Areas in Florida Seeing an Improvement In Foreclosures

The term ‘foreclosure’ is one that many Americans are all too familiar with. In basic terms, a foreclosure occurs after a certain number of mortgage payments have been missed, forcing the bank to take possession of the property.

The foreclosure crisis in the US has claimed nearly four million homes since 2007, putting many families in dire situations. A study conducted by a coalition of progressive grassroots organizations across the US found that Americans lost $192.6 billion in wealth last year as a result of foreclosures, or an average of $1,700 per household. Considering how long the foreclosure situation has been claiming homes across the US, this finding may indicate that many Americans might still be suffering from the housing bust, which many argue was the result of lenders pushing loans on borrowers who they knew couldn’t afford them.

But good news is on the horizon, particularly in certain spots of the country, including the Space Coast of the state of Florida. According to a 2013 MidYear US Foreclosure Market Report, foreclosure activity in the US as a whole has decreased 14% this past June to the lowest level we’ve seen since 2006.

Florida has at one point been a victim of many foreclosed properties, given the long court processes required that have delayed the progression. However, experts agree that the problem in Cocoa Beach and Brevard County in Florida is improving, giving not only buyers a great opportunity to get into the market at a promising time, but also giving sellers more confidence in upholding specific listing prices for their properties.

There is an increase in judicial foreclosure auctions, showing that the foreclosures that have traditionally been so delayed in many parts of Florida are now being dealt with much more quickly through the foreclosure process.

Considering the fact that selling prices for properties are rising in the Cocoa Beach and Brevard County market, the time is now for lenders to start disposing of these distressed properties, whether by foreclosure auctions, third-party buyers, or even repossessing the property and selling it as a bank-owned home. For the US as a whole, the foreclosures are down 19% from the last 6 months, and down 23% from the first half of 2012. In Florida, new foreclosure starts dropped by 26%, which is significant.

As of June this year, the foreclosure rate is the lowest it’s been since 2005. Given this proof that the real estate market is picking up the pieces and showing strong signs of growth and strength – as well as the low mortgage rates still being offered – the time is now for buyers to get into the real estate market in Cocoa Beach and surrounding Brevard County.

In fact, buyers can select from a number of bank-owned properties in Cocoa Beach, some for as low as $17,510, and some short sales as high as over $1 million for a property in Lansing Island.

Of course, before buyers or investors jump on the foreclosure bandwagon, it’s important to have a team of experts behind them in order to know if a deal is a good one, and if there are any inherent risks associated with getting into such a deal. There are plenty of experts out there who have mastered the ropes of buying foreclosed properties. Competent assistance from such professionals as realtors, lawyers, seasoned investors and other experts in this field should be consulted with thoroughly before diving into a foreclosure deal.

Based on the climate of the economy and the real estate market in Cocoa Beach and surrounding areas in Florida, the foreclosure crisis seems to be improving, translating into an decreasing number of foreclosed properties available to be snagged up by a savvy buyer or investor.

One thing is for certain – no matter what way you are able to get into the market in Cocoa Beach – be it through foreclosures or straight-forward deals – life on this ‘Space Coast’ is nothing short of amazing. With all the amenities, attractions, employment opportunities, gorgeous climate and incredible oceanfront and riverfront properties, Cocoa Beach makes for the ideal place to live, work and play.

Getting the Services You Need to Purchase Property in Magnificent Cocoa Beach

Buying real estate in Cocoa Beach – or anywhere else in the country – involves a little assistance from the pros. Most people don’t have realtor experiences, negotiating tools, or home inspection expertise, so it’s important to have these services backing you up when you’re in the market to buy property in Cocoa Beach and surrounding areas in Florida.

Get Mortgage Services on Your Side

One of the first things any buyer should do is consult with a mortgage broker. This can be done with a big bank or credit union, but often one of the best ways to get approved for a mortgage at the lowest rate possible and with the most convenient terms is to consult with an independent mortgage broker that works specifically for their borrowing clients, not the bank. This way, you can have the advantage of shopping around with multiple lenders who will fight for your business, giving your broker more negotiating power to fight for the lowest mortgage rate possible. Even a quarter of a percent shaved off a mortgage rate can make a big difference on the amount of interest you pay over the life of your mortgage.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a good first step on the path to home ownership. Knowing exactly what you can afford will help streamline the property-hunting process, and help you zero in on the properties that match your financial criteria. Having this paperwork in place can also put you a step or two ahead of the game when it comes time to put in an offer and close a deal on a property.

