Find Your Home!

Friday, November 29, 2013

What are you doing this Black Friday?

I have heard Black Friday called many things including Bleak Friday.
I understand the economic history of this day.  It is the unofficial start of the Christmas Season although the lights have been up and trees out in many places for weeks.

There was a time when businesses operated at a loss (in the red) and this day moved them into positive territory (in the black). 

I love the holidays for their real meaning...peace, joy, sharing, being thankful.

Still, I understand the commercial intensity.

But on this Black Friday I choose to wait it out.  I would much rather pay the higher price for my sanity.

Yes, my sanity has a price....

Image courtesy of Iamnee at

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Are there any manufactured home 55+ communities in Brevard County, Florida?

Not all those looking to retire or by a second home in Florida are looking for a condo or a newer single family detached home in a newer gated 55+ community in Viera, Florida.

I received a call last week from someone wanting to retire to Florida.   They were not interested in a condo on the beach.  In their words "I hate the water."  Nor did they want the 300+ dollars or so in monthly fees. (For example, in Viera's Heritage Isle the fees run about $300, Indian River Colony Club about $600 to $900 a month depending on floor plan).

The caller was looking for a manufactured home in a gated 55+ community.  I must admit I receive fewer calls about these types of communities.

I emailed some listings and got a response today that "This is exactly what I had in mind."

What are some of the  manufactured home 55+ communities in Brevard County, Florida?  Since I work primarily in central Brevard County I will highlight a couple of the 55+ manufactured communities in Central Brevard in this post.  [The fees and what is included should be verified before purchasing.  The information here extracted from MLS entries for listings in the communities.]

First, there is the Forest Lakes of Cocoa community.  The monthly fees run about $60 which includes pool maintenance, security, clubhouse, recreation room and lawn service.

Also in Cocoa is the Northwest Lakes Condo (within Lost Lakes).  Monthly fees here are around $165 and includes a club house, recreation room, pool maintenance, security, lawn service, shuffleboard and tennis.   Also located in the same area is the Lost Lakes Condominium  with monthly fees in the area as Northwest Lakes Condo and includes similar amenities.

List prices for homes in these condo communities run from the low $50,000s to the lower $100,000s. Again, before purchasing review all condo documents and financial statements.

These, as well as several other manufactured communities, offer gated living with lower monthly fees and lower acquisition costs than the other 55+ communities in the Viera area of Central Brevard County and are still within ten mils of Viera and its amenities.

For information on 55+ communities in Brevard County, Florida, send me an email or give me a call.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Home Seller Tips: Why are they being so critical of MY house?

Although the percentage of real estate agents who provide comments is low (my estimate 25%),  when received sellers must cull through the generic and learn from objective feedback.

Most often the feedback is filled with pleasantries like "showed nice, thanks.  Good luck."

And sometimes the feedback can be negative.

Sellers need to listen to the feedback objectively and not take a "Why are they being so critical of MY house?" attitude.

Consider the feedback and if the suggestions make sense and enhance your property’s attractiveness to buyers, do it.   It may be highlighting some items the seller should address for the next prospective buyers. 

On the other hand sometimes the negative feedback may just be a signal of interest.

As a seller's agent and a buyer's agent I have seen many cases where the "pot shots" increase as interest increases.

Prospective buyers may be using these negative "pot shots" to set the stage for a much lower than list price offer. 

As you prepare to sell your Brevard County, Florida home anticipate the "pot shots."  Address the issues early on so you will not be giving your prospective buyer support for a lower price.

There are three keys to selling your Brevard County, Florida home. I call them the "Three Ps of Marketing your Home."   One of these, presentation, is where sellers address the pot shots.  [I also have my Three Ps for Buying a House.]

When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Choosing a Realtor® in Viera, Florida: I (probably) will (not) sell your Viera, Florida home.

Choosing a Realtor® in Viera, Florida:  I probably will not sell your Viera, Florida home!

I saw a sign go up on a house in the area a few weeks ago.  I follow the MLS system every day awaiting the list price.  As a Viera Realtor® I want to know what is for sale and selling in my backyard.  It showed up a week later.

