Treasure Coast Real Estate News & Market Insights

This Treasure Coast real estate blog originated out of a need to provide valuable Treasure Coast real estate market information to our clients and website visitors. The tips, trends, news articles, market updates, and informational pieces you find on this site are our original content, and we take a lot of pride in being about to offer you expert information about the Treasure Coast real estate market. If you have any thoughts, ideas, or questions about anything we post here, we'd love to talk with you!

Jan. 23, 2019

Making a Strong Offer: How To Place an Effective Bid on Treasure Coast Real Estate

Tried and true home-buying tips on making an acceptable offer for homes on the Treasure Coast.

When most buyers, especially first-time home buyers, think about making an offer on a home, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the purchase price. And make no mistake, the price you pay for the home is important, but it is only one of many factors that determines how attractive that offer may look to a seller. If you are looking to buy homes on the Treasure Coast, this article should provide some interesting information. While it is specifically written for our area, you can really use this blueprint in most states in the US.

Put Ample Amount of Skin in the Game

Part of a great offer includes an Escrow Deposit, where the buyer of the property gives funds to a third party as good-faith money in the event that they default on the contract. Think about it, if you are selling a home, when you accept an offer you are effectively taking your home off the market. If you're going to commit like that, you will want your buyer to be as committed as you are. If you have a question about specific amounts, contact us.

Plan the Closing Date Appropriately

Talk to the seller about their plans before you make an offer. That way, when you make an offer, everyone's timelines already align. If you have to wait six months to close, that may not work with the seller unless they have similar plans. Whatever the case, you want to have an idea where the seller stands so that you can make the best home offer possible.

Get Pre-Approved for a Favorable Financing Option

There are many different ways to finance real estate, but you should be pre-approved before you even think to look at homes. Not only because you want to know what you want to spend, but also because you never know which loan program will be the most advantageous for you and what homes will suit that financing. When a home seller sees that the offer is contingent on the buyer getting financing for the property, they want to ensure that (1) the loan officer is reputable, (2) the buyer is qualified, (3) the timeline for the approval is sufficient, and (4) the type of financing is appropriate. 

Negotiate Who Pays for Title Agent and Title Policy

Another negotiable aspect of a purchase offer is who pays "title", meaning title insurance and associated searches/fees. Title insurance typically costs around $5.75 per thousand dollars of purchase price for homes up to $100,000 and $5.00 per thousand dollars for homes greater than $100,000, so this cost can seriously vary and become a huge negotiating factor. Whoever pays also determines the closing agent, which some parties also see as beneficial. Contact us if you have questions about this, and know that when the time comes to place an offer, this is one other factor that will determine the bottom line of both parties.

Don't Get Greedy with the Inspection Period

Have the inspection done as soon as possible. When the seller sees that the buyer wants a small inspection period (also known as "due diligence period"), they know that they aren't simply trying to tie up the property and that they are serious about their intentions to purchase the home. When you make an offer that is contingent on having a month to have an inspection, most sellers will assume that the buyer is not serious, and most importantly will not be comfortable taking the home off the market from other potential buyers for that long.

Posted in Tips & Advice
Jan. 22, 2019

The Most Important Repairs to Make Before Selling your Home

Keep the value of your home from falling by making these critical repairs before putting it on the market.

Before you decide to sell your home, you want to ensure that every buyer will see it in its best light and that each showing will exemplify the value that your home offers. Before listing your property for sale, this article will go over some crucial repairs to make that a future buyer may or may not see, and could cause you to get low offers or poor inspections down the line. Keep in mind, this article covers repairs of your home, which ensure the home is in good working condition and that a buyer, or a home inspector, don't see things that will cause unnecessary negotiation. This is separate from upgrades, which are usually cosmetic, optional, and boost the value of a home.

 

Faulty Appliances

Repairs House Real Estate

If you have a kitchen appliance, air conditioner, etc., that is not functioning, it is almost always best to take care of the problem yourself. Any potential buyer will usually imagine a much higher estimate to fix a problem than it would cost you to simply make the repair. It could also lead to a buyer backing out of the deal if the item is not disclosed beforehand.

 

Clean/Repair Flooring

Flooring Stuart Home 

In South Florida, our flooring gets more weathered than anywhere else in the country. The rain, dirt, and year-round humidity can take a toll, and potential buyers will be turned off by soiled tile grout, ripped carpet, and dinged-up wood floors. When we are consulting our clients before they sell any of their Treasure Coast real estate, we always recommend making any necessary replacements and a nice deep clean.

