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Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 2011 Brevard Home Sales Look Up – Less Distressed Properties Sold

Nothing but rain in Brevard County, Florida today – the last day of March 2011.

So here is the early, early scoop on single family home sales for March in Brevard County.

As of this afternoon there have been 512 closings  for single family homes in Brevard County.  That is only seven below February’s 519 closings so it will certainly climb as closings are entered into the MLS system throughout the next week.

Another positive sign (hopefully it stands) is there were 79 short sales and 197 REO/foreclosures among the sold properties.  That represents only 53% of the sales which is better than February’s 59% of all sales being distressed properties.

Stay tuned  for updates..

Why I Don't Actively Seek Expired Listings in Viera, Rockledge, Florida

I had a telemarketer call me today wanting me to pay them to solicit expired listings in Viera, Rockledge and Melbourne, Florida for me.  After politely ending the conversation (after he tried his "killer line "you don't need any more listings?),  I realized it has been several years since I went about looking for expired listings.

Today is the last day of the month.  Already the Brevard MLS shows 91 listings expired as of midnight.  Many listing agents write listing agreements with an end of the month expiration date.

Listings expire for a reason.  It is for some of these reasons I no longer send out postcards, call or make overt pitches to get the expired listing.

What are some of the reasons listings expire? 

Price is what it is all about!  There is really not a lot to say here.  The buyer - not the seller or real estate agent - sets the price.  The seller decides whether or not the price is right.

Packaging a product to make it desirable is something sellers need to learn from the retailers of the world.  Sellers need to know who their likely buyer is and what they are looking for in a property.

Accessibility restrictions such as 24 hours notice, agent must accompany showings, etc. make it easier for buyers to just say "next."  I am not saying anyone at anytime but some flexibility, please. 

So if your Viera, Suntree (Melbourne) or Rockledge, Florida listing has expired - call me at 321-693-3850 or email me to discuss hiring me to sell your house.  There are some simple things to do that will get your house sold this time!

I did not say I did not take expired listings - only I did not call or do mailings!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Construction in Premier Viera 55+ Community Heritage Isle - No long wait, either!

When one thinks of new construction these days they think long waits.   That is because the scenery has changed since the days five years ago when builders were selling homes faster than they could build them in Brevard County, Florida!

If you are in the market for a 55+ gated community in Florida, then Heritage Isle offers re-sale single family homes as well as new construction! 

Currently 21 re-sale single family homes on the market with list prices from $159,900 to $449,000 including about seven short sales.

But if you would rather have new construction  I just saw a brochure advertising new construction Lennar Builders inventory homes in Heritage Isle priced from $186,845 to $199,990.   These new construction properties are 3/2/2, 4/2/2 and 4/3/2 floor plans (bedrooms/bathrooms/garage) with sq.ft. from 1,677 to 2.032 sq.ft. under air. 

For information on new construction or re-sale properties in Viera's Heritage Isle, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Home Seller Tip: When you are ready to sell, jump into the process with both feet!

How long is “too long?"  How does a seller know when a listing needs to be withdrawn?  

Sellers list homes to get exposure, get an offer and close a transaction. 

So why would a seller let a property just blend into the environment never to be noticed?  It happens.

Key point:  Buyers always ask how long a property has been on the market.


Because if it has been more than several months they begin to think overpriced or that kiss of death "what is wrong?"

Real estate agents and sellers must work together to manage the listing - either do all that is possible to attract a serious offer or remove it, even temporarily, from the market.

Sometimes a seller is just not motivated but the agent is content to leave their sign out front to capture leads from phone calls.

Sometimes sellers figure eventually someone will come along.
In the Brevard County Florida MLS there are over 325 single family homes that have been on the market more than 425 days.  To put this in perspective, these properties were listed before January 1, 2010.

When you are ready to sell, jump into the process with both feet - prepare the property to shine, price the property to attract, make access for showings convenient, and get it sold!

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge house or condo, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Why I write about so many Brevard County Neighborhoods ....

The Brevard County, Florida market has been slow for some time.   Every time you turn on the TV you hear about how badly the real estate market is nationally or in a particular state, region or County.

But the truth is, it is not bad everywhere!

I think we will see more and more neighborhoods (especially in some of the more desirable areas of Viera, Suntree and Rockledge like Heritage Isle. Fairway Lakes, Ravencliffe and Chelsea Park) getting busier as we approach summer.

Some neighborhoods are not being beaten down by foreclosures and short sales although the home prices are priced so much better than they were two years ago!  Yes, in many neighborhoods the glass is indeed half full!

So why do I write so many little posts about neighborhoods?

The real estate market is no more local than the neighborhood!

