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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cortona Subdivision in Viera, Florida - Executive Homes For Sale - Market Report Match 2017

Cortona is a gated subdivision within the planned unit development of Viera.  Located just north of Melbourne, Florida, Viera is easy to find as I-95 passes through the heart with several easy exits. Specifically, this area of Viera is called Central Viera (East Viera is east of I-95).  

Cortona Style Home 
Central Viera is home to Brevard County's government offices including the Brevard County Government Center, Harry T. and Harriet V. Moore Justice Center, Brevard County Educational Services Facility and West Precinct for the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Nearby the Viera community offers excellent schools, shopping, medical facilities including the newer Viera Hospital as well as a VA Clinic (branch of VA Medical Center Orlando).  

Several golf courses are nearby as well including the Viera East Golf Course and Duran Golf Club courses offering pubic access.   Nearby recreational facilities offered by the development include basketball, tennis jogging trails, playgrounds and park areas.  Cortona association fees for the Cortona community including Viera fees run about $655 a year (verify before purchasing).

What is for sale in Cortona subdivision?

Example of Cortona Home
Currently there are three homes for sale within the Cortona subdivision in Viera.  List prices range from $465,000 to $624,000.  While this range is quite wide in actuality two of the homes for sale are listed at or below $475,000. 

While all of these properties offer four bedrooms and three baths there are differences beyond price and size (2,400; 2,800;3300 sq.ft. under air) such as roof type (tile/shingle), private pool, etc.

With executive homes like those found at Cortona the differences must be me for a showing!

What has recently sold in Cortona subdivision?

Cortona Style Home
Over the past six months there have only been two homes sold in Cortona.  Of course Cortona is not a massive development so this number is not unusual!   These included:

  • 3108 Cortona Drive - 4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage 2012 built home with 2,396 sq ft under air (sold in Oct 2016 for $433,000).
  • 3148 Cortona Drive - 4 bedroom 4 bath 2 car garage pool home built in 2013 with 3,717 sq ft under air (sold Dec 2016 for $520,000).

For information on homes for sale in Viera, call or text me at 231-693-3850.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Buying a Home in Florida: Cost of Purchase and More

Besides the long term commitment required in being a home owner there are a few other things prospective home buyers should understand.

Two of the most crucial -are time and money.  Isn't that what most things come down to in this world?

How Long Does It Take To Buy a Home in Florida

First, lets talk about the timeline associated with buying a home in Florida.  In the current market the biggest obstacle to predicting the total time required is the actual length of time to find a home to purchase. 

Currently the Brevard County, Florida single family home inventory is about 90 days with median days on the market about 30 days.  Houses, particularly move in ready houses, are snapped up quickly.  Depending on the specific property characteristics (price, location, etc) a local knowledgeable real estate agent can provide a good estimate on how long it will take to locate the property.

Then the normal inspection, appraisal, mortgage approval and closing process will likely add another 45 days unless the purchase is cash.   If I were to venture a guesstimate I would recommend the earnest pursuit will take about 90-120 days.  Still, buyers should begin to line things up and commence research (choose lender and agent) about 180 days (6 months) in advance.

What Costs Associated With Buying a Home in Florida?

Understanding the costs associated with a home purchase is critical. One of the best things an agent can do for prospective buyers is explain early on the potential out of pocket and long term costs associated with a home purchase. 
The long term costs associated with home ownership are more easily explained.  PITI - the principal, interest, taxes and insurance is what most people understand as their mortgage payment.  Another monthly fee could be home owner association fees.  

And then the oft forgotten "maintenance" requirements can add up as well. There will be appliances that need repair or replacement.  The roof will wear out.  AC systems fail.  There will be routine maintenance.  None of this does not take into account any updating that may be necessary later.

It is the costs incurred during the home search, due diligence period and closing process that many buyers are often in the dark about and sometimes surprised.  

Up front monies can include (this is not all):  escrow (down payment/deposit) survey, 12 months pre-paid insurance, survey, property inspection, termite inspection, pool inspection,utility deposits,  and more.  The lender GFE (good faith estimate) is a place to start.

