Century 21 Ocean Real Estate Blog

Jan. 15, 2024

January 2024 - Ringing in the New Year with Housing Market Statistics and Local News

January 2024

 
 

Noteworthy News and Space Coast Spotlight:

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Note from Broker Barbara

Happy New Year to our friends, past customers, & future customers! One thing I've learned about the real estate market is that change is constant. Just like the stock market, we can see wild swings affect property values. These are generally in the short term though, so if you're investing or purchasing a primary residence, we hope you plan to hold it long enough to insulate yourself. 2023 was another interesting year with one of the fastest rises in mortgage interest rates in history, coupled with unique challenges in Florida with much higher insurance premiums and new State required engineering reports by the end of 2024 for all condos 3 stories or higher. Many condo complexes are seeing steep rises in HOA fees to fund the higher Reserve budgets that will be required and/or assessments to offset the HOA fee increases. Experienced, hardworking real estate agents like ourselves were continually on the phone or email explaining these issues and how it was putting downward pressure on property appreciation and longer days on the market for actively listed properties. The commercial real estate market had significant challenges too, with the higher mortgage rates significantly decreasing the ROI on commercial properties as well as short-term rental properties. On the barrier islands of the Space Coast, especially in the areas that allow shorter minimum stays, we also saw saturation of short-term rental properties. Frustrated newer owners of these properties were not seeing the returns they forecasted and some experienced short-term property owners saw decreased guest reservations. Some owners are in it for the long haul and will stay at it through this pullback while others are already ready to unload their properties, even if breaking even or at a small loss. In addition, Brevard County is seeing a lot of new hotel developments that have added to this pressure and it's been discussed that the post-pandemic travel craze has lightened after pent-up demand waned and some of the funds used for travel that may have come from PPP monies dried up. Another wrinkle to this that's been documented is that those who moved to their second homes during the pandemic when work from home was most prevalent decided to continue working from home in their second home and are selling their primary residences. Fortunately for us here in Florida, we've been more insulated from downward pressure in values than some other states with a continued influx of new residents to our state. Throughout the county, values overall have seen slight price appreciation on most property types, though there has been a slight pullback along the barrier islands due to the issues mentioned that especially affect coastal properties. I've always said that we pay a price to live near the ocean. Although final 2023 statistics are not in yet, in general, we saw slower sales volume and a return to a more normalized market. We welcome this for both sellers and buyers which will allow them to make less hurried and more thoughtful decisions. Please find us with your questions. We’d love to help you make the most informed real estate decisions that meet your life goals. As always, we welcome the opportunity to serve you!

Brevard Business News Spotlight

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After serving as both Owner and Broker of CENTURY 21 Ocean for almost 9 years, I made the careful and thoughtful decision to remain the Broker but merge my company with a much larger brokerage to capitalize on economies of scale and focus on what I love doing best, working directly with buyers and sellers to help them reach their goals. I interviewed many brokerages and found that C21 Results based out of Atlanta, GA was the perfect fit. Lead by the ever enthusiastic Terry Swanson, C21 Results has many other successful satellite offices such as ours. In this quickly changing digital world, we are able to tap into their incredible software systems and support staff. Our name will remain C21 Ocean and I've adopted a new team name, Ocean to River Properties. I'm super excited for this transition and know that "less is more, focus is power". I look forward to passing on more depth of marketing and support to serve you even better!

 

Brevard November Sales Metrics

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The November sales metrics show an increase in median sales price and homes sold for single family homes compared to the same time last year. Condo's and townhouses fell slightly in price but there was an uptick in units sold. This return to a more normalized market isn't necessarily a bad thing. It allows buyers and sellers to make more educated and thought out purchases.

