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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Biggest Challenge to Selling (or Buying) a Home

 Last week I was driving through one of the local Rockledge, Florida neighborhoods (Levitt Park) and noticed a man yelling at a garbage truck that had just driven past his front yard.  He was pushing a receptacle out toward the street as if to say "take this!"

My guess is he was yelling at the guys in the truck to stop.  They saw him I am sure but just kept going.


I quickly realized that they were picking up "recycle" garbage.  The guy yelling had "regular" garbage.

How did I know?

Because every trash receptacle in the entire neighborhood that afternoon was blue while he was running with a green one!  [Blue = recycle; green = regular refuse]

This reminded me of  some home sellers I have bumped into over the years who saw their home as being like the rest of the neighborhood homes while ignoring the difference.

Sometimes it is the appearance.  Sometimes it is the size. Sometimes it is noticeable neglected maintenance like a worn out roof.

If one really is motivated to sell they will be motivated to notice the differences among the competition and prepare their house for the market.

My guess it is just the human condition....seeing what one wants to see and it impacts buyers as well as sellers!

Thinking about selling your Rockledge, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.  A good local Realtor will help you see the differences among the competition and make recommendations to make them stop!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Brevard County, Florida Townhouse and Condo Market Report - November 2016

Presented below is a recap of the November 2016 Brevard County Townhouses/Condo market compared to November 2015.  Data provided by Space Coast Association of Realtors.
  • Closed Sales are up 17.3% for November 2016 in which the number of units closed was 203 compared to 173 in November 2015, with a increase in cash sales of 13.3% compared to November 2015.
  • New Pending Sales are up 9%
  • New Listings are up 15.9%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 3.3% to $142,000 compared to a year ago, which was $137,500.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 9.1% to 3.6 months compared to 3.3 months in November 2015.
  • Traditional Sales are up 20.5%, with a median sales price of $145,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -20%, with a median sales price of $100,500.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -50%, with a median sales price of $115,500.
For information on buying a condo or house in Brevard County, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Brevard County, Florida Residential Market Report - November 2016

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for November 2016 compared to November 2015 as provided by the Space Coast Association of Realtors.

  • Closed Sales were up 12.8% for November 2016 with 715 units closed vs 634 in November 2015.
  • New Pending Sales decreased -7.2%
  • New Listings were up 5.3% in November 2016. 
  • Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up 12% to $189,000 compared to a year ago which was $168,750.
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased -13.8% at 2.5 months compared to 2.9 months in November 2015.
  • Traditional Sales went up 21.4% with a median sales price of $194,950.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales experienced a decrease by -33.8% with a median sales price of $127,500.
  • Short Sale Closings dropped -55.6% with a median sales price of $130,000. 
For information on buying or selling a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Think You Are Ready to Buy a Home? Consider Real Acquisition Costs First.

The most important advice I can give to prospective home buyers is this:  Don't Start The Process Unless You Are Committed to the Results!

Shopping for a home has costs beyond the actual price of the house.  Start with a little thing called opportunity cost.

If a buyer is not committed to the process then what else could be done with all the time expended in the home search process?

If a prospective buyer has nothing else to do with their time than look at houses then they should consider their real estate agent. Real estate agents are nice people who are awesome to be around.

But if a buyer is not committed to the process their time is wasted.  Real estate agents are not paid by the number of properties viewed or the miles driven!  Realtors get paid when a transaction is closed.

The purchase of a home involves stress.  The decision of which home to make an offer on and how much to offer.  The financing process and anticipated costs.  The inspections and any repairs that may be needed.  Shopping for insurance quotes. Reviewing the documentation such as association rules or financials.

All require time and energy.

Every step along the way may proceed smoothly or create a wrinkle that must be solved.    And each step costs buyers real money. 

Lets see, after the accepted offer, there is the escrow (good faith)money to be deposited, property inspections, WDO (wood destroying organism) inspections, appraisal fees, septic tank inspections (if applicable) and more.  There is the payment of a year's homeowner insurance before closing. 

Expenses add up.

And then, like a recent buyer experienced, cold feet.

To walk and give up all the expenses already incurred and forfeit the escrow deposit, as well, really is an indicator of a lack of commitment to the process.