Buying a home is an exciting process that is made much less stressful when a buyer has the right folks on their side.  The right folks?  Local, knowledgeable professional Realtor and lender

Considering buying a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for help....its free!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Brevard County, Florida Residential Real Estate Market Report February 2017

Brevard County Residential Report for February 2017 compared to February 2016:
  • Closed Sales - down -5.1% for February 2017 with 649 closings compared to 684 in February 2016
  • Cash sales - decreased in -16% compared to February 2016.
  • New Pending Sales - down  -9.3%.
  • New Listings - down -10.5%.
  • Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes - up 24.2% to $205,000 compared to a year ago which was $165,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory - down -16.7% at 2.5 months compared to 3 months in February 2016.
  • Traditional Sales - up 3.7% with a median sales price of $210,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales - down -65.2% with a median sales price of $154,900.
  • Short Sale Closings - up 12.5% with a median sales price of $118,000.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Homes For Sale in Viera, Florida - Name Your Price, Name Your Size (March 2017)

Viera, the planned unit development located just north of Melbourne, Florida is one of the most popular areas of Brevard County for folks relocating to Florida.   Not surprisingly it is also one of the more expensive areas of the county to purchase a home aside from direct ocean front and river front properties.

So what types of housing is for sale in Viera, Florida?

A quick review of the homes for sale in Viera as listed in the Brevard MLS system today (March 20, 2017) shows there are one hundred forty seven active listings.

Of these 147 listings 57 are located within 55+ communities (Grand Isle, Heritage Isle and Indian River Colony Club).

Outside of the 55+ communities, the 90 listings are:
  • Listed with prices ranging from $197,000 to $1,700,000.
  • All standard sales - not a single foreclosure active in MLS.
  • Only one listing is under $200,000. The next lowest priced listing is $220,000.
  • Median list price is $450,000.
  • Median year built is 2007 (range 1991 to 2017).
  • Over half of the active listings are inside gated communities.
  • Home size varies from 1,400 sq.ft. under air (3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage)  to almost 6,300 sq.ft. (5 bedroom 4.5 bath 3 car garage).
  • Median sq ft under air is 2,743 sq.ft.
  • 11 of the listings are priced above $1,000,000
  • 12 lowest priced listings are on the east side of I-95. The newest development in Viera is west of Interstate 95. 
For information on homes for sale in Viera, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Best Home Buying Strategy Can Still Fail

The Brevard County, Florida real estate market is a seller's market. Buyers are competing with each other for move in ready properties.   In this environment it is critical prospective buyers approach the home buying process with a well mapped strategy in order to have the advantage over competitors.

What is a well mapped strategy?  It begins with identification of requirements.  Note requirements are not the same as "wants" which are a plus but not a "must have" feature.

A buyers requirements may include things like:

  • the real target area (if not the specific neighborhood at least a general area). 
  • the real budget - not some pre-approved up to maximum amount but what you really are comfortable with spending. 
  • the mandatory "must have" characteristics have been identified. 
  • the time frame will determine whether short sales are a consideration.
  • if condition is a factor (move in ready or if you are willing you do some cosmetic repairs).
The above requirements is not all-inclusive as each buyer is different and will have their own list.
With a clear understanding of the requirements it will not take long to identify the target property.  Once identified the competition favors the best prepared buyer.

What makes for the best offer?  I tell buyers that the best offer is a reasonable price, fewest contingencies, verifiable documentation and realistic time-line.

But sometimes the best offer never gets considered.   

Why?  Because a buyer must be committed to moving as soon as a house is found.  For example this past weekend I showed buyers two houses.  Both met all the requirements.  On Sunday the decision had been made.

But it was a bust!   

Why?  Because both acceptable properties were already under contract!

The Brevard County market is one where the median days on market is about 30 days.  That means good houses at a reasonable price move much quicker.  Both of these houses were on the market for less than a week.

The best home buying strategy in the world will still fail if the decision making process is delayed... paralysis by analysis.

Ready to buy a house in Viera, Florida?  Call or text me today at 321-693-3850.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Grand Isle in Viera - 55+ Community Viera, Florida - Market Report March 2017

There are three 55+ communities in the planned unit development of Viera - Indian River Colony Club, Grand Isle and Heritage Isle. 

While all of these 55+ communities share some traits in common there are differences between the 55+ communities of Viera.  In my opinion, each of these are different and has their own personality.  The differences in some cases are subtle, but they do exist.