 

I Am A Freedom Fighter - Seaside Stride Beach Trek

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Ocean to River Properties is the proud supporter of the April 6, 2024 "walkathon" aka Seaside Stride hosted by I Am A Freedom Fighter, a locally run non-profit run by Jenny Pruett, former owner of Juice n Java in Cocoa Beach. Dedicated to raising awareness and funds for those trapped in the human trafficking trade, they are hosting two other outdoor events before the April 6th walk that my team is sponsoring. After I participated in 3 endurance mountain hikes for this cause in Alaska, Utah, and Wyoming, I decided it was time to 'bring it home' to the Space Coast and offer it to a wider audience that loves the outdoors but might not be up for traveling out of state or mountain hikes. Two options will be offered, a 10-mile or 20-mile distance walk either on the beach or along the coast on the sidewalk. Donations are of course highly welcome whether you decide to walk or not. Thank you for your support of this much-needed cause!

Click here to learn more about I Am A Freedom Fighter.

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Monthly Market Detail - November 2023

Brevard County Housing Statistics

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Dec. 4, 2023

December 2023 - Local Brevard County News and Recent Housing Market Statistics

 
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December 2023

Noteworthy News and Space Coast Spotlight:

Downtown Melbourne Planning for New 9-Story Apartment Complex

 
 
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A new 9-story development is in the works for downtown Melbourne. This $81 million downtown apartment complex is being pursued by the national developer North American Properties. This 9-story downtown Melbourne complex would boast 245 apartments and a 376-space parking garage. Melbourne City Hall estimates that the 350 tenants could bring a yearly $11 million into the local economy. The developer has also offered to donate a nearby parcel of land to the city of Melbourne for use as a public park. The initial conceptual framework was approved by Melbourne City Council and now it is in the approval stages for a master redevelopment agreement and zoning matters.

 

Cocoa Beach Kite & Beach Fest

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Cocoa Beach is hosting the annual Kite and Beach fest at Coconuts on the Beach again this year on January 20th and 21st! It's a free event that's great for the whole family. The festival will run from 10am - 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Talented kite flyers from around the US will be performing kite maneuvers to music. The event kick off will be hosted at Friday Fest, Jan. 20, 2023 at 6pm with a night fly on the beach from 7-9pm.

 

Freedom Fighter's - Upcoming Events

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One of our main charity partners, I Am A Freedom Fighter, is dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking. Some of the upcoming events that you can participate in are listed below.

January 27th, 2024 Light in the Darkness 5k

February 24th, 2024 Kayak and Stand-up Paddle Board Paddle

April 6, 2024 the first "walkathon" aka SEASIDE STRIDE Beach Trek that will take place in Brevard County!

Click here to learn more about I Am A Freedom Fighter.

 

 

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Monthly Market Detail - October 2023

Brevard County Housing Statistics

 

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Nov. 7, 2023

Home Staging Tips & Tricks to Sell Faster

Mastering Home Staging: Expert Tips to Accelerate Your Home Sale

Selling a home involves more than just listing it on the market. Home staging, the art of enhancing a property's appeal to potential buyers, can make a significant difference in how quickly and effectively your home sells. In this blog, we'll guide you through a range of valuable home staging tips and tricks that will help your property stand out and attract eager buyers.

 

 

1. Declutter and Depersonalize: Create a Blank Canvas

The first step in effective home staging is to declutter and depersonalize your space. Remove personal items, excess furniture, and clutter that can distract potential buyers from envisioning themselves in the home. Create a neutral and welcoming atmosphere that allows buyers to imagine their own lives in the space.

 

2. Clean and Repair: Present a Pristine Environment

A clean and well-maintained home is essential for leaving a positive impression on buyers. Clean every surface, from floors to ceilings, and address any minor repairs or maintenance issues. Fix leaky faucets, replace burnt-out light bulbs, and touch up paint where needed.

 

3. Focus on Curb Appeal: Make a Great First Impression

Don't underestimate the power of curb appeal. Enhance your home's exterior by trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, and adding colorful flowers or plants. A freshly painted front door and a clean, welcoming entryway set the tone for what buyers can expect inside.

 

4. Consider Neutral Tones: Appeal to a Wide Audience

When it comes to color choices, opt for neutral tones on walls and larger furniture pieces. Neutral colors create a versatile backdrop that allows potential buyers to visualize their personal style and decor in the space.

