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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Indian River Colony Club (IRCC) in Viera - Market Update July 2015

Indian River Colony Club, located in Viera (Melbourne, Florida) was founded in 1986 as an age restricted (55+) community for former or currently serving officers of any U.S. uniformed service.  Although IRCC is one of three gated 55+ communities in Viera it is different from the others in that it offers total maintenance free living (a higher monthly maintenance fee paid although it covers things like roofing, appliances, pest control, painting, lawn care and the like.  Another big difference is IRCC has its own 18-hole golf course.

[Please read the links at the bottom of this article for information on Viera's 55+ communities including IRCC, Heritage Isle and Grand Isle.] 

 Currently there are thirty homes for sale in the Indian River Colony Club community.  List prices for these homes range from $130,000 to $324,900.  While this range appears large most are under $200,000 (24 homes) and ten are below $165,000.

Current for sale home sizes range from 1,179 sq.ft. (3 BR/2 BA/2) to 2,480 sq.ft. (4 BR/2BA/2).   The majority of these homes fall within the 1,600 to 1,900 sq.ft. range.  All of these properties were constructed between 1988 and 1998 (half prior to 1992).

Of the thirty homes for sale in Indian River Colony Club twenty-eight are fair market sale while two are foreclosures (both listed at $154,900).

Major differences between homes for sale in IRCC and those in Grand Isle and Heritage Isle (the other 55+ communities in Viera):
  • IRCC homes are older 
  • IRCC homes are frame stucco construction (others concrete construction)
  • IRCC home prices are substantially lower priced.
What has recently sold in Indian River Colony Club?

Over the past six months there have been twenty-five homes sold in IRCC (twenty-four standard/fair market sales and one foreclosure).  Selling prices ranged from $120,000 (3 BR/2BA/2 Car garage, 1,349 sq.ft.) to $253,000 (3BR/3BA/3 Car garage, 2,166 sq.ft.).  The median selling price was about $172,000.

Since June 1, 2015 there have been six sales ranging in price from $120,000 to $253,000, median sales price $175,000.  All of these sales have been fair market transactions.  Also, there are also 4 homes under contract at this time awaiting closing.

For information on homes for sale at Indian River Colony Club in Viera, please call me, Gary Waters, LT MSC USN-Retired at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

55+ Communities in Viera, Florida
Indian River Colony Club - A Different Viera 55+ Community
There is a Difference in 55+ Community Living
Heritage Isle and Indian River Colony Club - Different 55+ Communities
55+ Developments in Brevard County, Florida

Monday, July 27, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Protect Your Unoccupied Home When Selling

Selling your vacant home can be an opening for burglary or vandalism.  What can a seller do to lessen the chance that their vacant for sale home will not be a victim?

If you are selling then it is likely not a secret.   This assumes you have met and know your neighbors by the time you are moving!

Let your neighbors know your house is vacant and your real estate agent's name/contact information.  (This might help get your home sold if someone asks them about your house.)    Let them know what kind of car your real estate agent drives. 

Do not neglect your yard maintenance.   Keep the grass trimmed and the flower beds well maintained.  If other neighborhood homes look well groomed, make sure your home fits in.

Brighten up your home's exterior.   If you do not already have them consider outdoor lighting.   A well lighted yard can discourage would be burglars from hiding in landscaping as well as provide cover for window entry.  Lights with motion sensors are even better.  The goal is to make your home less appealing and approachable to criminals.  A further step would be to place some lights on timers within your home.

If your home has an alarm, use it.   Make sure your real estate agent includes "Alarm on" in the message to other real estate agents.   Even if it is only a local alarm when it goes off uninvited types usually retreat!

Consider letting your neighborhood watch (if you have one) know your house is vacant.   Just as some police departments will do routine checks while you are on vacation, check with your local department about performing periodic checks as well.

Find out from your real estate agent the type of access controls they will have in place on your home.   Are they using a combination lock box to hold the key?  In my opinion this is the least secure of all control mechanisms.

Will your real estate agent be using an electronic lock box such as the Supra lock box where each agent has an individual pin number for controlled access.  These devices will allow listing agents (and owners if possible/desired) to receive an email when your house key is accessed.

Ask your agent if they will ever go by and check on the home.   I make it a policy to go by my unoccupied listings whenever there have been recent showings and, at a minimum, every two or three days if there have been no showings.   Not only does it allow me to pick up real estate agent cards left after the showings but also  to check doors and windows.   Although agents should always double check all doors before leaving a showing, mistakes happen.

Finally, if your home is vacant but still has furniture present make sure personally identifying documents and data (PCs) are secure.  Ideally important papers, medications, computer data and weapons should be moved removed if the house is unoccupied.

