June 4, 2019

Real Estate News | June 2019 | Real Estate News That Matters To You

Gen Xers Driving Multi-Generational Housing Trend

MultiGen Living

This Is Us. Jane the Virgin. Black-ish. What do they have in common? They are all family television programs that have members of multiple generations living under one roof. But the reality of multi-generational living is more than sitcom fodder.

According to the 2019 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), multi-generational housing continues to be a growing trend among homebuyers. This trend is driven largely by Gen Xers (typically use birth years ranging from the early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980's), who are the second-largest band of homebuyers today at 24%. Of that cohort, one in six purchased a multi-gen home, half of whom cited accommodating adult children as their reason for doing so.

When it comes to millennial buyers, nine percent purchased a multi-generational property they could share with aging parents, per the report.

Whether you're looking to accommodate aging parents or making room for your boomerang child, these tips will help you find the right place to make it work.

Look for a home that was built with multi-generational living in mind.

Schumacher Homes, Lennar, and Plantation Homes are just a few of the builders offering a multi-gen solution in a brand-new residence.

Tailor your home search.

If custom built multi-generational home isn't doable, look for a home that's easily convertible. A downstairs bedroom and bath is key for older residents, and an en suite bathroom is even better. A home with a basement or attic may seem like an ideal place to turn into a grandparent's haven, but stairs can be dangerous and obviously wouldn't work for a parent using a walker or wheelchair.

A property with a guesthouse or enough land on which to place a granny suite or tiny home is another option. Just make sure the land is zoned properly to accommodate this type of structure.

Make smart renovations.

Taking down walls to create an open floorplan is a smart move that can have a positive impact on your home's value and also make it more accessible for aging parents.

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Aging-In-Place Remodeling Checklist recommends a "5-foot by 5-foot clear/turn space in the living area, kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom." They also suggest wide hallways that measure a minimum of 36-inches across, good lighting, and non-slip flooring. 

 

 

 

6 Kitchen Design Trends Inspired by Restaurant Kitchens

Not all kitchen design trends stand the test of time, but a restaurant kitchen is meant to be as functional as possible for as long as possible. Taking a few cues from restaurant kitchens can help you create a residential kitchen that you'll be sure to love for years to come!

1. Forget the Island

A kitchen island allows for lots of prep space and storage but can also make even a large space seem cramped and crowded. A work table in place of the kitchen island still provides plenty of room to work, offers shelving underneath for storage, and can be moved easily when not in use.

2. Consider a Stainless Steel Backsplash

Stainless steel is durable, doesn't absorb microbes, and is fire-resistant, which is why it's long been a popular material for commercial kitchen backsplashes. It's also easy to clean and coordinates with most kitchen styles.

3. Hang Utensil Rods

Rarely do restaurant kitchens keep utensils in drawers, as this is a surefire way to create a cluttered, jumbled mess. A utensil rod or two will keep all your kitchen tools organized, in plain sight, and close at hand.

4. Install a Magnetic Knife Strip

Much like utensil rods, many commercial kitchens include magnetic strips along walls to hold chefs' knives. Storing knives on a magnetic wall strip reduces the risk of cutting yourself while rooting around in a drawer and also allows you to easily see each knife blade type and size. A magnetic knife strip also eliminates the need for a bulky knife block on the countertop.

5. Use Wire Shelving in Your Pantry

Wire shelving allows for air circulation around your stored foodstuffs, reducing damage from heat and humidity. Wire shelves also don't need cleaning as often as standard wood shelves.

6. Install an Open Shelf Over the Stovetop

Many commercial kitchens feature an open shelf or two over the stovetop, for holding pots and pans, spices, timers, and even a recipe or prep instructions. Consider asking your kitchen contractor about an open shelf over your new stovetop, for added convenience and to break up the look of a bare wall behind the stove.

Posted in Real Estate News
May 31, 2019

Brevard County Housing Statistics - April of 2019

Closed Sales in Brevard County are up 10 percent for April 2019. Across Florida, the housing market reported more sales, higher median prices, and increased inventory.

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for April 2019:

  • Closed Sales are up 10% for April 2019 in which the number of units closed was 998 compared to 907 in 2018, with an increase in cash sales of 14.3% compared to April 2018.
  • New Pending Sales are up 10.7% and New Listings are down -5.9%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up 4.6% to $238,000 compared to a year ago, which was $227,500.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 6.9% to 3.1 months, an increase from 2.9 months in April 2018.
  • Traditional Sales are up 8.2%, with a median sales price of $240,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are up 121.4% with 31 sales and a median sales price of $179,900.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -50%, with 3 sales and a median sales price of $150,000.

 

A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for April 2019:

  • Closed Sales are up 0.4% for April 2019 in which the number of units closed was 256 compared to 255 in 2018, with a decrease in cash sales of -12.1% compared to April 2018.
  • New Pending Sales are down -9.1% and New Listings are down -10.4%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is down -8.7% to $173,500 compared to a year ago, which was $190,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 11.4% to 3.9 months in April 2019 from 3.5 months in April 2018.
  • Traditional Sales are up 1.2%, with a median sales price of $175,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -50% with 2 sales and a median sales price of $91,013. 
  • Short Sale Closings did not occur. There were no short sales in April 2018 or April 2019.