 

5. Rearrange Furniture: Highlight Space and Flow

Arrange furniture in a way that highlights the flow of the rooms and maximizes space. Avoid blocking natural pathways or creating cramped arrangements. Furniture should enhance the sense of spaciousness and functionality.

 

6. Enhance Lighting: Let There Be Light

Good lighting can significantly influence the atmosphere of a home. Open blinds and curtains to let in natural light, and ensure that all rooms are well-lit. Consider adding floor or table lamps to areas with limited lighting.

 

7. Add Decorative Touches: Accentuate Key Features

Strategically placed decorative elements, such as vases, artwork, or throw pillows, can add warmth and personality to the space. However, keep it simple and avoid overwhelming the rooms with too many accessories.

 

8. Stage Key Rooms: Prioritize High-Impact Areas

Focus your staging efforts on key areas that potential buyers value most, such as the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, and bathrooms. These spaces should be clean, organized, and thoughtfully arranged to showcase their potential.

 

9. Create Inviting Outdoor Spaces: Extend the Living Area

If your property has outdoor space, such as a patio or balcony, stage it as an extension of the living area. Set up outdoor furniture and create a cozy ambiance that encourages buyers to imagine enjoying the space.

 

10. Professional Photography: Capture the Beauty

Once your home is staged to perfection, hire a professional photographer to capture high-quality images. These photos will be essential for online listings and marketing materials, enticing potential buyers to schedule viewings.

 

 

Home staging is a powerful tool that can significantly impact how quickly and effectively your property sells. By decluttering, cleaning, and enhancing your home's appearance, you create a space that appeals to a wide range of potential buyers. With a welcoming and well-presented home, you increase the likelihood of receiving competitive offers and achieving a swift and successful sale.

 

 

Oct. 9, 2023

October 2023 - Real Estate News and August Market Statistics in Brevard County

Noteworthy News and Space Coast Spotlight:

A few notes from Barbara

The Real Estate market continues to be an interesting ride! The health of the market in Brevard County remains strong, however in the last year & a half we've seen a slow down with interest rates hikes, insurance woes, more competition for sellers with a rise in listing inventory, and state required engineering reports by the end of 2024 for condominiums 3 stories or higher. This slow down has been especially prominent along the barrier islands. Working with a skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent is especially important in these times to help protect your investments.

 

STATE OF THE CITIES ~

On October 3rd I had the privilege of attending the first annual State of the Cities breakfast with City Managers and representatives from across all Brevard County municipalities. They were each given a chance to give updates about their cities and discuss the challenges they're facing as a whole. It was an engaging discussion and reminded me why I love living on the Space Coast. Some of the highlights are below along with article links on a few of the topics.

 

CITY HIGHLIGHTS:

Cape Canaveral:

-$100mil Aquarium

-The Community Redevelopment Act (CRA) has been extremely successful in attracting redevelopment projects

- Multiple hotels have been built in last several years with 2 more being built and discussion about an additional 2

 

Cocoa:

-Pushing hard for a Brightline train stop

-Affordable housing is a priority

 

Cocoa Beach:

-$3mil visitors per year which makes traffic control and safety key challenges; 5-7 DUI’s weekly and these are primarily visitors not locals

-36 canals in the process of de-mucking

-Short term rentals remain controversial across the county but especially in Cocoa Beach. See article for more information

 

Indian Harbor Beach:

-One of the lowest crime rates in the State

 

Rockledge:

-800+ acres slated for development with smart planning in place

 

Satellite Beach:

-City owns 40% of beachfront with a majority of that earmarked for conservation

-Highest population of military residents in the county

 

Titusville:

-5,400+ residential units under construction

-Boeing recently moved a facility from Virginia to Titusville

 

CHALLENGES FOR BREVARD COUNTY:

