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Monday, August 31, 2015

Selling Your Florida Home - Twelve Articles to Help You Be a Seller and Not a "For Sale-r."

There have been a lot of real estate articles written about home sellers and buyers.  But the terms do not accurately encompass all consumers who call on a real estate agent from time to time.  Sometimes I think that real estate buyers and sellers can be broken down into four distinct real estate consumer personalities.

For example, lets take the "seller" and "for sale-r.

First of all there is little distinction between these two at first glance.   But, in reality, they are different sides of the home seller coin.   They both want to list their home for sale.  Likely they have both already listed their home for sale as there is always a real estate agent who will take any any listing.    

But they are different.

A "for sale-r" will be easy to spot because they have had a sign out front for much longer than the current market averages.   Some may have already had a listing expire or gone through several real estate agents.

What are distinguishing characteristics of a "for sale-r?"

They may listed their home for a price which is inordinately high for their neighborhood.  They may have decided their home was perfect and not in need of anything.  They may have restricted access by not allowing a lock box on the property.

They may have placed extremely limiting restrictions on access like 24-48 hour prior notice, only showings during a few specific hours or specific days.  Or perhaps their real estate agent must be present every time a showing is done.  Or, if they receive an offer, they absolutely refuse to negotiate on any terms other than full price with few, if any, contingencies. 

Now a "seller" is quite the opposite.  

Sellers understand their listing price should should realistically reflect the "as is" condition of their home.   The "as is" condition may indeed be perfect and move in ready.  Or it may reflect a few minor issues that need to be addressed by a future owner.  

Sellers have likely done the necessary things to prepare their home for the market.  Preparing a home for the market does not necessarily mean spending money on the house if money is tight or circumstances restrict it.

Some preparations cost very little such as de-cluttering, de-personalizing, cleaning and staging a home.  It could be something as simple as dressing up the front lawn or cleaning the front door.   Sellers make it easy for a home to be shown accommodating reasonable showing requests.

Most prospective home sellers do not start out with the goal of becoming a "for sale-r."   
They are sometimes the unfortunate benefactor of poor advice, be it from a friend, neighbor, or their real estate agentYes, real estate agents do give bad advice.  

This post promised twelve articles to get you started selling your Florida home.   My goal in writing these articles was to help sellers be successful and avoid the trap of being a "for sale-r."

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Florida home, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Buying or Selling a Home: Begin with the end in mind.

Buying or selling a home is no different than any other important task.  Success most often depends on the proper planning.    Begin with the end in mind (define your goal).

If selling your home is the goal then consider these points. 

When....   Depending on the type of transaction the time required to sell a home once a contract is in place is somewhere in the 30-45 day time frame.  If the median days on the market stand about 30-45 days then working backwards the process could take about two to three months from start to finish.

Now think preparation...  What must be done to prepare your home for the market?  While many sellers think their home is move in ready it still takes item to prepare a home for the market.  It may simply be a case of cleaning and handling some  of the cosmetic details.  Or there could be some repairs that may be needed.  Or maybe its time to get rid of "stuff."   In cases of older homes it is often helpful to have a pre-listing inspection done.  And if there are problems, address them or disclose them. can be from a few days to months.  However one wants to word this point - set your goals, define your  a home is no different than any other task...proper planning prevent poor performance.  In the case of a house purchase - rejection!

Take time to interview real estate agents....   I recommend a minimum of three real estate agents be interviewed before deciding who will manage your sale. 

There are multiple other steps in a well planned marketing plan.  The key point for anyone desiring to sell their home is consider the above items as the initial steps in meeting your goal.  Your real estate agent should be able to fill in all the steps in your plan.

If buying a home is the goal then consider these points.

When....  Are you ready to purchase a home?   Do you have stable employment?   Will you be in place for the next four to six years?  Will your family circumstances or needs change soon?

Now think preparation...   Pull your free annual credit report each year to make sure there are no surprises (erroneous negative entries).   Talk with a lender about your credit history and the various types of home loans available based on your circumstances.   Sometimes, if necessary, your lender will become a partner with you in developing a plan to correct issues and better position your credit score for a mortgage.  Think of available funds for down payments and other costs associated with home ownership (taxes, insurance, inspections, survey, etc).

