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 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. 







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
March 13, 2019

CENTURY 21 Ocean: The Future of Brevard County Real Estate

Barbara Schluraff is taking a different approach to buying and selling Real Estate in Brevard County …….and people are noticing!

As highlighted in this month’s article of Space Coast Business, Barbara and her team, Brevard By The Sea Group, at CENTURY 21 Ocean, see the Real Estate world through a different lens. They’re pushing the envelope and reinventing how agents, brokers, and clients work together - creating a shift in the usual process.

Barbara is utilizing her diverse knowledge from other industries to streamline the customer experience, providing CENTURY 21 Oceans’ partners with the highest value possible.

Rather than an agent being a jack-of-all-trades, Schluraff focuses her team specifically on what each agent does best, resulting in optimal outcomes for her clients. Her process aligns people with their strengths, creating a specialty group designed to get the job done!

Building & Supporting an All-Star Real Estate Team

Brevard By the Sea Group has put together an All-Star team to implement Schluraff’s vision. Chenay Strum, CENTURY 21 Ocean’s operations director, partners with Barbara to operate the agency on the idea that happy agents and employees, results in happy clients!

In order to meet this goal, we hire the top agents, and ensure they’re happy, Chenay has focused her efforts on increasing leads and bolstering industry credibility through a variety of online channels.

Chenay has identified that building a significant online footprint, resulting in warm leads and local credibility improves an agents’ work-life balance and allows them to focus their efforts on serving clients, as opposed to searching for new ones.

Additionally, Barbara & Chenay have created a unique role titled Customer Concierge.

This role is occupied by the talented Jessie Roberts, whose main objective is ensuring clients have an extremely positive customer experience, throughout their journey with CENTURY 21 Ocean. From being a constant point of contact to a community ambassador, Jessie's role is focused on clients and their ultimate satisfaction. 

There are over 200 tasks that a real estate agent does in the course of a transaction, most of which are behind the scenes. There is something to be said about the focused power of a team. Providing a high level of customer service while managing, servicing and acquiring new business would not be possible without a team of professionals composed of Buying and Listing Specialists, Client Care Center, Administrative Assistants, Marketing Department, etc.


Contact CENTURY 21 Ocean Today

Be sure to check out the March article of Space Cast Business to find out more about Barbara, Chenay, and the rest of the CENTURY 21 Ocean team.

You can also visit the CENTURY 21 Ocean website or call the team at (321)-323-1212 today, to find out how they can assist you in buying or selling your Brevard County home, apartment, or condo!


Posted in Real Estate News
March 12, 2019

CENTURY 21 Ocean | March 2019 | Real Estate News That Matters To You

How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood
By David Hakimi

Location, location, location. Half of buying a home is finding where you want to live. You may have found your dream house, but it might not be in your dream location.

Here's how you can find the perfect neighborhood: 


Check It Out Online
Look up what people are saying about the neighborhood you're interested in. Do people actually enjoy living there? What do they like and dislike about it?

Crime Stats
Google the crime statistics for the area; safety should be top of mind. If you have kids, look up schools in the area. How are they rated? Social media platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor also offer a great window into the ins and outs of your potential neighborhood.

Scout It Out
Literally. Do drive-bys, and do them at different times of the day to get a feel for the neighborhood. Is there a soccer field or baseball diamond close by? You'll want to know before it's too late whether cars will be lined up on your street every weekend. What's that nearby intersection like during rush hour? Is there a grocery store close by? The more questions you can answer before moving in, the more confident you’ll feel when it’s time to put down an offer.

How Far Is Your Potential Home From Your Job?
A long commute has the potential to become an everyday stressor. If you take the bus, look up the route and times. If you drive, check out the route during your normal commute times on Google Maps.

Do Your Research on Property Taxes
Property taxes greatly differ from one region to the next and could majorly impact your cost of living. Do your due diligence and make sure you can afford the area you want to live in. Check out other costs of living while you're at it—think utilities and food prices.


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Posted in Real Estate News
Feb. 7, 2019

CENTURY 21 Ocean | FEBRUARY 2019 | Real Estate News That Matters To You

2019's Hottest Home Decor
By Barbara Pronin

Comfort is trending for 2019, a consensus of home decorators agree, with more people seeking warm colors, intimate spaces, and a casual but sophisticated lifestyle.

Designers looking to pair physical coziness with emotional comfort forecast seven decor trends:


Scaled down furnishings - After years of favoring large furniture and open spaces, consumers are aiming for a ‘nesting’ environment and choosing smaller pieces arranged in more intimate settings.

