Monday, December 3, 2012

Is it time to buy a winter home in Florida?

  • Home prices are attractive.   
  • Interest rates are very attractive.   
  • The weather forecast is extremely attractive!
 Ready to move to Florida?  Send me an email!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Don't get "pre-qualified" for a mortgage if you are serious about buying a home

Pre-qualified for a mortgage does not carry much clout with sellers. 

Being pre-qualified means you have entered some information and based on your information you have been pre-qualified.  The problem is your information has not been verified or documented.

Serious home shopping can be a pretty intense process.  Knowing the real cost (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, home owner association dues, etc) is key for serious buyers.  The place to start is with a mortgage pre-approval.

Pre-approval means your lender has done their homework and validated your credit history and ability to pay. 

Mortgage pre-approval can give you confidence as you shop and when you find your new home the sellers will know you are serious with your offer. 

Now if you are a casual looker who wants to see what is being showcased in new construction then the Parade of Homes is the place to go.  In Brevard County there is a Spring and a Fall Parade of Homes. 

The Fall Parade of homes starts today and runs through November 11th.  Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

For information on buying and selling houses and condos in Brevard County, Florida call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sometimes a "short sale" is the shortest route to a solution!

We all experience hardships.  That is part of life.  Sometimes the hardships are created by our own bad choices.  Sometimes the hardships are caused by things out of our control.

Regardless of cause, meeting the challenge head on is the best course of action.

The genesis of the hardship may be loss of a job, death of a family member, divorce, job transfer, or possibly a medical issue.  These personal challenges may make create financial hardships that make keeping your home impossible.

These situations may require you to make hard choices.  But you persist...the stresses add up.  

You need a solution.

What is the solution?   There are a couple of options to look at regarding your mortgage.

First of all, if the situation is temporary or has a resolution in the near future, call your lender.   It may simply be a case of working out a loan modification with your lender.

Or, it may be a short sale is a consideration.

A short sale is a situation where the probable selling price of a property will be less than the mortgage(s) owed.   Short sales require that any offer accepted by the owner be forwarded to the lender for approval (referred to as third party approval).

Sellers in short sales can not derive any proceeds from the sale.

While short sales take longer than a standard real estate sale a short sale may be the shortest route to a solution.

If a short sale is a consideration, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Selling Your Florida Home - The Hardest part is…

When you decide the time is right to sell your home, you call your local real estate experts (interview several real estate agents before choosing).

They will provide all the market analysis information and comparable properties.  They will discuss preparations for selling your home.  They will educate you on the process.  They will answer your questions.  They will put together a marketing plan. 

That is all  the "normal" stuff.

The hardest part about selling your home is waiting....
  • waiting for the offer, 
  • waiting for the inspection, 
  • waiting for the appraisal, 
  • waiting for the closing.
If you are considering selling your Brevard County, Florida home, here are a few articles that may be of interest.
How Long Does a Seller Have to Respond to My Purchase Offer?
An Occupied House Sells Easier Than a Vacant House But....
Must I Update My Home To Sell It?
Preparing to Sell Your Brevard County, Florida Home
Do Homebuyer Incentives Work?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Home Seller Tips: Listing Photos – Big and Empty?

Even if you are going to be moving before you put your home on the market call your real estate agent early.

Why?  I really want need to take photos before you load the truck!  I want to see your home before you take away all of your belongings. 

I believe photos with furniture in a room helps add scale.   While sometimes some of your furniture should be removed to relieve a cluttered appearance removing it all can leave a blank, ho-hum boring picture!   Neutral walls, beige carpet and no contents will not compete well against a staged house down the street - especially if the prices are close.

If you have ever looked at interior pictures of homes for sale and then gone to see it in person, you may have noticed some rooms look smaller in real life.  Or, on the other hand, the room is larger than it appeared online.  Help your buyers see your home for the space it really offers.

Neutral walls and big curtains alone do not make great marketing materials.