Take time to get your own real estate agent...  As a buyer you do not pay anything to have your own real estate agent.   The usual practice is for sellers to pay the buyers' agent (even new construction!).   Your real estate agent will develop a plan to focus your efforts within the defined time and budget parameters to begin the search.  Your real estate agent is on your side.  Your real estate agent will be available to answer your questions abut the process.  Your real estate agent will likely communicate with your lender directly if there are issues or questions about your loan program specifics.   Your real estate agent is key to meeting your goal.

While none of the above provides a detailed description of the process of buying or selling a home the steps outlined provide a good starting point.

Whether buying or selling a home success is most easily achieved when one begins with the end in mind.

Whether buying or selling a home in Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help.

“Target House Shows Purchase Property Mortgage Success” by Stuart Miles

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: When Should a Buyer Modify Their Search Criteria?

We all know there is rarely ideal house in the re-sale market.   Perfect homes are usually custom built although perfect can still be limited by budget.

In the current Brevard County, Florida residential market sales are growing while inventory is not keeping pace with the resulting rise in prices.   This trend has been in place for a while (see chart below) although July seems out of place somewhat.

Most focused buyers define their future home's "must have" characteristics early on in the home buying process.  [Read Understand Your Needs When Buying a Home.]

Most of the must have characteristics of a house are the things that can't be easily changed (location, size, age, school zone, price, etc.).   Sometimes other characteristics can get on the must have list which can limit potential properties.

For example, consider the impact of just requiring a home have an in-ground pool can do to prospective homes that come up in this search of Brevard County, Florida homes for sale.
  • Search 1:  Price range $250,000-$325,000; size home 20000+ sq.ft. under air; built 2000-2015; not located within 55+ community; in Viera, Florida; WITH POOL.  
  • Search 2:  Using the same search criteria but WITH/WITHOUT POOL.   
Search 1 results in three homes priced between $275,000 and $319,900.   Search 2 results in thirteen potential properties found priced $259,000 to $325,000.  While none of the non-pool homes may be the ideal at least the buyer has more to consider now.  

A few other questions to consider....
agent@moving2brevard.comWhile none of us can predict the future these are just thoughts to ponder when buying a house in Melbourne and Viera, Florida.

Monday, August 24, 2015

What Sells a House?

Back in 2008 I wrote a short article about "Do great slogans sell houses?"    I am not sure the reason but this single post continues to lead all 3,000+ of my posts fin the number of views. 

I think the genesis of this post was all eh tag lines and slogans I was seeing in advertising at the time.

My point was no real estate agent nor real estate brokerage slogan or brand will automatically sell your house.   At the time I was a Century 21 agent so we were sloganized (not a real word) as well.

While tag lines may help, in the end, homes are sold because of specific items.
  1. Proper pricing Pricing a home for the market is not an exact science however a local knowledgeable real estate agent should have the tools to provide an analysis that should be very close to the current market price.  This analysis will include a look at the active competition as well as recent similar sales.  It will take into account a property's general condition as well as any issues (traffic, desirability of area, etc.).  It will take into account a seller's circumstances and goals although it will not consider what an owner paid.  
  2. Preparation.  Preparation is part of the pricing equation (fix what can be, price for what can't be fixed) but includes much more.  It involves staging the property to promote the positives and minimizing any negatives.  This could include painting, removing excessive furnishings, de-personalizing perhaps replacing carpeting.  It must always include the exterior of the house as first impressions are key.  One thing it always includes is cleaning
  3. Promotion.  Your real estate agent will develop an individualized marketing plan that works for your house.  It will be a plan that targets the pool of most likely buyers.  It may involve an open house.  It always includes internet marketing.  Finally one other component of promotion is accessibility.  If a buyer can't see the property, they can't (or usually will not) buy the property.

There are many other mini-components to successfully selling a home.

Getting an offer accepted is not the end but just the beginning of a road to the closing table.   The real estate transaction requires constant oversight until the keys change hands. 

There are critical time components that must be met.  That is the reason the Florida purchase contract includes "Time is of the essence." in bold print.  There are (or may be) contingency deadlines and contingencies to be removed.  There is an order to the process.

A competent real estate professional will go a long way to accomplishing your goal whether buyer or seller.

