the market (three short sales), the current prices in Augusta Trace range from $259,900 to $435,000.

Only one home is above the $400,000 price - a major change from five years ago! 

All of these homes have larger lots, feature three car garages, tile roofs, between 2,100 and 2600 sq ft under air, and lots of nice touches!  Several have in ground pools, water views and as well as fairway views.

With a central location close to shopping, restaurants, several other courses and excellent schools, Augusta Trace is the hidden secret of golf course living in Brevard County.

For information on homes for sale in Augusta Trace, send me an email or call me directly at 321-693-3850.  By the way, my office is on the same street!

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.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Auburn Lakes Subdivision in Viera East - Short Sales Dominate Market

Last summer I thought that the Auburn Lakes subdivision in Viera East had escaped the short sale and foreclosure problems many of the other Viera subdivisions were facing.

Just seven months ago Auburn Lakes had four of  five sales closing that were standard sales - no short sales or foreclosures.  Amazing the difference a few months seems to make!

As of today, January 22, 2011, there are five active listings in Auburn Lakes with three of the five being short sales and another a foreclosure.

Not coincidentally all four of the "distressed sale" homes for sale in Auburn Lakes are priced between $145,000 and $150,000.  It is no secret that many of the homes are priced so closely because you will find very similar floor plans - all 1,911 sq ft under air, two car garage, and were built in 2003 and 2004.

If you are considering purchase of a home in Viera and want to be near an excellent elementary school (Ralph Williams Elementary), near several golf courses like Viera East Golf Club,  close to parks, with easy access to Viera High School and The Avenues Mall, I would definitely recommend  Auburn Lakes!

There are four properties under contract at this time with two being short sales and another a foreclosure

Since November 2010 there have been only two properties (both 4 BR/2 Bath, 1,911 sq ft) sold in Auburn Lakes:
  • 4510 MANCHESTER DR   -  $146,000  - short sale
  • 1228 AUBURN LAKES DR - $181,500 - standard sale
For information on buying or selling homes in Auburn Lakes, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sell Your Viera Home Without a Long Term Listing Contract. - Can I Break a Real Estate Listing Agreement?

Would you like to sell your Viera home but without being locked into a long term listing contract commitment?  I understand situations arise where you may decide to take your home off the market.

You may decide that you would rather rent it out for the time being.  And, yes, you may decide I am not the right guy for you.

And when these circumstance arise you should not have to wait out a six month listing contract or pay a fee for cancellation.

After all, selling your Viera and Suntree house is a commitment on the part of everyone and if the likelihood of success is not there or the situation changes, it is sometimes best to walk away.

I have a simple no penalty, opt out at any time clause on my listing agreements.  If I am not working the way you expect, let me know and we'll shake hands and depart on good terms!

Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree, Melbourne or Rockledge 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.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Home Seller Tip: Selling Can Be Luck

Selling your Brevard County, Florida home at this time takes time.   If it is a short sale, a lot of time – perhaps six to twelve months!   A standard sale can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months although the average days on the market stands at about 100 days right.
When asked how long will it really take for my home to sell my response is a bit non-committal.

That depends on some things like….

  • Location.  Are you located in some of the more popular subdivisions and locations? In Brevard County that may be the Viera or Suntree.  Are you in one of those 55+ communities like Heritage Isle or Grand Isle?  Are you near one of the more desirable high schools like Viera High School?  Are you located in one of the more popular golf communities like Fairway Lakes at Viera or Baytree Golf Course in Suntree?  

  • Ease of Showing.  Buyers have many properties  from which to choose in this market. Being able to accommodate potential buyers at their convenience is key.  

  • Curb Appeal.  You have probably heard or read this before but it still needs repeating - if you can't get them in the front door, you can't sell them!  I read that a buyer decides within the first 10 minutes of seeing a property if they are interested. You have to entice them with the outside and dazzle them with the inside. 

  • Presentation.  Your home may not be a palace but it must be clean. Buyers understand that folks may be living in a property and they will overlook some things.  

  • Pricing.  Remember, the market (buyer) sets the price - not the seller or the real estate agent!  

  • Negotiate.  Expect to negotiate. Homes in the Brevard market appear to be selling for about 93-95% of asking price on average. So, buyers expect to wheel and deal.  

  • Strategy. Marketing in this environment requires a strategy. Exposure to the right pool of potential buyers is key.  Most buyers search on the Internet so that is a key component of any strategy. Marketing strategies involve multiple approaches. 