-Affordable housing, especially on the landlocked barrier islands

-Infrastructure as the county continues to grow

-Misinformation on social media along with lack of political collaboration

-Beach Renourishment

-Storm Safety planning, reserves for sanitation & debris removal, and quick permitting processes after any major storm

-Health of the Indian River Lagoon. See below for more information on a possible solution

Staying informed on the current home insurance increases

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There is an increased importance of understanding the rise in insurance rates throughout Florida. It's a key element in purchasing a home and it's important for real estate professionals to address insurance-related issues proactively to avoid potential deal derailments and protect their clients' investments. Insurance companies have struggled to keep up as major storm events continue to cause damage around Florida. The main factors to keep in mind when purchasing a home are staying informed on current rates and knowing your properties insurability. When purchasing a home it's important to research past claims on the property as well as making sure to do your research on what insurance your property needs. It's always good to be prepared for an increase in quotes but if you do your research and work with a knowledgable real estate agent you should be well informed going into a new property. For more information on this, read the article here.

Algae harvesting in the Indian River Lagoon

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It's no secret that in the last few decades we have seen an increase in algae in the Indian River Lagoon. While algae is a key component in producing oxygen for our Earth, an excess of it can kill off other aquatic life and suffocate our lagooons. The rapid growth of algae is caused by leaking septic tanks, sewer systems and over-fertilizing which creates an excess of nitrogen and phosphorus. There have been numerous research projects conducted to help understand the algae problem and thanks to recent support there could be a solution in cleaning it out.

A grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection with allow Brevard County to use AECOM's barge-mounted algal harvester will help reduce the algae overgrowth in our lagoons. The question now is what to do with the harvested algae?

Aug. 21, 2023

Weighing In: The Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper

Are you ready to dive into the world of real estate and considering the allure of a fixer-upper? The idea of turning a dated house into your dream home can be thrilling, but it's essential to weigh the pros and cons before taking the plunge. In this blog, we'll explore the advantages and challenges of buying a fixer-upper.

 

Pros of Buying a Fixer-Upper:

1. Affordability

One of the most significant advantages of buying a fixer-upper is the potential for cost savings. These properties often come with a lower initial price tag compared to move-in-ready homes, allowing you to get more house for your budget.

2. Personalization

With a fixer-upper, you have the opportunity to customize your home to your preferences. From choosing the layout and finishes to creating unique design elements, you can shape the property to reflect your style.

3. Potential for Equity Growth 

If you're willing to invest time, effort, and a bit of sweat equity, a well-executed renovation can significantly increase the value of your home. You could potentially build equity faster than if you bought a move-in-ready property.

4. Creative Satisfaction 

For those with a passion for design and DIY projects, a fixer-upper can be immensely satisfying. Turning a neglected space into a beautiful and functional area can be a source of pride and accomplishment.

5. Lower Competition

Fixer-uppers often have less competition from other buyers compared to move-in-ready homes. This can give you more negotiating power and potentially lead to a better deal.

Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper:

1. Time and Effort

Renovations can be time-consuming and demanding, especially if you're doing much of the work yourself. Be prepared for months of planning, decision-making, and hands-on labor.

2. Unexpected Costs

Renovation projects rarely go exactly as planned. Hidden issues may surface during the process, leading to unforeseen expenses that can strain your budget.

3. Stress and Uncertainty

The renovation process can be stressful, especially if you're juggling the demands of daily life along with the project. Delays, setbacks, and unexpected challenges can take a toll on your patience and well-being.

4. Financial Risks

While there's potential for equity growth, there's also the risk that your investment might not yield the returns you expect. The real estate market is unpredictable, and there's no guarantee that the value of your fixer-upper will appreciate as anticipated.

5. Skill and Knowledge Required

Taking on a fixer-upper requires a certain level of expertise in construction, design, and project management. If you lack the skills or experience, you might end up with subpar results or additional expenses from hiring professionals.

6. Opportunity Cost

The time and money you invest in renovating a fixer-upper could be spent on other pursuits, such as enjoying your free time, pursuing hobbies, or even searching for a move-in-ready home that better meets your needs.