If you are buying a home in Melbourne or Viera, Florida, I can help. 

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850.  I am your local expert!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Summer Lakes in Viera, Florida - Gated Executive Living in Central Florida

The below market report was extracted from n update I recently sent to an interested prospective buyer who was asking about a few of the exclusive gated communities in Viera, Florida.  Along with Wyndham at Duran the community of Summer Lakes offers gated executive living in central Brevard County, Florida.

Currently there are five active listings in Summer Lakes.  Listing prices for all of these standard sale executive homes range from a low of $799,900 to $1.25 million.

All of these homes for sale in Summer Lakes are large with an average size of about 4,000 square feet under air offering 4-5 bedrooms and 3-4 bathrooms.   Common features found in all of these homes include tile roof, three car garage, pool and a fireplace (one lacks a pool).   Lot size varies from just over a half acre to about one acre with some lake front homes  There are also another three standard sale homes under contract awaiting the closing process/date.

Over the past six months there have been five homes sold in Summer Lakes. 

The sales (as recorded in the Brevard MLS system) included:
  • 2852 Bellwind Circle - Sold for $760,000, built 2006, standard sale on 03/13/2015, 3223 sq.ft. (3BR/3BA), pool home.
  • 2922 Bellwind Circle - Sold for $860,000, built 2006, standard sale on 03/09/2015, 3512 sq.ft. (4BR/4BA), pool home.
  • 2953 Bellwind Circle - Sold for $940,000, built 2007, standard sale on  04/17/2015, 4225 sq.ft. (4BR/4.5BA), pool home.
  • 3003 Bellwind Circle - Sold for $1,170,000, built 2008, standard sale on  06/11/2015, 4342 sq.ft. (4BR/4.5BA), pool home.
  • 3163 Bellwind Circle - Sold for $975,000, built 2005, standard sale on 06/05/2015, 3745 sq.ft.(4BR/3.5BA), pool home.
As a point of reference about selling prices read this article from 2011 about homes for sale in Summer Lakes.

Along with the very exclusive Wyndham at Duran (prices slightly higher) Summer Lakes offers some of the largest and most exclusive homes in the Viera, Florida area of central Florida.

For information on homes for sale in Summer Lakes or Wyndham at Duran please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Why Should A Seller Not Offer a Home Warranty?

There was a time when it seemed every home purchase offer had a home warranty in the offer.  This could have been because the seller already was offering or the buyer was asking for the warranty.  Lately I have seen fewer home warranties requested or offered.

Why should a seller not offer a home warranty? 

Sellers should always prepare their home for the market in such a way to best meet their goals.   If the goal is to get the most money possible this preparation could include a pre-listing home inspection with disclosure of the results.   If there are any major issues discovered the choice is simple - repair or disclose the issues.

In other words, a home warranty is not meant to compensate for a poorly prepared homeThat will be reflected in the offer price.

Why should a seller offer a home warranty?     

There are some think a home warranty will "seal the deal."   I do not subscribe to this philosophy 100% of the time.  If a house is in relatively good condition with no major issues it may be the deal clincher.  In this case a home warranty can allay some concerns of prospective buyers for the short term (warranties usually last for one year with renewal options). 

In cases where the home includes older appliances this can be offered as an incentive. After all many buyers have already spent a lot of available cash to close the deal and move.  Not having to worry about repairing an old refrigerator or an air conditioner (especially in Florida) can offer some comfort.

As a seller of an older home I recommend offering a home warranty to help get your home sold!

What do home warranties normally cover?  

Although warranties vary from company to company they typically cover appliances, water heaters, garage door openers, some heating and air conditioning equipment and electrical components.

Home warranties typically cost about $350-$500 range with additional costs for coverage for pools, spa, etc. that are not typically included with basic home warranty coverage.

What approach should a buyer take to a home warranty?

First of all,  if a seller or real estate agent is purchasing one for you, it makes sense to accept it!  If it is not already provided it does not hurt to ask for the warranty. 

The seller may not provide the warranty but the seller's real estate agent may do it to get the deal done.   I prefer the request for a warranty be presented in the offer as having a seller contribute up to $XXX for a home warranty of the buyer's choosing.   This allows a buyer to review the coverages and the price.  Some may elect to add a little out of pocket for a more favorable policy.

