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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Buyers Market, Bidding Wars and Getting Sucked In! It's an emotional minefield....

It is a buyer's market. Buyers think your house is worth less than the listing price.  It is a buyer's market and sellers think their real estate agent has listed their house for much less than it is worth.  It is an emotional minefield!

A word of caution to buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida.
 Do not get drawn into the emotional aspects of the purchase process.  Buyers need to decide up front what a house is worth - period without the emotion of a bidding war. 

Lessen the stress of the process of the home buying and selling by proceeding with a solid orderly plan with the first two steps being (1) get your own real estate agent and (2) get your mortgage pre-approval in place.

A few articles that may be of help to the buyers and sellers include topics like these.

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

Coming to Brevard County this Wednesday morning at 2:35 a.m., one of the rarest of events….

This Wednesday morning, June 1st, at 2:35 a.m. the space shuttle Endeavour will land at Kennedy Space Center for the very last time.

Sitting on the launch pad will be the space shuttle Atlantis as it awaits the July 8 final ever space shuttle launch (the 135th mission) – the end of an era at Kennedy Space Center and for the United States space program!

Just in case folks don’t realize it…this is tonight.  I know yesterday was a holiday but you better get up early or stay up for this historical event!

Monday, May 30, 2011

how many sellers in Brevard County, Florida really expect to receive a full price offer?

I just read an article on the Internet by Kansas City Realtor® Stacy Johnson-Cosby  questioning whether a home seller would be offended by a less than full price offer.

This got me to wondering just how many sellers in Brevard County, Florida really expect to receive a full price offer.

In Brevard County, Florida, sellers are routinely getting an average of about 93% to 95% of their asking prices for single family homes.  In the Viera, Rockledge and Suntree areas, so far this month (May 30), the average selling price is 95% of list price in Viera, Rockledge and Suntree which pretty reasonable!
 
I just closed a home in Rockledge for full list price.  The reason? Priced very appropriate for the market. Still, my sellers were likely prepared for the reality - most offer less.

So does it disappoint a seller to not receive full price?  For sure but most are realistic and expect to negotiate!

When you are ready to buy or sell your Viera, Rockledge or Suntree home, call me directly at 321-693-3850 (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, May 29, 2011

Selling Your Viera Home - Its more than bells and whistles...

Recently I revised my “listing presentation.”   I must admit the original version was so "canned!"

My new version is much more personalized and individualized.  And it has been successful in obtaining listings from sellers looking to sell their Viera and Rockledge, Florida home.

If you are ready to find a real estate agent to market and sell your Viera home, here is my approach.

I will do the expected things like prepare a package that includes a comparative market analysis ( a "price right analysis").  I will include a summary of my marketing approach which highlights the most effective real estate marketing method (the Internet, the place buyers start!).  We will discuss other marketing methods including print media and open houses. 

We will discuss your time table, what you are looking for in your real estate agent.  We will discuss any issues of concern to you

No bells and whistles, here.. as a seller, it is all about you and getting your home sold!

And, if you still want bells and whistles, I can show you a slide presentation…..

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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

To sell your home requires a willingness…

Selling your Brevard County, Florida home, especially is areas like Viera and Rockledge with continuous new construction, requires a selling be willing to…
  1. accept the market for what it is - a buyer’s market
  2. accept the price is set by the market - not you or your Realtor®
  3. accept the competition - includes distressed properties, especially short sales
  4. accept selling requires work - Setting yourself apart, attracting the buyer's attention and keeping it
When you are ready to to sell your Viera home, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.  If you list your home for me and don't think I am doing the job - fire me! No cancellation fee or penalty!


    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Selling Your Brevard County Home - The Most Critical Issue

    When you are ready to sell your Viera or Rockledge, Florida home, the most critical issue (of the many!) is getting the price right from the start.

    I underlined from the start above because the end result is much different than getting the price right two months later after multiple price reductions!

    The initial process to recommend a price is the comparative market analysis ( a "price right analysis").

    Within this process I look at several characteristics and factors. It is here where local market (your neighborhood, city, etc.) knowledge is critical to applying these characteristics.

    Some of theses include:
    • Living area:  The square footage under air conditioning is what we customarily use here in Florida. Other locales may use the total square footage under the roof.
    • Total square footage:  Total area under the roof.
    • Age:  As close as possible match the construction year.
    • Type of construction:  Concrete/concrete block is more desirable in Florida than a frame (wood) construction.
    • Roof materials:  Whether the roof is asphalt shingle or tile (terracotta) is a factor as tile is usually more desirable and expensive.
    • Garages: The existence of a garage and the capacity (1, 2 or more cars).
    • Community characteristics: Is it a gated community, has a home owner's association, community amenities such as pool, playground, etc.
    • Location: This is one of the most important factors.  Of all the characteristics this one can not be changed!
    • Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms:  Common sense says that the more rooms, likely the greater value.
    • School quality:  Although you may not have school age children, the quality of the local schools impacts your home's current and future value. People want a good school district when they buy.
    • General condition:  Often there are maintenance issues that have been neglected. Any needed repairs or maintenance must be considered.
    • Competitive listings.  Fair market sales, short sales and foreclosure properties must be considered.  That is the reality of the current market.
    Outside of the numbers we must consider your time table, whether the sale will be a standard sale or a short sale, and any issues of concern to you.

    Setting your list price does not involve any marketing bells and whistles..... as a seller, it is all about you and getting your home sold and getting the price right initially is the most critical issue.


    Call me directly at 321-693-3850 when you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge Florida home! Or email me if you prefer!

    Chelsea Park in Rockledge, Florida – Another Attractively Priced Home for Sale!