Rental Available in Gated 55+ Community, Grand Isle in Viera Florida - 3 bedroom 2 bath

Rental Available in 55+ Community, Grand Isle in Viera Florida - 3 bedroom 2 bath

Great 3 bedroom two bath two car garage single family house for rent in the exclusive gated Grand Isle community of Viera (Melbourne, Florida).

Pool, club house, fitness center, tennis, nearby golf course and more!  100_2200 Great location and only $1500 a month for 12 month lease.  Washer and dryer included!

Lawn maintenance included!

Owner will consider pets with $350 pet deposit! No smokers, please!

Immediate occupancy!  This is a 55+ community so proof of age eligibility must be provided to Association.

Call me at 321-693-3850 or  Email me for more information.

Location 1602 Keys Gate Drive, Melbourne, Florida 32940.

Home Seller Tip: Price Reductions – Either Meaningful or Meaningless?

Reviewing the Brevard MLS system this morning for new listings and price changes I  noticed the usual – more price reductions than new listings (about two to one).

There is nothing wrong with price changes.  Diminished listing activity or even heightened seller motivation can lead to price reductions.

Regardless of reason, when I notice price changes I look for significant (real) change.

Many times you will see where the price was reduced $100 just so it would show up in the system as a reduction or the agent can add "Reduced" to the MLS narrative!

Buyers (and buyer agents) understand what these tiny changes mean - seller not really motivated but needs to grab anyone's attention.

As a seller, when you decide the time is right to change your price, make it meaningful, not meaningless!

When you are ready to sell that Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, home call me at 321-693-3850 or email meLets discuss a meaningful list price from the start! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Home Seller Tip: Consult a Professional Even If Selling on Your Own (FSBO)

I spoke with a gentleman this week who was considering selling his house as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO).   He wanted a confirmation from me of the price his neighbor had given him.  Isn't it always the case where the neighbor knows it all? 

He had a few other questions which I gladly answered.

I am always willing to help a FSBO seller in the Rockledge and Viera area.  Who knows, they may need to call on me if they are unsuccessful.

(In 2010, fewer than 10 percent sold as a FSBO.)

As I always say - consult a professional!  Lawyer, CPA, Doctor, Realtor® - not your neighbor when you have the need (unless your neighbor is one of these!)

If you are a FSBO in Brevard County and have a question, drop me an email or give me a call.

I don't charge for advice!


Come view this home for Sale in Chelsea Park subdivision Rockledge Florida - Best Priced Home in Area - 467 Stonehenge Circle on Sunday March 27th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

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.

For a private showing call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Condos For Sale at Heritage Isle in Viera – 1 under contract (finally), 14 to go!

I am not sure why - can't be the prices - the condos at Heritage Isle, Viera, Florida's premier 55+ community, seem to be taking forever to sell!

I noticed this morning that one unit finally went under contract in February – 309 days after it was originally listed.   Hopefully it will close as the inventory of condos for sale in Heritage Isle does not really need to grow any more!

Presently there are fourteen condos listed for sale.  Of these, there are three short sales.  [If you are looking for a rental in Heritage Isle there are about six rental condos on the market priced from about $1,000 to $1,800 a month.]

Listing prices for the condos in Heritage Isle range from $99,950 to $139,900.   With seven of the active listings at Heritage Isle priced at or below $120,000, it is obvious the prices are going to stay down for a while.  [Is it coincidental the condo under contract was also listed at $120,000.]

All the condo units in  Heritage Isle condos are two bedroom with two baths and a detached covered carport.  The difference is square footage which varies from 1,194 to 1,408 square feet.

Although the prices are attractive, some of the buyer prospects I have spoken to recently have been a bit leery of the $450 monthly association fee.  The fee does cover insurance, exterior maintenance, the guarded entry, 21,000 sq.ft. club house, pool, tennis courts and much more!  [Association fees for the single family homes and patio style homes runs about $300 a month.]

For information on homes and condos for sale in Heritage Isle (or Grand IsleViera’s other Lennar built 55+ community – call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Home Seller Tip: Imagine if you were selling this car…

Imagine if you were trying to sell this car….

Boston Lobster House ORlando March 13 2011

Now imagine if that car was your house you were selling in Viera or Rockledge, Florida.

When your house is not clean, de-cluttered, depersonalized, or otherwise staged to sell, the situation is much the same.

Don't let prospective buyers be distracted and treat your house like a lobster! 

Preparing your house to show off its finest characteristics has its reward - a quicker sale at a higher price!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Negotiate with builders....Especially with New Homes Sales continuing to fall!

As the sales of new homes hit a new all time low in February 2011, it is a good time to remind buyers - negotiate with the builder if you want new construction!

I have heard  new home sales representatives quote how many thousands in upgrades "we will give you."  Keep in mind that these upgrade values are likely inflated when you negotiate.