Of course if the offer involves a multiple offer situation then the cleaner offer (minus warranty) with the best price is stronger.

Finally not all homes should be considered for a home warranty.  This is especially true of newer homes which may already have builder warranties as well as separate warranties on major appliances and systems.

If a home is newer a home warranty may be unneeded.  Some newer homes come with two year (or more) warranties as well as manufacturer coverage for appliances and air conditioning systems.

Whether buyer or seller the subject of a home warranty should be discussed with your real estate agent.  Every market and every offer is different.

If you are ready to sell your Viera or Melbourne, Florida home I want to help!

Warranty Image courtesy of vectorolie at

If the Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Market Has Shifted Why are There Still Foreclosures?

Every article one reads in 2015 seems to say the same thing...residential markets have heated up and favor the seller!

If that is true then why are there still foreclosures for sale in Brevard County, Florida?

The reality is there have always been foreclosures for sale.  A few years ago there was indeed a spike in distressed sales.  Foreclosures and Short sales became a common occurrence.

In the current Brevard County, Florida MLS system there are 2,264 single family homes listed as active today.   Of these 220 are listed a foreclosure, REO or auction properties.  If my math is correct that means about 1 in 10 single family home listings in Brevard County is a foreclosure/REO/auction sale.

As for short sales there are 56 single family homes listed as active short sales (less than 3% of all homes for sale).

So while there are still foreclosures for sale in Brevard County the majority (almost 90%) of homes for sale are standard / fair market listing.

While the above numbers represent the active listings in the Brevard MLS system.  The graphic here shows the Brevard County, Florida single family closed sales in July 2015 by type of sale.

The graphic above shows the trend since 2011 with short sales slowly disappearing as well as foreclosure numbers shrinking.

But there will always be some foreclosures.  Lives and circumstances of owners change.  Hardships, loss of jobs, family changes, divorce....all impact the housing market.

Ready to buy a home in Melbourne or Viera, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Is The Time Right To Sell Your Home? Signs are not a sign of the market.

I recently posted an article encouraging prospective home buyers in Brevard County, Florida to get off the fence.   I think sellers should consider this same advice as well.

Prices have risen.  Interest rates are low.  These are good signs for sellers.

Another excellent sign for home sellers... competition is down!

With the current median days on the market for Brevard County, Florida home sellers at about 30 days your house will move quickly if marketed appropriately.   And it will command the best price possible if it is prepared properly.

Although you may hear that inventory is down you may see a lot of signs when driving through various neighborhoods. To illustrate, signs are not a sign of the market state.

How many active listings are there in some of these popular Rockledge and Viera, Florida neighborhoods?
  • Phillips Landing - 1 
  • Plantation Point - 5  
  • Fairway Lakes at Viera - 6 
  • Auburn Lakes - 1  
  • Sonoma - 5  
  • Ravencliff  - 4  
  • Indigo Crossing - 2 
  • Wingate Estates - 5  
  • Gatwick Manor - 1  
  • Daintree - 4  
  • Eason Landing - 0  
  • Bayhill - 2 
  • Chelsea Park - 4  
  • Ventana - 1 
  • Somerville - 1
The above numbers were extracted from the Brevard MLS system today.
If you drive through any of the above neighborhoods you will see more signs than listings noted.  That is because there are homes under contract as well awaiting closing.  Real estate agents often leave their sign out front to capture lead calls even if the house is under contract.

There are at least 30 pending or contingent listings in the above neighborhoods.  There are 42 active listings in the above listed subdivisions.  Assuming a sign is on every property there should be about 72 total signs.  This equates to about only 4 in 10 signs in these developments is actually "on the market."  Put another way....signs are not a sign of the market.

As a seller,  the signs and activity may be the draw to a neighborhood but you are only competing with about 40% of the signs!   This is definitely a sign (pun intended) that the Rockledge and Viera, Florida markets favors a motivated seller. 

Ready to sell your Viera or Rockledge, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email to get going!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Heritage Isle in Viera, Florida - New Construction Homes for Sale with 2015 Completion

Heritage Isle in Viera, Florida still has some new home construction going on for buyers looking for a brand new house in 2015.  