    It was only a few weeks ago that my listing at 467 Stonehenge Circle in Chelsea Park sold.  And just this morning I received another email inquiry from someone wanting to purchase a home in Chelsea Park in Rockledge.
    BARRYMORE DRIVE 
    Well, here it is…another attractively priced home for sale in Chelsea Park. 

    And this one will not last long either!

    Priced at only $199,900, this 2003 built four bedroom three bath home located at 292 Barrymore Drive has 2,800 square feet under air and a three car garage!

    Location is excellent as it backs to a preserve, is close to everything including golf, shopping, great schools and more!

    Best of all this is not a short sale!

    If a Chelsea Park home is what you are looking for, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    As we approach Memorial Day, Do Home Buyers Still Have the Advantage in Brevard County, Florida?

    Back on May 16, 2006 I wrote “As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, buyers continue to maintain the advantage in this market.”  How much longer will buyer’s have the advantage?

    On February 27, 2007 I wrote that although it continues to be a buyer’s market in Brevard County, Florida, the inventory remains steady at 7300+ active listings for single family homes.    Today, May 25,2011 there are 3,540 – almost half the inventory four years ago.

    Even with the declining inventory, good deals remain.   If your goal is to locate a property at a reasonable price, then perhaps this is a good time to use your buyer's advantage.

    If you are considering moving up, then perhaps it is the time to sell your home and take advantage of the market. Sure you may sell for less but you will also buy more house with the depressed prices!

    Where is the market heading? Popular wisdom says prices will _____?  I don't know the answer - nor does anyone else!

    Is this the best time to buy your new Viera, Florida home? There is no one best answer to that question that fits all. The answer depends on your circumstances.

    Is this the best time to sell your Viera home? Again, your circumstances will dictate your response.

    But if the time to buy or sell in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida is now, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida, please feel free to contact me directly.
    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 home without using the MLS to manipulate buyers.

    Real estate agents do lots of things to bring attention to their listings.  After all, sellers hire a Viera Realtor® (or any other place) to market their home - successfully!

    If your Viera home is not selling  I recommend you take a serious look at your home's list price, condition (including curb appeal), and how accessible it is for showings.

    Some of the techniques I do not recommend:
    1. Withdraw your listing and then re-enter it to make it show up as a new listing.  This may give the impression the listing is new but a buyer's agent can determine the listing history anyway - thus the buyers know!
    2. Change the price but not change the price so it shows up as a change. This is a sign that someone is grasping for anything!
    3. Make a minimal incremental change in the price like $100 on a $300,000 home. Real change indicates real motivation.
    4. Play switch-eroo with the price - reduce $100 today, raise $100 tomorrow so it shows up as a change!
    Marketing your Brevard County home can take many forms but the reality is....PRICE is the only thing that ensures your home will sell.

    When you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850.  Let me show you how I can work for you!  Email me, if you prefer!

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Academy Dell’Arte - Arts Education In Brevard County, Florida

    I stumbled onto an interesting connection on Twitter, ADELLAAcademy Dell’Arte – Arts Education In Brevard County.

    Apparently this is a public college preparatory school for the performing arts opening in Brevard County, Florida in the fall 2011. 

    Its location, site not yet identified, will be in the Eau Gallie Arts District of Melbourne, Florida.

    ADELLA will be admitting 7th, 8th and 9th grade students for the 2011/2012 school year.  The two lower grades will require an application and are subject to a lottery in the event the number applying exceeds the openings.

    Ninth grade students will be required to submit an application and participate in an audition or portfolio submission process.

    This sounds like a great opportunity for Brevard County, Florida students with an interest in theater performance, fine art, music (instrumental and vocal) and dance.

    For information on Academy Dell’Arte, visit their website.  Please follow me on Twitter!

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Brevard County Florida Real Estate Market Inventory: Changes from November 2010 to May 2011


    So what is happening in the Brevard County real estate market as summer 2011 approaches? 

    Take a look at the current active inventory as extracted from the Brevard MLS system on May 23, 2011:


    Now compare the May 2011 inventory to those I reported in a post on this blog back on November 15, 2010:

    Amazing the changes here!  Residential listing inventory down just over 1,409.  This is good news for those who are ready to sell their home. Condo inventory down 250 well.  Same for townhouse inventory which is down 90.
     
    Every property category has gone down over the past six months! 

    BREVARD MLS INVENTORY NOVEMBER 15 2010

    When you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 and see how I can work for you!

    When Selling Your Home, Leave Some Furniture, Please!

    I am not suggesting you leave your new top of the line digital television and custom speakers although I am sure your buyers would not mind a housewarming gift!

    No, what I am suggesting is, if you are going to sell a house or condo you are not living in, don't remove all the furniture and contents. 

    If you are going to be living in your home as it is marketed, remove excess furnishings.  Too much furniture can make any room appear smaller!

    You want to see some photographic examples of before and after professional staging?

    Take a look at these by Atlanta Georgia professional home stager Kathy Nielsen.  Amazing transformations are not necessarily major expenditures either!

    Murrieta California's Janice Sutton offers some amazing examples as well of before  and after pictures.

    Dianna Young of Edmonds, Washington encourages us to sell a lifestyle, not just a condo!

    One does not have to look very hard to find examples of dramatic changes staging brings to an empty house.  Call one of your local home staging professionals.  Ask them about a free consultation, if offered.

    I am not a home stager nor do I pretend to be one. I believe you will find many real estate agents who know how to market a house and a lot less about staging one!