Posted in Real Estate News
May 8, 2019

Harness the Power of The Internet to Sell Your Home

Harness the Power of The Internet to Sell Your Home

You’ve worked closely with your real estate agent creating the perfect property listing to sell your home, and it looks great. You’ve taken high-quality professional photos and crafted an alluring home description that should get buyers lining up to make offers. 

But have you considered how will these buyers will find your new listing among the millions of properties already calling Google home?

If your agent doesn’t have a fast and firm answer to that simple question, it’s time for you to familiarize yourself with some basics about digital marketing and real estate SEO. 

Search Engine Optimization Makes a Huge Impact.

Selling your home is all about timing and presentation and SEO—or search engine optimization—is a great tool to ensure your property is presented in the most timely manner possible, to people looking to buy a home! 

Basically, if you’re property isn’t at the top of the search engine results, you’re losing views, showings, and sales to competing listings.

When it comes to real estate, SEO makes all the difference. According to the National Association of Realtors:

90% of prospective homebuyers search for homes online.

More than half all homebuyers start their search online.

Since 2008, Google searches for real estate have grown at a clip of 20% year over year, each and every year. 

Did you know that organic listings, not AD’s, receive 90% of all clicks on Search Engine Result (SERP) Pages? Additionally, the first 3 organic positions on Google receive 61% of the clicks, and only 10% of online users even go to page 2 of results! 

Find a Realtor Who Understands SEO

Similar to Google, real estate websites act as search engines to help buyers quickly and easily find the home of their dreams. Two great examples include the MLS and Zillow.

The Brevard County MLS, or the multiple listing service, is an electronic database that offers up-to-date information about property listings. Zillow, the most highly trafficked consumer real estate website in the world, acts as a search engine for home buyers. 

When a buyer goes to the Zillow homepage, they can search in a desired geographical area then use filters such as price range, school district, and square footage to help narrow down their search. 

These are truly revolutionary tools for the average home buyer, but for individuals looking to sell their home these sites produce big challenges, such as standing out from the crowd or highlighting selling points that Zillow and the MLS simple cannot. 

That’s why partnering with a Realtor who understands digital marketing and the impact of SEO is so valuable.

SEO is not a quick or cheap undertaking, so real estate firms that have invested in their online footprint provide an inherent advantage to property sellers right out the gate. 

Many homeowners, who have-not partnered with a Realtor that understands the importance of SEO are beholden to the MLS or Zillow, inevitably having their property grouped in with a variety of similar properties, providing limited advantage or discernment in a competitive marketplace. 

A digitally prepared real estate partner will have the ability to provide a tailor-made landing area, on page one of Google, to highlight a property and give it the best chance to sell it quickly and at the highest value possible.  

The Majority of Today's Home Buyers Are Millennials

Guess who’s taking the over as the most common home buyers? Yep, millennials are taking over as the highest percentage group for new home sales. They are getting older, settling down and stable in their careers. Their household income has increased to an average of $88,200 and they’re looking to buy homes in middle and upper-middle class neighborhoods. 

This is especially true in growing markets like the Space Coast. 

What More Millennial Home Buyers Means for Sellers?

Here are three important words: Know your buyer. Millennials are internet savvy and do their research before house shopping. They are accustomed to convenience and easy online shopping. The home search starts online for millennials, so you need to make the best possible impression on the internet to get their attention. Make sure you invest in high-quality photos, videos, virtual tours, drone videos, and most importantly ensure these photos and videos are found by placing it on a page that ranks highly and is optimized for search engines. 

Consumers are all about the visuals these days, and they want to know everything they can about a home before visiting it. Having features like 3-D virtual tours and high-resolution photos can enhance your property presentation and catch more customers.

Consider these statistics from the National Association of Realtors:

62% of home buyers want to be able to tour a home virtually online.

89% of home buyers find photos on a website extremely helpful.

79% of homeowners prefer to list with a real estate agent who uses video marketing to advertise their home.

36% of home seekers used online video in their research process.

Local Search SEO

Real estate is a hyper-competitive industry, as you no doubt are aware. Thousands of firms and individual agents are all vying for the attention of a small pool of potential buyers. 

Even if your real estate agent may do business across several cities in a market area, it’s better to start optimizing for local keyword phrases one-by-one rather than trying to tackle their entire service area in one fell swoop. Why?

Because over two-thirds of home shoppers begin their research with a local keyword phrase such as:

  • Cocoa Beach real estate company
  • Brevard County homes for sale
  • Cocoa Beach land for sale
  • Melbourne real estate agent

For instance, at CENTURY 21 Ocean, we serve the entire Space Coast real estate market and surrounding areas but have an office based in Cocoa Beach. Because our team understands the importance of local SEO for our sellers, we have optimized to be found on page one of Google results in Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Viera, Rockledge, Merritt Island, and more.  

This helps our customers listing to appear in location-based Google search and Google Maps when buyers search for homes for sale in their desired location. It also allows us to provide optimal landing pages for our listings regardless of town or city. 

