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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Moving to Florida - Every Market is Unique.

I read an article this morning that began with four critical words about real estate whether buyer or seller... Every market is unique.

Coincidentally I also had a call regarding a home for sale in a Melbourne, Florida 55+ community.  This particular caller "felt" the price was high considering the prices for similar homes "back home."

His use of the words back home reminded of a comment I heard about ten or so years ago..."ain't how we do it back home."

I  advised the caller I could not discuss home prices "back home" since I am a Florida real estate agent and know the local Brevard County real estate market.

When looking for a new home, whether in Melbourne, Florida or wherever, expect changes.
  • Expect changes in customs and procedures related to the purchase process.  In this area this is especially true with the closing process.  In some ares of the country real estate closings are done almost exclusively by attorney offices.  In Brevard County the primary provider for real estate transactions are title companies.  Another difference in Brevard County is it is customary for the seller to pay for the buyer's title insurance policy.
  • Expect changes in property prices. Every market is unique.   Even within different parts of the county the prices vary greatly.  Want to live on the "island" or beach side?  Expect to pay more.
  • Expect changes in the cost of property taxes and insurance.  Both of these are very specific to zip code/location.
Because every market is unique it is critical buyers choose a local knowledgeable real estate agent.  Choose an agent who knows your specific area of interest.  Choose an agent you are comfortable talking with and who is available when you need them.

Moving to Brevard County, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 and lets discuss your specific needs.  I may be the right agent for you....and if not I can refer you to someone better able to meet your needs.

agent@moving2brevard.com


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Selling Your Home: Is Feedback a Waste?

The topic of feedback is a universal one that every home seller asks about at some point. The question often comes up during the listing interview/process.   If not then, it will likely show up once prospective buyers begin to view the property.

Some sellers are so anxious for feedback they will accompany prospective buyers while they view the house asking for opinions the whole time.  This is not something I recommend if a seller wants to sell their home!

Can feedback be a buyer's prelude to a forthcoming offer?   I have seen this a few times over the years where the negative comments are dished out.   In many cases the listing agent can tell that the buyer's agent is setting the seller up (or seller's agent) up for a low ball offer.   Plant the seed, reap the harvest later is the strategy!

And then some serious buyers will not offer any feedback as they want to disguise their interest.  Interest shown is viewed by some as showing their cards.  Of course when the market favors sellers as in the current Brevard County market then this is not necessarily a prudent strategy.

Is feedback ever useful to a listing agent?  

Most listing agents want feedback fro two reasons.  The first reason is their clients (sellers) expect it.  Again, even if not useful most sellers want feedback.  What do I consider useless feedback?  This is he time wasters like  "shows well, thanks."  "Looks good, not interested."  "Priced right, still looking!"

Still some feedback is useful.  This is the feedback that supports an agent's position although sellers have been resistant.  These are  the constructive comments such as "price too high," "too cluttered, not enough open space,"  "needs paint" and the like.   Yes, negative feedback can be useful.

What is the best type of feedback?  An offer!  Even if an offer fails to be negotiated, a realistic offer means the price was competitive for the market, location and condition. 

Sellers remember this: You do not control the price....the market does.

Should you as a buyer offer feedback?  By all means... if it is constructive.

Ready to sell your Viera, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 if I can help.

agent@moving2brevard.com

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Buying a Home - Don't Sabotage Your Deal!

The home buying process is fraught with risk and uncertainty.   There are some things a buyer can't control such as:
  • home inspection results.  While the general condition should be apparent and any problems disclosed by the seller, things can show up during the inspection. 
  • appraisals can't be controlled.  If the buyer's agent has done their homework and the offer approached with a sense of reasonableness then this should (hopefully) not be an issue. 
Still, a buyer should avoid anything that may sabotage their deal!

What can a prospective home buyer do that could put their home purchase in jeopardy?  Well, unless it is a cash purchase, simple "life choices" can create problems.

What are some "don't" events that can jeopardize a real estate closing?
  • Don't quit your job. Changes in employment are real risky.  Discuss with your lender up front if there is a job transition occurring in the near future (before closing on your home).
  • Don't buy a car or boat.  Major purchases, especially if financed, create potential issues with available cash reserves and debt to income limits.  Also, depending on credit score it could be a bad move!
  • Don't apply for a credit card.  Think credit score and debt!
  • Don't charge anything.
I like to put it this way when my buyer clients start shopping for a new home and especially once their contract is in place:  Once pre-approved for a mortgage don't do anything except eat, sleep, pay bills on time, go to work, got to church or whatever until closed!