Still, if one is looking for a Florida 55+ community, one is probably just right for anyone looking at Florida retirement communities.

This post provides a market report for the gated Grand Isle community for March 2017. 
What is for sale in Grand Isle in Viera?

Currently there are five homes for sale in Grand Isle.  List prices in Grand Isle range from $245,000 to $339,900.   Median list price is $274,900.  All of these homes, built in the 2000-2004 period, are standard sales.   

All but the lowest priced listing offer 2,011 to 2,470 sq.ft. under air. There are also four other homes under contract awaiting closing.   The list prices at Grand Isle are consistent with the homes offered at Heritage Isle, Viera's other premier 55+ gated community.

What has recently sold in Grand Isle in Viera?

Over the past six months there have been eight homes sold in Grand Isle.  Sale prices ranged from $249,900 to $330,000.  The median sales price for all of these standard sales was $267,500.

Since February 1, 2017 there have been four homes sold in Grand Isle.  The last two sales (within the past two weeks) included:
  • 1495 Boca Rio Drive - 1,781 sq.ft. 2004 built three bedroom two bathroom two car garage home sold for $270,000.
  • 1605 Boca Rio Drive - 2,032 sq. ft. 2004 built three bedroom two bathroom two car garage home sold for $317,000.
 Here are a few more articles about Viera's 55+ communities...
For information on 55+ communities in Viera, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

If you are looking to buy a home in Brevard County, Florida, read this first.....

Brevard County, Florida offers whatever type of living one seeks.  From ocean and river front, golf course communities, rural settings to whatever.

And each of those location types comes at a price.  Of all the factors that weigh on the price of a house location is key.  Location can't be changed.

In terms of real estate there really are four distinct geographical areas in Brevard County.  

The northern 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.

The closer one gets to the water, the higher the price.  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.

The higher one goes up (as in condo), the higher the price.  Golf course living is a bit more expensive than rural living. 

Some schools are more desirable than others, thus more demand (higher price).

This last one brings me to a recent customer's dilemma.  They had a budget of $XXX,XXX.  Not a problem as there are plenty of homes in that price range.

But they also had a specific school assignment area that was not acceptable to them.

In this particular case the budget and school assignment areas are incompatible.   The major decision now is to look beyond the school, change budget or continue to rent.

School quality (whether real, perceived or mythical) puts pressure on the price. 

If you are considering a move to Brevard County, here are some links that may prove helpful with your research.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Nothing Lasts Forever - Plan to Sell Your House on the Day You Buy!

Deferred is never it exercise, credit card payments or home maintenance!

Once again I spent the weekend showing homes for sale in the Melbourne, Florida area.  Once again, I saw houses that showed signs of deferred maintenance. 

The cost of deferred maintenance when selling is magnified when selling.

Here is one of the most simple rules of real estate when selling a home:   Buyers are always looking for a reason to give you less money

Many times a seller may look at the little issues as what they are - little annoyances, minor repairs.  Still, many buyers will see them and often wonder what else is looming that can't be seen!

Many of these deferred items are not expensive repairs but rather stuff like failed light switches, fences and gates, dripping faucets, missing or cracked tiles, little holes in drywall from that "accident," etc.  

It could be the stain in the ceiling from a roof repaired or replaced several years ago or that screening over the pool (pools are big selling points - when maintained!).

One agent I know recommended home buyers budget a couple of mortgage payments a year in maintenance - and do it!  

So what do I tell buyers when they see these little things?   First I always remind them that any offer will have an inspection contingency so if there are real serious problems we can walk away.  

As for the deferred annoyances, there is another simple real estate rule.... those items that is making this home cheaper today will also make it cheaper when you sell if you do nothing.

As a buyer plan to do the things necessary to sell your house on day one!

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

Ready to sell your home in Rockledge, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for a free consultation and market analysis.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

897 Brunswick Lane, Rockledge, Floirda - Sold $168,000

Sold in Rockledge - located at 897 Brunswick Lane in Levitt Park  - March 3, 2017 - $168,000 (99.4% of list price).
For information on buying or selling a home in Rockledge, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Fairway Lakes at Viera (Melbourne, FL) - Homes for Sale - Market Report March 2017

Fairway Lakes at Viera (Brevard County, just north of Melbourne) is one of two gated executive living communities offering custom built homes on Viera's Duran Golf Course.  The other is Wyndham at Duran which has a manned gated entry with homes priced a higher (custom built, with larger lots and more desirable views).

