Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 12, 2021

Simple Tasks to Make Your Showings More Successful

YOUR FRONT DOOR OPENS… PIQUE THEIR CURIOSITY TO VIEW THE REST OF YOUR HOME

The moment the buyer walks into your home you want it to be unforgettable, inviting, piquing their curiosity to see more and more and then make an offer. Successful sale!

Streamlining and decluttering your lounge/dining room and kitchen will make it easier on the eye and enables the buyer to envisage themselves living in the home. Those first impressions count, make it memorable.

There are several quick and easy things to do to invite the Buyers inside.

ACTION PLAN

  1. In the lounge remove most of your personal photographs and minimize paintings on the wall.
  2. Reduce the number of pillows on couches to zero or two and try to have a color code/theme.
  3. Do not have too many plants in one area, spread them out through the house or give them away. Remove all dying plants.
  4. Clear off the coffee and/or end tables except for maybe 2-3 magazines and one nice vase or statue.
  5. Box up and store any collections (items could get broken, stolen, or be distracting) and pack up the little things as they create clutter and distract buyers.
  6. In the dining room clear off the dining table except for one centerpiece, make it the focal point of the room and remove the tablecloth.
  7. Remove extra dining room chairs (four chairs is plenty) and remove extra leaves from the table to make the room look bigger.
  8. Repair items that are broken (this will show that your home is well taken care of)
  9. In the kitchen clear the counters and only leave a few items (Keurig, Toaster Oven, etc) and reduce the number of items above the cabinets.
  10. Remove all magnets, photos, children’s drawings, etc from the front of the fridge.
  11. Hide knives in drawer or pantry (security risk, easily accessible weapon)
  12. Remove all snacks/fruit/candy in case of allergies and clean out the fridge.

 

By doing the above simple tasks your home will be the first one they remember, the purchase offer will be in and your home will be SOLD! CONGRATULATIONS!

April 30, 2021

10 Easy Tasks = 10x Easier On The Eye

PREP AND PREPARE YOUR BEDROOMS AND BATHROOMS TO SHOW THEIR BEST!

The objective for preparing your bedrooms and bathrooms is to make the Buyer envisage themselves relaxing and sleeping in the bedroom and indulging whilst still enjoying practical use of the bathrooms.

You want to leave a lasting memory that they will remember when going over their shortlist of houses they viewed that day. You want the bedrooms and bathrooms to have a WOW factor, look inviting, be practical, be a retreat, a quiet place or stand up to rough and tumble toddlers or teenagers who we can expect to spend hours in either of these two rooms, Either way, a little prep will go a long way!

There are several specific things you can do to visually make their space really inviting.

ACTION PLAN

  1. Clear off bedside tables and dresses except for a few necessary items and consider investing in a new bedspread.
  2. Walk-in closet floor to be kept clean, free of dirty laundry, organized, and uncluttered. Keep the closet doors closed, but make sure they can be opened freely.
  3. Make sure windows and /or all special features of the room can be seen and take down all posters and straighten any photographs and paintings.
  4. Remove all personal items, medication, diaries and place them in a drawer or closet.
  5. Coordinate all towels with one or two colors. Fold in thirds and hang neatly every day. Purchase new towels just for the showings and then use your everyday family towels when not showing the house.
  6. Keep the toilet lid down at all times and if you have one, remove the cloth toilet lid cover.
  7. Place all cleaning supplies (plunger, toilet brush, etc and garbage can under the sink.
  8. Scatter rugs to a minimum, no more than one, and consider a new shower curtain or clean the current curtain.
  9. Clear off counters, remove all personal items (hide in sink cabinet), and replace the soap with one neat bottle.
  10. Reduce items in the shower/tub and put away the scale.

LESS IS MORE - HERE IS TO A SUCCESSFUL SHOWING!

April 21, 2021

10 THINGS TO DO BEFORE PUTTING UP THE “FOR SALE” SIGN

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT!

You know the feeling, pulling up in front of a house and you are already imagining what the inside looks like, because of what you see in the driveway, the entrance area, the garden, and the general appearance of the outside of the house.

Before you put your house on the market, there are a few things you can do, fix, change, update and tidy up to make your house more inviting and welcoming from the minute the buyers arrive. That first impression will stay with them whilst touring the inside of your home and probably will be the first memory of your home after viewing several on that day. You want your house to stand out, make a statement and be memorable!