 

Water Stains

treasure coast house

You might know that the water stain in the ceiling is from a decade ago, but a buyer will see that and instantly think they have a problem. Any evidence of water damage to the walls, ceiling, or cabinets should be immediately fixed. Have a plumber or contractor come out to ensure there isn't any more leaking occurring, and then cover up the issue. These kinds of things can even cause problems during some home appraisals if they are FHA or VA, because they are protecting the home buyer from potential issues.

 

Pet Damage

Pet Damage in House

Whatever devastation your pets have created, fix it as though there was nothing there. If your house reeks like cat, deep clean the carpets, if your cute puppy scratched at the bedroom door every morning, replace it. Minor pet issues get potential buyers thinking about how responsible and diligent the owner was about the rest of the home, and before you know it they're wondering what else they should be worried about. 

 

Repair Walls

Fixing Wall in House

If you are moving out before starting to show the house for sale, be sure to cover your tracks after you remove TV wall mounts, picture frames, and shelving. Also, if you ran into any walls while moving furniture, don't overlook that. Do some minor dry-wall patching and painting to make the walls look like new again, and you will retain more value out of your home for it.

Posted in Home Improvement
Jan. 15, 2019

Home Appraisal Process: What You Should Know & Expect

Understand what an appraiser does, what an appraiser is, and how you can negotiate so an appraisal is in your favor.

The home appraisal is an assessment of value of real property, and is done by a licensed appraiser. While many people see it as a daunting step in buying a home, knowing the ins-and-outs and who's-and-what's will give you enough ammunition to understand an appraisal and use the valuation to your benefit. If you are looking browsing Treasure Coast homes and looking for a good local appraiser, send us a contact email.

What is an Appraisal and Why do I need one?

Let's say you are looking for homes for sale in Stuart, make an offer, and it is accepted. Before your lender will approve your loan, the property that is being purchased or refinanced must pass an appraisal to ensure it is valued at or above the amount of the loan. As stated above, an appraiser is a third-party hired to provide a statement of value for any piece of real estate. This way, the bank is not immediately underwater if a home buyer were to take out a mortgage and immediately default. This is not to be confused with the home inspection that will be done earlier in the home-buying process.

Appraisal House

Who Chooses and Pays for the Appraiser?

It is important to remember that appraisers do not represent any party in the transaction, they are an objective third-party entity who are contracted by your lender through an appraisal management company that maintains a database of trusted, licensed appraisers. Neither you, your real estate agent, your lender, or your title company have any say in which appraiser is chosen. This is important because federal guidelines stipulate that anyone with interest in the value of a piece of real estate cannot be involved in the appraisal process. The appraisal is typically paid for by the borrower of the loan, or the buyer of real estate, however this can be negotiated in the purchase contract. 

What Do Appraisers Look For?

When an appraiser is valuing a piece of real estate, they will compare it to properties that have recently sold in the area based on the following criteria: proximity, time of sale, age, condition, and size. If you homes in Port St. Lucie will not be used as comparable sale for condos in Palm City, and a home that sold yesterday will be a better comparable sale than one that sold five years ago. 

When an appraiser is coming up with a nonpartisan valuation, they take everything into account from the condition of the exterior and interior to the size and location of the home. They also include any home improvements and additions that may be advantageous compared to comparable sales. 

How Much Does an Appraisal Cost?

The national average cost for an appraisal is $333, according to HomeAdvisor.com. The typical range is between $310 and $404, with the low end around $250 and topping out near $450.

What Do I Do After I Get my Appraisal Report?

When your appraiser sends your lender the appraisal, there will be three possible outcomes.

  1. The appraised value meets the purchase price.
  2. The appraised value is below the purchase price. 
  3. The appraised value is above the purchase price. 

If the appraisal is higher than the purchase price, then you have essentially purchased a home with immediate equity in the property. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, the lender will not supply the loan. In this instance, the buyer and seller of the real estate would usually renegotiate terms in the contract to move forward with the sale.

 

If you have any other questions about real estate appraisals that were not covered here, send us your questions. Remember, you can always view homes for sale all over the Treasure Coast on our website, in real time, straight from the MLS!

Nov. 30, 2018

5 Waterfront Homes for Sale in Stuart that Will Motivate You!

There's something special about waking up and looking out your master bedroom window to the sunrise bouncing off the water. If you're searching for an ocean-access property, waterfront home, or just looking for some motivation, these Stuart FL waterfront homes will have your heart rate up.