Buying a home requires your finances (savings, income, taxes) and employment to be an open book.  Don't hide anything.  Don't change anything.

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

gwatersc21@aol.com

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Real Estate Market Summary Brevard County, FL 3rd Quarter 2017

Presented below is a summary report of the Brevard County, Florida real estate activity and market for the third quarter of 2017 compared the same quarter a year ago.

Summary of the Brevard County Residential Market for Q3 2017:

  • Closed Sales - down -3.4% for Q3 2017 with 2,528 units closed compared to 2,617 in Q3 2016. There was also a decrease in cash sales of -11.7% in Q3 2017.
  • New Pending Sales - decreased -9.6%.
  • New Listings - increased 1.3%.
  • Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes - climbed 11.7% to $220,000 compared to a year ago which was $196,950.
  • Months Supply of Inventory - grew 12% to 2.8 months from 2.5 months in 2016.
  • Traditional Sales (Fair Market) - dropped -0.6% with a median sales price of $221,620 although my guess is Hurricane Irma had some impact.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales - down -41.8% with a median sales price of $135,000.
  • Short Sale Closings - also down -41.9% with a median sales price of $180,000.
Summary of the Brevard County Townhouse/Condo Market for Q3 2017:
  • Closed Sales - down -6.1% for Q3 2017 in which the number of units closed was 626 compared to 667 in Q3 2016, with a decrease in cash sales of -21.3% compared to Q3 2016.
  • New Pending Sales - dropped -12.9%.
  • New Listings - up 0.8%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos - up 8.8% to $160,000 compared to a year ago which was $147,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory - did not change (remained 3.4 months).
  • Traditional Sales (Fair Market Sales) - down -3.8% with a median sales price of $162,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales - decreased -37.5% with a median sales price of $115,000. Short Sale Closings - decreased -62.5% with a median sales price of $329,500 in Q3 2017.
For information on buying a home in Melbourne, Florida, please call or text me at 321-693-3850.

agent@moving2brevard.com

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Why Buying The Lowest Priced Home in the Neighborhood is the RIGHT MOVE - Pine Creek Development in Melbourne, FL Home For Sale

When it comes to buying a home there are a few things smart buyers should avoid including
  1. buying the largest house in the neighborhood. 
  2. buying the most expensive house in the neighborhood. 
  3. buy an over-improved house.
 Why would any of these become a problem?

When it comes to value the largest home's value will be held back by the neighboring homes.  And although it should not be considered a primary investment most home buyers look at their home as an increasing asset over time.

As for the most improved home in the neighborhood the gamble is the other homes will gain improvements and value.

As an owner you will want to personalize and make some changes.  While these improvements as well as maintenance necessities will add value the most important consideration is they are your choice.  

More importantly, most homes will  be sold in the future and it will always be easier to sell a home that is not the biggest and highest priced.

In the end it is the location that can't be changed so I encourage buyers to consider the the mid value and under in a neighborhood when looking at homes. 

So why did I discuss the reasons to look at the lower end priced homes in a neighborhood?  Because here is the best deal in the 55+ gated community of Pine Creek in Melbourne, Florida!
There are two active listings in Pine Creek priced at $198,000 and $263,000.  There is one under contract priced at $230,000.

Recent sales (over the past six months) were reported at $263,000. $262,400 and $234,200.

The home listed at $198,000 is located at 3613 Osceola Drive (property under contract is next door listed at $32K more).

The 3613 Osceola Drive home is a two bedroom two bath two car garage 2003 built home with 1,335 sq.ft. under air.  Don't let the sq.ft. scare you as the open design and high ceilings give the impression of much more space.   Besides, when one is downsizing is all that extra space really necessary?

This home's location within the community is a big positive because it is close to the club house and community pool (across street about 200 ft away!)   

With association fees at $500 a quarter the lawn maintenance and exterior maintenance is included [REVIEW HOA DOCUMENTS TO VERIFY WHAT IS COVERED BY DUES].