ACTION PLAN:

  1. Power wash house.
  2. Clean all debris, leaves, and moss from the roof and gutters.
  3. Trim overgrown bushes, trees, and plants so the house can be seen and is visible from the road.
  4. Re-paint/varnish/clean the front door.
  5. Place colorful plants outside the front door.
  6. Mow the lawn, place new mulch, and rake, and weed flower beds.
  7. Repair/repaint or replace the mailbox and have numbers clearly visible.
  8. Repair the fence if broken or missing links.
  9. Move all children’s toys and gardening tools/equipment to the backyard and keep them in one section.
  10. Reduce clutter on deck/porch/patio so they look bigger.

DO IT- IT’S WORTH IT!

 THE “SOLD” SIGN WILL BE UP BEFORE YOU KNOW IT……

April 16, 2021

Why this Spring Season May Be the Best Time To Sell Your Home!

Plus 5 Ways to Compete in a Fast-Moving Market!

Written by Angela Geller, Broker, Oceanside Realty Partners

Home sales have been unprecedented! Inventory is at an ALL TIME LOW! There is more buyer interest in this area for several reasons-State-to-State Migration is driving the market. You can even say that State-IN-State Migration is prompting the push to buy too!

What is this “Migration”? With interest rates so low now and predicted to rise as the summer season nears and a population that can move to their dream retirement home earlier-prior to retiring because they are able to work remotely courtesy of COVID restrictions in shut-down states as well as the high cost of living in states such as New York, New Jersey, and California, the Florida market is soaring in sales and new construction. Affordability, fresh air, sunshine, getting outdoors and living, (safely and with precaution of course), are making our area a highly sought-after location.

April historically is the best month to sell a home! Spring is a new beginning, creating more buyer interest, higher list prices - prices that are appraising, and extremely fast sales with multiple offers. Market conditions strongly favor sellers and there may never be a better time for homeowners to contact their local real estate professional to post their home for sale. Many homes are being sold sight unseen. Agents are ‘showing homes’ via Facetime and other video resources.

This has become a deterrent in getting offers accepted because so many buyers find it an easy way to secure a home and back out, so sellers are leery of accepting an offer from a buyer who has not actually set foot inside their home.

Buyers feel they can secure a home quickly but also get out of the accepted offer during an inspection time. Seasoned agents advise their sellers to be cautious and discourage the ‘sight unseen offer’ unless strict terms are agreed upon in advance.

With low inventory right now, sellers are in the cat-bird seat for a quick sale at top dollar pricing. Listing sooner than later can pre-empt some unknowns like COVID surges, climbing interest rates, higher unemployment rates, and sellers who have been on the fence to make a move will want to get in on the action to cash in on their equity and buy their dream home, downsize, or just realize their dreams sooner than later. Those that were waiting to retire in a few years or relocate to more open states are buying now to secure a home that offers the affordability and lifestyle they seek.

In Florida, each area differs in Realtor.com’s 2021 Best Time to List research and analysis. Sites like Realtor.com see much more activity for home searches this time of year and into the summer, but now, as COVID fears subside somewhat with more open states and vaccinations given, people are on the move. They want to get out and live! And why not in sunny South Florida? This could also bring more competition too!

FIVE RECOMMENDATIONS OF HOW TO COMPETE IN A FAST-MOVING MARKET

  1. Hire a true professional with a proven track record to sell your home. Not just an agent that will list to list. A big brokerage is NOT always better. Hire the agent that has your best interest as their top priority, not just quantity…quality, accessibility, resourcefulness, recommendations.
  2. A true professional is worth the commission! They will showcase your home in its best light, helping you prepare your home for a great first impression, showcasing the lifestyle of your community and local amenities, events, activities that attract prospective buyers.
  3. Focus on what buyers are looking for-well cared for homes, get a home inspection prior to listing your home, and make repairs that will create value, a little money preparing your home in advance prevents requested discounts or even the potential of a back out during the inspection period.
  4. Your agent should guide you on what is important and have the resources to help you make that BEST FIRST IMPRESSION!
  5. Price your home correctly! Be aware of terms that are beneficial to your goals and those that could derail a contract.
April 10, 2021

4 Tips for Competing in a Seller’s Market

If you are nervous about entering the market at such a competitive time, join the club! Whether you are an experienced homebuyer or have never purchased before, having the right people in your corner makes the process much less intimidating, and you’re more likely to succeed in a bidding war.