    • When all is said and done, it is sometimes just plain luck that a buyer finds your property.  I have one set to close this week in Viera – the Bayhill subdivision and the buyers just happened to see the sign as they were leaving another property.
    If you are considering selling your Rockledge, Suntree or Viera home,  give me a chance to be your real estate agent of choice.

    Gary Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida (next door to the Turtle Creek Golf Course).

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Wyndham at Duran – Luxury Golf Course Living in Viera Florida

    Surrounding the Duran Golf Club in Viera (Melbourne, Florida) are two of the finest subdivisions in Brevard County Florida – Wyndham at Duran and the Fairway Lakes at Viera.

    Both of these gated communities provide large, custom built executive homes bordering the Duran Golf Club.
    Home   Prices in the Fairway Lakes development are somewhat lower ($400,000 – $800,000) than the Wyndham at Duran prices.  To read more about Fairway Lakes at Viera click on this link.

    The decline of the real estate market in Brevard County has also impacted Wyndham at Duran home prices with listings now ranging from $599,000 to $1,749,000.  These luxury homes were all built in 2007 and 2008, feature tile roof, custom touches, and are located in the most desirable area in Central Brevard County near golfing, shopping, the new Viera Hospital and more!

    There are two short sales actively being marketed in Wyndham at Duran right now priced at $599,000 (4 bedroom 3.5 bath 3 car garage, 3254 sq. ft.) and $685,900 (4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage, 3254 sq. ft. with pool overlooking a lake).

    These two short sale sales are the smallest of the active listings with most being 4,000 to almost 6,000 sq. ft. under air.

    For information on homes for sale in Wyndham at Duran and Fairway Lakes at Viera, send me an email or give me a call 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.

    Ventura at Turtle Creek in Rockledge Florida

    The Ventura at Turtle Creek in Rockledge offers gated condo living at attractive prices in a central location convenient to Orlando, the beaches, major transportation routes and more!   Of course, golf in a given considering the complex is next door to Turtle Creek Golf course- a challenging par 72 wooded course!

    With 12 properties on the market and 11 realistically priced (tell it like it is!), these two and three bedroom condos deserve a look if central Brevard County areas like Viera and Merritt Island are a consideration.

    All Ventura at Turtle Creek condo units come with either a detached one car garage or carport with storage.

    Constructed between 2006 and 2008, these units are located in four story concrete buildings with elevators.

    With a playground, exercise room, and community pool for residents to enjoy, and convenient schools, shopping and medical facilities, The Ventura at Turtle Creek should be a consideration if you are moving to the Rockledge area.

    These units are great for second home buyers as it is only about 45 minutes to Orlando International Airport.

    Among the 12 listings are two bank owned (foreclosures) and three short sales.  The lowest priced unit is a 2 bedroom /2 bath foreclosure priced at $94,900 (the other foreclosure is a 1st floor 3/2 at $109,900).

    With nine listings under $120,000 The Ventura at Turtle certainly deserves consideration. Condo dues are always a consideration as well with the dues at The Ventura about $300 a month although the MLS’ seem to be all over with the price.

    Oh, the unit I thought was over priced…a 3/2 1,412 sq ft listed at $168,000!  Every other listing is under $130,000!

    For information on condos for sale at The Ventura at Turtle Creek, give me a call directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Viera Florida Real Estate - Ravencliffe Subdivision in Viera

    During the 2010 year there were ten homes sold in the gated Viera, Florida subdivision of Ravencliffe with an average selling price of $308,753.  Still the year ended on a slow note as no homes were sold in November or December although six were actively on the market. 

    Of the ten sold in 2010 there were two short sales and one foreclosure property.  The average selling price of the standard sales was slightly above $322,000 which reflects the impact a few distressed properties can make on the average selling price in any development.

    Of the six homes currently on the market there is one short sale listed at $300,000 which is $35,000 less than the next higher priced home.

    With four homes on the market for less than $360,000 Ravencliffe definitely deserves your consideration if buying a home in Viera is in your plans.

    With the two highest priced listings above $489,000, perhaps a few of the other communities deserve consideration as well if your budget is around $500,000, the Fairway Lakes at Viera may be a consideration with four homes (some new construction) priced at $505,000 and less.

    For information on homes for sell in Ravencliffe and Fairway Lakes at Viera, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Fairway Lakes at Viera – Golf Course Living at Duran Golf Club

    If gated, newer construction, golf course living is what you seek, consider making Fairway Lakes at Viera your next home.  Having shown homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera last week I can attest to the attractive opportunities for Florida golf course living near Brevard County's newest golf course – Duran Golf Club!