If you are considering buying a home in Viera, Florida, make sure you are ready and committed.  If not, consider the opportunity and real costs of looking anyway!

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

Monday, December 12, 2016

Homes For Sale in Florida - What DId $200,000 Buy in November 2016?

What will $200,000 purchase in Brevard County, Florida as 2016 ends? 

While prices have been rising a bit these sales probably are a good indicator of what $200,000 could possibly purchase in Brevard County.

Based on the sales reported in the Brevard Multiple Listing Service, the below are examples of properties that sold for exactly $200,000 since November 1, 2016.

  • 218 Chandler Street 1, Cape Canaveral - 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage condo with 1,222 sq.ft. built in 2004, sold 11/28/16.
  • 332 Cressa Circle, Cocoa - 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage 1,960 sq.ft. single family home, built in 2005 sold 11/04/16
  • 987 Santa Cruz Road, Cocoa Beach - Foreclosure, single family detached, 1960 built, 3 bedroom 2 bath 1 car carport sold 11/18/16
  • 1107 Seminole Drive, Indian Harbour Beach - Foreclosure, 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, 1962 built with 1,590 sq.ft., fireplace sold 11/17/16.  Please note that this property was in need of updating and repairs so it is not indicative of any beach side home!
  • 176 Ford Road, Mims - 3 bedroom 2.5 bath 2 car garage, 1983 built single family home with 2.08 acres sold 11/17/16.
  • 1023 Kenmore St NW, Palm Bay - Single family home, 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, 1988 built, 1,748 sq.ft. screened in ground pool, sold 11/22/16.
  • 1405 Gleneagles Circle, Rockledge - 3 bedroom 2 bath with 1,768 sq.ft. built in 1965 2ith screened in ground pool, sold 11/04/16
  • 2924 Brandywine Circle, Titusville - Single family home, 2004 built, 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage with 1,952 sq.ft. sold 11/03/16
For information on buying a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Moving to Brevard County, Florida - Define the Area First

While it is critical to have the mortgage lined up before searching for a new home it is equally critical to identify the area early on as well.

Anyone considering buying a home in Brevard County, Florida should especially identify the area early on in the process.  In this area geography is important because Brevard County is about 80 miles north to south and runs along the Atlantic coast.  Between the north and south boundaries are lots of options! 

In terms of real estate there really are four distinct geographical areas in Brevard County.   Not surprisingly, price varies by geography as well.  It is true what they say - it is all about location!

The northern extremes in the Titusville and Mims areas are less densely populated with more rural options.  At the southern extreme of the county the population is most dense (Palm Bay area) with prices being more affordable. 
Then there are the "beach side" areas.  This includes "the island" better known as Merritt Island.  I like to tell folks that if there is a causeway to be crossed there will be a higher price to pay.  I know that is a generalization! 

Still, the closer one gets to water, the higher the price.  Of course, some water is much more costly like ocean front and riverfront.  There is a slight drop if one opts for a navigable canal property. 

Beyond the general geography defining the search area takes on many considerations.

For some it could be the commute time to work, school or even the airport for commuters.   For others it may be the quality of the local/assigned schools.  For others it could be the lifestyle such as proximity to golf courses, beaches, cruise terminals or whatever.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Phillips Landing in Rockledge - Chelsea Park in Rockledge, Florida - Market Report

When looking for a home to purchase in Rockledge, Florida area, there are many subdivisions from which to choose.   Two of the most popular established developments are Phillips Landing and Chelsea Park.

Both of these subdivisions 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 superior quality schools.  Both developments offer easy access to major routes, shopping, and recreation (golfing, ice rink, beaches).  Both offer newer construction, concrete homes.

Presented below is a market update, as of December 5, for Chelsea Park and Phillips Landing.

What is for sale in Phillips Landing?

Currently there are only two homes for sale in Phillips Landing.   Both of these are standard sales and priced about $235,000 to almost $293,000.  The price differences reflects a large difference in space - almost 1,000 sq.ft. under air.

What has recently sold in Phillips Landing?

Over the past six months there have been nine homes sold in Phillips Landing. Selling prices ranged from $212,500 to $344,500.  All of these sales were standard sales - very common in Brevard County as 2016 nears an end.

