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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Residential Properties Sold in Brevard County Florida July 2011 (as of July 31, 2011)

July 2011 Brevard County Florida Residential Sales - The Early Results as of July 31, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Single Family Residential Houses Sold July 2011 – 477 
  • Viera Suntree Rockledge Single Family Houses Sold July 2011 – 83 
  • Average Days on Market July 2011 - 121 days 
  • List to Sell Price – 93% 
  • Average Selling Price – $175,399 
  • Average Listing Price – $188,747 
  • Median Selling Price – $121,250 
  • Median Selling Price in Viera Suntree and Rockledge - $181,775  
  • Average Selling Price in Viera Suntree and Rockledge – $216,951 (94% of listing price).

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Home Seller Tips: Do Homebuyer Incentives Work?

Need a sure fire way to sell your house?  Offer the right incentive.

What is the right incentive? 

First, here are a couple of incentives I say avoid.
  1. Considering throwing in the washer and dryer?  Fine, include it in the listing but don't expect it to seal the deal on a $200,000 house if the house is not priced correctly.
  2. What about offering a bonus to the buyer’s agent?  Why? If you are already offering a reasonable commission (seller pays real estate agents), why throw in more money.  How would you like it if you were the buyer and your real estate agent “steered” and “promoted” a property because he got an extra thousand?  Real estate agents owe loyalty to their client and should never use this as a motivator anyway. 
A couple of incentives to consider if you must offer incentives include an allowance for an outdated kitchen or appliances, bad (highly personalized) paint (you chose it) or for worn flooring.  Of course, ideally these things should be addressed in preparing the house for the market.

In a buyer’s market incentives inevitably become part of the bargaining tools used by buyers and their agents.  There is absolutely no reason to offer these things up early as they will ask for them sooner or later, I assure you!

So do incentives work?   In the end there will be times where leaving some pool equipment, or a TV or something will seal the deal if the buyer's offer is reasonable.

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


Friday, July 29, 2011

Thinking of Buying a Home in Brevard County, Florida? Check Out What $200,000 Bought in Brevard County, Florida in July 2011

It is true – real estate is all about location.   Here is random selection of single family homes in Brevard County selling during July 2011 for $190,000 to $200,000.  There is a difference in how much home the same money buys even in a little place like Brevard County.
  • 7971 Daventry Drive Melbourne – Located in gated Baytree Golf course community, 3/2/2 with 1,720 sq.ft. built in 1998 sold for $193,000.
  • 4591 Portage Trail Melbourne – Located in gated Sawgrass community in Suntree, 4/2/2 with 2,104 sq.ft. built in 2004 sold for $190,000.
  • 2630 Ranchwood Court Melbourne – Located in Ranchwood Estates off Lake Washington Road in north Melbourne, 3/2.5/2 with 2,120 sq.ft. with pool on 1.02 acres built in 1979 sold for $200,000.
  • 228 Lake Shore Drive Merritt Island – Located in Citrus Club on .62 acre lot, built in 1992 3/2/2 with 1,934 sq.ft. sold for $194,000.
  • 5025 Timber Lane Drive Cocoa – Located off Friday Road in West Cocoa, on 1 acre lot, 3,066 sq.ft. 6/4.5/3 sold for $197,000.  This was a foreclosure.
  • 417 Stonehenge Circle Rockledge – Located in Chelsea Park on .31 acres, this waterfront, 4/3/2 with 2,800+ sq.ft. built in 2011 with private pool, sold for $198,000.  This was a short sale.
  • 1290 S. Atlantic Ave. Cocoa Beach – Location, location, location here… 3/2/1 with just over 1,400 sq.ft. and no garage/carport, built in 1945 across from beach boardwalk, sold for $190,000.
 For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida, call me directly or email me.

Buying a new home in Brevard County, Florida–Focus on the neighborhood first…

Relocating to a new area can be exciting.  The challenge when coming in completely new to any area is finding the right place right away.

I have seen some who can’t decide on a location and choose to rent a house for a year while they decide on the area.  This is not a bad idea if they are short on time or have not had the chance to make advance scouting trips to the area.

If you are relocating to Brevard County, Florida and would like any information whatsoever, let me know.  Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Also, take a look at some of the articles on my blog for lots of information on moving to Brevard County.  A good place to start....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fairway Lakes in Viera– What is selling (and not selling) in July 2011

Fairway Lakes, one of the most desirable gated communities in Viera (Melbourne, Florida), offers buyers plenty of attractive choices.  Although there are only six active listings as July 2011 comes to an end, among these are plenty choices.

For example, the size varies from 2,773 sq.ft. under air listed for $485,000 to a very large 4,049 sq.ft. home listed for $749,000.   Prices vary from $360,000 to $749,000.   Among the six there are two short sales as well.  There are single story as well as two story homes.  Some are on the water while some have views of the neighboring Duran Golf Course.  Three of the active listings are priced below $500,000 with one being the short sale at $360,000.