What is Heritage Isle?

Heritage Isle is Brevard County, Florida's  premier 55+ community.   This gated community is located convenient to shopping, restaurants, beaches, golf courses, medical facilities and much more.

Heritage Isle offers a 21,000 square foot clubhouse providing such amenities as:
  • Resort style heated pool and spa 
  • Billiards room 
  • Arts and crafts room
  • Fitness center
  • Special events and live entertainment 
  • Tennis courts 
  • Boccie
  • Basketball courts 
  • Horseshoes 
  • Bingo 
  • Walking trails 
  • Library and computer center 
  • On site cafe.

Lawn service is provided which includes plants, fertilizer, weed/insect control,trimming).  The monthly fees include exterior re-painting (every five years).

There is a Heritage Isle at Viera Community Development District (CDD) assessment billed with property taxes in November.   The annual CDD assessment varies by home size but is generally anywhere between about $725 to a little over a $1,000 based on home size (Villa, Manor, Estate). 

Community Development Districts - What You Should Know! 

Buyers should verify all fees need before entering into a purchase agreement.  I am not an employee or associated with Heritage Isle in any way.

What types of manor homes will be completed before the end of 2015?

I wanted to highlight some but not all of the single family homes that are scheduled for completion before the end of 2015.  All of the home mentioned here have the Renaissance features.
  • There is a Columbus/C elevation model slated for completion in August/September priced at $266,990.  
  • Another Columbus model /B elevation  priced at $255,640 for September /October completion.   
  • There are two other Columbus /C models slated for completion in October/November priced at $256,990 and $242,640.  
  • Two Bonita floor plan /C elevation scheduled for October/November priced at $270,131 and $275,490.
The Columbus II floor plan is a three bedroom two bath two car garage home with 1,677 square feet under air.  The Bonita II floor plan is a three bedroom two bathroom  two car garage home with 1,866 square feet under air.  The above plans and prices are linked directly to specific lots.

Click on the links below to view the floor plans as well as the features list that have been provided by the builder, Lennar Homes.

The Columbus II Floor Plan
The Bonita II Floor Plan
Manor Site Plan (as of August 18, 2015)
Lennar Renaissance Features List

For information buying a home in Heritage Isle, please call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.   

If a resale is your preference there are at least ten resale properties active in Heritage Isle today.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

The High Cost of Waiting to Buy a House in Florida

The graphic below shows the cost of waiting to buy a house in different areas of Florida.  The YELLOW figure represents the cost of waiting one year, the GREEN, three years.

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

San Marino Estates in Suntree - Custom Executive Homes for Sale - Suntree/Viera, Florida

San Marino Estates is a newer gated development in the Suntree area of central Brevard County, Florida offering custom built executive homes off the high traffic areas.

Located in the Suntree/Viera area, San Marino Estates is off the major traffic routes but still near shopping, medical facilities, dining and several golf courses. 
Also nearby is the newer Viera Hospital, multiple physician offices and surgical center, excellent schools as well as the awarding winning Brevard Zoo.  Also its only about fifteen minutes to the Atlantic Ocean beaches as well as Patrick Air Force Base.

Commutes are never a problem with US 1 and I-95 convenient to San Marino Estates.   Less than hour to Orlando and about thirty minutes to the Kennedy Space Center and Port Canaveral.

Homes in San Marino Estates are Mediterranean and Spanish style with tile roofs and stucco exteriors (some stone work as well).

Most homes in San Marino Estates have three car garages but some are only two car garages.  Most lots are in the .25 to .30 acre range with plenty of space between the properties as opposed to many of the newer developments in Viera.

All of the homes in San Marino Estates are custom built by some of Brevard County, Florida's most exclusive builders including Stanley Homes, Lifestyle Homes, Brubaker Builders, and other custom builders.  Current Homeowner association fees are currently $185 per quarter.

Currently there are only three homes on the market in San Marino Estates priced from $424,900 to $799,000.   These homes are in the 2,500 to 3,900 sq.ft. range with three car garages.  Two are 2015 construction while the other is 2013.

