Posted by: Sandy Shores | 04/07/2015

Ask Questions Before Buying a House

Ask Questions Before Buying that HouseBefore buying a house remember to take a second look inside and out.  And, ask questions, and then ask some more.

Today, home buyers are smarter and more educated than ever. They have the internet at their fingertips and they know how to do their legwork in researching homes for sale.

But, it’s important to ask questions before buying a house.

Things to consider are:

How high does the house sit compared to the middle of the street?

Is there sufficient drainage?

Are there signs of standing water; mold and mildew on sidewalks, on patios or near the house?

Is the property close to or on a main street? How much traffic travels on the street?

Are there vehicles parked out in front along the street? Is parking allowed on the streets at night?

Where do boats have to be parked?

What do the neighboring properties look like?  How are the neighbors?

Is there a Homeowners Association?  Make sure to ask for a copy of the association covenants and by laws, a copy of the minutes of the most recent homeonwner’s  association meeting, a copy of the   annual budget. Are their reserves?   How much are the fees and what do they cover? Are there upcoming assessments?

How close is the house to schools, shopping and dining?

What school district is the home in? You may have to contact Brevard Public Schools on this.

Is there school bus service to the neighborhood for all grade level schools?

Is there an alarm system? Is it owned or rented? Is it monitored?

Is there city water and sewer?

What’s the age of A/C system inside and out, roof, hot water heater and appliances?

Are the appliances electric or natural gas?

Are there storm shutters for all the windows and doors?

If the house or the roof is newer, you may consider having a wind mitigation done on the house, for a possible insurance discount.

Is the house wood frame or concrete block?

Is there a termite bond on the property? Is it a repair and retreat bond?  How much is the annual renewal?

Are the houses in neighboring properties higher or lower priced than the area you are considering?

How much have similar properties recently sold for? What is currently for sale and under contract? What didn’t sell in the neighborhood? Can you tell the reason why?

There are so many more questions to ask and considerations to be made prior to making an offer on a house.

Whether you are looking for an investment property or a house to call your own, be sure to take note of your surroundings and ask the right questions. Look around so you become familiar with the area that you are considering. It can save some headaches down the road.

NOTE: This is just a sampling of some of the items you may want to take note of or ask before choosing a house to buy.

Ask Questions Before Buying that Melbourne FL Home

Posted by: Sandy Shores | 03/17/2015

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.

Fawn Lakes Mims 32754  Real Estate Market Report

There 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.

Fawn Lake Mims 32754  Real Estate Market ReportCurrently 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 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 Lake 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.

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. And, Daytona Beach is about an hour away.

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

Posted by: Sandy Shores | 03/16/2015

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 strangers 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 preapproved 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 oversharing online.

Melbourne FL Real Estate, Sandy Shores, Realtor

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Posted by: Sandy Shores | 03/14/2015

Buyer Takes Possession at Closing

Buyer Takes Possession at Closing

When purchasing a house in Florida, the buyer takes possession of the property on closing day. Closing day is when the buyer and seller sign all of the necessary documents and exchange money in the purchase of the property.  Both parties can sign at the same time, at the same closing table. Or, they may sign their documents separately, at a different closing table, at different times, depending on scheduling and the complexities of the transaction. It takes the buyer longer to get through his documents, especially if he is getting a mortgage. (If the closing is a mail away, the buyer and seller may sign a day or two ahead of time.)

Customarily, the buyer does a walk through on the property before heading to closing, to be sure that all items of personal property are left at the property. This is the time to check to see that all the appliances, fixtures and any extras written into the contract are left with the house. The seller is responsible to have maintained the property in the condition it was in when it was listed. The buyer should also check to be sure all repairs, agreed to as per the contract, have been completed. The seller should have all of his belongings out of the property, with no expectation of returning to the house, after documents are signed. The seller must be prepared to hand over the keys, so the buyer can take possession on closing day.

But, what happens when a seller hasn’t gotten all of his belongings out of the property prior to signing? Well, it can turn into a bit of a precarious situation for both parties. Technically, when the buyer and seller sign the closing documents, the house becomes the property of the buyer. And, if items are left behind, they can also become the property of the new buyer (unless other agreements have been made). It’s always best to close after everything is out.

Melbourne FL Real Estate, Sandy Shores, Realtor

 What’s Happening in Brevard County?

  Space Coast Calendar

Beginning March 12, 2015

What;s Happening on Florida's Space Coast?

Events going on in Brevard County:

Every Thursday – Brevard County Farmer’s Market (3 PM – 6 PM). Fresh products from local farmers and producers. 2500 Parkway Drive, Wickham Park Melbourne Check out upcoming events from Brevard County Farmers Market, Wickham Park Melbourne.