Remember, most real estate agents do not personally know their buyers.  Your listing agent will not know the buyers either.  While real estate agents try their best to securely protect your home while in your house, do what you can as well.

If you are considering selling your Melbourne, Florida home, please give me a call (321-693-3850, direct)  if I can help in any way.

Send me an email to request a comparative market analysis.

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: Why won't a real estate agent just show me the house I want to see now?

What kind of response should a prospective buyer expect when sending an email to a real estate agent to see a house now?

Most real estate agents in this business receive email contacts daily from complete strangers.   One of the most common is an inquiry about seeing properties in such and such neighborhood today or soon. 

What response should senders expect?   Most likely the sender wants a quick "Sure whenever it is convenient I will meet you there!"

However, in 2015 Realtor safety has unfortunately become a higher priority than it was in the past (or at least received more publicity).  There have been too many cases where real estate agents have been robbed, beaten and even murdered.

Real estate agent safety is a top priority for every real estate broker owner and should be for every agent in the business.

For this reason expect your request to be met with a "Please meet me at my office." (or some other public location.

More importantly, expect the response to be met with questions.

A prospective buyer should expect to receive a response that includes questions on ability to buy (mortgage qualification), time frame, familiarity with the home purchase process, if working with another agent plus a few more.

If a phone number has been provided senders may receive an initial phone call although many (generation Y/Z/millennials) prefer to do business by email and text rather than telephone.

My typical response will be an initial email unless the sender has provided the phone number (interpreted as "call me, please").   Regardless of the form my response takes it will always include a question about the preferred manner/times of communication.

So why so many questions?   To determine expectations and deliver the results clients seek.

Related Read:  Safety Practices When Buying or Selling a Home

Ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Condo and Townhome Sales - Brevard County, Florida June 2015

While the condo and townhouse market in Brevard County, Florida has shown further signs of recovery it lacks the intensity of the single family home sales in June 2015.

For information on buying a condo in Brevard County, Florida (Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach), give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: Will a letter to the seller help my offer get accepted?

The current Florida housing market is hot.  In Brevard County, Florida the median days on the market for single family homes is currently about 30 days.  That means many sellers are often receiving multiple offers.   Multiple offer situations will sometimes cause buyers to try additional tactics.

One of the tactics some buyers will use is the personal letter to the seller.  These letters, although not common practice, are sometimes written by buyers explaining why they want to buy the home.

Some buyers may even include pictures of the kids or even remembrances of a similar house in times gone by or whatever.  The point of the letter is to attempt to gain some additional leverage.

But will they work?  I don't know but, if a buyer is willing to pen the letter, why not try if they really want a specific property?

Some sellers may be so emotionally attached to their home that they may be more receptive knowing it is being lived in by a buyer who wants it so badly.

Key Point:  A letter from a prospective buyer, while maybe an attempt at the seller's heartstrings, will not make up for a poorly prepared, poorly reasoned offer.

If a prospective buyer is going to include a personal appeal with their offer it is still critical to make sure the offer is:
  • Competitive.  After all, it is almost always about price.  Read "Your Offer is more than price."
  • Supported.  Support refers to either a mortgage pre-approval letter or proof of funds letter being available.  Sellers must have faith a buyer has the ability to close before accepting any offer. 
  • Clean.  By clean I am referring to including the fewest contingencies possible.  Here in Florida, property inspection and financing/appraisal contingencies are usually expected.   
  • Timely.  The usual time frame for closings in Florida with a mortgage is about 45 days.  Some lenders may be able to pull it off in 30 days.  Cash offers can be closed in days or weeks. 

So, will a letter to the seller help a buyer get their offer accepted?  Perhaps, if all the above components of a well written competitive offer accompanies the letter.

Considering buying a home in Viera or Melbourne, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Ventura at Turtle Creek Condos in Rockledge, Florida - Market Report July 2015

The gated condo community of The Ventura at Turtle Creek located in Rockledge, Florida provides excellent amenities, very attractive prices and a resort lifestyle in a central Florida location close to everything (Orlando International Airport only 40 miles away)

The Ventura at Turtle Creek is located next to Turtle Creek Golf Course and is near excellent schools, shopping and more.  This gated condo complex will appeal to anyone looking for a primary, secondary or investment condominium in Florida. 

Condo association fees are approximately $360 per month and covers exterior maintenance, insurance, water/sewer, club house/pool and amenities as well as the gated entry. 

Currently there are only two units on the market in Ventura at Turtle Creek.  One is a foreclosure (not finance-able due to its condition ) which is listed at $93,900.  The other unit is a 3/2 with a garage listed at $168,500. 