Use Video Marketing

Prepare your marketing efforts for 2019 and embraced video marketing. It’s impossible to ignore the impact videos are having on the real estate market. Videos drive organic traffic and feature lifestyle stories to help sell your home for top dollar. Sell your homes special features, show your home in its best light and sell the lifestyle of living in its location, but most of all make sure the video is found with SEO! 

If you haven’t embraced video for your real estate marketing, you’re going to get left behind in 2019.  Don’t worry though, there is still time to catch up. Remember, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is today.

Provide a Virtual Tour

Today, buyers are not typically driving around looking for their “perfect” neighborhood or dream home. Instead, they’re online scouting Google Maps, Zillow.com, Trulia, or the hundreds of Facebook or Google Ads that they are inundated with at all times. 

A professional listing with a virtual tour will help your property rank higher on searches.

 

Master Mobile First Optimization

Most home buyers these days use their mobile devices to search for properties online, especially millennials. Make sure to work with an agent who understands this and optimizes your listings to be viewed on mobile devices of all kinds. If your Realtors website isn’t designed to adapt responsively to cell phones and iPads, then you will be missing out on most of the web traffic.

These days, millions of property listings are at every buyer’s fingertips and without a strong online presence, your real estate agent could be missing out on a huge opportunity to get your home sold quickly at your initial asking price.

Thanks to the convenience of mobile devices, the power to buy and sell is quite literally in your hands at all times! Statistics from the National Association of Realtors has shown that 58% of Millennials and 46% Generation X found their home on a mobile device.

Visuals, Visuals, Visuals

We cannot overstate the importance of high-quality MLS photos. Your listing photos are the online version of “curb appeal,” high-quality photos can be the difference maker in getting a sale. Even if your property is immaculately manicured, perfectly remodeled, and listed at a great price...a mediocre online listing will drop it to the bottom of the list. Great photos, video, drone footage, and virtual reality tours have become an integral part of the buying and selling process, especially for millennials.

 

Maximize Social Media to Promote Authenticity

If your Realtor is not using a social marketing strategy, you might be missing out in 2019. Share your listing on social media. The more shares you get to your listing the better and the more upvotes likes and retweets the better. Social signals refer to a web page’s collective shares and visibility on various social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Improving these metrics often correlates with better rankings on Google search. Studies show that social media expands the reach of a webpage and improves brand awareness for a particular product or service. Sharing your homes listing on social media sites will increase the exposure of your listing and help improve your placement on Google. From Twitter to Instagram and Facebook, social media has revolutionized the way we spread the word about properties. 

Other Factors That Affect Your Homes Listing

Make sure your listing is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Include high-quality images, video, virtual tours and lifestyle stories that excite your potential buyers. Most importantly showcase why they should choose your property over all the others.

This is especially important in highly competitive areas such as the Space Coast, where standing out could mean the difference in a sale or further waiting. 

Does your real estate agent’s website have client reviews?

If you’re listing your property on your real estate agent’s website you should check their client reviews. The presence of client reviews helps their website-and your listing-rank over their competitors. Google takes positive reviews into account when determining which websites and property listings to showcase in the top results.

Their website should also be updated regularly with fresh, informative blog posts, articles, tools, and local resources to keep visitors coming back to and engaging with their site, thus increasing the exposure of your listing. Interaction is one of several key factors in Google rankings.

Does the title of your property listing highlight primary features? 

This element of your listing is easy to optimize and can help you rank higher than other sellers you’re competing against. Titles are an important consideration for both search engines ranking and buyers browsing homes in the search results. Make sure your title calls out your home’s biggest sells and features. These same keywords should also appear through your listing’s content. SEO-wise, use a catchy title ‘Rarely Available Executive Oceanfront Single Family Cocoa Beach Home, Will Go Quick,’” It needs to be catchy and contains the keywords you want to rank for, not just a regular, “nice four bedroom beach Brevard County home for sale.”

Are the images in your property listings using keywords?

If you hover your mouse over an image, it will often show the title of that image. Be sure that the image on your property listing is optimized to include a description of what is pictured and doesn’t just list a series of random letters and numbers. Search engines are able to look at those the images as another clue to determine what your home listing page is about and rank it accordingly. 

Additionally, you will want to think about local search terms that buyers might be looking for as well. For example, Brevard County Schools, Space Coast beachfront condos, that are around your property and will capture the attention of buyers looking for these features.

Take Control in 2019 With a Top-Notch Realtor

Most importantly hire an experienced pro. 

Last year, 90% of millennial home buyers used real estate agents to purchase their homes. Think they’re onto something? You bet they are! 

Don’t try to sell on your own.

Get the help of a professional so the home selling process is smooth and trouble free. A firm using SEO best practices will increase traffic to your property listing and ultimately help you sell your home faster at the initial asking price. To make this happen, work with your real estate agent from the get-go to talk about your SEO game plan.

So, whether you’re selling or buying, you can take advantage of the current real estate search trends by partnering with a real estate agent with a strong online presence and great SEO. 

Call or Email us at CENTURY 21 Ocean today and learn more! 