If you are looking for a home in a Melbourne, Florida 55+ community consider the reasons noted above and the recent sales... then call me at 321-693-3850.


gwatersc21@aol.com

Friday, October 27, 2017

Choosing Your Brevard County, FL Real Estate Agent, Mortgage Lender and Other Providers when Buying or Selling a Home

If a person does not buy and sell a home often then familiarity with the process and providers is less likely

Just the simple process of choosing a real estate agent requires research in some degree whether Internet searches, signage viewed or even inquiry to others.  How one chooses a real estate agent can vary greatly although my opinion is personal referral is probably most reliable.

But what about the other providers involved in a real estate transaction?

The first provider that needs to be consulted (after choosing a Realtor) is the lender.  In Brevard County, Florida I get asked frequently which lender I recommend.  

During my fifteen years experience I have seen some lenders who work better with some types of buyers/loans.  And lately there has been one online lender that has provided tremendous service.

I also have had personal experience with several Brevard County, Florida financial institutions including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers.

Do I have some Brevard County lenders who are not on my "go to" list?  Like most real estate agents with more than a few closed transactions I certainly do.  While I don't volunteer these up front I will share when asked directly.

There are other providers in the real estate transaction where buyers seek direction including survey company, property inspectors and insurance companies.

Two of these are pretty straight forward - surveys and insurance.  

Survey companies are dealing with verifiable facts and insurance companies have rates  even with some variance (although specific influences like structure, credit, etc can vary between companies).

My experience with property inspection companies has varied greatly.   When listing a property I have no say so on he particular inspection.  But experience has demonstrated how smooth things will go!  When I work with buyers I provide a list of inspection companies as well as advise further research. 

Do I recommend a specific company?  Not really.  I will offer who most of customers use and who I have personally used.

The most important player in your home purchase process is the real estate agent selected.  Experience and local knowledge should be the major factors.  That local knowledge should also include a network of local providers to help make the process of buying a home as pleasant as possible.

The key point:  I like to tell buyers that a house is priced low for a reason.  The same goes for other services.  The cheapest is not always the best.

Ready to buy or sell a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850. 
agent@moving2brevard.com

Monday, October 23, 2017

Home Seller Tips: Your Price reflects this...and Not this....

I received feedback on one of my listings recently and it was very short.... “needs too much updating.”  While I do not necessarily agree with this assessment I understand something which is much more important.

This person has an unrealistic expectation for properties in this price range.

A home's price is a reflection of multiple factors.

Foremost among these characteristics is its condition.

Beyond condition the price is impacted by the very important, unchangeable characteristic - location.  Who has not heard those words about real estate and location?  It is a simple truth.  You can not change the zip code!

What are some of the other factors impacting a home's price?
  • Seller motivation.  Is one testing the waters or really desirous of selling? 
  • Circumstances.
  • Competition.
Notice the above comments do not include several other factors seller's want considered heavily when deciding a listing price:
  • What was paid plus any maintenance/updates. Buyers expect a home will be taken care of by the seller.  (If not, then the factor is consideration under condition mentioned above). 
  • What the neighbor got for their house (Although its condition, price, date of sale, circumstances, similarities, etc. may be used as a factor with the generation of comparables).
  • Incentives to other real estate agents.  (The incentive should focus on the buyer.)
Here are some related articles about pricing strategies to sell your home:
For information on buying a home in Rockledge, Florida (or Viera), please call or text me at 321-693-3850.


agent@moving2brevard.com

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Selling Your Viera Home: Does Offering Incentives Really Work?

A recent listing in the local MLS system included agent remarks (not public) stating that a "buyer's agent must bring buyer within 15 days and must pay full price to receive bonus."

The current Brevard County, Florida real estate market is a seller's market.  The median days to contract in August 2017 for single family homes was only 25 days (to close, 67 days).   

That simply means half the single family homes are under contract in just over three weeks.   If a property is is listed reasonably close to market then a buyer will arrive in short time.

So why offer a real estate agent an incentive (bonus)?

In the situation mentioned above the bonus offered is $1,000.  While that is not pocket change to me I don't see the incentive as a reason to automatically recommend a full price offer.

As for the above, if a full price offer was indicated by the comps, then what is the need for an incentive/bonus?

So do incentives work when selling your home?

Yes.....

 if they are offered to the buyer AND the incentive is built into the price.


Some buyers as well as real estate agents may interpret incentives as a sign of desperation.

As for closing cost assistance my experience has been that if a buyer does indeed need closing costs assistance it is often part of the offer any way so why give it way?  I have seen many times where sellers will include an incentive in the listing of "$XXXX flooring allowance (or whatever).

