Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Running to Stay in Place

The routine summer flatness prompted me to offer a contrast of that lake of an ocean that summer visitors see. The webcam screen grab above was during an epic hurricane swell at the Cocoa Beach Pier years ago. Most visitors have never seen our surf in such form but it does happen and more often than most would think. Regretfully I have no shots of the Halloween swell of 1991 from the Perfect Storm off New England. All my shots of that one are biologically stored and unavailable for publication.

Another year already half gone. Despite the tight inventory of properties for sale in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, the first half of July has been strong. Forty two  condos and townhouses have gone under contract in the first 14 days of the month, a quarter of those on the market less than two weeks. Activity was spread across all prices with the median at $225,000. During the same two weeks, eight single family homes were successful in getting a contract.

As of this morning there are 69 single family homes on offer in the two cities at prices between $3 MM and $274,900 with a median of $530,000. Inventory of existing condos for sale has declined to another all-time low of 190 total units offered at prices between $1.45 MM and $79,751. At the current sales rate, that is a 64 day supply.

While prices are responding to the tight supply by continuing upward, many of the current listings are overpriced. Whether buying or selling, knowledge of fair current value goes a long way towards securing a contract.

Enjoy the vacation. I am.

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat." __William Shakespeare

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Inspection Hijinks

Most residential real estate contracts in our area will contain an inspection and right to cancel period during which the buyer can cancel for any reason with no penalty. This period is designed to allow the buyer time to physically inspect the property and investigate anything else about the property before being bound to honor the contract. Inspections can and do reveal hidden issues serious enough to call for cancellation or renegotiation. The most common hidden issue on beach properties is a rusted, near-death exterior AC compressor unit on the roof. Unless the seller disclosed that the unit was shot or at the end of it's life expectancy it's reasonable for the buyer to ask for a price concession after that discovery. If your agent advises you to make an offer with a plan to renegotiate the price post inspection based on some unknown issue that she hopes is discovered during inspection, she is probably giving you bad advice. Same for a readily observable issue. You can't expect a seller to agree to a price concession off an already agreed upon price for a cracked driveway when the buyer and her agent walked across that same driveway to get to the front door the very first visit. Be reasonable. Concessions do happen but rarely without honest and fair reason. If the seller is holding a backup contract, a concession request might as well be a knock-knock joke.

Sellers, if you know of hidden issues, disclose them up front and negotiate with those issues known while you still have negotiating strength. If you know the rooftop AC is at the end of it's life, disclose it and make that part of the first offer exchange. Waiting until two weeks post contract to negotiate shifts the power to the buyer. There is one exception to this, existence of a backup contract. A seller holding a backup contract has the power to refuse any concessions knowing that there is a second buyer ready to perform if the first walks away. For this reason, backup contracts make sense for sellers as it gives them retained negotiating strength in the event of post-inspection requests. For buyers, I always recommend doing a backup contract as it can easily become the primary contract when the seller, emboldened by the existence of the backup, refuses to concede to the first buyers demands. I've seen a prideful buyer walk away from an otherwise fairly priced contract over a failed concession request.

Fishing has been on fire in the Banana River and in the ocean. Redfish and trout are being caught in good numbers around the Thousand Islands of Cocoa Beach and some big out-of-season snook have been dragged in from the beach and just beyond. Night fishing at the Port has  also productive. Bait of choice for the snook is a live croaker. A few lucky fishermen have landed giant tarpon from kayaks just beyond the surf. This always includes a thrilling Nantucket sleigh ride until these big fish tire. A 100 pound plus silver king from a small kayak is a catch of a lifetime. Further offshore cobia, dolphin, kingfish and a few sailfish are being caught. Get out there and enjoy it if you get a chance. No fishing license required if fishing from a shore.

"We said we'd never fit in when we were really just like them; does rebellion ever make a difference?" __So Long, Astoria, The Ataris