I don't know of any builders in Viera, Rockledge, or Melbourne, Florida that  have a waiting list of folks with money in hand waiting for a chance to buy a house from them.

My advice - find yourself a good real estate agent to accompany you when you visit any builder model and be prepared to negotiate!

Remember the builder representative works for the builder, not the buyer!

Gary Waters, PLLC Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Call me if you are considering a home purchase in Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Melbourne, Florida.  I can be reached directly at 321-693-3850 or by email.

Has Anyone Seen My Disappearing Buyers?

First of all, I have not had any real buyers go missing in the past few weeks.  But there have been a couple through the years.

I remember Mr. and Mrs. Can’t Decide What I Want To Buy.  I showed them houses for several months and then you went to a For Sale By Owner on your own even though I could have represented you. Did you really save any money?

I remember the Navy Petty Officer who was relocating to Melbourne, Florida.  Being retired Navy myself I went way out of my way to accommodate him.  He went to a For Sale By Owner as well.

These two cases were about five years ago.  Experience will teach if one is willing to learn!

Recently I lost a prospect who called and apparently got offended because I asked too many questions. 

What kind of questions?  As a buyer you should expect to be asked questions.  Here is an example of what a buyer should expect. 

As a seller, expect to be asked questions as well. 

Why do I ask questions?....Because I have to...

When you are ready to work with a real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida expect questions because most of us work on a commission basis only.
Making sure a prospective client is ready (or almost ready), willing and able to buy is just smart business!

Besides, sellers want to know that the people touring their homes are real buyers!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Home Seller Tip: Do You Really Want Feedback

I read an article this morning that espoused the opinion that feedback regarding a home for sale is an outdated practice.     Although the frequency of usable feedback these days could lend a bit of credence to the position I am still not ready to accept the demise of feedback.

When I show homes for sale in Rockledge, Viera and the surrounding Brevard County areas I provide feedback when asked as a professional courtesy.  If the listing agent is interested (professional) enough to ask then I want them to know why the listing was not “the one.” 

Of course, there are multiple reasons a listing does not make the cut.  It could be something as benign as the real estate agent not having a clear enough picture of client “wants” or the clients not having a clear enough picture of their own wants, or the condition of the property or any of another thousand reasons!

As for my listings I always ask for and sometimes receive it.   When I do receive it, I pass it along.

The two truths I believe about feedback:
  1. Feedback is not a major marketing force unless there is no traffic (an indicator of price issues)
  2. Most important of all… “An offer. The Ultimate Feedback.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

FSBO, Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure, Short Sale, Buying and Selling Your Brevard County Home, 55+ Communities in Viera…..It is all covered here!

This blog has over 1,600 short articles so far.  Occasionally I go back through the archives and read some of the earlier posts.

One that caught my eye was posted three years ago this week titled “Hey, I am retired.”

It tells of a situation where I was unsuccessful in my efforts to market a Viera house. [I do not like failure but it happens to all at some point.]

This property had been a for sale by owner for some time when I took the listing.  Although the seller came down on his price we never got away from pricing in the rear view mirrordrop the prices after others had sold.

After the listing expired it became a FSBO again for awhile.  After a couple of years it was turned over to the lender in a transaction known as a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure: A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is a cancellation of your mortgage if you voluntarily transfer title of your property to your mortgage company. Usually you must try to sell your home for its fair market value for at least 90 days before a mortgage company will consider this option. A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure may not be an option if there are other liens on the property, such as second mortgages, judgments from creditors, or tax liens.

This post was not meant to chronicle any particular topic but rather to say if you are looking for information on Brevard County, Florida real estate, look here.  I have probably covered it in the past five years.

Real Estate is still "Location, Location, Location!"

In real estate the words "location, location, location" are frequently used to describe value.  Keep that in mind as you search for a new house or condo. 

After all, under all is the land.

In Brevard County, Florida many 3 bedroom/2 bath/2 car garage homes are basically the same, especially in this day of cookie cutter developments.

The price difference - location.  Golf course, water front, pond front, in planned unit developmnets like Viera or Suntree, gated communities, rural Palm Bay or Mims, or wherever! 

So when you already to buy that house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, know that you can get more house for the money at the geographical extremes Palm Bay (southern Brevard) and Titusville/Mims (northern Brevard).

Ready to buy or sell a house in Brevard County, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Are There Any Homes for Sale in Rockledge Florida on 1+ Acre Lots?

I received a call this morning from an out of state gentleman asking me about homes for sale in Rockledge, Florida.

Specifically, he wanted to know about the availability of homes on one+ acre lots.

There are about a dozen homes for sale in the Rockledge, Florida area that are located on one plus acre lots but they will come at a price.  As of today that price range is $267,000 to over a million dollars.

