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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

January 2015 Condominium and Town Home Sales - Brevard County, Florida

The below tables reflect the January 2015 condominium and town home sales data for Brevard County, Florida compared to January 2014 as provided by the Florida Realtors®.

Among the key data points:
  • While the total closed sales was lower the average selling price was higher at about $149,000 (+7.5%).
  • The median sales price for foreclosures was barely higher than a year ago.
  • The median sales price for standard sales was roughly the same as last January.
  • Only 7 of 166 properties sold were short sales.
  • The number of foreclosure sales decreased from 40 in January 2014 to 25 in January 2015.
  • Almost 81% of January 2015 condo and town home sales were fair market sales.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

January 2015 Home Sales in Brevard County, Florida: Inventory down, prices rising.

The below tables reflect the January 2015 single family home sales data for Brevard County, Florida compared to January 2014 as provided by the Florida Realtors®.

Is the residential market in Brevard County stronger with more competition than it was a year ago?  The numbers seem to say yes.  Among the key data points:
  • Inventory down, prices rising vs. one year ago.
  • The median sales price for foreclosures (+4.6%) and standard sales (+15.6%) were both up over January 2014.
  • Short sales represented only 25 of over 600 closed single family home sale in January 2015.
  • Almost 71% of January 2015 single family home sales were fair market sales.
  • About 25% of closed sales were foreclosures.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Is it time to sell your Brevard County, Florida home?

Real estate prices in Brevard County, Florida have been steadily rising.  Inventory levels of homes and condos for sale in Brevard County have been falling.

Is this the time to sell your house or condo?  The below trend lines should help answer that question.

Average Sales Price Single Family Home January 2014:      $158,581

Average Sales Price Single Family Home December 2014:   $179,781

Average Sales Price Condominium January 2014:                $138,507

Average Sales Price Condominium December 2014:             $146,138

Inventory of Single Family Homes January 2014:    2,951

Inventory of Single Family Homes December 2014: 2,575

Inventory of Condominium Units January 2014:     1,144

Inventory of Condominium Units December 2014:     856

Median Days on Market January 2014:                         46

Median Days Inventory December 2014:                       35

Data provided by Florida Realtors®

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Home Seller Tip: Why were your buyers in and out so quickly?

Recently while showing homes in central Brevard County, Florida my buyers were in and out in a matter of minutes.  While the house met all their needs it just didn't impress them.   Because the house was occupied and the sellers were present they knew the prospective buyers did not spend much time in the home.

I wondered if the sellers were even curious why the sudden exit.   If not, they should be concerned.

I have written here about my rules multiple times.  Most apply to sellers like the "30-10-1" rule.  Or the "Three Ps" of selling your home.  Or the "Golden Period."  There are probably more but they escape my mind right now.

The quick exit by my buyers reminded me of a rule I mentioned on this blog years ago.  It is not really my rule but a rule of life...the ten second rule.

Why do I say a rule of life? 
  • In basketball there is a rule about how long a team is allowed to get the ball across half-court.
  • Drop food on the floor?  Supposedly if you pick it up within 10 seconds, it is OK Not a Mom approved rule I am sure.
  • Reading an article or posting the Internet? You have about ten seconds to "hook" the reader.
  • I have heard it said that when angry one should stop and count to ten.
  • There is even a book called The 10-Second Rule: Following Jesus Made Simple
There are multiple other applications of the ten second rule.  
However, the ten second rule I want to emphasize here is a real estate application.   Basically, a buyer will decide within ten seconds of entering your home whether they are interested or not.   Or that ten seconds may have been wasted in the front yard
Another rule of life is about first impressions.   And, whether accurate or not, it is these first impressions that often determine the outcome. 
If you are selling your home, consider your most valuable ten seconds.  Then you will not ask why a buyer was in and out in a flash!

 Image courtesy of cooldesign at

Friday, February 20, 2015

Home Seller Tip: Your Homeowner Asssociation will "Sign Off" on Your Sale - Be Proactive!

As a real estate agent working with home buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida  home owner associations usually can not be avoided.  In popular areas of Brevard County like Viera, Suntree and Bayside Lakes in Palm Bay, mandatory home owner association membership is a way of life.   Almost any area of newer construction in Brevard County, Florida HOAs exist. 

The purpose of this article is not to discuss whether associations are good or bad.  When it comes to home owner associations everyone has an opinion.  
First of all, the title is somewhat misleading as the association does not technically sign off on the sale but rather they do provide an estoppel letter to the closing agent.  This letter acknowledges any fees or outstanding balances (dues, fees, fines, etc) owed to the association by the current owner.   As with other liens and debts these must be cleared before the property can change hands (clear title).  [Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and this is not considered legal advice.]

