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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Home Seller Tips: Do you fix it before selling or take a chance?

Rarely does the perfect property exist.    At least in the eyes of most buyers as they are looking reasons (real or not) to offer a lower price!

While new construction homes are not necessarily "perfect," newly built is likely closer to perfect than when a buyer is considering a re-sale home or condo.  Once a property is occupied by people (and pets) it has likely "suffered" degradation from the occupants or the environment.

Early on in the home buying process prospective buyers need to decide how much imperfection they are willing to accept.  
 
In the current Brevard County, Florida real estate market buyers are competing for move in properties.  Still, move in condition likely does not mean nothing will require attention at some point - now or in the near future.
 
When choices are plentiful (a buyer's market) then things like dated carpet or some gawd awful tacky wallpaper can cause a property to be stricken from consideration almost immediately.

But when the choices are limited buyers are more likely to think ..."Its ONLY wallpaper!"  Likewise, when the carpet is worn or stained buyers are more likely to say "Its only carpet!"  Still, buyers will expect a reduction in price or an allowance if they must turn around and install new flooring.

Then there are the things that can't be changed. 
  Location, home owner association membership and rules, traffic patterns, zip code, and the like are fixed and should be reflected in the list price. 

Still, the things that can be changed, even if its later, should be carefully evaluated in a tight market.   

Buyers should not let worn carpet, wallpaper or even some ugly paint obstruct an otherwise great prospective "new home" from consideration.

Home buyers, please read  Finding the Imperfect home.

Finally, a few words for home sellers....

Your home may have some flaws due to design obsolescence.  The flaw may be location, traffic, the neighbors (yes, bad neighbors can be a flaw).  It may have some defects as a result of aging.
 
You can fix some of these issues. 
Some imperfections can be overcome through pricing.  Some can be overcome by proper staging (including removing excess "stuff").   Some can be overcome by repair (yes, fix the AC, the roof, the major show stoppers!).    
 
A home does not have to be perfect to sell.

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

agent@moving2brevard.com

Why Did the Real Estate Agent Not Answer All of My Questions?

In business there is a concept called risk mitigation.   What is risk mitigation? It is defined as a systematic reduction in the extent of exposure to a risk and/or the likelihood of its occurrence.

In the real estate business there are multiple steps and processes real estate agents take to reduce exposure to risk.   

One of the easiest ways is to minimize being the source of all answers and practicing being the source of the source rather than the primary source.... i.e. telling the buyer where they can find the answer.

I caution prospective buyers to not assume their agent does not know the answer but rather the agent pointing you in the right direction to the answer.

I remember years ago I was showing a prospective buyer a beautiful condo on Cocoa Beach.  The lot to the side was vacant.  This particular unit had a side view toward the ocean.  The prospective buyer asked me about the lot remaining vacant.  My response was "I don't know."

The reality (or common sense) is prime oceanfront lots are likely a target for future development.  Either way I recommended the buyer consider the view likely temporary or assume the risk.

Another area of concern to many buyers is sexual predators ("Do any sexual predators live nearby?")  Read more about Florida Sexual Offender Database here.

An area that can get an agent in some real trouble - even inadvertently - is the Fair Housing Act.   The housing act exists to promote and hopefully, guarantee, equal housing opportunity and non-discrimination.

Questions relating to the character and demographic characteristics of an area is not something an agent should speak of - ever.

While a buyer prospect's questions may not be intended to denigrate any person, creed, religion or whatever, the answer can still be seen as a violation.

Responses to these types of questions are answered by relying on the "source of the source" answer. 

This may entail referring a prospective buyer to the local law enforcement agency (What is crime rate?) or to the school board (How are the schools?).   Sometimes buyer prospects need to be encourage to drive around the neighborhood themselves or go for a walk or whatever (are there any kids?  How old are the people who live around here?)