I am not sure of the reason why it took so long.   If anything the sign usually goes up a few days after the entry into the MLS system.  If I were the cynical type I would think the agent was holding off hoping a buyer would drive by and call him before any other agent had a chance to bring a buyer.

But then, the chance of that happening is pretty slim.

When you get ready to sell your Viera, Florida home ask your prospective real estate agent if they will be selling your home themselves.

Their response should go something like this...
I am only one real estate agent.  As your agent my goal is to market your home where it will be seen by your pool of most likely prospective buyers.  Through my marketing efforts some prospective buyers will call me and I may even show your home.  But there are three thousand or so Realtors® in Brevard County, Florida.  They also market to prospective buyers.  Some are exclusive buyer's agents.  Your buyer will most likely come from that pool of agents.  That is the reason why the fee you are paying me to market your home is split 50/ encourage and compensate the agent who brings your buyer.
Would I like to be the real estate agent who lists and sells your home?  Certainly.  And I will do all I can to make it happen.  The reality is by hiring me as your Brevard County, Florida real estate agent you are hiring all three thousand of us.
If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home or just moving to Brevard County, Florida, give me a call if I can help in any way. If you prefer, send me an email.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Heritage Isle 55+ Community in Viera, Florida - Homes for Sale November 2013

Heritage Isle Viera 55+ Community - Homes for Sale November 2013

The Heritage Isle community in Viera (Melbourne, Florida) offers several choices for those relocating to central Florida’s premier 55+ community.  Besides the more common single family style homes, Heritage Isle also offers condos and town homes (villas).

Presented here is a summary of what is for sale in Heritage Isle as well as what has sold in Heritage Isle since October 1, 2013.

Currently there are five condos for sale in Heritage Isle.  List prices range from $107,500 to $139,900.  Three of these units are foreclosures while one is a short sale and another a standard sale.

There are two town homes for sale in Heritage Isle as well with prices ranging in the $140-155,000 range for a two bedroom two bath one car garage unit with about 1,400 square feet under air.  One of these is a new construction unit scheduled to be ready in January 2014.

As for single family detached homes there are presently fourteen listed for sale with prices ranging from $185,000  to $479,900.  There are three listings at or above $399,900 which is something I don't recall seeing in some time within Heritage Isle.

Of course the higher priced homes are larger, have three car garages and are located on premium water front lots.   There is only one single family home listing in Heritage Isle that is a distressed sale - a short sale

Since October 1, 2013 there have been three town homes sold in Heritage Isle with selling prices ranging from $140,000 to $156,000.  All of these were "regular" sales.

There have been six single family homes sold in Heritage Isle since October 1, 2013 with prices ranging from $210,000 to $418,550.   All of these were standard sales as well.

The unusually high selling price is a bit misleading.

If you disregard the $418,550 property, the average selling price was about $222,000 which is more a real reflection of typical Heritage Isle homes.

For information on buying a home in the Heritage Isle Viera 55+ Community, please call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Choosing Your Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Agent: "local" is not always local.......

As a Brevard County, Florida real estate agent I limit my service area to central Brevard County.    Not because I don't know about other areas but rather because I don't know enough about some areas.

Regardless of where you are buying or selling you need an agent who has local knowledge...schools, neighborhoods, parks, etc.

In Brevard County, Florida there is a reason why "local" is not always local.......

Brevard County, Florida is almost 1,557 square miles of which almost 35% is water.  That is not really huge (about a third the size of Rhode Island) but its geography makes it difficult for any real estate agent to cover the entire Brevard County area.

Brevard County is a narrow sliver along central Florida's Atlantic Ocean coastline.  That sliver is about seventy-two miles from north to south.   The county is unofficially (in my opinion) divided into three distinct areas.   [Some may consider "beach side" as a fourth area.]