There were two closings in July 2011.  A new construction home located at 3118 Lamanga Drive sold for $496,395.  A nice price for a five bedroom four and half bath, 3,400+ sq.ft.  home on the golf course!

The other property selling in July was a 4,091 sq.ft. five bedroom five bath with a three car garage and pool located at 3052 Tryall Court which sold for $600,000.

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

Home Seller Tip: What Brevard County Florida Sellers need to know…

Home sellers want to know the real estate agent they hire to sell their home can attract legitimate prospective buyers right away.

As a real estate agent selling homes in Brevard County, Florida I have learned where buyer prospects gather most and how to get them.

Where do buyers come from?   Ninety percent of buyers begin their home search on the Internet.  Thirty six percent of buyers actually first saw the home they ultimately purchased on the Internet.

In 2011 the Internet plays a vital role in real estate marketing.

When writing my blogs about Brevard County Florida real estate the challenge is to come up with the correct words (keywords) that will get the prospective reader (buyer or seller) to my site and then get them to contact me.

Readers searching for Florida homes for sale and homes for sale in Florida are one of my primary targets.  Likewise, buyers looking for homes for sale in Viera and 55+ communities in Florida.

Attracting buyers looking for information on Brevard County Florida real estate as well as some of the nice subdivisions in central Brevard County like Fairway Lakes in Viera and Wyndham at Duran is likewise my focus.

If you are someone looking to sell your Viera, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me..   You found me on the Internet, right?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Brevard County Florida Real Estate Inventory - Inventory Falls in July 2011

The Brevard County Florida Real Estate Inventory  - Inventory Falls in July 2011

On April 1, 2011 there were 3.962 active residential listings in Brevard County.  The inventory had fallen to 3,729 as May 2011 began.  Then today there are 3,280 active listings.  Is this a good sign?

Today there are 761 active residential short sale listings – down from 918 on May 1, 2011.   Is this a significant change in the market?

April 2011 started with 296 foreclosure listings then there were 242 foreclosure listings on May 1st and now there are 144 active foreclosure listingsCould this signify a change in the market?  [I have read there is a backlog in foreclosure proceedings in the local courts but don’t know how many are still in the works.] 

There were 995 active condo listings at the beginning of May.  Today there are 921 active condo listings.   Not much change it appears for the condo market in Brevard County

It remains a buyer’s market with declining prices in Brevard County, Florida.  What will happen in the future no one knows for sure but for the present time it is indeed a great time to be a home buyer in Brevard County.
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 Brevard County, Florida Home: Two Strikes Against You on Day One…

You have decided to sell your Rockledge or Viera, Florida home in a buyer’s market.  Just the timing of your decision makes me believe you are a motivated seller.  Why else wade into the shallow water (lower selling prices).

While reviewing listings in today’s MLS Hot Sheet I noticed your listing.   And two things stick out to me.  In other words, two obstacles a buyer must overcome to make a successful offer.
  1. No interior photos.  Buyers like to have a glimpse of the inside of a house before deciding whether to commit to a viewing.  Sometimes, especially with out of town buyer prospects with limited time, their real estate agent may even want to preview the property before the buyer prospects arrive.
  2. 24 hour notice required.  Easy accommodation of buyers is a necessity.   The definition of a buyer’s market is many more properties for sale with fewer buyers.  If your house in difficult to see buyers will easily move on.  A two hour notice requirement is reasonable as well as identifying the days home is not available such as Sunday mornings, etc.
Selling your Brevard County, Florida home requires appropriate pricing, professional promotion, and accommodation of prospective buyers.

In a buyer’s market it is easy to strike out! 

When you are ready to buy or sell real estate in Viera, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me, please. 


Monday, July 25, 2011

Sell Your House Using a Three-legged Stool Approach...

Have you ever tried to sit on a three-legged stool?  Probably not as it just would not be very easy.

The process of selling a house can be visualized by looking at a three-legged stool.  Without one of the legs, the stool is not much use to anyone. 

This "selling a house" stool has three legs: (1)  pricing  (2) placement and  (3) presentation.

 All contribute to the goal. 

Pricing is obvious.  A price that is reasonable for the market is necessary to generate traffic and ultimately an offer.

Placement is your real estate agent's job.  Choose wisely when you hire a real estate agent to sell your Brevard County Florida home.

Placement is much more than entering a listing in the MLS system.  It is putting your home where the most likely pool of buyers will find it.  Ask me about my marketing plan.

Finally, presentation is necessary to get the most money for a house or condo.  Presentation takes on many forms from preparation to professionally staging your home.   The degree presentation needs help from a professional home staging service is completely dependent on each property (price range especially) and the local market.

When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida home, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me to discuss how I can work for you.

©  Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent/ Realtor®, Century 21 Baytree Realty, 1211 Admiralty Blvd, Rockledge, FL 32955

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Home Seller Tips: Leisure Suits, Mullets and Big Hair–Selling your home in 2011.

Could you imagine if you went shopping for a new suit and all they had to show you were leisure suits of the 1970s?   Remember the old Members Only jackets?  Or the mullet haircuts and “big hair” of the 1980s?

