Find Your Home!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

48 Ways to Speed a House Sale

Need a  Melbourne, Florida Realtor to help sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 if I can assist in any way!

To-Do List for First-Time Buyers

The above infographic is somewhat simplistic but should give every first time home-buyer an overview of the process.    Although on the above list it is #6 it is always a good start to choose your Realtor early on in the home buying process.   A local knowledgeable Realtor can guide you on the process and point you to resources for mortgage approval.

When you are ready to buy your first home in Melbourne, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.   I enjoy helping first time home-buyers become first time home-owners!

Ways It Pays To Work with a Realtor

Need a Brevard County, Florida Realtor?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way!

Above graphic provided by Florida Realtors

Friday, October 30, 2015

Daintree Subdivision in Viera, Florida - Market Update October 2015

Typical Daintree House
The Daintree subdivision, located in central Viera, Florida, offers residents single and two story newer/new construction homes in a gated community.     

Convenient to the new Viera Hospital, excellent public schools (including Viera Charter School, Manatee Elementary and Viera High School), Daintree is near major shopping centers like The Avenues of Viera as well as other shopping resources.  Nearby are several choices for golfing including the Duran Golf Club and Viera East Golf Course. 

Street Scene Daintree
With easy access to I-95 residents only a short drive to the Atlantic Ocean (Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach), Patrick Air Force Base and Orlando and its attractions.

Playground, Park, Pavilion Daintree
Daintree homes offer a variety of characteristics including tile and architectural shingle roofs, lakefront lots, nearby parks, neighborhood pool and pavilion are available for resident use.

Currently there are five homes for sale in Daintree subdivision.  Current list prices range from $295,400 to $459,000.  Of these homes for sale in Daintree there are a wide variety of styles and plans available with sizes ranging from just over 1,600 sq.ft. under air conditioning to just over 3,100 square feet.    Some offer pools while others do not have pools.   These homes were built between 2008 and 2012.

Over the past six months there have been ten  homes sold in Daintree as recorded in the Brevard MLS system.  Selling prices ranged from $265,000 to $435,000.   

Since August 1, 2015 there have been four properties sold in Daintree.  These recent sales included:
  • 3221 Recco Place - One story, lake front with 2,361 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage pool home sold for $359,900
  • 3230 Recco Place - One story, lake front 1,988 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage sold for $305,000
  • 3251 Recco Place - Two story, lake front 3,147 sq.ft. 5 bedroom 3 car garage pool  sold for $435,000
  • 5894 Trieda Drive - One story1,824 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage sold for $265,000

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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: When Do You Talk to the Mortgage People?

The current Brevard County, Florida housing market favors sellers.  Move in ready single family homes are not staying on the market very long.

The September 2015 median days on the market was only 29 days.  The median selling price in September 2015 was up 32% over September 2014 to just over $172,000.  Inventory is down while closings are up.

Buyers are scrambling to find move in ready homes in the areas they want to live.

Appropriately priced homes are often getting multiple offers with sellers getting about 95% of original list price in September 2015.

When prospective home buyers start looking for a home in Brevard County they need to be prepared on day one to make an offer

The first step is lining up a mortgage pre-approval.  

The time it takes from finding a home to closing in an ideal world would likely be around 60 days if a mortgage is involved.   With limited inventory I would suggest at least 90 days be allocated for finding, negotiating, inspecting and closing!

This "purchase window" may be even shorter depending on the specific house desired.  But what if you are planning to buy in eight, ten or twelve months from now? 

When should you start the mortgage process if you have eight or nine months left on your current lease?

I suggest starting now.  While interest rates will likely change and you have no idea what (or specifically where) you will be buying, talking with a mortgage lender well in advance of the "purchase window" is good.
  • Talk with a couple of local Brevard County mortgage lenders at a minimum.  Having a relationship with someone in the area is so much more preferable (my experience) than some Internet lender!
  • Discuss the programs available (types of loan, first time home-buyer programs, etc).
  • Discuss your income and liabilities. 
  • Find out what not to do that may damage your prospects of a successful home purchase within a year.  Things like job change, credit cards, a new car and the like can be a credit killer! 
  • Get an early review of your credit report.  There may be some surprises on the report that need to be corrected.   Credit report corrections do not happen overnight!  
  • There may have been some previous "bumps" in your credit road.  Corrective actions now can improve your chances of approval. that can be corrected.  There may be steps youc an take to improve your credit score.
If you are considering buying a home in Brevard County, Florida, ask for some local mortgage lenders.   Anyone can Google online lenders.  I know who has successfully served my clients.

