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Monday, February 28, 2011

Fairway Lakes at Viera – Gated Luxury Golf Course Living at its Best!

The Fairway Lakes development in Viera offers gated, golf course living on one of Brevard County’s most desirable course – Duran Golf Club.

Fairway Lakes homes are built by some of the most desirable custom builders around – like Christopher Burton Custom Homes, Arthur Rutenberg, and Viera Builders.   Although not presently building any new homes at this time, many of the resale properties were constructed by Toll Brothers.

Remember to take your own real estate agent with you when considering new construction.  The on site representative works for the builder (seller) not the buyer.

Located near The Avenues at Viera shopping mall, the new Viera Hospital, Viera High School, and more, Fairway Lakes offers homeowners a great location, quality homes and very reasonable prices!

February saw two closings in Fairway Lakes.  One of these (pictured above), 3388 Lamanga Drive was purchased by my clients for $405,000.  This 2,756 sq. ft. 3 bedroom 3 bath home with a pool is located directly on the fairway.

The other selling property was 3039 Refuge Court, a 3,646 sq. ft. 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath home with a pool located on a pond sold for $550,000. 

As of today there are six active listings in Fairway Lakes ranging in price from $465,000 to $749,000.

If you are considering golf course communities in Florida, Fairway Lakes as well as the nearby Wyndham at Duran deserve consideration.  For information on homes for sale in Fairway Lakes, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Whether buying or selling your Brevard County, Florida home, there are only two things you know for certain….

Much has been written about the current housing market in Brevard County, Florida and elsewhere.  Prognosticators are either predicting
  1. the bottom to fall out, 
  2. prices to rise, or 
  3. interest rates to go higher.  
I am sure most of these people are probably smarter than so this is all I know today about the Brevard County, Florida real estate market:
  1. Buyers need to understand the only thing they know today is what the rates are and what the prices are...anything else is a gamble! 
  2. Sellers need to understand what the selling prices are today for they have no real knowledge of future inventory, unemployment potential with the end of the space shuttle program looming or how this will impact buyer ability (or interest).

Housing, like oil and most other commodities,  is simply a case of supply and demand - supply of affordable houses on the market, supply of affordable mortgages, supply of willing buyers, etc.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finding a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home: It isn’t “How many properties have you listed?”

I just got a new listing in Rockledge, Florida's Chelsea Park subdivision.  This particular home is priced much better than any of the short sales or foreclosures nearby!

As I was working on the listing input into several of my web sites today I thought about how sellers choose their real estate agent. 
  1. Many just look at who has the most for sale signs.
  2. Some turn to the company that has an office in the immediate vicinity.
  3. Most do an Internet search.
  4. Some even ask a friend or co-worker.
There is no one “best” way to find your real estate agent.

However, when you do get around to interviewing your prospective agents, I recommend you ask this question in particular – “How many of your listings have sold?”

The reason is simple – “how many listing have you had (or have)? – is not an indicator of success in selling.

Some agents, including myself, have fewer homes for sale at any given time because they are selective of the  homes they market. Marketing a home in the current real estate market entails work and expense.

When you are ready to sell your Rockledge, Viera or Suntree, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850.  Or, if you prefer, email me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Home for Sale in Chelsea Park subdivision Rockledge Florida - Best Priced Home in Area - 467 Stonehenge Circle

This 2001 built home located in Rockledge, Florida's Chelsea Park subdivision is absolutely move-in ready!

With five bedrooms, three baths, and over 3,100 sq ft under air, there is plenty of room for even the largest of family!

This is a standard sale priced better than smaller short sales in the Chelsea Park - only $219,000!

Chelsea Park is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Rockledge.  The sellers tell me the neighborhood is fantastic and the neighbors are great!

This very quiet subdivision is within a mile of grocery stores, Starbucks, McDonald's, the post office, golf courses and more!  For commuters, this home is convenient to I-95 and US 1.  Patrick Air Force Base and the beaches are 20 minutes away, Orlando only 45 minutes.
When you visit this home you will see the PRIDE in Ownership throughout this gorgeous house. Spacious living areas extend throughout the home including the huge master suite which features a huge master bathroom, his and his and hers walk in closets, and a large area that can be used for a sitting/reading area.