When you see those things today you probably make a remark about "I remember when..." and move on to the next house.

If your home is still in the 80s (or 70s or even 60s), then your prospective buyers will likely do the same thing.

A little updating can do so much for your house.   And it does not need to be expensive updating like…
  • some neutral paint to replace your high personalized colors (or wallpaper), 
  • new carpeting instead of that shag,
  • counter tops – silestone, quartz, granite, solid surface are expected today instead of old worn laminate,
  • appliances - newer, energy efficient.
Focus on the two rooms which matter most to  buyers - bathrooms and kitchens.  There is no real secret to selling your house.

And while you are updating your house why not consider a pre-listing home inspection?

When you are ready to place your Viera or Rockledge home on the market, call me for a free consultation.  I can be reached at 321-693-3850 or email.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Brevard County Florida Real Estate Sales : The Initial Asking Price versus Actual Selling Price - The real story at Heritage Isle in 2011

One of the commonly used statistics in real estate is the percentage of listing to selling price. This percentage is based on the last listing price.

I wanted to take a look at the real story - the percentage of initial listing price compared to the selling price.

For this small study I selected Viera's 55+ community of Heritage Isle and used single family homes only and excluded direct builder sales for the period of May 1, 2011 through July 15, 2011 as reported in the Brevard County MLS system.

The average list price to sell price is 94.5% if you compare the selling to the final listing price.
The story is a bit different if you consider the selling price to the original list price where it is only  88.4% of the original price. 
  • Average Original List Price – $249,942 
  • Average Selling Price – $221,000 
  • Median Selling Price – $195,000 
  • Average List Price at Sale – $233,875 
  • Median list Price at Sale – $207,000 
  • Average Days on Market – 100 
  • Average Number of Price Reductions - 2
The way I see it is the average seller in Heritage Isle in Viera is dropping almost 12% of their price to get the deal done. 

Why not do it up front and price a bit more competitively and likely sell in a lot less than three plus months?


Choosing Your Brevard County Florida Community: The Amenities and Services Must Count for Something.

Brevard County, Florida offers residents all sorts of options from the rural, country living in parts of north Brevard to the riverfront and ocean side communities of the beaches and Merritt Island to the meticulously landscaped communities of Viera and Suntree to.... let's just say there is something for everyones' taste!

Although the amenities (or lack thereof) vary by community, one thing holds true for all - there is a cost for these amenities and services.

When a buyer considers these communities they need to be aware of the cost (as in association fees) for these services and how it impacts price.

It may not be an apples to apples comparison but there should be weight given to the amenities.

What does it cost for lawn service?  What does a fitness club membership cost?  What about the value of a community dock?  Or the value of a general use/clubhouse facility for private gatherings and parties?  Or in 55+ communities, like the Indian River Colony Club, the cost or value of a members' owned golf course where there is ongoing additional fee?  Or to have a gate guard staffing the development entry 24-7?

Key point:  The cost of amenities are a consideration when buying as well as the cost of maintaining these amenities in the future.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Should a seller be present when their home is being viewed? Seller…Take a hike–if you can!

It is entirely up to you, but if you ask me, your Realtor®, and I will tell you… make yourself scarce when prospective buyers are viewing your home - even if only to take Fido for a walk!

While showing homes I have "experienced" some sellers who apparently felt the incessant need to "make the sale" themselves.  The bottom line is a house will sell itself.   By the a seller the only real estate agent you should be sharing information with is your own!

Pricing and promotion got the buyer’s attention so now let the house seal the deal!

With that said let me acknowledge a reality.  Leaving can be a challenge at times.  It may be because the seller works from home.  It may be the children are small and not easily “packed up.”

In those cases, make yourself scarce, invisible.  Observe the "no talking to the buyers” rule.  OK, it is not a law or nothing but just good business practice for sellers.

Another pet peeve – seller's agent must be present for all showings.  More on that later.....

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

To RV or Not… Where do I keep my RV or boat in Viera and Suntree, Florida?

An issue that surfaces frequently among home-buyers looking in the central Brevard County, Florida areas of Suntree and Viera is the restriction on boat and RV storage.

Although several of the Suntree communities offer residents a nearby storage areas for their use that is the exception, not the rule.

This is where the RV, boating and car enthusiasts must make a tough choice.   Are they comfortable with off-site storage?

In the immediate Viera and Suntree areas there are several options available for off site storage such as:

There are several other options as well for RV, Boat and auto storage in the Viera and Suntree areas.  Hopefully the links above serve as a good starting point for your research.

When you are ready to park that RV temporarily and buy a new home in Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida, give me a call directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Buying a Home in Brevard County, Florida: A Neighborhood Without Kids is Like….

.... a fifty five plus community.

After showing properties I always ask two questions:  (1) what was good and (2) what was bad about the properties and neighborhoods.

This past weekend I showed a couple of homes in Brevard County, Florida the clients had selected from listings I had sent them from the MLS system.

One of the homes in Viera (a planned unit development in central Brevard County) turned out to be ideal except for a couple of minor issues and one real big issue.