Why offer up discounts in the listing when any offer will take into consideration the issues when making an offer?

As for incentives I believe the best incentive is to price for condition, location, competition and seller motivation.  When a seller does that, an offer will come at a reasonable price in a reasonable time period.

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


agent@moving2brevard.com

Monday, October 09, 2017

Indian River Colony Club in Viera, Florida - Homes For Sale - Market Report October 2017

Presented below is a market summary for Indian River Colony Club, a gated 55+ community in Viera, Florida.

There is a noticeable price difference in home prices within IRCC and the other 55+ communities in Viera (Heritage Isle, Grand Isle)

It is important prospective buyers understand Indian River Colony Club is a private country club with an extensive maintenance program for each home.  Indian River Colony Club is a not-for profit corporation and not a homeowners association.  

The monthly fees are higher than the other 55+ communities because they include country club dues, club minimums and the extensive maintenance program for each home.   Read all about Indian River Colony Club here.

What is currently for sale in Indian River Colony Club?

Currently there are nineteen properties listed as actively for sale in the Brevard MLS system. All of these homes are offered as standard (fair market) sales.

List prices for these homes range from $135,000 to $289,000.  Most of these homes were built between 1988 and 1994 although there is one home that was constructed in 2017 (new construction is rare within IRCC).   Median listing price is $174,500.

Home sizes offered vary from a 1,179 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home to 2,368 sq.ft. for a 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home. 

Properties in IRCC vary greatly in price based on numerous factors such as location (golf course direct, water, proximity to club house, etc), size and whether there has been recent/major updating or renovation.

There are also another five properties under contract awaiting closing.

What has recently sold in Indian River Colony Club?

Over the past six months there have been thirty two homes sold within the IRCC community. Sales prices ranged from $100,000 to $303,500.  All of these sales were reported as fair market sales in the MLS system.  Median sale price over the previous six months was $170,000.

More recently there were nine properties sold between September 1, 2017 and October 10, 2017 as reported in the MLS system. Sales prices ranged from $100,000 to $300,000 with a median sales price of $165,000.  Of the three highest priced homes sold a couple were built in the late 1990s as well as having major updates and renovation.  All nine sales were recorded as cash transactions


For information on Indian River Colony Club in Viera, Florida call or text me at 321-693-3850.   While there is a real estate office on site it represents sellers as in their is no dual representation in Florida.

Have your own real estate agent accompany you on your first visit or inquiry so you are represented.  It costs you nothing to have your own real estate agent... and the peace of mind it offers!


agent@moving2brevard.com

Indian River Colony Club in Viera - Sometimes Peace of Mind is Most Important


Indian River Colony Club is a gated 55+ community in Viera, Florida.  But Indian River Colony Club (IRCC) is not just any central Florida 55+ development.

IRCC is a lifestyle.

I was speaking with a resident of Indian River Colony Club this past weekend and he related what he likes best about "Indian River".... the peace of mind it offers!

Read my October 2017 market report for Indian River Colony Club here.

First, a little background on IRCC and the 55+ communities in Viera, Florida.  Indian River Colony Club is one of three age restricted (55+) communities in the planned unit of Viera (located north of Melbourne, Florida).   Still, Indian River Colony Club is different from the other two communities (Grand Isle and Heritage Isle).
 
Founded in 1986 IRCC is a gated community of about 800 homes and features a lot of the benefits people are looking for when choosing a 55+ community in Florida including a 24 hour manned gated security entrance, a tremendous clubhouse and private 18 hole golf course.   

Of course there are many more amenities like tennis, heated pool, organized clubs, a chapel and much more. 
 
Indian River Colony Club offers retirement living in the best place in the world - near central Florida's beaches.   Orlando International Airport is about 45 minutes away, medical offices, VA Medical Clinic and the new Viera Hospital are nearby.  

Shopping and restaurants are convenient as well the Maxwell King Center for Performing Arts, cruise ships at Port Canaveral and much more! 
 
Here is the peace of mind the resident referred to in our conversation...  While the facilities offered are superb the a major appeal of Indian River Colony Club is  the worry free advantage of true maintenance free living.
 
While the IRCC community is older than the other 55+ developments older does not mean inferior as a large percentage of the homes in IRCC have been updated by the owners through the years!