Every Thursday – Historic Cocoa Village, Cocoa Main Street has partnered with local businesses to offer Throwback Thursdays (open till 8 PM) A shopping and dining campaign offering discounts and Cocoa Main Street’s VIP Discount Card program. For more information on Cocoa Main Street Throwback Thursday check here.  Email at office@coocamainstreet.com or call Ken Wilshire, 321-633-0806.

First Friday Eau Gallie Arts District in Downtown Eau Gallie (5:30 PM) browse local businesses that stay open late. Grab a bite to eat. Highland Avenue in Downtown Eau Gallie.

Every Saturday & Sunday – Downtown Melbourne Farmer’s Market (10 AM – 3PM) – Fresh produce – US 1 and Strawbridge Ave. in Melbourne

___________________________________________________________________

Bike Week in Daytona Beach Continues to Monday, March 15 – 74th Annual Daytona Beach Bike Week – No calendar would be complete without including Bike Week in Daytona Beach. This event draws tens of thousands of people every year. Daytona Bike Week 2015, Check the websites for events.

Thursday, March 12 (Window opens at 10:44 PM) Liftoff of the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission Rocket or MMS at Cape Canaveral. This mission will help with the study of magnetic reconnection. Check the site for more information.

Thursday, March 12 (7 PM) – Capt. Hiram’s Concert Series Presents Badfish a Tribute to Sublime – Badfish Concert with Tropidelic & Beebs & Her Money MakersCapt. Hiram’s Sandbar, 1606 Indian River Dr. Sebastian FL 32958 Tickets are $16.50 advance/ $18 day of the show (Service fees not included) – at Capt. Hirams or Ticketweb.com

Thursday, March 12 – Sunday March 15 Ron Jon’s Surf Shop presents the Third annual Beach ‘n Board Fest. Top athletes compete in Surfing, skating, Stand up Paddling, Kite boarding, Beach Volleyball tournament & clinic, Cocoa Beach FL. Beach ‘n Board Fest, Check schedule for events and schedule.

Friday March 13 (8 PM) Free Movie in the Park, Guardians of the Galaxy. Bring a blanket and lawn chairs. Food trucks will be on hand from 6 – 9 PM – Wickham Park Main Pavilion, 3845 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne

Friday, March 13 (6 – 9 PM)  – Mardi Gras in Titusville/Friday Nite Live “Marley Madness” – Free event includes music, dancing, vendors and more Hosted by the Downtown Titusville Merchants Association. Downtown Titusville

Friday March 13 (6PM) – Dog Days Family Event Bring in Your Dog sponsored by Bass Pro shops, Health & wellness checks, Giveaways & drawings, store activities 6PM – Free seminar – Socializing & crate training your dog

Saturday, March 14 (11 AM Parade, 10:30 PM Outside Music from the English Beat) Meg o’ Malley’s 2 Day St. Patrick’s Day Event in Downtown Melbourne. Presented by The Ancient Order of Hibernions. There will Bagpipers and Irish Dancers, great Irish food.

Saturday March 14th (Sat. 11 AM – 4 PM) Dog Days Family Event Bring in Your Dog sponsored by Bass Pro shops, Health & wellness checks, Giveaways & drawings, store activities, Free seminars – 11 AM – Teaching your puppy to sit and heal, 2 PM Keeping your Dog Safe in the Outdoors

Saturday March 14 (11 Am – 3:30 PM Brevard Women’s ExpoFun goodies, wonderful product & luxury services. Melbourne Auditorium 625 E Hibiscus Blvd Melbourne. Cost is $10 cash only.

Tuesday, March 17 (8 AM Buffet) Meg o’ Malley’s 2 Day St. Patrick’s Day Event continues with a Traditional Irish Buffet. Kids Zone Leprechauns for the Whole Family. Bagpipers and Irish Dancers, Inside & Outside Food at Meg ‘O Malley’s at 812 E. New Have Ave. in Downtown Melbourne.

Tuesday, March 17 – The Biggest St. Patrick’s Day Street Party in Town hosted by Nolan’s Irish Pub in Cocoa Beach on the outside stage. Fun, food & great music. Check schedule for various events.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday March 20 – 22 – Runaway Country Music Festival 2015 – Food, vendors and great country music featuring Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Lee Brice, Thomas Rhett, Easton Corbin, Cole Swindell, Eric Paslay and more… Wickham Park, 2500 Parkway Drive, Melbourne. Runaway Country, Check online for ticket and pricing info.