    There are several very capable home staging professionals in Brevard County, Florida.  One I  feel very comfortable recommending is Nora Marek at Melbourne Home Staging, LLC.  Give Nora Marek a call at 321-795-8761 to discuss how she can help get your home ready to sell!

    It is a very competitive market and sellers must do all they can to stand out from the rest - staging is key!

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Home Seller Tip: Your home may have the "For Sale" sign out front but ......

    I was showing houses yesterday to an out of state buyer who had little knowledge of the Rockledge, Florida area but had a price range in mind.

    Her price range was in the lower end of the market.  The homes in her price range were not in pristine condition.

    And even if they were in good condition, she would have balked.  Why?

    The neighborhoods.

    In my experience her response to the neighborhoods was not uncommon - regardless of price range.

    If you are selling your Brevard County, Florida home your neighborhood is as much a part of your house as anything! 

    The reality is real estate is still location, location, location!

    Remember this when you are buying because one day you may just be selling!


    In 9 days it will be…..Hurricane Season!

    Looking at Buzz Lightyear Toy Story calendar on my wall I noticed the end of May coming quickly and with it the arrival of hurricane season.

    Hurricanes and storms are just one of the minor irritations about living in Florida.  I like to remind tell folks buying a home in Florida "You can run from a hurricane but not the snow, ice and cold!"


    Running from June 1 through November 30, those of us in Florida need to take the time now get ready.

    I saw earlier this week the expert projections for storm count had been released.  I am not sure how they do it or how accurate the predictions but I do know, prepare now before anything rears its ugly head!

    There are plenty of web sites that will provide advice on what to do.  Here in Brevard County, Florida, take a look at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) web site for suggestions.  If you are into social media, follow the Brevard EOC on Twitter.

    There are common sense things to do when preparing like:
    1. Stock up on non-perishable foods and bottled water,
    2. Keep vehicle topped off with gas,
    3. Have tarps available to cover roof just in case,
    4. Have shutters (or plywood available),
    5. Remember your pet’s needs.
    There are many other things that can be done like remember to check on your neighbors, especially those with disabilities, illness, elderly, and the like.

    Be ready as it is no fun to wait and get caught up in pre-storm hysteriawhich always happens!

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Higher energy costs: Influencing Buyer (and Seller) Behavior

    I just read an article that reported buyers are changing their buying habits because of the price of gas.   I am sure that is the case in many of the major metro areas where commuters have traditionally taken the long trek daily into the cities.

    Such is really not the case in Brevard County, Florida – the long trek, that is.

    Although I know a few folks who commute to/from Orlando (40 miles or so) daily, most folks here can easily choose to live within a few miles (or 15 at most) of their workplace.

    Many of my clients are looking in the areas of Rockledge, Suntree and Viera for their new home, especially folks looking at the 55+ communities like Heritage Isle.

    In the Viera and Suntree areas gas prices are probably not a big influence.

    Rather buyers choose Viera and Suntree for things like the new shopping,  the new Viera Hospital, several excellent nearby golf courses including the new Duran Golf Club, excellent neighborhood schools, beaches and more.

    Viera is home to many developments with homes in all price ranges from the lower $100,000s to million dollar plus executive homes such as those in Summer Lakes.  

    In Viera there is new construction, re-sale properties, gated communities, condo and town-home communities –  something to suit anyone moving to Florida!

    Some choose Viera as a second home/vacation home because of the minimal commute to Orlando International Airport. And with the attractive prices investors are seeing opportunities as well!


    Another draw for Viera is the higher energy costs are likely to lead buyers to seek properties with energy efficient features like the new construction with modern efficiencies!

    With rising energy costs influencing buyer decisions if I were a seller in Viera and Suntree I would be checking out my home’s energy features and saving those utility bills to document the efficiencies!

    In this market any marketing edge you can have is a tremendous advantage!

    When you are ready to buy or sell in Viera and Suntree, call me at 321-693-3850 (or email me).  Let me be your Realtor® of Choice in Brevard County, Florida!

    Lennar Builders Increasing Home Prices on June 1st 2011 - Are Heritage Isle in Viera sales picking up that fast?

    Just saw an email that stated Lennar Builders would be increasing their new construction home prices in Heritage Isle across the board on June 1, 2011. 

    I know homes are selling but brisk enough to raise the listing prices?  Perhaps it is just an increase due to the cost of materials rising?  If you are ready to purchase now, they do have a few ready to close homes available!

    And if new is not what you are looking for, there are twenty resales on the market in Heritage Isle as of today!

    Either way, maybe it is a good time to look at homes for sale in Heritage Isle, Viera’s premier 55+ active lifestyle community.  By the way I heard Lennar will pay part of your closing costs right now as well - I think up to $6,500!

    Call me directly at 321-693-3850  or email me if you are considering Heritage Isle in Viera, Florida as your retirement or vacation home!

    Divorce and Short Sales - Dispose of the House Before the Spouse!

    I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV but, in my opinion, sometimes in a divorce situation logic prevails and other times it is nowhere in sight!

    I just read an article about how a couple, after deciding to part ways, decided on a do it yourself process.

    It seems to me there are a few things in this world that should not be done without professional guidance - especially in a case like this where they owe much more on their house than it is worth and neither wants to keep the house post-divorce!

    It seems to me the the logical thing would be to dispose of the house before the spouse!

    There is a possibility the lender will forgive the debt or workout some other arrangement with the sellers.  *A short sale may even be an option.

    Nobody asked me but this sound likes a definite case where legal advice should be sought.

    If disposing of a property through short sale is a consideration call me (or email) - especially if you are in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida!

    *Finally, if you are considering a short sale, read this:


    Friday, May 20, 2011

    How to sell your home in 34 days…. It is no secret, really!