There have been two homes sold in San Marino Estates since December 2014.  Note these are only the sales recorded in the MLS system.
  • 1234 Alto Vista Drive - 3,839 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 3.5 bathroom three car garage home with fireplace, media room, 20 foot ceilings and more sold in June 2015 for $570,000.
  • 1171 Italia Court - Five bedrooms three bath three car garage home with 2,814 sq.ft. under air sold December 2014 for $544,000.
A couple of other sales extracted from the Brevard County Property Appraiser web site in 2014 included a $475,000 sale (2,689 sq.ft.) and $428,900 (3,273 sq.ft.).

One of the neatest features offered by Lifestyle Homes is the solar powered homes.

With integrated solar panels within the tiles you do not have the eye sore often associated with the roof mounted panels!

Interior photos in this post are from the Lifestyle model home at San Marino Estates.

For information on homes for sale in San Marino Estates or any of the new construction opportunities, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Remember, representatives in the model homes work for the builder....You can (and should) have your own agent when considering a new construction purchase.   Why not, it does not cost the buyer a penny more!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Grand Isle in Viera, Florida - Homes For Sale August 2015 - Market Update

Although I receive more inquiries about Viera', Florida's Heritage Isle 55+ community, the other 55+ communities in Viera get a lot of interest as well -  especially Grand Isle.   

Here is a brief, although not all inclusive, summary of some of the differences between Grand Isle and Heritage Isle in Viera.
  • Heritage Isle is newer with construction occurring from about 2004 through current new construction.  Grand Isle generally from around 2001 to roughly 2005.
  • Both communities were developed by Lennar Builders but Heritage Isle had other builders on site as well.  
  • While both are gated communities, Heritage Isle has a security guarded main entry while Grand Isle is keypad entry.  Heritage Isle also has another entry/exit for residents only.
  • Grand Isle seems to have more "green" between the houses while Heritage Isle seems more zero lot line although the larger houses in Heritage Isle are on larger lots
  • Grand Isle is all single family detached houses.  Heritage Isle has three four-story condo buildings as well as patio style homes and duplex type houses in addition to single family detached units. 
  • Heritage Isle’s clubhouse (21,000 sq. ft.) is larger and open 7 days a week, Grand Isle closed on Sunday (last time I checked).  Both have fitness centers, classes, pool, tennis, shuffleboard, etc.
  • Prices in both communities are close for similar age/style size but newer and larger homes in Heritage Isle are more.
  • Heritage Isle owners pay $300 - $400 (condos) monthly in dues while Grand Isle is around $225.
  • While the facilities at Heritage Isle are more expansive than Grand Isle the residents own the facilities in Grand Isle and not in Heritage Isle.
Currently there are three homes for sale in the Grand Isle community.

 Listing prices for all of these standard sales range from $208,900 to $269,900.   The lowest priced home is a two bedroom two bath 1,545 sq.ft. home built in 2004.  The other two listings are 3 bedroom 2 bath homes with just over 2,000 sq.ft. under air. 

There have been 8 homes sold in Grand Isle over the past six months.

Selling prices ranged from $205,000 to $295,000 (average selling price about $261,000).   Average home size was 1,968 sq.ft. under air.   All eight of these sales were standard (fair market) sales.

While there are currently three homes under contract there have been only three closed since May 1, 2015.   These included:
  • 1473 Keys Gate Drive - Selling price, $251,000. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, 2,011 sq.ft.
  • 1541 Perdido Court - Selling price, $270,000. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage 2,011 sq.ft.
  • 1696 Grand Isle Blvd -Selling price, $295,000. 4 bedroom 3  bath 3 car garage 2,274 sq.ft., waterfront.
While two of the above homes were the same sq.ft. 1541 Perdido Court had new granite counter tops, tank-less water heater, stainless appliances, porcelain tile throughout and possibly more (per MLS notes) which can account for differences in selling price.

If you are interested in a 55+ community in Florida, Grand Isle (and Heritage Isle) both deserve your consideration.    Let me show you what Viera offers those seeking gated 55+ living!  

Also, ask me about the Indian River Colony Club - a different style of 55+ community in Viera.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Is it time to buy a home in Florida? Get off the fence now or sit awhile, you decide.

Nothing stays the same in real estate or life. Home prices rise and prices fall.  Interest rates rise and fall.