Two of the most important people in your home buying process - your local real estate agent and your lender.  In Brevard County, Florida I can help!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Strom Park in Viera, Florida - New Construction Homes For Sale - Market Report October 2015

Strom Park is Viera's newest community and the first community of the new Central Viera Villages.   Strom Park will offer residents a large playground, several smaller playgrounds, a splash park and a dog park.

Strom Park's convenient location is near the new Viera Hospital, Viera High School, The Avenues Shopping, Pro-Health Fitness Center, restaurants and several golf courses including the Duran Golf Course as well as several other courses. 

Click to View Floor Plans
Currently there are five homes for sale in Strom Park.   All of these homes are new construction and are priced from $369,185 to $420,979.  Of these new construction homes several are slated for completion before the end of 2015 (November/December). 

Most of the homes currently for sale in Strom Park are two story floor plans with two car garages (two have three car garage).   All are large homes with either four or five bedrooms and three bathrooms.  Under air square foot ranges from 2,700 to almost 3,200 sq.ft.  Homes are being built exclusively by Viera Builders.

Over the past six months there have been 19 homes sold in Strom Park as reported in the Brevard MLS system. 

Since August 1, 2015 there have been seven sales recorded in the local MLS.   Selling prices ranged from $305,348 to $399,948 with an average per sq.ft. under air price of  abut $143.

Strom Park properties selling since August 1, 2015, as reported in the Brevard MLS system,  included:
  • 8486 Stalwart Circle - Two story3,103 sq.ft. 5 bedroom 4/5 bathroom 3 car garage Peacock model  sold for $390,481
  • 8456 Stalwart Circle - Two story 2,732 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 3 bathroom 3 car garage Callaway Springs II model sold for $356,736
  • 8446 Stalwart Circle - Two story 3,103 sq.ft. 5 bedroom 4.5 bathroom 3 car garage Peacock model sold for $399,948
  • 1135 Shiloh Drive -- One story 1,785 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bathroom 3 car Callaway Springs model garage sold for $305,348
  • 8088 Quimby Court - One story 2,109 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bathroom 2 car garage Holly model sold for $328,088
  • 8057 Quimby Court - One story 2,357 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 3 bathroom 2 car garage Magnolia model sold for $332,541
  • 8038 Quimby Court - One story 2,109 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bathroom 2 car garage Holly model sold for $314,994 
With easy access to I-95, and Orlando about an hour away as well as the beaches within ten miles, Strom Park is worth considering by anyone looking for new homes in Viera, Florida. 

When you are ready to buy a home in Viera let me help you!   Why not get your own real estate agent before visiting new construction models!    Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Buying a House in Florida: Houses, Like People, Do Not Age the Same.

One of the first questions I ask prospective buyers considering moving to Brevard County, Florida is the characteristic of the house they hope to find.  By knowing the size, room count/types, age, construction, water and budget I can pretty well identify the areas they should consider initially.

A couple of the primary considerations, after the budget, include the structure's age and construction. 

Here in Florida we always have the potential for hurricanes although none have hit Brevard County since 2004.  But that hurricane potential influences insurance rates and survive-ability when a storm comes based on when a house was built.

Thus it seems most of my clients want concrete block construction.   There are some areas of the county and subdivisions where wood frame construction is the dominant construction.  These are primarily the older subdivisions.

New and newer construction are almost always concrete block, poured concrete and the like.  This is especially true in the Viera area which is probably the newest development in the area (as well as Bayside Lakes in Palm Bay).

One of my recent customers was a research fanatic and advised me that the 2004 building code update was the most recent major hurricane code update so he wanted only 2005 and later construction.  Another potential issue with wood frame is the potential for termites although the concrete home is not exempt.

But there are concrete block older homes everywhere as well.  And some of these older homes may have been built in 1964 but walk inside and you find 2015!

Updating, energy efficient systems, new roofs (including retro-updates to the structural components) happen.    Kitchens are frequently rebuilt.  Bathrooms are renovated.  (Remember, to home buyers  the kitchen and bathrooms are the most important rooms in a house.)

Recent pool installs.  Docks and boat house/covers are updated with hardie board/synthetic decking.  Even some of the older wood frame homes have these synthetic sidings.

So, while the age of the home is usually a consideration when shopping for your new home remember, like people, houses do not age the same.  Its all about how you maintain it...

Considering buying a home in Viera, Florida?  Give me a call (or text me) at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Do you really need a Realtor® to Sell Your Florida Home?

Buying and selling real estate is easy, right?  With only two parties to the deal what could go wrong?

Which party has the advantage in a for sale by owner transaction, buyer or seller?   The answer depends on who you ask.

Most of the FSBO sellers I have met through the years felt they had the position of power since they had more room to negotiate (or sell lower since they were not paying a real estate agent).   Besides, what does  a real estate agent do for a seller?