321.323.1212 | sales@c21ocean.com

Posted in Real Estate News
May 1, 2019

REAL ESTATE NEWS | MAY 2019 | Real Estate News That Matters To You

To Turf or Not to Turf

Yard care is a big consideration for homeowners. Real grass is high maintenance, a water hog, and expensive to replace. Artificial grass may be a good alternative for some households. Here are some of the pros and cons of turf:



Pro: No maintenance.
Artificial grass does not require mowing, edging, seeding, or watering. Once you lay it down, you’re done.

Con: Initial expense.
Turf prices range from $8–14 per square foot. You can find some sales and deals, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The upside is you won’t need to replace or re-seed it.

Pro: Long-term durability.
“The life expectancy of artificial turf can be upwards of 25 years,” says Gardenista, “making it a less costly alternative to real turf over its life span.”

Con: It might be against the rules.
If you live in a community with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), be sure to get permission first. Turf is becoming more common, which is convincing more HOAs to approve its use, but check first. You don't want to make a big investment in turf only to be told you have to rip it out and replace it with grass.

Pro: It’s eco-friendly.
The water savings element is huge if you’re looking to live a little greener. Some manufacturers even use recycled materials, such as old tires or plastic bottles.

Con: It’s not biodegradable.
Artificial grass will end up in a landfill some day.

Pro: It’s pet-friendly.
“The good news is that pet waste won’t negatively impact your artificial grass, and turf is easy to clean,” says Purchase Green. There are also specific types of turf that are designed for animals.

Con: It’s hot.
“Real grass has a cooling effect when the air temperature is high. Artificial grass lacks this cooling quality,” says SFGATE. “The grass itself may become hotter than the air and can make the surrounding air feel hotter.”

Pro: It looks great all year round
If you live in an area where the lawn is dormant in the winter, it will be a nice change to see your lush, green (faux) lawn, even in negative temps.

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Posted in Real Estate News
April 25, 2019

Brevard MLS Statistics - March 2019

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for March 2019:

 

  • Closed Sales are down -3.6% for March 2019 in which the number of units closed was 901 compared to 935 in 2018, with a decrease in cash sales of -10.5% compared to March 2018.
  • New Pending Sales are up 10.7% and New Listings are down -7.7%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is down -1.0% to $227,700 compared to a year ago, which was $230,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 21.4% to 3.4 months, an increase from 2.8 months in March 2018.
  • Traditional Sales are down -3.8%, with a median sales price of $230,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are up 21.1% with 23 sales and a median sales price of $134,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -60%, with 2 sales and a median sales price of $171,600.

 

A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for March 2019:
  • Closed Sales are down -13.3% for March 2019 in which the number of units closed was 274 compared to 316 in 2018, with a decrease in cash sales of -18.8% compared to March 2018.
  • New Pending Sales are down -13.6% and New Listings are down -8.7%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 15.6% to $185,000 compared to a year ago, which was $160,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 17.1% to 4.1 months in March 2019 from 3.5 months in March 2018.
  • Traditional Sales are down -12.9%, with a median sales price of $186,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -40% with 3 sales and a median sales price of $132,000. 
  • Short Sale Closings saw no change with one sale in March 2018 and March 2019 and a median sales price of $120,000.

 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
April 23, 2019

A Slice of Heaven on the Space Coast of Florida

It goes without saying that Florida’s weather is one of her most endearing and sought after qualities. It’s no wonder the Sunshine state is the envy of the nation during those bitterly cold winter months. Florida’s temperature typically ranges from mid-60s-70s during the winter months and with the seemingly year-round summer highs, there’s no shortage of Florida sunshine to enjoy.

The Sunshine State has a low cost of living and numerous industries like tourism, construction, healthcare, aerospace, and defense. Historically known as a retirement destination, Florida has recently become a popular destination for young professional families who want to take advantage of great real estate appreciation, beautiful weather year round, and a rapidly growing and diverse economy.

When you think of Florida, you think of sunshine, beaches, and great weather. The average year-round temperature in South Florida is 72’ and the state enjoys 250 days of sunshine each year. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, Florida is calling your name! Take up watersport activities such as kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding for a good workout or rent a boat for the day and explore the Intracoastal Waterway and remote sand bars. If golf or tennis is your game, many cities offer year-round courses and courts to check out. Lastly, explore the many state parks while biking or jogging through scenic nature trails.

Nature, Beaches, Space

The space coast. Florida's Space Coast has the perfect combination of the sun, the ocean, and space. The list of things to do at Florida’s Space Coast could begin with a trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex where Space Shuttle Atlantis is on display. Or your vacation could start with a slower pace at one of the area’s many hidden gems such as the Indialantic Boardwalk where visitors can experience authentic beach life.  Discover what makes up Florida’s Space Coast and you will learn that it is so much more than just the place for space.  

