After Easter, Stuart Spring Real Estate Season Blossoms

After Easter, Stuart Spring Real Estate Season Blossoms

 Roosevelt Bridge at Night

When the first spring day comes along (as opposed to the first day of spring), a goodly proportion of our Stuart residents feel the annual pull toward the garden store aisles. Even those who’ve stoutly resisted ordering seeds, gardening tools, or any of the other back yard paraphernalia the catalogs kept hawking all winter can succumb to this particular Call of Nature.

Burpee, Scotts and Miracle-Gro shareholders can relax: spring has sprung.

The Stuart spring real estate selling season starts stirring, too, pretty much in lockstep with the appearance of the tulips. Whether or not the tulips have succeeded in poking up out of the ground, it’s a cinch that by this time they will have made colorful appearances on store shelves everywhere, just like the Peeps and chocolate bunnies. Unlike the rest of the early spring’s trappings, though, the spring real estate phenomenon doesn’t disappear from sight once Easter Sunday is a memory. In fact, it picks up steam.

There are any number of explanations why spring real estate in Stuart is always expected to ramp up. Part of the reason is the calendar. For families with children, if a move is going to involve a change in school districts, summer vacation is the least disruptive time of year for it to happen, so spring is the time to start house hunting. Part of the reason is due to the comparative difficulty of selling a home in wintertime: not only can foul weather make it harder to keep a home at its showy best, it also can throw a monkey wrench into property maintenance and the few cosmetic fixes that almost every home could use before it hits the Stuart listings. The result is a certain amount of bottled-up inventory that bursts onto the scene all at once—and springtime is the single time of the year when that happens.

Then there is the automatic momentum effect. When you sell a Stuart home, most families need to turn around and buy the next. The National Association of Realtors® tells us that the spring real estate selling season may actually be stronger than the numbers indicate, because many sales that really did begin “in season” don’t actually close until summer begins. Spring real estate as a phenomenon is “real” enough that you can’t blame them for lines like “Spring brings rain and flowers—and possibly extra green in the final sales price of your home.”

The spring real estate selling season is indeed underway, so if you are planning on listing your own Stuart home anytime soon, now is a great time to give us a call. It’s the best way to take advantage of the traditional boom in prospective buyers!

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3 Ways Buying a Jensen Beach House is Unlike Any Other Purchase

3 Ways Buying a Jensen Beach House is Unlike Any Other Purchase

 Jensen-Beach-Florida-Homes[1]

As most Jensen Beach homeowners would agree, buying a house is dissimilar from any other kind of shopping—and that’s not just because of the price tag.

When you set out to shop for most everyday items, you usually pick which store you’ll visit first, then survey what they have to offer. If the goods aren’t what you had in mind—or the price seems too high—you hit the next store. We do this without a second thought.

For more important purchases, you’re apt to do some research first. You might search on the web or read magazine reviews to see which brands have the features you want. You may check out customer comments, paying more attention to the ones which sound reliable. You compare prices and delivery specifications, then buy online or find the nearest Jensen Beach store. When you have the time, this kind of spadework pays off in the quality and value gained.

Buying a Jensen Beach house differs considerably. If you have any doubts about that, it’s easy to verify. Just compare the process of buying a house with how you approach any other major purchase. Think about buying a new car…

Representation. When you’re in the market for a new auto, unless your brand loyalty is unshakeable, you’re likely to visit several car dealers, check out prices and features, take a test drive (or many test drives—given today’s prices, that’s not a bad idea!); then sit down and talk turkey with the showroom salesman. If you’re a seasoned buyer, you’ll probably wind up having it out with the sales manager before the deal’s done.

When you’re buying a car—even a Rolls-Royce, which costs more than some houses—no one brings along their agent. When buying a house, you should!

It’s true that some buyers consider letting the seller’s agent put together the deal, but that’s bound to be a huge mistake. That agent is employed to represent the interests of the seller. As buyer, your interests are hardly the same. If someone were suing you, you’d never consider hiring their lawyer to represent you—but when one agent is in charge of the whole process, that’s what happens. It doesn’t make much sense, especially since having your own agent costs you no more (both agents’ commissions are paid from the seller’s proceeds).

Inspection. When you buy a new car, if you insisted on having your mechanic check out the engine, the dealer would wonder what part of “new” you fail to understand. He would think you’d lost your mind. Yet buying a house without providing for your own thorough inspection would be a very risky move. Although skipping the inspection might save a little money, Jensen Beach home buyers expose themselves to an array of future problems when they do so.

Pre-Approval. It’s awkward to go about financing a new car before you know what you want, which is part of the reason dealers have a financing department. When you’re buying a house, the opposite is true. Since some people have an unrealistic idea of their total financial picture (and an incomplete understanding of lending practices), it makes any buyer stronger to appear with pre-approval in hand. Sellers know you’re for real!

If buying a house in Jensen Beach is on your agenda, having me in your corner will help make it one “shopping expedition” that’s both a pleasure and a success. I hope you’ll call me!