Not many people enjoy a “bidding war”. In a seller’s market, there is less inventory than there are buyers. Inventory has been low for a few years, so when rates dipped to historic lows, that increased affordability for more people. This creates the buying frenzy you’re hearing about.

There are a few tips and tricks we can recommend when writing an offer. Each offer technique depends on several factors:

  • The activity on the property
  • Listing price vs. market value
  • Contingencies you need
  • Terms the seller is looking for

Our experience in working with buyers and sellers allows us to gather the information we need to help secure the home you want at the terms that best suit your needs.

Step 1: Start saving!

In this market, there is no such thing as “seller concessions”. You’ll need to be prepared to cover expenses such as down payment, closing costs, inspections, the appraisal, moving expenses, and unforeseen expenses that may arise after closing.

We work with local lenders that you can get in front of who will help you prepare for homeownership by having a consultation to determine where you are financially vs. where you want to be.

Step 2: Find a Licensed Real Estate Agent

Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place! This step is so often overlooked, and the general public is unaware of how real estate transactions work. Real estate agents are so important, especially now, because the market is so competitive.

You need someone that knows how to finesse a strong offer while maintaining protection in the contract. There are a lot of moving parts during the process, and it is up to your agent to coordinate it all to ensure a smooth transaction.

Step 3: Get Pre-Approved!

What is the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified? The main difference is that pre-approved means you have provided documentation that your lender has reviewed to verify what you’ve stated on an application.

There are a few things to consider during the pre-approval process, so check out this post for more information!

Step 4: Be Flexible.

Low inventory drive home values up. This means, generally, that you’ll get less for your money. Consider your must-haves vs. preferences, and what you can’t change about a property. Location, floor plan, and view are some features you cannot change. Interior updates can be made, pools can be built, and fences can be installed.

Consider the square footage. You would be surprised by the room some 1800 sqft floor plans have compared to 2000 sqft plans that are laid out poorly. Our agents are well-versed in the most common floor plans in our area and can point you in the right direction!

May 16, 2020

Fort Pierce Inlet: Artificial Reef

Fort Pierce Inlet - Oceanside Realty PartnersSt Lucie County will be installing an artificial reef inside the Fort Pierce Inlet!

Installation of a limestone Boulder reef by the SLC Erosion District has already begun! The purpose is to prepare for a sand-bypass trap to collect beach-quality sand that comes into the inlet.

The reef will also benefit juvenile fishes as a habitat while they spend their early life in the inlet (i.e. gag and black grouper)

The sand trap is designed to collect sand to later distribute back on to the beaches instead of dredging offshore or hauling in via trucks (erosion)

Fun fact: the Inlet is federally maintained and the county tries to get state/federal funds to offset costs

**

- Info and second photo courtesy of SLC Comm. Director E. Gill

May 15, 2020

Buying a Foreclosed Home

"I'm looking for a good deal!"

Buying a Foreclosure - Oceanside Realty PartnersWho isn't? Most people believe REOs are a "good deal", and that buying a foreclosed home is the only way to get a good deal. "REO" or Real Estate Owned is the actual term for a foreclosed home - "Foreclosure" is the process of repossession by the homeowner's mortgage holder.

You can find any home listed on any home search website because these websites use public records and Realtor® MLS (Multiple Listing Service) syndications. Any time a legal action is taken against a property, a lis pendens is filed publicly. A lis pendens does not always mean a foreclosure, but many home search websites consider it as such, and homes are often listed as "pre-foreclosure". Again, this is not always the case. If a homeowner misses a few payments (usually 4 payments depending on the lender), the lender will begin the foreclosure process unless the homeowner is able to make an arrangement. A lis pendens does not always lead to a foreclosure.

In order to determine if purchasing a foreclosed home is right for you, read on to learn about the foreclosure process, and the researchrisk, and costs involved.

A purchase can occur in each of the following 3 Steps of Foreclosure. Buying a foreclosed home is different than a traditional sale, and the buying process in each phase of foreclosure is different as well.