The first floor guest room has its own full bath with tub and a shower and double sinks. Although there are plenty of bedrooms, this home's many other features make it stand out including:
  • The workshop/hobby room just off the media room which features a custom built in workbench with wooden cabinets and drawers.  
  • This house is located on a circle, surrounding a lake with no through traffic.
  • Chelsea Park's private playground is less than a block away with basketball courts, play equipment and a gazebo.
  • The water view from the screened in, custom tiled lanai.
  • Professional, custom interior paint including a mural in stairwell.
  • Large yard - not zero lot line like many of the nearby developments!
Take a look at the photos here.

To view this property located at 467 Stonehenge Circle in Rockledge, 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 Florida's Space Coast including the cities and communities of Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and the surrounding region.

Home Buyer Tip: “What is wrong with it?”

I was showing rental properties in Rockledge Florida this week and a property we viewed was really nice – and priced well.  The prospective tenant looked at me and queried “What’s wrong?”

I just listed a house for sale today in Chelsea Park (467 Stonehenge Circle) in Rockledge, Florida.  This five bedroom three bath home on the water has over 3,150 sq. ft. under air.  At $219,000 it is the best priced property on the market within a half mile!

Just after this listing “went live” I had an agent call me with a question about the paint, carpet, kitchen, etc.?  I had to tell her, “They are perfect, move-in ready!”

This got me to wondering if our expectation regarding the Brevard County, Florida real estate market is totally out of perspective. 

Sometimes, the price is just an attractive, reasonable price established by a motivated owner.

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, February 25, 2011

You want to buy but you just don’t want the hassle of owning a single family home. Consider the alternatives.

There are some homeowners who love to get up on Saturday and work in the yard.  There are some who feel at home painting the outside and doing other maintenance items.

Then there are some who just want a place to put their stuff while they live an active, on the go lifestyle!  These are folks I recommend consider condo living in central Florida!

If you are downsizing, there are plenty of alternatives to single family detached home living including townhomes in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida.

Key point: Know the difference between townhouse and condo living...

There are differences between townhouses and condos.  In Viera there are new construction townhouses in Stoneridge, a gated community in Viera West.  For the 55+ demographic, you can find condos and townhouses in Viera's gated Heritage Isle community.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

When Selling Your Home, Choose a Buyer’s Agent…

The current market is a buyer's market.  You want to sell you house.

Who is your best choice to list and market your home?  A buyer’s agent.

In a buyer's market who has the most contact with buyers? An agent who is working with buyers like me!

If you are considering selling your Rockledge, Viera, Suntree and north Melbourne, Florida home, 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.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Home Seller Tip: Will FSBOs go the way of the dinosaur?

It seems that a few years ago in Brevard County when the market was booming anyone could sell a house without a real estate agent (for sale by owner).

It was not uncommon to drive through a neighborhood in Viera and see a half dozen FSBO signs  up and people looking!

That was then.  Even though being a FSBO was a challenge then I think the number of successes was somewhere around 15%.

Now its different.

In 2009 the number of successful FSBO was about 13%.   According to the National Association of Realtors®, in 2010 the number dropped again to 11%.

These numbers tell an important story – selling your home in a buyer’s market is a challenge that most are deciding to leave to a professional.

Selling yourself does not guarantee success, a better price (including recouping the five or six percent you will pay when hiring a real estate professional).

In this real estate environment there are two things that should not happen:
  1. Sellers trying to go it alone. 
  2. Buyers trying to go it alone – even with new construction.  Buyers need to realize the seller pays their real estate agent’s fee.

If you are considering selling your home, hire a local real estate agent. If you are considering buying, hire a local real estate professional.

In Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida - hire 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.

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Buy a House: Step Two

Once the initial hurdle is cleared – obtaining financing, then the home buying process becomes a bit more exciting.  OK, lets just say the excitement will build as the process proceeds!

I have written several articles over the past couple of years on how to buy a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida although the process is pretty much the same wherever you may be buying.

Some of my articles address the subject is a simplistic way such as Buying a House…In Six Easy Steps!   Another addresses the process from a different perspective – The ABCs of Buying a House.

After obtaining a mortgage I recommend you find a local real estate expert – a Realtor® familiar with your desired area.

Some may ask “Do I Need a Real Estate Agent to Buy a House?”   The answer, of course, is why not have your own real estate agent? After all, the seller - even a new construction from a builder - usually pays your real estate agent. 