    During 2010 there were six homes sold in the Fairway Lakes subdivision with an average selling price of $459,000.  Some of these were re-sales and about half were new construction.   As we speak there are several new construction homes underway by Christopher Burton Homes as well as Viera Builders.

    If new construction is a consideration, let me know (email me) and I will gladly send you information on the lots available and the builder information. I can represent you with the builders - at no cost to you!

    The year ended on a slow note as no homes were sold in November or December although six were actively on the market. One that did go under contract in December so it was not completely dead!

    Of the six homes on the market there is one corporate relocation home listed for $399,900.  I viewed this 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home and found it very attractively priced for a golf course direct pool home!  The remaining homes are priced from about $465,000 to $749,000.

    For information on homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

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

    Do Not Get Foreclosed Without a Short Sale Attempt

    How does it happen that a house or condo can be foreclosed and there was never an attempt at a short sale?   A short sale is considered a distressed sale where the home owner, because of a hardship, is selling for less than the mortgage.  A short sale requires lender approval of any offer the seller accepts. 

    First of all - lenders are not required to accept or allow a short sale.  But that does not prevent a home owner from approaching the lender when a hardship makes it inevitable that the home owner will not be able to maintain their mortgage obligation. 

    If you are facing a hardship - loss of job, death of wage earner, major illneses, job transfer, etc. which make keeping your home possible call your lender.  Ask them about a loan modification or if they may consider a short sale.

    If I can help you with selling your Brevard County, Florida  house or condo, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Don't let unfounded hope, denial, apathy or the lack of information result in you being foreclosed when a short sale may have been a better option! 

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

    I am not an attorney, CPO or tax adviser and speak only as a real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida. If you are in need of these services, consult a local professional.

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Home Seller Tip: “The Real Estate Market is What it is”...

    “The real estate market is what it is” – a cliche many home sellers do not want to hear from anyone. 

    But the truth is no amount of hope or spin can change that.

    Selling a house or condo in the current real estate market in Brevard County, Florida is a challenge.

    The volume of short sales is high (1,172 active short sale single family homes in Brevard County, Florida today).

    Another major contributor is the inventory of foreclosures (more than 2,300 single family homes in Brevard County, Florida).

    Your home must be in its best condition and priced competitively to sell in the current market because…

    “The real estate market is what it is”

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Home Seller Tips: Do You Remember the 70’s?

    Just last week I took a trip back in time.  It was if I were 30 pounds lighter dressed in my favorite leisure suit while looking into the kitchen of "that house."

    You probably have seen them as well if you have been looking to buy a new house or visiting grandma!  You know....that awful wall paper with gold or green pattern and those avocado green appliances or even worse harvest gold!

    Some home owners do not realize that even though it is well cared for, at some point, furnishings, appliances and carpeting  need to be replaced.

    Let me re-state this more appropriately… 

    Home sellers must realize that even though the appliances, carpeting, cabinets, paint, and fixtures, may still function, they must be updated to improve the chances of getting the most money for your house!

    They may still function for the seller but will not work a new buyer. 

    I do remember the 1970s...Palatka South High School!

    Grand Isle in Viera - Activity Picking Up in Viera 55+ Community

    Grand Isle in Viera has suddenly become a hot bed of real estate activity over the past month with five new listings in the past 18 days and two homes selling in past 30 days!

    There are currently nine homes listed for sale in Grand Isle priced $192,000 to $275,000.  Although there is only one short sale the prices are still very attractive fro this gated 55+ community!  Do not get caught up in thinking that the only good prices are to be found in short sales or foreclosures!

    The two properties selling in December2010 were:
    • 1580 Perdido Ct - a 2,011 sq ft  3 bedroom 2 bath home selling for $195,000 (on market for 309 days, original list price $235,000)
    • 1767 Grand Isle Blvd - a 2,187 sq ft 4 bedroom 2 bath 3 car garage home selling for $239,500 (on market 217 days, original list price $260,000)
    Original list price shown to make two points: (1) sellers negotiate and (2) days on market longer when prices reduced using rear view mirror approach in a declining market.  What would they have sold for in 60 days if the original price had been lower?  Of course, hindsight is 20/20!

    There are several 55+ communities in the Viera area with Heritage Isle and Grand Isle being the most popular (Indian River Colony Club is the third).  Trying to decide which of these communities is the best for your lifestyle is the biggest decision buyers face when they choose Viera.