Cocoa Beach Dreams

Cocoa Beach Florida is home to some of the worlds most beautiful beaches, with year-round entertainment, and stunning sunsets every night. There are plenty of sleepy beach towns in Brevard County on the east coast of Florida. One of those hidden gems is Cocoa Beach. The weather is amazing year round and typically, Cocoa Beach's warmest months are July and August, with January being the average coolest month. The maximum average rainfall usually happens in September. The highest recorded temperature in Cocoa Beach was an unusually hot 102 degrees Fahrenheit in 1980 and the lowest recorded temperature was a very chilly 17 F in 1977.

Beaches, golf courses, art museums, and a vibrant commercial district give residents of Cocoa Beach plenty of things to do. The city’s tropical climate, lush parks, and collection of resorts and hotels draw thousands of tourists each year.  Cocoa Beach provides a large assortment of amenities, good schools, and has a population who engages in political and social activities. Cocoa Beach continues to grow in population and the Cocoa Beach Real Estate market is booming thanks to good schools, excellent health care, and beautiful beaches. 

Cocoa Beach is known for great kayaking, boating, canoeing, jet-skiing, and all other kinds of fun sports for the adventurous. Take a walk on the Cocoa Beach Pier while the sun goes down for a stunning sunset view of the beach. With the sun, the beaches and the nightlife Cocoa Beach is a perfect paradise. What more can we say – moving to Cocoa Beach is a great idea!  

Space Coast Beaches

Florida’s Space Coast is like no other. With over 72 miles of sun-bronzed Atlantic coastline, it’s incredibly diverse from north to south and has an adventure for every visitor. The north end of Florida’s Space Coast is home to the Canaveral National Seashore and pristine natural habitats, while the south is home to Sebastian Inlet State Park. The west is bordered by the St. Johns River and the east stops at the Atlantic Ocean, Orlando's closest beaches, ranging from popular and lively to private and hidden. The diversity shows through in these designated towns: Cocoa Beach, Melbourne & The Beaches, Palm Bay, Port Canaveral, Titusville, and Viera.

Playalinda Beach/ Canaveral National Seashore

Located inside the Canaveral National Seashore, Playalinda Beach has become one of the go-to beaches. Rated “Quietest Beach” by TripAdvisor and one of USA Today’s “Top Ten Florida Beaches,” this undeveloped beach offers a welcome change from some of our other beaches. If you’re looking for a little R & R then this is the place for you.

Did you also know that because this beach is tucked away, you can easily enjoy this recreational paradise with opportunities to do some backcountry camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, boating, and bird watching? The natural landscape and habitat of this area have the perfect aesthetics that one imagines when thinking about going to the beach, so you can understand why people from all backgrounds enjoy coming here. And if you happen to be in the area when one a rocket launch is taking place, Playalinda Beach is a prime viewing location. There is a fee to access the beach, so bring some cash.  The beachfront here is a secluded 24-mile stretch where sea and space meet. This is an undeveloped beach, without vendors or stores, so be sure to bring any supplies you may need for the day. There is a parking area with boardwalk access over the dunes.

Cherie Down Park

Centrally located between Port Canaveral and the Cocoa Beach Pier, Cherie Down Park is a perfect spot whether you’re in town prior to your cruise or if this is your Port of Call. Dappled with sand dunes and sea grasses, Cherie Down Park is a seven-acre community beach park in a neighborhood setting. If you're looking for a place for a picnic, look no further. There's a 200-foot boardwalk that winds along the dunes, and on the beach, you can take a swim, play volleyball, build a sandcastle or fish in the surf.

Sidney Fischer Park

Cocoa Beach is home to several beaches and caters to all different “beach style” preferences. From popular and action-packed, like the Cocoa Beach Pier to hidden gems like Lori Wilson Park, any beach you choose is going to be a top pick. But if you’re looking for a great spot for the whole family, then you’ll want to go to Sidney Fischer Park. This 10-acre oceanfront park is a family favorite and great place for a picnic and a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Located conveniently across the street from a grocery store, you can pick up lunch and some snacks, eat under the shade of your umbrella or the provided pavilions and watch the kiddos enjoy building sandcastles or having fun on the playground.  The park was named after Sidney Fischer, who served as the mayor of Cocoa Beach from 1956 to 1960 and there is a parking fee, but with all the amenities like restrooms, showers, and is a great viewing spot for the occasional rocket launch, you can expect to enjoy your day at the beach.

Howard E. Futch Memorial Park at Paradise Beach

With volleyball courts ready to serve up some family fun and picnic facilities including grills for parties, and a large playground for the kids, this beach offers a beautiful natural landscape with plenty of shade, perfect for a whole day at the beach. There are large pavilions, five dune crossovers, showers, and restrooms. This beach is quiet, generous and wide, and is a favorite surfing spot for locals and with free parking, you’ll definitely want to get there early, but what better reason to make a day of beaching it up in your own little paradise?

Sebastian Inlet

For a beach that doesn’t lack in amenities, then making a trip to our southern-most beach on the Space Coast is worth the visit. Located within a gorgeous barrier island along our coast where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian River Lagoon, enjoy the day in the water with activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, or kayaking. Or maybe you would like more onshore activities like fishing, nature trail walks, or a 40-mile bike path; there really is something for everyone. And with two museums and places to eat, all you need to do is pack your camping gear or bring your RV and you can have an overnight adventure at one of our top beach picks.