Remember the three keys (Three "Ps") to selling your home are...
  1. Pricing it competitively. 
  2. Promoting your home to potential buyers (your real estate agent's number one job!). 
  3. Presentation. Getting it in its best possible condition and making it available for prospective buyers to see when they want o see it.,

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Merrit Island, Florida home, call me to 321-693-3850 to discuss how I can work for you!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gallop Survey Rates Ethics of Members of Congress at all time low… At least I am not a politician!

What does it say when your profession is rated just below bankers and right above lawyers in the most recent Gallop Poll based on honesty and ethical standards

You could say well it is number 11 of 21 professions, right?   You could say well we are above the Members of Congress and car salespeople, right?

But that does not say much!

The reality is consumer opinion of real estate agents will only change over timeone interaction at a time.

I am here in Brevard County, Florida serving Brevard realty needs one client at a time.  I am providing ethical professional real estate service one client at a time… let me show you service above the rest!

When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Single Family Home for Rent - 1127 Woodsmere Pkwy, Rockledge, FL $1,125/month

Gary L Waters PLLC | Serving Brevard Realty | (321) 693-3850
1127 Woodsmere Pkwy, Rockledge, FL
Available immediately!Well maintained 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home in well established Rockledge, FL neighborhood!
4BR/2BA Single Family House
Bedrooms 4
Bathrooms 2 full, 0 partial
Sq Footage 1,520
Parking 2 dedicated
Pet Policy Cats
Deposit $1,125

Available immediately!Well maintained 4 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage home in well established Woodsmere neighborhood.Near excellent schools, parks, easy access to I-95. Large covered back porch.Bay windows from dining room look over spacious fenced back yard. French doors from family room to back porch. Hardwood flooring in living/dining/family room/hall.All other rooms have ceramic tile. Some pets OK. No dogs, alligators or exotic pets.
see additional photos below

- Dining room- Family room- Living room
- Master bath- Walk-in closet- Dishwasher
- Garbage disposal- Refrigerator- Stove/Oven
- Fenced yard- Air conditioning- Ceiling fans
- Central A/C- Central heat- Cable-ready
- Garage - Attached- Hardwood floor- Tile floor


12 month lease only, first month plus one month security. $300 non-refundable pet fee. Application fee $45 per adult (over 18).

Photo 1
  Contact info:

Gary L Waters PLLC
Serving Brevard Realty
(321) 693-3850

Created at Postlets

Posted: Oct 19, 2012, 11:23am PDT

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How much home can you afford to spend?

As a real estate agent I am not the one who should answer that question.  While most real estate agents get paid based on a commission basis it is not my desire to “over sell” a buyer - ever.

I want my buyers to be comfortable with the property they purchased and the price they paid.  I want them to call on me again as well as refer me to others.

So how much can you afford should you spend when purchasing a home in Brevard County, Florida?

The answer is best determined through a process whereby the buyer considers their long term plans (job security, lifestyle changes, debt, space requirements, etc.).

The answer is more than just “how much do you make?”

As a real estate professional I prefer to take a consultative approach when working with buyers in Brevard County.  I will provide the answers to buyer questions.  I will refer to resources when I do not know the answer.  I will ask questions to either get a response or cause the customer to ponder the answer.  I will educate when necessary to inform.

But I will not tell a buyer how much they can afford to spend on a home.  What you spend today on a home creates an obligation - every month - for years to come.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Peter Principle and Do It Yourself Projects

The Peter Principle  (also the title of a 1969 book by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull) is the hypothesis that people are ultimately promoted to their level of incompetence.

Toilet, sink, stove, & not shown a shower!
As a real estate agent I think this also applies to the Do It Yourself home repair person.

People will, if given a chance, attempt DIY projects just above their level of competence!

If you have been inspired by that HGTV program this past weekend take the time to consider your skills.

If that improvement or addition will require a permit and an inspection by the local building officials, follow the required procedures.

Short cuts and skirting the permitting process will eventually have to be dealt with - even if it is when you decide to sell your home.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How much escrow do I have to put down? What if I want to walk away?

I am not an attorney. This is not offered as legal advice. Consult an attorney regarding escrow issues if necessary.

The real estate purchase agreement in Florida is named Residential Contract For Sale and Purchase for a reason - it is a contract

I always approach the preparation of a listing agreement or purchase offer with the same care as I know the written word is king.

