Discover Local

Welcome to 'Discover Local' by FECRE, your premier gateway to Brevard County on the Space Coast. In every neighborhood, behind every corner, and within the heartbeat of this vibrant community lies a myriad of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered. Join us on an exciting journey through 'Discover Local' as we peel back the layers of Brevard County, revealing its distinctive charm, real estate wonders, and the essence that makes it a unique place to call home.Stay tuned for regular updates on real estate trends, market updates, and opportunities, ensuring you're always in the know about the latest developments. Whether you're seeking the perfect space, eager to explore local events, or yearning to connect with the essence of the Space Coast, FECRE invites you to embark on an adventure where every click brings you closer to the heart of Brevard County's unparalleled beauty and opportunities."

May 17, 2024

Exploring the Kennedy Space Center: From Space History to Modern Marvels

By Mary Cotoia

Since its inception, the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has stood as a symbol of humanity's curiosity and adventurous spirit. Nestled along Florida's picturesque Space Coast, the center has evolved from its humble beginnings in the early days of the Space Race to become a premier destination for space enthusiasts and curious global travelers alike. Serving as the launch site for many iconic space missions, the Kennedy Space Center traces its roots back to the 1950s when NASA began searching for an ideal location to establish a launch site for its space program. In 1962, the center was officially dedicated and named in honor of President John F. Kennedy, who had championed the nation's space exploration efforts.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, KSC played a crucial role in numerous landmark missions, including the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. It was from these hallowed grounds that astronauts embarked on their historic journeys to the moon, forever altering our understanding of the universe and our place within it. Visitors can embark on their own mission of discovery at the KSC Visitors’ complex. Guests are greeted by towering missiles and launch pads leading them to the promise of something even more exciting awaiting beyond. The complex has grown exponentially beyond viewing mission control to the new gateway into deep space.

One of the most iconic landmarks at the Kennedy Space Center is the towering Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), a colossal structure that looms large on the horizon. Standing at over 500 feet tall, the VAB served as the final assembly point for the Saturn V rockets that carried astronauts to the moon, as well as the Space Shuttles in the years that followed.

Adjacent to the VAB is Launch Complex 39, the historic site from which the Apollo missions and Space Shuttle launches were conducted. Visitors to the Kennedy Space Center can explore these historic launch pads, glimpsing first hand into the monumental achievements of mankind’s space travel endeavors.

While the Kennedy Space Center pays homage to its legendary past, it also embraces the future of space exploration with numerous modern attractions and exhibits. Visitors can embark on immersive experiences that provide insight into the challenges and triumphs of space travel, from the thrills of liftoff to the weightlessness of orbit. One of the center's main attractions is the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit, where guests can marvel at the actual orbiter that flew 33 missions into space. Suspended in midair as if in flight, Atlantis serves as a tribute to the Space Shuttle program and the astronauts who piloted these remarkable vehicles. For those with a passion for innovation, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers a behind-the-scenes look at NASA's cutting-edge research and technology. From the latest advancements in rocket propulsion to the exploration of Mars and beyond, visitors can glimpse the future of space exploration firsthand.

Beyond its awe-inspiring exhibits and attractions, the Kennedy Space Center serves as a beacon of inspiration for future generations of explorers and innovators. Through educational programs, outreach initiatives, and interactive experiences, the center seeks to ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) in young minds globally.

From astronaut encounters to simulated space missions, the Kennedy Space Center offers a wealth of opportunities for visitors of all ages to engage with the wonders of the cosmos. Whether you're a lifelong space enthusiast or a casual observer, a visit to KSC is sure to leave an indelible impression and ignite a sense of wonder about the infinite possibilities that lie beyond our planet. The Kennedy Space Center stands as a testament to humanity's enduring spirit of exploration and discovery. From its historic role in the early days of the Space Race to its modern-day attractions and exhibits, the center continues to inspire and captivate visitors from around the world. As we look to the stars with wonder and curiosity, the Kennedy Space Center serves as a reminder of the limitless potential of the human imagination and our capacity to reach new heights, both figuratively and literally. Whether you're a seasoned space aficionado or a curious traveler, a journey to the Kennedy Space Center is an adventure like no other, offering a glimpse into the past, present, and future of space exploration.