Since November 1, 2016 there has been one closing in Phillips Landing.  Selling for $344,500 was the house located at 1700 Bridgeport Circle.  This home was a four bedroom two and a half bath bath two car garage pool home. This property was on the market for two days.

What is for sale in Chelsea Park?

There are three homes for sale in Chelsea Park.  Listing prices run from about $300,000 to $425,000. All of these offer four or five bedrooms as well as private in ground pools.   Age of the properties range from 1997 to 2015 which reflects the range of construction in Chelsea Park.

What has recently sold in Chelsea Park?

Over the past six months there have been seventeen homes sold in Chelsea Park.  Selling prices $212,000 to $375,000.

Since November 1 there have been four homes sold in Chelsea Park.  Homes sold included:
  • 316  Brookcrest Circle - 2002 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage sold for $212,500
  • 424 Winthrop Circle - 1999 built 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage pool home with 2,157 sq.ft. under air sold for $309.999
  • 405 Stonehenge Circle - 2000 built home with 3,406 sq.ft. offering 5 bedroom 4 bath 2 car garage sold for $355,000
  • 355 Tunbridge Drive - 2004 built 4 bedroom 4 bath 3 car garage pool home with 3,101 sq.ft. under air sold for $375,000
For information on homes for sale in Chelsea Park or Phillips Landing, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Best Real Estate Deal in Rockledge, Florida

One of the best real estate deals in Brevard County, Florida can be found at 897 Brunswick Lane in Rockledge.   What is there about this house that makes it worth a look?

First, many prospective buyers do not want the hassle or expense of a  home owner association.

HOAs often must approve paint color changes, replacement of plants, parking on streets...even if you can keep a car in your driveway, and much more!

Here, the owner has no association and the freedom to do as they desire as long as city code is not violated.

The most important reason to look at the house located at 897 Brunswick Lane in Rockledge?  Price, condition and location!
  • Price:  Only $169,000.  Three bedrooms 1977 construction, two car garage.  Concrete block, stucco.  10 by 16 concrete block building in back.  Patio, screen porch, fenced yard. 
  • Condition:  Roof put on in 2015.  Exterior recent paint.  Interior doors replaced. Popcorn ceilings replaced with knock-down.  Bathrooms completely renovated and updated.  Carpet recently replaced as was the hot water heater. Also a newer garage door and opener.  While the kitchen has not been updated, it is quite usable in its current condition. Update later! 
  • Location:    Good schools nearby.  Check out Andersen Elementary Kennedy Middle School and Rockledge High Schools. Easy access to major routes.... beaches about ten miles, Kennedy Space Center a short drive.  There is easy access to major routes like US1 and I-95.  Close to everything!  The planned unit development of Viera is nearby with shopping, several golf courses and more.  But, no home owner association to deal with!

For information on buying a home in Rockledge or Viera, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Florida 55+ Communties: Grand Isle in Viera, Florida - Market Report December 2016

There are three 55+ communities in Viera, Florida.  One of these, Indian River Colony Club, is totally unique in that it is a maintenance free community.

The other two communities are more similar.  These communities- Heritage Isle and Grand Isle - were both developed by Lennar Builders.  Still, there are some differences.

For instance Grand Isle is smaller and the residents own their own clubhouse and facilities.  Grand Isle is gated however the gates at Heritage Isle are staffed 24 hours a day.   Grand Isle is a little older with the development being from the early 200s through about 2005.  There are other differences...ask me!

Here are some additional articles on the 55+ communities in Viera.
My blogs have at least a hundred articles about the 55+ communities in Viera.  Many are market reports while others provide general information. Because these articles were produced over the past 8 to 10 years I recommend interested persons contact me directly for the latest information.

Here is a market update for Grand Isle as December 2, 2016.

What is for sale in Grand Isle?

Currently there are seven homes for sale in Grand Isle.  Listing prices range from  $249,900 to $335,000.  

As wide as the prices range so are the sizes with homes varying from just over 1,500 sq. ft, under air to almost 2,500 sq.ft. Most are 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage homes.   All of these homes are standard sales and were built between 200 and 2004.

What has recently sold in Grand Isle at Viera?

Over the previous six months there have been seven properties sold in Grand Isle.  Selling prices for these ranged from $199,000 to $330,000.