If it isn’t in the purchase agreement, it isn’t part of the deal - especially regarding personal items and appliances that are to convey.  In other words, no side deals.

As a real estate agent in Florida I prepare approved contracts - not create or modify contracts.

Sometimes I get the feeling buyers and their agents take the "walk away" solution too lightly.  Sure there are usually contingencies like a property inspection or financing which allow a buyer to walk away.  It is for this reason I am constantly reminding sellers that "Under Contract is Not Sold."

But just the option of changing your mind and walking away is not part of the process.

Since I am not an attorney I will just include here an excerpt from paragraph 15 (a) of the Residential Contract For Sale and Purchase says, in part,
"BUYER DEFAULT: If Buyer fails, neglects or refuses to perform Buyer’s obligations under this Contract, including payment of the Deposit, within the time(s) specified, Seller may elect to recover and retain the Deposit for the account of Seller as agreed upon liquidated damages, consideration for execution of this Contract, and in full settlement of any claims..."
So how much earnest money do I advise buyers to place as escrow?

As much as necessary to let the seller know your offer is serious and small enough you could live with losing if you forfeited it instead of closing.

I am not an attorney. This is not offered as legal advice. Consult an attorney regarding escrow issues if necessary.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How Long Should a Seller Wait For Closing?

Florida Today newspaper, Sunday September 23, 2012, Real Estate Question & Answer provided by Gary L. Waters, PLLC, Broker Associate of Serving Brevard Realty in Merritt Island, Florida.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Most Annoying Neighbors Ever By: Dona DeZube

Visit for more articles like this.


Budget Kitchen Remodeling: 5 Money-Saving Steps By: Gretchen Roberts

Visit for more articles like this.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

How do you choose your real estate agent?

There is no simple answer to this question.

The first question to answer is "What are you trying to accomplish?"  If you are selling, you need an agent who works with sellers in your neighborhood (or area like Viera, for example).  The same can be said for buying.  Local knowledge is key whether buying or selling.

The next question is about experience.  Let's face it...regardless of academic training  accomplishments, real world experience means a lot.  By experience I mean RESULTS.

This can be especially true if you are going to be involved with a short sale.  Again this applies the same whether buying or selling.

I am not going to list all the questions you should ask but rather just leave you with these two rules about real estate agents.
  1. They are not all created equal.  
  2. You get what you pay for.

Here are a few articles on how to choose a real estate agent.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Selling Your Home - Rule Number 1: Your Listing Price Is Always an "As Is" Price

I am sure if a meat market priced hamburger at steak prices someone would eventually buy it.

The reason it may sell could be the buyer may be unaware of the current market price for hamburger.

Or it could be the buyer is in a hurry to make a decision and the timing makes an immediate purchase decision the best move.

Or it could be that money is not an issue.  Of course, I am doubtful that last reason is valid because money is always an issue. 

Now think about pricing your home to sell.

Can you get away with pricing it as if it were something else (or located somewhere else)?

Your listing price should realistically reflect the "as is" condition of your home.  The "as is" condition may indeed be perfect and move in ready.

The "as is" price must take into account any repairs required, if any.  The "as is" price should take into account the competition.

Just as a butcher can't sell hamburger at steak prices, you can't sell a house that is not priced correctly.  Your buyer will be an informed buyer.  Your buyer will comparison shop.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Secret to Selling Your House

Okay, maybe it is not really the key to selling your house but it is the key to successful business transactions.  And selling a house is a major business transaction!

It is a simple thing - being accessible.

For a Brevard County, Florida home seller accessible means allowing the prospective buyer to view your home on the buyer's schedule (within reason, of course).

Accessible means having a real estate agent who is available when there is an issue or a question from the seller or a buyer's agent.  Accessibility does not mean telephone only but includes emails, text messages, Facebook messages, direct tweets on Twitter, a face to face meeting if needed or whatever is desired or required. 

Accessible means having a real estate company available to schedule appointments and coordinate showings.

Accessible may not be the key to selling your house but it is important to me.  As a real estate agent in Brevard County the key to my business is being accessible.