US 1 and I-95 provide commuters very easy north to south routes for easy commuting within Brevard County.  For those commuting to Orlando, State Roads 520 and 528 (toll road) make easy commuting to Orlando and its airport.  Getting around is relatively easy in Brevard County with a population around 550,000. 

Some buyers prefer the northern areas are more rural while the major population centers tend to be in the south around Melbourne and Palm Bay.   Others choose the planned unit developments in central county like Viera and Suntree.   And then there are those seeking the oceanfront condos, Banana River or Indian River water frontage.   And then there are certain schools some want for their children.

All of these varying locations make it a challenge for any agent to be a local expert.  I understand this and restrict my service areas so my clients benefit from local expertise. -

If you are considering a move to Brevard County, Florida, give me a call at 321-693-3850.   I can provide you information on all  homes for sell in Brevard County, Florida.

Your best source of real estate information will always be local.

And if your ultimate area of interest is outside of my local expertise I will gladly refer you to another competent local expert!

Monthly Distressed Market Summary - October 2013 Single Family Homes in Brevard County, Florida

Monthly Distressed Market Summary - October 2013 Single Family Homes in Brevard County, Florida as provided by the Florida Realtors®.

Short sales continue to diminish while prices across all three markets continue to increase.  These prices reflect the entire Brevard County.  Prices will vary greatly based on location, location, location!   It is highly unlikely (almost said impossible) a buyer would find a foreclosure in Viera and Suntree for less than a $100,000.

Monthly Market Summary - October 2013 Single Family Home Sales in Brevard County, Florida

Monthly Market Summary - October 2013 Single Family Home Sales in Brevard County, Florida as provided by Florida Realtors®.  An improving but stable housing trend in Brevard County with prices rising but not taking off at an unsustainable pace. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Florida Real Estate Market October 2013 - Single Family Homes Sales

The below summary of the single family home sales in October 2013 is provided by the the Florida Realtors®.  All components look positive!

Viera, Florida Short Sales and Foreclosures: Are they really a better deal than a standard sale?

Viera, Florida short sales and foreclosures:  How much of a better deal are they?  Or, are they really a better deal?

In the Viera, Florida area of Brevard County, Florida there are fewer short sales and foreclosures on the market now than in the past three to five years.  Still, some buyers want to buy these distressed properties in hopes of saving a lot of money.

But are short sales and foreclosures really discounted that much?   Is there really a significant savings potential given the condition of many of these distressed properties?  Buyers should not lump these two types of sales into the same category. They are different. Short sales, while discounted, are not fire sales!

First, a couple of observations about short sales and foreclosures.
  • Short sales are frequently listed at a discount to get offers.  But lenders are not going to sell way below the market.
  • Foreclosures are priced at significant discounts for a reasonMost are not move in ready.

How does the Viera, Florida single family market market look when you compare standard sales, short sales and foreclosures?  Distressed sales are becoming a smaller part of the Viera market - less of a factor than other areas in Brevard County like Palm Bay.  

    There is a difference in selling price among standard sales and distressed proeprties but given the route to closing (time, uncertainty) and property condition, is the savings to be found worth it?  The answer depends on the buyer (circumstances, motivation, goals).

      Buying a distressed property is an entirely different route to closing than a standard sale.  If you are thinking the short sale or foreclosure is in your future, call me at 321-693-3850 to discuss the differences, pros and cons.

      Tuesday, November 19, 2013

      What is a Multiple Listing Service?

      The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is not a free posting service like Craigslist.  It is not a forum where one who just decides to test the real estate market decides to list their home.  OK, I will give on this one as there are some real estate agents who will place a property in the MLS only for a fee and provide no support.  To me this is like running a classified advertisement in the newspaper.

      The MLS is a repository of real estate data (active, sold, pending, statistics, etc) used by professional real estate agents who are in the business of working with buyers, sellers, lessors and investors.   It enables Realtors® to capture data to support a listing price ( Read "What is a comparative market analysis?") as well as support a buyer's offer on a property.