There are a number of services in and around Cocoa Beach that provide mortgage services to those looking to buy property in this beautiful city. One such service is AmeriBest Mortgage, who has been in the mortgage loan business for over 20 years. Whether you require a first mortgage, second mortgage, cottage mortgage, debt consolidation or a refinancing, they have the team of experts in place to help put you on the path to purchasing or refinancing your home.

Realtor Services to Get You on Track to Home Ownership in Cocoa Beach

Once the mortgage process is underway, it’s time to look, find, put an offer, and seal the deal on the property of your dreams in Cocoa Beach. It’s a well known fact that investment in real estate – predominantly in healthy areas – is one of the most solid ways to invest one’s money over the long run. Properties generally increase in value over time, giving property owners the chance to build equity in a property both by paying into its principal, as well as allowing time to increase its value.

Most people without any real estate experience shouldn’t be taking on this task without an experienced professional on their side. Much like you would hire a lawyer to take care of legal matters, or an electrician to deal with wiring problems, a realtor should be called upon to help you find the right property, identify any underlying issues with the title or structural integrity of the property, negotiate the lowest price on the home, and help you close the deal.

One of the more reputable realtor services offered in Cocoa Beach is Coldwell Banker, which has been serving the Cocoa Beach area since 1976. Their services are vast, and often go beyond the typical real estate services that many home buyers come to expect. The services they offer include:

  • Determining the best market price for the property on behalf of sellers
  • Marketing properties for sale
  • Performing market analysis on properties
  • Assisting in property inspections
  • Negotiating prices upon offer placement
  • Assisting in closing property deals
  • Executing tenant placement listing agreements
  • Screening and pre-qualifying tenant applicants
  • Processing applications
  • Obtaining background checks
  • Preparing lease agreements
  • Property Management

There are plenty of ideal residential properties available on the market in magnificent Cocoa Beach, from townhouses, to single family dwellings, to spectacular oceanfront and riverfront condo units. Many of them are furnished, making them ideal for short-term vacation rental properties. Just about any budget can be accommodated, based on the wide range of listing prices attached to these properties. Whether you call this place home, a place you frequent while on vacation, or even your area of preference for investment properties, Cocoa Beach has something for everyone.

Earn Residual Income By Investing in the Real Estate Market in Cocoa Beach, Florida

Out of all places in the US to invest in real estate with hopes of renting out the property to earn residual income, Florida is among the top. When temperatures start to take a nose dive late into the year in the north-eastern part of the country, folks tend to head south in search of a much warmer, more pleasant climate. With Florida being such a highly tourist-invaded state, it is no wonder that there are tons of rental properties offered to visitors, be them condos, townhouses or single family dwellings.

The rent being paid on these units is going into someone’s pocket, so why not be on the receiving end of such a business scenario? Cocoa Beach in Florida is a great choice when it comes to snagging up a beach-front property to rent out either year round or only for parts of the year so you too can enjoy your property in this spectacular Pacific-rimmed city.

The past few years have a little bit shaky when it came to investing in real estate in Cocoa Beach, or anywhere else in Florida. Just as people thought prices couldn’t possibly get any lower, they did, leaving them with property worth less within a few short months than what they paid for it. This isn’t so bad if you have enough equity in the property, your rental income more than covers your mortgage and expenses to carry the property, and you’re looking to hang on to the property for a very long time. But anyone looking for a quick fix and flip opportunity surely would not have been a good position in those times. Buy low, sell high, as they say.

Such is not the case today. Real estate in Cocoa Beach is showing strength, with selling prices of properties increasing, and the demand for properties spiking as well. Mortgage rates, though still low, are starting to rise, making this a great time to buy property in Cocoa Beach for investment purposes, as long as you arm yourself with a few key pieces of information.

Determine the Market

The vacation home market in Cocoa Beach is just on the other side of the cusp of recovery, which is now being reflected in the average sale prices. Realtors are experts who can help you identify the supply of homes available in Cocoa Beach versus the demand. With numbers being what they are in this city, the demand for homes seems to be rising, which is being reflected in the rise in selling prices.