Saturday, March 21 – 22 (Gates open at 9:00 AM ) – Melbourne Air & Space Show – Melbourne International Airport, the Blue Angels will be flying over Melbourne, food, drink & airplanes on display, 1401 General Aviation Drive, Melbourne  321-613-3990  Check for ticket prices online.

Saturday, March 21 (12 PM – 4 PM) Palm Bay Play Day Music Fest Live Music with 5 Local Bands, Bounce houses, Balloon Art, Face painting, games, crafts & food vendors. Goode Park 1300 Bianca Dr NE Palm Bay, Free admission, Free Parking

Saturday, March 21 (12 PM – 9 PM) Spring Praise Fest 9 Great local talent, Randy Stonehill one of the fathers of Contemporary Christian Music, Multi Media Chalk Artist Jason Anthony Riverfront Park, 401 Riveredge Blvd, Cocoa FL

Thursday March 26 (opens 5 PM on the 26th) – Sunday April 5 – Palm Bay Fair at Space Coast Harley Davidson – Sponsored by Bright House Networks and Space Coast Daily Free Unlimited rides with purchase of fair admission. Free Circus, Racing pigs, Flying Wallendas Show, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo & more.  I95 & Palm Bay Road, next to Bass Pro Shops, Admission is $10 (Monday – Thursday) & $15 (Friday – Sunday). Call 1-855-386-3836 for more info.

Saturday, March 28 (Check in 7:30 AM, Start 9:00 AM) – The Doggy Run Melbourne 2015 – 1.9 Mile dog – Friendly walk/run, food drive & adoption event. First ever Dog friendly running event. Walk/run the  1.9 mile loop in Wickham Park. The event helps rescue organizations obtain needed food and supplies for rescue animals. Helps them find a forever home for these animals also. 2500 Parkway Drive, Melbourne.$40 regular registration, $30 Help A Rescue Registration ($10 off if you bring a 5 lb. bag of dog food)

Saturday, April 4 (12 PM – 8 PM) Brew Masters Invitational A Festival of Beer, Food, Music & Art by the Water in Cape Canaveral. Live Music – Blues, Funk, Reggae & More, Local Artists – Live Art Exhibitions & Silent Auction, Food Pairings- from local top chefs, and Beer. Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com and Ticketweb.com

Check back, as we are always adding events.

Information deemed reliable not warranted.

Check your event ahead for dates, times, location and prices.

Posted by: Sandy Shores | 03/11/2015

Get it Today, It May Be Gone Tomorrow

Get it Today, It May be Gone Tomorrow

Recently, an attractive new property came on the market at $199,000. It looked like something my buyer may really like. So, I sent the information to him the day the property hit the market. I asked if he would like to see it and he said he would like to take a look the next day at 2:00. My concern was that it may no longer be available the next day.

When I called the listing office for showing instructions they told me that they had one offer to purchase on the home and the promise of another one coming in. Wow, that’s fast! This was the first day on the market!

We viewed the well cared for home the next day and my buyer really liked it. It had most of the amenities he was looking for in a house. He said he’d like to take some time to think it over. As we were talking, a call came in from the listing agent indicating he had received a second offer on this property.

My buyer opted out. He said he didn’t want to get into a bidding war. He didn’t want to be rushed into what he felt might be a hasty decision. I understood.

With low inventory levels, we are continuing to see prices heading upwards. And, as uncomfortable as they may seem, often we are in multiple offer situations.  Unfortunately, a buyer must be able to make a quick decision on a house when he sees the one that he likes. In this market, we don’t always have the luxury of waiting an extra day.

Multiple offers due to Low Inventory Levels

Posted by: Sandy Shores | 03/10/2015

Get off the Couch and Go Look at that House

Get off the Couch and Go Look at that HouseWe all the love surfing the internet. It has streamlined our lives. We depend on it for so many conveniences, today. So, in shopping for a home, surfing the internet is great! Or is it?

When looking at houses on the internet, buyers are making judgments based on the pictures included with the listing. If the picture quality is poor, often these houses are overlooked, only to sit on the market for an endless number of months, growing stagnant. Many buyers don’t want to look at them. On the other hand, some pictures highlight the home’s best features. They leave out the details about the unfinished work that needs to be done or the room that is falling down in the back.

Three times in the past 2 days I have had buyers say, ‘This house looks nothing like the pictures advertising it online.’  Is that good or bad? Does it look better or worse than the pictures advertising it? In one case, the buyer indicated that they were glad they looked at the house, because it was so much nicer than the poor quality pictures representing it online. On the other hand, one house had unfinished flooring, garbage strewn about and miscellaneous pieces of furniture that look forgotten. The floors were filthy. It turned the buyer off. A day’s work could have turned that house into a shiny penny and helped secure a buyer quickly. However, this buyer wasn’t interested in seeing past that. ‘What else is wrong that I can’t see?’ she asked. It was a valid question. She’s looking for a well-loved house that feels warm and cozy when she walks in.