Just as the lot size is larger than the usual .25 acre or less home site, most of these homes are larger than the "usual" home with most being over 3,000 sq. ft. under air.

And the locations vary considerably within the 32955 zip code.  Some sit along the beautiful Indian River in Rockledge ($1M+, 6-7,000 sq.ft.).  Several are located within the gated community of Royal Lakes Estates which is close to everything but hidden from most!  At least one is in Viera’s Summer Lakes where there are plenty of luxury homes on large lots with great prices!

So if you are looking for a house with a little open space between you and the neighbor, Rockledge offers some great opportunities.

Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me for information on homes for sale in Rockledge, Florida.

Can You Be Too Focused When Buying a House?

Being focused is a good thing.

Being too focused can be a bad thing as well.

I remember once while driving for the first time in the mountains of North Carolina I was a bit nervous.  After all it was quite different than the flat sandy roads I had grown up on in Florida.

I was focused on every curve.  Fortunately, we ended up where we had intended although my attention was completely focused on staying on the roadway and not the progress or route.

When buying a house it is a great thing to find the property that fits your goal - price, size, age, condition, etc.

But what about the neighborhood?  The schools?  [Another great place to check schools] The crime rate? Any sexual predators in the neighborhood (especially if you have kids)?  Any vacant land nearby and its potential use? Financial status of the condo or homeowner association?

This is not an all inclusive list - make up your own based on what is important to you!

Remember when buying a house or condo you need to check out things outside of the walls and the property line!

When you are ready to focus on buying or selling that house in Viera, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Home buyer Tip – Mortgage Interest Rates, Down Payments, Mortgage Pre-Approval and more!

I just read an article by Preston Howard about how Higher Down Payments May Be the New Norm…Permanently. 

The article brings to light some interesting issues in the home mortgage market like in 2006 the average down payment was 4% and the new calls in Washington for higher minimum down payments. 

The major take away from this article should be simply if you are looking at purchasing a home talk with a knowledgeable mortgage lender early on in the process.

It is imperative you know if you can qualify for a loan,  what the upfront monies requirement will be and what your costs will be before you start looking.

By the way, there is a major difference between a mortgage pre-qualification and mortgage pre-approval.

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 Your Viera and Rockledge, Florida House: Clean Sends a Message to Home Buyers

Although the title includes "selling your Viera and Rockledge, Florida house," the message applies to anyone one interested in selling and getting the most money for their house or condo.

And that message is a simple one....

A clean home sends a signal to prospective buyers that your house is a well maintained home.  A clean, uncluttered home most likely indicates the overall condition is quite similar with no deferred maintenance issues that will be a surprise when the home inspector comes (as they always do).

Probably more sad - a well maintained home that is not clean will not get the respect it deserves!

Today's real estate market is a highly competitive environment and doing all you can to give you an advantage can result in selling your home while the house down the street just sits!

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

I may not be the Brevard County, Florida real estate agent but you will never know unless we get together!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Home Seller Tip: If I Could Only Go Back...Short Sales

If I could only go back... Who has not entertained the thought at one time or another?  It is probably a question that has crossed the minds of most more than once.

Several years ago the real estate market was out of control.  There were those who were buying and flipping properties and appeared to be making money hand over fist.  There were those who purchased homes thinking that if they did not purchase now then how would they ever be able to afford to buy in the future.  There were those who were cashing out on the “investment” profits of their home and paying cash for properties.

Now, five or six years later the houses are worth half what they paid.  The “profits” are gone.

Someone said to me a few weeks ago “if you are in your house, like your neighborhood, plan on staying for another 10-20 years, what is the worry?”  I agree.

But what if you are facing a real hardship such as a loss of income, a death in the family, a lower paying job, a transfer due to employment that impacts your ability to meet your mortgage obligations?  What if a loan modification is still not the answer?

Then the answer may be a short sale.  Read this article for information on "what is a short sale?"

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Brevard County Florida Census Data Reveals No Surprises (To Me)

I just read a couple of articles in this morning’s Florida Today newspaper regarding the latest census data.  As a real estate agent in Brevard County for the past eight years (and resident almost 15 years) nothing in the numbers surprised me.
  • Viera/Suntree grew the fastest (up 81%)
  • Palm Bay is the most populated city followed by Melbourne
  • One third of the County’s 543,000+ population resides in Palm Bay or Melbourne
  • Several beach side cities saw their population shrink (Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic)
  • Hispanic population of Brevard County doubled in 10 years
The data supports why most folks considering a move to Brevard County, Florida choose the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge areas to purchase their new house or condo!

Whether gated golf course communities like Fairway Lakes at Viera and Wyndham at Duran or the 55+ communities of Heritage Isle and Grand Isle, the choices are plentiful!