For information on Indian River Colony Club in Viera, Florida call or text me at 321-693-3850.   While there is a real estate office on site it represents sellers as in their is no dual representation in Florida.

Have your own real estate agent accompany you on your first visit or inquiry so you are represented.  It costs you nothing to have your own real estate agent... and the peace of mind it offers!


agent@moving2brevard.com



Friday, October 06, 2017

Grand Isle in Viera, Florida - Homes For Sale October 2017 - Gated 55+ Community


Typical style of Grand Isle Home
The gated Grand Isle  55+ community in Viera , Florida offers those looking for a gated, relaxed Florida lifestyle lots of choices in single family homes.  

With home sizes ranging from smaller two bedroom unit(1,500 sq.ft. range) to well over 3,000 sq.ft. there is something for anyone looking for their Florida retirement home.

Although smaller than the newer Heritage Isle community (west of I-95), Grand Isle offers a seemingly quieter community with equal access to shopping, golf, medical facilities and more.


Sample Style of Home Found in Grand Isle

What is currently for sale in Grand Isle in Viera?

Currently there are nine homes for sale in Grand Isle.  List prices range from $250,000 to $439,900.  Only three of the listings are over $296,000.  All of these homes are fair market sales.  Most of these properties are larger homes with only one under 2,011 sq.ft. (1,545 sq.ft. 2/2). 

The majority are 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage homes in the 2,000 sq.ft. range.  All were built between 2001 and 2005.
 

What has recently sold in Grand Isle?

Over the previous six months there have been ten homes sold in Grand Isle.   More recently there were three homes sold in August 2017 


All of these transactions were standard sales. and included:
  • 1392 Keys Gate Drive - 2001 built 2 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home with 1,545 sq.ft. sold for $242,000.
  • 1574 Boca Rio Drive - 2004 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home with 2,009 sq.ft. under air sold for $262,000.
  • 1576 Grand Isle Drive - 2003 built 2,271 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage home sold for $308,000.
Since September 1, 2017 there has only been one home sold in Grand Isle.   

This property,located at 1585 Boca Rio Drive, was a 2,018 sq.ft. 2004 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home which sold for $280,000.  Coincidentally this property is very similar to most of the current homes for sale in Grand Isle.

If you are considering a purchase in Grand Isle, Heritage Isle or any 55+ community in Melbourne, Florida, please contact me directly at 321-693-3850 or
agent@moving2brveard.com

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Melbourne, Florida 55+ Gated Community - Pine Creek - Homes For Sale October 2017



Heritage Isle in Viera - 55+ Gated Community - Homes For Sale - Market Report October 2017

Heritage Isle is the largest, newest (Bridgewater at Viera under construction - call me for info) and most popular 55+ community in the popular planned unit development of Viera (north of Melbourne, Florida)

Heritage Isle offers its residents several choices of property style including condos, townhouses (patio style villas) and single family detached houses.

Heritage Isle amenities include a 21,000 square foot club house, heated pool, fitness center and much more.  On top of that there is the outside maintenance and gated entry!
 
Presented below is a snapshot of the Heritage Isle real estate market as of today, October 5, 2017.

What is currently for sale in Heritage Isle?

Currently there are twenty three properties listed for sale in the Heritage Isle community.  List prices range from $195,000 to $369,000.  The two lowest priced properties (under $200,000) are condo units.  
 
Single family detached home prices range from about $259,000 to $369,000.  There are several patio style/townhouse properties listed in the lower $200,000s for those not needing all the room offered by a single family home (most 1,600 plus sq.ft. under air).  

All twenty three listed properties are standard (fair market) sales.  There are also another nine properties under contract awaiting closing.

What has recently sold in Heritage Isle in Viera?

There were ten properties sold in Heritage Isle in Viera during September 2017.  Selling prices ranged  $178,000 to $295,000.  

The properties sold included condos (2), patio style homes (2) and single family homes.  All sales were standard (fair market) transactions.