    A couple of articles that may help a bit include: 
    If a 55+ community is in your future, consider Viera. If I can assist in any way, please call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    Homes for Pennies on the Dollar...Maybe 85 Pennies on the Dollar!

    Who would not want to purchase homes in Viera, Florida or any place else for pennies on the dollar? What about Cocoa Beach, Florida homes for pennies on the dollar?  Wouldn’t that be great?

    I saw a couple of Twitter links tweeted to the public today about homes for pennies on the dollar.

    That is the lure - great return, minimal investment.  We all want it!

    There are indeed real estate bargains out there.

    Since December 1, 2010 there have been 12 single family properties sold for under $20,000 in Brevard County, Florida.

    OK, a bit of a disclaimer on was just a foundation slab and .15 acres of land with a septic tank!

    There are some very attractive deals in the Brevard County Florida real estate market right now but just remember you get what you pay for which means...
    if the price is really low, the investment required to get it in shape may be more than the cost of the house! 
    1. Sometimes the value is in the land.
    2. Sometimes the value is in the potential the structure or land holds.
    3. Sometimes the value is in knowing when to move on.
    There are homes being purchased for pennies on the dollar..perhaps 85 or 90 cents on the dollar - likely short sales or foreclosures.

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Which Would You Choose? Buy a home in Rockledge, Florida's Chelsea Park or Phillips Landing?

    When looking for a home to purchase in the Rockledge or Viera, Florida area, there are lots houses in lots of subdivisions from which to choose. There are 489 single family homes listed for sale this morning in Rockledge and Viera.

    Likewise there many subdivisions from which to choose.  For example,  lets compare the Rockledge, Florida subdivisions Phillips Landing and Chelsea Park.

    Both are relatively close to each other. The students attend the same high school (Rockledge High) while the elementary and middle schools are different but both superior quality schools.  Both developments offer easy access to major routes, shopping, and recreation (golfing, ice rink, beaches).  Both offer newer construction, concrete homes.

    So which is the better choice in 2011?

    At Chelsea Park you will find eight homes on the market.  Of these, four are short sales while another is a foreclosure. The prices range $150,000 to $259,900 with half under $185,000.

    All of these Chelsea Park homes were built between 1996 and 2004.  The homes in Chelsea Park are, for the most part, larger homes (greater than 2,100 sq. ft. under air) and on larger (not zero lot line) parcels than the homes in Phillips Landing.

    Although Chelsea Park has a community park, it does not offer its residents a community pool. Phillips Landing does offer a community pool, water park, and a playground for its residents.

    Phillips Landing offers newer homes than those offered in Chelsea Park. For example, in December a new construction home (3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, 2,132 sq. ft.) sold for $180,000.

    Prices have dropped considerably in Phillips Landing as evidenced by two foreclosures under contract awaiting closing listed at under $130,000.

    As of today there are six homes for sale in Phillips Landing with four of these being new construction. With all six properties priced from $169,900 to $229,900, Phillips Landing offers home buyers excellent value.

    One major trade-off at Phillips Landing is space. These homes are basically zero lot line homes with most being on .16 to .18 acre lots with minimal set back from the sidewalks. 

    So which does one choose?  Perhaps neither of these.

    The best choice may be in the nearby Enclave subdivision or Augusta Trace on Turtle Creek Golf Course or something a bit older in Heritage Acres or Three Meadows. Or maybe the nearby Viera planned unit development only a couple of miles away!

    Home Seller Tips: When Selling Your Home, Give Up Some Comfort….

    Amazing the comfort your overstuffed chair provides.  And when you get tired, a nap on the matching overstuffed sofa is just what the doctor ordered!

    What about all that extra "stuff" in the garage?  What about that refinished "antique" desk you rescued from a thrift shop that is now sitting in your hallway?

    All that "stuff" can make your home look smaller?  It may even make your home look cluttered?  It may even draw a prospective buyer's attention away from your spacious house!

    And what about all that "stuff" on your kitchen counter?  You know...the blender, the coffee grinder, the George Foreman grill and all those other kitchen gadgets!  When your counter is filled, it takes away from the appearance.

    When selling you home, give up some temporary comfort.     Besides that chair at the closing will be much more comfy!

    When you are ready to sell your Viera house or condo, I would be honored to be your Realtor of Choice in Brevard County!

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Heritage Isle Condos in Viera - Its Not a Million Dollar View!

