Monday, January 25, 2016

2015 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Do You Want to Buy a Condo or Townhouse? They are different.

Earlier this week I met with a prospective buyer to review their needs and budget.  They indicated initially they were looking for a condo.  However, after some discussion, I realized that a townhouse could possibly suit them just as well for lower monthly fees.

So what are the differences (and similarities) between a condominium and and a townhouse?

From the outside many condos and townhouses are indistinguishable.   Most often, in this area of central Florida, townhomes are two story units but some are single floor.  

But the differences can be significant.

One of the major differences:  A condo owner does not own any land individually.  Their private ownership begins with their unit interior walls.  Each condo owner does own an interest in all the common areas and property.

The condominium association usually provides a master insurance policy and the owner individually insures their personal belongings, interior unit as well as personal liability. I am not an insurance person, call one!

The condo association usually provides maintenance, electricity, taxes and upkeep for the common areas and property.  Prospective buyers should review what is covered by their dues as some associations may also include water, sewer and basic cable service.   What is covered and the condo organization results in condo association dues being likely higher than one would find in town home communities.

In a townhouse you own the land your unit sits on although the amount of land is likely minimal.  Most of the time, unless covered by an association, townhome owners are responsible for their own exterior maintenance, roof, insurance, landscaping, etc. 

As a general rule the  townhouse owner, like the single family home owner, is largely responsible for it all.    However, there are some townhouse complexes that cover lawn as well as roof replacement.  Again - read the association documents before purchasing either a townhouse or condo.

When considering a purchase in a condo or townhouse community obtain (and read) the rules and regulations.  Do not rely on a non-attorney (I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV.) to interpret these documents written by an attorney!
  • Obtain and review financial reports.  
  • Attend association meetings if you can arrange to do so.  
  • Contact members of the Board of Directors
  • Talk with other unit owners. 
Understand what you will receive from your association as well as what your obligations will be financially.   Know before hand what you are buying into. And once you purchase - become an active member.

Considering buying a condo in Melbourne, Satellite Beach or the surrounding area?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for help.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Home Seller Tips: Not Selling MUST Be the Price, Right?

If your house has been on the market for a long time (like several months), ask anyone, especially a real estate agent, and their first response will likely be...

It is the price.

But price can be the problem or not.    

Why does a house not sell?

What about the price?   Was your price set based on the comparative market analysis?   I do suggest sellers consider price if the conditions of my 30-10-1 rule have not been met.  If a home is listed for 30 days and has less than 10 showings and not one realistic offer, then the price is most likely an issue.

If the price is competitive - even if optimistic - look for other roadblocks to selling.

How is your home being marketed?   Beyond the basics, like being in the local MLS and a sign out front, what other steps have been taken by your real estate agent?    If you already have a real estate agent already, speak to them

As part of the interview process ask every interviewed real estate agent who your likely buyer will be and how will their marketing efforts reach them?  Here are some more questions to ask real estate agents when being interviewed to sell your home.

Consider what prospective buyers see when they pull in front of your house.   Did you prepare your home properly for the market?  First impressions are lasting impressions.   Negative impressions are difficult to overcome.

How easy is it to view your home?  If there is no lock box or your agent has to be present for all showings or if appointments must be made 24 hours in advance then that could be the problem.  Buyers are often on very tight schedules.  If they can't see your home with reasonable notice then they may choose to not see it at all.

I believe every real estate listing has a "golden period" where the property will generate the most interest.   The longer a house sits on the market the more it will be shunned by people who think it has "problems."

If you are a serious home seller read "How to not sell your home."

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

Moving to Brevard County, Florida?  Let me help you with your relocation needs.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Home Seller Tips: Is a "For Sale" Sign Really Necessary?

Is a "For Sale" sign really that important?   Should a seller skip having a sign out front?  

While it is not very common over the past ten or so years I have ran into several home owners in Viera, Florida who opted for no signage in their front yard when placing their Melbourne home for sale. 

Probably less common than not having a sign are the sellers who do not want a lock box on their home.

I recommend having both for one who really does want to sell their home.  After all selling involves pricing appropriately, preparing a home properly and presentation - as in being able to see it it without roadblocks. 
Still, some opt out of a sign.  

Why would a home seller not want a "For Sale" sign?   The reasons run the spectrum of reasonable to huhh?

There are the sellers who do not want their neighbors to now they are selling their home.  Why?  I encourage sellers to enlist the support of your neighbors in marketing their home.

Then there are sellers who, for security reasons, may think their home is a target for thieves.  This is most often the case when the property is unoccupied. 

Drive through any neighborhood.  Signs are not natural.  People see curbs, lawns, mailboxes, cars, homes.

A big bright colored "For Sale" sign in the front yard stands out....

like a guy wearing a lamp shade at the office party, people will notice!

 Image courtesy of vectorolie at