The problem with the cyclical nature of real estate is one never knows how long the change, regardless of direction, will last.  This is often the challenge for those trying to time the market or just plan when to buy their first (or next) home.

The below chart, provided by Florida Realtors, shows the changes in the Brevard County, Florida inventory, median sales prices and average sales prices for single family homes since 2008.  It is not too difficult to capture the trends - rising prices, lower inventory- simple supply and demand. 

Many buyers have been sitting on the sidelines for a long time hoping to move at the optimal time.    Likewise, some sellers are on the fence hoping to sell at the highest point in the market.

The danger in taking his approach includes if the market shifts to higher prices a hopeful buyer may be priced out of the market for their desired home.  While they can still purchase it may be either a lesser home or require more cash up front.

Often more damaging than price increases can be a rise in the interest rates as the buyer's ability to purchase may be further limited during the mortgage qualification or, at a minimum, require a higher down payment which one may not have at the time.

Regardless of scenario, prices or rates, if one is trying to buy, consider doing so now.

If one is renting consider whether continued renting for another year or more will help your circumstances in the long run. 

This is where I must say that if you are renting it is not necessarily a bad thing.  I do not subscribe to the commonly used "if you are renting, you are throwing your money away" school of thought.   Sometimes your plans for the next year or five may not involve staying put in one place.    Employment or family changes can modify your circumstances so it may not be the best time to buy.

The decision to purchase a house is a long term commitment not to be made lightly.  The commitment goes beyond the monthly payment.  It also involves a commitment to your home (repairs, maintenance).

Still, the amount one can pay for rent is likely to change over the course of the next few years.  As home ownership has declined recently the competition for good rental accommodations has grown.  With rent, in the end, it all comes down to supply and demand.

In Brevard County, Florida, home prices as well as the cost of rentals seem to both be rising at the same time.  Compare those to the cost of home ownership. If you are a first time home-buyer there are programs that may be able to assist you with closing costs and down payment assistance.  I just had a buyer close on a home last month who received $15,000 assistance.  These programs do not last long as the money goes fast.  If you are interested, let me know and I can refer you to a lender.

Key point:  Get off the fence now or sit awhile, you decide. 

Considering buying a home in Viera or Melbourne, Florida?   Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Ready to sell your Viera, Florida home?  I want to help you!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Fairway Lakes at Viera, Florida - Market Update - Homes For Sale in Viera

Located in Viera, FloridaFairway Lakes at Viera offers executive homes built by some of central Florida's premier custom builders including Toll Brothers, Christopher Burton Homes, Arthur Rutenberg and others.

Fairway Lakes at Viera offers gated, golf course living on one of Brevard County’s most desirable course – Duran Golf Club.

Fairway Lakes at Viera is located near The Avenue Viera shopping mall, Viera Hospital, Viera High School, Brevard Zoo, restaurants and much more.

Currently  there are six active listings in Fairway Lakes priced from $529,000 to $695,000 (three are new construction).   Five of these homes are standard sales and one is a very rare short sale.   

Home size varies from 2,730 to 4,049 sq.ft. under air  with all having three car garages, tile roofs as well as most golf course, lake views or both.  There are also four homes currently under contract.

In the past six months there have been six homes sold in Fairway Lakes at Viera.   Selling prices ranged from $410,000 to $628,000.   All of the six homes sold were standard sales.

To get an idea of the current market/sales, here are the homes selling since May 1, 2015.
  • 6725 Arroyo Drive - Five bedroom five bathroom 4,049 sq.ft. pool home with three car garage home with water and golf views sold for $628,000 (built in 2006).
  • 6715 Arroyo Drive - Also a five bedroom five bathroom 4,040 sq.ft. pool home with three car garage with water and golf views which sold for $595,000 (built in 2007).
  • 2961 Emeldi Lane - Four bedroom four bathroom 2,989 sq.ft. pool home with three car garage and water views which sold for $540,000 (built in 2007).
  • 2972 Emeldi Lane - Four bedrooms three and a half bathrooms 3,779 sq.ft. three car garage pool home with golf course and water views selling for $612,000 (built in 2007).
A word of caution about similar homes and different selling prices:  While two homes may appear every similar such as the first two above, it is not possible to determine the exact differences that may account for selling price differences.  For example, the MLS entry states 6725 Arroyo Drive had impact windows and no indication of similar windows in the other house. Likewise, seller circumstances may be different as well.