Posted in Space Coast
May 1, 2024

What is PMI?

    by Carol McNamee, REALTOR®

What is PMI?

Private Mortgage Insurance, commonly referred to as PMI, is an insurance policy that lenders often require borrowers to obtain when they have a conventional mortgage loan with a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price. It is not the same as homeowner’s insurance, which protects the homeowner against damage to the property and liability claims. PMI, on the other hand, is designed to protect the lender's financial interests in case of default.

The Purpose of PMI

The primary purpose of PMI is to protect the lender in case the borrower defaults on their mortgage payments. If the borrower stops making payments and the property goes into foreclosure, PMI helps reimburse the lender for the remaining loan balance after the sale of the property. It provides an additional layer of security for the lender since a smaller down payment represents a higher risk for potential losses.

Cost of PMI

PMI is typically an additional monthly cost that the borrower must pay on top of their mortgage payment. The exact amount of PMI depends on several factors such as the loan amount, loan-to-value ratio (LTV), and the borrower’s credit score. The cost of PMI can vary significantly, but it generally ranges from 0.5% to 1% of the total loan value annually. This means that on a $200,000 mortgage, the annual PMI cost could be anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000, or $83 to $166 per month.

Cancelling PMI

Once the borrower has built enough equity in their home or reaches a loan-to-value ratio of 80% or less, they can request the cancellation of PMI. It's a noteworthy point that PMI is not a lifetime expense. The Homeowners Protection Act (HPA) of 1998 states that lenders must automatically cancel PMI once the borrower’s mortgage balance is scheduled to reach 78% of the original appraised value of the home, regardless of the current loan balance. However, the borrower must be current on their mortgage payments for this rule to apply.

It’s advisable to consult with the lender to understand the specific requirements for canceling PMI in a given mortgage agreement. For instance, some lenders might require a formal request in writing, while others might require an appraisal to prove that the home hasn’t declined in value.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding PMI is crucial for anyone planning to take a mortgage loan with a down payment of less than 20%. While it represents an extra cost, PMI allows borrowers to purchase a home without having to save up a significant down payment. However, it’s essential to keep track of your mortgage payments and home equity to cancel PMI as soon as possible, thus reducing the overall cost of the mortgage.

Posted in Article
April 24, 2024

March 2024 Market Update Space Coast

By Sage Prussel

The Brevard County real estate market experienced notable trends in March 2024, reflecting the dynamics of the region's housing landscape. Here's a concise overview of the annual market update for single-family homes, condos, and townhomes and the percent change from March 2023:

Single Family Homes:

  • Median Sales Price: $379,445 | +7.3% change
  • Number of Homes Sold: 931 | -9.7% change
  • Average Days on Market: 38 days | +26.7% change
  • Months Supply of Inventory: 3.6 months | +63.6% change

For single-family homes, the median sales price rose to $379,445, marking a 7.3% increase compared to a year ago. There were 931 homes sold during the month, indicating a 9.7% decrease from March 2023. The months' supply of inventory increased substantially to 3.6 months, up from 2.2 months in March 2023.

Condos and Townhomes:

  • Median Sales Price: $300,000 | +7.1% change
  • Number of Homes Sold: 237 | -11.9% change
  • Average Days on Market: 47 days | +62.1%
  • Months Supply of Inventory: 5.9 months | +96.7% change

In the realm of condos and townhomes, the median sales price reached $300,000, reflecting a 7.1% increase from the previous year. However, the number of homes sold decreased by 11.9%, with 237 properties sold. The months' supply of inventory rose sharply to 5.9 months, up from 3.0 months in March 2023.

Statistics produced by Florida  REALTORS® with data provided by Florida's multiple listing services. Statistics for each month compiled from  MlS feeds on the 15th day of the following month. Data released between the 21st -23rd of each month.