Another are that many agents (myself included) shy away from are questions specifically relating to the homeowner or condo association.   The correct response is to provide a way for access to the documents or even contact information for the association officers. 

I recall an agent I know was recently asked whether a fence could be put up.  She referred the buyer to the association.  Not only does a response like this mitigate risk exposure it, more importantly, allows a prospective buyer to access the best available answer.

And sometimes the answers to the questions, while potentially useful, are not known or can't be disclosed such as
  • "Are the neighbors nice?" 
  • "Why are they selling?" 
  • "How much do they owe?" 
  • "How much will they take?" 
  • "What are the other offer prices?"
So when you decide to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida, remember that your agent may not answer all your questions on the spot.  It is not because they do not know (sometimes we don't!) but rather, to protect you, the buyer.

Ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Please call or text me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.


agent@moving2brevard.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Mathematics of a Home Purchase Offer....

I showed a house recently where the prospective buyers liked the "blank slate it offers."  The blank slate refers to this property's very neutral decor (a lot of white spaces).

The prospective buyers started adding up the costs to make the house like they want (make it their house, I suppose).  Experience has shown me that that many times buyers like to talk through the process of future changes.

This particular house is less than fifteen years old so it is not a 1960s structure in need of a half century update.

Their ideas for "desired" change did include some very nice sounding options.  I think the dollar amount kicked around was close to $40,000.

It is always nice when a prospective buyer talks enthusiastically about becoming an owner and "makes a house their own."  In this case the discussion turned to subtracting these changes from the listing price.

BUT, DESIRED FUTURE CUSTOMIZATION CHOICES SHOULD NOT BE AT THE SELLER'S EXPENSE.

The mathematics of a home purchase does not mean take the listing price and then start deducting the changes you want to make in the future.

When a home is listed at a price that is reflective of the market, the competition, and its current condition, there may be some room to negotiate the final purchase price.

BUT, OPTIONAL CHANGES SHOULD NOT BE DEDUCTED FROM THE LISTING PRICE.

This is not to say that repair issues that impact function or performance should not be addressed in the offer price or concessions requested (such as a flooring allowance).

Still, the mathematics of a home purchase offer are based things such as: the comps (recent sales, other similar properties on the market), motivation, time line and factors such as ability to purchase/finance options.

Of course, in the end, buyers can make any offer they desire.  But, in a seller's market with limited choices available, serious buyers rarely try the low ball route!

Now I wonder if a car dealership would accept an offer on a slightly used car based on the updates I want to do... paint job, some new tires, maybe an engine tune up...

Have a question about buying a home in Florida?   Call or text me at 321-693-3850.


agent@moving2brevard.com








Monday, August 14, 2017

55+ Communities in Melbourne, Florida - Heritage Isle, Grand Isle, IRCC, Pine Creek

Geographically Brevard County is about 80 miles north to south and runs along the Atlantic coast.   And if someone is considering a move to one of Brevard County's 55+ communities there are multiple choices to fit almost all budgets.

The first key question to consider when it comes to moving to a Florida retirement community is "What are you looking for in that Florida retirement community?" 

Is it shopping, restaurants, multiple golf courses, activities, entertainment, fitness centers, a cruise port nearby, low cost of living, total maintenance free living or just exterior maintenance, gated or (guard on site) or whatever.

A second key question is "At what cost?"

For example, consider these four outstanding 55+ communities in the Melbourne, Florida area:  Pine Creek, Grand Isle, Heritage Isle and Indian River Colony Club (IRCC).

While all are gated there are differences beyond the gate - as reflected in the monthly fees and dues.  The following comments about fees/dues are ball park / generic but are close enough to illustrate the point.

First, lets consider location.  Fees are higher in the Viera planned unit development. This is the newer area where Grand Isle, Indian River Colony Club and Heritage Isle are located.  The fourth development, Pine Creek, is located in the Melbourne area about 15 miles south of the other communities.