When you are ready to move to Brevard County, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me for information on homes for sale in Brevard County!

Home Seller Tip: Pricing High, Reducing Later Does Not Work

How do I react when I see a new listing that is obviously overpriced?

My response is probably not too different from any other agent or buyer who knows the Brevard County, Florida real estate market - its quickly crossed off "the list."

Of course a buyer's agent who knows the market will likely prevent any prospect from ever seeing your home if it is not at least in the ballpark!  

I have never met a buyer who said "Hey, when you show me houses show me anything - even the overpriced ones."

This is not a seller's market.  Sellers must compete with short sales, foreclosures as well as other "regular" properties (65% of the listings in Rockledge, Viera and Suntree)!

In 2011 buyers have lots of choices - including new construction opportunities.

Make your home the buyer's first choice by pricing it right!

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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Home Seller Tip: Even I know this is wrong....

All those weekend home improvement TV programs occasionally result in a "do-it-yourself" project gone bad!   Sometimes in the real estate business we find homeowners that have crossed the line.

This video was brought to my attention by my friend, San Diego property inspector Russel Ray.

If you are considering selling your home and you have anything like this in your home, get it fixed.  Better yet, even if you are not selling get it fixed!

EMBED-Worst Automatic Garage Door Opener Installation Ever - Watch more free videos

When you are ready to sell your Viera and Rockledge, Florida home, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me to discuss how I can help you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Foreclosures, Short Sales Dominate Real Estate Sales in Zip Code 32955 – Rockledge and Viera, Florida

Within the Rockledge, Florida and Viera areas included in the 32955 zip code there are currently 251 active residential proeprties listed for sale.

Of these homes for sale there are only 15 active foreclosure (bank owned) single family homes which is really not a significant share of the active listings in Rockledge.

Add the 64 short sale listings in the 32955 area and you find these “distressed properties” represents only about 32% of all the active properties.

However, when one looks at what has sold (single family residential 02/01/11 through 03/15/11) in Rockledge you will almost half (47%) of all properties selling are short sales or foreclosures. 

Interestingly 27 of the homes sold during that period (53%) were built between 2005 and 2011.  What does all this tell sellers?

If you are considering selling your Rockledge, Florida home call me directly at 321-693-3850 to discuss how I can work for you!  If you prefer, email me.

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

Home buyers need to understand - they are not always in control! [What is a short sale?]

 Sure it is a buyer’s market in Brevard County, Florida.  And a buyer’s market does mean there are many more sellers and fewer buyers.

But still, as a buyer – if it is a short sale , you aren’t in control!

Basically there are three types of properties on the market in Brevard County, Florida:
  1. Standard (fair market) sales
  2. Foreclosures (Also called REO, Bank owned)
  3. Short sales
What is a short sale?  Basically it is a situation where the home owner is selling for less than the mortgage money owed.  With short sales sometimes it seems as if you are buying in a sellers market.

As for property condition, it is true you get what you pay for as here is most often a big difference in the condition of a foreclosed property and a short sale.

Not every buyer should consider a short sale purchase.  If you are considering short sales please read “What makes a good short sale buyer.”

So, why is a buyer not in control of a short sale?  Bank negotiations take time and I have yet to hear of a bank negotiator who put a premium on a buyer's schedule!

If you are considering buying or selling a short sale in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Home Seller Tip: No Showings, Some Showings, Multiple Showings…What it all means!

I have written several posts regarding the interpretation of feedback such as “What a second showing really means” and “Listening to your house.”

Presently I have a home listed that has had several showings to the same buyer prospect.  Let's see... Husband and wife, husband and wife and mother, husband and wife and father, etc.

I am not quite sure how to interpret the multiple visits although my tendency is to think it is a good thing.  I am not sure how their real estate agent interprets it either although I will be on the phone with the agent again today.

Sometimes it takes a bit of time for a buyer to get off the fence.  Lets hope these folks don’t sit on the fence while another buyer comes along. Although from my client's perspective it would not matter as a buyer is a buyer!

One thing I have learned about the Rockledge and Viera, Florida real estate market is if a house is priced right  it will be gone – even in a buyer’s market!

Considering buying or selling your Rockledge and Viera Florida house?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me to find out how I can help.

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.

Read my blogs Florida Homes for Sale Moving to Brevard County, Florida, and  Brevard County Florida Real Estate Information.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Summer Lakes in Viera–Now that the foreclosures have sold what is left and is it a good deal?

Summer Lakes, the luxury gated community in Viera, Florida, offers homeowners gated luxury living in one of central Florida’s best locations and the price of owning a Viera luxury home has never been better!

Currently there are six properties listed for sale in Summer Lakes with prices ranging from $789,000 to $1,695,000. These homes are large – 3,100 to 7,300 sq. ft. under air!