Posted in Market Updates
March 22, 2024

Febuary 2024 Market Update Space Coast

By Sage Prussel

The Brevard County real estate market experienced notable trends in February 2024, reflecting the dynamics of the region's housing landscape. Here's a concise overview of the annual market update for single-family homes, condos, and townhomes and the percent change from February 2023:

Single Family Homes:

  • Median Sales Price: $376,000 | +7.7% change 
  • Number of Homes Sold: 770 |-6% change 
  • Average Days on Market: 40 days | -2.4% change
  • Months Supply of Inventory: 3.5 months | +59.1% change

For single-family homes, the median sales price indicates a prevailing market value, was at $376,000. A total of 770 homes were sold during the month. The average days on the market, a key metric for property turnover, was reported at 40 days. Additionally, the months supply of inventory, measuring the balance between supply and demand, stood at 3.5 months.

Condos and Townhomes:

  • Median Sales Price: $299,345 | -1% change
  • Number of Homes Sold: 186 | -2.1% change
  • Average Days on Market: 63 days | 85.3% change
  • Months Supply of Inventory: 5.6 months | 80.6% change

In the realm of condos and townhomes, the median sales price was $299,345. A total of 186 properties were sold. The average days on the market for condos and townhomes were reported at 63 days. The months supply of inventory for this sector was 5.6 months.

Statistics produced by Florida  REALTORS® with data provided by Florida's multiple listing services. Statistics for each month compiled from  MlS feeds on the 15th day of the following month. Data released between the 21st -23rd of each month.

Posted in Market Updates
March 15, 2024

Bioluminescence: Nature's Natural Underwater Light Show

By Mary Cotoia

Fireworks displays at Disney and other Central Florida theme parks may illuminate the night skies with bursts of brilliance, but the magical luminescent light show taking place beneath the shallow waters of the Indian River Lagoon rivals any fireworks display lighting up Florida’s night sky. 

What is bioluminescence? It’s the laser light show being created by tiny single-cell light omitting marine organisms known as dinoflagellates along with comb jellyfish that create awe inspiring flashes of bright blue-green light within the waters of the lagoon at night. It’s a captivating spectacle that seems straight out of a fantastical tale. It's the enchanting phenomenon where living organisms emit light, turning the darkness of their surrounding waters into a mesmerizing neon spectacle. 

During the months of June through October, the warmer waters of summer are the best time to view our bioluminescence phenomenon. According to scientists, during that time the lagoon is estimated to be filled with over 10,000 of the tiny dinoflagellates per liter of water. If you’re here between October through May, you’ll be greeted by comb jellyfish. Unlike other jellyfish, these tiny creatures do not sting. The little jellyfish can be caught in the palm of your hand, and just like dinoflagellates, they create bright neon lights in the waters of the lagoon when disturbed. 

Bioluminescence serves various ecological functions, including camouflage, communication, and defense mechanisms. Some organisms use their luminescence to blend in with their surroundings, while others employ it to startle or distract predators.

As we continue to unravel the mysteries of bioluminescence, it becomes imperative to safeguard the ecosystems that harbor these extraordinary organisms. Habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change pose significant threats to bioluminescent habitats, highlighting the need for conservation efforts and responsible environmental stewardship. By protecting natural habitats and promoting sustainable practices, we can ensure the preservation of bioluminescent wonders for future generations to cherish and admire. Through education and awareness, we can foster appreciation for the intricate beauty of bioluminescence and inspire action to protect the fragile ecosystems that nurture it. 

Bioluminescence stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring creativity of nature. This captivating phenomenon illuminates the wonders of life in ways that continue to captivate and inspire us. As we strive to understand and protect these luminous marvels, we embark on a journey of discovery that celebrates the boundless beauty of our planet. 

To view nature’s luminous light show, contact one of the numerous local tour operators providing kayak and raft tours. Nestled here in Brevard County lies the only place in North America, and one of the premier spots globally for witnessing bioluminescence – an opportunity not to be overlooked. While you may forget the brilliance of fireworks displays past, a bioluminescent encounter promises to etch itself into your memory for eternity. It's an absolute essential for your bucket list.

