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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On the Real Estate Fence? Look at this March 2015 Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Market Report

I just read a JP Morgan Chase & Co. survey that indicated almost 70% of prospective home buyers worry they may have already missed the chance to buy a home at the best time because of rising home prices.

Real estate is cyclical.  That is not something newly discovered.  In an ideal world buyers will know when its the best time buy and sellers will know when their optimal time occurs.

But the real estate market is dynamic - always in a constant state of change.  Timing the absolute bottom (or top) is not a realistic goal.

Although prices are rising (including in Brevard County, Florida), interest rates continue to be low.   See the text box which compares March 2015 to March 2014 residential sales.

If one is considering the purchase of a home the time to act is now rather than lamenting the missed opportunities. When interest rates also increase the hit will be even greater than that of just rising prices.  As interest rates rise purchasing power (loan amount) usually goes down as well.

If you are on the fence about buying a home discuss the current market with local experts (real estate agent and mortgage lender). 

Need a local Brevard County, Florida mortgage lender, give me a call for some suggestions.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Real Estate Statistics: Days on the Market

In the real estate world it seems everyone tosses around statistics.   While they may sound impressive when quoted in some national publication, on TV or the internet, statistics need to be interpreted within the context of  a local real estate market.

One of these real estate statistics prospective buyers very often want to know about is the number of days a property has been on the market (DOM).

Does the number days on the market really mean anything?

Days on the market can be interpreted a couple of ways.  There is the total cumulative days on the market.  This is the number most buyers think of when they ask their agent how long a property has been for sale.

But there is another more important days on the market number.  It is the current days on the market which reflects the time since some event occurred such as a price reduction perhaps or a property's return to the market after being previously under contract.

So, in the general sense, in March 2015 the Florida statewide median days on the market was 56 days.  This means half the homes that sold were on the market for slightly less than two months.

In paragraph one I said statistics need to be interpreted within the context of a local market.  In Brevard County, Florida the median days on the market for single family homes in March 2015 was 30 days.

That is a big difference.  Half the homes that closed in Brevard County in March 2015 were on the market for less than a month.

That is a brisk market.

So how can a buyer use the days on the market when buying a home in Brevard County, Florida?   The answer in my next post!

Ready to buy a home in Brevard County, FloridaCall me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Ready to sell your Melbourne or Viera, FLorida home?  Call me for a market analysis.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Friday, April 24, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: What is the first thing a new home owner should do?

Finally you have closed on your new home.  So many things to do as you prepare to move in but what do you do first?

While this advice is more applicable to re-sale properties than new construction the number one item on the to do list should be calling your locksmith.

Hand them over!   While the final step in the closing process is the turning over of the keys how does a buyer know there are not other keys? 

Through the years there may have been multiple copies made and given to family, friends, caretakers  or even tenants if it has ever been a rental property.

So, congratulations on your new home purchase.

Now call your locksmith today.  Here are a few local locksmiths to consider....

  • Lacey's Locks in Rockledge at 321-632-5900
  • Kwik Key of Brevard in Palm Bay (321) 722-2939
  • Beach Locksmith in Cocoa Beach (321) 783-4118
  • Allstate Locksmith in Melbourne at (321) 593-1178
Ready to buy a home in Viera, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Brevard County, Florida Closed Sales and Median Sales Prices By Zip Code March 2015

The below table reflects sales prices by zip code for Brevard County, Florida single family home, townhouse, condo and manufactured home sales for  March 2015.

Some (refer to this zip code map of Brevard County)  of the areas by zip code include these communities:
  • Beach side communities like Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach (32931, 32937),  
  • Merritt Island (32952, 32953)
  • Suntree and parts of Viera (32940)
  • Rockledge and parts of Viera (32955),
  • Cocoa (32922, 32926)
  • Port St. John (32927)
  •  West Melbourne (32904

For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida including Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, please call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Monthly Market Detail - Single Family Homes - Brevard County, FL for March 2015

Below is a detailed summary of the Brevard County, Florida single family home market for March 2015 as provided by the Florida Realtors®.

Not only are the prices rising but the inventory is not growing which will likely lead to continued climbing prices.

Single Home Prices in Brevard County, Florida climb in March 2015

March 2015 single family home sales in Brevard County, Florida continued to improve with traditional sales once again gaining in sales volume and sales prices compared to March 2014.

The below chart shows the continued, steady increase in Brevard County, Florida single family average sales prices as well.  The double digit year over year increases during 2015 appear to be strong - good news for sellers.  The median sales prices are gaining as well.


The above data provide by the Florida Realtors®.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Do I have to really clean my house when I sell it?

Sometimes buyers and sellers have different perceptions of how clean a house should be for the closing.  I advise my seller clients to have it broom clean.  Sometimes I just ask them how they would like to find their new home on the day of close?

One of the last steps in the home buying process is for buyers to perform a final walk through inspection.  With my buyers I prefer to do this on the way to the closing appointment or the evening before, if necessary.

While the main focus of the final walk through is to make sure the house is in the same condition it was in when contracted  there is also an expectation the property will be clean.   While there will not be a white glove inspection it is expected that the property will be emptied of trash and personal contents.

It is expected that hazardous materials like old paint cans and insecticides and flammable items will be gone as well and not left in the garage.

Trash at the curb is usually not a problem.  Even older appliances or TVs that will be picked up is not a problem as long as a special pickup scheduled by seller, of course

While it is not necessary to have Merry Maids clean your house before going to closing please respect your buyers by having your house ready for the new owners.