      Two of the most important characteristics of an MLS system are:
      1. Local.  In real estate, everything is local.  Local knowledge, local prices, local trends.  It allows an apples to apples comparison of properties.
      2. Accuracy.  A local MLS system with Realtor® Board monitoring allows for more accurate data reporting than some major big name web sites.  
      One other characteristic of the MLS system is it is where Realtors® provide information regarding compensation to each other for helping find a buyer for their listings.  [This is one of the reasons why buyers should get their own agent and not call the listing agent. Read "How do real estate agents get paid."]

      When you are in need of professional real estate services choose a Realtor® who has local knowledge and is a member of the MLS system in your area.  I am your local residential real estate expert in Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida.

      In Brevard County, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 if you are considering buying or selling a house or condo in the Viera, Suntree, and Rockledge area.

      Home Buyer Tips: Should a buyer have a survey done?

       Real Estate Q&A Florida Today Newspaper November 17, 2013 by Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate broker.

      Monday, November 18, 2013

      'Tis almost the season...Selling your home during the upcoming holidays.

      The holidays are approaching.  I saw fruitcake for sale in the local Sam's Club over the weekend.  And one thing is for sure, fruitcake only makes an appearance the last two months of the year even though I have heard it will remain fresh for years!

      As the holidays approach some are already getting the decorations out.  For those facing a job transfer at the end of the year, the holidays create an added challenge... shopping for a new home during an already busy season.

      www.garywatersrealty.comBuyers shopping for a home in December are likely serious buyers - not casual lookers taking a break from the local mall traffic.

      So, should you sell your house during the holidays?   There are many reasons people don’t put their house on the market in November and December.   Things like Thanksgiving,  Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's Day, traveling, company, etc.

      We all know selling your home disrupts your lifestyle.   Some may not not want the "hassle"  nor strangers trampling through their home with gifts everywhere.  I completely understand.

      If you are a bit hesitant about selling during the holidays, consider restricting showings to specific hours or days?

      Of, if you prefer, why not just spend the time getting your home prepared fro the market by addressing any preparations required.

      But, with a reduced inventory it may indeed be a good time to place your home on the market.  If you are actively selling your home during the holidays, you will be taken seriously as well!

      Besides, you can always schedule the closing for after the holiday.

      If you are considering selling your Viera home during the holiday season it is time to get moving.  Let's get it under contract before really hectic days arrive in December.

      Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way!

      Sunday, November 17, 2013

      Home Buyer Tips: At what point should a prospective home buyer contact a real estate agent?

      When I enter a store or wherever else (car dealership, for example)  it is almost always "just looking."  Why is that?  Mostly to avoid being dogged by some sales person.

      I routinely receive calls or emails from folks "just looking" at homes for sale in Viera, Florida.

      After a couple of questions I quickly get a picture of their interest level.  And when I discern their interest level, I respect it completely.

      Still some prospective home buyers are afraid of being hounded incessantly by an overly aggressive real estate agent.

      At what point should a prospective home buyer contact their real estate agent?    I recommend no later than six to nine months before they intend to purchase.  This gives time to watch the market.  This gives plenty of time to investigate neighborhoods.  It allows time to be educated on the process.

      If you thinking about buying a home in Viera, Florida, call me.  I will gladly send you listings and answer your questions... and not become a nuisance!

      My approach is simple...given time and opportunity an interested buyer will signal they are ready.  

      In the meantime, gather as much information as possible including the home mortgage process.

      Friday, November 15, 2013

      The Home Buying Process / Home Selling Process - Logical, practical...really?

      Who has not been told or heard the phrase "don't get the cart before the horse?"   The intent was probably to caution or say "Whoa, slow down!"

      Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
      When it comes to buying or selling a home this is appropriate advice as well.  The process of buying a home or selling your home is a logical process that can be outlined very easily.

      Whether buyer or seller the first step involves finances. 

      As a prospective buyer get approved for a mortgage.  You need to know the amount you are pre-qualified for and, of that amount, how much what you are going to spend.   It is not necessary to push the limit of the qualification amount.

      Here are a few articles on the home buying process. 