 

Posted in Space Coast
Feb. 28, 2024

January 2024 Market Update for the Space Coast

By Sage Prussel

The Brevard County real estate market experienced notable trends in January 2024, reflecting the dynamics of the region's housing landscape. Here's a concise overview of the annual market update for single-family homes, condos, and townhomes and the percent change from January 2023:

Single Family Homes:

  • Median Sales Price: $371,583 | +6% change 
  • Number of Homes Sold: 581 |-6.4% change 
  • Average Days on Market: 41 days | +20% change
  • Months Supply of Inventory: 3.4 months | +47.8% change

For single-family homes, the median sales price indicates a prevailing market value, was at $371,583. A total of 581 homes were sold during the month. The average days on the market, a key metric for property turnover, was reported at 41 days. Additionally, the months supply of inventory, measuring the balance between supply and demand, stood at 3.4 months.

Condos and Townhomes:

  • Median Sales Price: $283,100 | -5.6% change
  • Number of Homes Sold: 132 | -10.8% change
  • Average Days on Market: 50 days | 78.6% change
  • Months Supply of Inventory: 5.4 months | 74.2% change

In the realm of condos and townhomes, the median sales price was $283,100. A total of 132 properties were sold. The average days on the market for condos and townhomes were reported at 50 days. The months supply of inventory for this sector was 5.4 months.

Statistics produced by Florida  REALTORS® with data provided by Florida's multiple listing services. Statistics for each month compiled from  MlS feeds on the 15th day of the following month. Data released between the 21st -23rd of each month.

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 21, 2024

Florida Space Coast’s Intracoastal waters of the Indian River Lagoon

By Mary Cotoia

Did you know that the Banana River and the Indian River which make up a large portion of the intracoastal waters along our Space Coast are not actually rivers, but estuaries?  Both bodies of water are lagoons fed fresh water from the mainland through canals, ditches, and lake runoffs along with ocean water flushing through five ocean inlets. This mix of brackish water is home to numerous flora and fauna. These intracoastal waters make up the Indian River Lagoon which runs 156 miles along Florida’s east coast and the entire 72 mile length of Brevard County. 

Known as ‘the cradle of the ocean’, waters within the Indian River Lagoon act as a refuge to many spawning fish, baby turtles, shrimp and crabs.  Acting as a protective barrier, the intricate blend of freshwater and saltwater creates a rich and diverse environment allowing them the opportunity to mature in the sea grasses and mangrove shorelines, away from predators until they reach maturity and can return to the sea. 

Instead of tides or gravity driving the waters within the lagoon, they are primarily driven by wind.  You may see the waters of the lagoon moving in different directions for this reason, or water may be completely stagnant and not flow at all. 

Our Indian River Lagoon is considered one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America. It has been designated an Outstanding Florida Waterway, an Estuary of National Significance, and a Surface Water Improvement and Program Water Body. Within the Indian River Lagoon you will find 665 species of fish, 370 species of birds, 2,200 animal species and 2,100 plant species. Beaches along the lagoon attract some of the highest number of nesting turtles in the Western Hemisphere. The lagoon is located along the Atlantic Flyway, a key biological highway for diverse migrating birds.

In addition to serving as distinct habitats to numerous plants and animals, locals and visitors alike enjoy the beauty and recreational opportunities of the lagoon, boating, fishing and kayaking.  You can find 50 access points around the lagoon for paddling & kayaking. With over 100 miles of equestrian trails along the lagoon shores, riders can enjoy the scenic views from horseback. Explore hiking and walking trails, or maximize your enjoyment of the lagoon’s remarkable wildlife with over 100 strategically located observation points. Take in awe-inspiring views of the lagoon region on 2 wheels with over 40 access points to over 100 miles of bike paths, winding through forests, parks, and along the shoreline. With over 300 species of birds, the lagoon is a birdwatcher's paradise. Visitors can find over 100 public birding locations around the lagoon, including over 30 sites on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. After immersing yourself in the enchanting glow of a bioluminescence tour in a transparent bottom kayak, you can check it off your bucket list!