Cocoa Beach Pier

This pier is a historical landmark of Florida's Space Coast, and this stretch of beaches in Cocoa Beach is famous for surfing and sunning. This is a good spot to people-watch because the beach teems with excitement. You can take a surf lesson on the gentle, consistent waves, or just watch the pros. The pier also features restaurants and shops.

Alan Shepard Park

Shepard Park is a five-acre oceanfront park named after astronaut Alan Shepard. The Cocoa Beach beach facilities here include large picnic pavilions, several smaller covered picnic areas, and a bathhouse. There's plenty of parking and many shops are within walking distance. This is another park right in the middle of the action.

Lori Wilson Park

This beach park of nearly 33 acres features a 3,155-foot boardwalk that winds through the nature hammocks. There are six dune crossovers, picnic areas, restrooms, showers, and a playground. If you're curious about area wildlife and plant life, be sure to check out this park.

Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park

At 16th Street, this 2.5-acre beach park offers access to the ocean for surf fishing and relaxation. There is a dune crossover and a pavilion.

Seagull Park

This two-acre neighborhood park is one mile south of the Pineda Causeway. It is landscaped with native plants and provides dune crossovers for beachgoers and surf fishing. There are two sheltered picnic areas, showers, and restrooms.

Hightower Beach Park

Surfing and fishing are popular at Hightower Beach Park, a quiet two-acre neighborhood beach park located four miles south of the SR 404-Pineda Causeway.

Canova Beach Park

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Canova Beach Park is a community gathering place with 12.4 acres of warm, soft sand and a xeriscape garden with native plants. It features a pavilion, grills, picnic areas, three dune crossovers, showers, and restrooms.

Indialantic

Indialantic is a sleepy town of 3,800, where you can ride the waves or just kick back on the peaceful shores.  You can find beach access at most of the street ends, but if you want a beach with facilities, try James H. Nance Park: it boasts picnic areas, showers, and restrooms.

Spessard Holland North and South Beach Parks

The north park is slightly more than 4½ acres of beautiful beach park. This park has three dune crossovers, three boardwalk pavilions, showers, and restrooms. The south park features another seven acres of beach. With seasonal lifeguards, it's another popular family park with a 150-foot boardwalk and raised picnic areas. There are two pavilions, six dune crossovers, showers, and restrooms. Fishing is popular here with the locals.

Coconut Point Park

Coconut Point Park has 36 acres of beachfront beauty. It's a popular sea turtle nesting site, and perfect for beachcombing, surfing and surf fishing. There are two dune crossovers, a small pavilion, showers, and restrooms.

Bonsteel Park

Known for great surfing and shoreline fishing, this peaceful two-acre community beach park is just the place to steal away for a quiet afternoon.

More Florida Fun on the Space Coast

The Space Coast has numerous natural activities such as beach and mainland parks for recreation including hiking, surfing, and fishing.  Be inspired by the arts scene with venues big and small showcasing artworks of all kinds, dance and theatre productions, and music. When you consider moving to Florida, take into account that the gorgeous sub-tropic weather means there is ample opportunity year-round for parties, festivals, fairs, farmer’s markets, parades, weddings, receptions, and various other outdoor events. Discover these gorgeous hidden gems of the Space Coast with plenty of space for your beach chair. 

Dream Homes on The Space Coast

According to the Brevard MLS, Florida’s Space Coast housing market is booming. If you’ve ever been considering moving to the Space Coast of Florida, now might be the time to pull the trigger and contact a Cocoa Beach Realtor. New homes are popping up all over Cocoa Beach and Brevard County.

While some may be a little pricy depending on your budget, the Sunshine State has options available for everyone in every price range. If that Cocoa Beach home is a bit out of reach, there are plenty of new Brevard County homes and Cocoa Beach condos for sale, that will fit any budget and lifestyle. Regardless of your dream home contact a professional Real Estate agent in Cocoa Beach, Fl.

Cost of Living

Florida’s median home value is $206,476, which is slightly higher than the national average of $188,900. The cost of living in the state varies from community to community. Some coastal communities are more expensive than the rest of the state, while some beachfront towns are surprisingly affordable including Cocoa Beach. Florida’s residents are from all walks of life. Some are lifelong natives born and raised in Florida, while others stopped here for a quick vacation and loved it so much they decided to stay. From northern snowbirds to surfers, artists, students, to hardworking families, the Sunshine State is full of friendly locals who move at their own pace and are always happy to welcome new neighbors.

World Class Dining

When it comes to food, The Space Coast of Florida has the advantage of sun-drenched local produce and access to the latest fresh catch from the Atlantic Ocean. The Space Coast’s food game is a serious contender for resident foodies and culinarily curious travelers alike. Because the culinary competition in Florida is heavily influenced by travelers and tourism, Cocoa Beach residents benefit from resort-worthy dining year-round. More organizations in Florida are leveraging slower dining seasons by giving locals an opportunity to dine at high-end restaurants for a discount. This is commonly referred to as “Restaurant Week.”

There's No State Income Tax!