These home provide unparalleled wide-water views and privacy that can only a luxury waterfront home can offer.

Without further adieu, here are five waterfront homes for sale in Stuart, Florida.

Ocean-Access Home in Beau Rivage

Stuart FL Waterfront Home

This home is in the beautiful Stuart neighborhood of Beau Rivage, and has gorgeous wide water views from an advantageous lot at the edge of a cul-de-sac. This solid CBS home hast nearly 180 feet of deep water frontage, a 12,000-pound boat lift, and a glistening saltwater pool. Listed by Keller Williams Realty, the interior is updated with a wet bar, theater room, and gorgeous gas fireplace.

 Rocky Point Waterfront Property

waterfront home in rocky point stuart fl

This waterfront home in Manatee Pocket offers character and privacy with an over-sized lot, 170 feet of seawall, personal dock, and 9,000-pound boat lift. One of the most affordable waterfront homes in Stuart, this RE/MAX of Stuart listing is an architectural masterpiece with an open layout and modern interior upgrades.

Waterfront Sanctuary in "Millionaire Row"

new waterfront house

Nestled under mature Banyan trees, and backing up to fingers of the St. Lucie River, this Stuart FL home sits on over half of an acre of property and was built solidly in 2008 with poured concrete, impact glass windows, and a contemporary coastal interior. Also listed by Keller Williams Realty, this home is less than a mile from a local marina, and allows the owner to kayak or paddle board in the local estuaries and spot wildlife daily. 

The Most Affordable Waterfront Home in Sewall's Point

affordable real estate sewall's point

For those interested in waterfront homes in Sewall's Point, one of Stuart's most desirable neighborhoods, this elevated home has plenty to offer. With strategically-protected dockage in Captain's Cove and beautiful wide water views of the Indian River Lagoon, this is now the most affordable waterfront real estate in Sewall's Point. Listed by RE/MAX Community, this property features a new 13,000-pound boat lift and dock, as well as a new metal roof and dual-climate A/C. 

Custom-Built Waterfront Home in Lighthouse Point

palm city waterfront home for sale

Full disclosure: this is Palm City real estate, not Stuart, but this custom-built waterfront masterpiece had to be included in the list. One Sotheby's International Realty brings this new waterfront home to the market, boasting top-of-the-line finishes and upgrades, hurricane impact windows, a spacious floorplan, and a spot in one of Palm City's most sought-after neighborhoods of Lighthouse Point. The builder of this waterfront new construction home wanted it to be the diamond of the neighborhood, with visitors walking in to a 25-foot tall foyer with awe-striking meadow peak and carpenter's tray ceilings.

If you have any thoughts or questions about any of these waterfront properties for sale, or if you'd like to get a more comprehensive list of all of the Stuart waterfront homes on the market, call us today. 

Posted in Tips & Advice
Oct. 11, 2018

Treasure Coast Real Estate Market Update | August 2018

The local Treasure Coast real estate market has gone through an exciting time in 2018. Treasure Coast homes are selling at a higher price, and spending less time on the market, than most periods in the last few decades. If you are thinking of buying a Treasure Coast home, selling your home on the Treasure Coast, or investing in real estate, contact us at any time. In the meantime, enjoy this market update!

Martin County Real Estate Update!

Compared to the same time in 2017, Martin County Homes are spending nearly 95% more time on the market, while inventory has dropped by 12%. Is this a sign of an upcoming market shift in Martin County real estate? Inventory remains representing a balanced market, and seller's aren't lowering much from their listed price, but the median price has slightly decreased. 

martin county real estate info

 

St. Lucie County Real Estate Update!

St. Lucie County real estate continues to be a very hot market, with median sale price up 12.5% compared to August 2018, and up over 8% in 2018 year-to-date alone. Inventory is still very low compared to the demand of St. Lucie homes, hovering around 3-4 homes supply, and sellers are still only taking a median 3.4% discount even with inventory in St. Lucie County slightly increasing.

st lucie county real estate info

 

Palm Beach County Real Estate Update! 

Real estate in Palm Beach County is still a fairly balanced market, making a small tick towards a sellers market with decreased inventory level compared to the same time last year. Not much has changed, with median sales price and months of inventory remaining the same as that time period in 2017.

palm beach county real estate info

 

 

Posted in Tips & Advice
July 12, 2018

Treasure Coast Real Estate Information for April & May 2018!