Seems pretty easy to sell a house, right?   Put a sign out front, go to Zillow and get a price (because everyone knows Zillow is the gospel of values, right?)

But what happens if the price is low?   It will sell pretty quickly but that is OK because the FSBO seller had room to sell lower since they were not paying an agent, right?

On the buyer side, get your real estate agent - even if you are thinking about buying a for sale by owner property. 

Why should a buyer get an agent?   Buying a home is one of the most expensive and potentially life changing decisions one can make.  It is too important to go in with partial or incomplete information.

Because many times the FSBO seller will pay your agent a commission.

Regardless, if you are inexperienced buyer, your real estate agent can guide you through the process, prepare the offer (after preparing a comparative market analysis and showing you the competition), oversee the inspections, guide document reviews (associations, deed restrictions, disclosures) and protect your interests. 

While I think there is greater risk to a buyer going it alone than a seller, either way, a Realtor is the best choice for both parties!

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home as a sale by owner, the below articles may be helpful. 

If you are considering hiring a real estate agent to sell your Viera, Florida home, these posts will definitely help you!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Sales - September 2015 By Zip Code.

Brevard County, Florida real estate sales for September 2015 by zip code.

Popular zip codes:
32940 - Viera/Suntree
32955 - Rockledge/Viera
32904 - West Melbourne
32931 - Cocoa Beach
32907 - Satellite Beach area
32927 - Port St John area 
32952/32953 - Merritt Island
32905 - 32911 - Palm Bay

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sunset Lakes in Merritt Island, Florida - Market Report October 2015

Typical Style Home Sunset Lakes
Sunset Lakes in Merritt Island, Florida offers gated living in a community convenient to shopping, excellent schools, waterways (Indian River, Sykes Creek, Banana River and Atlantic Ocean all within a short drive) and more.

With easy access to the Beachline (SR 528), from Sunsets Lakes its a quick trip trip to Orlando or the beaches.    This north Merritt Island community is near restaurants, medical facilities,and The Savannnahs Golf Course as well as major employers like the Kennedy Space Center.

Amenities provided in Sunset Lakes includes bike trail, basketball court, jogging trail, park area, playground, shuffleboard and tennis courts.  Home owner association fees are about $660 per year however this fee should be verified.

While there are two gated entrances to the Sunset Lakes community the general public can only enter through the main gate off State Road 3 (North Courtenay Parkway).

Since August 1, 2015 there have been eight homes sold in Sunset Lakes with an average selling price for these homes of $268,000.  Average size of these homes was around 2,000 sq.ft under air conditioning.  All but one of these sales was a standard sale.

Recent sales (since September 1, 2015) reported included four homes sold in Sunset Lakes in Merritt Island.   Three of the four recent sales were standard (fair market) sales.

Home sold included:
  • 803 Killarney Court - This 2,1126 sq.f.t 2000 built three bedroom two bath two car garage home sold for $234,000 on 09/23/15.
  • 520 Sunset Lakes Drive - This 2,531 sq.ft. four bedroom three bathroom three car garage pool home sold as short sale on 10/16/15 for $310,000.
  • 3720 Sunward Drive - This 1999 built 1,755 sq.ft three bedroom two bath two car garage home sold on 09/21/15 for $264,900.
  • 3642 Tipperary Drive - This 2002 built 1,602 sq.ft. four bedroom two bath two car garage homes sold for $220,000 on 10/06/15.
What is for sale in Sunset Lakes?

Currently there are four homes for sale in Sunset Lakes with list prices ranging from $292,000 to $399,000.   All of these are standard sales with an average size about 2,500 sq.ft. under air.  These homes have either two or three car garage units that were built between 1998 and 2003.

For information on homes for sale in Merritt Island, Florida, call (or text) me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Brevard County Townhouse/Condo Market Report for September 2015 vs. September 2014

Presented below is a summary of the Brevard County, Florida Townhouse/Condos market activity for the month of September 2015 compared to September 2014:
  • Closed Sales were up 23.0% for September 2015 (241 sold vs. 196 in September 2014).
  • New Pending Sales decreased -3.6%.
  • New Listings increased 23.3%.
  • Median Sales Price for Brevard County single family homes went up 1.2% to $119,900 in September 2015 compared to a year ago ($118,500).
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -27.7% to 3.3 months compared to 4.5 months in September 2014.
  • Traditional Sales are up 45.0% with a median sales price of $124,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales went down -51.3% with a median sales price of $61,850.
  • Short Sale Closing decreased -50.0% with a median sales price of $43,000.