Sold properties included:

  • 6838 Toland Dr #302 - This 2006 built 1,242 sq.ft. condo with 2 bedrooms 2 bath and covered parking (detached) sold for $178,000.
  • 6838 Toland Dr #301 - This 2006 built 1,408 condo with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths plus covered parking (detached) sold for $195,000.
  • 3550 Funston Circle - 1,407 sq.ft. patio style home offering 2 bedrooms 2 bathrooms and one car attached garage sold for $206,900.
  • 6399 Van Ness Drive - 3 bedroom 2 bath one car garage patio style home with 1,529 sq.ft. under air sold for $229,000.
  • 3772 Carambola Circle - 2005 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home with 1,834 sq.ft. sold for $243,000.
  • 6664 Pico Street - 1,672 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home sold for $249,000.
  • 7183 Egbert Street - 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home with 1,773 sq.ft. under air sold for $257,000.
  • 6638 Sutro Heights Lane - 1,825 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home sold for $259,900.
  • 6992 Premonition Drive - 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home with 1,938 sq.ft. sold for $270,000.
  • 3232 Balboa Place - 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home with 1,715 sq.ft. sold for $295,000.
For information on 55+ communities in Viera, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.


agent@moving2brevard.com

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pine Creek 55+ Community Melbourne, FL - Homes For Sale September 2017

Won't Last at $198,000!
Currently there are three homes for sale in the gated Pine Creek subdivision.  The highly desirable Pine Creek community is located just off Eber Road and only a short drive from major shopping ares as well as easy access to I-95 and US1.   

List prices of homes for sale in this gated 55+ community range from $198,000 to $265,000.   All three units were built in the 2002-2004 time frame.  Square footage for these listings run from 1,335 to 1,992 sq.ft. under air.

The two highest priced units are both 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage while the third property for sale is listed fro sale by Waters Realty of Brevard.  

This home is located at 3613 Osceola Drive and is a two bedroom two bath two car garage 2003 built home with 1,335 sq.ft. under air.   Don't let the sq.ft. scare you as the open design and high ceilings give the impression of much more space.

What has recently sold in Pine Creek?   

Recent sales in Pine Creek ranged in price from $232,000 to $262,400.  These properties were all between 1,785 sq.ft. and 2,161 sq.ft. and built between 2003 and 2005.  All three of these standard sales were closed during the month of June 2017.

This home's location within the community is a big positive because it is close to the club house and community pool (across street about 200 ft away!)   With association fees at $500 a quarter the lawn maintenance and exterior maintenance is included [REVIEW HOA DOCUMENTS TO VERIFY WHAT IS COVERED BY DUES].

Call or text me at 321-693-3850  for information on this home or any homes in the Melbourne area.


agent@moving2brevard.com

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Brevard County, Florida Residential and Condo Market Summary August 2017

Presented below is a summary of the Brevard County, Florida real estate markets for August 2017 compared to the market one year ago as provided by the Florida Realtors.   
 
The first report summarizes the single family home market for August 2017:
  • Closed Sales - up 9.3% for August 2017  with 961 units closed compared to 879 in August 2016.
  • New Pending Sales - increased 2.3% in August 2017 vs last year.
  • New Listings - up 6.4%.
  • Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes -  up 14.1% to $222,500 compared to a year ago which was $195,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory - up 8% to 2.7 months an increase from 2.5 months in 2016.
  • Traditional Sales - increased 12.1% with a median sales price of $225,000
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales - down 26% with a median sales price of $127,300.
  • Short Sale Closings - also are down 33.3% with a median sales price of $225,000. 
Now for a quick recap of the Brevard County townhouse and condo market for August 2017:
  • Closed Sales - down 7.0% for August 2017  with 240 units closed compared to 258 in August 2016.
  • New Pending Sales - down 0.4% and New Listings are up 24.2%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos - dropped 0.6% to $153,125 compared to a year ago which was $154,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory - no change.  It was 3.4 months in August 2016 and August 2017.
  • Traditional Sales - down 5% with a median sales price of $153,125.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales - decreased 42.9% with a median sales price of $145,000. 
  • Short Sale Closings - increased 204.4% with a median sales price of $342,250 in August 2017.

Why Would a Realtor Use a Zillow "Zestimate" to Market a Property?

I ran across a listing in the Brevard MLS this morning that referred to the "Zestimate" in the marketing narrative.   With a little research I found the Zillow "Zestimate" for that particular home was about $40,000 or so less than the listing price (approximately 18% of list price).  

My guess is the real estate agent included the statement/reference so prospective buyers would understand the Zillow value did not reflect the current property condition.

Over the years I have worked with a few buyers who wanted to base their decision solely on the Zillow value and not the market.  