Pine Creek development has a pool and clubhouse similar to Grand Isle but the fees are a little less (somewhere around $166 per month).  Grand Isle fees run about $280 as month and Heritage Isle is around the $300 a month range.

And then the IRCC fees and dues depend on the specific home model purchased but are probably, at a minimum, in the $800-$1,100 a month range.

I recently ran into a buyer who was pre-approved for a certain amount.  The offer was at teh top of that amount.  And then the reality set in... monthly fees/dues as well as insurance, etc. pushed the buyer beyond the allowed total expenses per month.  Remember all the fees and dues when considering a purchase!
CLICK - VIEW MLS LISTING - CLICK

Call me about this home in for sale in Pine Creek Development - Home For Sale $200,000.

But these 55+ communities are not the same.   IRCC is the total maintenance, gate guarded community where the residents own it all including the facilities and the golf course.  Heritage Isle facilities are not owned by the residents. The Grand Isle owners also own their club house facility.

If you are considering purchasing a home in one of Melbourne, Florida's 55+ communities give me a call (or text) at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.

Here are a few posts that discuss the 55+ communities in Melbourne, Florida:
If you are considering a move to Brevard County, Florida, here are some articles which may also be helpful.
Considering buying a home in Viera, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.  

If you prefer, send me an email.

SOLD... Port St John, Florida 3/2/2 Pool Home

Sold... on the market for only fourteen days!


 
Just sold to an investor for $122,500!  This home located at 4349 Camberly Street is a three bedroom two bath two car garage screen enclosed pool home that was built in 1983.
 
Located between Titusville and Cocoa in central Florida's Brevard County.  Conveniently situated  about 10 miles from Kennedy Space Center, Port St John offers easy commuting routes including short drives to Orlando International Airport (36 miles) and Melbourne (36 miles).
 
While this home is in need of some major work I am sure it will be a gem when completed.   
 
For more information on buying or selling a home in Port St John, FL as well as any other homes for sale in Brevard County call or text me at 321-693-3850.
agent@moving2brevard.com

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Home For Sale - Melbourne, FL 55+ Community - $200,000 - Great Location!



Located at 3613 Osceola Drive in the gated 55+ community of Pine Creek in Melbourne, Florida this two bedroom two bath two car garage home is offered for $200,000.  (View community map at bottom of post).

The highly desirable Pine Creek community is just off Eber Road and only a short drive from major shopping ares as well as easy access to I-95 and US1. 

This is the only home for sale in Pine Creek at this time!

Within the community this home is close to the club house and community pool (across street about 200 ft away!)  See on map at bottom of this post.

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].

Some of the features offered included:
  • Concrete block stucco construction 
  • Open Floor plan with cathedral/high ceilings
  • 1,335 sq.ft. under air
  • Hurricane shutters all around (back porch and garage electric, others accordion type) 
  • All electric
  • Brick Paver drive way, walks and screened back porch 
  • Well with sprinkler system 
  • Fresh paint
  • Electric screen doors in garage to take advantage of fall weather!
  • Large walk in closet in master bedroom
Call or text me at 321-693-3850  for information.

agent@moving2brevard.com

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Market Summary 2nd Quarter 2017 vs. 2nd Qtr 2016

Presented below is quick recap of the Brevard County Residential (single family) market and the townhouse/condo market for quarter 2 compared to quarter 2 2016 as provided by the Florida Realtors: 