All the homes on the market in Summer Lakes at this time are standard sales although all the recent sales have been bank owned (foreclosure) homes.

Still, even as standard market sales, the opportunity to own a luxury home in Viera has never been more attractive!

There were three bank owned properties in Summer Lakes that have sold since mid-February. One of these, 5,496 sq.ft. with a pool sold for $594,000.

Another Summer Lake home at 3012 Bellwind Circle sold for $756,672 – 8,071 sq.ft. (five bedrooms, 7 baths, 3 half baths, 4-car garage, pool).  A third property located at 3212 Bellwind Circle recently sold for $775,000 ( 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2 half baths, 3-car garage).

For information on homes for sale in Viera’s luxury communities of Wyndham at Duran, Fairway Lakes at Viera, Ravencliffe and Charolais Estates, give me a call directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Why this Chelsea Park Home is the Best Home For Sale in Chelsea Park Subdivision in Rockledge, Florida."

This 2001 built home located in Rockledge, Florida's Chelsea Park subdivision is the best choice for buyers looking for a home in Chelsea Park.

Why should 467 Stonehenge Circle in Rockledge be on your "must see" list if you are looking for a new home in Rockledge, Florida?
  1. It is in absolutely move-in ready condition - not in the needs work condition of most foreclosures.! 
  2. This is a standard sale  so there is no waiting around for lender approval as in a short sale. 
  3. It is priced better than even the smaller short sales in the Chelsea Park - only $219,000!
  4. Location in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Rockledge in a very quiet subdivision within a mile of grocery stores, restaurants, post office, golf courses, great schools and more! 
  5. Spacious living area with almost 3,200 sq. ft. under air. 
  6. Five bedrooms (possible 6th), three baths, and over 3,100 sq ft under air, there is plenty of room for even the largest of family! 
  7. The workshop/hobby room just off the media room features a custom built in workbench with wooden cabinets and drawers. 
  8. The water view overlooking the pond from your screened, custom tiled lanai! 
  9. Larger lots - not zero lot line like many newer developments.
  10.  Motivated, yet realistic sellers!

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.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Home Seller Tip: Feedback on your house....

Getting feedback from buyer prospects viewing your home can be a challenge.  My experience has been sellers get, if they are lucky, feedback from about half the folks who see their property.

Sometimes the feedback is useful.  Many times it is just generic without specific comment.

If you are receiving plenty of showings and the feedback indicates (1)  real interest, (2)  prospects believe price appropriate for market [within negotiation range], and (3)  its still a consideration then I would be optimistic.

Because a buyer will love your home and make an offer very soon.

If your house has been on the market for a relatively short time and the traffic is steady, then you are still within what I call the golden period  and my 30-10-2 rule does not apply!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Carriage Park Condos for sale in Suntree (Melbourne, Florida) - Pricing is not always "apples to apples"

As a real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida I have some “favorite” subdivisions and condo complexes.

No, I do not steer any buyers toward these although perhaps I do write more about them like Fairway Lakes in Viera, Ravencliffe in Viera, Chelsea Park in Rockledge, for example.

As I was reviewing recent activity in the gated Suntree condo complex Carriage Park I noticed a sale in February for $80,000!  This ground floor 1,376 sq. ft. unit had a single car garage and was bank owned.

Then I noticed two active listings for the same size unit – both standard sales – both listed for $129,900.

I understand a foreclosure is usually not in the same condition as a standard sale but is there a 49,900 difference?

When setting a list price its not always "apples to apples" [standard sale to standard sale] but rather "apples to oranges" [standard sale to distressed sale]. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

I know the offer is low but….

As a seller’s real estate agent I always know how the title sentence will end…

“….I did the comps!”

As a seller’s agent in Rockledge and Viera, Florida I can assure you I know the comps.  When working as a buyer's agent in Rockledge and Viera I do the comps (comparables) as well.

I can understand why your buyer would like that house.  After all, it is move in ready.

And your buyer may still get that house when you re-do the comps!

A buyer's market does not mean buyers are so desperate to sell they will entertain any offer.

Not even short sale sellers are willing to accept any offer.

Even in baseball very little ever gets accomplished with low balls!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ravencliffe Subdivision in Viera - Luxury homes for sale in Viera, Florida

A couple of days ago I posted a short article on some of the luxury gated communities in Viera, Florida including Wyndham at Duran, Fairway Lakes at Viera and the Charolais Estates community.

Another gated community offering luxury, custom built homes in Viera is the Ravencliffe community.

There are presently four homes on the market in Ravencliffe priced between $432,000 and $549,000.

