Thursday, October 31, 2013

Upgraded, New and Other Ambiguous Real Estate Terms....

One of the most common words I see in real estate narratives is "upgraded."  And its definition varies greatly from seller to seller.

In some cases I have seen it used instead of the word updated.  (And updated very often could have been ten years ago!)

In some cases it is used to indicate a product that is a level above the standard.   This seems pretty common with many of the builder add on incentives I have seen in the Viera, Florida area.

As a buyer you need to see it to determine the value of an upgrade.   In the case of a builder it could be reflected  as "$10,000 in upgrades" with  "retail" prices quoted.

Another over used word is "new."   New implies what?  Recent comes to my mind.

Sometimes new really should be "newer" as within the past year or two....not decade.

When it comes to shopping for a home buyers should pay less attention to the words used and rely on their eyes as well as the eyes of their home inspector. 

So where do you start when you are ready to buy a home in Brevard County, Florida?  Right here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Home Seller Tips: When it is time to sell, become "no one."

As I entered a home for sale yesterday and noticed the multicolored walls I thought to myself...Wow, so colorful!

Personalizing is part of living!

Your surroundings and possessions represent who you are as a person.

This includes your clothes, transportation and your home.

Still when the time comes to sell become "no one."

Lose your identity.

What should a seller do to prepare a home for selling?   There are lots of components to preparation but one of the most critical involves presentation including neutral colors and removing clutter.

That highly personalized paint is best if covered with something in a neutral, light hue.  All those degrees on the wall, the pictures everywhere, the items on display should be minimized.  You are selling your home not you.   Show your home, not your everything!

Become "no one" while is only temporary!

Ready to sell your Viera, Florida home?  Call me if I can help in any way!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Relocation Help: When should you place your Viera, Florida home on the market?

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A job relocation can be as easy as packing the car and leaving or the complete opposite.   In the latter case there are lots of things to get done.

So what do you do first?  The old standby response here...It depends.
  • on whether the family is moving together.  
  • on whether there is a house to sell.  
  • on whether one must sell the current home to purchase a new home at the new location.
  • on whether you will be holding onto your home as a rental property in anticipation of a return to the area.
  • on whether you are upside down and a short sale could be a consideration.
Based on all the considerations above the time frame may be very short or six months or longer!

Assuming you are going to sell your Viera, Florida home, when do you start the process?

The first question to ask is "How long does it take to sell a home in today's Brevard County, Florida real estate market?"  

Over the past month or two the average days on the market for central Brevard County areas including Viera, Suntree and Rockledge has been about 90 days.

The days on the market is the number of days from listing to contract.

Depending on the circumstances of the sale the time to close once the contract has been signed by all parties can vary greatly.  It could be
  • a couple of weeks or less for a cash sale; 
  • a month to six weeks for financing; 
  • or another six months for a short sale.
So when should you place your home on the market?  Another ambiguous response...It is hard to say. 

I recommend contacting a local knowledgeable real estate agent as soon as you know a move is in the future.  It is much better to start early than wait until the last minute.

If a move is in your future, call me at 321-693-3850 and lets talk about timing.  If it is a potential short sale it is critical to start early!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Summer Lakes in Viera, Florida - Executive Homes for Sale in Viera

Summer Lakes in Viera (Rockledge, Florida zip code 32955) is an exclusive gated community featuring executive homes (3,000- 8,000 sq.ft. under air) with tremendous appeal to the most discriminating executive buyer.  These homes all the amenities one would expect in a custom built feature rich dwelling from the tile roof to the front door to the pool deck and summer kitchen!  

There was a time when most of the homes for sale in Summer Lakes in Viera, Florida were "distressed sales." 

It looks like Summer Lakes in Viera has survived the downturn.  All four of the current active homes for sale in Summer Lakes are standard sales.

These homes for sale in Summer Lakes are priced from $899,900 to $1,290,000 (all but one are above a million dollars).

Of the seven sales in 2013 (as reported in the Brevard MLS system) three were distressed sales and four were standard fair market sales.