Step 1: Short Sale

Don't let the name mislead you, there is nothing "short" about a short sale! Short sales can actually take longer than a traditional sale and after the 2008 market downturn, the process could take as long as 2 years! At that time, banks were not used to handling them and were not prepared to handle the number of short sales that were occurring.

A short sale is the pre-foreclosure phase of mortgage default. Generally, 4 payments can be missed before foreclosure proceedings begin. During this time, a homeowner should be in open communication with the lender to try to come to an agreement to bring the mortgage current. If a homeowner cannot foresee the sustainability of the mortgage payments, the homeowner may elect to sell the home. If the home happens to be worth less than what is owed on the mortgage, the homeowner will need the permission of the lender to sell the home for less, thereby creating a "short" on the mortgage.

What this means to a buyer:

Short sales are usually listed by a Realtor® on behalf of the homeowner, and the value is determined by research to determine fair market value. Homes may be priced a little lower than market value because the homeowner is motivated to sell to avoid foreclosure. However, the final purchase price must be approved by the lender since they're taking the loss. The home will then be appraised. The approval process by the bank is what takes the longest; these days, short sales are not common so approval shouldn't take longer than a few weeks.

Discount on price? Not much if any, because the bank must agree to take a short on the mortgage.

Step 2: Auction Sale

If the homeowner and lender do not come to an agreement or the homeowner does not catch up on payments, the lender will file for foreclosure. The home will be then be sold at auction. Investors monitor popular sites that host auctions waiting for new events to be posted. These events are much like an eBay auction, where you must register to bid, and there may be a reserve set.

What this means to a buyer:

  • Auctions are generally cash-only (can be due to poor condition of the home or just a quick sale)
  • Nearly every auction has added fees, including a "buyer's premium" that can be as much as 5% of the winning bid amount.
  • You don't always have access to the property to physically inspect it, and you don't have the opportunity to ensure a clear title. The home is completely as-is so any title and physical issues are yours to inherit.

Step 3: Bank-Owned

If the home does not sell at auction, the property will sell as a bank-owned property or REO. Sometimes the bank buys the home back at auction and offers it for sale. Either way, it will be offered for sale by a Realtor®. Depending on the condition of the home, if it qualifies for a loan (move-in ready with minimal repairs), buyers who require financing are eligible to purchase.

When the bank re-purchases the property through auction they usually address any liens and title issues, one less thing to worry about. Some larger banks like Fannie Mae even offer incentives to owner-occupant buyers to help combat investors.

Banks will price the home according to market value and condition. The "foreclosure discount" lies in the poor condition of the property and/or the bank's motivation to get the property off the books.

Our Value as Realtors®

The agents at Oceanside Realty Partners have experience in transactions involving short sales and REO properties. We have an understanding of fair market value, what a lender looks for in property condition, and more importantly, we can navigate all the special terms and addenda the bank provides as a part of the contract agreement.

Jan. 10, 2020

St Lucie County Dog Parks

St Lucie County Dog Parks

Parks, restaurants and shops in Fort Pierce, FL and Port St Lucie, FL in St Lucie County are becoming more and more pet friendly! If you are looking for a Fort Pierce dog park and/or a Port St Lucie dog park, here is a list for your reference! If you are looking for pet friendly restaurants, see our post on local Fort Pierce pet friendly restaurants and Port St Lucie pet friendly restaurants in St Lucie County.

North Hutchinson Island (Fort Pierce)

A Fort Pierce dog park is Wildcat Cove. Wildcat Cove is a cove along the Indian River Lagoon on North Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce. Dogs can walk on walking trails without leashes; the trail connects to the north end of Pepper Park where there is paved parking and picnic benches. Parking is also available at Wildcat Cove.

Wildcat Cove, a Fort Pierce dog park on North Hutchinson Island, is located at 3399 N Highway A1A, Fort Pierce, FL 34950

South Hutchinson Island (Jensen Beach)

Walton Rocks Beach, a Jensen Beach dog park, is very popular among our four-legged friends! Walton Rocks Beach in Jensen Beach covers 24 acres of beach property where dogs and run freely and play in the sand and surf! Be careful of the rocks! Sanitary stations, showers, and bathrooms are available.