Determine the Rental Prospects

Different parts of the country have different rental prospects. Florida has one of the strongest rental prospect demographics in the country. In fact, approximately 60% of the properties in Cocoa Beach are inhabited by renters or those who use the property as their second home. Only 40% of the properties are occupied by “homesteaders”, showing that the prospects for renting property in Cocoa Beach are quite high.

Considering the fact that Cocoa Beach is completely surrounded by water, and every street and hub leads directly to the beach on this 1 mile-wide city, it is inevitably influxed with tourists on a constant basis.

Financing

How you plan to finance the property is obviously a factor you need to consider. Given how low mortgage rates are these days, it makes sense to lock into a good rate. These rates are starting to show a slow increase, which means getting into the market soon is a good idea. The lower your interest is when you lock into a mortgage, the higher return you’ll get.

Adding Up the Costs

Consider all the carrying costs associated with owning and renting out a vacation property in Cocoa Beach. Factors like the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and property management are all costs that should be factored in. The good news is that you’ll be able to deduct expenses related to the rented property, as long as it’s being rented out for more than 14 days out of the year.

Don’t let all these costs scare you from the potential of investing – you can command a good rent which can not only carry the cost of owning the property, but also help you build equity and wealth over time.

Given the fact that so many properties in Cocoa Beach are owned by investors and second-homers, it’s clearly an ideal place to buy property to invest in and use for your own beach-side holidays for you and your family.

Property Sales Continue to Rise in Cocoa Beach

Despite the fact that the summer months are generally the slower months of the year for real estate, property sales in Cocoa Beach, Florida continue to rise. There have actually been almost 30 closings on sold condos and townhouses in the city in July alone, with two of them selling for more than half a million.

The current real estate market conditions in Cocoa Beach suggest that now is as good a time as ever to buy a property in this part of Brevard County. Interest rates have been rock bottom for the longest time, and are just now starting to show some upward activity. As interest rates slowly rise, more and more buyers continue to jump into the real estate market in hopes of locking into a low rate before the uptick really swings.

As of the middle of July, mortgage rates are averaging approximately a 4.5% fixed rate over a 30-year amortization period, which is considered a two-year high. Locking in with a low rate now will help buyers realize significant savings in interest paid over the term or life of their mortgage, making this a great time to buy and get into the real estate market, whether for investment purposes or just to settle some roots and build equity in a property.

There are currently approximately 200 active residential, condo and townhouses listed in Cocoa Beach for home buyer-hopefuls to choose from. Some of the hot spots in the city seem to be at Michelina, Villa Verde and Shorewood in Cape Canaveral, which appear to be commanding high selling prices.

A specific example of how much more in demand properties in Cocoa Beach have been lately can be illustrated with a property located on Banana River Drive in Cocoa Beach. Prior to 2005, properties have been closing at under $150,000, despite being direct water units with boat slips and garages. This month, the property on Banana River Drive in Cocoa Beach sold for $190,000, which is a unit very similar to the ones that have been selling for under $150,000 in the past few years.

In fact, such a hike has even been seen just over the last few months, with a ground unit in the same complex selling for much less in January of this year, at $128,500. The same illustration can be seen over and over again as most townhouse and condo complexes are seeing rising prices as more and more distressed inventory continuously evaporates.

An interesting situation which is becoming more commonplace in the Cocoa Beach real estate market is a multiple offer situation, where multiple offers are given to a seller, who must then choose which offers to work with and negotiate from there. In this stage of the local market, any properties that are priced properly will have a very good chance of getting into such a multiple offer situation.

At fist glance, one might think that this scenario immediately puts the seller in the driver’s seat. But such is not the case if the offer situation isn’t handled well and the initial listing price is already quite high. Sellers can stand to lose one or all of the buyers if they come across as greedy.

There have been a number of multiple offer situations for listed properties in Cocoa Beach that ended up losing all their buyers who all came in at the same time offering what they thought was reasonable for the property. The sellers of the property came back to both buyers, asking them to come back with their “highest and best” offers, rather than selecting a couple of offers to work with and negotiate with. Instead of selling for over the asking price, the sellers lost all the buyers, who were somewhat put off and intimidated by this request. The property did end up selling, but to a completely different buyer, and for a lower price than the multiple offers previously put on the table.