Single Family Residential Market
  • Closed Sales are down -1.6% for Q2 2017 in which the number of units closed was 2,825 compared to 2,872 in Q2 2016, with a decrease in cash sales of -20.6% compared to Q2 2016.
  • New Pending Sales are up 8.7% and New Listings are up 5%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up 14.1% to $211,000 compared to a year ago, which was $185,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory remained at 2.7 months.
  • Traditional Sales increased 2.4%, with a median sales price of $215,000
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales decreased -46.9%, with a median sales price of $123,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -26.3%, with a median sales price of $132,500. 
Townhouse and Condo Market
  • Closed Sales are down -3.1% for Q2 2017 in which the number of units closed was 762 compared to 786 in Q2 2016, with a decrease in cash sales of -6.9% compared to Q2 2016.
  • New Pending Sales are up 9.4% and New Listings are up 2.5%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 9.6% to $160,000 compared to a year ago, which was $146,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -10.5% to 3.4 months compared to 3.8 months in Q2 2016.
  • Traditional Sales are up 0.1%, with a median sales price of $160,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -51.4% with a median sales price of $127,000. 
  • Short Sale Closings are down -85.7%, with a median sales price of 39,000 for Q2 2017.
 For information on buying a home in Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

agent@moving2brevard.com
 

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Sold - Herons Landing Subdivision, Viera, Florida $400,200


Congratulations to my new buyer of this beautiful home located at 5980 Herons Landing Drive in Viera, Florida. 

This beautiful 2,252 square foot 2004 built home offered three bedrooms three bathrooms three car garage, pool and spa was purchased for $400,200. 
 
Photo Courtesy Brevard MLS

All tile throughout, this custom built home looks almost new and offers great pool living with the huge brick paver pool deck, patio, summer kitchen with granite counter, natural gas grill and outdoor refrigerator.

For information on buying your next home in Viera, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850!

agent@moving2brevard.com

The Most Basic Rule of Selling Anything - Including a House!

There has been much written about selling your home.  Much of that which can be found focuses on preparing a house for the real estate market.

And this is because of the most basic rule in selling anything...

Buyers are looking for reasons to pay sellers less.


When a home is being sold the time to address the "reasons" a buyer offers less is not after the offer has been received.

If you are in the process of preparing to sell your Melbourne, Florida home, here are ten articles to to consider when preparing to sell your Florida home.

Selling your Florida home will go much more more smoothly when it is prepared appropriately to meet the your goals.

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

agent@moving2brevard.com

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Setting The List Price: Let The Market Do The Arm Twisting!

Real estate agents should not have to twist a seller's arm to list a property within the market range.  At least, that is the case for me.

I prefer to let the market do the arm twisting.

There are many reasons why sellers want to list their home at a certain, oft pre-determined, price.    Sometimes a seller reasons with "Well I paid this plus I have put this much into it and..."

Buyers do not care what a seller paid for their house or prices paid for any maintenance or updates.  Sure that pool was nice in the summer but do not expect to get a dollar for dollar return!  Nobody cares about a seller's mortgage situation - except the seller and the bank!

Some sellers are quick to point out "the same house sold for "X Dollars" down the road."   Sometimes "same" is not the "same."  The properties may have been the same on day one but through the years sameness can vanish somewhat.

There may be a new AC, updated kitchens, recent roof replacement or something beyond the "same" floor plan.

Sometimes "down the road" is not exactly an apples to apples comparison.  All locations are not equal.  Lets face it, a home in Viera or Suntree is worth more than the same house in Palm Bay!   Some locations are just more desirable due to amenities, schools, crime rates or just "perceived" differences.  You can change the paint color or some other characteristic but you can't change the zip code!

Even the location within the development can make a difference. Views, locations on the golf course direct versus being in a golf course community makes a difference.

Is the difference real?  If there are differences are they over improvements and not "value added?"   

Finally , the one that can potentially create the most friction (in my opinion) or at least cause a seller to choose another real estate agent is the  "Because Zillow said its worth this amount. So that is the price I want"

Sellers need to understand that Zillow is not a local market expert.  Zillow uses raw data and some algorithm to come up with a value that may or may not be accurate.   The same can be said about any other automated valuation system.

If an entity is not local, it is relying on data that may or may not be accurate.  The value may not be taking into consideration current events, issues and concerns.

Pricing a home for the market takes a seller's circumstances, goals and situation into accountAs far as I know there is no automated value determination system that assigns value (or even understands) all the data points and considerations that go into pricing and selling a home.