Walton Rocks Beach in Jensen Beach is located at 6700 S Ocean Drive, Jensen Beach, FL 34957

Savannas Recreation Area

The Savannas Recreation Area is Fort Pierce dog park. The Savannas Recreation Area is a newer fenced-in dog part featuring separate areas for both large and small dogs. The park is ADA-accessible, free, and open during normal recreation hours. The dog playground is 225' x 75'; Amenities include picnic tables, running water, trash cans, shade trees and concrete pipe culverts and ramps for dogs to play on.

The Savannas Recreation Area, a Fort Pierce dog park, is located at 1400 Midway Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34982

The City of Fort Pierce

Another Fort Pierce dog park is Maravilla Park. Maravilla Park is the City's one-acre dog park. Amenities at Maravilla Park in Fort Pierce include a pet comfort station with dog shower and dog drinking fountain, covered pavilion with picnic table, pet waste stations, separate large and small dog areas with ramps and tunnels, common area, informational kiosks, large oak trees for shade, and a double gated entry with concrete walkways.

Maravilla Park, a Fort Pierce dog park, is located at 2622 Oleander Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL 34982

City of Port St Lucie

A Port St Lucie dog park is Lyngate Park. Lyngate Park is nearly 3/4 of an acre and provides three fenced areas (large and small dogs) with shade pavilions, benches, drinking fountains for people and pets, dog agility structures, mulched paths with shade trees, and grassed open space. The third area is reserved for use while another area is in maintenance or recovery mode.

Lyngate Park, a Port St Lucie dog park, is located at 1301 SE Lyngate Drive, Port St Lucie, FL 34952

Another Port St Lucie dog park is McChesney Park and Dog Park. The McChesney dog park in Port St Lucie is a 3/4 acre park with three separate fenced-in areas, each for small, medium and large dogs. Dog waste stations are provided, ADA restrooms available. No lights for nighttime use. All dogs must have current licenses and vaccinations, and not be aggressive or in heat.

McChesney Park and Dog Park is located at 1585 SW Cashmere Blvd, Port St Lucie, FL 34986

Rules: Park rules require that pets be under control at all times, otherwise a leash is required. Owners must also clean up after their pets. See posted signs for any additional rules.

Dec. 31, 2019

Celebrate the New Year in the Treasure Coast

Happy New Year from Oceanside Realty Partners

Celebrate the New Year

in the Treasure Coast!

They're calling the new decade the New Roaring '20s! If you're looking for something to do tonight to celebrate this New Year's Eve, take a look below for a list. Click the link at the bottom for full details!

St Lucie County

- New Year's Eve Bash at Rhumcay Beach Resort and Island Grille starts at 8:30 PM

- 2020 New Year's Eve Bash at Rooster in the Garden starts at 9:00 PM

- Roaring '20s New Year's Eve Party at Kava Kat starts at 8:00 PM

- New Year's Eve at HopCat starts at 11:00 AM

- New Year's Eve Party at On The Edge Bar and Grill starts at 8:00 PM

- New Year's Eve "This is 2020" at Good Times Nightclub starts at 9:00 PM

- New Year's Eve at Crocadillos Bar and Grill starts at 7:00 PM

- New Year's Eve Fedora and Stiletto Party starts at 9:00 PM at Rizzo's Side Door

- The Cosmic New Year Super Jam at Tipsy Tiki starts at 7:00 PM

- The New Year's Eve Party at Shindig Irish Restaurant and Pub starts at 9:00 PM

- New Year's Eve at Vine & Barley starts at 9:00 PM

- The Big Ben Beatles New Year's Bash at Summer Crush starts at 4:00 PM

 

** Admission is required at some events **

Click here to view the full list, including Indian River County and Martin County

Posted in Community Updates
July 13, 2019

(When) Should I Buy a House?

Oceanside Realty Partners Blog

This question probably comes up quite frequently in households: are you currently renting, never having purchased before? Renting in the meantime and hoping to purchase again? How about a current homeowner, looking to up-size, and thinking of keeping your current home as an investment property?

There are so many scenarios, no situation is the same! Did you know you can purchase a home in the name of your IRA, use the property solely as an investment and put the rental income right back in?

Here are some benefits to home ownership:

  • Owning should be less expensive than renting
  • Make your house a home
  • Invest in yourself; no unpleasant landlords

Whatever your situation, give us a call! We would be happy to go over your options and point you in the right direction.