There are signs that confidence in the Vero Beach housing market is waning a bit with the latest new home construction data. Many analysts are still trying to figure out why housing starts nose-dived in February.

Privately owned housing starts in February plummeted 17%, down to an annualized 897,000 from the revised January estimate of 1,081,000.

Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 593,000; this is 14.9% below the revised January figure of 697,000.

Is Weather to Blame for the Vero Beach Housing Downturn?

Some looked at the weather as the primary culprit despite the big drop in the West region, but now thoughts are turning to other factors like whether there's a skilled labor shortage, or whether younger buyers are still staying on the sidelines.

Here is more in this Fox Business News interview with real estate broker Kendra Todd and Avison Young VP Jason Meister…


It would seem that most of the reason for the lower issuance numbers to this point are actually structural, and not weather-driven. But we'll continue to keep an eye on new home starts going forward and update you as the Spring and Summer Vero Beach housing market continues to unfold.
We have more news as it relates to the Vero Beach housing market in the Vero Beach Real Estate News section under Vero Beach Real Estate Categories to your right.
And don't forget, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook, sometimes pertaining directly to the Vero Beach housing market. Find us there as well.

Thinking of putting your Vero Beach house on the market? Well, the spring home selling season is finally here, so now is the time to get your Vero Beach house in order if you plan to sell.

A home can be ready to list in as little as a month, especially if it's in good shape and you're working with a competent real estate agent. But it's often better to give yourself a little more cushion. Here's a rough timeline which may already have you behind if you're just getting started on this process, including advice gleaned from a recent survey of 303 real estate professionals conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

Timeline for Getting Your Vero Beach House Ready to Sell

When to do what when selling your Vero Beach house

Two Months Out

Find a real estate agent. This is arguably the most important decision you'll make in the whole process of selling your Vero Beach house. You want to find an agent who is credible and trustworthy and with whom you have good rapport. It pays to speak with a few professionals, ideally using word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. Before signing a listing agreement, be clear on the agent's commission.

Six Weeks Out

Handle any large repairs or upgrades. Pay close attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, which are the two rooms that most sell a Vero Beach house. Spending about $2,200 on a new suite of appliances—the dishwasher, range, and refrigerator—could fetch you an extra $6,000.

In the bathroom, consider replacing corroded fixtures as well as the vanity counter-top, which can be fairly inexpensive given its small size. Applying a fresh coat of paint in high-traffic parts of your Vero Beach house, including the front door, is also a good use of time and money

One Month Out

Get rid of clutter. Nothing turns away buyers faster than a messy Vero Beach house. You want them to be able to imagine themselves in your home, which will be impossible if your stuff is piled everywhere. Storage is a big selling point, so free up the closets and kitchen cabinets. This is also the time to pack up family photos, which can be another distraction for would-be buyers. These measures can add about 5 percent to a home's asking price, which works out to $10,000 on the average property.

Two Weeks Out

Photograph your home. In the era of online real estate, this step is crucial. If you're working with a top-quality real estate agent, they'll hopefully pony up for professional photographer—and maybe even a stager too. If they try to tell you their smart phone camera can do the job, don't believe them. An advanced digital camera is essential, because its large sensor will take clear pictures even in low-light interiors. Be sure to photograph every room in the home, as well as the exterior and yard.

One Week Out

Do a deep clean. Ahead of the first open house, you need to thoroughly wipe down every surface in your Vero Beach house, as well as vacuum and dust every corner. Do your best to air out the property by opening windows. And avoid cooking any smelly dishes in the final days leading up to the open house.

One to Two Days Out

Get your Vero Beach house listed online. Traffic to real estate websites tends to spike just before the weekend. Aim to post your listing on Thursday or Friday. Make sure you have the pieces in place before posting, especially the visuals. Some sellers debut their listing without the photos, thinking they can upload them later. But by that time, much of the traffic will have moved on.

Get more information about tips for selling your Vero Beach house in our section on Vero Beach Home Selling Tips to your right under Vero Beach Real Estate Categories.

Remember, we post tips daily to Twitter, and also on our Facebook Page. We'd love you to check us out there too.