    Selling your home or condo within a reasonable period of time is possible regardless of what you may hear!

    Back on February 26, 2011 I posted an article about a home for sale in Chelsea Park in Rockledge, Florida.  The article was titled "Home Buyer Tip: What is wrong it?"

    The first article was generated because I kept getting calls asking what was wrong with the house because the price was so good.  Actually the price was realistic.

    The home was under contract in slightly more than a month - thirty four days.  It closed on Friday the 13th of May for full price for full listing price.

    How does a home sell quickly in this market?
    • Price appropriate to market (neighborhood).
    • Accommodate showing requests. 
    • Negotiate not alienate 
    • Be extremely patient! 
    • Luck (always plays a part) 
    • Exposure to market through Internet (where buyers gather)
    When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida home - call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Selling Your House – Primp Early

    Prepare your house to sell before listing. Stars don't primp after their feet are on the red carpet and all the attention starts!

    When you place your home on the market you will get attention early - if it is priced right, that is!

    So when the initial listing makes it to the multiple listing service you need to be ready. 

    Be ready how?  As in picture perfect. 

    As your buyer prospects arrive they need must to be greeted by a visually appealing property.  Trees and bushes trimmed, grass cut (and green).  Fresh paint or, at a minimum, a recently pressure washed exterior. The front door needs to be clean or even a new coat of paint.

    And once the buyer prospects enter your home and put their feet on the red carpet (I am kidding, if you have red carpet, get rid of it!), you are ready to show off a clean, uncluttered, appropriately furnished, odor free star - your house!

    When you are ready to sell your Rockledge 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.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Home Buyer Tips: He Who Hesitates Loses…

    I had a call from a not so motivated buyer prospect last week...perhaps a better description would be a  "when the right one comes along"  buyer.

    She was asking about a house she had seen oh,  let's see,  about three months ago.  It was gone, closed, new owners moved in!

    Although the real estate market in Brevard County, Florida is a buyer's market, buyers need to understand, homes do sell.  Sometimes they move quickly!

    As a buyer when you know "it is the one!" act now, not tomorrow!

    When you are ready to move to Brevard County, Florida, let me know. I will gladly help in any way I can!

    Don’t give me your automated garbage! [How to Find a Good Real Estate Agent in Brevard County, Florida.]

    When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida house or condo, interview your real estate agent of choice.  In Rockledge, Viera and Suntree, I would highly recommend - me!

    But, before you sign the listing agreement, do two things. 

    First, ask for a couple of references.  You may not necessarily call the references but I doubt very many agents are going to provide less than stellar references.  They may not even have any references (they are willing to use!).

    The next step - call the office!  Check out the office and see how the phone is answered.   Better yet, stop by the office!  See how you are greeted!

    As I sat at my desk yesterday trying to arrange appointments for my buyers to view today I experienced much frustration.

    And, Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I am not showing your house today because…the office is a machine with only options for directories, no list of names and very little information.

    There are plenty of too many homes on the market in your price range to waste my time with your agent's inadequate system! 

    When you are ready to sell your Viera or Rockledge home, call me directly at 321-693-3850.  Call the Century 21 Baytree office at 321-255-2600 and you will get an answer.  Email me if you prefer! 

    Short Sales and Marathons….

    It is with great enthusiasm one begins a marathon...then the cheering from the start subsides and they are left with themselves!

    As we get older most of us learn that the excitement of the start is tremendous but it often takes a lot more drive to accomplish most things in life.

    Such is the case when a short sale is your target - either as a seller or a buyer!


    I had a short sale listing in Viera.  A nice home, priced attractively.  We had a contract negotiated and in place in November 2010.  We finally closed the transaction on March 4, 2011.  Near the end there was lots of stress from the buyer's agent.  His clients were getting antsy.  They wanted to either close or move on to something else!  He took the heat and made it to closing!

    I am working with out of state buyers who are purchasing a short sale as a second home (ideal purchasers as they have no rigid time line).   Still I know they were getting anxious as the months dragged by slowly.   Although I always urge the same thing - patience I understand waiting can be stressful - period!  We (finally) did get an approval by the lender so we are moving forward - patience pays!

    Whether you are a buyer or seller, if a short sale is part of the equation, be prepared for the marathon. 

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

    I may not be a marathon runner but I can (and will) certainly steer (and cheer) you through the process!

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Home Buyer Tip: The Absolute First Step When Buying a House.

    Here is a one question quiz on getting ready to buy that new home in Florida....
    The first step in buying a house is to:
    (1) Find your real estate agent.
    (2) Decide where you want to purchase a home.
    (3) Get a mortgage lined up.
    (4) Any of the above as all must be done eventually.

    The correct answer is (3) but should you choose (1) your real estate agent will likely point you toward (3).

    Real estate transactions are serious business although the selling side may involve a bit more stress in this market.  Home buyers in Brevard County, Florida seem to have the upper hand.

    If you are ready to find that new home be proactive and address the mortgage issue early so you can enjoy the hunt!   You need to know up front how much you can really afford so when the time comes you must remember,"Talk is cheap, put it in writing...."

    And if you have never purchased a home or condo before, it really is not that easy.  Check out "Buying a house in six easy steps...."


    When you do call that real estate agent, expect to be asked questions.  Those questions are not meant to be intrusive but rather to help identify your needs and better meet them! 

    In Viera and Suntree, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    If you would like a list of mortgage lenders in the Brevard County, Florida area, please ask and I will gladly provide a few contacts.

    467 Stonehenge Circle, Rockledge, Florida: Sold - Full Price - 34 Days

    Back in March I wrote...

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

    And it sold in 34 days... 