Brevard County Residential Market Report for September 2015 compared to September 2014

Below is a summary of the Brevard County Residential Report for September 2015 compared to September 2014 as provided by Florida Realtors:
  • Closed Sales are up 11.8% for September 2015 (880 sales compared to 787 in September 2014).
  • New Pending Sales are down -9.9%.
  • New Listings are down -6.3%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhouses/Condos is up 32.6% ($172,250 compared to a year ago $129,900).
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -23.5% to 2.7 months vs. 3.6 months in September 2014
  • Traditional Sales are up 41.4% with a median sales price of $184,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -48.2% with a median sales price of $110,000.
  • Short Sale Closing are down -59.5% with a median sales price of $119,200.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Updating, Maintenance and Over Improvements: Know Which is Which When Selling Your Home

Buyers should know when they purchase a house there will be future costs in addition to payments and taxes.  These added costs can include updates, maintenance and over improvements. 

These are not all the same thing although many sellers consider them all equal (as in recoup this added value when selling).

Maintenance includes those items that must be addressed regardless of whether selling today or ever.  These include areas like roof replacement and the air conditioner.   These have to be addressed.

Will the costs be recovered when selling?  Maybe not all the cost.  But buyers will expect a house with a good roof and, in Florida, efficient air conditioning.

I just read an MLS entry this morning with phrases like "fresh paint."  Will the cost of the paint be recouped?   Who knows but if the house is move in ready with neutral paint an offer may come more quickly.  And if one sells a month sooner and saves the carrying cost (mortgage, insurance, association fees, etc.) for a month the cost may be recouped. 

Here in Florida a common question that comes up is whether or not adding a pool will increase the value of a house.   And, if installed, will the pool cost be recouped?

I always respond the same way:  Add a pool if you are going to use the pool.  While the selling price may be higher it is doubtful a buyer will place as much value on the pool as the seller.

It is all about quality of life.  It is about the lifestyle one is trying to create.

What about adding another room or two to increase the size of your home?  Having the largest home in the neighborhood may provide for a higher quality of life but adding on beyond the range of norms for the neighborhood may be considered an over improvement .

I have heard many times that you never want to buy the largest home in a neighborhood.  The reason seems pretty logical.  A large home will pull up the value of the smaller homes but a smaller home can easily pull down the larger property.   Over improvements almost always work against the seller.
Finally, one of the most often used words in MLS entries is "updated."   Buyers do want something that reflects current tastes.  I read something earlier today that advised prospective sellers to  "bring your home into today."

There are things buyers just don't want like popcorn ceilings, wood paneling or wallpaper.   Hint:  Take a look at the two most important rooms in your house - kitchens and bathrooms.

A word about what updating is not!  Updated does not mean ten or fifteen years ago.  That goes similarly for the update's cousin upgraded!  Upgraded many not mean anything if the upgraded item was installed at construction ten years ago.

In a nutshell this it when it comes to updating, maintenance and improvements to your home:   Home owners should not skip necessary maintenance items.  But, as to whether an improvement or addition is worth it, consider if it will enhance their quality of life.   Finally, over investing and later wanting to withdraw that investment when selling may not be in the cards. 

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for your free market analysis.

Grand Isle 55+ Community in Viera - Homes For Sale- Market Update October 2015

There are three 55+ communities in Viera, Florida.   The smallest of the 55+ communities in Viera is Grand Isle.   While Grand Isle offers similar amenities as the other two communities it does not have a manned gate guard like the others.

Typical Style Home at Grand Isle
The homes in Grand Isle were mostly constructed around the 2000-2004 time with Lennar Homes as the developer.    Grand Isle in Viera offers residents gated living with clubhouse, fitness center, tennis and other amenities with association fees under $250 (includes lawn care).

One key difference between Grand Isle and Heritage Isle is the home owners own the clubhouse and amenities while at Heritage Isle the facilities are owned and operated by a separate company.

As of October 20, 2015,  there have been five homes sold in Grand Isle in Viera since August 14,2015.    The average selling price of these homes was $132.30 per square foot (living area).   Homes selling included:
  • 1302 Keys Gate Drive - Two bedroom two bath two car garage home with 1,545 sq.ft. sold for $207,000 on 09/25/15
  • 1562 Keys Gate Drive - Three bedroom two bath two car garage home with 2011 sq.ft. sold for $260,000 on 08/31/15
  • 1581 Perdido Court - Three bedroom two bath two car garage home with 2,017 sq.ft. sold for $231,500 on 09/28/15
  • 1566 Grand Isle Blvd - Four bedroom two bath three car garage home with 2,178 sq.f.t sold for $325,000 on 09/01/15
  • 1514 Timucuan Drive - Three bedroom two bath two car garage home with 2,011 sq.ft. sold for $270,000 on 08/14/15

The above sales data was extracted from the Brevard MLS system on October 20, 2015 and is assumed to be accurate.