The key to business success is contained in these words I read this morning from a frustrated shopper "the first person I talk to gets my business." 

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 and see if I am accessible.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Home Buyer Tips–What you buy, you must maintain…

As the inventory of homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida shrinks, the challenge to find a home that is well maintained and move in ready can be a bigger challenge than in the past few years.

And, if you are lucky enough to find one, the price you pay will take that into consideration.  This is a point that sometimes bargain hunters forget... a price is low for a reason.

Move in ready means a seller has taken the time and money to care for the home since they purchased it.  None of the deferred maintenance that results in an inspection report with multiple issues.

As a buyer looking for that home to purchase in Brevard County, Florida keep in mind as you look at that pool home and envision the wonderful times ahead enjoying its cool waters (or warm water with the solar heating system on the roof), there will be maintenance costs.

Or maybe it is the fireplace, or all that lush landscaping out front in your half acre yard, or that seawall and covered dock with boat lift on Merritt Island, or whatever.

All these amenities and characteristics are nice and go a long way in making your home comfortable.

But they must be maintained.

One day your new home will be on the market again.  And the price will reflect the maintenance and care given during your ownership period.

As a real estate agent working with sellers in Merritt Island, Viera, Rockledge and Suntree, I find it so much easier to sell a home that has been maintained and updated through the years.   When you are ready to sell your Merritt Island, Rockledge or Viera home, call me to discuss how I can work with you, please.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Real Estate is Local–Want to know about Brevard County, Florida Real Estate? Ask a local real estate agent!

It is probably one of the most overused phrases in real estate.  You know the one…”Real estate is about three things – location, location, and location.”

And the one who knows about location is a local real estate estate expert!

In Brevard County, Florida I consider myself a location (and relocation) expert.

I consider it a compliment when folks considering relocating to Brevard County, Florida call or send me emails with questions about the local real estate market, school system or just about anything else.

I also consider it an honor when the local newspaper calls me for my view when they prepare articles for their real estate section.

I was quoted again today.  Hey, its not the NY Times or Wall Street Journal but real estate is local.

Today's article focused on optimism in the Brevard County real estate market. 

"Activity is strongest in the lower price ranges, mostly $100,000 to $200,000. Buyers are seeing more houses draw multiple offers, and they’re getting the message that they need to make a serious bid if they’re interested, said Gary Waters, Realtor for Century 21 Baytree."
Waters encourages po­tential sellers to take heart in the buying side of the equation. Even if they sell for less than the market value of several years ago, they can take advantage of low interest rates and low prices when they buy a replacement home."
If you are considering relocating to Brevard County, Florida whether its a 55+ community in Viera, a beach side condo in Satellite Beach or even some acreage where you can keep your horse, call me if I can help in any way.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Want to buy a home in Florida? Want to buy a home in Viera? Want to buy a home in Suntree?

One house, one time.  OK, maybe a few houses, one time. 

One of the keys (really the primary key) to the home purchase process is finance.   After all, unless one has the ability to purchase why look?

So, if you are considering a move to Brevard County, Florida and want to see a house (or two) call me.  I would welcome a chance to work with you.

I will probably ask you about finances at some point early on.   If you have not yet obtained a mortgage pre-approval I will still show you a house or two.  If you say you are a cash buyer I will still show you a house or two.

I will not allow a simple yet key part of the process stop us before we even get started!

And, once we have done this, I will guide you toward the next step - discovering the finances and your ability to purchase.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Relocating to Central Florida? Consider the planned unit development of Viera!

Viera, Florida is one of the premier targets for people relocating to central Florida.

Who is considering moving to Brevard County's Viera area?

Let's see...
  • It could be snowbirds ready to buy that second home.  
  • It could be the folks who have decided to slow down and relax in one of the top notch 55+ communities like Heritage Isle.  
  • It could be the commuter who wants to live in Florida although they work all over the United States.  After all, Orlando International Airport is only about 40 miles away! 
  • It could be the Kennedy Space Center worker or the Patrick Air Force Base staffer who is looking for an easy commute with great neighborhoods offering excellent schools for their family.  Viera High School is among the newest and best in Brevard County, Florida!  
  • It could be the investor looking for condos or homes to invest in as a rental property.  It seems rental rates and demand have been increasing lately.
  • It could be you....
When you are ready to move to Florida, call me at 321-693-3850.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Selling Your Home–The Contract is Signed Now What Could Go Wrong?