The main shortfall - which should have probably been in the search criteria from the start kids in the neighborhood!

If one is looking for a neighborhood without kids the most likely location in Brevard County will be one of the age restricted (55+ communities) like Heritage Isle in Viera.

Most of the neighborhoods in Viera enjoy a real mix of residents.  Some are older, some younger, some families, some empty nesters, some singles, some short, some tall, some pretty….diverse!

With folks moving every three to five years, the neighborhood makeup of any neighborhood will likely change anyway from its current makeup!

If you are considering a move to Viera, Florida, let me tell you about the 55+ communities Viera offers... Heritage Isle, Grand Isle, and Indian River Colony Club.  Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Markets: Buyers and sellers want a real estate agent who is somewhat “tech savvy.”

I went on a listing interview last week and the prospective seller summed up what today’s real estate customer is looking for in their real estate agent.

To paraphrase, she said "I want someone who is tech savvy." 
“Tech savvy” means different things to folks. To some it may bring to mind the stereotypical “geek” or “nerd” but that is not its usual connotation in 2011.

A tech savvy agent is one who understands the power of the Internet including blogging, the use of QR codes, the power of email and automated searches, the power of smart phones. 

There is a perception among many that being a real estate agent is easy money.   The truth is quite different.

Successfully marketing (selling) a home is work and it involves a lot of "techy stuff" too!

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

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sellers Tip: Expect a few tire kickers along the way to closing!

Real estate agents work hard if they are successful to any reasonable degree.  And success, when working on a commission basis, is achieved by closed transactions.

Selling a home is not an inexpensive process.

And sellers expect real estate agents who are showing their homes to be working with serious prospects - not tire kickers. (Tire kicker is a term of endearment for those who show up on a car lot and test drive but never buy!)

For the above reasons it should not be rude of me to ask buyers who call on me if they are…
  • ready to buy.
  • pre-qualified for a mortgage. 
  • seriously considering making a purchase.
When you call on a real estate agent, expect (and do not be offended) to get a question of two in order to determine your motivation.  If one is just curious and wants to see houses, I suggest visiting open houses in your area of curiosity.

If you are selling your home, real estate agents should be screening their clients before showing your house but don't be surprised if you see a few tire kickers along the way to closing! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Selling Your Viera Florida Home: "My home is different than the others...."

Many of the neighborhoods in Viera Florida consist of single developer tract homes with similar floor plans and materials with some variation in front elevation.

These homes are often referred to as zero lot line, cookie cutter houses and  are usually less expensive to construct than custom (or semi-custom) built homes which results in lower new home selling prices.

And when it comes time to sell, the challenge is to communicate the differences to buyers so they understand - a custom/semi-custom home is going to cost more as a resale as well! 

There are several high quality custom and semi-custom builders who have built in the Viera area.  Buyers will likely not realize these custom built homes early on unless a differentiation is made in the MLS narrative.

However these homes built builders like  Christopher Burton Homes, Tradewind Builders, Burgoon-Berger, Joyal Homes, Scalero Associates, Stanley Homes, Arthur Rutenberg and several others, will be noticeably different once you enter them. 

I am not an advocate of buying the most expensive home in a neighborhood.

However, in Viera Florida a custom built home, perhaps one that began its life as a builder's model home, may offer what a buyer is looking for and be the highest priced home.

When you are ready to buy or sell in Viera, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.  I want to be your Realtor® of Choice in Brevard County, Florida.

Seller’s Tip: In this real estate market “giving credits” just will not do…

Amazing how many real estate listings I see with narrative comments to the effect “seller will give $2500 credit toward replacing carpet (or painting).” 

If a seller is really trying to sell their house or condo, they will skip the giving and rather get to doingbefore they place it on the market.

The market in Brevard County, Florida is a buyer’s market.  That means one thing – sellers are plentiful while buyers are rare.

Don’t expect to compete with newly painted, recently carpeted homes by offering a credit!

And if you are intent on selling without replacing carpet or painting, then serious consideration should be given to pricing appropriately - even discounting a bit to compete!

And when you are ready to sell your Viera Florida home, call me for a no obligation market analysis. If you prefer, email me!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Home Buyer Tips: I will know what I like when I see it. Huhh?

I always begin the home buying process with similar questions.  What are you looking for in your next home?  Where do you want to buy your next home?  How much do you want to spend on your next home?  How much can you spend on your next home?  I am sure you get the picture….

And many times buyers know the answersmore or less

Then occasionally I run into someone like, say, Madelyn from out of town.  Her response is “I am not sure. I will not know until I start looking.”

The home buying process will further refine a buyers focus.  But, if you intend to find a new home there must be a starting point – a realistic starting point.


  • Budget.  How much one wants to spend and how much one can spend should be two different questions.  Because one has a mortgage pre-approval for $250,000 does not mean they must or should spend that much.
  • Location.  Most home buyers have a general idea of where they want to live.  The decision may be influenced by the location of schools, churches, shopping, medical facilities, employment or whatever. Being able to define the area boundaries is key.
  • Basic requirements.  Size, number of bedrooms, garage size, yard size, with or without pool.
The above three points are fundamental starting points.  Once you have identified these basic characteristics we can now focus on finding the right property – not one that will “just do.”

