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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Inventory November 2011 vs. November 2010 - Active Listings

The below is a comparison of the inventory of active listings in the Brevard MLS system between November 2010 and November 2011.

It is very easy to see the inventory is down from one year ago in every category.  This is a good trend for sellers as decreased inventory means decreased competition!

Novemner 2011
November 30, 2011 Inventory

November 15, 2010 Inventory
When you are ready to buy or sell a home in Brevard County, Florida, please contact me at 321-693-3850 or 

Selling is not a diplomatic undertaking but....

I will admit the title is not entirely true all the time.... selling your home can be a diplomatic undertakingTalk about the negotiations often required to get to the closing table!

Negotiations requires focus on the objective - not every little issue.

But, to reach the negotiation stage, someone must like all your home has to offer so as to get to the offer stage.

To get to the offer stage sellers must showcase their home's positive attributes to prospective buyers - not distract them.

There are many ways a home distracts buyer prospects such as too many interesting pictures on the walls and the refrigerator (people are a curious creature!).  Clutter can be a huge distraction as well.

And although nature provides us with some amazing colors not every color in the Sherwin-Williams paint repertoire should be considered when selling your home.  I find it almost amazing the creations some can make when they get loose in a paint store!

We all have different tastes.  As for me, I have a preference for khaki or beige which maybe matches my personality!

When it comes to decorating your home while you live there - it is an open book!

But, when it comes time to sell, it is a new chapter in a new book...think neutral.

And for wallpaper as well!

When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida home, please contact me to discuss how I can assist you in the process.

Buying a home – It is not a minefield but still...

I went through my entire first home buying experience in a fog I guess.  I had no idea of the issues that could have arisen – but they didn’t.  Or did they?

I now look back and think how lucky I must have been at the time.  Then I remember how luck really works – you make your luck! 
I have no idea if there were mines in the road to my first closing.  Given my experience as a real estate agent my guess is there were issues.

But now, I realize that if there were any issues my Realtor®, Dave, must have handled them.  Maybe there is something to this ignorance is bliss stuff...just kidding, of course. 

Step number one when buying or selling a home - Hire a good Realtor® if you are buying or selling a house or condo!
  • As a buyer, you don't pay.
  • As a seller, you can't afford not to pay for the professional marketing service.
If you are considering selling your Viera and Suntree, Florida home, please call me at 321-693-3850 or email me to discuss how I can market your home for you!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tenant Placement Costs – Security Deposits Make People Think Twice

I am in the residential real estate sales business in central Brevard County Florida and not in the property management business.

Many of these owners are seasoned veterans who know the business well.  Occasionally I run into a rookie owner landlord. (You have to start sometime!)

Many times these landlords are accidental landlords.  That is, home prices in Brevard County are so attractive they opt to buy a new home and rent out the old home in the interim while they await a market rebound (it will happen).

With these new landlords I encourage a “make them think twice about leaving” security deposit.

I was speaking with someone this weekend who indicated they are going to purchase a home and when it happens they intend to just break the lease.  I am not an attorney so I did not offer any opinions in the legal sense but rather this one…

Why not consider a six month plus one day lease with an option to go month to month afterwards? Why not be upfront with the owner?

As a landlord, consider the amount of security deposit you collect upfront because not all tenants may be upfront with you?

If you are a property owner in central Brevard County who manages your own property, let me help you find the right tenant. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Selling over the holidays…Only for the serious sellers

There are many reasons people don’t put their house up for sale in November and December. Things like Thanksgiving,  Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's Day, etc.

There was a time when asked about listing a home for sale in December my response was...
I recommend the seller use December to get the house ready for selling. Take care of the little problems (all homes have something that could be tweaked). Enjoy the holidays.
The above was written here on December 9, 2008.  I have since changed my mind.

The real estate market is very competitive and sellers should seek every advantage available - including the holidays.  Actively marketing your home in December does create additional burdens but your advantage will be the buyer pool.  Who are these buyers? 

Buyers shopping for a home in December are likely serious buyers - not the casual lookers out for an afternoon drive.  Folks who are changing jobs may search for a home so the kids can start school in January.  Some buyers are "snowbirds" who have just come for a visit in the Viera area and decided they want to stay!

Regardless, buyers shopping during the holiday period are usually serious!  If you are actively selling your home during the holidays, you will be taken seriously as well!

If you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida house or condo, now may just be the right time.

Or, if you want to wait until the new year, call me and lets discuss how we can put things in motion now for an early January sale.

Is Paying Cash an Advantage When Buying a Home?

The original title to this short post was going to be..

Sometimes cash will speak softly; sometimes cash will get attention.  To the seller - it is all cash, even with a mortgage.