Fairway Lakes at Viera is convenient to Viera High School, shopping and restaurants at The Avenues Viera, Viera Hospital, Brevard Zoo and much more.  Fairway Lakes offers a central location with easy access to I-95 with Orlando less than an hour away.
Located in Viera, FloridaFairway Lakes at Viera offers executive homes built by some of central Florida's premier custom builders including Toll Brothers, Christopher Burton Homes, Arthur Rutenberg and others.

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

What is currently for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera?

Currently there are five homes for sale in the gated Fairway Lakes at Viera developed.  List prices range from $529,000 to $749,000.  Of the five for sale one home was built in 2007 but the other four were built from during the 2014-2016 period.

What has recently sold in Fairway Lakes at Viera? 

Over the past six months there have been six homes sold in Fairway Lakes at Viera.  Selling prices ranged from $584,000 to $725,000.   Average selling price was $659,000 and the median price was $675,000.  All of these transactions were standard sales as are most sales in the Viera area.

Since January 1, 2017 there have been four homes sold in Fairway Lakes at Viera.  These sales included (data from Brevard MLS system):
  • 3041 Salisbury Court - 2,698 sq.ft. 2010 built 3 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage pool home on the golf course which sold for $584,000.
  • 2872 Emeldi Lane - 2,724 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage pool home on a waterfront lot sold for $665,000.
  • 6786 Arroyo Drive - 5 bedroom 5 bath 3 car garage pool home with 4,049 sq.ft. sold for $675,000.
  • 3039 Refuge Court - 4 bedroom 3.5 bath 3 car garage pool home on water with 3,776 sq.ft. under air sold for $725,000.
For information on golf course homes for sale in Viera, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Sonoma at Viera (Melbourne, Florida) - Homes For Sale - Market Report Match 2017

Sonoma at Viera, located in central Brevard County, Florida, offers gated deed restricted living in one of the most popular areas of the planned unit development of Viera.  Sonoma at Viera was one of the first subdivisions built in Viera once construction shifted to the west side of I-95 in the early 2000s (2003/2004).

Sonoma at Viera is convenient to several golf courses including Duran Golf Course, excellent schools (Viera High School, Kennedy Middle School),  shopping and restaurants of the Avenues at Viera , the new Viera Hospital, outpatient medical offices, multiple places of worship and much more.

Also its location is ideal for commuters to Orlando (40 miles) as well as those working in Melbourne as well as the Kennedy Space Center.

What is currently for sale in Sonoma at Viera?

Currently there are nine homes for sale in the Sonoma at Viera development.  List prices range from $344,800 to $539,900.  All of these 2003-2005 homes are standard sales.

Four of these listings are priced at $449,995 and higher.  Average list price in Sonoma is just over $420,000.

The average list price for the four lowest priced homes is $357,000.  Homes range in size from just under 2,000 sq.ft. to 3,500 sq.ft. under air.   Some have three car garages although most have capacity of two cars.

What has recently sold in Sonoma at Viera?

Over the past six months there have been five homes sold in Sonoma at Viera.   Four were standard sales and one was a foreclosure (not very common).  Selling prices ranged from $258,000 to $394,900.   The foreclosure home sold for $373,000 and was not in a typical (in need of repair) foreclosure condition.   This 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage lake front pool home had new paint in and out and was move in ready.  Actually this was a multiple offer sale with lots of interest.

The most recent sale (closed February 28, 2017) in Sonoma at Viera was also a multiple offer situation and was on the market for only two days.  This 2005 built home, located at 3651 Chardonnay Drive, is a two story four bedroom three bath three car garage pool home with 2,616 sq.ft. under air. It sold for $394,900.

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

Friday, March 03, 2017

Indian River Colony Club (IRCC) in Viera, Florida - 55+ Community - Market Report March 2017

Indian River Colony Club is a gated 55+ community located in central Florida's planned unit development of Viera (just north of Melbourne, FL).  Actually, its more of a country club and a lifestyle than a development. 

IRCC was founded in 1986 as a not-for-profit corporation as a retirement destination for military offers.  