      What are some of the most important things to look for when shopping for a new home?
      Understand your needs before you look for a new home.
      Why is the home purchase process so confusing?
      Know the neighborhood as well as the house - before buying!
      The only thing you can't control when buying a house!

      A prospective seller must take a look at their current mortgage situation.  If there is no mortgage, it is a lot easier.  Further, remember home equity lines of credit.  These must be paid off before any sale can be completed.

      If you are upside down and a hardship is making it difficult to keep your home, then a short sale may be a consideration.  If you are facing a foreclosure, see if your lender will allow a short sale.

      Here a few articles on the home selling process.

      Which numbers sell your house?
      When selling your home prepare to give up some comfort.
      Missed opportunities - offer the path of least resistance!
      Show them a home that exceeds their expectations!
      Barriers to selling your house.

      None of the articles above get into the minute details of the process of buying or selling a home in Brevard County, Florida.

      For more detailed information on buying or selling your Florida home, feel free to give me a call or send me an email if I can help in any way.


      Wednesday, November 13, 2013

      Should you let a relocation company choose your real estate agent?

      Relocation is not a simple process - usually.  Admittedly, it can be a simple as loading up the car or U-Haul and heading to the new destination.

      Image courtesy of njaj at
      For most, relocation is much more complicated.  Job transfers, changing schools, selling a house, buying a house, finding a new church, new neighbors, new drivers license....and the list goes on.

      Some employers and membership organizations (affinity programs) offer deals with relocation companies.

      Sometimes when one chooses to use a relocation company they give up some personal control including deciding who their real estate agent will be. 

      The relocation company likely has a list of participating agents in the area.  These contracted agents have agreed to discount their fees in exchange for a steady flow of customers.  

      But, as a consumer, you may not be getting the best agent for your needs.

      How can you be certain the assigned agent will have the local knowledge to guide you?   Find out if the relocation company will give you the opportunity to interview agents and choose one or will they be assigned?

      If you don't have the chance to interview the agent personally find out as much as possible about the relocation  company's service expectations from your agent and what you do if there are any problems.  

      A relocation company may work just fine for your needs.

      Still, relocating is much much complicated than buying a house a couple of miles away.  Make sure your real estate agent knows the area, the process, the schools, the neighborhoods and, more importantly, you and your needs.

      If you are relocating to Brevard County, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850.  If you are dealing with a relocation company I can possibly arrange to work with you through the relocation company.

      Why should Gary L.Waters be your Space Coast Realtor of Choice in Brevard County, Florida?

      Why should Gary L.Waters be your Space Coast Realtor of Choice when you are ready to buy or sell a home in Brevard County, Florida?

      Because you are number one.   It is not a slogan or empty words.

      Whether buyer or seller, you deserve a real estate agent who will be there to guide, counsel and remind you to focus on your goal and not get distracted along the way.  You deserve a real estate agent who has the local knowledge and experience to deliver.

      If you are considering buying or selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 to discuss how I can work with you!

      My success depends on your success.

      Tuesday, November 12, 2013

      Grand Isle in Viera, Florida - Homes for Sale in November 2013

      Over the past couple of months the real estate market has been heating up in Brevard County including within Grand Isle, one of the Viera areas premier gated 55+ communities located near several golf courses, shopping, and the new Viera Hospital.

      By the way there are three 55+ communities in Viera - many with similar features, others quite different.

      This morning I received a call about a home in Grand Isle that was recently listed.  In this case the home was already under contract.  This property was one of two homes that recently went under contract.

      One went into contract on day three and the other on day fiveHomes for sale in Grand Isle in Viera are not staying on the active market very long!

      There are currently five active listings in Grand Isle.

      The homes for sale in Grand Isle are priced from $209,900 to a high of $399,900 (much too high for this neighborhood for a pond front home in my opinion!).   All five listings are standard sales.  The two largest homes on the market both are four bedroom three bath homes with about 2,470 sq ft under air.  Most homes in Grand Isle are in the 2,000 sq. ft. range.