Currently there is only home listed for sale in Grand Isle.  List price is $325,000 for a very large (2,465 sq.ft.) four bedroom three bath two car garage lake front home.

If you are interested in a 55+ community in Florida, Grand Isle (and Heritage Isle) both deserve your consideration please send me an email. 

Let me show you what Viera offers those seeking gated 55+ living!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Plantation Point Subdivision in Rockledge, Florida - Market Update October 2015

Plantation Point, located off Barnes Boulevard in Rockledge, Florida, offers home owners large, newer construction homes in a convenient location near Interstate 95 and US Highway 1.

Typical Plantation Point Design 
The nearby area offers shopping, restaurants, several golf courses as well as excellent schools and medical facilities.  With beaches about 10-12 miles away, Plantation Point is only about ten miles from the Patrick Air Force Base back gate.

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 six homes listed for sale in the deed restricted Plantation Point subdivision.  All of these standard sale homes were constructed in 2004 and 2005 and have list prices ranging from $288,000 to $329,000.

Only one of these homes concrete block stucco construction homes offers a pool although the lots appear plenty large enough to handle a pool installation.  Of course pool installation will depend on the structure footprint, easements and size of desired pool.

None of these houses are small with sizes from just under 1,900 sq.ft. to about 2,500 square feet under air.   All are single story homes.  All except one are two car garage houses.  

The last two homes sold in Plantation Point closed in May 2015 and included:
  • 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.)
For information on homes for sale in Plantation Point subdivision or homes for sale in Viera,Florida please call (or text) me at 321-693-3850 or send an email.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ravencliffe Subdivision in Viera, Florida - Market Update / Homes For Sale October 2015

Ravencliffe sample photo
Ravencliffe subdivision, located in Viera (Melbourne, Florida), offers residents a superb location close to Duran Golf Course, restaurants, excellent schools, shopping, Viera Hospital and more.   For commuters Orlando is only 45 minutes away and the beaches twenty minutes.

Random photo Ravencliffe
Currently there are five homes for sale in the gated Ravencliffe subdivision in Viera.  All are standard sales with listing prices ranging from $370,000 to $689,999.   Home size varies from just over 2,200 sq.ft.  to over 3,500 sq.ft. under air.

Only the two highest priced listings have pools although lots on all are large enough for a pool installation later.   Most of these homes have four or five bedrooms with either three or four baths.   All have two car garages.

Since June 1, 2015 there have been four homes sold in Ravencliffe in Viera.   All of the homes sold were built in 2006 or 2007.  All were fair market sales. 

Homes recently sold in Ravencliffe (as recorded in Brevard MLS) included:
  • 3110 Gatlin Drive - 2,262 sq.ft. four bedroom two bath two car garage lake front home sold for $370,000.
  • 3270 Gatlin Drive - 3,268 sq.ft. four bedroom four bath three car garage lake front pool home sold for $621,900.
  • 3320 Gatlin Drive -  2,389 sq.ft. four bedroom two bath three car garage lake front home sold for $402,000.
  • 3460 Gatlin Drive - 2,447 sq.ft. four bedroom three bathroom two car lake front pool home sold for $410,000.
Random photo Ravencliffe
For information on homes for sale in Ravencliffe subdivision in Viera, Florida, call (or text) Gary Waters at 321-693-3850.,15

Home Buyer Tips: Who pays your real estate agent?

I was working with a renter a couple of weeks ago who made the comment to me that if I helped hm find  a house he would pay me a bonus.  I let him know that the owner paid the tenant's real estate agent when finding a rental property.

I have had previous conversations with new home buyers when I was asked how how much I charged to help find a home to purchase.

Dealing with real estate agents is not a common occurrence for most people.  here is a summary of the normal arrangements for who pays the real estate agent (as practiced in Brevard County, Florida).
  • If you are looking for a rental property that is listed in the MLS, the owner pays the "renter's agent," not the renter.
  • If you are the buyer of a property that is listed for sale in the MLS system the seller has agreed to pay a previously established fee to your real estate agent.  If the property is a for sale by owner (also known as a FSBO), your agent may be able to negotiate the seller to pay the agent fee.   In this case, do not approach a seller if you have an agent, let them contact the seller first. (Inexperienced buyers should use caution when considering buying a home without a real estate agent). 
  • If you are the seller of a property, you will be paying your seller's agent and the buyer's agent.  However, there is no set (standard) fee.  Real estate professional fees- as most every thing in real estate -  are negotiable
If you are considering any transaction involving real estate, call on a local real estate professional to discuss the process and cost.    

If you are buying or renting a home in Brevard County, Florida, call (or text) me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email  Its free!