There have been seven units sold in Ventura at Turtle Creek over the past 6 months.  The last three sales (since June 2015) included:
  • 1576 Peregrine #309 - a Santa Anna floor plan  with 1,447 sq ft under air, 3 bedrooms/2 bath sold for $127,000.
  • 1576 Peregrine #101 - a Sonoma floor plan with 1,247 sq ft under air, 3 bedrooms/2 bath sold for $116,000.
  • 1576 Peregrine #107 - a Napa floor plan with 1,112 sq ft under air, 2 bedrooms/2 baths sold for $121,000.
Two other floor plans which were built in Ventura at Turtle Creek (although none are currently listed) include
  • Santa Rosa, 1,412 sq ft under air, 3 bedrooms/2 bath
  • Santa Cruz, 1,391 sq ft under air, 3 bedrooms/2 bath
    If you are looking for a gated condo community near Viera in central Brevard County, check out Ventura at Turtle Creek.

    Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can help you with a home purchase or sale in Viera and Rockledge, Florida.

    Wednesday, July 22, 2015

    Days on Market (by sales price)- Single Family Home Sales - Brevard County, Florida June 2015

    Median days on the market (list date to contract date) for single family homes in Brevard County, Florida continues to hover around the 30 day mark.   The chart below reflects the differences in days on the market based on the sales price with days extending beyond the 30s when sales price exceeds $400,000.

    For information on buying a home in Brevard County, Florida including Viera and Melbourne, Please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

    Brevard County, Florida - Single Family Home Sales June 2015 - Median Sales Price/Average Sales Price

    The Brevard County, Florida median single family home sales price continued to rise in June 2015.   Likewise, the average selling price for single family homes continued its climb in June 2015.

    Single Family Homes Sale Brevard County, Florida - June 2015

    Brevard County, Florida single family home year over year sales for June 2015 were 10% higher with median sales prices almost 16% higher.

    For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

    Monday, July 20, 2015

    Viera, Florida Homes For Sale - Market Activity in Sonoma at Viera (July 2015)

    Sonoma at Viera is a gated community in the planned unit development of Viera located in Brevard County, Florida.   Located just west of I-95, Sonoma at Viera is  convenient to excellent schools, shopping, medical facilities (Viera Hospital)  as well as several golf courses including Duran Golf Club and Viera East.

    Currently there are six homes for sale in Sonoma at Viera.   List prices range from a low of $315,000 (four bedroom two bath three car garage home, 2,500 sq.ft.) to $484,900 (four bedroom three bath three car garage 3,200 sq.ft.).  There are also six homes in Sonoma at Viera currently under contract awaiting the closing process.    Ten of these twelve (active/pending) properties are standard sales (1 foreclosure, 1 short sale).

    There have been twenty-two homes sold in Sonoma at Viera over the past six months.  Twenty-one of these sales have been  standard (fair market) sales.

    Selling prices for these properties ranged from $199,000 to $485,000.  The lowest priced home was smaller than most homes in Sonoma at Viera (only 1,578 sq.ft.).   All of the other sold homes were 1,982 sq. ft. or larger.

    Since June 1, 2015 there have been five homes sold in Sonoma at Viera with an average selling price of about $300,000.  These homes included:
    • 4090 Chardonnay Drive - 1,578 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, $199,000 (built 2003, pond front, sold 06/10/15). 
    • 2937 Mondavi Drive - 1,982 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, $310,000 (built 2004, pond front, sold 06/17/15). 
    • 4120 Chardonnay Drive - 2,011 sq. ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, $241,000 (built 2003, pond front, sold 06/10/15). 
    • 4680 Chardonnay Drive - 2,315 sq. ft. 4 bedroom 2 bath, $350,000 (2004 built, pond front, sold 06/05/15). 
    • 4781 Chardonnay Drive -  2,845 sq. ft. 5 bedroom 3 bath, $393,250 (2003 built, pond front, sold 06/17/15).
    For information on selling or buying a Viera, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

    Friday, July 17, 2015

    Home Seller Tips: What Does a Seller Do With Feedback?

    This short post is directed at home sellers.

    What is feedback?   The short answer - a prospective buyers reaction to a product.  It could be the new car taken for a test drive or, in this case, a house or condo.    Regardless of product the seller wants to know what a prospect thought?

    As soon as a house or condo is scheduled for a showing the listing real estate agent usually sends a feedback request.  And if the request does receive an immediate response, another arrives.  And then another arrives ad nauseum.  

    In the real estate business it seems that getting feedback is a challenge.   My experience has been that maybe 25-30% of agents provide some sort of feedback.