    I was over in Viera showing condos in the 55+ community of Heritage Isle yesterday. These two bedroom two bath condos are very nice recent construction (2006 and 2007) offering about 1200-1400 sq ft and have great views - but not a million dollar view.

    Overlooking the water and golf course, the views are nice - about a $120,000 view!

    With about 12 condos listed for sale in Heritage Isle, there are choices.  All are priced between $115,000 and $139,900 and range from ground floor to fourth (top) floor units.  Don't worry about the stairs - tale the elevators!  Some have great views, others less great.  There are a couple of short sales as well.

    If condo living is not your preference, check out the 39 single family homes and duplex style units listed for sale.  These are priced from $157,000 to well over $300,000 with several short sales included in the mix!

    If a townhouse or villa style unit with a single car garage is your preference, there are five to choose from priced between $115,000 and $130,000.

    Whatever your choice, if a 55+ community in Viera (Melbourne Florida) is in your plans, Heritage Isle has it! Come check out the 21,000 sq ft club house and the amenities. Check out the pools, tennis, fitness center and more!

    For information on Heritage Isle in Viera, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Home Seller Tip: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

    Who has not heard the saying “Do as I say, not as I do?”  I am sure I heard that at some point I heard it as a child.

    Another saying that should be taken to heart by home sellers is the "actions speak louder than words."

    When you are ready to sell your house, there are things that need to be accomplished to ensure the best chance of selling.  Some of these actions include:
    • Preparation – Fix any issues.
    • Clean – It goes without saying.
    • De-clutter – Get rid of excess furniture, appliances, “stuff.”
    • Curb Appeal – Lawn, a new coat of paint on the front door.
    • Accommodate – Respond to showing requests and let buyer prospects have access within reason!
    • Gather documents - Be prepared for the questions.
    All the above are actionable items.  The clock starts ticking when you list your house.  Your house will get the most attention during the initial days and weeks - don't let them slip by!

    If you want to get the most money for your house (given the market), you will let your actions speak for you!

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Buying a Foreclosure: "Blank Canvas in Kitchen"

    Foreclosures are not exactly move-in ready properties.  Is that really a surprise?

    I just saw an MLS entry that stated “blank canvas in kitchen ready to add your own touches.”  I checked the photos in the listing.  The kitchen was indeed a blank canvas – even the cabinets were gone!

    When you consider a foreclosure, expect the property to be stripped of many of its habitability qualities. It is a way of life!

    I just read an article about a first time home buyer who moved into a foreclosure only to find real problems.  I am not sure if they had an inspection done (always!) but still the problems were plentiful.  Of course, certain types of financing is not an option on many foreclosures simply because of the general condition or a specific issue (roof, for example).

    As a first time home buyer the process can be daunting so foreclosures is not something I encourage with a first time home buyer (or any buyer who is strapped for cash for repairs later).

    Many home buyers see foreclosures as an opportunity to buy a lot more house for less.  If a discounted price is what a buyer is looking for, then perhaps a short sale will present some savings and a property in better condition.

    If you have any questions in the home purchase process or homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida, email them to me.

    If I can help you buy or sell a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, let me know!

    Home Buyer Tips: The property inspection is just the beginning....

    I was reading an article this afternoon by a home inspector who discussed some of the emails he had gotten – a year or three after he had conducted a buyer’s home inspection.   It seems that after a few years the roof had developed an issue.  Another buyer told him the AC had started to “act up.”

    And they all say the same thing -“he should have known!”

    The reality is when you have your home inspected the home inspection company can give you an assessment as of the inspection date.

    Most inspectors I know also recommend annual service calls and inspections for major systems.  They may even recommend an inspection prior to closing if there appears to be a potential problem.

    People move into houses and sometimes cause problems.  Sometimes folks just forgo the annual service calls for major systems.  Sometimes folks don’t worry about having the roof checked.  Then something goes wrong.  And after only a year or three!

    As a house ages problems arise.  That is the reality.

    Should I hammer my doc because two years ago at my annual physical he said I was fit as a fiddle and now my blood pressure is high?

    People and other objects change – even deteriorate and wear out. Your inspection is not a warranty

    Speaking of warranties… as a buyer always ask the seller (or your real estate agent) to provide one at closing!

    Sunday, January 09, 2011

    Second Home Buyers: Make Brevard County, Florida Your Winter Home

    While reading this morning's Florida Today newspaper I came across a letter to the editor written by a Canadian retiree wintering in Titusville, Florida.