If you are considering selling your Melbourne or Viera, Florida home, call (or text) me as well.

Waters Realty of Brevard  - where the real estate fee is negotiable and the service is always professional!

Image courtesy of fantasista at

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Preparing Your Home For Sale: Appeal to the Senses.

How many times have you been shopping for clothes and saw something that was a possibility and then you peeked at the price tag?    For many of us price is an consideration even with clothing.

The discussion here is not about price although price is always a consideration.

Whether buying a house, car or clothes, serious buyers most often make the first decision based on what they see

Take a look at the menu at most restaurants.  While there may be descriptions most often there is a photo that appeals to the diner's eye.

When selling a house photos and videos help sell.   But MLS photos are only on the homes for sale menu to get prospective home buyers in your house.  It is critical home sellers prepare their homes in such to appeal to buyer's senses from the moment they pull into the drive way. 

How do sellers prepare their house for the market?

Start with the landscaping, driveway and walkways.  Remove as many stains as possible as well as clearing the pathway to the door.

Take a look at the front door.  Does it need a fresh coat of paint?  At a minimum it probably needs cleaning.

When one enters the house will they find it dark and dreary?  Is the paint personalized or extremely loud?  Neutral paints make small spaces appear larger and are more appealing to buyers. 

Most people have pets.  But pets sometimes create odors.  It is easy to get used to odors and smells.  When was the last time the carpeting was really cleaned?

What about the space utilization and layout of the house?  Is there too much stuff?  Overstuffed, large furniture may be comfortable but if it takes up half the room it may be a bit of a turn off to buyers.  It is not necessary to keep all those trophies and awards out for public viewing.  Are there too many photos that will distract people from the house?

Finally, it should go without saying but think clean.   Cleanliness is especially critical in the most important rooms in a house - the kitchen and bathrooms.

The above is not an all-inclusive list of things to consider when preparing to sell a home.  Rather it is jut a short list of items to consider.

The bottom line:  Buyers will judge a house with their senses especially smell and vision.

The strategy:  While people may come as shoppers, have them to leave as buyers.  

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

Waters Realty of Brevard is here to provide personalized service to buyers and sellers in Melbourne, Viera and Rockledge, Florida and the surrounding Brevard County area

Shopping Image courtesy of nenetus at
Lobster Collage Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Twelve Rules for Buying or Selling a Home in Florida

The below "rules" for buying or selling a home, are provided as a good starting point for anyone moving to Brevard County, Florida.  These are presented as general observations about the conditions and processes.  Consult a local Brevard County, Florida real estate agent for information about the local real estate market.
  • The better the view, the higher the price.  It does not matter what the view consists of specifically (water, preservation area, ocean, pond, etc.).   When it comes to condos add this as well "higher the floor, the higher the price. " 
  • "As is" does not always mean "As is."   Sellers will sometimes negotiate a price downward after the inspection reveals issues.  They may make some repairs to close the deal rather than go back to the well looking fro another buyer. There are other potential solutions such as a credit at closing to make repairs. 
  • Gated does not mean secure unless you have a guard on duty.    There are some communities where "outsiders" do not get inside unless they are authorized by owner and have the gate opened by a guard. If the gate is not manned then don't assume no one gets in!.  And there are some gated communities where the gates are open for a couple of hours in the morning and again in the afternoon to facilitate the rush hour traffic.
  • The outside of a house is almost always an indicator of how well the inside is maintained.  If the yard is neglected, paint is fading, plants are dead it is quite likely the inside will show neglectIt all starts with curb appeal! 
  • Golf course direct is more expensive than "in a golf course community."  If you must have a home on/near the green or fairway you will pay more than if it is on the other side of the street in the same community. 
  • A new coat of paint will not change the zip code.   Check the crime statistics, school performance, commute times.  The house may look great but it will always be location, location, location.  Think about this when buying because one day you will likely be the seller!
  • Bold paint including your school colors palette will not sell a house except to an alumnus, maybe.  Beige, neutral, non-personal sells.  And wallpaper is oh so personal!
  • Some words are the kiss of death.  Some words appearing in real estate ads like cozy, cute, TLC, fixer upper, compact, charmer and a few others should not be taken literally!   
  • The price is low for a reason.  People do not sell very many things including a house for a significant discount.  There is always a reason for the low price and it is usually because of condition, location, poor view, etc.
  • Offering a Home Warranty Does Not Compensate Poorly Prepared Homes.   Warranties are nice but will never overcome a problematic property.  Proper pricing takes into account issues - not offering a warranty.  
  • Quick Closings Are Always Preferable.  The longer the time between the contract and the scheduled closing the greater the chance something will happen to derail the transaction. With the recent changes in the closing disclosures (TRID) most mortgages will need, at a minimum,. 45 days.
  • Do not believe everything you read - or hear - period!  Yep, the guy at work, Uncle Joe or whomever may not know squat.  And just because you find something on the Internet does not make it so! Talk to a local real estate pro!
The above are only general statements about the home buying and selling process in Brevard County, Florida.   Here are some more common rules for anyone considering buying or selling a home in Florida.   Please consult a local real estate expert for personalized information.