In conclusion, buying a fixer-upper can be a rewarding endeavor for the right person, but it's not without its challenges. It's important to carefully consider your budget, skills, timeline, and overall vision for the property. If you're prepared to put in the work and navigate the potential setbacks, a fixer-upper could be the perfect canvas for creating a home that's uniquely yours. However, if you prefer a more straightforward buying experience or lack the time and resources for extensive renovations, a move-in-ready home might be a better fit. Always weigh the pros and cons before making your decision to ensure that your investment aligns with your goals and capabilities.

Aug. 3, 2023

August 2023 Brevard County Florida Real Estate News

August 2023 Brevard County Florida Real Estate News

 

Noteworthy News from the Space Coast:

Palm Bay Tops List of Best Cities for 1st-Time Homebuyers

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Buying a home for the first time is an exciting and important milestone for many Americans. Their purchases make up a sizable chunk of the market, too. In 2022, 26% of home purchases were made by first-time buyers.

In a recent study, WalletHub compared 300 cities across the US and ranked Palm Bay as the top city for first-time home buyers. These cities were ranked based on affordability, real estate market health and overall quality of living, with 22 individual metrics within each category.

 

Amazon’s Project Kuiper Invests $120 Million in Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility

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Amazon has chosen NASA's Kennedy Space Center for the construction of its upcoming network of space-based internet satellites called Kuiper. This $120 million project will include the development of a 100,000-square-foot processing plant. Projects like this bring jobs and economic benefits to Brevard County.

 

Amphitheatre at Veterans Memorial Park in Merritt Island

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Since 2017, the Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency (MIRA) has undertaken an ambitious commitment to enhance the Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre, with a generous funding of over $2.4 million dollars. These exciting enhancements are currently in their final design stages, progressing through permitting review, bidding, and construction. The project is set to reach completion in early-mid 2024, promising to transform the amphitheater into a venue for various events and performances.

 

Restaurant Highlight - The Daley Trade in Downtown Titusville

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The Daley Trade is a creative wine and tapas restaurant located in historic downtown Titusville. Entering through the European market you can browse the selection of artisan sourdough loaves, handmade pasta, and an extensive selection of craft beers and natural wines and well as other dry goods. The dining room offers an ever changing specials menu that highlights seasonal foods and fresh local produce. Pair these creative tapas with craft beer or wine from a carefully curated wine selection featuring natural, organic, and biodynamic wines.

 

Monthly Market Detail - June 2023 \\\

Brevard County Housing Statistics

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July 27, 2023

How Real Estate is Changing with Technology

How Real Estate is Changing with Technology

In an ever-evolving world, the real estate industry has not been left behind. The advent of the virtual realm has brought about remarkable changes, revolutionizing the way properties are bought and sold. Today, the virtual aspects of real estate have taken center stage, providing convenience, efficiency, and unprecedented opportunities for both buyers and sellers. In this blog, we'll explore the exciting ways technology is transforming the real estate landscape and how it can save clients valuable time and money.



 

3D Tours

One of the most significant advancements in real estate technology is the introduction of 3D tours. Using state-of-the-art cameras and software, real estate professionals can create immersive and realistic virtual tours of properties. These tours offer a true-to-life experience, enabling potential buyers to explore every nook and cranny of a house. This level of detail empowers buyers to make better-informed decisions without the pressure of immediate in-person visits, streamlining the entire house-hunting process.

 

Drone Imagery

Imagine getting a bird's-eye view of a property and its surroundings without stepping foot on the premises. Drone technology has made this possible, and it's changing the way real estate listings are presented. High-quality aerial imagery captured by drones provides a unique perspective, highlighting essential aspects like the property's location, neighborhood amenities, and proximity to parks, schools, and transportation. This information is invaluable to buyers and helps them narrow down their options efficiently.