Homes selling in Summer Lakes during the past six months included:
  • 4440 Chiming Lane - a 4,013 sq ft (foreclosure) four bedroom four bath three car garage pool home sold for $700,000 in June 2013.
  • 4410 Chiming Lane - a 5,339 sq ft (standard sale) four bedroom five bath four car garage plus pool  home sold for $1,205,000 in August 2013.
  • 3143 Bellwind Circle - a 5,067 sq ft (standard sale) four bedroom five bath three car garage pool home sold for $1,165,000 in April 2013.
  • 3203 Bellwind Circle - A foreclosure with four bedrooms four and a half baths with three car garage pool home sold for $870,000 in September 2013.
For information on executive homes for sale in Viera, Florida, including Summer Lakes and Wyndham at Duran, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Home Seller Tips - Which is better a cash offer or an offer with a mortgage?

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at
There are times when cash is the preferred method to purchase a home.  Sometimes, as in the case of a property in poor condition, it is the only option.

But in those cases where cash is not the only option, cash buyers need to remember this rule.
  • Cash does talk but it does not always talk louder than a better offer that has financing.

Cash offers really only have one advantage over an offer with a prospective mortgage - no appraisal contingency.   And some cash offers may still have an appraisal contingency just to assure the buyer the property is worth what they are going to pay.

Sellers do get excited about a cash offer if it is reasonable!

Still sellers should consider this - a buyer who is obtaining a mortgage should not be considered less desirable than a cash buyer.

I have worked with buyers who could have paid cash but instead obtained a mortgage.  The decision to have a mortgage or not is between the buyer and their bank or financial adviser.  A mortgage does not mean the buyer does not have the means.

The best advice I can give sellers - evaluate every offer as a whole, not just the offer price.

Considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email for your free market analysis.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Viera, Florida Homes For Sale: How do buyers choose between equally nice properties?

100_3671The little rascal on the right is my Boston Terrier, Diesel Dog.  He likes to play - all the time!   While tossing around tennis balls I decided to throw two at the same time and see which one he would select.

They both look the same on the outside. They have the same characteristics.  When tossed they were in the same area.  Which would he choose?  

This is very similar to my experience with home buyers in Viera, Florida..

Many of the homes look very similar.  While there are custom homes and semi custom homes, many are cookie cutter homes.   I have never had a customer ask me which one I would choose although they have asked which area is "best" (avoid this potential trap).

Decisions are always made by the buyer (seller).

So, how do buyers choose between equally nice properties?  Sure, price, condition, neighborhood (location), and other characteristics are important but sometimes I think it is the "intangibles!" 

It really is not which house in Viera, Florida my client chooses but the fact they choose one! 

By the way, Diesel chose the yellow ball.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Choosing Your Real Estate Agent: What does your real estate agent want from you?

When a customer calls a real estate agent there is usually very little doubt what they are seeking.   Of course identifying the specifics of the need often requires some very specific questioning. Why do real state agents ask so many questions?

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at
As a real estate agent in central Brevard County, Florida (including Viera, Suntree and Rockledge), if the customer is a seller they want a contract on their house.

Not just "a contract" but a contract for the most money possible, a contract that will close, a contract that will meet their timeline and terms.

If the customer is a buyer, they want to find the best house possible that meets (or exceeds) their needs within their budget.

As a real estate agent what do I want from my customer?
  • Open communication with no holds barred (but still civil!).  
  • Factual information.  As a buyer, the basis for a purchase (mortgage qualification or proof of cash).  As a seller, disclosures about the property and existing mortgages.
  • Cooperation.  Being a seller requires a lot more cooperation and flexibility.
  • Responsiveness.  In real estate contracts time is of the essence.
  • Future business.    I want to earn and receive your referrals.  I want to serve your next real estate need!
When you are ready to buy or sell a house in Viera, Florida (and the surrounding Suntree, Melbourne and Rockledge areas), please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can assist in any way.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Real Estate Statistics - Residential Trends in Viera, Florida in 2013.

I have never been a real fan of statistics.  I learned a long time ago to never take statistics at face value.

In the real estate business we often use statistics to give a "state of the market" presentation to prospective buyers and sellers.  Some of the statistics used include:
  • Sale to List Ratio
  • Average Days on the Market/Cumulative Days on the Market
  • Median List Price/Average List Price
  • Median Selling Price/Average Selling Price
  • Absorption Rate  
Very often the data is used to provide a picture of where the market is today and the trends by showing the current month vs. the same month last year (or five years).   Make sure you understand the data's source. 

For example, below is a depiction of residential trends in Viera, Florida (specifically the area west of I-95) through September 2013 as reported in the Brevard MLS system on October 15, 2013..