If you are ready to buy or sell a home in Melbourne, Florida, I want to help you!


Monday, October 12, 2015

Chelsea Park in Rockledge, Florida - Market Update/Homes For Sale October 2015

Chelsea Park homes for Sale – Rockledge Florida homes for sale.

Chelsea Park provides home owners larger homes on larger, non-zero lot line lots in a superb location near top quality schools, shopping, challenging golf courses like Turtle Creek Golf Course, restaurants and more. 

Chelsea Park is convenient to major routes for those commuting to Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center or any of the major area employers and Orlando (40 minutes),

Currently there are five homes for sale in Chelsea Park subdivision.  Listing prices range from $265,000 to $329,0000.    All are standard sales which is fairly common in the Rockledge and Viera areas of Brevard County.

While the range of prices seems wide there are actually three homes priced between $265,000 and $269,900.   Home sizes vary greatly from 1,843 sq.ft. to 2,740 square feet under air.   Likewise, construction age runs from 1996 to 2016.  It is interesting that the new 2016 home is near  the bottom of this price range.

Homes for sale in Chelsea Park represent the variety of properties available.  Some are four bedroom while others have three.  Some are single story while a couple are two story.  Some have pools, some without.

There are also three homes under contract awaiting closing.

September 2015 saw three homes sold in Chelsea Park.    Two of these transactions were standard sales while the other was a short sale.

Selling prices ranged from $225,0000 (short sale) to $350,000.    Average selling price for homes sold in Chelsea Park over the past year ending September 2015 was approximately $258,000.

Recently sold homes in Chelsea Park included:

320 Brookcrest Circle - 2,108 sq..ft. 2002 built four bedroom two bath three car garage pool home sold for $290,000
462 Stonehenge Circle - 3,483 sq.ft. five bedroom four bathroom three car garage pool home sold for $350,000
427 Heathrow Circle - 2,671 sq.ft. four bedroom two and a half bath pool home sold for $225,000 as a short sale.

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

Friday, October 09, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Seller Property Disclosures.

I read an article today about a couple who sold their Florida home but failed to disclose a defect.  In this case it was a previous sink hole problem.  The story explains the couple apparently had received an insurance payment of $153,000 years earlier but failed to address the problem.

This situation illustrates a  few key points for home buyers, sellers and real estate agents.
  • Sellers, disclose.  Failure to disclose material issues that affect the home's value can potentially bring legal troubles.  As a seller (even as a FSBO) do not hide anything – period.     In this case a conviction for wire fraud with sentencing scheduled by a federal court for January 2016. 
  • Buyers, verify.  There is a time between contract and closing allocated for the performance of due diligence.  Do not blindly accept what has been disclosed as all there is to know!  In the words of Nike, "Just Do It!"
  • Realtors, protect.  Placing blame for non-disclosure on your real estate agent is likely not a reasonable strategy.  Most professional real estate agents have processes and procedures in place to document the purchase process minimize risk. 
In Florida real estate licensees commonly use a Sellers Property Disclosure with questions designed to lead a seller to disclose potential issues and facts about a property.    While the form asks about topics like any roof issues, systems (AC, heating, etc), appliances, association rules, water damage, zoning or future use changes, etc. it may not address every significant issue.
Note: Sellers must disclose problems and Fla. law addresses sinkholes, but a form isn't a legal requirement.
As a matter of practice I have sellers complete the disclosure form at the time of  listing as any serious buyer will request the disclosure prior making an offer.  I do not assist any seller in completing the property disclosure form.

However I do advise the same thing disclose, disclose, disclose.   If there is doubt if something should be disclosed my thinking is simply "if it is something you would like to know if you were the buyer, why not disclose it?"

And there are other disclosures that will likely be required if applicable such as the lead based paint,  disclosure. 

Don't alienate your buyer or break the trust when something shows up on an inspection report that should have been previously disclosed.

Don't risk a transaction failing, or worse, some legal issue by "forgetting" to disclose.

Considering buying or selling a home in Brevard County, Florida?

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Fairway Lakes at Viera - Market Update October 2015

Fairway Lakes at Viera offers gated, golf course living on one of Brevard County’s most desirable courses – 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 four homes for sale in Fairway Lakes.  All are standard sales priced between $499,900 and $695,000 (only one listing is below $605,000).

