Stuart FL Buyers Taking a Harder Look at Today’s Credit Score Models

 Stuart FL Buyers Taking a Harder Look at Today’s Credit Score Models

It may not be the first factor you look at when you begin planning to buy a Stuart FL house, but unless you are in the rare position of being able to make an all-cash purchase, sooner or later your credit score will become a prominent factor. That’s why this month’s get-together in Washington held some information that could ultimately become pretty important for both Martin County home buyers and sellers.

The meeting was held at the National Association of Realtors headquarters, with participants that included HUD Secretary Julian Castro, credit score industry representatives from FICO and Vantage Score, and other experts in research, government, and real estate. This might seem to be the kind of gathering (“Symposium,” in this case) that is usually more productive of eyes glazing over than much else, but for Martin County home buyers and sellers, this one was different.

credit reportThe subject was “Credit Access”—how companies determine the credit scores that guide lenders’ decisions on who will and won’t be offered home loans. The consensus was (and is) that current credit score formulas could stand some improvement. Secretary Castro’s Keynote set the table. He said that there is a recognized need to find new ways to construct credit scores that are more sensitive to “getting at” the bottom line responsibility potential borrowers have shown in their lives; credit scores that will predict how they will pay down their mortgages. “There’s been a disconnect there,” he said.

Given that this is the single reason that credit scores exist at all, that seems like quite a statement to make, particularly with the credit scoring companies right there in the room. No eye-glazing going on, I suspect.

Now it’s true that FICO and Vantage Score have already been fine-tuning some of their credit scoremethods. Local buyers may have already have seen their Stuart FL credit scores improving when non-recurring problems (like tardy medical bill payments) were de-emphasized. But on a wider scale, there was considerable discussion about the need to adapt to lifestyle shifts that are taking place. The way Americans live their lives—particularly the way they use technology—has changed, and will continue changing. Blanket shifts in lifestyles make some behaviors different predictive value than they used to have: for instance, many millennial and minority consumers “don’t use credit in the same way households did in the past.”

A representative from Moody’s Analytics pointed out that most conventional loans are currently made to borrowers with credit scores about 740—which is 20 points higher than was the case during the housing boom. In today’s tougher economy, that makes it likely that some Stuart FL buyer’s credit scores would benefit if HUD is able to follow through on its efforts “to improve credit access to Americans” without adding to lender risk.

It’s in everyone’s interest that credit ratings be accurate predictors of repayment patterns. With interest rates continuing to be at bargain basement levels, it couldn’t be more important, because it also continues to be a fantastic time to be in Martin County’s real estate market—and to give me a call!



Is Buying New the Best Choice for Your Stuart FL Home?

Is Buying New the Best Choice for Your Stuart FL Home?

When it comes to buying a home in Martin County FL, almost the first thing most of us do is to check the online listings to see what’s out there that catches our eye. That quick first look will usually reflect some preferences most of us don’t even bother to think about (that is, until we’re buying a home).

home buying

Sometimes they stem from our earliest childhood memories—the impressions that shape what ‘home’ should look like. Sometimes, those preferences have developed over time as an expression of our personal style. One preference can be a real trouble-maker if a couple discovers that their outlooks don’t match. It’s the one about which kind of home is more appealing: a brand new one (actually, the National Association of Home Builders defines a “new” home as one less than four years old) or an older, established home.

People who automatically tilt toward new homes can be following straightforward reasoning that goes without question. They don’t shop for used clothing; they know when they need another automobile they’re only interested in the newest model—so why in the world would they be drawn to a home that’s a hand-me-down?

People on the other side of the preference divide find new constructions lacking in the warmth and history an older home embodies. Out in the yard, they see fresh cement walkways and new plantings as pale imitations of the majesty of the grand, mature landscaping found in well-established neighborhoods.

However, I’ve often found that when my clients are buying a home in Martin County FL, their new vs. established home leaning will sometimes disappear in the face of some immediate practical advantages. A few points:

More than 70% of single-family homes were built prior to 1990, according to Realty Trac. The result is more than twice the variety from which to choose.

Older, established properties are synonymous with close-knit communities where residents know one another and their children. And often, in some locations, the older neighborhoods are in the most desirable locations.  Buying a home in such a neighborhood can mean great support, community and location.

New developments can create a fresh gathering spot for families who are all starting out together. The opportunity to build new institutions shaped to modern preferences can mean the establishment of a host of lasting friendships, in some cases bolstered by shared community recreational facilities.

Older homes can have larger lot sizes owing to lower land prices in the past. Then there are those shade trees that have been growing for generations…

Most new homes have been designed to accommodate our modern addiction to acquiring stuff. If a walk-in closet in a must, an older home is less likely to fill the bill.

Older homes are generally more expensive to maintain. According to the American Housing Survey, 26% of owners of older homes spent more than $100 a month on upkeep—while just 11% of the owners of new homes spent as much. In fact, 73% of the new home owners spend less than $25 a month for maintenance.

Ultimately the decision to buy an old or new home will come down to a combination of personal taste (“I don’t care: I love this home!”) and/or requirements (“I can’t live without _________”).

The takeaway: if you are planning on buying a Stuart home, don’t automatically eliminate all the new ones or all the older ones. Give me a call: let’s take a look!

Is Buying New the Best Choice for Your Stuart FL Home?

Just Listed Spacious Coral Point Pool Home

Just Listed Spacious Coral Point Pool Home

New on the market is this spacious Coral Point Pool Home in Rocky Point.  Listed for $689,000 by the Gabe Sanders BlueWater Realty Team.