For those looking to tap into the Cocoa Beach real estate market, and find yourself in a multiple offer situation, take heed knowing that there is just as much risk for the seller as there is to the buyer. When in this situation, there are options.

Buyers can either keep the offer the same in hopes of being the winner, increase the price or terms to make your offer more attractive, give the seller your highest and best, or simply withdraw the offer if you’re not interested in playing this real estate game.

At the end of the day, buyers will respond they way they see fit, as will sellers. The bottom line is, the market in Cocoa Beach is showing signs of improvement, and considering the mortgage rates showing an uptick behaviour, and the high demand of properties given the increase in selling prices, now seems to be a promising time to dive into the Cocoa Beach real estate market to lock into a good rate before prices rise beyond affordability, build equity, or simply to expand your investment portfolio.

Enjoying the Warm Weather and Laid-Back Lifestyle in Cocoa Beach, Florida

Life in Cocoa Beach is far from ordinary – it’s a place of fun, relaxation, water sports, beach life and unique attractions. The population of the city is mixed with both local residents as well as a constant influx of tourists who go there to enjoy the golden sandy beaches, vibrant night life, and even to experience the popular space program!

Back in the 1920′s, Cocoa Beach was just a sleepy little beach community. Over the decades, the community developed into a busy city with a healthy blend of residential buildings, retirement homes, tourists segments and a training station for astronauts!

There are all sorts of different segments of the city, demonstrating the diversity of the community, the interest in preserving the environment and wildlife, the responsible businesses, the importance of good schools, the welcoming of tourists from all over the globe, and the appreciation of the high quality of life that comes with living in an amazing city like Cocoa Beach.

For over 30 years, the population of Cocoa Beach has stood steady at approximately 12,800. The city is made up of over 2,400 single family homes, as well as over 5,500 condominium units. Only 40% of these residences are occupied by permanent residents – the rest are occupied by seasonal residents or for rental properties that tourists use as second homes to escape the harsh winter climates back home. Because of the large proportion of residences being used as second homes, the population has remained relatively unchanged over the years.

If you ask anyone who lives in Cocoa Beach what they love about the city, they’ll most likely say “everything!” Largely a beach playground for both mainlanders and tourists alike, Cocoa Beach boasts six glorious miles of ocean beachfront that runs the total length of its city limits, which is what brings so many people to the area, along with the phenomenal weather. Only one mile wide, this colorful city is surrounded by crystal blue waters thanks to its unique geographical configuration. The beach is definitely a huge reason for the popularity of this eastern Florida metropolis. Just about every road and path leads to the beach, making an oceanside weekend as easy and convenient as it gets.

Considering its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach is largely shaped by the Space Program. Missile launches are clearly visible from the Kennedy Space Center to the north. These centers are extremely popular attractions among tourists who tend to check out these space centers after enjoying a little theme park fun at nearby Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World in Orlando to the west.

The climate in Cocoa Beach is very mild, with hot summers and virtually no dry season, giving the city a relatively warm and humid temperature climate. The temperature varies from approximately 13°C to 31°C, depending on the time of year. Rarely does the temperature go below 7°C or above 33°C. The warm season goes from May 24th to October 6th, with an average daily high of 29°C. Early August generally sees the highest temperatures. The cold season goes from December 9th to February 23rd, with an average daily high below 23°C. Early January is typically the coldest time of the year in Cocoa Beach.

There are plenty of reasons to live in Cocoa Beach, aside from the fabulous climate and incredible beaches. There are plenty of employment opportunities, keeping the economic climate in the city very healthy. Obviously, tourism is important and strong in Cocoa Beach, which contributes largely to the healthy economy in this part of Florida. There are over 2,400 hotel rooms available for the incomers, from major franchises to little motels and bed & breakfasts.

Cocoa Beach has a strong city government influence, consisting of its police department, fire department, paramedics services, water reclamation plant and recreational department. Locals can enjoy golfing at the 27-hole municipal golf course, swimming at their own Olympic-sized city pool, and tennis at the Cocoa Beach Country Club that’s open to the public. A number of dining options are available to tempt the palette, and shops and markets are plentiful for all sorts of shopping.

With such a myriad of opportunities and reasons to visit and/or live in Cocoa Beach, there’s no doubt that you’ll find all you need in this fabulous beach-side city.