Statistics are meant to either impress, distress or inform.   If you have questions regarding residential real estate in Brevard County, Florida, feel free to ask me.  Considering selling?  Ask about a free market analysis.

Gary L. Waters, PLLC is a Florida licensed real estate broker-associate working with buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Planning Your House Hunting Trip to Florida....Step One

Job transfers usually involve at least one house hunting trip to the new area.  These trips, while exciting, can be hectic as they often only last from a few days to perhaps a week at the most.

So what should one do first when transferring to a new area in the not too distant future?  

First of all, whether you are going to buy or rent, touching base with a local knowledgeable real estate agent should be your first step.

A local real estate agent should be able to provide answers to your many questions, email links and information about the area and then send you some listings to provide you an idea about the local real estate prices (sales and/or rentals).

And when you are ready to take your house hunting trip to Florida, plan ahead.  Let your real estate agent know in advance.   You and your agent can put together a plan of action before you arrive in your new area.

I have had a few cases through the years where out of town folks just arrive unannounced only to find I am already committed to other clients.  Still I was able to help them by referring them to a colleague but lost in all this was the rapport already established and, more importantly, the understanding of their needs and wants.

Moving to Brevard County, Florida in the future?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me so we can get to work on making your transition as smoothly as possible.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Buying a Home in Viera, Florida: No decision is a Decision...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
I had a call earlier this week from a man "considering" a home purchase in Viera, Florida.   He has been renting in the area for several years (which I completely understood).

There has been some uncertainty in the Viera, Florida real estate market for several years with the recent market "correction."

He asked me about interest rates (currently around 4.3% for 30 year conventional loans) and their direction.   Although I know what the rates are today I have no idea where they are going down the road.

While it is true interest rates have been creeping up a little what most forget is the historical perspective.  Interest rates are still at or near all time lows.

Then the conversation turned to the future direction of home values.   Again, I am not clairvoyant.

I think consumers very often get caught up on the "appreciation" and "return" when it comes to buying a home.  But buying a home should not viewed in the same context as just another investment.

There are other benefits of home ownership like favorable tax treatment or peace of mind knowing "home" is where you can always return to at the end of the day. 

Will my caller buy a house in Viera, Florida this year or next year?  I am not sure.

I am thinking he is pretty comfortable sitting on the fence.  And no decision to buy a house in Viera, Florida is a decision.

If you are ready to get off the fence and buy a house or condo in Viera, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can help in any way

Thinking of selling your Viera, Florida home?  The time is right with inventory levels low and prices rising!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Heritage Isle in Viera - Homes for Sale in October 2013

Heritage Isle is the premier 55+ gated community in Viera, Florida.  The above market report was compiled on October 2, 2013 from sales reported in the Brevard Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

To put the Heritage Isle in Viera real estate market in a nutshell one only needs two sentences.
  1. Fair market (standard) sales is the norm. 
  2. If you want to buy don't hesitate to make a move when you find what you like.
As October 2013 begins there are twenty two active listings in Viera's premier 55+ community of Heritage Isle.  Of these active listings there are nineteen single family detached homes for sale.

List prices for these single family detached homes range from $189,900 (a 3 bedroom/2 bath/2 car garage with a little more than 1,700 sq.ft.) to $418,550 (a 4/3/3 with a private pool with more than 2,500 sq. ft.).

Of the single family listings there was only one foreclosure and a single short sale.   Fair market sales is the rule when it comes to Heritage Isle homes for sale.

Homes selling at Heritage Isle during September 2013 included:
  • 7100 Ralston St:  An 1,848 sq ft half duplex with three bedrooms two baths and a two car garage sold for $230,000 (on the market for 25 days).
  • 6677 Sutro Heights Lane:  A 2008 built four bedroom two bath two car garage single family detached home with 1,978 sq ft under sir sold for $260,000 (on the market for 6 days).
  • 7107 Broderick Drive:  A 2005 built three bedroom two bath two car garage 2,032 sq. ft.home sold for $222,500 (on the market 9 days).
  • 2220 Camberly Circle: A 1,407 sq ft two bedroom two bath villa (patio style home) sold for $125,000.  This was a short sale.
For information on buying a home in Viera's 55+ communities of Heritage Isle, Grand Isle and Indian River colony Club (IRCC), send me an email or call direct 321-693-3850.