    Why?
    Because it was priced correctly and had a motivated seller!

    When you are ready to sell your Chelsea Park home, call me at 321-693-3850.  Don't want to take my word, I will gladly let this seller tell you how I work!

    Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Gary L. Waters PLLC
    Realtor®
    Century 21 Baytree Realty
    1211 Admiralty Blvd
    Rockledge, FL 32955

    Watch Your Credit Use If You Intend to….Live!

    Being in the real estate business I was so tempted to end the title with  buy a house” instead of the word I used – “Live!”

    But the reality is easy credit, available lines of credit and charging are not the best route to financial freedom. [I am not a credit counselor but life and business have taught me a few things!]

    Sure there are times when you need to use a charge card like online purchases.  There is some protection offered should a dispute arise regarding the purchase.

    But, balances creep up. 

    Credit card companies have a way of offering increases in your credit line – even when you never asked.  And the interest you pay adds up until your payment is mostly interest with little impact on the principal.

    If you do intend to buy a house or condo in the future I urge you to obtain your credit report free.

    Speak with a mortgage lender early in the process - before looking at a single house or condo!

    Better yet, watch your use of credit if you intend to live a peaceful, enjoyable life!   

    Living with overextended credit is like having your one of your hands tied behind your back - restricted from enjoying life fully!

    And if you need to work on your credit there are plenty of resources out there. 




    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Using the Internet's Power When Selling Your Brevard County, Florida Home

    I have been here on Blogger since March 9, 2006.  After posting over 1,696 articles in five years I have learned a few things about blogging.

    First - it has wide exposure and generates business.  It is a valuable tool for marketing homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida.

    It is a valuable tool for reaching buyers from around the globe although most are within the US.

    My very first humble post, I think it was called "getting started" was really a leap into an unknown Internet world.   But from that first one I have learned a great deal.

    I added additional blogs including another on the www.ActiveRain.com platform in January 2007.  I wrote my first humble post on ActiveRain March 13, 2007.

    I have four other blogs although they are not as heavily promoted but they are there because I know the Internet's reach for my sellers!

    Why have more than one web blog?  Not because one is more superior but rather....
    my clients should not lose exposure because one of the sites goes down!

    Grand Isle – Real Estate Activity Picks up in April and May 2011

    Viera's Grand Isle gated 55+ community has experienced a lot of activity over the past month or so!  With only six active listings at this time the choices are fewer which reflects the decreasing inventory throughout the MLS system.

    These Grand Isle single family homes are all priced between $159,000 and $258,500 and were built between 2000 and 2004.  Five of these homes for sale in Grand Isle have about 2,000 sq.ft. under air  with two car garages (one has private pool, another a three car garage).  The lowest priced property is a two bedroom two bah with less than 1,500 sq.ft.

    Our office, Century 21 Baytree Realty, has one of the listings – 1602 Keys Gate Drive, a three bedroom two bath two car garage home with 2,011 sq.ft. under air listed for only $199,900!  Call me to see this home!

    Properties that sold in Grand Isle during April and the first half of May 2011 included (by date sold):
    • 04/06/11 - 1736 Grand Isle Blvd a 2,278 sq.ft.home listed for $259,000, selling price $252,250 (30 days on market - DOM)
    • 04/14/11 - 1750 Lago Mar Drive a 1,545 sq.ft. home listed for $194,900, selling price $173,000 (298 DOM)
    • 04/22/11 - 1713 Keys Gate Drive a 1,545 sq.ft. home listed for $159,900, selling price $148,900 (44 DOM)
    • 05/02/11 - 1460 Lago Mar Drive a 2010 sq.ft. home listed for $172,600, selling price $160,400 (187 DOM)
    • 05/02/11 - 1741 Lago Mar Drive  another 1,545 sq.ft. home listed for $195,000, selling price $187,000 (56)
    There have been three homes placed under contract since April 5th.  Two of these properties were only on the market for 11 days or less!

    For information on homes for sale in Grand Isle and Heritage Isle, send me an email or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

    Why a foreclosure is cheap(er) than a short sale…

    The only thing they share....both are considered "distressed properties."  Otherwise...
    1. Foreclosures and short sales are not priced the same.   
    2. Foreclosures and short sales are not the same
    In my opinion when the time comes to get rid of these REOs many banks just want to unload them - period. Foreclosed homes usually have been sitting vacant (and deteriorating) , possibly even vandalized!

    For sale at great prices!  Cash deals, no repairs, "As is, Where is" at a deep discount!

    They price the foreclosures lower than other properties in the neighborhood and are willing to take a loss.  Why?  Because - it was a foreclosure and (here is where the banks will dispute my assertion) and the banks don't care!

    There is some discussion in the markets about a few lenders deciding to invest in new paint, fix ups, curb appeal to get a better price.  Wow!!!!

    This small investment could pay off nicely for the bank and the neighborhood as the better sale prices adds some stability to neighborhood home prices.

    Buyers considering foreclosures and short sales I encourage you to understand the difference between a foreclosure and a short sale

    By the way, it is easier to find a short sale in perfect condition than a foreclosed home in perfect condition!

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Not every caller is a prospect–at this time!

    Occasionally I get calls from folks who tell me their credit is not the best. If you are looking to buy or rent real estate you may as well admit it up front as it will eventually be revealed by a credit check.

    Many times the reality is the credit is far far from the best.  The recommendation at that the time is possibly one directed toward credit repair.


    I have talked with some who were going through or considering bankruptcy.  Of course, since I am not an attorney, I steer well clear of offering legal advice and wish them good luck.