Home buyers frequently have a lot of questions, especially first time home buyers.    What are some the questions home buyers frequently ask?

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Brevard County, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me if you have questions.

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

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Home Seller Tip: “A Teachable Moment”– So Cliché? Maybe Not…

I was speaking with a real estate agent a few days ago who had a real dilemma.  She had listed a Viera, Florida home a day earlier and had seven showings on day one.   Further, she had two offers by the morning of day two.

Her dilemma?  She wondered how she would explain the activity and offers after one day when the average days on market here is about 120 days!  She was really questioning herself and wondered if she had miscalculated the list price although she had “done the comps” several times.

My thought. in the words of so many politicians these days  – a great teachable moment! 

As I see it…

You can never price too low as a seller is never required to sign or accept any offer!

Further, there is no reason why a home in Viera, Florida that is appropriately priced and staged will not generate a lot of activity in the first day!

I checked today and this house is indeed under contract (meaning the offer was reasonable!). 

This is indeed a teachable moment - a lesson others wishing to sell their Brevard County home should learn from!  

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, February 19, 2011

Home Seller Tip: “With modern paint colors” is not a selling point…

Just read an MLS entry that states open floor plan with “modern paint colors.”  I am not sure exactly what modern paint colors are but the pictures show some really bright reds, bright blues, eye straining yellows.

I am not sure but I am guessing that these can't be the major selling points for a Viera, Florida home!

A couple of quick suggestions for those considering selling a house or condo.
  • When selling your house it is important to depersonalize – including paint colors. Dark colors make rooms appear smaller. Lighter colors such as the beige and antique white give the appearance of being larger as well as being brighter.  Best advice I have read is to paint the entire house (walls, trim, borders) the same neutral color.
  • Emphasize your home's best feature when marketing.  It may be the location, the views, the kitchen, whatever.  If modern paint colors is the best feature perhaps you should make it new, neutral paint!

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.

Selling in Rockledge, Florida's Chelsea Park subdivision means competing with distressed properties….

Chelsea Park subdivision in Rockledge, Florida offers some very attractive prices for home buyers in 2011. 

Five of the seven homes currently under contract are either short sales or foreclosures.

Most of these Chelsea Park homes are larger homes, built after 2000.  For example the five bedroom four bath home with over 3,400 sq ft under air that is listed for $215,000 (short sale).  I am not sure what the selling price will be but even at $215,000, the buyer should feel good!

The unfortunate reality for anyone wanting to sell their Chelsea Park home in the current market is they must compete with these distressed properties!

Two properties have sold so far this year in Chelsea Park.  They are...
  • 446 Wenthrop Circle 1,850 sq ft, $189,00
  • 403 Wenthrop Circle 2,416 sq ft, $144,000 (foreclosure)
Currently, there are four active listings in Chelsea Park priced from $150,000 to $259,900.

For information on buying or selling a home in Rockledge, Florida's Chelsea Park subdivision, email or call me direct 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, February 18, 2011

How to Buy a House: Step One

When the decision to purchase a house or condo has been made, there is a sudden urge to go out and look at houses.  After all, this can (and should) be the most exciting part of the process!

But the excitement may not be there if you have not taken care of step one - the finances.

The most important step in the home buying process is to know up front  your mortgage qualification limitation.  Your loan amount will be based on your credit so review your credit first.

[Key point: the mortgage limit you qualify for may not be the amount you need to spend to get your house.]

Talk with a lender about interest rates, special programs for first time home buyers, closing costs, monthly payments, down payment requirement, and any other question you may have about a home loan.  Your lender is one of your key resources in the home buying process (your real estate agent is the other!).

The first hurdle in the home buying process is knowing the financial parameters.

Once this has been established call (321-693-3850) or email me if you are considering the purchase of a home in Brevard County, Florida.

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, February 17, 2011

Why Can’t Buying a House Be the Same as Buying a Tomato?

Buying a tomato is pretty easy.  You decide you need one.  You decide where to shop. You find the tomato section in the produce market and evaluate the choices available. You select your tomato, pay at the register and go home.

Similarly, buying a house is the same… or at least it could be except for one, often very large, characteristic – emotions

Buying a house or condo is an emotional process.  It is a stressful process.  It is often a time of doubt for buyers.

It is a time of stress for sellers as well as many have formed a deep emotional attachment to "their house."