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Overcoming Rival Bids in Today’s Palm City Real Estate Market Tips

 Overcoming Rival Bids in Today’s Palm City Real Estate Market Tips

 Lake Grove in Palm City

It was only a few years ago that the last thing a prospective Palm City home buyer had to worry about was being outbid. Those were the days when the bottom seemed to be falling out of the Palm City real estate market. Anyone brave enough to be looking to buy at a time when the real estate market was frightening most folks away was not only plucky—they were also alone. Sellers who had to move no matter what found themselves forced to accept offers that they knew were well below their property’s true utilitarian value. The only saving grace was that those same sellers could turn around and buy in their new community at the same kind of crazy discount.

That, as they say, was then—and this is now. As the real estate market in Martin County continues to revive, sellers’ mindsets have returned to normal. Knowing that their Palm City home is a valuable commodity, they demand offers that are respectable. One national survey found that that buyers are acting quickly on the most sought-after homes, and that overall, median DoMs (Days on Market) fell to 32 in March from 40 just a month earlier.

As the spring selling season heats up, some buyers who find the home of their dreams may also suspect that they aren’t alone. It calls for definitive action—and if it looks as if just making an offer might not win the day, some additional action. For home buyers who have a good idea that they must act decisively or miss out, here are some options for increasing the odds that their offer will be accepted:

One tactic to prevent being outbid is to add an escalation clause to the offer. If allowed, such a provision states if the seller receives another offer, then the buyers are willing to increase their own offer to a set price. For instance, a home buyer who makes an offer of $310,000 might include an escalation clause in increments of $3,000 should a competing offer appears, up to a maximum of $360,000.

Since people have different reasons for selling their home, another tactic is to discover what’s important to the seller. Perhaps they have a new job opportunity and need to vacate as quickly as possible. Or maybe they have plenty of time, and are holding out for the maximum price. Your agent may have a good idea what is motivating the sellers so that you can craft your offer around their requirements. If a normal schedule calls for an inspection period of 10 days, but the sellers want to move quickly, they may be motivated by a shorter inspection period.

Usually, home buyers find it prudent to keep the upfront earnest money pledged to a minimum, allowing them more leeway in limiting their loss if they decide to back away from the deal. Increasing the earnest money shows the sellers you are serious about completing the purchase. It also subtly affirms your financial stability. An even more substantial demonstration is to become pre-qualified with a mortgage lender. Unless an all-cash purchase is possible, it’s the best way to guarantee you will be able to act quickly. Even if competitive bidders appear, when you are a pre-qualified buyer, you increase your chances of winning out.

When I’m tapped to act as your buyer’s agent, I become your advance scout and strategic partner as you explore this spring’s exciting Palm City real estate market. I hope you’ll give me a call!

Will Stuart FL Real Estate Reflect Trend to Downsizer Nation?

Will Stuart FL Real Estate Reflect Trend to Downsizer Nation?

You would think that smaller homes would be skyrocketing in popularity right about now. Statistics show that the average number of people in American households is shrinking. Practicality would seem to dictate that a trend toward downsizing should be underway, with significant implications for Florida real estate.

downsizing

It’s no exaggeration to say that for as long as many Americans can remember, bigger has always been better. In terms of sheer floor space, the average American home increased from 1,900 square feet in 1993 to 2,400 two decades later. The reasons may have been both practical and psychological: for those who grew up in cramped quarters, space was the missing element—so elbow room and privacy became the essence of a desirable home. This was evident in our recent Stuart FL real estate ads, where spaciousness was emphasized wherever possible, from the photographs to listing copy.

In fact, it seems that the baby boomer generation hasn’t given up their fondness for abundant living space—at least not in droves. At least not yet.

A recent AARP real estate survey found that 84% of the boomers expressed unflinching preference for continuing to live in their current digs for as long as possible. That might make sense, at least according to the arithmetic you can deduce from a 2013 Census survey. It found that a large-scale move toward downsizing doesn’t usually begin in earnest until the Head of Household reaches age 75. The most senior members of the boomer generation were born after 1945—so that won’t happen for a while.

Still, there are stirrings to suggest that some have started to rethink ‘Bigger is Better.’ Instead of defining themselves by real estate square footage, they’re beginning to prospect for smaller solutions. It’s entirely possible that Downsizer Nation might be just around the corner!

The logic is certainly there. Many downsizers do so in answer to what emerges as a more or less unavoidable lifestyle decision. Empty-nesters no longer have children at home, and begin to find themselves cleaning, fixing, heating and cooling substantially empty space. Some may hanker to start some serious globe-trotting—meaning they’ll spend less time at home (ergo, even emptier space). Still others find their lives are more outdoor-focused than before.

The reality of the time, energy, and money that goes into maintaining a 5-bedroom home with multiple levels can begin to trump its “EREF” (Elbow Room Enjoyment Factor). There’s the cleaning, keeping interiors and furniture fresh, maintaining windows, furnaces, fans. Then there are the outdoor areas to consider. Mowing, raking, shoveling…for some, the enjoyment of that part of the outdoors can gradually generate more tedium than enjoyment. It can push some residents into new appreciation for a Stuart FL real estate solution that simply requires less to do.

Whether your family is expanding—or beginning to seriously contemplate the reverse—I hope you will give me a call. I’ll be able to show you many appealing properties from the current crop of Stuart FL real estate offerings!

Will Stuart FL Real Estate Reflect Trend to Downsizer Nation?