Brevard County Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 27, 2019

Homeowners Are Happy! Renters? Not So Much.

When people talk about homeownership and the American Dream, much of the conversation revolves around the financial benefits of owning a home. However, two recent studies show that the non-financial benefits might be even more valuable.

In a recent surveyBank of America asked homeowners: “Does owning a home make you happier than renting?” 93% of the respondents answered yes, while only 7% said no. The survey also revealed:

  • More than 80% said they wouldn’t go back to renting
  • 88% agreed that buying a home is the “best decision they have ever made
  • 79% believed owning a home has changed them for the better

Those surveyed talked about the “emotional equity” that is built through homeownership. The study says more than half of current homeowners define a home as a place to make memories, compared to 42% who view a home as a financial investment. Besides building wealth, the survey also showed that homeownership enhances quality of life:

  • 67% of current homeowners believed their relationships with family and loved ones have changed for the better since they bought a home
  • 78% are satisfied with the quality of their social life
  • 82% of homeowners said they were satisfied with the amount of time they spend on their hobbies and passions since purchasing a home
  • 75% of homeowners pursued new hobbies after buying a home

Homeowners seem to be very happy.

Renters Tell a Different Story…

According to the latest Zillow Housing Aspirations Report45% of renters regret renting rather than buying — more than five times the share of homeowners (8%) who regret buying instead of renting. Here are the four major reasons people regret renting, according to the report:

  • 52% regret not being able to build equity
  • 52% regret not being able to customize or improve their rentals
  • 50% regret that the rent is so high
  • 49% regret that they lack private outdoor space

These two studies prove that renting is just not the same as owning.

Bottom Line

There are both financial and non-financial benefits to homeownership. As good as the “financial equity” is, it doesn’t compare to the “emotional equity” gained through owning your own home.

Posted in Buyers
Sept. 20, 2019

Brevard Housing Market Report - August 2019

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for August 2019:
  • Closed Sales are down -2.7% for August 2019 in which the number of units closed was 943 compared to 969 in August 2018, with a decrease in cash sales of -10.9% compared to August 2018.
  • New Pending Sales are down -1.0% and New Listings are down -19.1%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is down -0.4% to $234,000 compared to a year ago, which was $235,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -15.2% to 2.8 months, a decrease from 3.3 months in August 2018.
  • Traditional Sales are down -2.2%, with a median sales price of $236,490.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -26.1%, with 17 sales and a median sales price of $126,300.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -33.3% with 4 closed sale in August 2019 compared to 3 sales in August 2018.
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for August 2019:
  • Closed Sales are up to +7.3% for August 2019 in which the number of units closed was 263 compared to 245 in August 2018, with an increase in cash sales of +1.7% compared to August 2018.
  • New Pending Sales are up +4.3% and New Listings are down -16.0%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up +2.8% to $185,000 compared to a year ago, which was $180,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory remained unchanged at +0.0% to 3.5 months in August 2019 from 3.5 months in August 2018.
  • Traditional Sales are up +7.9%, with a median sales price of $185,500.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -33.3%, with 2 sales and a median sales price of $155,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are unchanged at +0.0% with 1 closed sales in August 2019 compared to 1 sales in August 2018.
Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 21, 2019

What Buyers Need to Know About HOAs

When searching for a home, you may end up selecting a property in a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA). Before you buy, it’s important to know how an HOA works and what they mean for you.

According to a recent article on realtor.com,

“In a nutshell, an HOA helps ensure that your community looks its best and functions smoothly…The number of Americans living in homes with HOAs is on the rise, growing from a mere 1% in 1970 to 25% today, according to the Foundation for Community Association Research.”

An HOA is governed by a board nominated by those living in the neighborhood. It is designed to make sure the residents have a support structure to maintain the value of the community while abiding by a set of guidelines called Common Restrictive Covenants (CC&R),

“Simply put, CC&Rs are just the rules you’ll have to follow if you live in that community. Unlike zoning regulations, which are government-imposed requirements on how land can be used, restrictive covenants are established by HOAs to maintain the attractiveness and value of the property.”

It’s important for homeowners to understand that each HOA is a little different, and they usually have monthly or quarterly fees required for homeowners. These fees can vary based on property size, number of residents, amenities, and more. There may be additional fees charged to homeowners if the reserve fund for the HOA cannot cover a major or unexpected cost, like severe storm damage.