Ultimately a house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  While there are qualities that influence worth like location, size, general condition and any special features (like a pool, gated community, etc.), in the end your home is only worth what a stranger under no unusual influences or pressure is willing to pay (an arm’s length transaction).

It is not necessary for a real estate agent to twist a seller's arm to price appropriately - the market will!

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

agent@moving2brevard.com

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Viera, Florida 55+ Communities - Homes For Sale - Grand Isle - Gated Community in Melbourne, FL

The gated 55+ community of Grand Isle is located in central Brevard County along the Space Coast about 45 miles from Orlando.  While Grand Isle is not the largest of the three 55+ communities in Viera (about 340 homes) it is one of the most popular!

In fact Grand Isle usually does not have a lot of choices when it comes to homes for sale.  But right now looks to be the time buy a home in Grand Isle and the other 55+ communities in Viera, Florida (Heritage Isle, Indian River Colony Club)!

What is for sale at Grand Isle in Viera?

Currently there are eight single family homes for sale in Grand Isle.  

List prices for these properties range from $254,900 to $359,900 with a median listing price of $289,900. All of these 2002-2004 built homes are fair market sales. All of the properties are 2,011 sq.ft. under air and larger except for one that is just over 1,500 sq.ft.  

The median size is about 2,018 sq.ft. with a two car garage (fie of the listings are between 2,011 and 2,025 sq.ft.).  All are 3 bedroom 2 bath except the two largest (and highest priced) listings which are over 2,400 sq.ft.

There are also three homes under contract awaiting the closing process.

What has recently sold in Grand Isle?

Since February 1, 2017 there have been eleven single family homes sold in Grand Isle. 

Selling prices ranged from $235,000 to $354,900.  All of these were standard sales with a median sale price of $265,000.

More recently, since July 1, 2017, there has been only one home sold in Grand Isle:
  • 1587 Grand Isle Blvd - a 2,481 sq.ft. 2003 built four bedroom three bath two car garage pool home located on the lake sold for $354,900 on July 17, 2017.
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.  Call me directly at 321-693-3850 or text me your number and say call me!

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.


agent@moving2brevard.com

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Heritage Isle in Viera - 55+ Community - Market Report August 2017

Of the three 55+ communities in Viera, Florida, Heritage Isle is the largest, newest and most popular.  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, August 2, 2017.

What is currently for sale in Heritage Isle?

Heritage Isle Style - Photo by GLW
Currently there are   nineteen  active listings in Heritage Isle.   List prices range from $209,900 to $355,000. 

The two lowest priced units listed at $210,000 and below are patio style homes (2 bedroom 2 bath 1 car garage attached units).  There is another half duplex property for sale at just under $250,000.

The remaining sixteen listings are single family detached homes priced from  $259,9000 to $355,000.   All nineteen listings are standard (fair market) sales and were built between 2004 and 2016.

There are also another twelve listings under contract awaiting the closing process.

There is also one condo unit (2 bedroom 2 bath, detached carport) listed for sale at just under $200,000.

What has recently sold in Heritage Isle?

Over the past six months (since February 1, 2017) there have been forty one single family properties sold in Heritage Isle.  Selling prices ranged from $238,000 to $445,625. 

Over the past month (since July 1,2017)  there have been six single family homes sold in Heritage Isle.    Pretty much consistent with the rest of the market, all of these sales were standard sales.