    The letter writer, Mr. Bob Park, encourages local governments and businesses to advertise the merits of living in Brevard County, Florida to the northeast United States and his native Canada.

    So, in response to Mr. Park's letter, here is my invitation to all in the northeast and north of the border to take a look at the merits of moving to Brevard County, Florida.

    Among the merits Mr. Park pointed out were such things as...

    • Brevard County's 6% sales tax versus the 12% in Canada
    • gas prices at $3 a gallon vs $5.50 in the north 
    • beer at $15 a case vs. $37 in Canada [my favorite beer, Molson Canadian, is about $6 a six-pack]
    • golf - cheaper and more plentiful!

    While the homes in Brevard County are "inexpensive," Mr. Park does recommend financial incentives be offered to second home owners who pay full taxes but do not get the benefit of homestead exemption full time residents receive.

    Finally, he summed it all up by saying the thing about Brevard County he appreciates the most - its sincere, friendly residents.

    Don't take it from me...rather take it from one of our Canadian friends who winters in Brevard!

    Selling Your Viera Florida Home: Contender or Pretender?

    I received a call today from someone who just had their Viera home for sale listing expire.  He had kept my card from a showing several months ago.  He wanted to know if I would consider listing his house.

    I love to list homes for sale in Brevard County, especially in Viera.

    He asked about my feedback from the previous showing of his house months earlier. I told him it was simply the price was greater than the contenders in his neighborhood.

    I stopped short of telling him I would not have shown it but my buyers really wanted to see it so they could compare other better priced houses in the neighborhood.

    I then told him what I thought his house would sell for in the current Viera Florida market.  He said he would rather let it sit. I wished home luck as I know the market will not rise in the near future.

    If you are serious about selling your Viera house in 2011 you will price it to be a contender.

    Considering selling your Viera house or condo?  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.

    Saturday, January 08, 2011

    Buyer's Market - What It Should Mean to Sellers

    The Brevard County, Florida real estate market remains a buyer's market.  This simply means there are fewer buyers and plenty of sellers.

    In a buyer's market the winner will be the seller who realizes this and responds accordingly!

    While working with motivated buyers this week in Viera and Suntree (Melbourne, Florida) I was very amazed at the situations  obstacles I faced just to show a house and the disappointment when we gained access.  Some of the issues made me wonder if the sellers understood it is a buyer's market in Florida!

    The table of contents of the Seller's Book of Knowledge (if one existed) would likely contain a couple of chapters like....
    1. If you want to sell your house know your competition.
    2. If you are really interested in selling make your house make it available when the buyers are available. 
    3. If you are selling your house, make it shine from the street [create curb appeal] 
    4. If you are selling your house, clean your house [if you can smell it, you can't sell it!]
    5. If your house has been on the market six months, there is a problem.  [The issue may be price, ease of showing or general condition.]
    If you are serious about selling your Viera house, then price it right and be a little bit flexible.
    You will be amazed at the number of people who will want to see your Viera house and how quickly an offer comes in! 

    For information on selling your Viera, Rockledge or Melbourne, Florida house or condo, email me here (or call directly at 321-693-3850).

    Friday, January 07, 2011

    Short Sales – Don’t Get Sucked In!

    I have crossed paths with many people who seemed to be getting sucked into the short sale pipeline pipe dream.  Buying a short sale is not for everyone.

    First of all, that extremely low listing price is likely not the selling price but rather the "start talking price!"

    Of course there is always the chance the low price may just be reflective of the later investment required to repair, fix, update and generally make the house "livable."  [However, that is more common with foreclosures!}

    Short sales take time.  After all, the seller may sign off on your offer but in the end it must be approved by the lender(s).  And the lender approval process may take time – months!

    A couple of additional tidbits of information on short sales (click the links):
    Still, if a buyer is the right buyer - the time, the patience, available cash/mortgage, why not consider a short sale?

    For information on short sales in Viera, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me if you prefer.

    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    Home Seller Tip: Consider Your Motivation When Selling Your Brevard County Florida Home

    I had a real estate agent tell me today their client was motivated but did not need to sell.  That confused me a bit as did several other listings I tried to schedule for showings.
    1. SELLER MOTIVATED.  Yet the house has been on the market over 500 days! 
    2. SELLER MOTIVATED.  Yet no showings on Saturday or Sunday. 
    3. SELLER MOTIVATED.  Yet no showings before noon. 
    4. SELLER MOTIVATED.  24 hours notice required and listing agent must be present.
    SELLER MOTIVATED.  Really? You tell me.
    1. BUYER MOTIVATED.  Tomorrow we consider new construction in Viera and re-look at the $400,000+ home we did see today in Viera.
    If you are considering selling, consider your motivation. 