    If they are post-bankruptcy there are resources available for repairing their credit  [Credit Repair Kit] so they can one day get a mortgage.  There are plenty of resources available to help one recover from financial ruin.

    The reality is sometimes people lose jobs, encounter hardships that create burdens and result in bad credit.   But it does not have to stop one from ever owning their own home.

    And although a caller may not have the perfect credit right now, they can recover and....

    I want to be ready to assist them when they are ready to buy that home in Brevard County, Florida!

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Your Real Estate Market Consists Of…

    As a buyer  "your market" is the properties you are interested considering - not the entire region, state or country.

    We read and hear a lot about the general market conditions.  We read about decreasing prices. We read about the days on the market increasing.  We read about the number of foreclosures rising.

    But the reality is…

    A buyer’s real estate market is the properties they are considering.
    AND….
    A seller’s real estate market consists of the competing properties.

    The best way to know "your market" is to hire a real estate professional specializing in "your market!"

    In central Brevard County Florida (especially Viera, Suntree and Rockledge), call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Is your house dated?

    I just read an article on CNBC.com that stated “Granite is out, I hate to tell you!”  That was a bit of a surprise to me as I stil see granite in a lot of the new homes being constructed in Brevard County, Florida.

    The article pointed out that man-made materials like Caesarstone (93% quartz) or Corian which are cheaper  and more durable are in!

    Another change – stainless steel sinks out, ceramic is back!

    There are obvious things that date your home like shag carpet, avocado green or harvest gold appliances, Formica counter tops, or linoleum flooring.  Then there are some not so obvious things.

    When you are considering selling your home, check out the competition.  What updates have been done?  What do you need to do?  Is it worth the expense to add value when selling?

    Want to know the latest materials and bells and whistles?  Check out some of the new construction models in your local area!

    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.

    Ashwood Lakes in Rockledge–Market Report 2008 updated to 2011!

    This is an update to a post published on May 2, 2008 about the market activity in Rockledge’s Ashwood Lakes subdivision.  To show how things have changed I have made the changes and lined through the (and changed 2011 data/info to red) the 2008 version so you can see how things have changed!
    The Ashwood Lakes subdivision is located in Rockledge, Florida near the Viera area. As with many of the other areas of Brevard County, there are lots of choices if you are considering buying in Ashwood Lakes (or the Rockledge and Viera areas).
    As of today, May 1, 2008 May 10, 2011, there are 10 4 homes for sale in Ashwood Lakes. The price range for the active listings runs from $179,900 137,500 (a "short sale”) to a high of $364,700 169,900 (a short sale).  

    ALL LISTINGS IN ASHWOOD LAKES ARE UNDER $240,000 158,000 except the single high priced unit.

    These homes were built 1999 through 2003, are located near excellent schools, parks, bike trails, golf courses and great shopping.  The neighboring subdivision Ventana shares community facilities such as pool and tennis court.

    By the way, a great resource to compare schools is www.schoolmatters.com .
    One Four homes in Ashwood Lakes sold in April and there are four two properties listed as under contract. The selling price in 2011 – $115,000 to $140,000!

    If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Ashwood Lakes development, please drop me an email or call me directly at 321-693-3850.

    The Ventura at Turtle Creek – Turtle Creek Condo Prices Gravitate Around $100,000 Mark

    On April 8, 2011 there were nine condos for sale at The Ventura at Turtle Creek gated community in Rockledge, Florida.

    On May 13, 2011 there are eleven.  One ground floor 3 bedroom 2 bath unit (with detached garage) sold on April 29, 2011 for $105,000. Another went under contract on April 22, 2011.

    Prices in The Ventura at Turtle Creek appear to be settling around the $100-$110,000 mark as there are two listed under $100,000 and another two under $110,000, and another three under $120,000. That accounts for seven of the eleven active listings!

    There are two active listings priced at $157,000 and $168,000 – BOTH OVERPRICED AND OBVIOUSLY NOT REALISTIC! There will always be overpriced listings...

    Want to research The Ventura at Turtle Creek?   Here are the past six articles going back to December 2010.

    Ventura at Turtle Creek – Gated Condo Community with Bargain Prices
    Turtle Creek Golf Course Homes and Condos For Sale in Rockledge Florida
    Ventura at Turtle Creek – Gated Condo Living at Affordable (Competitive) Prices
    Ventura at Turtle Creek in Rockledge Florida
    Why Buy a Short Sale When the Same is Available For $900 More?
    Home Buyer Tip:  Consider the Association Dues
    For information on condos for sale in Rockledge and Viera, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Why have a home inspection done? It is a new house.

    I am not an engineer. I am not general contractor. I am not even an air conditioning/heating expert. I am a real estate agent.

    I will help you find that home that meets your needs. I will represent you and negotiate the best price possible.
    But I will not tell you the house is free of existing or potential problems. 

    What I will tell you is to get a professional home inspection done right away.  In fact, every purchase contract I am involved with has an inspection contingency clause - an escape clause! 

    Why would you not have an inspection?  Inspections are not really expensive.  In my area, although based on square footage, they usually run only about $300-$400.

    That is a small investment to check out the condition of a really really large investment!

    Buying a house is like being told to go to the market and pick out the best melon.  You may look at it very closely. You may admire its appearance. Heck, it may even smell good.  But you really don't know how good it is until you have cut into it.


    Now, looking for houses. You look at it closely. You admire its appearance and curb appeal. You enter that front door and it smells clean, maybe even like freshly baked bread or some other aroma.  You thump on a few of the walls. But, you really don't know how solid that house is until you move in. and experience it!

    No, you can know its condition now by having an inspection conducted by a qualified inspector!