Florida has zero state income tax and tax rates for real estate sales and property taxes are relatively low compared to the national average. These factors make life in the Sunshine State extremely affordable. It won’t be long before you are moving into that Cocoa Beach oceanfront dream home.

Florida Colleges & Universities

Some of Florida’s best universities include the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida State University in Tallahassee, the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and the University of Miami. Florida's sunny climate makes for a vibrant college experience and the low in-state tuition options for public school attendees to help attract a great selection of students. 

International Entertainment Hub

As an international tourist hub, Florida is home to a diverse range of cultures. It’s apparent in the variety of fresh cuisine available, the various cultural festivals throughout the year, and even the museums and performing arts centers, have diverse exhibits and performances. If you’ve wanted to travel the world, why not think about moving to Florida instead. The culture is just as abundant, and the sun is always shining.

Your Slice of Heaven Awaits You on The Space Coast

Find your own Cocoa Beach Realtor that will deliver honest, ethical and trustworthy real estate advice.  While guiding you through the entire real estate process, holding your best interests in the highest regard and creating customers for life. Buy your own piece of paradise in Cocoa Beach today!

 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
April 11, 2019

C21® Market Update – March 2019

Homeownership has always been considered the gateway to the middle class and a part of the American dream. Did you know, that according to the National Association of REALTORS®, a typical homeowner accumulated an estimated $8,700 in housing equity over the past 12 months and $21,300 over the past 24 months?

Knowing that so much is on the line, the 127,000 relentless sales professionals at CENTURY 21® are diving head-first into today’s experience economy.

We’re putting a laser-like focus on the emotional and experiential aspects of real estate, personalizing every part of the journey for home buyers and sellers, and elevating everything that we do to support both consumers and industry professionals.

Hear this and more of my insights on the housing market for March 2019 below from Mike Miedler, President & CEO, Century 21 Real Estate LLC 

Let’s CENTURY 21 Ocean deliver the extraordinary. 

 

WATCH HERE!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
April 1, 2019

REAL ESTATE NEWS | APRIL 2019 | Real Estate News That Matters To You

Down Payment Dilemma: How Do You Know How Much to Put Down On A Home?

For many prospective home buyers, the down payment is the most daunting hurdle in the race to buy a home. Even for people with decent credit and a healthy paycheck, the down payment can be the great homeownership killer.

The big question for all prospective buyers is: how much should my down payment be? Most lenders will tell you that 20 percent is the standard, but is that really necessary?

The short answer is no, but of course, there are some caveats.

"It's a myth that all homebuyers must have a 20 percent down payment to buy a home," says Nancy Herrera-Siples, a Riverside, CA, branch manager at Primary Residential Mortgage. So why all the fuss over having 20 percent to put down? "Because if you don't, it usually means you'll have to shell out money for either private mortgage insurance (PMI) or government insurance, which is usually financed by the Federal Housing Administration," according to Herrera-Siples.

Still, when a low down-payment is your only option to buy a home, PMI might literally be a small price to pay. Remember that PMI goes away eventually when your loan balance is 80 percent or less of the home's value. If you're in an area where homes are rising in value, this could happen sooner than you think.

Again, there are some things to consider. "FHA mortgage insurance is for the life of the loan. It does not drop off at 80% LTV (loan-to-value). It use to but not anymore. Putting more down does not always get a better rate. It can actually be worse. The rate will be better at 95% LTV then at 80% LTV. At 65% LTV it improves. But lower loan amount can make rate worse as well. Higher loan amounts see better rates. First time home buyers can buy with as little as 3% down. And there are down payment assistance programs but they will limit DTI (Debt-to-Income) Basically Down payment Assistance you will qualify for a lot less home," says Norman Bocci, a Merritt Island, Mortgage Loan Originator at FBC Mortgage, LLC. 

Download Norman's MortgageMapp app for FREE Here!

 

 

Still confused about the ins and outs of down payments? Here are a few reasons to go high… or low.

When to make a substantial down payment:

  • When you're looking to keep your monthly payment as low as possible and have the cash to spare.
  • When you're approaching retirement age and can envision a reverse mortgage sometime down the line.
  • When the interest rate is lower with a higher down payment. "The more you put down, the better position you are in for negotiating a lower interest rate," says Credit.com.
  • If you're worried about being underwater. If the market should drop in your area, you run the risk of owing more than your home is worth.

When to go low:

  • When you don't have the funds for a higher down payment and can't earn or borrow them quickly enough.
  • When the rate on your FHA or Fannie or Freddie loan is comparable to that you'd get with a higher down payment.
  • When you need to escape a high-rent situation and the monthly payment on a house is lower than what you're currently paying, even with the PMI factored in.
  • When you're confident your home will appreciate quickly, allowing you to refinance and get rid of PMI quickly.

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Posted in Real Estate News
March 27, 2019

Brevard MLS Statistics - February 2019

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for February 2019:

  • Closed Sales are down -4% for February 2019 in which the number of units closed was 666 compared to 694 in 2018, with a decrease in cash sales of -7.3% compared to February 2018.
  • New Pending Sales are up 2.1% and New Listings are up 2.3%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes saw no change and was $230,000 in 2018 and 2019.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 33.3% to 3.6 months, an increase from 2.7 months in February 2018.
  • Traditional Sales are down -4.8%, with a median sales price of $231,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are up 26.3% with 24 sales and a median sales price of $204,250.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -25%, with 3 sales and a median sales price of $335,000.