In a recent closing my buyer received notification with the letter of an existing violation that needed correcting in the future.  The problem had existed for years (in my opinion) and it was not appropriate to punish the new owner.  My buyer worked with the seller to address the issue but it should not have been a last minute (day of closing) problem!
I suggest home owner associations monitor all homes for sale in their community.   If there is a current violation like neglected lawns/landscaping, paint color issues, mold/algae issues (common in Florida) or whatever and address it as soon as the for sale sign goes up.
The HOA monitoring sales in the neighborhood can serve a couple of purposes.   First it possibly can help the seller get the home sold faster by improving an obvious appearance issue.   But, more importantly,  a new home owner will not be alienated by receiving a notice of violation once they move into their new home. 

Sellers should be proactive and consider their compliance with association rules and restrictions when preparing their home for sale.  And sellers should make sure they accurately disclose how much the association dues currently are and if an increase is in the future. 

I suggest sellers should contact their association or management office and verify the dues as well any pending changes in fees.   Further, sellers should verify the contact information and obtain current association documents (or a link if online documents exist).  

Buying and selling a home is often quite stressful.  Dealing with home owner association issues up front is an easy hurdle to clear before the for sale sign goes up.

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home,  please give me a call at 321-693-3850 if I can help.  If you prefer,  send me an email.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Who was the typical home seller in Florida in 2014? Who will the typical home seller be in 2015?

Who was the typical 2014 Florida home seller?  The typical Florida home seller in 2014 had lived in their home eleven years who eventually sold their home for ninety-seven percent of  the listing price.  About half of these sellers had reduced the listing price at least one time.

About fifteen percent of the sellers had delayed selling because they were underwater in the mortgage.   A further indicator of the market is shown by the twenty-nine percent of the sellers offered some type of incentive to buyers.  As the market shifts in 2015 to favor sellers this will likely go down.

How did the seller find their real estate agent?   Thirty-five percent of the sellers located their real estate agent through a personal referral while only twenty-two percent used an agent they had previously worked with in a transaction.

Ninety-two percent reported they had their home listed on the local MLS system - still the most accurate source of homes for sale in the Brevard County, Florida area

Were the sellers satisfied with their agent's performance?   Eighty-one percent said they would use their agent again.  Something I don't understand is that if only twenty-two percent used an agent they previously used but over eighty percent said they would use the same agent again, where is the disconnect? 

What about for sale by owner (FSBO) sellers?   In Florida twelve percent reported they used  the FSBO method.  Of these, thirty-three percent sold to someone they already knew.  

Why do sellers choose the FSBO method?   Fifty percent reported it was because they did not want pay a real estate agent fee.  FSBOs typically had a lower median selling price than agent assisted sellers although I will not quote the statistics here.  Suffice it to say the difference is significant even after the real estate professional fees are taken away.  FSBO is not always the best route!

The real estate market is cyclical with change occurring steadily rather than rapidly.  For this reason buyers should expect the typical 2015 Florida home seller to be very similar to the 2014 seller with some slight changes.

What are some of the changes I (the author who admittedly has no crystal ball) expect in 2015? 

agent@moving2brevard.comBased on the above there will be less seller assistance (closing costs or incentives) offered to buyers in 2015.

As the Brevard County, Florida inventory is still only at about 90 days, the market will favor sellers - especially with fewer move in ready homes on the market - meaning prices will continue to rise.   

Multiple offers will be a common occurrence so buyers need to prepare to compete as well as act quickly once a home is found.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Melbourne,  Florida, please give me a call at 321-693-3850.

2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,  

Sunset Bay Condos in Merritt Island Florida ( Market Update February 2015)

What is for sale in Sunset Bay condominiums in Merritt Island Florida in February 2015?

Currently there are sixteen properties for sale in the gated condo community of Sunset Bay.  Located on the Indian River in Merritt Island, Florida, Sunset Bay, built in 1986, has its own riverfront dock , a huge pool, fitness center, clubhouse, hot tub, tennis courts and more.  Association fees are based on the size of unit with the smaller units having fees just under $200 per month and the largest around $430 a month.

The units for sale in Sunset Bay are priced from $51,000 to a high of $87,900.  This gated complex,  Of the sixteen units for sale as of today, half are one bedroom one bath units while the remainder are either 2/2 or 2/1 units.

Of these units only two are foreclosure properties.  A general breakdown of what is for sale in Sunset Bay is;
  • $50-$60,000 - Four units for sale, one is a foreclosure.
  • $60-$70,000 - Five active listings, all standard sales.
  • $70-$80,000 - Five active listings, all standard sales.
  • $80-$90,000 - Two active listings with on e being a foreclosure.
Although the market has been shifting to favor sellers and prices slowly rising, a review of recent sales in the MLS system shows only three closings in the past six months.  These sales included:
  • Unit 423, a one bedroom one bathroom auction sale sold for $60,9009 on October 1, 2014.  
  • Unit 918, a standard sale with 642 sq.ft. (one bedroom, one bath) sold for $67,000 on November 20, 2014.  
  • Unit 324, a two bedroom two bathroom unit with 1,069 sq.ft. sold for $70,000 on February 5, 2015 as a standard sale.
There are also two units under contract at this time awaiting closing (one is a short sale).