    How do you know if your potential home needs an inspection? I tell my clients the same thing - every home, even new construction should be inspected!  By the way, I have never had a client not have an inspection conducted!

    I am not going to tell you that an inspection will identify things that may happen down the road.  A good inspector can tell you the present condition of the house. Some inspectors even use infrared technology to "see behind the walls."

    An inspector will point out potential problems.

    The bottom line:  A professional inspection will open your eyes to what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line - even on the "AS IS" short sale!

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Viera East Market Active – April and May 2011

    This is a summary of real estate activity in eight of the developments in Viera East (and along the Viera border with Rockledge).  In this limited area there are about 140 listings with 21 being distressed properties.

    Of the properties selling in April 2011, slightly more than half of the closings (15 of 26) were distressed properties.  The Viera East area offers lots of nicely priced properties to compete with the short sales!

    For more detailed information on any of these neighborhoods, send me an email or give me a call.

    • Auburn Lakes in Viera East – Eight under contract, 1 standard sale, 6 short sales and a foreclosure. One closed in April, a foreclosure for $140,000
    • Ashwood Lakes in Rockledge – Four closed in April and May (so far), sale prices $115,000 to $140,000.  Four active listings priced $137,500 to $169,900 (two short sales)
    • Bayhill in Viera East – Four active listings priced $140,000 to $167,400 (2 short sales). Two sold in April for $95,000 and $125,000 (both short sales).  Four under contract.
    • Somerville in Viera East – One sold in April for $148,000 (foreclosure), two short sales under contract now, two active listings $189,000 and $209,900.
    • Wingate Estates in Viera East – One short sale under contract, one short sale closed in April for $235,000.  Five active listings – $254,900 to $364,000 – amazingly no short sales or foreclosures!
    • Plantation Point in RockledgeOnly one short sale left! The last active listing is a 4/3/2, 2,256 sq.ft. priced at $215,000. Two short sales under contract!
    • Capron Ridge in Viera East – Three closed between April 1 – May 2, 2011. Two standard sales, one short sale.  Nine active listings priced for $159,950 to $429,500. Most of the active listings are priced around $100/ sq.ft. under air. Can still get new construction in Capron Ridge.
    • Greens at Viera EastCondo community built in 1998, all five units under contract are short sales, Two sold in April (a short sale and a foreclosure) $50,000 and $53,125. Three active listings at this time.

    Selling Your Home: Wishing and Hoping Doesn't Work in 2011!


    Back in the day...yeah, a few years ago, it was a seller's market. Marketing real estate in that day was pretty easy - name your price, no need to wish and hope as buyers were everywhere willing to pay whatever!


    Today's environment is a lot  different.

    Buyers have so many choices in the Viera, Suntree and Rockledge market of Brevard County, Florida.  Regardless of property type - new construction, single family home, golf course home, condo, 55+ communities like Heritage Isle - you name it, the choices are plentiful.

    So how does one sell in this market?  It may be more difficult but I have found that clients who follow my "Five P's" find success.  If you are selling your Brevard County, Florida home, paying attention to these areas will get you on the right track!

    1. Prepare. Make repairs and take care of the little maintenance issues before you place the home on the market. If your home is older, spend a couple of hundred dollars or so on a pre-listing inspection and address any issues. What about a new coat of paint? Little things but they will save you money!
    2. Price. Price still sells. The market is competitive and you need to price competitively. After all, the buyer (market)will ultimately set the price. As a seller you have to decide what price you will accept.
    3. Presentation. Clean. Staged. Excess furnishings removed. Uncluttered. A fresh look. You have a very short time to make a good impression - be ready!
    4. Professional. As in professional representation by the real estate agent you choose to represent you. Your agent must know your area (market). Your agent must be a pro at marketing. Your agent must be available. Your agent must be accessible. Choose wisely! The Real Estate Marketing 101 course curriculum has been revised. Make sure your agent is current!
    5. Photographs. Thanks to Maureen Bray, Homestager in Portland Oregon, I have added a fifth "P".  She pointed out the me the necessity of good, professional looking photographs.  Most agents take excellent pictures today (software helps fix issues) so an owner just needs to make sure the presentation staging has been done before the photos are snapped.

    If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Melbourne Florida home,  please give me a call directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Home Buying 101: Your choices are limited!

    This was inspired by a recent caller who told me "money was no object" when I asked about his price range.  The reality is even "The Donald" has a price!

    I have had several calls from folks wanting to relocate to Brevard County, Florida. Of course they already have a price range in mind and then they tell me the location to go with the price range.

    The reality is when buying a home in Brevard County, Florida  your choices are very much limited by "the price" range or "the location."

    For example “want to buy a nice ocean front condo for $40-$60,000” was a real call a few months ago.  The reality is it it is not possible.

    Just as“a house in Viera for $50-$75,000, preferably $50,000is not possible.

    Or the “3-5 acres with a house for less than $125,000 in a good location" is not possible.


    In these situations it all comes down to which is more important, location or price range?

    Which is more important?  Many times it is the budget that is less flexible. 

    Very often, while a property like a buyer wants is available, it is likely at the extremes of Brevard County [Mims/Titusville (north), Palm Bay (south)] where these properties may be found.

    My recommendation:  Get a budget and then let's talk about what is available in your price range.  I can show you how much you can buy in Palm Bay vs. Viera/Suntree vs. "beach side" vs. Titusville.   Believe me, there is a big difference in what $100,000 will buy in these areas!

    Monday, May 09, 2011

    Missed another listing last week…Will I ever learn?

    So I went on a listing appointment last week in Suntree (Melbourne, Florida) and came away empty handed.   Not a problem for me.