Interested in what's going on with the Treasure Coast real estate market? The images below illustrate how the markets are looking right now and year-to-date. So far, 2018 has been a great year for those buying or selling homes on the Treasure Coast. Prices have been rising across the board, and interest rates have still been low for those buying Treasure Coast real estate. If you have any questions, or if you are looking to search for homes on the Treasure Coast, use this website and give us a call any time!

Martin County Real Estate

St Lucie County Real Estate

Palm Beach County Real Estate

Posted in Tips & Advice
March 22, 2018

Treasure Coast Homestead Exemption Information

If you purchased a property in 2017 that you will use as a permanent residence, you have until March 2017 to file for Homestead exemption to reduce the amount of real estate taxes you pay on your residence. This can decrease the taxable value of your home by $25,000 or $50,000 for married couples. Below, you will find everything you need to file, the links to county websites, and the addresses and phone numbers for the Property Appraiser offices in Martin and St. Lucie Counties.

Key in mind, if you buy a home that currently has a homestead exemption, you will benefit from that for your first tax bill. Regardless, you will need to file for a homestead exemptions, it will not automatically transfer to a new owner.

What do you need to bring to file for Homestead Exemption?

  1. Your recorded deed or last tax bill.
  2. Date of occupancy.
  3. Date of birth of all applicants.
  4. Florida voter’s registration card.
  5. Florida driver’s license.
  6. Florida vehicle registration.
  7. Social security card (document with your social on it).
  8. Trust documents if the property is held in a trust.
  9. Permanent resident card (if you are not a US citizen).

Martin County Homestead Exemption Info:

Information: https://www.pa.martin.fl.us/homestead-exemption/homestead-exemption-info

Apply Online (Martin): https://www.pa.martin.fl.us/homestead-exemption/apply-online

 

Property Appraiser’s Offices:

Main Office: Martin County Property Appraiser’s Office 1111 SE Federal Highway, Suite 330, Stuart, FL 34994 (772) 288-5608 Monday – Friday 8 AM – 5 PM

Indiantown Annex – Open Part time. Call 772-288-5608 for office hours.

Government Complex 16550 Warfield Blvd., Indiantown, FL 34956

Hobe Sound Annex 11726 SE Federal Hwy., Hobe Sound, FL 33455 (772) 546-1309 Monday – Friday | 8 AM – 5 PM

 

St. Lucie County Homestead Exemption Info:

Information (St. Lucie): https://www.tcslc.com/property-tax/property-appraiser-exemptions/

 

St. Lucie County Property Appraiser Offices:

Main Office 2300 Virginia Ave, Ft. Pierce, FL 34982 Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM

PSL Office – Walton Road Annex 1664 SE Walton Rd. #104, Port St. Lucie, FL 35952 Monday – Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM

St. Lucie West Annex Building 250 NW Country Club Dr., Port St. Lucie, FL 34986 Monday – Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM

Posted in Tips & Advice
March 20, 2018

Simple Ways to Boost Treasure Coast Home Value

These are the tips I give my clients when we prepare to list their homes for sale on the Treasure Coast, and they will work for any homeowner as effective ways to improve their home’s value regardless of their budget. Keep these in mind if you are prepping to sell your home, or just want your home to be presentable to family and guests.

treasure coast kitchen

  1. Keep your Kitchen a Priority. Remember, bathrooms and kitchens can sell homes by themselves. Spending a few hundred dollars on new faucets, upgraded counter-tops, or new appliances, will pay off more than anywhere else in the house. For less than a hundred bucks, you can update old lighting fixures, refinish cabinets, and replace the handles, to make your kitchen and bathroom look modern.
  2. Optimize your Organization. Even the most dedicated hoarders can keep a low profile. Design your closets to maximize space by adding organizational shelving systems. The more you have sitting in plain site, the more your guests are looking at you stuff and not at the space and design of your home. Many times, I will show homes that are so cluttered that my clients can’t see past the blankets and shoes to see the new paint, crown molding, or newly-finished hardwood flooring.
  3. Frame an Extra Bedroom. If you have an office, den, or nursery, it can be made a “bedroom” by adding a closet. The estimated cost could be from $500 to $1,500, and this could be a $10,000 boost on an appraisal.
  4. Save with low-Maintenance Landscaping. Do your research to purchase plants that are drought-tolerant and native to your area. Not only will you save time on maintaining and watering, but your money won’t be spent on plants that won’t take to the climate and wither away.
  5. Replace Popcorn Ceilings. Few things point to a dated home more than popcorn ceilings, and for less than $100, it can be removed. You can purchase an affordable solution to soften the texture, and then simply scrape it off.
  6. Remodel your Entry. If the doorway to your home is antiquated, update it. Clean up overgrown weeds, replace dysfunctional, rusted hardware, and paint faded doors. First impressions matter, and the doorway into your home should reflect what is to follow.
  7. Trigger All of the Senses. Remember that while what people see is extremely important, smell is actually the fondest sense tied to memory. Whether you’re baking cookies, burning a fragrant candle or incense, or running a light load of laundry, make sure that your guests don’t leave smelling light dogs or cigarettes.
  8. Mind the Simple Aesthetics. Unscrewed door knobs, dangling wires, and loose faucet handles raise flags for home buyers and guests. Simple, 2-minute fixes like these keep people from thinking there are bigger issues that they aren’t seeing.
March 9, 2018