These 2005-2007 built homes are all between 2,600 and 3,300 sq.ft. under air an d have either 2 or 3 car attached garages.  One of the noticeable differences between these homes and the Fairway Lakes at Viera and Charolais Estate developments is Ravencliffe homes have asphalt shingles instead of tile.

There are three homes in Ravencliffe under contract are priced from $300,000 to $357,273.  These homes are smaller than the other active listings.

I stand by that recommendation today as well.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Questions to Expect When You Call a Real Estate Agent for the First Time

This is not an all inclusive list of questions however, if you are a first time home buyer or have been out of the market for a while, these may help you prepare for the questions your real estate agent will want to know early on in the home buying process.

The questions  will provide the answers which are key to your real estate agent knowing how to best assist you in the buying process.  [These are presented in no particular order.]
  • What are you looking for? [condo, single family, 55+ community, golf course, beach front, gated – nothing specific yet.]
  • Will this be your primary residence or a second home? [Is this an investment property, holiday/vacation home only used in winter, primary home, etc.]
  • Are you familiar with the area? [Brevard County, Florida is about 75 miles north to south. Each area has its own price ranges, offerings, etc.]
  • What is your price range? [Key factor although if one is not aware of the local market it may be a bit difficult to answer precisely so a ball park.]
  • Have you arranged for a mortgage pre-approval or have proof of funds if it will be a cash transaction? [The ability to purchase is critical.  No one wants to find the perfect house only to not be able to purchase it.]
  • What is your time frame? [Short sales may be a consideration if your schedule is flexible. If it is a job transfer then time may be critical.]
  • Are you working with another real estate agent? [This is key as you can be best served by using one real estate agent.]
  • Are you familiar with the home buying process?  [It is important to know your knowledge level.]
The above questions are not the “detail questions” that will be asked later to help your real estate agent identify the specific homes, neighborhoods, and amenities you are looking for in a home.  Those questions will come after the initial, but necessary,  “get to know each other” questions outlined above.

The home buying process can be stressful.  You will likely spend a lot of time with a real estate agent. Open, forthright communication is the best approach to successfully finding your new home.  And it starts with the initial questions.

If you are considering purchasing a home 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

Monday, March 07, 2011

Golf Course Community or Not? Which do you choose in Viera Florida? Fairway Lakes at Viera, Charolais Estates, or Wyndham at Duran

Viera, Florida offers home buyers many choices of homes in prices ranging from the low $100s to $1.5 million.  These properties include 55+ communities, gated golf course communities, townhomes, large single family homes and condos - something for everyone.

Among the higher priced communities are Charolais Estates, Fairway Lakes at Viera and Wyndham at Duran

All three of these gated communities feature homes with tile roofs, large lots, and newer construction (from 2006 to 2011).  The major difference in all of these is proximity to golf courses as Charolais Estates is s couple of miles from three golf course (Duran Golf Club, Viera East Golf Course, and Turtle Creek Golf Course).

Below is a quick market summary of these three gated Viera communities through the beginning of March 2011.

Charolais Estates presently has  three homes on the market.  These homes are all large (2,600  to 4,500 sq. ft)., have tile roofs, large lots, and are recent construction (2006-2008).  There are two short sales under contact as well that are listed at $535,000 and $619,900. 

While the Charolais Estates homes are attractively prices buyers looking in this price range should also consider Fairway Lakes at Viera and Wyndham at Duran.

Fairway Lakes at Viera homes were initially built by Toll Brothers and current construction is being offered by Christopher Burton Homes, Viera Builders, Arthur Rutenburg Homes and Joyal Builders.

Currently there are six active listings in Fairway Lakes priced form $449,000 to $688,000.  Two homes sold in Fairway Lakes during February 2011.  Fairway Lakes homes are, much like Charolais Estates, located on larger lots, have tile roofs, and were constructed recently (2006 to 2011).  Some Fairway Lakes homes are direct fairway while others are on lakes.  Square footage for these Fairway Lakes homes range from about 2,800 sq.ft. to about 4,100 sq.ft. with either two or three car garages.

Wyndham at Duran offers homes that are large (about 4,000 to 6,000 sq.ft.) with  3 or 4 car garages located on .3 to .4 acre lots.

There are currently 11 homes on the market in Wyndham at Duran.   The listed  homes are 3,200 to 5,900 sq. ft. and offer luxurious, executive living in one of Brevard County's most desirable locations.  There are four short sales in Wyndham at Duran priced from $599,000 to $799,000.

Wyndham at Duran homes are for the most part higher priced than the other developments with six of the current listings priced from $999,900 to $1,500,000.

For buyers looking in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 price range all three of these developments offer attractive choices.

For information on homes for sale in Wyndham at Duran, Fairway Lakes at Viera and Charolais Estates, please call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Home Buyer Tip: How Much Do You Offer For the House?