Purchasing a home is one of the largest expenditures any of us will ever make.   In an ideal world the home buying process would be no different than any other purchase.

Remember as you approach the negotiation and closing process to keep your emotions in check.  

Because buying a house is not like buying a tomato!

If you are looking to purchase a home in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.  I am an exclusive buyers agent working for home buyers relocating to Brevard County, Florida.

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, February 16, 2011

Staying Fit in Viera Florida – Several Fitness Centers From Which to Choose

While showing houses yesterday at Heritage Isle, Viera’s premier 55+ gated community, I commented about Heritage Isle’s fitness center within it's 19,000 club complex.  They also asked about other close by fitness centers.

The first that comes to mind is the Health First Pro-Health Fitness complex in Viera (next door to the new Viera Hospital that has its opening scheduled for April. By the way, open house to be held  March 26.)

This two story state of the art 68,000 sq ft facility offers pools, fitness and nutrition classes, personal trainers, indoor racquetball courts, gyms with regulation basketball and volleyball court, sauna, steam room, free wifi cafe, much more!

If you live in Suntree  the Wuesthoff Suntree YMCA Family Center at 6300 N. Wickham Road may be a better option.  The Wuesthoff facility offers fitness classes, indoor cycling, weight training equipment, pools, swimming lessons year round, and more.  Check them out!

For those living in Viera East or Rockledge there are a couple of other fitness centers that may be more convenient including  Planet Fitness in Rockledge and  the Sunbay Fitness Center in Viera East.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Home Buyer Tips: In Viera Florida $200,000 Is The New $300,000!

Viera real estate prices are very attractive these days. I wrote to someone this morning that "$200K is the new $300K!"

What can you buy in Viera for less than $200,000?  Since January 1, 2011, this is a sampling of what has sold in Viera for less than $200,000.
  • 3792 Manitoba Way -  1902 sq ft  4/2/2, built in 2008, $160,000
  • 1846 Crane Creek Blvd - 1603 sq ft 3/2/2 with pool, built in 1998, $166,000
  • 801 Misty Creek Dr - 2010 sq ft 3/2/2, built in 1999, $169,000
  • 2539 Canterbury Cir - 2134 sq ft, 4/2/2, built in 1995,  $198,000 Direct golf course - 9th hole!
  • 1702 Laramie Cir - 2333 sq ft, 4/2/2, built in 2002, $170,000
  • 5755 Trieda Dr, 1677 sq ft,  3/2/2, built in  2010 (new construction), $175,000
OK, so these are not $200,000 but they do show why the time to buy in Viera is now!

Monday, February 14, 2011

They did a pre-listing home inspection. Why should I do another inspection?

One of my buyers just had an home inspection done a few days ago although we had a copy of an inspection completed recently by the seller.

For the most part all was fine except for a few items like a spa tub leak, a sprinkler pump leak and a few broken roof tiles (darn golf balls!).

For all we know these occurred after the previous inspection.

However, had my buyer not had his own inspection, when would he have known about the issues? When a leak occurred?

I usually encourage sellers to have a pre-listing  inspection.

As for all buyers I say -

Always get your own inspection and you can't go wrong!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

As interest rates rise, your buyer prospect pool shrinks...a little at a time.

Why be concerned about interest rates if you are selling your house or condo?  It should be the buyer’s concern, right?

I read an article in the Florida Today this week that proclaimed the “Shot at super low mortgage rates over.”  Actually, the article used the term absurdly low. 

The bottom line: 
  1. Interest rates on 30 year mortgages have risen above 5% for the first time since April 2010. 
  2. Analysts expect rates to rise to 5.5% through the end of this year.
We are in a buyer’s market (more houses for sale, fewer qualified buyers).  As interest rates rise the total monthly payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) rise. A buyer’s ability to qualify for a home loan does not rise with the interest rate thus they qualify for less costly housing. 

As a seller, would you not be better off pricing competitively in a declining market with rising interest rates?  As interest rates rise, your buyer prospect pool shrinks..a little at a time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

When Internet Marketing Just Does Not Finish The Job….

The Internet is a wonderful tool for marketing your house.  More importantly it is a fantastic tool for buyers looking for a home to purchase.