 

Virtual Consultations

The virtual aspects of real estate aren't limited to property tours alone. Real estate agents now offer virtual consultations, leveraging video conferencing tools to communicate with clients and address their concerns in real-time. Whether you're a buyer looking for the right property or a seller seeking guidance on how to best present your home, virtual consultations save time and travel expenses, making the process more efficient and convenient for everyone involved.

 

Enhanced Listing Platforms

Online listing platforms have become the go-to resource for potential buyers. These platforms now offer advanced features like virtual staging, where digital furniture and decor are superimposed onto vacant rooms, giving buyers a sense of the property's potential. Additionally, interactive floor plans allow users to visualize the flow of a home and how their furniture would fit in the space. These tools enhance the overall experience and help clients visualize their future home more effectively.

 

 

As technology continues to shape the world around us, the real estate industry is leveraging these advancements to provide clients with unparalleled convenience and efficiency. The virtual aspects of real estate, including 3D tours, drone imagery, virtual consultations, and enhanced listing platforms, are revolutionizing the way properties are bought and sold.

 

For buyers, these virtual tools save time and money by enabling them to explore multiple properties without leaving their homes. For sellers, embracing virtual aspects means reaching a broader audience and showcasing their homes in the best possible light.

 

As a real estate professional, staying up-to-date with the latest virtual trends is crucial to meet the needs of tech-savvy clients. Embracing these virtual aspects of real estate will not only streamline the buying and selling process but also demonstrate your commitment to providing the best possible service in this digital age. So, let's embrace the virtual revolution and unlock the full potential of the real estate market!

July 12, 2023

July Real Estate Trends in Brevard County Florida

July 2023 Real Estate Trends

MAKING SENSE OF HOUSING REPORTS:

Understanding Housing Data: Unraveling the Median vs. Repeat Sales Price Conundrum

The realm of housing data can be perplexing, often presenting conflicting information. It's not uncommon to hear reports stating that home prices have risen, only to come across data indicating a decline in the median home price average. To navigate this confusion, it's essential to comprehend the disparity between the median sales price, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and the repeat sales price utilized by other sources.

The Challenge of Median Sales Prices: The NAR calculates the median sales price, which represents the middle price of homes sold, with half of the homes selling for a higher price and the other half selling for a lower price. This approach can create confusion because if a higher number of lower-priced homes have recently sold, the median sale price would naturally decrease. In this scenario, the "middle" home is now a lower-priced home, even if the value of individual homes is actually increasing. It's crucial to understand that a decline in the median sales price doesn't necessarily imply a loss of value for any specific property.

Factors Influencing Median Price Fluctuations: When mortgage rates are higher, homebuyers often need to seek out less expensive homes to maintain affordability in terms of their monthly housing expenses. Consequently, a greater number of "less expensive" houses are being sold in the market, leading to a decline in the median price. However, this decline in the median price doesn't imply that the value of every home has diminished. Instead, it reflects a shift in the mix of homes sold, with a higher proportion of lower-priced properties changing hands.

The Importance of Context: To avoid misinterpretation, it's vital to consider the context and underlying factors when analyzing housing data. Median sales prices can be influenced by various factors such as mortgage rates, market conditions, and the specific mix of homes being sold. Therefore, it's crucial to delve deeper into the data and explore additional indicators to gain a comprehensive understanding of the market's dynamics.

 

Conclusion: Navigating housing data can be challenging, particularly when comparing median sales prices and repeat sales prices. The median sales price represents the middle price of homes sold and can fluctuate based on changes in the mix of homes sold, while repeat sales prices provide a more comprehensive view of value trends. By considering the broader context and understanding the factors influencing median price fluctuations, we can develop a more accurate understanding of the housing market's intricacies.

 

5 reasons we won’t see a housing market crash this year by Michael Gifford, CEO, Splitero "... doomsdayers and naysayers are predicting a market meltdown of epic proportions. They’ve been doing so for quite a while, though. That either means they’re wrong, or we’re on the verge of — something pretty scary. Although my crystal ball is in the shop, Michael Gifford dusted his off and took a look at the predictions of others as well, laying out an argument for a strong market in the months ahead."