    Still, if feedback arrives, how useful is it?   Sometimes it can be genuinely useful while at other times just a generic "Thanks, still looking." 

    When I go on a listing appointment I discuss feedback as part of the home selling process.

    I am honest with prospective sellers about the scarcity of useful feedback.  And then I ask them the same question each time... What will you do with feedback received?

    Sellers need to be thick skinned yet receptive when feedback comes.  It may be critical of things that should not matter (paint,carpeting, cosmetic issues).  It may be critical of price.   When my buyers give negative feedback I will often translate to a less harsh message that still gets the point across.

    Sellers should take any feedback received and carefully evaluate the soundness of the commentary.  If it is cosmetic, it may be something that is distracting prospective buyers from seeing the positives the home offers.

    If the "price is too high" comments become a common theme, look at price.  Read "Signs your home is not priced right."

    Still, the best feedback will always be a written offer!

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

    If you prefer, send me an email.

     Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Market Report - Homes For Sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera, Florida (July 2015)

    Fairway Lakes at Viera offers home buyers seeking gated, new (or newer) construction executive living near one of the best golf courses in Brevard County plenty of opportunities to find the perfect Florida home.
    Fairway Lakes at Viera is located near the new Viera Hospital as well as Viera High School.

    Nearby is The Avenues at Viera shopping center as well many other shops and restaurants.

    Currently there are six homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera. 

    Home prices range from $579,900 to $695,000.  Home size varies from 2,730 square feet to just over 4,000 square feet under air.  All of the listings are standard/non distressed sales with either four or five bedrooms.  These custom and semi custom homes were built in 2007 (three properties) and 2015 (three properties).   Some have golf course views as well as lake frontage.All share similar features like tile roofs, high ceilings, etc.

    What has recently sold recently in Fairway Lakes at Viera?

    Over the past six months there have been six homes sold in Fairway Lakes at Viera.  All of these were standard, fair market sales.  (Sales data extracted from the Brevard MLS system).

    Homes sold included:

    6715 Arroyo Drive - 2007 built, 4,040 sq. ft. five bedroom five bathroom three car garage pool home with lake and golf course views sold for $595,000 on May 4, 2015.
    6725 Arroyo Drive - 2006 built, 4,049 sq.ft. five bedroom five bathroom three car garage pool home with lake and golf course views sold for $628,000 on May 1, 2015.
    2961 Emeldi Lane - 2007 built, 2,989 sq. ft. four bedroom four bathroom three car garage pool home with lake views sold for $540,000 on May 28, 2015.
    2972 Emeldi Lane - 2007 built, 3,779 sq.ft. four bedroom three and a half bathroom three car garage pool home with lake and golf course views sold for $612,000 on June 2, 2015.
    6774 Matanzas Way - 2015 built, three bedroom four bathroom two car garage home with lake views sold for $524,324 on February 10, 2015.
    6565 Arroyo Drive - 2006 built, four bedroom two and a half bathroom two car garage pool home that overlooks the golf course sold for $410,000 on February 17, 2015.

    There are currently three properties under contract (all standard sales, in the $500,000-$600,000 price range).

    For information on homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera or to sell your Fairway Lakes at Viera home, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

    Monday, July 13, 2015

    Home Buyer Tips: Finding the "imperfect" home.

    My colleague, Melbourne, Florida real estate broker Sandy Shores recently wrote about looking for properties with the right things wrong.   Her article focused on the investor buyer but owner occupant buyers can benefit from the same advice.

    One of the first steps in the home buying process (after the mortgage pre-approval and budget determination  is identifying the key characteristics of your next home.

    I prefer to call these essential characteristics the must haves,” “can't have,” and “nice to have” characteristics of the new purchase.
    • Must haves: Some things a house must have - can't live without these. Know these up front. Location, space inside and outside, safety, age and type of construction, school district and the like may be included here. 
    • Can't haves: Just like you must have certain things, there are things you just do not want. Know what these are from the start as well. This is a list that needs to be shared with your Realtor® early on to avoid wasting your time. 
    • Nice to have: Sometimes an extra just happens to show up in a house you find which meets your must have criterion. Identify these extras so your Realtor® can include them in the search because, as a buyer you never know what is on the market. But your Realtor® is the market expert and may just know where to find these as well!
      With a defined budget and requisite characteristics identified the home search begins with the usual excitement and high hopes of finding the perfect house!

      But rarely does a buyer find the perfect house. 

      There may be imperfections.  Some may be cosmetic issues and require updating.  It may be a missing pool.   It may involve removing wallpaper, carpeting or painting. 

      Look beyond these minor imperfections.   Consider the potential a property presents.