If you are just beginning the search for a new home in the Brevard County area of central Florida, drop me an email with any questions you may have or give me a call at 321-693-3850.

Be assured you are under no obligation if contact me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It’s a house–not a savings account. - There is no "ROI" in "HOME"

The decision to buy a house is a big one for most people.  The downward spiral of the real estate market and bad publicity surrounding it have led many to believe home ownership is not worth it!  But the majority still believe it is important to own your home.

A recent study cited 75% of those polled who said owning a home is worth while another 95% of those who own said they were happy with the decision to own a home.

Too often many are worried about the value next year or in three years.   Too often many worry about the return on their investment.

The reality is your house is a residential dwelling not a savings account!   Saving is important but your home is not meant to be the primary savings vehicle.  If the value appreciates, great! 

It should be ones lifestyle that determines whether buying or renting is the correct decision.   If one is staying put for the next five or ten years, perhaps buying is the correct decision.   If one expects to change jobs, grow a family, or downsize in the next few years, perhaps renting is the call.

But the decision should be based on the lifestyle and plans – not the return or loss of value in a house.   Sure, we all want property to appreciate but that is not the primary reason for buying is it after all there is no "ROI" in "HOME."

If buying a home is the decision for you, call me about homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida.

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent/Realtor®, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Email me or call directly at 321-693-3850 if I can help you buy or sell your next Florida home.

Home Selling Advice in Viera Florida

This is the best advice I can give anyone hoping to sell their Viera Florida home… 

It is a business deal and should be just the facts with no emotion.

Now that would be in an ideal world!

What is this “just the facts?”
  • Have a home inspection done prior to listing and make it available for all to see.  Address all issues by either repair or discounting list price.  This is a buyer’s market so letting issues slide is not the approach I recommend. 
  • When selling your home remember the safest path is “disclose, disclose, disclose.”  Anything that possibly effects the material value of the home, tell them.  Fixed that roof leak already, tell them.  An apartment complex going to be built behind the house where the current wooded view exists, tell them.  Honesty is the best policy - in life and real estate!
  • The greatest challenge to selling your home is the “with no emotion” part of the formula.  Your house is your home.  It is the place you have created so many of your memories.  It is the place where you have poured your heart into making it a home – more than four walls.  But your memories go with you when you leave, wherever you may go!

Another major part of the emotional side of selling is your price.  The market really sets the price.  Your home is only worth what one is willing to pay.  In Brevard County, Florida and elsewhere,

"Overpriced sellers are a dime a dozen.
 Qualified buyers are rare."

When you are ready to sell your Viera Florida Home, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me to discuss how I can work for you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If your listing expired it must have been just another “also-ran”

How many of the listings that expired yesterday could be classified as “also-ran?”
In Brevard County, Florida the number of expired listings on July 12, 2011 was only nineteen but still they did not sell!

Most of us know what an “also-ran” is considered to be.  Horse racing is full of four legged also- ran and runner ups (just the first place “also-ran").  All participated but few win or place.

What makes a home an "also-ran?"

The most likely culprit - price.  Pricing is not a secret.

I recently read a CNN article on how to sell your house faster in a tough market.  Check it out.  A key point this article points out is carrying cost - the cost of holding that house another three or four months.  This is a legitimate consideration.

There are many other contributing causes to creating an "also-ran."  Preparation, accessibility, a willingness to negotiate and several others.

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home, call me (or email)  to discuss how we can get it done quickly in a way that will make you a satisfied customer who succeeded and did not not just participate!

Gary L. Waters, PLLC
Century 21 Baytree Realty
Rockledge Florida 32955
321-693-3850 (direct)

Florida Real Estate: Adverse Possession Means Free Land…huhh?

I ended the conversation pretty quickly when the topic of adverse possession came up.  I am not an attorney so I referred the caller to an attorney if he wanted to take about anything touching on legal issues.  I am not an attorney or CPA!

What he had in mind I believe was… an abandoned, possibly foreclosed, home down the street from a friend.   He thought he could just move in and then have the property records changed through adverse possession.

Again, I referred him to an attorney.

But not before telling him that if a home is foreclosed, the bank owns it.  They have paid the taxes on it.  They hire companies (usually) to keep a check of the property.

And, more importantly, although I am not a lawyer, I am pretty sure if you enter any “abandoned” home you are likely trespassing, burglarizing and breaking and entering.

I have read many stories about “squatters” moving into vacant homes.  Check out  this article on 

To squat or not: Can you take over the abandoned home next door?

I have read stories where scammers have changed the locks and even gone so far as to rent them out.

Still, if you are in need of a home in Brevard County Florida, do it the right way – either lease it through a reputable real estate company or buy it through a reputable real estate company/agent.

When you are ready to buy or sell a house or condo in Viera Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.  Give me a chance to be your Realtor® of Choice in Brevard County, Florida.