The six most recent single family home sales as reported in the Brevard MLS system included:
  • 6118 Van Ness Drive - 1,672 sq.ft. 2015 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home sold for$260,000.
  • 6970 Abbeyville Road - 2,209 sq.ft. 2006 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home sold for $260,500.
  • 6571 Ingalls Street - 1,773 sq.ft. 2013 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home sold for $284,000.
  • 2962 Galindo Circle - 2,176 sq.ft. 2006 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 3 car garage home sold for $290,000.
  • 3544 Gurrero Drive - 2,238 sq.ft. 2009 built 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage lake front home sold for $300,000.
  • 6957 Toland Drive - 2,277 sq.ft. 2017 built 4 bedroom 3 bath 3 car garage home sold for $320,950.
Read more about these three age restricted communities in central Brevard County, Florida  as well as about the differences between the 55+ communities of Viera

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

agent@moving2brevard.com

The Real Estate Market Sets the Reality

What is the "real estate market?"  Broadly speaking it is that universe of prospective buyers, prospective sellers and the processes/interactions that result in a property being sold - or not.

I was watching some talking heads on morning television this week and I heard the phrase "talking truth to power."   While their discussion had something to do with politics  I thought of how that relates to real estate.

A real estate agent's credibility and reputation is built upon the truth.

Some buyers and sellers have a difficult time when confronted with reality.   Add to that list some real estate agents who also are challenged by the truth.

In this case I believe truth should be substituted with the word "reality."

One of the memorable scenes in the classic movie A Few Good Men is when Tom Cruise's character tells Jack Nicholson's character "you can't handle the truth!"

Sometimes that happens with sellers who believe they know more than the market  or believe their property is worth more than similar properties on the market (or recently sold).

Sometimes this happens when a buyer refuses to accept the comps and wants to low ball any offer they make on a property.

Sometimes this happens when a real estate agent over promises a proposed listing price in order to get the listing.  In the business this is often referred to as "buying the listing."

While I believe most buyers, sellers and real estate agents are sincere in their efforts some do not accept the reality.

But, in the end, there is one truth that must be accepted by all parties.... the real estate market sets the reality.

Ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.  Waters Realty of Brevard - a small independent brokerage delivering big, personalized services.

agent@moving2brevard.com

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Sierra Lakes Subdivision in Rockledge, Florida - Market Report August 2017

Sierra Lakes is a gated community located at the northern most border of Rockledge, Florida off Pluckebaum Road.    This gated community was primarily developed in the 2012-2015 time frame.

Sierra Lakes (and Rockledge's) proximity to central Brevard's most popular community, the planned unit development of Viera,  as well as local superior schools make it a great choice for anyone moving to Brevard County, Florida .

This is a deed restricted community with homeowner fees in Sierra Lakes currently about $116 per quarter and covers common area maintenance including fenced perimeter and gated entry.

With easy access to major routes including US 1, I-95 and SR 520 make Sierra Lakes an excellent location for commuters.  The beaches are about 10 miles to the east and Orland about 45 miles west!

What is currently for sale in Sierra Lakes?

Currently there are two homes for sale in Sierra Lakes development in Rockledge.  Both of these homes are listed in the $235,000 to $250,000 price range and were built in 2014 as were many of the homes in the development.  Most of the homes in Sierra Lakes are either three or four bedroom properties with two car garage.

There are also two similarly priced listings under contract awaiting closing.
 

What has recently sold in Sierra Lakes Development in Rockledge, Florida?

Over the past six months there have been six properties sold in Sierra Lakes with sales prices between $222,000 and $283,250.

The most recent sale (in July 2017) was the home located at 1086 Sangria Circle which sold for $230,000.  This 2014 built property offered four bedrooms two baths and a two car garage with 1,873 sq.ft. under air.

Other recent sales occurred in June 2017 and included:

  • 1325 Sangria Circle - a 2,761 sq.ft. 2013 built two story home with four bedrooms  two and a half baths and a three car garage which sold for $283,250.
  • 1326 Sangria Circle - a 1,976 sq.ft. 2015 built three bedroom two bath two car garage sold for $222,000.
  • 1346 Sangria Circle - a 1,976 sq.ft. three bedroom two bath two car garage home built in 2014 sold for $240,000.
For information on homes for sale in Rockledge, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.


agent@moving2brevard.com

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