      Your imperfect home may wind up being your perfect home!

      When you are 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.

      Ready to sell your Viera, Florida home, call Waters Realty of Brevard - the small company delivering big results!

      Friday, July 10, 2015

      Home Seller Tips: Must Be a Democrat That Lives Here!

      There have been more books written about how to sell your home than Carter has liver pills (if you have never heard this phrase, read this).

      Selling your home depends on three main points which I refer to as "The Three Ps to Selling Your Home."

      What are these three Ps?
      • Price.  Price must be consistent with condition, location, competition and seller goals.
      • Promotion.  This is simply how your real estate agent markets your home to get in front of the greatest number of potential buyers.  This targeted marketing involves a variety of components from MLS entries, blogging, direct mail, print advertising, blogging, third party syndication websites, open houses and more.  Each property is different and should have a customized promotion plan.  
      • Presentation.  This is simply being able to show your house in its best, most positive light
      Of the above, the one area a seller has most control over is presentation.  Sellers need to have their home be the star of the show.   Making this happen involves removing all the little distractions which can draw away from the strengths of the property.

      One of the potential major offenders are "things."  What are things?

      Things are the items that have nothing to do with your house but may get a buyer's attention more so than your kitchen,  master bath or view.   Some of these things, which in and of themselves are not necessarily bad, include trophies, awards, diplomas, books, collections, photos and the like.

      I remember once I had a buyer comment on books..."Must be a Democrat that lives here."  She was referring to books by Clinton, Carter, et al.  Not sure if it mattered but she noticed and remarked about the contents of the bookcase.

      While political party affiliation or college diplomas are likely not to cause one to not buy a house they may cause a prospective buyer to miss seeing the most important positives.

      When you prepare to sell, remember to show them your house and not your everything!

      If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 for your free market analysis.  Have a question about the process, just send me an email.

      Thursday, July 09, 2015

      Homes For Sale in Rockledge, Florida - Chelsea Park, Phillips Landing and Barrington Subdivisions

      Currently there are 79 single family homes for sale in Rockledge, Florida ranging in price from $61,000 to $950,000 (median list price is $200,000, median year built 1997).  Below is a market summary for just three of Rockledge neighborhoods.

      Chelsea Park in Rockledge currently has three homes for sale priced from $289,000 to $350,000.  There are also three under contract awaiting closing.  All the homes for sale are standard sales as well.

      Over the past six months there have been 17 homes sold in Chelsea Park with prices ranging from $175,000 to $349,900.

      Since June 1, 2015 there have been four homes sold in Chelsea Park with prices from $176,400 t0 $349,900.  The lowest priced home was an auction home and was not the norm with the others selling at $250,000 and $259,000.  The highest priced home had slightly more than 3,200 sq.ft. under air as well as a three car garage, in ground pool and was located on a pond.

      Phillips Landing in Rockledge currently has only one home for sale ( a three bedroom two bath two car garage home) priced around $215,000.   This is similar to many areas in Brevard County where the inventory of move in ready homes is low and buyer competition is keen.

      Over the past six months three have been five homes sold in Phillips Landing with selling prices ranging from $195,000 to $260,000.  Most of the homes sold were built in 2005 although the others were as new as 2013.

      Both Chelsea Park and Phillips Landing offer owners a great lifestyle.  Both are relatively close to each other.   The students attend the same high school (Rockledge High) while the elementary and middle schools are different but both excellent quality schools.   Both developments offer easy access to major routes, shopping, and recreation (golfing, ice rink, beaches).    Both offer newer construction, concrete homes.

      A couple of differences though - Phillips Landing has a community pool and playground while Chelsea Park lacks the community pool.  Lot sizes as well as general home size is larger in Chelsea Park.

      Barrington in Rockledge is a deed restricted community (mandatory homeowner association) with annual fees below $200.   Barrington does not have a community pool which translates to lower association fees.   It is located near several schools including Kennedy Middle School, Golfview Elementary, McNair Magnet School and Rockledge High School as well as public parks and recreational facilities.  

      Brevard County Public School Ratings.

      Currently there are three active listings in Barrington priced from $229,900 to $250,000.  All homes for sale are standard sales.  There is one short sale under contract at this time although short sales are less common in the area in 2015.

      The last two sales in Barrington both occurred in March 2015.
      • 1837 Barrington Circle -  This 2002 built 2,236 sq ft home with four bedrooms two baths and a two car garage sold for $210,000.
      • 1854 Barrington Circle -  A four bedroom two bath two car garage home built in 1999 sold for $218,275.

      For information about buying or selling a home in Rockledge, Florida, please call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

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