Homeowners are reluctant to sell because many are locked into low-rate mortgages and don’t want to give up that rate to sell and repurchase a more expensive home with a higher mortgage rate.

Credit availability is exceptionally tight, and regulators removed faulty financial products.

Mortgage delinquency rates are low.

Home equity is at an all-time high which means foreclosures aren’t coming.

The housing market is starved for inventory.

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Monthly Market Detail - May 2023

Brevard County Housing Statistics

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June 15, 2023

Navigating Home and Flood Insurance Changes in Florida

Home and Flood Insurance Changes in Florida

 

 

Navigating Home and Flood Insurance Changes in Florida

 

Living in beautiful Florida has its fair share of advantages and challenges. From stunning coastlines to vibrant cities, the Sunshine State offers a desirable place to call home. However, Florida is also susceptible to natural disasters, particularly hurricanes and floods. As a result, home and flood insurance play a crucial role in protecting residents and their properties. In recent years, Florida has witnessed significant changes in the insurance landscape, making it essential for homeowners to stay informed and prepared. In this blog, we will discuss the current changes happening in the home and flood insurance in Florida and how residents can navigate through them.

  1. Rising Premiums: One of the significant changes affecting homeowners in Florida is the increase in insurance premiums. Insurers have faced mounting losses due to the frequency and severity of hurricanes, leading to higher premiums to mitigate their risks. This increase has caused financial strain for many homeowners, making it crucial to review and compare insurance policies to ensure the best coverage at an affordable price.
  2. Capacity Issues and Reduced Options: Some insurance companies have recently scaled back their operations in Florida, citing the state's vulnerability to hurricanes and the resulting high-risk nature. This reduction in insurance capacity has decreased homeowners' options, potentially making it more challenging to find suitable coverage. Homeowners must explore various insurance providers and work closely with insurance agents to find the best options.
  3. Changes to Flood Insurance: Flood insurance is paramount in a state prone to hurricanes and heavy rainfall like Florida. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides flood insurance coverage for many homeowners but has undergone significant changes in recent years. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 introduced reforms that affected flood insurance rates and subsidies. Homeowners must understand these changes and evaluate their flood insurance needs accordingly.
  4. Mitigation Measures: Florida has implemented various mitigation measures to address the increasing risk and costs associated with hurricanes and floods. These measures include building codes and regulations that require more substantial construction standards, such as impact-resistant windows and reinforced roofs. Homeowners who take proactive steps to fortify their homes against hurricanes and floods may be eligible for insurance premium discounts. Homeowners should explore these mitigation measures and consult experts to make their properties more resilient.
  5. Seeking Professional Guidance: Given the complexities and changes in home and flood insurance, it is highly recommended that homeowners seek professional guidance. Insurance agents with expertise in Florida's market can provide valuable insights and help homeowners navigate policy options, coverage limits, and mitigation measures. These professionals can assist in assessing risks, understanding policy terms, and finding suitable coverage that aligns with homeowners' needs and budgets.

 

As the insurance landscape in Florida continues to evolve, homeowners must stay informed and proactive when protecting their properties against hurricanes and floods. The rising premiums and reduced insurance options pose challenges, but homeowners can secure the best available coverage by exploring different providers, reviewing policies, and seeking professional guidance. Understanding the changes in flood insurance and implementing mitigation measures can further enhance protection and potentially reduce premiums. By staying vigilant and taking necessary precautions, Florida residents can ensure their homes are safeguarded against the unpredictable forces of nature.

 

If homeowners have questions about their home and flood insurance in Florida, the first point of contact should be their insurance agent or insurance company. The insurance agent is the primary resource for addressing concerns, providing information, and assisting with policy-related inquiries. They are knowledgeable about the specific details of the policy and can help explain coverage, premiums, deductibles, and other relevant aspects.

 

The contact information for their agent or company should be readily available on their insurance policy documents, billing statements, or the company's website.