Many buyers and sellers see the home buying (or selling) process as a simple three step process.

From the seller’s perspective it is just
  1. List 
  2. Contract 
  3. Close.
From the buyer’s perspective it is just  
  1. Find house 
  2. Contract 
  3. Close
And it is good to see it that way.

As long as the parties understand their real estate agent continues to work behind the scenes.

While the broad steps above are accurate it is the minor steps in between that can result in a transaction getting derailed before closing.

A real estate transaction does not close once the contract is signed by the buyer and seller.

There is a lot that can happen along the way to the closing table.  Lose a handle and you could spill the entire deal!

What are some the things?  Deliver escrow deposits, coordinate/attend inspections (property, termite, septic,etc), surveys, repairs, obtain/deliver association rules, deal with appraisers, review closing statements, attend final walk through before closings...and a whole lot more. I have rad lists of 100s of activities involved with the transaction.

Suffice it to say you need a reliable professional real estate agent working for you whether buyer or seller.

In Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida, I am available to assist you either as a buyer or seller agent.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Finding a Rental Property in Brevard County, Florida – Making demands will not make you a tenant!

I don’t show a lot of rental properties in Brevard County, Florida.   But one thing I have noticed lately makes me think prospective tenants need to learn a few things about the rental process.

The process is simple..
  1. Owner (owner's agent) places property on market available for lease.
  2. Prospective tenant views property.  
  3. Prospective tenant completes an application along with any fees required. 
  4. Owner (or property manager) does background check.
  5. Owner (property manager) makes a decision based on background check, credit worthiness, acceptability of move-in dates, etc.
The landlord (owner) sets the rental rate.  The landlord may negotiate the terms depending on the market.  I have always recommended tenant prospects request a little concession in rental rate.  It doesn't hurt.  All they can say is "No!"

Owners want long term tenants.  The landlord want a tenant with whom they can foster a good relationship – especially owners who manage their own properties.  Owners who manage their own properties typically pay about one month's rent to a real estate agent to find them a tenant.  Every renewal saves the owner money!

Landlords want a good cooperative tenant.  The landlord wants someone who will pay on time.  The landlord wants a tenant who will report maintenance issues before they become full blown after hour service calls or damage the property. Landlords want someone who will not disturb the neighbors or damage the property.

It pays to be a good tenant.  I have known many landlords who have not raised the rent in years because they had a good tenant in place.

When looking at a potential rental property making demands like a “top to bottom” paint, or replacement of all carpeting and you will consider renting the unit will not make you a tenant.

Most landlords will certainly entertain requests.  Demanding anything is not the best approach.  Sometimes it is a matter of working out the logistics like an owner buying the paint if the tenant does the labor.

Sometimes the greater goal is fostering a good relationship between landlord and tenant.  This may just save everyone money in the future!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Home Buying Tips - Use your lender….

When you are ready to buy a home one of the first things needed is a mortgage pre-approval.  Although it may not seem to many first time home buyers, buying a home is an organized process.

In 2012 consumers really need to be talking with lenders a lot more than in the past.   There was once a time when you could get a mortgage if you only met one requirement - able to fog a mirror!  But that was "once upon a time…"
*Which Brevard County, Florida lender should you use?  I do not care which lender my buyers use as long as the lender

  • offers a quality product (rate, term), 
  • at a competitive price (not all lenders charge same application, appraisal, credit search fees), and 
  • can close the transaction within the contracted time frame, and, most importantly,
  • is available to answer your questions along the way (as well as my questions if needed).
Your lender and real estate agent are both part of a team of professionals available to assist you in buying a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida.

Need a lender recommendation in Brevard County, me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Need a real estate professional to work with you as you buy a home in Brevard County, Florida... call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

*The logos of the local financial institutions do not represent a personal referral. Links are provided as a service to readers only.