I think the last statistic I read stated about 90% of buyers begin their home search on the Internet with 36% finding the home they eventually purchased on the Internet.  [Interestingly only 4% of buyers found their new home through newspaper advertising.]

For the above reasons I market your home very heavily on the Internet through multiple web sites including,,,,,  (and the list goes on). 

Some sites (like showcase listings) allow me to identify how many people view your listing by day, week and month.

And then I can tell you – although you already know it, how many people see your house in person. Other sites like Zillow track the number of views a listing gets - so you will know! 

If the number of eyes viewing your home online are widely different, could it be your price is just not competitive?  There will always be more people viewing your listings online but when you are not getting very many showing - look at some other things!

Marketing on the Internet is just part of the job - appropriate pricing, home staging, curb appeal is a must!

When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida house or condo, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chelsea Park in Rockledge, Florida: Typical Brevard County Market -> Short Sales

Recent real estate activity in Rockledge, Florida's Chelsea Park subdivision is pretty typical of Brevard County , Florida - short sales and competitive priced homes!

Of the six active listings in Chelsea Park, half are short sales.  The short sale properties are priced from $150,000 to $204,500 - very attractive prices.  These homes are all larger models with sq ft under air conditioning greater than 2100 sq ft under air.

Unlike many of the newer Viera and Rockledge subdivisions, Chelsea Park homes are not zero lot line properties with most being on .20 acres and larger lots.

At this time there are six Chelsea Park  properties under contract.  Of these six properties under contract, there are five short sales and one bank owned property.   Although we don’t know the selling price yet, it is likely they will be low as only one of these is listed above $200,000!

There was only one Chelsea Park home that sold in January – 446 Wenthrop Circle, a 2001 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, pool home that sold for $189,000.

For information on homes for sale in Chelsea Park as well as Viera and Rockledge, Florida, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me.

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

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Home Seller Tip: Sometimes You Can't Give Away That Ugly Gift From Mom!

This post is intended to be sarcastic, tongue in cheek, less than completely serious.

I recently encountered a situation in a real estate transaction where the window treatments were to remain with the property at closing.
Window treatments are rarely, if ever, so wonderful they become an issue.
Except..... when mom bought them for the seller!

In this case it is actually one set of drapes.  It seems the seller wants (?) to take them when he moves.
After a bit of discussion I realize these drapes have a  "special sentimental value"  to the seller mom.  Although they will likely not fit the windows in another home I can understand - 
Mom is Mom!
Lesson for home sellers -  
Sometimes you can't get away from an ugly gift from mom!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Real Estate Services: Its Really All About Trust

It is really all about trust - buying a home, selling your home or even renting a home.

For example, police arrested a man in Palm Bay, Florida who allegedly changed the locks on abandoned foreclosed properties and posed as the owner to rent them to unsuspecting folks. 

With so many foreclosures and abandoned properties in some areas it just makes sense to use a Realtor® - not some stranger posting advertising on the Internet.

As a prospective tenant your background will be checked by the owner.  I suggest, as a prospective tenant, you check out the homeowner.

I also strongly suggest you find a real estate professional to guide you through the process - buying, selling or renting.

As a buyer, the seller pays for your real estate agent.  As a renter, it is the owner who pays your real estate agent.  Find one you can trust...Why go it alone?

In Viera, Suntree, Rockledge and Melbourne, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can assist you in any way.

How Many Ways Can Your Short Sale Request Be Answered? Let Me Count The Ways…

When a home owner places their house or condo on the market as a short sale they know they must seek the lender’s approval for any sale to take place.

[A short sale is a situation where the seller, due to a real hardship, is selling a house or condo with the probable selling price being less than the mortgage owed.]

Short sales take time for the lender approval process once the seller and buyer have agreed on the contract terms. This decision process can take months.  All the while, anxious sellers and buyers await a decision.

Sellers should know that with short sales there are multiple potential outcomes.

Such as…
  • the lender approves the price and waives the deficiency
  • the lender approves the sale but asks sellers to sign a personal note (promissory note) for the deficiency
  • the first lender approves the sale and waives the deficiency but the second lender will not approve the sale without having seller sign a promissory note (more than one loan, each must approve sale)
  • lenders reject offers - not as frequent in my experience
  • lender process a foreclosure while lender considers short sale offer [I have read of cases where the same lender has one office foreclose while another section thinks they are working on a short sale.  These lenders can be big bureaucracies.
  • others I have not listed I am sure.
Short sales are useful tools for avoiding foreclosure for those facing legitimate hardships. Call me directly to discuss short sales if you are in Brevard County, Florida.  I can be reached at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Monday, February 07, 2011

What is the difference between a townhouse and a condo?