"Cleaning "image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at
"Garbage Truck Driver"  image courtesy of vectorolie at

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Home Buyer Strategies in a Seller's Market

How is the Brevard County, Florida housing market?   One way to summarize the market for buyers is through this advice I recently read:  "Don't sleep on it or you won't sleep in it."

The Brevard County, Florida housing market favors sellers with more motivated buyers competing for fewer homes.   Decreasing inventories with rising prices are also creating more multiple offer situations.  Are we headed to the days of buyers commonly paying more than list price again?  I don't think so yet.  

So how should a motivated buyer in search of a move in ready home approach this market?

First, be prepared.  Have your mortgage pre-approval in place before shopping for a home.  This does not take long to get done.  If you need a local Brevard County mortgage reference, just ask.  If you are paying cash, obtain a proof of funds letter.

Know your requirements.  Begin with the thing you can't easily change - location.

Then further refine the physical characteristics of the property you want (must have, can't have, age, construction, size, HOA, etc.).

Put together a plan.  The home buying process can be stressful - especially if time becomes a factor.  The closing process takes about 30-45 days for the normal mortgaged home purchase (inspections, appraisal, survey, etc).  Give yourself time. 

Select your local real estate expert who knows your targeted area and understands your requirements. Then start your search.

Finally, submit a well reasoned, document supported, timely offer.    If you don't someone else, may.  With the number of move in ready homes low you may not have the time to sleep on it.

If you have thought about buying a home in Melbourne, Florida, consider doing it now.  Prices are rising, inventory levels are low and interest rates are still very attractive.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: Multiple offers are the number one cause of...

The real estate purchase process can be somewhat mundane.

After all the steps are pretty basic.  Start by obtaining a mortgage pre-approval and selecting your real estate agent.  Then find a suitable property, agree to terms with the seller, perform due diligence (have appropriate inspections/survey/review association documents) and close the deal....simple, right?

But with the current Brevard County, Florida housing market favoring sellers many buyers find themselves in multiple offer situations.  Unfortunately there may be one or two more buyers wanting the same property at the same time.

This is usually the place where a listing agent will tell all agent's involved to have their client customer submit their best offer.   The less than exciting  process mentioned above can very easily become the opposite of mundane - especially if a bidding war ensues.

Buyers now find themselves in the unfortunate position of sitting with a decision hold, walk or raise their offer.    And then there are some unknowns to consider.

For example, does the listing agent have one of the competing buyers as a client? Advantage listing agent.  Does another agent within the listing office have a competing buyer?  Advantage Listing office.

Is the buyer's original offer already the highest on the table?  Could the buyers end up bidding against themselves?

Will the decision going to be made on something other than just the price?   After all, sometimes it is not the price but rather the cleanest offer that a seller selects.  A quicker closing, fewer contingencies, for example, may trump a higher offer price.

If one is obtaining a mortgage then the uncertainty created by multiple offers may extend to the mortgage approval.  After all, the appraisal could very well limit a buyer's ability to compete.   Lenders make loans based on value.  Value is determined by the market.

Regardless, multiple offers are the number one cause of price creep!

Ready to buy a house in Melbourne, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 to begin your search process.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: Questions Your Realtor May Ask

When it is time to shop for a new home one of the first steps buyers should take is to contact a local real estate agent.   Since most buyer's agents get paid after the buyer successfully close on their new home the real estate agent called will likely ask a lot of questions (buyer qualification).

Qualifying a buyer ensures the real estate agent and prospective buyer client have a reasonable chance to successfully close on a new home.

While questions may vary from agent to agent many begin the process with a simple what, when and how approach.  With these questions answered then more detailed questions will begin.
  • What are your goals?  Investment property, first home, move up home, retirement home. 
  • When do you need to move?  The usual timeline for the home purchase process that may take 45-90 days in this area of Florida.  Start too soon and sellers will likely not want to accept an offer if they must  delay closing.   Start too late and the process of locating a house, inspections, appraisals, surveys may take longer than the desired timeline. 
  • How will you pay for your new house when you find it?    If a mortgage is going to be used, has it been pre-approved?  What is the amount?  What is the budget?   If a cash buyer, do you have proof of funds?
While many first time home buyers will know the answers to the first two questions it is the final question that may pose more uncertainty.  That is OK.  Your real estate agent will likely have local mortgage professionals they can refer buyers to, if needed.

Another question you will likely be asked early on is whether you are working with another real estate agent or have a buyer's representation agreement with a Realtor®.

If you are seeking a local Brevard County, Florida mortgage professional, although I have no "secret" list, I can provide some suggestions including many my customers have successfully utilized.

If you are ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida, give me a call at 321-693-3850 and lets discuss how I can help you.  If you prefer, send me an email.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: The "Whys" of Buying and Selling a Home.

There are a lot of times in the home buying and selling process where "Why" is an important question.  But "Why one is selling?" is not important.

I know the purpose of the why are they selling question is obviously to gain some type of advantage  - not to see if they can generously help the seller out.  Many times knowing a sellers motivation can be an advantage.

Granted, depending on the circumstances and personalities involved,  there are times when sellers volunteer this information freely and openly.  However, don't expect the seller's agent to give away any information that will weaken their position.

What are some other "whys" buyers and sellers should consider?

The above "Whys" is not an all inclusive list but it does make the point.

While there are a lot of "Whys" in the home purchase process buyers should place the "Why is the seller selling?" at the bottom of the list.

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

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