Saturday, January 23, 2010

Trust your sources, or don't

A reader's comment on the last post about using Zillow for info on our market piqued my curiosity. I wondered whether the website that I long ago dismissed had gotten more accurate since it's arrival in 2005. Below are some random stats of recently sold south Cocoa Beach condos that I pulled from the site this morning. Readers can make their own decision on the relevance of the site as pertains to Cocoa Beach property values. The examples below would seem to infer that runaway appreciation is back and/or that some buyers are wildly overpaying. My take is that neither is true.

[The "Zestimate" is Zillow's estimate of a property's value.]

River Bend #403
Sold October 2009 __ $240,000
Zestimate Jan 2010 __$347,500

Windsong #101
Sold December 2009 ___$400,000
Zestimate Dec 2009 ____$273,000

Waters Edge #101
Sold November 2009 ___$245,000
Zestimate January 2010 _$333,500

River Villa #101
Sold August 2009 ____$268,000
Zestimate Aug 2009 __$182,000
MLS Inventory January 23, 2010
Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral

Condominiums, all prices_____558

Condos over $500,000________75

Single family homes, all prices__127
Homes over $500,000__________48

Many of the popular real estate sites on the internet do not have up to date information. If you'd like real time access to our MLS you can search all listed properties at No need to put up with the lag time of the other secondary sites that can be as much as 30 days behind.

I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not."
______Kurt Cobain


  1. Tommyfudster said ...

    Larry, I know this is off topic but my curiosity has been killing me. Some time ago last year, you reported the sale of the whole top floor of a newer beachfront condo which was something like 5000-6000 sq ft, parking for 5-6 cars and 6 bathrooms for $2,000,000. This sale was recorded by the Brevard Property Appraiser. I went to the Appraisers web site to look at it again and the property is no longer listed. Obviously, the deal fell through, even after it had closed. What kind of situations would cause the recorded sale to be rescinded?

  2. I don't remember ever seeing this one on the Appraiser's site. For some new condos, sales do not show on the tax appraiser's website but you can search the clerk of the court's site and find evidence of those missing transactions. This particular one is very vague in the recorded public documents. A record of the sale can also be found on the MLS for what that's worth. It was the 6th floor of Ocean Cove, 6000 sq ft, 4 car garage, 5 bedrooms, 6 full baths and 2 half baths and at least one boat slip in the as yet to be built marina across the street.

    One of the other 3 sales in the same building for $1,050,000 last February has come back on the MLS asking $1,395,000, a luxury flip in 2010. Go figure. This was also the site of the devastation of the dune crossover that I posted on last year. They destroyed one of the last remaining sea grape tunnels to the beach in the name of progress.

  3. Tommyfud: It is still there in the BCPA records. The building has not been assigned an address. You can find the tax card by looking up The Ocean Cove Condo (need to put THE in there), or by sales in Condo sales by condo name or market area (CoBch Hi-Rise). Or, to go right to it, the Tax ID # is 2538964.

    I consider these sales to be from pre-construction time and reflect prices from late 2006/early 2007. I would never use them as recent comps. - local appraiser.

  4. As the tax record is still there (searching via Tax ID as you suggested) and taxes were paid in November and the deed has been recorded why are you still thinking the sale was rescinded? It seems imprudent that someone would pay that much in 2009 but the records don't indicate anything other than that it closed in August for $2.01 million with no mortgage. I'd love to hear any theories.

  5. Tommyfudster said ....

    Thanx to all. It was the property address issue that got me confused in the BCPA records. It also looks like the developer did not provide sq footage. If I search on sales over $2M I do in fact find the sale.

    Which leads to dummy questions number 2. How is the developer able to sell property without listing an address or square footage with the BCPA site?

  6. As Larry indicated, it takes BCPA a while to input all info in system for a new condo. It is just that the address has not been officially assigned in their system.

    Every condo has recorded docs that set forth the unit bounds/size. They can be found in the Clerk recs w/info from tax card: THE OCEAN COVE CONDO AS DESC IN ORB 5912 PG 5399 AND ALL AMENDMENTS THERETO. Look up that ORB and Page on the Clerk of Court website. There will be surveys & unit floor plans in that doc.

    Tip: always confirm sf when buying by pulling your own tape!

    - Local appraiser.