Still, there is something in Fairway Lakes at Viera for most buyers looking for executive living in Viera, Florida.

For information on homes for sale in Viera including Fairway Lakes and the neighboring Wyndham at Duran, please give me a call at 321-693-3850.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Do Sellers Need a Long Term Listing Agreement When Selling Their Home?

Do you really need a long term listing agreement when hiring a real estate agent to sell your house? 

I have spoken with many sellers over the years and know from experience many view "long term" listing contracts so differently.   For some, long term is anything over a month!   But, for this discussion, I am using six to twelve months as long term. 

The short and easy answer would be no but...

So why do real estate agents want long term listing agreements?  The listing agreement is the agent's employment agreement.   It says to an agent...I work and accomplish this I get paid down the road

As a Realtor I view a long term listing agreement as an early sign of an owner being committed to the idea of selling  But a long term listing agreement does not automatically show a seller is committed to the process of selling. 

Some of the things a seller can do to demonstrate commitment to the process of selling include:
  1. Preparing their home for the market.
  2. Pricing it reasonable for the market, condition and circumstances of the sale. 
  3. Accommodate all reasonable showing requests.
  4. Choosing a professional real estate agent with local (neighborhood) knowledge, experienced and demonstrated success to market their home.
  5. Working with their real estate agent to do the things necessary to meet their goal.
No place above does "sign a long term listing agreement" appear.

So how long should a listing agreement be?

Every broker/office/agent has a different policy.  That is the good thing about the real estate business.  There are no set fees, listing contract requirements or anything else except for policies set by governmental agencies (and other bodies like the Realtor Association, local boards, etc.)  overseeing industry practices. 

I suggest prospective sellers ask any agent who wants a twelve month listing agreement this question: 
"What will you do in the last six months that are so critical it can't be done or achieved in the first six months?"    If the average days on the market in this area is XXX days, why do you need more than the average?   If the average is XX days then XXX days should be plenty, right?"  Also, what is your cancellation policy if I decide to not sell or  dissatisfied with your service?"
This post is not an indictment of any agent who has a one year listing policy but rather is meant to stimulate questions for consumers when interviewing agents to sell their home.

If you are in Viera or Melbourne, Florida and considering selling your home, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

As a matter of policy I rarely have a listing agreement for over six months unless a property is unique in some way or will require additional marketing  efforts.

Still, there are circumstances that may require a long term listing agreement such as a short sale or others and should be discussed when interviewing agents.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Plantation Point in Rockledge - Homes For Sale / Market Report August 2015

Plantation Point in Rockledge, Florida, offers home owners larger homes, primarily built in the 2004/2005 time, in a convenient location near Interstate 95 and US 1.   The nearby are offers shopping, restaurants, several golf courses as well as excellent schools and medical facilities.

With major employers and beaches all within 10-15 miles, Plantation Point is also an easy drive from Orlando and should be considered by commuters as well.   Association fees are less than many nearby communities because there is no clubhouse or community pool provided by an association (many homes have private pools).

Currently there are only two active listings in Plantation Point priced at $298,000 and $339,000.   The lower priced home is a 2,236 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home built in 2004 while the other is a 2,096 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath  3 car garage pool home.  Both of these sales are standard/fair market sales and have been on the market an average of 80 days with no price reductions.

During the past six months there have been eight homes sold in Plantation Point with selling prices ranging from $207,000 to $383,000.   Sales included five standard sales, two foreclosures and one short sale.   The average selling price per square for the non-distressed sales was approximately $142 per sq.ft.

Since May 1, 2015 there have been two homes sold in Plantation Point:
  • 4110 San Beluga Way - a 2,441 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 3 bathroom two car garage pool home built in 2005 which sold for $300,000 ($122.90/sq.ft.). Days on the market were 45 days with no price reduction.
  • 3800 Waterford Drive - a 2004 built four bedroom two bathroom two car garage 1,786 sq.ft. home sold for $249,000 and was on the market for 10 days, ($139.42/sq.ft.)
If you would like information on any of the homes for sale in Plantation Point or Rockledge or Viera, please feel free to contact me,  Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate broker, at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

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