Area 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!

July 5, 2023

The True Cost of Selling Your House on Your Own




Selling your house is no simple task. While some homeowners opt to sell their homes on their own, known as a FSBO (For Sale by Owner), they often encounter various challenges without the guidance of a real estate agent. If you’re currently considering selling your house on your own, here’s what you should know.

The most recent Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveyed homeowners who’d recently sold their own homes and asked what difficulties they faced. Those sellers say some of the greatest challenges were prepping their home for sale, pricing it right, and properly managing the required paperwork, just to name a few.

When it comes to selling your most valuable asset, consider the invaluable support that a real estate agent can provide. By partnering with an agent, you can navigate the complexities of the selling process with confidence. Here are just a few of the many ways an agent is essential to your home sale:

1. Marketing and Exposure

Effective marketing is a key piece of attracting qualified buyers to your property. Real estate agents have access to various marketing tools and platforms, including MLS listings, professional photography, virtual tours, and extensive professional networks. They can create a compelling listing that highlights your home's best features and reaches a wider audience.

If you sell on your own, you may struggle to match the reach of agents, resulting in limited exposure and, ultimately, fewer potential buyers.

2. Managing Liability and Legal Considerations

Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. And all that paperwork and all the legal aspects of selling a home can be a lot to manage. Selling a house without professional guidance exposes homeowners to potential liability risks and legal complications.

Real estate agents are well-versed in the contracts, disclosures, and regulations necessary during a sale. Their expertise helps minimize the risk of errors or omissions that could lead to legal disputes or delays.

3. Negotiations and Contracts

Negotiating the terms of a home sale can be challenging, especially when emotions are involved. You may find it overwhelming to navigate these negotiations alone. Without an agent, you assume this responsibility on your own. This means you’ll have full accountability for working and negotiating with:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible.
  • The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer.
  • The home inspection company, who works for the buyer.
  • The home appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender.

Rather than going toe-to-toe with all these parties alone, lean on an expert. Real estate agents act as intermediaries, skillfully negotiating on your behalf and ensuring that your best interests are protected. They have experience in handling tough negotiations, counteroffers, and contingencies. When you sell your house yourself, you’ll need to be prepared to manage these vendors on your own.

4. Pricing and Housing Market Knowledge

Determining the right asking price for your property is crucial. It requires in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market, including recent sales data, neighborhood trends, and the current demand for properties. Real estate agents have access to comprehensive market data and the expertise to analyze it accurately.

When you sell your house on your own without this comprehensive information, you risk overpricing or underpricing your home. This can result in an extended time on the market and also the risk of leaving money on the table - which decreases your future buying power. An agent is a key piece of the pricing puzzle.

Bottom Line

While selling a home on your own might seem appealing at first, the challenges that come with it can quickly become overwhelming. The expertise that a real estate agent brings to the table is vital for a successful sale. Instead of tackling it alone, let’s connect to make sure you have an expert on your side.

Posted in Sellers
July 5, 2023

Where Will You Go If You Sell? Newly Built Homes Might Be the Answer.

Do you want to sell your house, but hesitate because you’re worried you won’t be able to find your next home in today’s market? You're not alone, but there’s some good news that may ease your worries. New home construction is up and is becoming an increasingly significant part of the housing inventory.

That means when you go to put your house on the market this summer, considering newly built homes is crucial for expanding the options you’ll have for your next move.

Near-Record Percentage of New Home Inventory

Newly built homes today make up a near-record percentage of the total number of homes available for sale (see graph below):

In fact, as the data shows, newly built homes now make up 31% of the total for-sale inventory. Over the past couple of decades, newly built homes made up an average of only around 13% of total housing inventory from 1983 to 2019.

That means the percentage of the total available homes that are newly built is over two times higher than the norm.

Why This Matters to You 

Overall, the supply of homes for sale is still low. And when there’s limited supply, it’s crucial to explore all of your available choices. New-home construction has emerged as a game changer with increasing inventory. Not to mention, recent data shows it’s gaining even more momentum as more newly built homes are underway and will be coming to the market in the months ahead.

Robert Dietz, Chief Economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), highlights the importance of newly built homes for those looking to buy in today’s housing market. Dietz states:

"With limited available housing inventory, new construction will continue to be a significant part of prospective buyers' search in the quarters ahead."

Don’t overlook this growing market segment and risk missing out on great opportunities to find your ideal home. Since new home construction accounts for roughly 31% of total for sale inventory, you could be cutting nearly one in three options from your search if you don’t consider newly built homes. 

If you’re looking to make a move, a local real estate agent can help you sell your current house and explore newly built options in your area. They have the expertise you need to handle both sides of the process so you can move out of your current house and into your brand-new dream home.

Bottom Line

Now’s the time to sell your house and take advantage of the momentum that’s building in new home construction. Let’s connect so you have a guide throughout the selling and buying process. Together, we can make your transition to a newly built home a reality.

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
June 23, 2023

May 2023 Brevard County Market Snapshot

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for May 2023:
 
  • Closed Sales are up 0.6% for May 2023 in which the number of units closed was 1,060 compared to 1,054 in May 2022, with an decrease in cash sales of -7.5%.
  • New Pending Sales are down -11.7% and New Listings are down -14.2%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is down -0.9% to $371,450 compared to a year ago, which was $375,000.
  • Months' Supply of Inventory is up 90.9% to 2.1 months, an increase from 1.1 months in May 2022.
  • Traditional Sales are up 0.6% with a median sales price of $371,950.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are up 33.3% with 4 closed sales and a median sales price of $280,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -100.0% with 0 closed sales and a median sales price of (no sales).
 
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for May 2023:
 
  • Closed Sales are up 1.8% for May 2023 in which the number of units closed was 276 compared to 271 in May 2022, with an increase in cash sales of 2.7%.
  • New Pending Sales are down -8.4% and New Listings are up 3.0%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is down -1.2% to $296,500 compared to a year ago, which was $300,000.
  • Months' Supply of Inventory is up 181.8% to 3.1 months in May 2023 from 1.1 months in May 2022.
  • Traditional Sales are up 1.5% with a median sales price of $299,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are N/A with a median sales price of $175,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are N/A with 0 closed sales in May 2023 and 0 closed sales in May 2022.
Posted in Market Updates
June 23, 2023

4th of July Events on the Space Coast

 

Fourth of July Fireworks on the Space Coast by Area! Hope everyone has a safe and exciting Independence Day Celebration! 

 

Palm Bay - Eastern Florida State College 

City of Palm Bay’s Annual Independence Day Celebration 

July 2nd 5PM-9PM

The City of Palm Bay’s Annual Independence Day Celebration will return to the Palm Bay Campus of Eastern Florida State College, 250 Community College Pkwy SE, this year. The celebration will be held on Sunday, July 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. with fireworks capping off the evening around 9:15 p.m. In addition to the fireworks, the event will feature more than 20 food trucks, vendors, live music, and a kids’ zone with free inflatables, games, and face painting.

 

Melbourne - Front Street Park 

MelBOOM 

July 4th 7PM-

The City of Melbourne is planning a “blast” of an event for the Fourth of July celebration fireworks 2023 display — an experience that thousands of citizens and guests look forward to each year at Front Street Park!

 

Rockledge - McLarty Park

City of Rockledge 36th Annual Independence Day Picnic

July 4th 10am-2pm

McClarty Park

Join us on Tuesday, July 4th from 10am – 2pm for the 36th Annual City of #Rockledge Independence Day Picnic, held at McLarty Park! Enjoy a hamburger or hot dog, chips and a drink for just $1.00

 

Cocoa - Cocoa Riverfront Park

Brevard Symphony under the Stars

July 4th 8PM-

This FREE, family-friendly concert will be performed by your Brevard Symphony Orchestra at Cocoa Riverfront Park, beginning at 8pm with fireworks following at 9:15pm. The park will open early with food available for purchase, so bring your lawn chairs and a blanket to celebrate Independence Day. 

 

Titusville -Chain of Lakes Park

2023 Red White and BOOM

July 4th 7PM-

Chain of Lakes Park, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, Titusville, FL 32796 Plenty of space for Family picnics! Vendors, Fun Activites, and a DJ! Pyrotechnic Display will be at 9:15PM
Food Truck & Vendor Spaces Available!

Posted in Just for Fun
June 10, 2023

Today’s Real Estate Market: The ‘Unicorns’ Have Galloped Off

 




Comparing real estate metrics from one year to another can be challenging in a normal housing market. That’s due to possible variability in the market making the comparison less meaningful or accurate. Unpredictable events can have a significant impact on the circumstances and outcomes being compared. 

Comparing this year’s numbers to the two ‘unicorn’ years we just experienced is almost worthless. By ‘unicorn,’ this is the less common definition of the word:

“Something that is greatly desired but difficult or impossible to find.” 

The pandemic profoundly changed real estate over the last few years. The demand for a home of our own skyrocketed, and people needed a home office and big backyard. 

  • Waves of first-time and second-home buyers entered the market.
  • Already low mortgage rates were driven to historic lows. 
  • The forbearance plan all but eliminated foreclosures.
  • Home values reached appreciation levels never seen before.

It was a market that forever had been “greatly desired but difficult or impossible to find.” A ‘unicorn’ year.

Now, things are getting back to normal. The ‘unicorns’ have galloped off. 

Comparing today’s market to those years makes no sense. Here are three examples: 

Buyer Demand 

If you look at the headlines, you’d think there aren’t any buyers out there. We still sell over 10,000 houses a day in the United States. Of course, buyer demand is down from the two ‘unicorn’ years. But, according to ShowingTime, if we compare it to normal years (2017-2019), we can see that buyer activity is still strong (see graph below):

Home Prices

We can’t compare today’s home price increases to the last couple of years. According to Freddie Mac, 2020 and 2021 each had historic appreciation numbers. Here’s a graph also showing the more normal years (2017-2019):

We can see that we’re returning to more normal home value increases. There were several months of minimal depreciation in the second half of 2022. However, according to Fannie Mae, the market has returned to more normal appreciation in the first quarter of this year.

Foreclosures 

There have already been some startling headlines about the percentage increases in foreclosure filings. Of course, the percentages will be up. They are increases over historically low foreclosure rates. Here’s a graph with information from ATTOM, a property data provider:

There will be an increase over the numbers of the last three years now that the moratorium on foreclosures has ended. There are homeowners who lose their home to foreclosure every year, and it’s heartbreaking for those families. But, if we put the current numbers into perspective, we’ll realize that we’re actually going back to the normal filings from 2017-2019.

Bottom Line

There will be very unsettling headlines around the housing market this year. Most will come from inappropriate comparisons to the ‘unicorn’ years. Let’s connect so you have an expert on your side to help you keep everything in proper perspective.

Posted in Buyers
June 10, 2023

This Real Estate Market Is the Strongest of Our Lifetime



When you look at the numbers today, the one thing that stands out is the strength of this housing market. We can see this is one of the most foundationally strong housing markets of our lifetime – if not the strongest housing market of our lifetime. Here are two fundamentals that prove this point. 

1. The Current Mortgage Rate on Existing Mortgages

First, let’s look at the current rate on existing mortgages. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as of the fourth quarter of last year, over 80% of existing mortgages have a rate below 5%. That’s significant. And, to take that one step further, over 50% of mortgages have a rate below 4% (see graph below):

Now, there’s a lot of talk in the media about a potential foreclosure crisis or a rise of homeowners defaulting on their loans, but consider this. Homeowners with such good mortgage rates are going to work as hard as they can to keep that mortgage and stay in their homes. That’s because they can't go out and buy another house, or even rent an apartment, and pay what they do today. Their current mortgage payment is more affordable. Even if they downsize, with today’s higher mortgage rates, it could cost more.

Here's why this gives the housing market such a solid foundation today. Having so many homeowners with such low mortgage rates helps us avoid a crisis with a flood of foreclosures coming to market like there was back in 2008.

2. The Amount of Homeowner Equity

Second, Americans are sitting on tremendous equity right now. According to the Census and ATTOM, roughly two-thirds (around 68%) of homeowners have either paid off their mortgage or have at least 50% equity (see chart below):

In the industry, the term for this is equity rich. This is significant because if you think back to 2008, some people had to make the difficult decision to walk away from their homes because they owed more on the home than it was worth.

But this time, things are different because homeowners have built up so much equity over the past few years alone. And, when homeowners have that much equity, it helps us avoid another wave of distressed properties coming onto the market like we saw during the crash. It also creates an extremely strong foundation for today’s housing market.

Bottom Line

We are in one of the most foundationally strong housing markets of our lifetime because homeowners are going to fight to keep their current mortgage rate and they have a tremendous amount of equity. This is yet another reason things are fundamentally different than in 2008.

 

Posted in Buyers, Homeowners
May 24, 2023

April 2023 Brevard County Market Snapshot

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for April 2023:
 
  • Closed Sales are down -5.5% for April 2023 in which the number of units closed was 978 compared to 1,035 in April 2022, with an decrease in cash sales of -27.5%.
  • New Pending Sales are up 6.7% and New Listings are down -10.3%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is 0.0% to $360,000 compared to a year ago, which was $360,000.
  • Months' Supply of Inventory is up 133.3% to 2.1 months, an increase from 0.9 months in April 2022.
  • Traditional Sales are down -5.9% with a median sales price of $360,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are up 66.7% with 5 closed sales and a median sales price of $215,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are up 200.0% with 3 closed sales and a median sales price of $650,000.
 
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for April 2023:
 
  • Closed Sales are down -17.0% for April 2023 in which the number of units closed was 254 compared to 306 in April 2022, with a decrease in cash sales of -29.4%.
  • New Pending Sales are down -10.4% and New Listings are down -8.7%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 4.0% to $300,000 compared to a year ago, which was $288,350.
  • Months' Supply of Inventory is up 163.6% to 2.9 months in April 2023 from 1.1 months in April 2022.
  • Traditional Sales are down -17.0% with a median sales price of $300,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are N/A with a median sales price of (no sales.)
  • Short Sale Closings are N/A with (no sales) in April 2023 and (no sales) in April 2022.
Posted in Market Updates
May 24, 2023

Owning a Home Helps Protect Against Inflation

 

You’re probably feeling the impact of high inflation every day as prices have gone up on groceries, gas, and more. If you’re a renter, you’re likely experiencing it a lot as your rent continues to rise. Between all of those elevated costs and uncertainty about a potential recession, you may be wondering if it still makes sense to buy a home today. The short answer is – it does. Here’s why. 

Homeownership actually shields you from the rising costs inflation brings.

Freddie Mac explains how: 

“Not only will buying today help you begin to build equity, a fixed-rate mortgage can stabilize your monthly housing costs for the long-term even while other life expenses continue to rise – as has been the case the past few years.”

Unlike rents, which tend to rise with time, a fixed-rate mortgage payment is predictable over the life of the mortgage (typically 15 to 30 years). And, when the cost of most everything else is rising, keeping your housing payment stable is especially important.

The alternative to homeownership is renting – and rents tend to move alongside inflation. That means as inflation goes up, your monthly rent payments tend to go up, too (see graph below):

A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to protect yourself from future rent hikes. With inflation still high, when your rental agreement comes up for renewal, your property manager may decide to increase your payments to offset the impact of inflation. Maybe that’s why, according to a recent survey, 73% of property managers plan to raise rents over the next two years.

 Having your largest monthly expense remain stable in a time of economic uncertainty is a major perk of homeownership. If you continue to rent, you don’t have that same benefit and aren’t as protected from rising costs.

Bottom Line

A stable housing payment is especially important in times of high inflation. Let’s connect so you can learn more and start your journey to homeownership today.

Posted in Buyers
May 24, 2023

Why Buying a Vacation Home Beats Renting One This Summer




For many of us, visiting the same vacation spot every year is a summer tradition that’s fun, relaxing, and restful. If that sounds like you, now’s the time to think about your plans and determine if buying a vacation home this year makes more sense than renting one again. According to Forbes

“. . . if the idea of vacationing at the same place every year makes you feel instantaneously relaxed, buying a vacation home might be a wise move.”  

To help you decide if making a move like this is right for you, let’s explore why you may want to consider purchasing a vacation home today. 

Benefits of Owning Your Vacation Home

You don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay. It can be a challenge to find a rental where you want, when you want. Some summer vacation destinations are more popular than others, meaning your favorite place may be booked up in advance. Bankrate explains why owning your vacation home means you don’t have to worry about that sort of inconvenience: 

“. . . a second home can offer a place to have quality time with your family and ensures that you always have a vacation destination.”  

It’s an investment. Home values typically appreciate over the long haul. That holds true for your vacation home as well, especially if it’s in an area with growing market demand. This can help grow your net worth with time.  

Vacation homes may provide tax benefits. If you own a vacation home, you may be eligible for tax deductions based on where it is. However, before buying, you’ll want to consult with a tax professional to discuss first as taxes can vary by location.

It could potentially turn into a retirement location. If you love the location of your vacation home, you could potentially sell your primary residence and retire there in the future.

How a Pro Can Help You Find Your Perfect Match

As you’re preparing for summer vacation, remember, you could potentially visit your second home instead of another rental unit or hotel. If that sounds appealing to you, a

local real estate agent is your best resource. They have the knowledge and resources to help you understand the area and what vacation homes are available in your budget. Plus, these agents can explain the perks of how owning a second home can benefit you. 

Bottom Line

If any of these reasons for owning a vacation home resonate with you, let’s connect. You still have time to enjoy spending the summer in your vacation home.

Posted in Buyers
April 25, 2023

Summer Activities on the Space Coast

 

Brevard County, Florida is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With miles of beautiful beaches, diverse wildlife, and stunning natural landscapes, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to experience the great outdoors. In this blog post, we'll highlight some of the top outdoor activities in Brevard County, FL.

Surfing and Beach Activities

Brevard County is known for its world-class surfing beaches, including Sebastian Inlet, Cocoa Beach, and Satellite Beach. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of beach activities, such as swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. Many of the beaches offer amenities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic areas.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Brevard County has numerous waterways that are perfect for kayaking and canoeing, including the Indian River Lagoon, the Banana River, and the St. Johns River. These waterways offer a variety of experiences, from peaceful paddles through mangrove tunnels to scenic routes with views of dolphins and manatees. Fishing

Brevard County is a popular destination for anglers, with its abundance of fresh and saltwater fishing opportunities. Visitors can try their luck at catching snook, redfish, tarpon, and other species in the Indian River Lagoon or head out to the Atlantic Ocean for deep-sea fishing.

Hiking and Wildlife Viewing

Brevard County is home to several wildlife preserves and parks, including the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. These areas offer miles of hiking trails, bird watching opportunities, and chances to see manatees, alligators, and other wildlife in their natural habitats.

Biking and Cycling

Brevard County offers miles of scenic bike paths and cycling routes, including the Space Coast Trail, a 36-mile trail that runs from Titusville to Viera. Visitors can also explore the beautiful landscapes of the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge or the scenic coastal roads of A1A.

Golfing

Brevard County has some of the best golf courses in Florida, with beautiful courses designed by world-renowned golfers. Visitors can tee off at courses such as Duran Golf Club, Baytree National Golf Links, and Viera East Golf Club.

Brevard County, FL offers a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you're looking for a day at the beach, a peaceful kayak trip, or a challenging round of golf, Brevard County has something for everyone. Plan your next outdoor adventure in Brevard County today!