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

Monday, July 11, 2011

Selling Your Brevard County Florida Home: Can a real estate agent motivate a seller?

The short answer is ….no.  Period. No way, no how.

Someone selling their home can be motivated by one thing…

their goals.

If the goal is to get as much money as possible for their property then they will prepare their home for the buyer.  (Not to their own personal taste and may even have to “un-decorate” to neutralize.)

If the goal is to sell their home they will price it against the real competitors.  (Selling is a competition.)

If they want to sell they will make reasonable accommodation of buyer prospect showing requests. (Can’t sell it, if buyer can’t see it.)

Goals take all form.  Some are trying to dispose of a property they can no longer afford due to hardship and thus are seeking a short sale solution.  Some are “move up” buyers looking to get what they can and buy more house for the money while prices are low (more importantly while interest rates are low).

Ultimately the seller’s goal and motivation set the tone for the effort. And it is up to their real estate agent to make it happen!

Your real estate agent’s job is to guide you in accomplishing the basic steps a seller must take to prepare the product.

Your real estate agent’s job is to market your homeproduct placement where your pool of buyers will see (and want to see your home).

When you are ready to sell your Viera Florida home, call on a real estate agent who will understand your goals and succeed in helping you achieve them – 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, July 10, 2011

The Real Estate Business–More than Just Selling

"The real estate business" is more than just the mechanics of selling a house to you or for you. 

When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida home I am more interested in meeting your needs more than just getting your listing.  Sure my goal is to get you to list your Brevard County home with me but there is much more to the relationship than just putting a sign in your front yard.

My real estate business philosophy is not complex.... "Behind every transaction is a person, a family, a story."  Written at the top of my blog is this simple sentence: "It may not be a million dollar property but it matters not...because it's your home!"

As a real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida I list and sell homes for a living.  I serve my clients so they happily refer me to their friends.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

55+ Communities in Florida: Grand Isle in Viera Florida–Sales Take a Break in June 2011

Last month I reported that real estate activity in Grand Isle, one of Viera’s premier 55+ communities, had taken off.  It looked as if the inventory would be cleared out in no time.

Then in June 2011, nothing sells, nothing goes under contract.

I must admit the five closings in May 2011 was a lot of activity in a development with tremendous competition from the other 55+ community in Viera – Heritage Isle (named one of the top master planned communities of 2011)

So, as July melts away in the warm central Florida sun, there are nine homes for sale in Grand Isle.

The smallest (and lowest priced) single family house is a two bedroom two bath single family unit listed at $159,000.  The next lowest priced home for sale in Grand Isle is a large 3/2/2 with 2011 sq.ft. listed for $179,000.

This home, located at 1602 Keys Gate Drive, is listed by my broker, Century 21 Baytree Realty.  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me to see this home or any of the Grand Isle properties for sale.

Among the nine active listings there  is one short sale (the highest priced unit) listed at $260,000.

Most homes in Grand Isle are listed in the $200,000 to $235,000 range – reasonable for a gated community with all the amenities offered in Grand Isle (pool, club house, fitness center, social groups, tennis and more).

For information on homes for sale in Brevard County’s 55+ communities of Grand Isle, Heritage Isle and Indian River Colony Club, please contact me!

Give Fido a Break in the Heat!

Summer can be brutal – not only in Florida but most places in the United States!

Prevention of heat exhaustion in humans is important but let’s not forget our pets as well.

Dogs have a limited ability to cool themselves.  They do not sweat but rather cool themselves by pants and through their foot pads.  Of course, walking on a hot sidewalk does not allow much cooling through the feet!

As you enjoy the summer sun, remember Fido! 

Or in my case, the "Boss"ton Terrier - Diesel Dog!!

"Everyone knows you real estate agents are like car salesmen..."

"Everyone knows you real estate agents are like car salesmen..."

He called me earlier this week with questions regarding Heritage Isle, Viera's premier  55+ community.

But first he prefaced his questions with the comment that he "did not want to be chased down because everyone knows you real estate agents are like car salesmen - always bothering people"

I am not here to speak for car salesmen.

And I did not get offended by his perception of real estate agents as I have heard it before.

I assured him I would not be bothering him.

If you have any questions whatsoever about buying and selling a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, feel free to contact me.

Here is what you can expect. I...

  • do no cold calling,
  • do return calls when asked and promptly if missed,
  • do correspond by email if contacts prefer
  • don't chase people! [I prefer email as it does not "bother" people and is efficient.]
If you are looking for a resource for your Brevard County Florida real estate needs, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Phillips Landing in Rockledge–Short Sales, Foreclosure, New Construction

Phillips Landing in Rockledge Florida offers home buyers in Brevard County several choices in July 2011.

If new construction is what you desire you can find homes like a three bedroom two bath two car garage for about $176,000 or a four bedroom two and a half bath home with 2400+ sq.ft. under air for about $213,000.   The builder lists it at $212,900 but it is really $213,00 unless you negotiate it down.