    While attempting to see homes for sale in Suntree and Viera today these were some of the hurdles I encountered while trying to schedule homes for my clients to see.  Your homes were not the only ones on the market as there are plenty of homes for sale in Viera.

    Buyers are less plentiful.  Consider your real motivation when selling in a buyers market.

    Phillips Landing in Rockledge Florida – Lots of Choices, Under $180,000

    Phillips Landing subdivision in Rockledge provides an excellent example of the Brevard County, Florida real estate market – past and present! 

    The present....
    • Just in December 2010  a new construction 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage with 2,132 sq ft under air closed for $180,000!
    The past....
    • In December 2010 a 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home with 1,923 sq ft sold for $145,000! sold for $300,000 is August 2005! This home is very representative of the bygone real estate market –  
    • Further proof of the past – a 3 bedroom 2 bath under contract with a list price or $124,900 which sold new for $228,000 in 2005.
    So what is on the market in Phillips Landing in Rockledge? 

    As the new year starts you can find new construction under $175,000 and several resale homes as well. Among these, several short sales and at least one foreclosure.

    If a newer (or new construction) home in Rockledge Florida is a consideration, check out Phillips Landing.  With a playground, community pool, some waterfront lots, a central location close to Orlando and Viera, it deserves a look, especially at these prices!

    Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me for information on Phillips Landing homes for sale in Rockledge, Florida.  And remember, if new construction is a consideration, bring your real estate agent and negotiate with the builder!

    Wednesday, January 05, 2011

    Why Buy a Short Sale When the Same is Available For $900 More?

    This began as a market update on The Ventura at Turtle Creek, the gated condo community located in Rockledge, Florida near the Turtle Creek Golf Course.

    With eleven units on the market there are lots of choices as they are all three bedroom two bath units built in 2006-2008.  All either have a garage or a single detached carport.

    Several are short sales while one is a bank owned (foreclosure).

    So the question in the title came to mind because there are two units, same square footage, both with detached garage.  One is a short sale; the other, a standard sale.

    With the uncertainty of the short process [ time for approval if accepted], why would one not go ahead and buy the standard sale if two properties are priced so closely?  I am not implying that the offer price should be the list price but, if the seller of a standard sale will negotiate, why not try that approach first.

    If your goal is a discounted purchase price then the short sale possibly is the best route.  The lender may possibly discount the price much lower than the standard sale if you are willing to assume the wait.

    I will note that here a seller is aware of the competition and has priced accordingly - something many sellers fail to address.

    The Ventura at Turtle Creek does offer excellent choices as ten of these eleven units are priced under $130,000There are seven listed under $120,000!   One unit (a 2/2 with a carport) sold in December, a short sale for $104,000.

    For information on condos for sale The Ventura at Turtle Creek, call me directly 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.

    Sunstone in Viera – Gated, Large, Attractively Priced Homes For Sale in Brevard County Florida

    Sunstone development in Viera, west of I-95 in Melbourne Florida, offers newer (and new construction) homes at very attractive prices. 

    Viera is one of the most popular areas in Brevard County Florida offering excellent neighborhood schools, plenty of shopping, golf courses like Duran Golf Club and Viera East , a new Viera Hospital and more!

    Sunstone is a gated community offering larger homes (2,500 to 3,600 sq ft) with three car garages on larger lots (.25 acre+).

    At this time there are seven re-sale listings in Sunstone priced from $249,900 (short sale) to $410,000.  A few of these have private pools.  Of course, a pool is not necessary as the community has a pool, tennis courts, parks, bike trails, and more!

    In addition to the re-sales there are several new construction models ready to move in.

    These new construction models are in the $260-280,000 range but like I have said numerous times – negotiate with the builder.

     Most, if not all, of these homes feature maple cabinets,granite counter tops, Moen fixtures, GE Energy Star appliances, lots of tile and more! 

    If new construction in Viera is a consideration, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me for information. Even builders may contribute toward closing costs or loan buy downs…

    There were a couple of Sunstone homes sold in December 2010:
    • 6112 Goleta Circle – a 3,141 sq ft home for $288,990
    • 5791 Rusack Dr – a 3,530 sq ft home for $265,00
    Gary L Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge - your Viera home buyer resource.

    Tuesday, January 04, 2011

    At Heritage Isle in Viera Florida – Cash Talks!