Factors that Effect Treasure Coast Home Appreciation

There is ubiquitous confusion surrounding how real estate is sold, and what caused the appreciation of real estate. When the value of Treasure Coast homes increase (or decline), there are seven major factors that we can look at in order to determine what has caused the value to change:

Treasure Coast Living Room 

  1. The Market. Inventory, demand, and other market statistics should be discussed with a tested Realtor who can accurately relay their meaning to you. There are Seller's markets, Buyer's markets, and balanced markets, and each can effect the current valuation of your real estate. Homes on the Treasure Coast benefit from a fairly consistent demand, being that the location (another supplementing factor below) is sought after for thousands of people that want to buy homes on the Treasure Coast every year.
  2. Appeal and Condition. This is what is mostly thought of as attributing to value: size, age, construction type, and some subjective emotional appeals. If your home is different from the others in your neighborhood or city, or if it is staged for sale, the perceived value will vary. One reason foreclosures on the Treasure Coast are at a discounted purchase price is because they are in disrepair and lack aesthetic appeal, which destroys the perceived value.
  3. The Land. Like Mark Twain said, "buy land, they aren't making it anymore."
  4. Inflation. Self-explanatory; inflation causes a rise in the price of goods, including real estate. This can be measured with professional statistics to determine it's exact role.
  5. Location. Homes with a proximity to good schools, major arteries, shopping centers, and other high-traffic areas can be in high demand, increasing market value.
  6. Population Growth. With increasing immigration and birthrate, demand for real estate will be increasing as their is generally a fixed amount of build-able space.
  7. Infrastructure/Municipal Improvements. There is a higher demand for homes that are near newer, more accessible infrastructure. Along those lines, the future plans of the city or county in which your property resides will have huge implications on its value. I hope this brief explanation was helpful to you and those you would like to share this with. Property valuations can vary tremendously, and are often time miscalculated by the untrained person. If you would like a valuation on a property on the Treasure Coast, or if you'd simply like to discuss this email, call me at ??.

If you have thought of selling your home on the Treasure Coast, it is important to realize that there are two types of factors that will effect your listed price: those you cannot change (inflation, market activity, etc.) and those you can (home appeal, condition, etc.). Don't stress out. If you want to sell your Treasure Coast real estate, call us today for tips and a free consultation!

Posted in Tips & Advice
Feb. 22, 2018

Interest Rates Rising for Treasure Coast Home Buyers

Mortgage interest rates have continued to climb, creating a stir for those buying homes on the Treasure Coast that want to lock in a low rate now.

The 30-year fixed-rate average is now at 4.43% (4.10% this time last year), and the 15-year fixed-rate average rose to 3.9% (3.32% a year ago). The rates are rising while Treasure Coast home values have been remaining on a steady increase.

“The 30-year rate has been on a tear in 2018, climbing 48 basis points since the start of the year and increasing for eight consecutive weeks,” said Len Kiefer, the Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said before Congress this week that the central bank will continue to raise interest rates at a slow and steady pace, with most expecting another increase later this month.

The Chicago Tribune notes that it doesn’t seem that mortgage rate rises will not halt any time soon. The company mentioned that nearly half of all experts surveyed on Bankrate.com say the rise will be coming within the next week.

“Until inflation concerns subside, there will be an upward bias to bond yields and mortgage rates,” said Bankrate.com Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride.

For more information on interest rates, contact us today at (772)233-9850 and get hooked up with a great local mortgage lender.

The infographic below is a brief view of how the FED’s decision to raise interest rates will affect most people.

Treasure Coast Interest Rate Infographic

Via CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/16/what-you-need-to-know-about-rising-interest-rates.html