Many Vero Beach properties were still underwater (or upside down) on their mortgage in 2014

Many Vero Beach properties were still underwater at the end of 2014. According to CoreLogic, about 5.4 million homes, or 11 percent of all U.S. residential properties with a mortgage, were still in "negative equity" at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, meaning that a borrower owes more on a Vero Beach home than it is worth. These Vero Beach properties are referred to as "underwater" or "upside down."

Negative Equity of Vero Beach Properties Expected to Improve

Negative equity continued to be a serious issue for the Vero Beach housing market and the U.S. economy at the end of 2014 with 5.4 million homeowners nationwide still "underwater". The situation is expected to improve over the course of 2015. CoreLogic projects their Home Price Index will rise 5 percent in 2015, which will lift about 1 million homeowners out of negative equity.

More and more mortgage borrowers are gaining equity as home prices continue their steady rise. Nearly 1.2 million U.S. borrowers regained equity in 2014.

Fewer Vero Beach properties are underwater since the peak of the foreclosure and financial crisis, but the national aggregate value of negative equity was $348.8 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $341.8 billion for third quarter 2014, an increase of $7 billion.

The share of homeowners that had negative equity increased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2014, reflecting the typical weakness in home values during the final quarter of the year. The CoreLogic HPI dipped 0.7 percent from September to December, and the percent of owners "underwater" increased to 10.8 percent. However, from December-to-December, the CoreLogic index was up 4.8 percent, and the negative equity share fell by 2.6 percentage points.

As we move through calendar year 2015, we will continue to monitor Vero Beach properties and their rise from underwater status. We'll post an update to the problem of Vero Beach properties being underwater later in the year to see how they compare to 2014.

Remember, we also post daily on our Facebook Page, and over at Twitter. We'd love you to find us there too.

Buying a Vero Beach home is not always first in the minds of newlyweds, especially when you stop to think that total average spending on weddings has now exceeded $31,200!

One might ask, "Should you spend that much on a wedding, or use the same dollars for a down payment on a Vero Beach home?"

Buy a Vero Beach home or have an expensive wedding?

The website, The Knot, reports that the total average spending on weddings grew 5 percent to $31,213 in 2014. That may or may not be the result of a recovering economy and a testament to the still-strong sentimental value of that special day. But that hefty price tag, especially if the bride and groom are saddled with most expenses, raises questions about smart financial planning by young couples and their parents.

According to The Knot's survey of 16,000 U.S. brides and grooms married in 2014, the bride's parents contribute 43 percent, the bride and groom pay for 43 percent, and the groom's parents kick in 12 percent of the total wedding budget (others account for the remaining 2 percent).

Weddings Today Cost Nearly a Down Payment on a Vero Beach Home

The rapidly rising value of a Vero Beach home and tighter inventories have kept first-time homebuyers out of the market. With the average home price nationally at about $180,000, the 20 percent down-payment needed to qualify with just about any lender (assuming good credit scores) would be $36,000. That's about $5,000 more than the average price of a wedding noted by The Knot.

Financial planners have long cautioned young couples on overspending for an event only lasting a few hours — obviously, these numbers-crunchers are not too concerned about sentimental value. But the average wedding price does raise eyebrows.

Couples seem more focused on creating an amazing guest experience and reception details, including finding unique venues to reflect their personality, as opposed to looking for a Vero Beach home instead.

Of the nearly 16,000 U.S. brides and grooms who participated in the survey conducted by The Knot, 23 percent said they didn't have a budget to begin with, which explains why about 45 percent surveyed went over budget on their nuptials.

If wedding bells are in your future, consider how smart it is to spend close to the equivalent of a down payment on a Vero Beach home when planning your wedding, or whether you'd rather be coming back to a home you own when you return from the honeymoon.

Find more news articles as they relate to buying a Vero Beach home under our Vero Beach Home Buying Tips section of articles to your right under Vero Beach Real Estate Categories. Also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for daily updates as well.

There have been all sorts of reports and predictions coming out about the Vero Beach homebuying season outlook. Freddie Mac's Deputy Chief Economist, Len Kiefer, gives Freddie Mac's preview and prediction of the March 2015 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook in this short video report…

We have more news as it relates to Vero Beach homebuying in the Vero Beach Real Estate News section under Vero Beach Real Estate Categories to your right.

And don't forget, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook, sometimes pertaining to Vero Beach homebuying. Find us there as well.