Many home buyers confuse condos and townhomes although these are these two distinctly different forms of residential properties.  From the outside many townhouses look exactly like a condominium.  But the differences can be significant.

In a condo you own no land individually.  You own your unit from the interior walls. You own an interest in all the common area and property.

The condominium association usually provides a master insurance policy and the owner individually insures their personal belongings, interior unit, personal liability [talk with a licensed insurance professionall].  Additionally the association usually provides maintenance, electricity, taxes and upkeep for the common areas and property.  Your condo association dues are most likely higher than you would find in town home communities because of all these added services.

In a townhouse you own the land your unit sits on although the amount of land is likely minimal. You are responsible for your own exterior maintenance, roof, insurance, etc.

As a townhouse owner - you are largely responsible for it all - basically the same as a single family home owner!  I have seen some townhouse communities where the association takes care of the exterior paint and lawn care.

When considering a purchase in a condo or townhouse community obtain (and read) the rules and regulations.  Do not rely on a non-attorney (I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV.) to interpret these documents written by an attorney!

Obtain and review financial reports.  Attend association meetings if you can arrange to do so.  Contact members of the Board of DirectorsKnow before hand what you are buying into.

Understand what you will receive from your association as well as what your obligations will be financially. 

And once you purchase - become an active member!

If you are considering purchasing or selling a condo or townhouse in Suntree or Viera, Florida, give me a call directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.  


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Ventura at Turtle Creek – Gated Condo Living at Affordable (Competitive) Prices

Lately it seems The Ventura at Turtle Creek condo complex in Rockledge, Florida has more units on the market each month. What is going on with The Ventura at Turtle Creek?

As of today there are eleven units for sale in this gated condo complex bordering Rockledge's Turtle Creek Golf Course.

All of these units were built between 2006 and 2008 (latest hurricane codes), are concrete construction, located within four story buildings with elevators, and have either a one car garage or one car carport.

Of the eleven listings...
  • five have been on the market for less than two months. 
  • four of the listings are short sales (all three bedroom two bath, three have single car garage, one a  single car carport).
  • two are foreclosures - a two bedroom two bath unit and a three bedroom two bath unit).
  • prices range from a low of $94,900 (REO) to $168,000 (wishful thinking, sorry). 
With these attractive prices at the Ventura at Turtle Creek buyers looking for Florida condos need to consider these!

For information on condos for sale at Turtle Creek and Viera, send me an email or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Home Buyer Tip: Short Sales Are Not Fire Sales…

There is sometimes a misconception among home buyers that short sales are fire sales .....where the seller is expecting to receive deeply discounted offers.  Such is not the case.

Short sale buyers may get a slight discount but in a declining market the discount may be market price by lender approval time!

If you would like to read further about short sales and foreclosures, check these short articles I posted previously (click the links):

    * Difference between a short sale and a foreclosure
    * Is there such a thing as a perfect foreclosure?
    * REO and Foreclosures are not the same as short sales...

For information on homes for sale in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

If you are considering selling your Brevard County, Florida house or condo, I would welcome a chance to work with you.

Brevard County, Florida Short Sales, Foreclosures and Other Distressed Sellers–Real Estate is local!

Real estate is local.  Very local.  Generalizations about short sales and foreclosures lead some buyers to get all excited about the opportunities only to realize it just isn't the case in all parts of Brevard County!

The below numbers were gathered from the Brevarcounty snapshotd MLS this afternoon and are not warranted, guaranteed, or been auditedBut they do illustrate the local nature of real estate in Brevard County.

Brevard County is roughly about 75 miles, north to south, a sliver along central Florida's Atlantic coast, with the Indian River Lagoon separating much of the mainland from Merritt Island as well as the beach side communities.

Folks interested in buying a foreclosure or short sale in Brevard County can increase their chance of success by knowing where the opportunities are concentrated. 

The chance of finding a short sale or foreclosure at a greatly discounted price is increased if one looks to the south Brevard County area in and around Palm Bay where there are about 878 active listings of which 379 are short sales and 182 are bank ownedIn other words - 65% of all residential listings are distressed properties!