HintTake your own real estate agent with you the first time you visit the model home.  Don’t have one, call me and I will meet you there!

Got the time to wait on a short sale?  Then perhaps one of the two short sale four bedroom two bath homes is for you.  One is listed at $169,000 and the other at $169,999 (again, why the hanging on with …999????).  These 2006 homes may be a good opportunity if you have the four to six months to wait for lender approval.  Actually no one really knows how long a short sale will take!

And we at Century 21 Baytree Realty have a five bedroom three and a half bath with almost 3,000 sq.ft. under air listed at only $249,900.  And this one has a pool and is on the lake…and, more importantly, its not a short sale!

And  if a foreclosure is a consideration there is a 3/2/2 listed at $154,500!

So if Phillips Landing in Rockledge is your destination, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me at .

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Homes for Sale in Viera West (Viera area west of I-95 in Brevard County, Florida)

Buyers looking to purchase a new home in Viera Florida will often identify the specific area of Viera as “the new area” or “the old area.”

If you have never been to Viera, the new area is considered to be the homes to the west of Interstate 95 in Brevard County.

The homes in Viera West were built after 2004 with new construction continuing today while Viera East was constructed from the early 1990s through today (new construction still underway in Capron Ridge).

Currently there are 80 single family homes for sale in Viera West.   Prices range from $149,000 to $1,500,000.  Somewhere in that range is a home for almost anyone!

At the higher end of the spectrum one can find about five homes in the exclusive gated community of Wyndham at Duran (all over a million dollars) and six at the also exclusive gated community of Summer Lakes (priced at about $800K to about $1,300,000).

Remove the 30 or so homes for sale in Heritage Isle from the total and you will find about 50 properties from which to choose – still a nice variety!   A few of these neighborhoods and homes for sale include....
  • Charolais Estates, another exclusive gated community has four active listings priced at $599,000 to $899,000.
  • Chelford subdivision offers six properties priced from $240,000 to $399,000.
  • Fairway Lakes, another gated exclusive community bordering Duran Golf Club,  has four homes offered at $370,000 to $749,000.
  • Near the lower price range you will find five homes for sale in Indigo Crossing priced under $200,000!
For information on other developments in Viera West, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

When you are looking to sell your Viera home, call the Realtor® you found on the Internet when you searched "sell my Viera home."

Heritage Isle in Viera Florida - Real Estate Market Report for June 2011

With eight homes under contract and another five that closed in June 2011 real estate activity in Heritage Isle in Viera Florida is creeping along at a steady pace!

As July begins there are 33 residential properties (single family homes) on the market in Heritage Isle – Viera’s premier 55+ community.

Of the 33 homes for sale in Heritage Isle there are three short sales priced between $165,000 and $179,900.  All the homes on teh market in Heritage Isle have two car garages except the two highest pried units have three car garages (priced at $230K and $280K).  The smallest of the homes for sale in Heritage Isle is about $1650 sq. ft. under air while the largest is 2,693 sq. ft..

And lets not forget there are condo units for sale in Heritage Isle as well!  With eleven condo units on the market priced at $82,000 to $135,000 these units are priced to move!   Three condos have recently gone under contract as well as buyers are recognizing these attractive prices!

Home sold in Heritage Isle during June 2011:
  • Number sold – 5
  • Average days on market – 90
  • Average selling price – $202,200 (extremes of sales was 1 short sale patio home at $110,000; largest home sold @ $280K)
  • Average listing price – $214,560
  • List/Sell Ratio – 94% 
  • Financing – 2 (Conventional loan), 3 (cash)
For information on homes for sale in Viera Florida, including condos in Viera, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

If new construction is a consideration, call me about new construction in Heritage Isle as well! 

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Residential Short Sales in Brevard County Florida during June 2011

Residential sales of Short Sales in Brevard County, Florida for June 2011 show 569 units sold as of today, July 5th.   Follow this link for a summary of all June 2011 residential sales in Brevard County, Florida..

The early short sale data extracted from the Brevard MLS system show:
  • Short Sale Units Sold – 191
  • Average Short Sale Selling Price – $112,231
  • Average Short Sale Listing Price – $120,811
  • Median Short Sale Selling Price – $89,000
  • Median Short Sale Listing Price – $99,2500
  • List to Sell Ratio for Short Sales – 93%
For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

    Residential Sales in Brevard County Florida for June 2011

    Residential sales in Brevard County, Florida for June 2011 show 569 units sold as of today, July 5th.

    The early data extracted from the Brevard MLS system show:
    • Units Sold – 569
    • Average Selling Price – $134,287
    • Average Listing Price – $143,748
    • Median Selling Price – $105,000
    • Median Listing Price – $109,900
    • List to Sell Ratio – 93%
    For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.


      Monday, July 04, 2011

      Home Buyer Tips: Not knowing can be so disappointing….

      Not knowing can be so disappointing not only for the buyer but for the real estate agent who works for free until the deal closes.

      Not knowing can be so disappointing not only for the seller but for the real estate agent who works for free until the deal closes.