      There were two homes sold (closed) in Grand Isle during October 2013.  These included:
      • 1410 Lago Mar Drive, a two bedroom two bath two car garage home with 1,765 sq ft under air sold for $187,000
      • 1605 Boca Rio Drive, a three bedroom two bath two car garage home with 2,032 sq ft under air sold for $233,000.
      For information on homes for sale in Grand Isle as well the very popular Heritage Isle in Viera, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me email me.

      Above Image courtesy of photostock at

      Monday, November 11, 2013

      Veterans Day - More than a day off for the post office!

      Today is Veterans Day - November 11, 2013.  For all you history buffs out there here is the history of Veterans Day.

      Through they years there have been many who have made the sacrifices associated with being a United States Military Veteran.

      For America to continue to be great this is one tradition that must continue.

      For those currently serving, previously served and who will serve, I salute you!

      Used By Permission. clip art

      Sunday, November 10, 2013

      Brevard County Florida Real Estate Sales October 2013: Short Sales Dropping, REOs Climbing

      Brevard County Florida Real Estate Sales October 2013:  Short Sales Dropping, REOs Climbing

      There was a time not too long ago when short sales were pretty common place in the Brevard County, Florida area.  Of the almost 2,700 single family detached homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida as of today less than 9% are short sales (less than 225).

      The number short sales closing in Brevard County continue to fall.   During October 2013 about 10% of all single family home sales were short sales.  During October 2012 the number of short sales comprised about 24% of single family home sales.

      While standard sales have not changed as much (about 59% both years), the number of foreclosure sales has risen from about 17% in 2012 to about 32% in October 2013.

      The condo market reflects a similar change from October 2012 to 2013 with the percentage of REO sales going from 18% in 2012 to 34% in 2013.

      Short sales are falling and foreclosure sales are increasing while standard sales remain about the same.

      When someone asks "How is the Brevard County, Florida real estate market is doing?"  I summarize it very simply.
      • prices are increasing slowly, 
      • inventory is normal, 
      • average days on the market are falling, and 
      • competition among buyers is increasing.
      Thinking about selling your Brevard County, Florida home?  The time may be right!

      Monday, November 04, 2013

      What is a "Walk through inspection?"

      What is a "walk through inspection?"  When is the best time to do the "final walk through?"  The below published in Florida Today newspaper, November 3, 2013.

      Buying or selling your Viera, Florida home?  I can help!

      Sunday, November 03, 2013

      Is it really time to sell your Viera, Florida home?

      Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
      I seem to read it everywhere..."It is time to sell your home!" 

      I understand the message.  The reasoning makes sense.

      There are fewer homes for sale in Viera, Rockledge and Suntree, Florida.  With fewer homes on the market your home will not be just another home for sale!  With fewer homes on the market the chance of multiple offers (competitive offers) increases.

      Still, it may not be the time sell you home.

      If you are under water (upside down), while values are increasing, it may still be best to tread water for a little while longer.

      Still, with interest rates at near historical lows, it may be the time to investigate the market - what you can get for your house now and what you can replace it with now.

      So, where do you start if you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.

      If you prefer, send me an email.

      Friday, November 01, 2013

      Home Seller Tips: Know the level of service you are paying for!

      I requested a showing yesterday for today.  The agent chose to use one of those email showing request services.  I sent the request and received a reply that I would be notified within a half hour of requested time if showing was approved.  The showing was for 30 hours later.

      Today at the requested showing time I had not received a response.

      Then the owner of the brokerage called me for feedback on his agent's showing.  Interestingly, this call was prompt...exactly 2 hours after the requested showing.

      I am not sure why the owner called but my response was showing, skipped, by-passed.

      The broker was obviously irritated and requested I call her directly if my buyers were still interested.

      Discount broker, discount fees, discounted service.

      Sellers...know what level of service you are getting for the fee charged.  Let me re-phrase that....know what kind of service you will be paying for if your home ever sells!

      Choosing a real estate agent to sell your Viera, Florida home involves more than how much can I get for my house and how much will I have to pay for your professional services?

      Follow by Email