Spacious Coral Point Pool Home

Rocky Point in Stuart, FL is a wonderful boating oriented community located just off the Saint Lucie Inlet in beautiful Martin County Florida.  Originally a fishing village because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean; Rocky Point is now a wonderful family community with a variety of different neighborhoods.  Most of Rocky Point is still oriented towards fisherman and boaters with many of the neighborhoods having access to docks, marinas and/or boat ramps.  Some neighborhoods have deeded dock rights as well as privately owned ramps and launch facilities.  There is also a selection of some luxury waterfront homes with private docks located only a short few minutes cruise to the open Ocean via the Saint Lucie Inlet and within a day’s round trip to the Bahamas.

Spacious Coral Point Pool Home

Bordering Rocky Point to the north and west is the Manatee Pocket.  Home of the original Stuart Sailfish fleet (Stuart continues to proudly boast that it’s the ‘Sailfish Capitol of the World’).  Now home to a number of Marinas, Charter fleets and the famous Chapman School of Seamanship as well as quite a few excellent restaurants serving the freshest seafood arriving from the Ocean straight to the kitchens daily.

 Spacious Coral Point Pool Home Spacious Coral Point Pool Home Spacious Coral Point Pool Home

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Just Listed Spacious Coral Point Pool Home

Bayview Condos Indian River Plantation March 2015 Market Report

Bayview Condos in Indian River Plantation

Bayview in Indian River Plantation

Bayview in Indian River Plantation is one of the newer condominium complexes on Hutchinson Island in Stuart Florida.  Bayview is a gated sub-complex of the Indian River Plantation Marriott Resort and consists of 4 semi-circular buildings totaling 129 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom and 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condos.  Living space ranges from 2,105 sq. ft. to 1,204 sq. ft.

 Bayview Condos in Indian River PlantationBayview Condos in Indian River Plantation

Most units have sweeping views of the Intracoastal Waterway also known as the Indian River.   Great location only minutes away from the Saint Lucie Inlet.  For boaters, there’s a full service Marina located on the grounds of the Indian River Plantation with slips available for lease.

Bayview Condos in Indian River Plantation Bayview Condos in Indian River Plantation

Bayview has a private heated pool and spa overlooking a lake as well as lovely manicured grounds for picnics or just a stroll by the water.  There’s also covered parking for all residents.

Bayview Condos in Indian River Plantation

Unit owners have the option of joining the Marriott Beach Club which allows access to an 18 hole golf course, another community pool and fitness center, professional tennis club and courts as well as access to a private beach resort on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

Association fees were in the neighborhood of $380 to $400 per month as of March 2015.  Fees include use of all Bayview facilities as well as exterior maintenance and upkeep and insurance.  Water, Sewer and basic cable TV service is also included.

For March 2015, there are four active listings in Bayview.  List prices range from $310,000 to $395,000 for an average list price of $342,500 which equals $255.11 per sq. ft. of living area.

There is one condo under contract and awaiting settlement.  It is listed for $328,500 which equates to $239.08 per sq. ft. of living area.

In the past 12 months, 5 condos have sold in Bayview with sales prices ranging from $299,000 to $530,000.  The average sales price was $389,200 which equals a $259.64 price per sq. ft. of living area.  Sales equaled a 94% list to sales price ratio.

None of the above activity in Bayview was a distressed sale.  No foreclosures or short sales.

Additional Indian River Plantation Condos you may wish to consider: 
Beachwalk  Dunes Club  Fairway Villas  Inlet Village  Lakeside  Ocean House  Ocean Terrace  Plantation Club Villas  Plantation House  Resort Villas  River Village  Riverbend  Riverwood  Tennis Villas

Vista Pines March 2015 Market Update

Vista Pines March 2015 Market Update

For March 2015 all of the recently available condos in Vista Pines have either been sold or under contract.  There are no active listings at this time.

There are three condos pending, awaiting settlement.  Prices range from $39,900 to $57,900 for an average of $48,933 which equals $54.13 per sq. ft. of living area.   None of these condo listings are distressed sales.

In the past 12 months, there have been 25 sales in Vista Pines.  Sales prices ranged from $27,000 to $74,500 for an average sales price of $44,456 or $46.92 per sq. ft. of living area.  These sales averaged in at 93% of list price and two of these sales were bank owned foreclosures.  There were no short sales.

Vista Pines Condos in Stuart FL


The Vista Pines condominium complex consists of over 517 condos very conveniently located on SE Ocean Blvd. just in between the downtown Stuart area and the beaches of Hutchinson Island.  Also, close to restaurants, grocery stores and medical facilities that are within walking distance for many.

Vista Pines Condos in Stuart FL Vista Pines Condos in Stuart FL

Vista Pines condos were first built in 1970 and the last one was completed in 1973.   All the buildings are two story and contain both 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath and 1 Bedroom 1 Bath units.  Sizes range from 1,089 sq. ft. of living space down to 679 sq. ft. 1 bedroom units.  Buildings are situated to maximize privacy and for serene views of green space.

Vista Pines Condos in Stuart FL Vista Pines Condos in Stuart FL

There’s an active clubhouse with a large swimming pool as well as shuffleboard courts.  No pets are permitted in Vista Pines and this is an age restricted (55+) community.  The HOA fees as of August 2014 were from the low $200’s for a 1 Bedroom unit to just over $300 per month for 2 Bedroom condos.

Vista Pines Condos in Stuart FL Vista Pines Condos in Stuart FL Vista Pines Condos in Stuart FL

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