The fees, however, also help maintain common areas such as swimming pools, tennis courts, elevators (for high-rise buildings), and regular wear and tear. Although they are an added cost to the homeowner, an HOA can be a major benefit when it comes to maintaining the value of your neighborhood and your property.

The same article continues to say,

“After your offer to buy a home is accepted, you are legally entitled to receive and review the community’s CC&Rs over a certain number of days (typically between three and 10)…If you spot anything in the restrictive covenants you absolutely can’t live with, you can bring it up with the HOA board or just back out of your contract completely (and keep your deposit).”

Most lenders will factor your HOA fees into your loan package, ensuring the amount of the loan is appropriate for what you can truly afford.

There are some great benefits to having an HOA oversee your neighborhood, and it’s important to understand what fees, structures, and regulations will come into play if there is an HOA where you’d like to live.

Bottom Line

When you’re looking at a potential property to buy, let’s get together so you have a professional who can help you understand the neighborhood’s HOA structure and fees. This way, you’ll feel confident and fully informed when buying a home.

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
July 26, 2019

Brevard County Schools 2019-2020 Calendar

Brevard Public Schools 2019 -2020 Calendar at a glance

August 2 (Friday)…………………………………………Preplanning Begins - Teachers Report

August 12 (Monday)……………………………………First Day of School for Students

August 23 (Friday)……………………………………….First Early Release Day

September 2 (Monday)……………………………….Labor Day/Holiday for ALL

October 14 (Monday)………………………………….Teacher Work Day/Student Holiday

November 11 (Monday)………………………………Veterans' Day/Holiday for ALL

November 27 (Wednesday*).……………………Teacher/Student Holiday

November 28 - 29 (Thursday-Friday).……….Thanksgiving Break/Holiday for ALL

December 18 - 20 (Wednesday-Friday)……..Exam Days/Early Release Days

December 23 (Monday)……………………………….Winter Break Begins

January 8 (Wednesday)……………………………….Teachers/Students Return

January 20 (Monday)……………………………………Martin L. King, Jr. Day/Holiday for ALL

February 17 (Monday*)……………………………….Teacher PD Day/Student Holiday

March 16 - 20 (Monday-Friday).………………….Spring Break Begins

March 23 (Monday)……………………………………..Teacher Work Day/Student Holiday

April 10 (Friday)……………………………………………Teacher/Student Holiday

April 24 (Friday)……………………………………………Teacher/Student Holiday

May 25 (Monday)…………………………………………Memorial Day/Holiday for ALL

May 26 - 28 (Tuesday-Thursday)………………….Exam Days/Early Release Days

May 28 (Thursday)…………………………………….…Last Day for Students

May 29 (Friday)……………………………………………Last Day for Teachers

 

*Make-up days for inclement weather include November 27th and February 17th

Early Release Day every Friday beginning August 23rd

Brevard County Public School Website

Posted in Brevard News
June 21, 2019

4th of July in Brevard 2019

Fun for the entire family to celebrate Independence Day and watch spectacular fireworks along the Space Coast of Florida!!

Tuesday, July 2nd

Port Canaveral - Fireworks over the Harbor

Wednesday, July 3rd

Cocoa Beach - Fireworks over the ocean!

Titusville - Red, White & Boom event at Sand Point Park

Thursday, July 4th

Cocoa Village - Riverfront Park

Viera - USSA Space Coast Complex in Viera

Melbourne - Front Street

Friday, July 5th

Palm Bay - Eastern State College

Saturday, July 6th

Pt St John - OUC Indian River Plant

Posted in Brevard News
May 13, 2019

Should You Get an Appraisal Before Listing Your Home For Sale?

The most important thing on every seller’s mind is the listing price. No one wants to leave money on the table by pricing a home too low. At the same time, pricing the home too high will also likely result in lost dollars either from wasting valuable time on the market or once stale, selling for below market value in desperation. Getting a professional appraisal ahead of time might seem like the solution, but is it?

An appraisal can be defined as an opinion of value at a given moment in time. If you are in an ascending market where listings are selling quickly, the appraiser can only use closed sales as a reference in the appraisal, so you might be tempted to list too low for the market, but not accounting for the increase in sales activity and prices. Contrarily if the market is slow and prices are declining, an appraisal received in May could be too high for the erosion of prices seen over the summer, and your listing will be overpriced for the reality of the neighborhood.