I sometimes hear things like I am paying cash and can close in a week.  But the reality is sometimes sellers can't move in a week.  Sometimes buyers can't get an inspection and a survey and title work done in a week.

It sounds good but most often the "cash and can close in a week buyer" is an investor picking up a foreclosure or the like.

Admittedly, there was a time when home buyers thought the mere mention of cash meant sellers would melt away and just say yes!

And while I do believe the quickest way to tear down barriers to any real estate transaction is cash.......there are times when it will work to a buyers advantage.  Such as when there is a motivated seller who has equity (no short sale).   Or in the case of the condo community lenders will not go near because of the number of rentals, owners in arrears, etc.. Check HUD approved condo communities here.

As a buyer do not think that cash means a low ball opportunity.

Sure there may be an opportunity for some discount but not a significant one.  The cash buyer does have some leverage.

In the right circumstances cash is a powerful weapon but not an all conquering one like when the hurdle is a short sale!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Home Buying Process – Is it really that difficult?

The short answer – no.

The first step, of course, is the finances.  Hey, it always comes down to money...

So you go down to your bank and talk to the mortgage folks.  You check the interest rates on line, maybe even do one of those online applications.

Anyway, you end up with a written pre-approval letter Mortgage pre-approval and pre-qualification can be light years apart - know the difference. 

Now that you are pre-approved for a mortgage do not do anything to jeopardize that status –
  • no new charge accounts, 
  • no new car, 
  • no new job
  • …well you understand.
The next step is the research. 

There is a tremendous amount of information available about homes on the market, local schools, neighborhood crime rates, tax rates (important consideration), whatever you want to know about the information is available.

So where do you start your quest for information?

The short answera local Realtor®.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Selling Your Brevard County Florida Home: Sellers want to know these things ....

Home owners considering selling their home usually interview several agents when trying to find the right one.

When I speak with prospective sellers in Brevard County, I know the questions they are going to ask and the answers they want to hear from me.

Sure there are lots of other things to talk about like marketing efforts, open house (or not), preparing to sell their home, etc. but the four thing sellers must have answered before I leave their home include:
  1. How much can I get?  No surprise this is the number one question. 
  2. When can I get it?  Selling is stressful.  People have lives that are disrupted temporarily in the process, moving plans to be made, etc.  In many cases like short sales there are the stresses of hardships that are requiring the short sale.  I understand very well.  Closings typically take about 30 days from the contract date to close. Timing here is tied directly to list price.
  3. How much will it cost me?  Of all the seller cost involved the highest is probably the professional real estate fee.  Remember fees and commissions are always negotiable.
  4. How much do I walk away with?  All of the above questions impact this answer as well as key things like mortgage payoff (if any).
If you are thinking about selling your Brevard County, Florida home, call me to discuss the answers to the above questions.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Homes Sold and For Sale in Melbourne Florida By Sale Type in Zip Code 32940 (Jan 1 - Nov 23, 2011)

The first chart below provides a summary of the composition of the active residential real estate market by type of sale for the 32940 zip code (Melbourne, Florida including Suntree and Viera) in 2011 as of November 24, 2011.

If one is looking to purchase a short sale or foreclosure home in zip code 32940, the choices are limited.  The below percentages are based on a total of 234 residential listings.

The below chart reflects the residential properties sold in zip code 32940 in 2011 by sale type.  Although public opinion is everything is a short sale or foreclosure, these numbers (529 year to date sales)  show the real story - almost three of every four sales in zip code 32940 are standard sales.

Special thanks for your assistance, S.S.

The Ventura at Turtle Creek in Rockledge - What is Selling, What is Sitting in November 2011

If you are considering a condo purchase in the Rockledge or Viera, Florida area, check out The Ventura at Turtle Creek gated community, next to the almost world famous Turtle Creek Golf Course.  These newer construction (mid-2000s) condos are affordable priced and deserve a look.

So how is the Ventura at Turtle Creek market?

Currently there are six units at Ventura at Turtle Creek under contract.  Five of the units under contract are (listed from $79,900 to $99,972) are short sales.

There are five active listings in the Ventura at Turtle Creek complex.

One unit is a short sale listed at $99,900 - a seemingly reasonable list price when considering the units already under contract.  By the way, the last unit to sell in The Ventura at Turtle Creek sold in August 2011 for $79,900 - a 3 bedroom 2 bath foreclosure.

And then there are the other four active listings priced between $119,900 and $148,000.

Are they different than the others? Doubtful as they are in the same buildings which were all constructed with in a couple of years of each other......"why?"

For information on the condos at The Ventura at Turtle Creek or single family homes for sale in the Turtle Creek area, call em directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turtle Creek Golf Course Rockledge - Townhouse for sale - $75,000!

Turtle Creek Golf Course Rockledge - Townhouse for sale - $75,000... 

Short Sale

Located at 1244 Admiralty Blvd in Rockledge, Florida, this two bedroom two and one half bath two car garage townhouse is located on the fairway of Rockledge, Florida's Turtle Creek golf course and is being offered as a short sale (lender approval required) for only $75,000.

This is an absolutely great opportunity to own a golf course direct unit in central Florida.

Talk about a great location for a vacation or second home!  Lawn maintenance provided by association with low monthly fees ($60 currently).  Newer appliances.  Location is near Viera, excellent schools, several golf courses, only 45 minutes to Orlando, 20 minutes to beaches.

Built in 1979 this townhouse does have an issue relating to the siding and framing at the rear of the unit.  The owner has had an evaluation of the problem and has indicated the repairs will be around $15,000.  Because of this issue a mortgage could be an issue.

This is a great opportunity for investors as well.

Selling and Buying Real Estate in Brevard County, Florida - If the Burger Joint Won't Do it, Why Would a Seller?

I just read an article written by a local Melbourne, Florida Realtor® Sandy Shores (I'm looking for a Steal, I want to Buy for Pennies on the Dollar) about some of the types of calls we sometimes receive in Brevard County, Florida from interested out of town buyers.

Made me think about our sometimes flawed thinking when it comes to the depressed real estate market.

In real estate (as well as pretty much anything else) we should understand that not all good deals are steals.

Attractive prices have a way of sometimes making home buyers more optimistic and less realistic. 

I am certainly aware buying a house or condo is not the same as buying a hamburger but the correlation is there...

I wonder if McDonald's will sell me a burger for pennies on the dollar because the competition is keen - after all there is a Burger King around the corner and a Wendy's down the street...and...

Even the McDonald's folks run an occasional deal to combat the competition. 

Sometimes the home seller will incentives as well.  A good local real estate agent can help you recognize the good deal when it is offered..

But these good deals are not necessarily steals for pennies on the dollar!

If you are considering buying or selling a home or condo in Brevard County, Florida, give me a call if I can assist in any way.

Selling Your Brevard County Home: Does the average number of days on the market mean anything?

The average days on the market (DOM) for residential properties in Brevard County is currently about 115 days.

The DOM reflects the number of days from listing to under contract – not closing.

Typically, on a non-short sale, there is another 30 days or so if the transaction is not a cash deal which can close more quickly from contract date to closing.  It is during this period due diligence is exercised - association rules reviewed, inspections conducted, repairs made if required, survey conducted, etc.

The median days on the market is much less.   For instance, about two thirds the way through November the average DOM for residential properties is 114 while the median days on the market is 45 days for all sales (and 93 days for short sales only).

I looked at some of the "sold homes" so far this month.  Several had been on the market over 1,000.  A lot of them had been listed (active) for over 500 days.

It is because of these extremes the average days on the market should mean less to a seller than the median days on the market.

If you are considering selling your Brevard County, Florida home check out the median days on the market for your neighborhood or area.

I think this will be a good indicator of your prospects.  This will certainly tell you how popular your neighborhood is as well as how realistic are your neighbors pricing their homes. 

When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida, home, call me if I can help.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Where is the Brevard County, Florida single family home real estate market headed? Single Family Home Overview November 2011

Current as of November 16, 2011. All data from the Brevard Multiple Listing Service. 
  • New single family home listings are down 12.8% year to date vs. 2010 same period.
  • Pending sale of single family homes are up 56.9% year to date vs. 2010 same period.
  • Closed sales are up 9.3% year to date vs. 2010 same period.
  • Average sales price of $151,300 is down only 1.3% year to date vs. 2010 same period.
  • Median sales price of $108,000 is down 10% year to date vs. 2010 same period.
  • Months supply of inventory (single family homes) is now 5.4 months, down 61.8% year to date vs. 2010 same period.
So where is the Brevard County, Florida single family home real estate market headed?  I am no expert but I have my opinion.

Brevard County Florida Real Estate Blog - Post Number 2000: Due diligence is not optional.

It as been 2,079 days since I posted my very first entry on this blog - Florida Homes For Sale - Melbourne, Viera, Suntree, Rockledge.

The real estate market in Brevard County, Florida has been through some pretty high highs and some pretty low lows in that time.   One day the prices will be higher but not in the foreseeable future.  That is the nature of the free market system - supply and demand.