Contrast the Palm Bay market with the central Brevard areas of Viera, Suntree and Rockledge where there are 542 active listings of which 122 are short sales and 38 are foreclosures.  (Less than 30% distressed properties.)

Or along the beach side communities from Cape Canaveral southward along the oceanfront (about 20%) while about 45%  in the Cocoa-Canaveral Groves-West Cocoa areas.

Or even among the older demographic - 55+ communities where of the 265 active listings, only about 8% are distressed properties!

So when you here that there are lots of foreclosures in any given locale, remember it is still local - even within the county! 


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Viera Florida 55+ Community Home Sales October - December 2010 includes Heritage Isle, Indian River Colony Club (IRCC) and Grand Isle Subdivisions

During the last quarter of 2010 there were twenty-six single residential closings in Viera, Florida's three 55+ communities (Indian River Colony Club, Heritage Isle and Grand Isle).

As Grand Isle and Heritage Isle are newer and very similar, the sales data has been combined and IRCC handled separately.

In October 2010 Grand Isle and Heritage Isle had a combined eight residential units sold with a low selling price of $105,000 and a high of $250,000.  Both communities had four properties close.

November sales slowed a bit with five properties closing (one in Grand Isle, four in Heritage Isle).  The bottom selling price was $127,900 and $273,000 was the top price.

December sales were consistent with the previous two months as six properties closed (two in Grand Isle, four in Heritage  Isle).  The lowest sold price was $175,00 and the high price was $325,000. 
I would like to note that there are more properties in Heritage Isle than Grand Isle.  Thus, more listings and, naturally more sales.   Likewise. there is a lot of variation in these sold properties like size (1,406 sq ft to 2,400), bedroom count (2 to 4), garage size (1 car to 3 car),  as many of the homes are similar but not cookie cutter style.

During this last quarter there was a single condo that sold in Heritage Isle as well for $125,000.  These condos are all two bedroom two bath units.

Although Indian River Colony Club is a 55+ community in Viera it is different than the Grand Isle and Heritage Isle communities.  IRCC is an entirely resident owned complex (including 18 hole golf course) so its sales are reported separately.

There were seven residential sales in Indian River Colony Club during the last quarter of 2010.   Sales in IRCC ranged from a low of $79,900 to a high of $209,000.   Of the seven sales, December was the busiest month with four properties closing.

If you are considering 55+ communities in Florida take a look at what Viera has to offer.  As of today there are over 130 properties listed for sale in Viera's 55+ gated communities!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Brevard County Florida Residential Real Estate Market Summary – November 1, 2010 to January 31, 2011

Residential property sales in Brevard County, Florida for the three month period commencing November 1, 2010 and ending January 31, 2011.  Data extracted from Brevard MLS system as of Feb 1, 2011.

residential sales Nov10-Jan11

The average days on the market (from list date to accepted written offer) and average selling price have been fairly consistent for the past three months.  The list to sell ratio indicates that sellers are negotiating some although the list prices are reasonable when compared to selling price.   Sellers are learning that to sell a house in Brevard County in 2011 the list price must be competitive!

Since these sales numbers were captured on the first of February they will certainly increase as end of the month closings are entered into the system.

For information on homes for sale in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida, send me an email of 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.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Home Buyer Tip: Choose Your Real Estate Agent Not The Seller's Real Estate Agent!

This morning I received a call inquiring about one of our office listings. I told the caller what I knew about the property based on the listing information although I am not the listing agent.

The caller wanted to see the property so I, as always, asked if they had a real estate agent.  The response was  "No, but I do all the research and when I find something  I want to see I call the agent in the listing."

This is the wrong approach for a home buyer.

Since the seller pays for the buyer's real estate, why not get your own real estate agent?   Let your real estate agent do the research based on your requirements.  Have your real estate agent set up your showings.  Have your real estate agent work with you throughout the entire process.

Besides, in Florida the listing real estate agent represents the seller since there is no "dual agency" in Florida.  The listing agent represents the seller, first and foremost.

In this case I referred the caller to the agent in the office (already had their cell number).   I also explained that I do not work with folks who just see a house and call whoever is on the listing.

Maybe I missed a sale but......

I am committed to my clients and request they be as committed to me.

If you are looking for a buyer's agent in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me.

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