    The reality is the market price for this particular property was low – about what the seller paid in 2001.

    Rule #1.  I will not list it if I can't sell it!

    This morning I ran across an article online that contained this advice on how to be a smart seller:




    I could not have said it better myself!

    When you are ready to sell that Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home, 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.

    Sunday, May 08, 2011

    Heritage Isle in Viera: Can't Give These Condos Away?

    The condo market in Viera’s Heritage Isle 55+ community seems to be more of a buyer’s market than I can recall ever! 

    There has been only one condo unit sold in Heritage Isle in the past six months (four in previous 12 months). [6848 Toland Drive Unit 402 sold for $109,000 on 03/23/11]

    With sixteen condo units listed as May 2011 begins, buyers do have choice – lots of choice!

    Two units are priced under $100,000.  The lowest is a short sale at $89,000 (four short sales in the condo complex). Ten units are priced at $120,000 or less!

    Although prices are attractive I think some buyers are hesitant to purchase with condo association fees currently over $400 a month.  Association fees for a patio style home (similar price) is just shy of $300 a month! The differences in association fees between condo complexes and townhouse complexes is sometimes confusing to buyers.

    For information on homes and condos for sale in Heritage Isle, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Saturday, May 07, 2011

    Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida Monthly Real Estate Sales Data–April 2011

    All Residential Properties in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge FL(04/10)
    • New Listings– 168 (209)
    • Sold 103 (105)
    • Average Selling Price $167,255 ($168,124)
    • Median Selling Price $150,000 ($152,500)
    • Average Days on Market: 134 (94)

    Short Sale Residential Properties in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge FL(04/10)
    • New Listings – 39 (42)
    • Sold 22 (25)
    • Average Selling Price $159,890 ($158,444)
    • Median Selling Price $152,000 ($130,000)
    • Average Days on Market: 125 (112)
    Interesting... 
    • The average selling price variation is not that different whether short sale or standard fair market sale.
    • About 80% of the properties selling in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge are standard sales!

      Friday, May 06, 2011

      Augusta Trace Subdivision in Rockledge, Florida - Golf Course Homes in Florida!

      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, Florida.

      My favorite golf course in Brevard County, Turtle Creek Golf Course offers some of the most scenic and challenging golf in all of Brevard County, Florida!  Turtle Creek is a shot makers course  where it is not necessary to be a long ball hitter!

      Many of these homes are direct golf course lots while some back to ponds.  These larger homes (2,100-2700 sq ft with 3 car garages)  featuring tile roof and paver drives with custom design touches close to beaches, Orlando and Viera!

      As May 2011 begins there are four active listings priced from $240,000 (a short sale) to $389,000!  Amazing how many of these homes sold originally in the $500,000 range!    An attractive listing looks like the 4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage pool home on the golf course listed for $352,000!

      Two properties sold in April 2011:
      • 1631 Admiralty Blvd - 2,575 sq.ft. living area, 4 bedroom/3 bath/3 car garage with a pool, listed for $399,999 sold for $370,000.
      • 1681 Admiralty Blvd - 2,187 sq.ft. living area, 3 bedroom/2 bath/3 car garage listed for $259,900 sold for $243,000.
      For information on golf course homes for sale in Rockledge and Viera, Florida (check out Fairway Lakes at Viera), call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

      The New Rules of Selling Your Home in a Buyer's Market - Sellers Be Prepared!

      In a buyer’s market there are simply more buyers than sellers.  In these soft markets buyers do have the position of strength.  And I have seen some buyers use this position of strength to pry additional concessions from sellers.

      As a seller, anticipating these tactics will help you decide if you have the time to say know or if the cost of saying no is worth it!

      I have seen buyers in a buyer’s market attempt to go back after the contract is signed, inspection completed, financing in place  and make additional requests (demands is a better word here). 


      I have observed buyers demand additional personal property be thrown in "or it is a deal breaker.  I am not an attorney so this is not a legal opinion, just a personal opinion, but once a buyer has proceeded beyond the point of all contingencies, there is an enforceable contract in place.

      I have seen sellers make repairs although the contract was “as is.”

      I have witnessed buyers coming back later and asking for closing assistance after the contract has been in place for some time.

      I have had seller clients comply with some of these demands where I would have preferred to tell them to hit the road.

      But it is not my job to make the decision, rather to follow my client’s direction.

      As a seller in the Rockledge, Melbourne and Viera Florida areas, you can be prepared and anticipate these buyer market tactics. 

      A Real Estate Transaction is Just Another Group Project....


      My original title was “It takes two to tango…Your real estate agent is a dork!”   By the way, is “dork” a pejorative  Then I tried  "It take two to tango…and a real estate transaction is just a dance!"
      tango
      Then it dawned on me - a real estate transaction is really just a group project...(notice I did not say group therapy!)

      I remember while I was working on my MPA degree at Troy State University and we had this group research project.  One grade, five participants.  Multiple participants, one goal.

      Amazing how a real estate transaction is the same!  Multiple participants - buyer, seller, buyer agent, seller agent, lender, appraiser, inspector and closing agent.  One goal - close the deal.

      What the buyer or seller may never know is how sometimes it is only one of the real estate agents who does all the work like making sure the contract was completed appropriately, making sure all the appropriate disclosures and documents have been provided and reviewed, making sure all the correct addenda have been completed, making sure .....well you get the picture I am sure.

      So, while I take the lead to make sure my client’s transaction closes I wanted to let you know you still benefit.

      We will get this transaction closed.  You will be able to move into your new home as scheduled.

      Because a real estate transaction is a group project and I still want an A+ grade!

      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.

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