But, in my opinion, one thing will never go back is the increased level of skepticism buyers and sellers must have as they approach the real estate transaction.  Due diligence is not optional. 

There are schemers out there willing to defraud the public.  Between all the foreclosures, short sales, for sale by owner properties, loan modification companies, Craigslist schemes, etc....

competent advice is needed now more than ever.

When you are ready to buy or sell a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, call me, please.  If you are in a situation where a short sale may be a solution, call or send me an email.

And if you do not call me, call some Realtor®, please.   If you live out of the area, call me for a recommendation in your area.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Indigo Crossing in Viera– In November 2011 “Distressed Properties” Still Dominate

Indigo Crossing in Viera continues to be primarily a short sale market as Thanksgiving 2011 approaches.

In the last six months there have been nine homes sold in Indigo Crossing in Viera.   Of these seven were short sales with an average selling price of $158,000.  One other sale was an investor flip of a foreclosure picked up earlier.

Currently there are four homes under contract in Indigo Crossing.  Three of these are short sales; the other a foreclosure.

There are two homes for sale in Indigo Crossing today.   One is a short sale listed at $159,000.  Is that a reasonable list price?  (See paragraph two above.)

The other is a standard sale listed at $164,900.  Is that a reasonable offering price?  Probably. (See paragraph two above.)

Many of these homes are very similar as are most in the Indigo Crossing community.   Eleven of the fifteen discussed in this article have about 1,900 sq.ft. +/- 10 feet.

For information on buying and selling homes in Indigo Crossing as well as in any of Viera’s communities, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me.

FSBO: If You Are Willing To Pay Me to Bring You a Buyer, Why Not List Your Viera Home For Sale?

While waiting to get a haircut a few days ago I chatted with a gentleman who was also waiting.   As I always wear my name tag (Gary L. Waters, Realtor®) when I am out and about, he asked me about the market (everyone does, easy conversation starter) and a few general questions about buying and selling homes in the Viera area.

It was not long before I realized he was a for sale by owner seller.  I rarely see them although I heard they still exist. According the the 2011 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers, 10% of sales last year were FSBOs.

By the way, I have offered free advice to FSBOs in Brevard County for as long as I can remember.  Just call and ask...I will help.

I know the Viera real estate market fairly well and know his neighborhood.  He indicated he would be willing to pay me a commission if I bring him a buyer.

But his price is not competitive with the others for sale in Viera and Suntree for comparable properties.  At this time I have no buyer for his home but even if I did -  not at his dream price.

I wonder why he is willing to schedule showings, walk strangers through his home, negotiate with a buyer, deal with the inspection and possible repairs, and all the other issues a seller deals with but is not willing to let any Realtor® list his property for sale.

The additional cost is not significant and I have read studies that have shown homes sold through a Realtor® sell for more than the FSBO seller.   Besides, FSBOs are only selling 10% of all homes sold and FSBOs call a Realtor® 85% of the time anyway.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Golf Course Homes for Sale in Brevard County Florida

There homes for sale within the golf course communities of Brevard County and there are homes for sale directly on the golf course.   For example, within the Baytree National gated community located in Suntree  there are 21 active listings although only 7 are listed as golf course direct.

If I search the Brevard MLS for homes for sale with “On golf course” as a search criteria there are approximately (as of this morning) 90 listings in the entire Brevard County area.   List prices for these "on golf course" homes range from $79,000 within the Indian River Colony Club development to $1,249,000 within the exclusive Wyndham at Duran development in Viera.

At the high end of the listings there are only four golf course direct homes listed with price in the million dollar plus range  – three in Wyndham at Duran and the other within the Balmoral development in the gated Baytree Golf Course Community in Suntree.

Golf course direct homes do come in all ranges – size and price.  Thirty five of the active golf course homes are located within the IRCC community with the highest priced at $209,000 although most are under $160,000.  But IRCC is a 55+ community with high maintenance fees ($580-880 a month) plus additional fees for golf and tennis.

While you can find golf course homes for sale all over  Brevard County, most (40%) are located in the central Brevard County planned unit developments of Viera and Suntree. 

Some of the communities with golf course homes for sale and their general price range include:
  • Summerfield in Bayside Lakes – five listings in the $300-400,000s
  • Sandpiper Cover at Aquarina – four listings in $400-500,000s
  • Baytree National Golf Links – seven listings $400,000 to $1,000,000+
  • Wyndham at Duran – four listings priced $1,000,000+
  • Fairway Lakes at Viera – three listings in the $400,000s
  • The Savannahs in Merritt Island – four listings in the $250-300,000s

For information on homes for sale in the golf course communities of Brevard County, please give me a call or send me an email.

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