All of these properties have four or five bedrooms with three to five full bathrooms.   All have three car garages while only one has a pool.   All also provide lake views except for the lowest priced home.

As Fairway Lakes at Viera is one of the newest developments in Viera most are recent construction (2014/2015).   Although the lot sizes vary a little most of these homes are situated on about .25 acre parcels. 

Since August 15, 2015 there have been two homes sold in Fairway Lakes at Viera which included:
  • 6746 Arroyo Drive - A 2,989 sq. ft. 2007 built four bedroom three and a half bath three car garage lake front pool sold on August 31,2015 for $565,000.
  • 6445 Arroyo Drive - A 3,148 sq.ft. 2007 built four bedroom three bathroom two car garage lake front pool home sold on August 21,2015 for $600,000.
Click on this link for a report on the homes sold in Fairway Lakes in Viera for the period May 2015 to August 15, 2015

Click here for a report on average selling price for select Viera and Rockledge, Florida subdivisions for the September 2014 through September 2015 period

For information on buying or selling a home in Rockledge, Florida or the planned unit development of Viera, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Choosing a Real Estate Agent: Promises...Results.

I heard a quote from the Florida Gator coach earlier this week that referred to whether or not his team was a one hit wonder or could they back for their prior performance (putting a whipping on Ole Miss last Saturday night).

The same point can be said about real estate agents.  In this business you are only as good as your last game (transaction).

When home sellers start interviewing real estate agents the line of questioning should include results. 

The interview is the place where we all say the same thing..."Hire, me, me!The interview is the place where promises are made.  The interview is where only the best is portrayed.   

Agents have been know to advertise "we have thousands of buyers."   They neglect the other important criterion like "qualified" and "motivated."  While it may sound impressive the key selling a home is finding "ready, willing and able buyers."

Where are the results?    It is not necessarily about how many listings an agent has had in your neighborhood.  It is about how many listings actually sold.  It is about how well the seller's goals were met (like time line,selling price, etc).  It is about how smooth the process went from listing date to closing date.

Here are some articles to help with the real estate agent selection and interview process.
  1. Don't Answer This Question (first) When Interviewing Real Estate Agents!  
  2. Choosing a real estate agent. 
  3. What Sellers Want to Know. 
  4. Be a Seller Who is "in the know" 
  5. Why Should I Hire a Real Estate Agent to Sell My Home? 
  6. Is it Necessary to Hire the Biggest Company to Sell Your Florida Home? 
  7. What can a seller expect from their real estate agent? 
  8. Twelve Articles to Help You Be a Successful Home Seller.
When you are ready to sell your Viera, Florida home, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Indian River Colony Club in Viera, Florida - Market Update October 2015

There are three gated 55+ communities in the planned unit development of Viera - Grand Isle, Heritage Isle and Indian River Colony Club.   This market report covers IRCC only however here are links to recent market reports for Grand Isle and Heritage Isle.  
There are currently thirty homes for sale in Indian River Colony Club.   List prices range from $139,000 to $324,000.   While this range seems high there is actually only one property priced above $320,000 and one other above $250,000.

Of the thirty homes listed eighteen are priced below $180,0000.   Most of these homes were built between 1988 and 1993 and have a median size around 1,900 sq.ft. under air.   Most homes are three bedroom two bath two car garage properties.  Size varies from 1,179 to 2,506 square feet under air. 

There is plenty of activity going on in IRCC with nine homes currently under contract.   Since August 1, 2015 there have been six homes sold with selling prices ranging $104,000 to $200,000.  One of these sales was a foreclosure (no surprise it was the lowest priced home).  Average selling price (excluding the foreclosure) was about $175,400.

Homes sold in August and September included:

  • 1384 Pilgrim Ave -  1,616 sq.ft. built in 1989, 2 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage Bangor model sold for $145,000
  • 1200 Mayflower Ave - 1,880 sq.f.r 2 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage Bangor model built in 1989 sold for $104,000
  • 1451 Goldrush Ave - a 1,886 sq.ft. 1995 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage Phoenix model sold for $200,000
  • 1094 Continental Ave - 1,894 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage Raleigh model , 1990 built home sold for $192,000
  • 1755 Independence Ave - 1994 built 1,904 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage Phoenix model sold for $180,000
  • 1520 Independence Ave - 2,480 sq.ft. 1994 built 4 bedroom 2.5 bath 2 car garage Hartford I model home sold for $160,000

Below are some articles about IRCC and the other 55+ communities in Viera, Florida

For information on buying a home in Heritage Isle, Grand Isle or Indian River Colony Club in Viera, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

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