More recent sales, since October 1, 2016, included:
  • 1564 Boca Rio Drive - 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home built in 2004 offering 2,011 sq.ft. sold for $287,000.
  • 1371 Lago Mar Drive - 2,032 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home built in 2003 sold for $260,000.
  • 1557 Grand Isle Blvd - With 2,271 sq.ft. under air, this 2004 built 4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage home sold for $330,000.
For information on homes for sale in Grand Isle, Indian River Colony Club and Heritage Isle in Viera, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Home Seller Tips: Florida Real Estate Commissions and Fees

This discussion of real estate fees is important because fees are often the largest expense when selling a home in Florida.

Many folks have an image of real estate agents driving big, nice, new cars; dressing nice; going out to lunch every day, plenty of free time on the golf course or beach, and making lots of money.  But that would definitely be the exception.  

Most agents work hard, often 7 days a week, eat lunch in the office or on the run in an older car, and juggle multiple schedules and make about $25,000 a year.  That $25,000 comes from fees charged to clients (most often the seller).

Quite often on listing appointments the discussion of will turn to how much a prospective listing real estate agent charges.   This is an important question because it is likely the highest seller cost when selling real estate. 

Here in Brevard County, Florida there are some basic (unwritten) rules about real estate agent commissions.   First, a couple of basic fee truths:
  • There is no standard real estate fee
  • Real estate commissions are negotiable.  Sellers typically pay the buyer's real estate agent (as well as their own).
  • The total fee charged is usually split 50/50 between the listing office and buyer office. 
Real estate agents are almost all independent contractors with overhead expenses and no salary.  Real estate agents get paid when property sells - not gets listed.

Because selling is more than just putting a sign out front it is important sellers understand the marketing process is labor intensive and with cost.

More importantly, sellers should understand the need to pay another agent  because the likelihood of another agent bringing the buyer is high.   For example, here in Brevard County there are about 4,000 real estate agents.  Basically there are 3,999 more opportunities for a buyer to be obtained by others.

And that buyer's agent will need to be paid by the fee split.

I recently was asked by a seller "How much of the fee will the buyer's agent get?" 

My all depends.

Most real estate agents are independent contractors who work on a commission split with their employing broker. 

For example, lets say the seller is paying the buyer side .025% on a $200,000 sale.

.025% times $200,000 is $5,000.   

Seems like a lot of money for the buyer's agent!  But, if the agent is on a 75/25 split with their broker the $5,000 becomes $3,750.  Still looks good, right?

But agents, as independent contractors, now must pay their own social security/medicare/self employment/income taxes. While these vary from individually, suffice it to say a conservative figure would be 35-40% of earnings.  $3,750 is now about $2,250.  Still, not bad right?

But think about the expenses and overhead an agent covers... car, gas, insurance, multiple listing fees, state, local and nation Realtor Association dues (must pay in order to use/advertise in MLS system), etc.  Just a shot in the dark estimate o $500-$750 a month for these and then the $2,250 is now $1,500.

If an agent closes one transaction a month that becomes $18,000 a year.  But it is not that gloomy.  The latest I have read is the average real estate agent makes about $25,000 a year.

So, sellers, when paying the buyer's agent, don't complain.  You are really getting a lot of work for your money!

My opinion... if any agent is going to get less, it should be the seller's agent.  

But then, fees are negotiable.
If you are considering selling your Viera or Melbourne, Florida home, give me a call at 321-693-3850. 

Rockledge, Florida Home For Lease - 3BR 2BA 2 CAR GARAGE $1,350

Available now!  This move in ready Rockledge home for $1,350 a month, one year lease!

Three bedrooms two bath two car garage concrete block stucco home in the centrally located Three Meadows development.   Built in 1995, this smoke free home is in great condition and is located near excellent schools, shopping, several golf courses. 

With beaches, Patrick Air Force Base, Kennedy Space Center as well as major Melbourne employers within easy commute, this home will not last.

Open floor plan with 1,320 sq.ft. under air.  The enclosed, tile back porch easily cooled as well!

Features gas heat and water heater.  Sprinkler system on well water.   Carpet in bedrooms, laminate in living room and dining area.  Tile kitchen and baths.   Quiet city street, sidewalks and more!


Send me a text or call 321-693-3850 for more information.

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