 

A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for February 2019:

  • Closed Sales are down -5.8% for February 2019 in which the number of units closed was 212 compared to 225 in 2018, with a decrease in cash sales of -21.7% compared to February 2018.
  • New Pending Sales are down -13.3% and New Listings are down -9.6%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 10.9% to $173,500 compared to a year ago, which was $156,500.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 13.5% to 4.2 months in February 2019 from 3.7 months in February 2018.
  • Traditional Sales are down -4.6%, with a median sales price of $173,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -25% with 3 sales and a median sales price of $240,000. 
  • Short Sale Closings are down -100% with no sales in February 2019.

 

 

 

 

This update is brought to you by the  Space Coast Association of REALTORS® as a service to our members.
 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
March 26, 2019

The Ron Jon Beach 'N Boards Fest and CENTURY 21 Ocean Help Brevard County Kick-Off Summer

All throughout the United States mid-March represents a time of change, excitement, and celebration.

Most of the country is spending their time thawing out from the freeze of winter, cheering on their favorite basketball teams during March Madness, and celebrating the Irish heritage of their friends, family, and neighbors on St Patrick’s day.

But for residents of Brevard County, who live on Central Florida’s Beautiful Space Coast, mid-March signals something much different.....

The start of BEACH SEASON!!


And the fun-loving team at CENTURY 21 Ocean knows there’s no better way to usher in the season of sun, salt, and sand then with the annual Ron Jon Beach ‘N Boards Fest!

Which is exactly what they did this year!

 

CENTURY 21 Ocean & the 2019 Ron Jon’s Beach ’N Boards Fest

Located only a few steps away from the sand on Cocoa Beach, partnering together with Ron Jon's Beach ‘N Boards Fest makes perfect sense for CENTURY 21 Ocean. It provides an opportunity for their agents and employees to interact with residents, show gratitude to the community, and enjoy the perks that come along with an office situated just feet from the waves!

The annual festival has grown to become known as “the nation’s premier active lifestyle Spring Break destination”, offering attendees a variety of fun filled activities to keep them entertained and kick off the summer. 

The different exhibitions included beach-volleyball, beach-yoga, surfing, skateboarding, wakeboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, paddle board kayak-fishing and hydro-foil kite-boarding. Special guests such as CJ Hobgood (World Surf League World Champion), Bob McKnight (Co-founder & Previous CEO of Quicksilver) and Alexa Strange (2-time National Champion & All-American in beach-volleyball) attended this year’s festival, meeting with fans, event-goers, and even hosted some of the events.

No matter who you are, Ron Jon's Beach ‘N Boards Fest is a festival your sure to enjoy. Whether it’s watching the World Surf League sanctioned surf competition, signing up for a surf training session, watching the amazing wakeboard demos, participating in the killer kayak fishing tournament or competing in any of the beach volleyball challenges, each year the festival delivers as the perfect kick-off to summer!

Mitch Varnes, in his 7th year as Event Director, released the following statement at the end of the 7th Annual Beach ‘N Boards Fest:

“We are very excited that pretty much everything went off well for this year’s Beach ‘N Boards Fest. From the surfing to wakeboarding to skateboarding, to fishing to yoga to stand up paddle-boarding and all else, there was plenty of action for everyone. Thank you to all of our event partners, including CENTURY 21 Ocean, for making it such a success.”

Ricky Carroll & CENTURY 21 Ocean’s Epic 2019 Giveaway

This year, CENTURY 21 Ocean took it a step further! They not only decided to partner with Mitch and host a tent at the event, but they also decided to provide something extra for the event attendees and community!

With the help of Ricky Carroll, an award winning shaper and the founder of Ricky Carroll Surfboards, Barbara Schluraff and her team hosted a raffle providing event-goers the opportunity to win either an epic custom skateboard or custom surfboard! 

                            

The CENTURY 21 Ocean raffle was open from the start of the weekend and went through the end of the last event. After the weekend was over, the winners of the raffle were chosen & then announced on the following Tuesday live from CENTURY 21 Ocean’s Facebook page!

The raffle was hosted at the CENTURY 21 Ocean stand located in front of the wakeboarding event area which featured the custom-made skateboard, surfboard and even a custom-sculpted sand castle! The weather added in to make it an incredible weekend and Ricky Carroll even showed off some of his skateboarding skills out by the tent.

Featured above is a photo of the winner of the custom skateboard and another of Ricky Carroll himself with the amazing custom surfboard he created.

Once again, in 2019 Ron Jon's Beach ‘N Boards Fest kicked off the Space Coast beach season in style and the CENTURY 21 Ocean team sent two local and lucky raffle winners home with a gift they’ll never forget! Enjoy your spring and summer and be sure to find us next year at the 8th annual Beach ‘N Boards Fest, in mid-March 2020!

 

 

Posted in Real Estate News