Wall coverings - The return to traditionalism brings with it a return to wallpaper, fabric wall coverings and murals. Expect to see plenty of rich shades of green in fabric and wallpaper patterns.

Color changes - While blues and indigos have been huge in recent years, green is the new blue for 2019 and is likely to be used in everything from upholstery patterns to kitchen furnishings.

Color ‘pops’ - People are ditching beige minimalism in favor of fun colors, especially in family-friendly spaces. Yellow is the hottest color for small accent pieces–from ceramics to lamps to sofa pillows.

Warm woods and traditional styles - Antiques and even second-hand items are having their moment again, with consumers looking for skirted tables, wooden chests and other wood pieces with a sense of history.

Indoor and outdoor fireplaces - The coziness trend favors indoor fireplaces, working or not, with homey hearths as a nice spot to gather. Outdoors, fireplaces are preserving the joy of summertime barbecues.

Crafts and artisanal accents - In a world of increasing mass production, there has been a shift back to artisanal and boutique choices in pillows, wall hangings, quilts and other accent pieces all around the home. 

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Posted in Real Estate News
Jan. 15, 2019

CENTURY 21 Ocean | JANUARY 2019 | Real Estate News That Matters To You

Becoming a Home Maintenance Pro: Tips for Homeowners
By Dixie Somers decorative image Many homeowners don't think about home maintenance until something breaks, but that's not the best way to take care of your home. Whether you’re a new homeowner or have been settled for years, it’s never too late to cultivate some home maintenance habits. Here are three tips to help you protect your investment and keep your property in good shape for years to come:

Lawn Cross Section
Photo by Roberto Nickson

Create and Follow a Home Maintenance Schedule
A good place to start is by following a home maintenance schedule. Just as your car needs to have an oil change, your home and yard will need some regular maintenance. Home maintenance schedule apps such as HomeZada and Centriq are an easy way to get yourself on track.

You'll need to mow your lawn, clean your gutters and perhaps even top your trees from time to time. For pest control, you may need to spray or have ground treatment performed a few times a year, too. When it comes to appliances, make sure to send in any warranties and follow the maintenance recommendations in your owner’s manual. For older appliances, many documents can be found online.

Don't be afraid to do some research and speak with professionals about maintenance specific to your location.

Have All of Your Home Systems Checked Regularly
It's important to get your electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems checked annually to keep them in good shape. Some of these tasks can be done yourself; for instance, you might need to clean your air filters, remove debris from the vents and flush out your water heater.

For more technical inspections, check customer reviews on Yelp, Angie's List, Google, Facebook and the BBB when searching for a new company. Always go with one that is experienced, licensed, bonded and insured.

Follow a Cleaning Schedule
Home maintenance often focuses on repair work, but keeping your home clean can be just as important. In addition to once a week tasks such as vacuuming and dusting the shelves, deep cleaning every month or so can save you big in the long run. Moving furniture around, pulling out the washer and dryer to clean behind them and clearing out the garage gives you a chance to inspect for pest problems, water damage and similar issues that can quickly escalate into expensive repairs.

Being a homeowner is very rewarding on many levels, but homeownership comes with a great deal of responsibility. As long as you put in some effort on a regular basis, you should have no problem keeping your home in good repair.

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Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 18, 2018

CENTURY 21 Ocean | DECEMBER 2018 | Real Estate News That Matters To You

Tips for selling your home during the holiday season 

The holidays alone give you plenty to think about, but if you’re also trying to sell your home, the obligations tied to it become another thing on top of your pile. You need to sell your home and you need to do it fast.

The tips included here can help.

Be mindful of your decorating. If you’re trying to sell your home, keep your holiday decorating to a minimum. Remember that not every prospective buyer may celebrate the same holidays you do and you certainly don’t want them to feel alienated. In addition, large amounts of decorations can leave your house feeling cluttered. You want buyers to see your home, not the clutter you’ve added to it.

Hire the right real estate agent. This tip is applicable at any time of year but it’s especially important during the holidays. A REALTOR® that will be absent during the peak of the season isn’t going to be able to help you very much. Inquire about their availability during the holidays before choosing an agent to see if it coincides with your goals.

Priced right. Proper pricing can make all the difference in selling your home quickly. You don’t want to give it away, of course, but the holidays are no time to haggle needlessly. Work with your REALTOR® to find the right pricing for your home, and when the right deal comes through, accept it and move on to enjoying your holidays

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Posted in Real Estate News