For information on buying or selling a condo or home in Merritt Island, Florida (including Sunset Bay), please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Market - Standard Sales Control Market in 2015

As of today the inventory of properties for sale in Brevard County, Florida (currently active in the Brevard MLS) shows the standard sale (fair market sale) as the major shareholder of market listings.
  • About 82% of all single family homes for sale today are standard sales.  
  • The condo market shows about 92% of listings are regular sales.  
  • Similarly the town homes for sale have about 85% standard sales.
If you look at the closings in January 2015 by the type of sale the statistics may be a little different.  That could be a reflection of the time it takes to close (contracts were probably agreed on as far back as November).

It will be interesting to see if there is a noticeable change in the percentage of  standard sales in February 2015.   The types of residential sales in Brevard County for January 2015 are broken down here
  • Single family home sales were about 66% standard closings.  
  • About 84% of condos sold  were standard sales.
  • The share of standard sales in the town house category was about 74% of all sales.
The above results extracted from Brevard MLS system by author on February 11, 2015 and are believed to be accurate although not audited.

For information on buying or selling a home in Brevard County, Florida, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Grand Isle in Viera - Recent Homes Sold and Current Homes for Sale - Viera 55+ Community Living

Grand Isle is one of several age restricted communities in central Florida's Viera communityGrand Isle is very similar to Heritage Isle in Viera but there are some differences.

Just a few of the differences between Grand Isle and its younger sister, Heritage Isle.   Grand Isle is smaller and the homes are a little older having been constructed in the 2000-2004 time period.  Grand Isle only offers single family detached homes while town homes and condos are also available in Heritage Isle.  Heritage Isle residents own their facilities while the facilities in Heritage Isle are own by a separate corporation.

Still, both communities have key similarities that residents seek in a Florida 55+ community:  Gated, newer concrete block construction with quality facilities in a great location near shopping, golf course, medical facilities and much more.

What is for sale in Grand Isle in February 2015?  Being smaller than Heritage Isle, it is only natural there are fewer homes for sale. (over 30 for sale in Heritage Isle as of today.)

Currently there are four homes for sale in Grand Isle with listing prices from $255,000 to $289,900.   All of these homes are three bedroom two bath two car garage with about 1,700 - 2,000 sq ft under air.  The price differences reflect not only the size differences but also the location within the community with some offering garden, wooded, water and residential views.

What has recently sold in Grand Isle?
  • 1454 Boca Rio Drive sold for $278,000 on October 31,2014.  This 2004 built 2025 sq ft under air three bedroom two bath two car garage home, located on a lake was originally listed for $280,000 and was on the market for only two days.
  • 1655  Boca Rio Drive - a 1,992 sq ft 2004 built three bedroom two bath two garage home sold on October 22, 2014 for $216,800.  Original list price was $229,000 and it  was on the market for four days.
  • 1577 Grand Isle Blvd - a 2003 built 2,178 sq ft three bedroom two bath three car garage home sold for $275,000 on December 29,2014.  The original list price was $290,000 and was on the market for 27 days.
  • 1633 Keys Gate Drive sold for $214,050  on December 16, 2014.  This 2001 built two bedroom two bathroom two car garage home sold on December 16,2014 and was on the market for 22 days.
For information on homes for sale in Viera Florida's 55+ communities,  send me an email or give me a call at 321-693-3850.

Data extracted from Brevard MS system on Feb 3, 2015.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Why the listing agent is not the real estate agent buyers should call... ever.

The short answer - because the name on the sign out front is the seller's agent.  There are many potential mistakes a home buyer can make along the way to buying a home and key among these is not getting their own real estate agent.

Regardless of what the marketing material says ("call the listing agent for the latest information on this property.....") the listing agent works for their client - the seller.

As a home buyer the road to home ownership begins with your own representation.   In Florida there is no such thing as dual representation.  A real estate agent can not represent both sides.

It costs nothing for a home buyer to have their own representation as the buyer's real estate agent is paid by the seller.   This concept is one many first time buyers do not understand.

At what point should a prospective home buyer get their own their real estate agent?    Buying a home is not like going to the car lot where you can pick out a new car and drive it home tonight.  It takes time.

I recommend home buyers establish a relationship with their real estate agent about six to nine months before they intend to buy a home.   This gives time to watch the market.  This gives plenty of time to investigate neighborhoods and schools.  It allows time to be educated on the process.

One last point on getting your own real estate agent..... stick to one agent. 

Your own real estate agent will understand your needs and budget  (not the approved amount), be able to provide a single contact point for your search as well as answer questions and, more importantly, can guide you through the entire home purchase process
If you thinking about buying a home in Viera, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850.    I will gladly send you listings and answer your questions... and not become a nuisance!

Image courtesy of phanlop88 at

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