Today, home buyers are searching online for houses for sale. They often zip through the listings, and send them to the junk bin because they don’t like the pictures. It’s unfortunate, because shopping for a house requires a buyer to go out and see the house. The majority of the time, a buyer chooses a house based on the how he likes the neighborhood and surrounding areas when he drives through. His sense of smell is engaged and he listens with his ears to see if it’s a peaceful, quiet area. All of the senses kick in when looking for a house to buy. How does it feel to him?

So, the next time you see a house online that looks like it suits your wants, needs, price point and the area that you want to be in, grab that lender pre approval letter and call your local Realtor, who is representing  you in the buying process. Ask them if the house will qualify for the type of financing you will be getting. Then, get off the couch and go out and look at that house. See it with your own eyes. Don’t let it be the one that got away.

Posted by: Sandy Shores | 03/09/2015

The Charm of Those Old Homes

The Charm of Those Old Homes by Sandy Shores Melbourne Real Estate

I love touring the old towns, where communities first started. There is so much history there. There is something about the historic charm of the old houses. They seem to be speaking to you.

As a little girl, I remember going to visit my Grammie in her 3 story house. It seemed so big. I would play hide and go seek with my sisters and my cousins, because there were so many places to hide. There were nooks and crannies where no one would ever find you. We knew exactly which floor boards not to step on, because they would blurt out a creaking sound and they would give our hiding place away. There were so many special memories in my Grammie’s old house.

I have always dreamed of living in an old house. Have you?

This picture was taken in Historic Downtown Cocoa right outside of Cocoa Village.

Sandy Shores Brevard County Real Estate

Sunset Ridge Estates is a beautiful community of homes situated on sprawling lots just off of South Tropical Trail in Merritt Island.  There is a community dock located across from the main entrance of community with River access.

Sunset Ridge Merritt Island 32952 Real Estate Market Report

The homes were built between 1999 and 2003 and they range from 2214 to 3290 square feet of living. They are situated on sprawling lots between .35 acres and .59 acres.

There are 2 homes currently for sale. One is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 3 car garage pool home with 2995 square feet of living, and river views. The current list price is $449,000. The other is a 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 car garage pool home with 2861 square feet of living listed at $399,900.

Sunset Ridge Merritt Island 32952 Real Estate Market Report

There are currently no homes for under contract or pending sale in Sunset Ridge Estates.

There were 2 homes that sold in Sunset Ridge Estates in 2014. One pool home was 2291 square feet of living, built in 2003, with 5 bedrooms and 3 baths.  It was built in 2000 and sold for $360,000.  The other was a 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 car garage with 3226 square feet of living with an upstairs loft situated on a .59 acre lot. It was built in 2003 and sold for $409,000. I represented the buyer in this transaction in purchasing this gorgeous pool home!

Sunset Ridge Merritt Island 32952 Real Estate Market Report

In 2013 there was one home that sold. It was a 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2 car garage with a pool. It was 2665 square feet of living and sold for $395,000.

Map of Sunset Ridge Estates

Sunset Ridge Estates South Tropical Trail Merritt Island 32952 Market Report

Posted by: Sandy Shores | 03/06/2015

Walt Disney World Ticket Prices Increase

Walt Disney World Increases Ticket Prices

Well, it’s official, Walt Disney World ticket prices increased in February.

Single day passes at the Magic Kingdom increased from $99 to $105. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot increased from $95 to $97.

Annual passes increased from $634 to $654.  A Premium Annual Pass will now be $779.

Disney Water parks increased from $53 to $58 for ages 10 and up. $45 to $49 for ages 3 – 9 years old. Annual passes increased from $104 to $110 for 10 and up. And $85 to $99 for ages 3 – 9 years old.

Multi Day Tickets – Multi Day, Magic Your Way Tickets will no longer have a no expiration date option. A 10 day ticket increased from $354 to $365. 7 day ticket increased from $324 to $335. A 3 day ticket is up to $275 from $274.

Park Hopper tickets have increased from $60 to $64 for 10 days. A single day Park Hopper is now $50, up from $35.

Florida Residents Annual Passes are $529, up from $485. Resident Premium Pass is now $649. It was $605. Florida Seasonal Passes are $329, instead of $319. 4 day pass is $209, instead of $199. Three day passes are $189, up from $179.

So, you may want to start saving now for that family trip to Walt Disney World.

Please check with Walt Disney World for additional details.

Walt DIsney World Parks are located approximately 50 – 60 minutes from Melbourne.

Information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

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