Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Big One Fails Again

It's happened again. A bushy-tailed loan officer promises he can loan on a condo and then discovers right before closing that the particular condo complex will not satisfy his bank's lending guidelines. The twist is that in this case the lender is local. I chant the "use a local lender" mantra constantly but it appears I need to qualify that. An overconfident, inexperienced local loan officer can blow your deal up just as effectively as the banker cousin back in Fond du Lac.

In this particular case the agent (not me) recommended a local lender who offers a specific loan product for unwarrantable condos, which this one was, to the buyer. The buyer elected instead to go with a local branch of the number one mortgage originator in the nation. The loan officer energetically claimed that he could do the loan. Remember the "Does This Make My Butt Look Big" post? He was just doing his job even though he didn't know there was no way his bank would loan in this particular complex. Any loan officer experienced with condos in our market would have instantly recognized that this condo-tel would be a problem, if not impossible, loan. The buyer didn't find out that the lender couldn't loan on the unit until well towards closing and is now scrambling trying to rescue the purchase through the originally recommended local lender.

Our takeaway here is that it is better to have a lender who can close the deal than one who promises the lowest rate or the bank with the most recognizable name. In addition, prospective condo buyers would do well to familiarize themselves with possible hurdles. My "Condo Mortgage or Root Canal" post from three years ago listed the major items that the lenders want to see in condo associations. A weekly rental unit may be attractive for the income possibilities but any condo that allows weekly rentals is going to be a mortgage challenge for multiple reasons. Ask your agent for recommendations for lenders who have products available for problem complexes.

I hope the surfers among the readers got some of the fun surf last Sunday. It was one of those rare summer surf days with a decent sized ground swell, clean conditions and all the waves one desired. Lots of smiles around town Monday. This coming Friday and Saturday are the last two days of our six day red snapper season in Atlantic waters. I got my one fish limit last Saturday with a 20 pounder and hope to repeat it again this weekend.

"Music was a lot better when ugly people were allowed to make it." ____Otis Gibbs

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back In the Saddle

 I'm back after a couple of weeks above and under water in the nearby paradise of the Abacos. It still blows my mind that the opportunity to put the only footprints on ten different beaches a day and to dive and swim in water as clear as air is just a little over an hour from here. If one's impression of the Bahamas is a cruise ship visit to Freeport or Nassau it's no more accurate than an impression of Cocoa Beach based on a visit to Ron Jons and the Pier.

 The final numbers for June were even more impressive than I last posted. There were 67 closed condos and townhomes in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral in the month with a median price of $168,000 and 14 single family homes at a median price of $290,000.

The top 16 condo sales:

  • The top floor (17th) NE corner Stonewood, fully furnished 3/2 with 2170 square feet and a two car garage for $580,000
  • 3rd floor direct ocean Solana Shores 3/2 with 2095 square feet and a one car garage for $535,000
  • A top floor direct ocean, fully furnished Meridian 3/2 with 2072 square feet and a one car garage for $717,500
  • Remodeled 6th floor south facing SE corner C building Royale Towers 3/2 with 1860 square feet and a one car garage for $380,000. This one was taken out in first right of refusal.
  • Nicely remodeled 8th floor NW corner 2100 Towers 2/2 with 1600 square feet and a one car garage for $350,000
  • 5th floor direct ocean, two level Sunrise Tower 2/2 with 1457 square feet and a one car garage for $335,000
  • 7th floor original condition, direct ocean Las Palmas 3/2 with 1500 square feet and a one car garage for $332,000
  • 2nd floor corner, direct river Solana on the River 3/2 with 2187 square feet and a one car garage for $315,000
  • Beautifully remodeled 3rd floor direct ocean Emerald Seas 2/2 with 1602 square feet and a one car garage for $310,000
  • 2nd floor corner Solana Lake 3/2 with 1956 square feet and a one car garage for $300,000
  • 4th floor corner Bayport 3/2 with 2092 square feet and a one car garage for $297,500
  • Non-oceanfront Shorewood corner 3/2 with 1992 square feet and a one car garage for $290,000
  • 5th floor Solana on the River 2/2 with 2055 square feet and a one car garage for $289,900
  • Remodeled and furnished 10th floor direct ocean 2100 Towers 2/2 with 1200 square feet and a one car garage for $302,000
  • 6th floor partially remodeled, bank-owned, direct ocean Stonewood 2/2 with 1317 square feet and a one car garage for $275,000
  • Furnished, original condition, 2nd floor Royale Towers B building 2/2 with 1256 square feet and a one car garage for $274,900

Ten of the these units sold in less than 22 days on the market.

There are 281 condos and townhomes for sale on the MLS in our two cities with 15 of those yet to be built. Eight are short sales and 13 are bank-owned. There are 70 single family homes on the MLS. One is a short sale and four are bank-owned. Inventory is not sufficient to meet the demand so buyers can continue to expect to have competition for attractive listings. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or just want to bitch about some stupid comment or forecast I've made. I'm here for you.

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing -- after they've tried everything else."  __Winston Churchill

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Happy Independence Day 2014

I can't imagine that it will come as any surprise to anyone familiar with the Cocoa Beach real estate market that June 2014 was another record month for closed properties. Not quite as many closed sales as May but it was the busiest June for closed sales in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral since June 2005 with 64 closed condos and townhomes and 13 single family homes. That is as reported by the often tardy listing agents in the Cocoa Beach MLS. The number will likely increase as the slacker contingent drags back to the office next week and updates their listings. To put that in perspective, almost a quarter of the total condo listings in our two cities sold last month and slightly less than a fifth of all single family listings. Conservatively speaking, demand is far exceeding supply and the imbalance looks to continue. I will detail specific sales in a follow up post.

Hope everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend and operating outside the stupid zone. Party defensively and point your fireworks down range.

“Happy 4th America. I love ya, ya old coot. Have fun mixing liquor and fireworks today and don’t forget to STOP DROP AND ROLL!”  ____Jim Carrey