 

If customers need help locating their insurance agent's contact details, they can contact the insurance company's customer service department directly. The customer service representatives should be able to assist with general inquiries and guide customers to the appropriate department or individual who can address their specific questions about home and flood insurance.

 

Remember, it's essential to review your insurance policy carefully, understand the coverage provided, and ask any questions you may have to ensure you have the necessary protection for your home in Florida.

 

 

Some Notable Home Insurance Providers In Florida:

 

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company

Federated National Insurance Company

Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company

People's Trust Insurance Company

Security First Insurance Company

Florida Peninsula Insurance Company

St. Johns Insurance Company

Tower Hill Insurance

American Integrity Insurance Company

 

 

Please note that this list may not be exhaustive, and there might be other insurance providers operating in Florida. It's always best to conduct your own research or consult with a local insurance agent to get the most up-to-date and accurate information.

June 9, 2023

Boosting Home Value: Top Upgrades for Florida Homeowners

Home Upgrades To Boost Value

Whether you are planning to sell your home in the near future or simply want to enhance its appeal and functionality, investing in strategic upgrades can offer significant returns. In the vibrant state of Florida, where residents enjoy a year-round sunny climate and a booming real estate market, there are several key home upgrades that can provide the greatest return on investment (ROI). In this blog, we will explore the top upgrades you can make to your Florida home, ensuring it stands out in the competitive market while adding value to your property.

 

Outdoor Living Spaces:

Florida's fantastic weather invites homeowners to enjoy the great outdoors. Enhancing your outdoor living areas can significantly boost your home's appeal and value. Consider adding a screened-in porch, a spacious deck, or a beautiful patio to create a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces. Landscaping improvements, such as adding native plants, creating a lush garden, or installing a swimming pool, can also increase the desirability of your property.

 

 

Energy-Efficient Features:

Energy efficiency is a growing concern for homeowners and potential buyers alike. Florida's warm climate makes energy-efficient upgrades particularly appealing. Install solar panels to reduce your reliance on the grid and lower your electricity bills. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, such as refrigerators, HVAC systems, and water heaters. Additionally, improve insulation and seal any air leaks to keep your home cool during the scorching summer months, thus decreasing energy costs.

 

Kitchen Renovation:

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and investing in its renovation can yield substantial returns. In Florida, where the culinary scene is vibrant and entertaining is a common pastime, a modern, well-designed kitchen can be a major selling point. Focus on high-quality, durable materials, such as granite or quartz countertops, and stainless steel appliances. Incorporate ample storage space, functional layouts, and a stylish design to make the kitchen a standout feature of your home.

 

Bathroom Upgrades:

Bathrooms are another area of the home that can greatly influence a buyer's decision. Upgrade your bathrooms with modern fixtures, elegant tiles, and luxurious finishes. Consider adding features such as double vanities, spacious walk-in showers, or relaxing soaking tubs. Additionally, improving the lighting and ventilation systems will enhance the overall ambiance and functionality of the space.

 

Smart Home Technology:

Integrating smart home technology has become increasingly popular among homeowners, and Florida is no exception. Upgrade your home with smart thermostats, automated lighting systems, security cameras, and smart locks. These additions not only improve convenience and energy efficiency but also demonstrate that your home is up to date with the latest technological advancements.

 

Impact-Resistant Windows and Doors:

Florida is prone to severe weather, including hurricanes. Installing impact-resistant windows and doors not only increases your home's value but also provides added protection and peace of mind. These upgrades can reduce the risk of damage from strong winds and flying debris, making your home more appealing to potential buyers and potentially lowering your insurance premiums.

 

Conclusion:

Investing in the right upgrades for your Florida home can have a significant impact on its value, desirability, and marketability. By focusing on outdoor living spaces, energy efficiency, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, smart home technology, and impact-resistant windows and doors, you can make your home stand out in the competitive Florida real estate market. Remember, it's essential to strike a balance between personal preferences and market trends to maximize the return on your investment.