Occasionally a buyer will run into a house that is priced very attractively, much better than any of the competition.

The listing real estate agent knows that an offer - a good offer will come soon.

The buyer’s real estate agent knows that an offer - a good offer will come soon.

What does a real estate agent say when the client asks, “How much should we offer?”

First of all, how well does the buyer like the house? 
  • Do they “love” the house, the neighborhood, the surrounding community, everything about it?  
  • Do they like it OK but not overly enthused and would be just as happy with another property?
Regardless of the answer to the above, the best response will always be the same…   
  Make an offer you can live with, win or lose.

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

Sunday, March 06, 2011

February 2011 Real Estate Activity in Suntree, Viera and Rockledge, Florida - Zip Codes 32955 and 32940

In central Brevard County, Florida there is not always a clear dividing line between Rockledge, Viera, and Suntree (north Melbourne).  This report for real estate activity during February 2011 has been separated by zip code.

[Zip code 32955 represents Rockledge and parts of Viera.  Zip code 32040 represents parts of Viera as well as Suntree.]

For zip code 32955:
  • Active Residential Listings: 265 
  • Active Residential Short Sale Listings:  65 
  • Active  Residential Foreclosure/ REO Listings:  17
  • Total Residential Units Sold in February:  37 
  • February Sold Residential Short Sales: 4  
  • February Sold Residential REO/Foreclosures:  13 
  • Average Days on Market (list date to contract date):  96  
  • Average Selling Price:  $181,491  
  • Average Listing Price:  $199,094
For Zip Code 32940
  • Active Residential Listings: 325  
  • Active Residential Short Sale Listings:  55 
  • Active Residential REO/Foreclosure Listings:  18 
  • Total Residential Units Sold in February 2011 : 31 
  • February Sold Residential Short Sales: 4  
  • February Sold Residential REO/Foreclosures:  
  • Average Days on Market:  140 
  • Average Selling Price:  $212,526  
  • Average Listing Price:  $222,545
For information on homes for sale in Suntree, Rockledge, and Viera, Florida call me directly at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Turtle Creek Golf Course Homes and Condos For Sale in Rockledge Florida

Turtle Creek Golf Course in Rockledge, Florida is one of the many choices for golfers in Brevard County (about 35 total courses).   If your desire is to live next to a central Florida golf course, the area around Turtle Creek Golf Course should be considered as it offers condo living as well as single family homes on the golf course.

The Turtle Creek Golf Course area is location that can’t be beat!  Near excellent schools, shopping, major transportation routes (40 minutes to Orlando), and still close to the beaches!

The Augusta Trace at Turtle Creek development offers single family homes priced from $259,900 to $399,999.  There are currently five homes on the market.  These homes are all larger (2-3,000 sq ft) homes with 3 car garages and tile roofs.  Some have private pools, water front lots and all were built 2004 and 2005.

Folks are looking at the Augusta Trace offerings as two homes went under contract in February – both priced under $300,000.

If condo living is more appealing then take a look at The Ventura at Turtle Creek condos bordering the course.  This gated condo community offers a community pool, fitness room, walking paths and more for its residents.

The Ventura at Turtle Creek condos were built in 2006-2008 by Pulte Builders and offer two and three bedroom condos in four different 4-story buildings.  All units come with either a detached single car garage or single car carport with utility storage.

Currently there are six units listed for sale at The Ventura at Turtle Creek with prices ranging from $84,900 to $129,700 – very attractive prices.  There is at least one foreclosure listing as well as three short sales.  One unit did close in February – 1626 Peregrine Circle Unit 108, a 3/2 with 1,247 sq ft that sold for $109,000.

There are several other excellent developments nearby including Chelsea Park, Phillips Landing, Three Meadows, Enclave and more!

For information on homes for sale in the Turtle Creek Golf Course area, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Indigo Crossing in Viera – Distressed Properties Dominate Market in March 2011

Indigo Crossing in Viera (Brevard County, Florida) continues to reflect much of what is going on throughout Florida – distressed properties dominate the market.  As a "group," short sales and foreclosures (bank owned, REO) properties are referred to frequently as distressed properties.

Since January 1, 2011, there have been 1,030 single family residences sold in Brevard County.  Of these sales  fifty-four percent (559) were short sales or foreclosures. 

Currently there are three active listings in Indigo Crossingall short sales.  There are also two short sales under contract awaiting lender approval.

Two Indigo Crossing  properties have sold since February1st – both 1,900+ sq ft 4 bedroom homes – one a foreclosure ($160,000), the other a short sale ($150,000). [I was the seller’s real estate agent on the short sale.]

For information on homes for sale in Viera, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email meIf you are considering a short sale, please contact me to discuss how I can work for you.

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

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