Over the the years since its inception, Indian River Colony Club has evolved into a more inclusive, as well as exclusive, retirement community with membership expanded to all former military and 20% non-military veterans.  
All homes are individually owned with no rental properties allowed so residents know their neighbors are permanent.
A few interesting points about Indian River Colony Club:

  • The IRCC corporation is debt free;
  • Amenities are owned by residents including golf course, club house, multi-use buildings, pro shop, tennis courts, swimming pool and more; 
  • Home prices are less than those in other Viera 55+ communities (Heritage Isle, Grand Isle);
  • The Board of Directors, elected by the residents, determine fees and provide oversight for all activities within the gates including the professional onsite management;
  • Household maintenance (more specifics below) are covered by the monthly maintenance fee;
  • Typical of style
  • Monthly fee also covers club membership, amenities, full time on site security including 24 hour guard monitored entry, security cameras at all entrances, visitor management as well as security patrols inside community.
What will you find at Indian River Colony Club in Viera?

  • Multiple housing options. There are eighteen floor plans including two new plans for 2016 (Trenton 3BR/2BA/2 Car Garage/Cart Garage, 1,735 sq.ft.), (Augusta, 3BR/3BA/2 Car Garage/Cart Garage, 2,111 sq.ft.), a half duplex floor plan, and fifteen others with square footage ranging from just over 1,000 sq.ft. to about 3,000 sq.ft. under air.
  • Activity groups and clubs.  More than 40 of them including: Art, Bridge, Bowling, Bingo, Chorus, Ham Radio, Crafts, Investment, IRCC Foundation, Masons, Yoga, Tennis, Line dancing, Step & Stretch, Computer Club, Players Theater Group, Aquatics and more. Green space, wildlife and lakes (28) with houses spread throughout the 453 acre community. 
  • Secure environment.  Gated entry manned 24 hours with security which also patrols the community.
  • RV and boat storage area.  There are even four spaces for guest hookups.
  • Colony Hall which is a state of the newly renovated facility which offers the perfect setting for special occasions (available for public rental as well). There is a bridal room, dance floor, full stage, chapel and more.
  • At Ease Club. Executive chef, staffed for dining and private parties.
  • Tennis courts (3), Bocce, shuffleboard.
  • 3,000 sq.ft. heated swimming pool.
  • Fitness center.
  • Professional staff and management who know the residents and go above and beyond to help them (repeating what I have heard residents say!) 18 hole par 72 golf course with pro shop, 2 practice putting greens and practice bunkers.
  • Involved homeowners.   Residents own this debt free community and take their responsibility as owners serious.
  • Private country club.  Indian River Colony Club is an exclusive private country club with membership comprised only of 100% home owners!
  • Repairs, routine and urgent service repairs (leaks, AC, plumbing) only a phone call away with maintenance staff on duty 10 hours a day (on call for emergencies).
  • Housekeeping and pool service programs also available. 

What is currently for sale at IRCC?

Currently twenty six active listings in the Indian River Colony Club gated 55+ community.   List prices range from $125,000 to $320,000.  All of these listings are standard sales except for one short sale (lowest list price). 

Seventeen of listings are pried at $190,000 or less.  Most are three or four bedroom constructed early 1990s. There is only one home priced above $268,000 and it happens to be a new construction concrete block construction home (rare in IRCC). Average list prices are in the $170-180,000 range.

What has recently sold in Indian River Colony Club?

Over the past six months there have been twenty six homes sold in Indian River Colony Club.  Selling prices ranged from $115,000 to $290,000.  All of these sales were standard sales.

More recent sales in IRCC (from February 1, 2017) includes these four properties:
  • 1308 Pilgrim Avenue - 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, 1988 built, 1179 sq.ft. with golf course frontage and water view sold for $115,000.
  • 1513 Chesapeake Court - 2 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, 1994 built, 1442 sq.ft. with private pool and water view sold for $120,000
  • 1348 Independence Avenue - 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, 1989 built, 2028 sq.ft. located on third fairway sold for $147,500
  • 1509 Pioneer Drive -  3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage, 1990 built, fireplace, 1990 sq.ft.  with water and golf views sold for $148,500
For information on Indian River Colony Club in Viera, Florida call or text me at 321-693-3850.
Gary L Waters
Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker
LT MSC USN (retired)

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