      Not knowing can be so disappointing for the buyer who has not obtained mortgage pre-approval before finding that new house only to find out they can't get the mortgage!

      There are so many uncertainties in buying and selling a house or condo.  The only way to minimize the unknowns is to...

      • If you are a seller - prepare and price appropriate to 'your" market.
      • If you are a buyer - identify your requirements and get a mortgage pre-approval first AND then shop within your budget.
      • If your are a Realtor® - work hard for your client throughout the process!
      I am committed to my role as a real estate agent. Call me to discuss how I can help you when you are ready to buy or sell a Brevard County, Florida home!

      Email me!

      Sunday, July 03, 2011

      Selling Your Viera Florida Home: Real Estate Pricing Theory in 2011

      It does not matter what you call it.  When a home lingers on the market for an extended period of time it can become ostracized a bit by local real estate experts who assume, rightly or wrongly, there is something wrong with the house.

      As a real estate listing sits the seller is more likely to receive a low ball offer as prospective buyers figure the seller must be getting desperate.   Buyers almost always ask how long a listing has been on the market when they consider making an offer.

      Currently the average number of days on the market in Brevard County, Florida (list date to contract signed date, not closing) is about 122 days.   That is almost four months.   I consider anything longer than 90 as lingering.

      There are clues when a home is not priced appropriately.   Check out my 30-10-1 rule as well as the real estate golden period.

      When you are ready to place your house on the market consider the "Real Estate Pricing Theory in 2011":
      If a good (your house) is difficult to obtain (priced too high), prospective buyers will turn to substitutes (your neighbor's house!).
      When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida home, call a real estate agent who specializes in your area.  In Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if you prefer.

      Saturday, July 02, 2011

      What is a Realtor®?

      What is a Realtor®?  I know the standard answer…a member of the National Association of Realtors®.  All Realtors® are real estate agents but not all real estate agents are Realtors®.  Ask them!

      But really…what is a Realtor®?

      I am convinced the primary job of a Realtor® is to be an interpreter of dreams!

      OK, I concede that is a bit of a stretch.

      So what is a Realtor®?

      If you are a seller, my job is to get you the best possible price for your property based on its condition, location and market place, with conditions that meet your plans and time frame.

      If you are a buyer, my job is to guide you through the home buying process, from mortgage pre-approval to closing table, finding you the property that best meets your needs, budget and desires.

      When I am successful in either role,  I will get paid.

      More importantly, you will be a happy client ready to give me referrals!

      So when you are in the need of Realtor® services in Brevard County, Florida or any other place, let me know.  I know some great real estate professionals throughout the United States and Canada whom I will gladly refer.

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

      Friday, July 01, 2011

      Which Mortgage Lender Should You Use in Brevard County, Florida?

      Most home buyers in Brevard County, Florida obtain mortgages on home purchases.  So far the June 2011 residential sales in Brevard County has seen about 48% of the buyers paying cash.

      Obtaining mortgage pre-approval is the key initial process when preparing to buy a home.

      And the choice (and competition) among mortgage lenders is high.

      So who would I, as a real estate agent selling homes in Brevard County, Florida recommend?

      I do not care which lender my buyers use as long as the lender
      • offers a quality product (rate, term), 
      • at a competitive price (not all lenders charge same application, appraisal, credit search fees), and 
      • can close the transaction within the contracted time frame.  
      Unfortunately there are not a lot who fit that description.   So, as a home buyer, ask questions.  Get quotes with written estimates.  Know who you will be dealing with and how easily they can be reached when the need arises. 

      A few articles and links that may help you select a mortgage lender:
      When you are ready to buy or sell your Brevard County, Florida home, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me.

      Florida Real Estate Notes: Is there ever a good reason to sell for a loss?

      While speaking with a prospective seller yesterday I heard the comment "I don't want to sell for a loss."   Who in their right mind wants to sell for less than they paid for their home?

      But there are some who do opt to sell in Brevard County, Florida for a loss..

      In the long term a perceived loss today may in fact be the opportunity for a gain as a new purchase may give the seller a chance to buy buy more home  for less

      Real considerations should include, among other things,  what one seeks in the long term and affordability based on current (and projected) income.

      If a larger home will be needed in the the next year or two, why not pay less in a down market than when the market recovers?  (And it will recover, just when is the question.)

      At the other end of the spectrum, downsizing may be the move you are considering.  Why not take a look at that condos on Cocoa Beach (retiring in Florida)  or one of the 55+ communities like Florida's Heritage Isle (named one of the 50 best planned communities in 2011 by Where to Retire magazine)? 

      Still some may choose to take advantage of the lower housing prices while retaining their current home as a rental property.

      I did not include those who sell as a short sale due to some hardship situation that makes continued ownership impossible.  The short sale situation is different from the standard seller's choices.   If you are in Brevard County and a short sale and you have questions, give me a call to discuss the process.

      If you are considering buying a new home in Brevard County, call or email me.  I will gladly send you listings or provide you a no -cost market analysis of your current home.

      It doesn't cost a think to look at your options in the Brevard County, Florida real estate!

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