More than just these scenarios, a pre-listing appraisal means nothing to the buyer or their lender. They will still use market data to write their offer and their lender will order a new appraisal regardless. While you can reference your appraisal in negotiations, the buyers will still only offer what the property is worth to them and you might miss out on a great deal by trying to stick to your price.

In the end, a pre-listing appraisal is probably a waste of time and money. As your agent, I have access to the latest market data and can show you the same comparable properties the appraiser would use. Find a good local agent you trust and work with them to price your home correctly.

Posted in Sellers
April 12, 2019

Top Tips When Buying Vacant Land

Building a new home from scratch can be a dream come true. The idea of designing the perfect property with morning sun in the kitchen and evening breezes on the deck can be exhilarating; the first step to a successful project is finding the right piece of land on which to build. This can present challenges if not approached correctly.

Top Tips When Buying Vacant Land

 Hire Experience – More than most real estate transactions, it’s critical to hire an agent who specializes in vacant land purchases and can guide you through the steps.

 Expect to Pay Cash – Finding a lender for vacant land can be very difficult. Those who will finance land typically require a 50% or higher down payment and above average interest rates and terms.

 Get the Neighborhood Comps – Do not neglect to understand home values in the community so you do not over, or under, build your home.

 Do Your Due Diligence – It is critical to research the property thoroughly. Just a few considerations much include.

o Site Surveys and Environmental Testing

o Easements and Zoning Restrictions

o Lot Survey and Boundaries

o Utilities and Water Rights

Once you’ve completed these preliminary reviews, it’s time to consult with an architect and General Contractor who will then begin to develop concept drawings to consider. Even at this stage, you might find that the home you want is not appropriate for the land you’ve chosen. Staying flexible is a key component to searching for land; remember that by following a few tips, you can ensure you find the right lot for your dream home.

Posted in Buyers
March 28, 2019

Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”?

In today’s real estate market, more houses are coming to market every day. Eager buyers are searching for their dream homes, so setting the right price for your house is one of the most important things you can do.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, home values have risen at over 6% a year over the past two years, but have started to slow to 3.6% over the last 12 months. By this time next year, CoreLogic predicts home values will be 5.4% higher.

With prices slowing from their previous pace, homeowners must realize that pricing their homes a little over market value to leave room for negotiation will actually dramatically decrease the number of buyers who will see their listing (see the chart below).Is Your House “Priced to Sell Immediately”? | Simplifying The MarketInstead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price their house so demand for the home is maximized. By doing so, the seller will not be negotiating with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers competing with each other over the house.

The secret is making sure your house is Priced To Sell Immediately (PTSI). That way, your home will be seen by the most potential buyers. It will sell at a great price before more competition comes to the market.

Bottom Line

If you’re debating listing your house for sale, let’s get together to discuss how to price your home appropriately and maximize your exposure.

Posted in Sellers
Feb. 8, 2019

Most Popular Community Amenities

Crafting the perfect lifestyle is about more than just the size of the kitchen or the space in the backyard. The community in which the home is located is almost as important to quality of life as the home itself. As more and more properties are developed in master planned communities, the home buyer is accustomed to considering neighborhood amenities as part of the package. Here are the most popular community amenities in 2019.

 Parks and Green Space – Topping the list of desired amenities is green space. Studies show that as home buyers seek smaller square footage, they also are seeking outdoor space from the neighborhood.

 Trail Systems – Along the same lines as green space and parks is the desire for trails throughout the community. Home buyers are interested in both paved and natural trails for walking, hiking or biking.

 Resort Style Pool and Clubs – Pools and clubhouses have become more elaborate over the past decade and home buyers expect their community pool to feel like a vacation spot in style, size and extras, such as towel service and snack bars.

 World Class Gyms and Courts – Exercise rooms and courts are also expected to rival the best paid clubs in the area.

 Main Street Village Centers – As developers create their neighborhoods, daily necessities must be readily available. Artfully designing the shopping area to include a main street feel is a huge plus to home buyers.

Lifestyle is a complete package. With the appeal of smaller homes and nomaintenance properties, home buyers are seeking the extra space in their communities, replacing large private yards with community space and amenities.

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates