Spoiled Living Here on Florida’s Space Coast

Spoiled Living Here on Florida's Space CoastThis morning I had breakfast with a friend and we were talking about the importance of having balance in our lives. That’s something I’m not very good at. When I’m not working, we are working on one of our rental houses or we have a project going on at home. That’s just something we’ve always done.  My friend reminded me that when we work hard, it’s important to have some down time, too.  So, I was thinking of the options of things we have available to do in our area.

Brevard County Florida is home to the St. Johns River, the Indian River Lagoon and Banana Rivers and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  We are an hour away from Orlando, with all it’s theme parks: Walt Disney World Park & Resorts, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Epcot Center, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Sea World, Wet n’ Wild and Orlando’s famous International Drive. I have to say that Epcot is my favorite on that list.

We can stand in our driveway and experience the breathtaking Cape Canaveral rocket launches. There is nothing like the feeling of the ground rumbling as we watch the rocket lift off.

Cruise ships set sail right here out of Cape Canaveral. Taking a cruise is one of my favorite vacations. We go every summer.  If I could go to Cozumel every trip, I  would.  But, then my family would disown me. They’re tired of Cozumel.

The Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts is 5 minutes from home. We see incredible shows that come to us from around the world. We’ve seen Daryl Hall and John Oates, Peter Frampton, Dennis DeYoung of Styx, Riverdance and The Nutcracker. We’re going to see Whitesnake and Swing in August.

People come from all over just to visit  World Famous Ron Jon’s Surf Shop  here in Cocoa Beach. The Cocoa Beach Pier hosts World Famous Surfing Contests with champion surfers.

We’ve got other great attractions, like the War Bird Museum, Museum or Arts and Sciences and the Brevard MuseumJungle Adventures, Airboat Rides, the Ace of Hearts Ranch, Forever Florida and the Brevard Zoo. Or, play video games and ride race cars at Andretti Thrill Park.

If your prefer to be outside we’ve got swimming, fishing, sailing, surfing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, boating, water skiing, shrimping, deep sea diving, golfing, bicycling, tennis, racquetball, camping, hiking, or just basking on the beautiful world famous beaches! Or, you can spend a day strolling downtown antiquing.

As I look through this list, I am reminded of why Florida’s Space Coast has been my home for the past 40 years.  And, I will probably be here for another 40!

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Fawn Lake Mims 32754 Real Estate Market Report

Fawn Lake Mims 32754 is a beautiful gated community located just west of I-95 and right off of Highway 46 in Mims Florida.

Fawn Lake Mims 32754 Real Estate Market ReportThere are over 350 wooded home sites with well-appointed homes situated on .75 acres lots or larger.  Fawn Lake boasts tennis courts, jogging trail and a community club house. Various houses are situated on a lake.

Currently there are 6 houses for sale in Fawn Lake. Homes range from list prices of $299,000 with 2335 square feet of living to $639,000 with 5208 square feet.  Homes for sale were built between 1998 and 2004.  They are at least 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths bath and many boast a three car garage. Two of the homes for sale have a pool.

Fawn Lake Mims 32754 Real Estate Market ReportThere are currently 4 houses under contract. The buyer and seller have negotiated a sales price and they are waiting to close, pending title work, home inspections or financing. The list prices range from $236,900 to $414,900. 3 of these homes have pools. Square footage of living area ranges from 2520 feet to 6729 feet.

Fawn Lakes Mims 32754 Real Estate Market ReportIn 2015, 3 houses have sold for $135000, $239843 and $339900. They ranged from 2060 square feet of living to 2,624 square feet. Two of the homes had private pools.

In 2014, there were 8 houses that sold in Fawn Lake, Mims 32754. Seven houses were standard sales (not distressed owners – not bank owned or short sales). One was a short sale. (A short sale is where an owner owes more on the house than it is worth. So, they ask their lender to take today’s market value as payment in full on their mortgage, and the bank writes off the remaining balance.) Sales prices ranged from $177,000 to $362,000, with square footage ranging from 2360 living feet to 5748 feet. Two of the houses had a pool. The average sales price was $222,837 in 2014.

Fawn Lake, Mims offers a quiet country atmosphere, yet it is less than 10 minutes to city conveniences. It’s just minutes to I 95. Hop on Highway 46 which takes you to Sanford in about 30 minutes. And, Daytona Beach is about an hour away.

Association fees are currently $175 per year in Fawn Lake.

I’ve Been Watching and I Want to Rob Your House

I've Been Watching and I Want to Rob Your HouseToday, we can’t be too careful about who we let into our homes. We make it easy for others to follow us and find out our routines and schedules.

Burglars are smart and they know what they are looking for.

Some things your burglar won’t tell you:

Your flowers tell me you have good taste. I can’t wait to see what’s inside.

I look like an ordinary guy, maybe with a clip board or some lawn equipment.

A loud TV or radio is a better deterrent than an alarm system.

I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions. If you don’t, I’ll try the door knob. Sometimes I get lucky.

I’ve been in your house before. You let me use your bathroom last week. When I was in there I unlocked the outside door.

I always check your dresser drawers, bedside table and medicine cabinet.

I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

I won’t have time to break into your safe, but I will take it with me if it’s not bolted down.

I love when you leave blinds open at night so I can scope out your house.

I’ll get in through the window you left open, to let some fresh air in.

Although, I’m not keen on houses with dogs, if your dog doesn’t go crazy when I come to the door I will be able to make immediate friends with him. I bring a handful of dog treats. No dog can resist chunks of steak thrown out into your yard. I’ll get past him in no time.

You make it so easy for me when you leave your car parked outside, unlocked in front of your house. I can just reach in and grab your garage door remote. I will use it later to get into your garage and then just go through that door that you leave unlocked between the garage and the house.

Little old ladies love me because I can be so helpful and I’m such a smooth talker.

I found out that you were leaving town by checking your Facebook and Twitter status. Your regular posts let me see exactly where you’re visiting and how long you’ll be gone.

Burglars may watch houses that are for sale. Realtors should be sure that buyers are pre approved before looking at properties. And, listing agents should be especially aware of who is looking at their open house.

Remember to be careful. Don’t automatically open the door to just anyone. We’ve got to be so careful who we’re letting in our homes and how much information we post online. You could be putting the key to our house in the wrong hands.

Visit Please Don’t Rob Me

Visit Please Rob Me to find the dangers of over sharing online.

Melbourne FL Real Estate, Sandy Shores, Realtor

Slow and Steady Could Get you There a Day Late

Slow and Steady Could Get you there a Day Late

Today, approximately 85% of buyers begin their home search on the internet. And, studies indicate that they look for several weeks before contacting an agent to help in their search. There is more information at a buyer’s fingertips than ever before. And, today’s buyer is sharp. They do their homework and they know where to find the information they need.

But wait, not so fast.

Is it as simple as that?

Well, not always.

Real estate is local in nature. And, a Realtor’s job is to educate the buyer to the local market conditions and to provide them with as much information as possible. We want to assist a buyer in helping them find the house that suits their wants, as well as their needs.

The scope of the market has changed immensely over the past several years, due it’s cyclical nature. And, it will continue to do so. Today, in Brevard County we are seeing a large number of short sale properties. Our foreclosure inventory has been dwindling due to the robo signing debacle. (Although we are hearing that 2012 will be the year of more foreclosures hitting our market.) And, as surprising as it is to some, we are seeing multiple offers situations on houses under $250,000. The "good ones" are going first and quickly. That may be the most important information we are trying to get out to our buyers.

International buyers, second home buyers from various Northern states, and investors are all scooping up deals on Brevard County real estate. We have heard that 20% to 40% of the buyers in the market today are investors, with 60% of them being new investors.

We’ve been in situations where we’ve had buyers that found a house that suited their wants, their needs, and their budgets. The buyers were tickled. However, some buyers want to take time to think about it, and understandably so. This is the biggest purchase of their lives. However, a week or two later, when they are ready to move forward, the house they wanted was under contract with another buyer.

It’s a difficult situation for the discouraged buyer that did not get the property, as they have to go back out and start all over in search of another house. Then, it’s only natural for them to compare the other houses they see to the one that got away. And, it seems that the ones that catch their eye are other properties that are already under contract. It’s like a case of, "I want what she’s got."

So, when out looking for a house in Brevard County FL, remember we are back to multiple offer situations. The good ones are moving off the market, quickly. Be sure you’ve got your preapproval letter in hand when you head out. And once we’ve done our homework, be sure you’re ready to go.

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Melbourne FL Real Estate, Sandy Shores, Realtor

Sandy Shores Melbourne FL Realtor

Sandy Shores, Melbourne FL REALTOR®

M & M Real Estate, Inc.

Residential, Investment and Relocations

We have a team of professionals to facilitate your Short Sale.

Melbourne Real Estate / Palm Bay Real Estate

321-253-4545 or 321-733-6080

SandyShoresMelbourne@hotmail.com

____________________________________________

Serving Brevard County Florida for 15 Years

Brevard County Resident for 36 Years

Melbourne, Palm Bay, Suntree, Viera, Rockledge,

Cocoa, Canaveral Groves, Titusville, Mims, Melbourne Beach,

Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach,

Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral

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So. Who Is Being Deceptive Now?

A friend of mine passed this story along. He said it was based on a true story. It made me chuckle.

A man was going up to bed when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window.

The man opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were two guys in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked ‘Is someone in your house?’ and he said ‘no.’  They said that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be along when available.

The man said, ‘Okay,’ hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again. ‘Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don’t have to worry about them now, because I just shot them.’ Then he hung up.

Within five minutes six police cars, a SWAT Team, a helicopter, two fire trucks, a paramedic and an ambulance showed up at the man’s residence and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to the man, “I thought you said that you’d shot them.”

The man said, “I thought you said that there was nobody available.”

This article is authored by

Sandy Shores Realtor, Melbourne FL Real Estate

Brevard County Real Estate & Investing

Palm Bay Florida Real Estate News

 

Things Aren’t Always What they Seem at this Time of Year

 

things aren't always what they seemMy phone has been ringing off the hook for the past two weeks.  Lots of calls for rentals.  I currently have rentals available, so this is a good thing. BUT BEWARE…at this time of year, as years in the past, the rental calls tend to be a little bit different than at other times of year.

Why, you ask?

Many people filed rapid refunds on their income tax and have a wad of money in their hand, today.  Many are moving because they have to, some because they want to. The tone of the phone conversations tend to be very different at this time of year.

Now, I’m not a stickler on credit for perspective tenants, on the rental properties that I own. I never have been. I believe that bad things happen to good people. Many people have found themselves in precarious positions, especially in the past couple of years. I have placed 5-6 tenants in rentals over the past couple of years that got caught up in the mortgage foreclosure mess, and they pay their rent on time every month and they take care of their rental homes.  I have no objection to taking a larger deposit to consider a tenant.  I don’t do last month’s rent.

But, I also know there are questions that perspective tenants ask that are ‘red flag’ questions.

“How much to get in?”  This means that’s all the money they have and all the money they’ll ever have. You’ll never get another dime out of this tenant once they move into your property.

“I have first, last and security today.” Yeah, because you haven’t paid the rent in the place you’re living in and you’re being evicted.

“I can give you 3 months upfront. Would you still have to pull my credit?” This one is a no brainer.  They figure they’ll pay their way into the property. They are hoping that the lure of upfront money will keep the landlord from pulling their credit and seeing just how bad it is.

“Can I move in tomorrow?” I really don’t care for this one.  How many people can move tomorrow?  Are they being evicted? My question usually is, “Do you currently have a lease?” And they say ‘yes, but it doesn’t matter, I can move anytime I want to.’  HMMMM.  This means they’ll do the same thing to me, and break their lease with me. No thanks. I like the ones that tell me their lease expires in 30 days, and they’ll need to wait till then to move.

“If it’s not ready, I can do the rest of the work for you.” Again, in too much of a hurry.  And 90% of the time that additional work nevers gets done.

“I’ve been renting from my mom for the last 3 years. I pay her $700 a month. She’ll vouch for me.” I had the mom of a perspective tenant call me last week to tell me how wonderful her son was.  As the conversation progressed, it was apparent that mom wanted junior out of her house yesterday.

And, beware of the perspective tenant that calls over and over and over again. I have had tenants try to reach me 6-8 times in an hour. Leave me one message and I will get back within the hour. If you call me this many times BEFORE you rent, then what happens when the toilet gets plugged when you are living in the house?  No thank you!

Be cautious at this time of year, in the more affordably priced rentals.  Many have received their income tax refunds and are out shopping for a rental.

BE CAREFUL: THAT INCOME TAX REFUND MAY BE THE ONLY MONEY THE LANDLORD EVER RECEIVES!  I’ve seen it happen to a handful of landlordsSo, prescreening is essential! It so important to continue to ask questions to get a better understanding of a perspective tenant’s complete situation.

FOOTNOTE: Every situation is different, and as I always say, every perspective tenant must be considered on a case by case basis. I prescreen all callers. If I didn’t I would be running around showing rentals to unqualified tenants; a waste of their time and mine.

 

 

This article is authored by

Sandy Shores, Melbourne FL Realtor

Brevard County Real Estate & Investing

Palm Bay Florida Real Estate News

State Farm Pulling out of the Property Insurance Business in Florida? Oh No!

I got the letter in the mail yesterday.

State Farm Pulling out of Florida“You may have seen or heard the recent announcement that State Farm Florida Insurance Company (State Farm Florida) has submitted a plan to discontinue its property insurance lines in Florida.  I want to clarify for you that this plan involves coverage only for homeowners, renters, condominium unit owners, personal liability, boats, personal watercraft, personal articles, and business property and liability policies.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm Mutual) and its affiliated companies will continue to provide -as they have for decades – automobile insurance, life insurance, health insurance and other financial products and services in Florida…”

It is my understanding that it will be approximately 90 days before State Farm knows anything for sure.  And then if it is determined that State Farm will be pulling their property insurance line, my agent has indicated that it will be late 2009, early 2010 before policyholders will have to have their insurance shifted to a different insurance company.

“we will not be taking any action under the plan until regulatory approval has been received. We took this action only after persistent efforts to secure adequate rates and to ensure financial stability.  It is our responsibility to provide a sound financial framework for the coverages we provide.”

Well, I guess I better get going…I’ll have to find insurance on my primary residence AND my rental houses that are insured with State Farm.  UGH!

And, I thought all this time that ‘like a good neighbor State Farm is there!’


 

This article is authored by

Sandy Shores, Brevard County Real Estate

Melbourne Florida Real Estate News