I can remember several buyers who wanted to offer "XXXX dollars" because that is what Zillow said the property is worth.  Their problem, like many others prospective buyers, is a misunderstanding of the Zillow Zestimate and its real use.

What is a Zestimate"  According to Zillow it is...
"The Zestimate® home valuation is Zillow's estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home's value. The Zestimate is calculated from public and user-submitted data, taking into account special features, location, and market conditions"
But how accurate is a Zillow Zestimate?   Zillow tells the public on its website to use the Zestmate as a "starting point."  It further states consumers should consider
Zillow does provide a chart that identifies accuracy estimates.  

For example the chart below does show that about 80% of Brevard County estimated values are within 20% of the sale price.  Put another way it also says that almost 20% of the Zestimated values are more than 20% off.  If you are a seller are you willing to accept a value that may be as much as 20% wrong? 
https://www.zillow.com/howto/DataCoverageZestimateAccuracyFL.htm
https://www.zillow.com/howto/DataCoverageZestimateAccuracyFL.htm
So beyond a curiosity value what is to be gained by "using a Zestimate?  Even Zillow says call a real estate agent.  I would refine that to call a local knowledgeable real estate agent.

In my opinion a real estate agent who deals with buyers and sellers in the area where your home is located is quite different and better than some "proprietary formula!

Thinking about selling you Viera, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for a free, no obligation market analysis where real time data, local knowledge and a site visit (if desired)  can be used to calculate an opinion of value that is usable in today's Brevard County market.

This is not one of those anti-Zillow posts!  

My real estate listings show up on Zillow because it is a web site where consumers go as a starting point.  But my listings do not necessarily, if ever, fall in line with a Zillow Zestimate.

agent@moving2brevard.com

Monday, September 18, 2017

Your Home Warranty and Hurricane Repairs

I received a call from a homeowner this morning asking if they had a home warranty.  I knew where they were coming from since it has only been about a week since Hurricane Irma paid a visit upon us.

As far as the transaction on their home purchase there was no warranty purchased.  Of course, a home owner can go out a purchase a warranty pretty much anytime.  Still, the home warranty is not something to address hurricane damage.

A home warranty is a service contract that provides for repair or replacement of your system components that fail due to standard wear and tear or age

Homeowner insurance is the primary route to deal with hurricane damage.  Still, another type of insurance is likely needed if there is water damage - flood insurance.

So what should a home owner do right now?   Take photos, document losses and call your insurance representative.

Here is a link to the Florida Division of Emergency Management Disaster website for additional information on post-disaster recovery.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thinking of Selling Your Post Hurricane Irma Florida House?

Getting a home ready for the market has always required attention to detail and preparation but  the process of selling your Florida home could be a little more challenging in this immediate post Hurricane Irma period.

There are major systems which impact sale-ability as well as finance-ability  These include the roof, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems.

For anyone in the affected areas the question of roof integrity must be answered first.

Of course for the immediate future the roofing industry may be busy addressing the more serious roofing problems.  If that is the case - wait.    Still do what can be done to prevent or mitigate the impact of potential MOLD.

Do not become a victim of an unlicensed, unscrupulous "contractor."

While tragedy and difficult times brings out the best in most there are plenty of others who prey on the victims.

While the time to list a Florida home for sale may not be right now this is the time to focus on the little issues.  Address landscape issues.  Work on cleanliness.  Consider the little things like paint schemes, traffic patterns, clutter and the like.

If your home is already on the market and no apparent damage has been sustained, consider having a pre-sale inspection done and make the report available for prospective buyers. 

Furthermore, once a clean bill of health is provided, consider offering a home warranty to reassure prospective buyers at least a little!

If there has been major structural issues, take the time to contact your mortgage lender.  During these post storm recovery periods many lenders order property inspections as well.  So if someone is taking a photograph of your home it could be a lender check.

I was fortunate.  I evacuated for about four days and only lost the contents of my refrigerator and freezer.   Its the many others who are suffering now that need our prayers and help.

Consider a donation to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or other worthy disaster relief organizations.  Do not forget those recovering from Hurricane Harvey as well!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Brevard County Real Estate Market (Single Family and Condo) Summary Report for July 2017

Presented below is a recap of the Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Market for July 2017 as provided by the Florida Realtors. 