    Apparently not all buyers are seeking mortgages these days.  During December 2010 there were 637 homes and condos sold in Brevard County, Florida and 342 (53%) were cash deals.

    To put the “cash deals” into proper perspective, it should be noted that about 180 of these deals were distressed properties (short sale, foreclosure) which typically sell for less than the regular standard sale. 

    In Heritage Isle all four sales (as reported in the Brevard MLS) during December 2010 were standard sales and were cash transactions.  These properties are located at:
    • 3181 CAMBERLY CIRCLE - a 4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage with 2470 sq ft under air for $325,000 cash
    • 4000 FUNSTON CIRCLE - a 4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage with 2419 sq ft under air for $269,900 cash
    • 7110 RALSTON ST - a 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage half duplex/villa with 1843 sq ft under air for $197,000
    • 3693 CARAMBOLA CIRCLE - a 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage half duplex/villa with 1857 sq ft under air for $175,000.
      As January begins there are 31active listings in Heritage Isle priced from $169,500 to $499,900.  There are also five short sales listed.  Prices are very reasonable with 6 properties listed for less than $190,000 while another 19 are priced below $250,000.

      If a condo is your preference, there are 16 active condos listed  at Heritage Isle priced from $115,000 to $139,900.  These are all 2 bedroom 2 bath units.

      For information on properties for sale in Heritage Isle, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send 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, January 03, 2011

      Real Estate 101: Motivation Matters Most - whether buyer or seller!

      Much has been written about the real estate market lately touting "it is such a great time to buy a house in Brevard County Florida." 

      The truth is the prices are very attractive and buyers are buying homes in Brevard County, Florida!  With a median selling price of $105,000 in December 2010, there are properties available for most budgets.

      A major part of the buying and selling process is determining an offer price or, for sellers, a listing price.  The easiest method is to obtain the most recent nearby sales that closely match the subject property.

      There are a few other considerations like type of sale (short sale, standard sale, foreclosure).  The goal is to compare apples to apples. The comparable properties should provide a reasonable range of listing and offering values.

      Now a word of advice... 

         No matter how accurate your comps, in the end it comes down to motivation - buyer and seller.

      If the motivation is not present, there will be no deal!  If you are motivated to sell your Viera house or condo, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

      Sunday, January 02, 2011

      Brevard County Real Estate Market - December Sales (Part II)

      Yesterday I wrote briefly about how the December 2010 real estate sales in Brevard County, Florida were greater than the November 2010 residential sales. Below I present a few more details including prices, days on the market and more.  Again, just the facts as captured from the Melbourne MLS this morning.

      • Residential properties sold  [single family, town house, manufactured homes] - 498
      • List to sell ratio  -  94%
      • Median List Price  - $109,900
      • Median Sell Price - $105,000
      • Average List Price - $151,737
      • Average Selling Price - $142,025
      • Average Days on market  - 129
      • Foreclosure property sold  - 157
      • Average days on market - 101 
      • Average Sales Prices - $86,304
      • Average List Price - $92,363 
      • List to Sell Ratio - 93% 
      • Median Sell Price - $64900
      • Short Sales sold  - 85
      • List to sell ratio - 94%
      • Average sales price - $153,696 
      • Average List Price - $162,839
      • Average days on market - 171
      For information on buying and selling real estate in Brevard County, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

      Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida, serving home buyers and sellers in Brevard County including the popular areas of Viera, Suntree, Melbourne, Rockledge.

        Saturday, January 01, 2011

        Brevard County Real Estate Market - December Sales Greater Than November 2010 Sales

        December 2010 may turn out to be the upward tick the Brevard County real estate market needs to get off to a stronger 2011.  Although these are preliminary numbers obtained from the Melbourne Multiple Listing Service this morning they are positive!

        December 2010 single family home sales in Brevard County were 468 units - higher than the 438 units sold in November.

        Of the 468 units sold in December 150 properties were bank owned (foreclosures) - again higher than the 114 foreclosures sold in November. The 81 December short sales was about the same as November's 80.

        As for condo sales in December 2010, there were 115 units sold, up from the 103 condos sold in November.  With 29 bank owned condos sold in December, the pace was close to the 30 sold in November as were the 21 short sales (19 in November).

        These are all preliminary sales figures which will be revised as end of the year closings are entered in the system.  Sales price data will be entered later.   Suffice it to say, if these hold true, 2011 may be an improvement over 2010 although the sales pries will likely be less.

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