First, this is a summary report for single family residential properties:
  • Closed Sales - decreased -1.7% for July 2017  874 units closed compared to 889 in July 2016.  Also, there was a decrease in cash sales of -9.9% compared to July 2016.
  • New Pending Sales -  up 3.3%.
  • New Listings - climbed 26.5%.
  • Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes - up 12.2% to $220,000 compared to a year ago which was $196,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory -  up 7.7% to 2.8 months a small increase from 2.6 months in 2016.
  • Traditional Sales - up 1.1% with a median sales price of $222,000
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales - dropped -45.3% with a median sales price of $144,800.
  • Short Sale Closings - down -9.7% with a median sales price of $158,000. 
Now, a report for the townhouse and condo market for July 2017:
  • Closed Sales - up 18% for July 2017 in which the number of units closed was 223 compared to 189 in July 2016 with an increase in cash sales of 12% compared to July 2016.
  • New Pending Sales - down -5% and New Listings are up 16.5%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos - up 15% to $161,000 compared to a year ago which was $140,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory -  down -10.5% to 3.4 months compared to 3.8 months in July 2016.
  • Traditional Sales - increased 21.5% with a median sales price of $164,900.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales - unchanged with a median sales price of $64,000. 
  • Short Sale Closings - decreased -100% with no sales in July 2017.
For information on buying a house or condo along Florida's Space Coast, call or text me at 321-693-3850. 
 
agent@moving2brevard.com
 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Viera, Florida's Newest 55+ Community - Bridgewater at Viera - New for 2017

Yesterday I stopped by Viera, Florida's NEWEST 55+ COMMUNITY.  Let me tell you I was really floored by the interest shown by prospective buyers at Bridgewater in Viera
 Bridgewater at Viera will offer modern homes with a grand lifestyle for the 55+ active population in Brevard County, Florida.

While the street were in as well as sidewalks and lots of vacant lots not a single home was built yet that I could see but folks sure wanted to buy!  One of the builder employees told me that two were placed under contract the evening before as they were setting up shop for their first day!

One important question... build time.  I was advised by the builder representative that it would take about four to six months to complete construction.  While that seems pretty fast I wonder, with all the interest I saw, if that deadline could be met.

While no photos were taken I did pick up some information that I am passing along here....

Bridgewater at Viera  will be a 408 acre gated community with approximately 870 homes with more than 125 acres of Lakes.   Specially designed for the "55 and Better" population, this gated community will offer a resort style pool with beach entry pickle ball, tennis and bocce courts and more. 

Bridgewater at Viera will feature a 23,000 square foot area of indoor and outdoor entertaining space will include a fitness center and aerobics room, theater, coffee lounge and more.
Preliminary concept Summerville Model

While one of the builder representatives shared with me that homes eventually will be built for the high 1,500 sq.ft. to 2,800 sq/ft/ range with prices in the $200-$400,000s the below models were available for purchase based on the onsite advertising materials yesterday. 

The models offered include:
  • The Kennedy.  1-story, 4 bedrooms 3 bath, den, great room, 3 car garage with 2,267 sq.ft. under air from $314,990
  • The Summerville.  1-story, 3 bedrooms 3 bath, den, great room, 3 car garage with 2,468 sq.ft. under air from $324,990.
  • The Boretto.    1-story, 3 bedrooms 3 bath, den, great room, 3 car garage with 2,644 sq.ft. under air from $359,990.
  • The Venice.   1-story, 3 bedrooms 3.5 bath, den, great room, 3 car garage with 2,807 sq.ft. under air from $359,990.
  • The Agostino.    1-story, 3 bedrooms 3.5 bath, den, great room, 3 car garage with 2,725 sq.ft. under air from $369,990.
The above prices were quoted as "preview prices" in the marketing materials.  I am not a representative of the builder WCI Lennar and only provide materials received. 

If you are interested in the newest 55+ community in Viera (Bridgewater at Viera) give me a call or text at 321-693-3850.   Remember you can still be represented by a Realtor (at no cost to you) even when buying new construction.

This is the fourth 55+ community in Viera, Florida.  The other three communities (Indian River Colony Club, Heritage Isle, Grand Isle) are also highly sought after active lifestyle developments.  By the way, Lennar Builders were primary developers in Grand Isle and Heritage Isle.  Bridgewater at Viera is being constructed by WCI, a Lennar Company.

Relocating to Viera, Florida, whether 55+ community or not, I want to be your Realtor.

agent@moving2brevard.com


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