People from all over the world have come to appreciate the ecotourism experiences that the Indian River Lagoon has to offer. The biodiversity within the lagoon is unmatched, making it a Florida Space Coast treasure.

 

Posted in Space Coast
Feb. 13, 2024

How Long Does It Take to Close on a Home?

 by Carol McNamee, REALTOR®

The time it takes to close on a home can vary depending on several factors, including the specific circumstances of the home purchase and the parties involved. On average, it typically takes around 30 to 45 days to close on a home after the purchase agreement is signed. However, it’s important to note that this is just an estimate, and the actual timeline can be shorter or longer depending on various factors, such as:

Mortgage Financing: If you’re obtaining a mortgage to purchase the home, the timeline can be influenced by factors such as the lender’s efficiency, the complexity of the loan application, and any potential delays in obtaining the necessary documentation or appraisal.

Home Inspection and Appraisal: The time it takes to schedule and complete a home inspection and appraisal can impact the closing timeline. If any issues or discrepancies are found during these processes, it may require additional negotiations or repairs, which can extend the closing timeframe.

Title Search and Insurance: A title search is typically conducted to ensure there are no outstanding liens or claims on the property. This process can take a few weeks, and obtaining title insurance may also be necessary, which can add additional time.

Contingencies and Negotiations: The presence of contingencies in the purchase agreement, such as a home sale contingency or repairs requested by the buyer, can affect the closing timeline. If negotiations or resolutions are required, it may lengthen the closing process.

Local Factors and Seasonal Variations: The time required to close on a home can vary depending on local customs, regulations, and the workload of the professionals involved, such as real estate agents, lenders, and attorneys. Additionally, certain seasons or times of the year, such as holidays or peak buying seasons, can result in increased demand and potentially longer closing times.

It’s essential to work closely with your real estate agent (me!), lender, and other professionals involved in the process to get a more accurate estimate of the closing timeline for your specific situation.

Posted in Article
Feb. 7, 2024

The 2023 Annual Brevard Market Report

by Sage Prussel

The Brevard County real estate market experienced notable trends in 2023, reflecting the dynamics of the region's housing landscape. Here's a concise overview of the annual market update for single-family homes, condos, and townhomes:

Single Family Homes:

  • Median Sales Price: $361,000
  • Number of Homes Sold: 10,396
  • Average Days on Market: 28 days
  • Months Supply of Inventory: 3.2 months

For single-family homes, the median sales price indicates a prevailing market value, standing at $361,000. A total of 10,396 homes were sold during the year. The average days on the market, a key metric for property turnover, was reported at 28 days. Additionally, the months supply of inventory, measuring the balance between supply and demand, stood at 3.2 months.

Condos and Townhomes:

  • Median Sales Price: $299,000
  • Number of Homes Sold: 2,587
  • Average Days on Market: 29 days
  • Months Supply of Inventory: 4.9 months

In the realm of condos and townhomes, the median sales price held steady at $299,000. A total of 2,587 properties were sold. The average days on the market for condos and townhomes were reported at 29 days. The months supply of inventory for this sector was 4.9 months.

Statistics produced by Florida  REALTORS® with data provided by Florida's multiple listing services. Statistics for each month compiled from  MlS feeds on the 15th day of the following month. Data released between the 21st -23rd of each month.

 

 

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 8, 2024

Brevard County Florida’s 3-2-1 Countdown Area Code

 

 

By Mary Cotoia

 

On July 8, 1999, the game show "Jeopardy!" featured this Final Jeopardy question: "In 1999 several counties around Cape Canaveral, Florida were assigned this new telephone area code." 

Every launch from Kennedy Space Center begins the same 3-2-1. This unique area code, symbolizing the iconic countdown to a rocket launch, has become synonymous with the region.  In 1999 Brevard County residents were notified they would be splitting from the 407 area code and voluntary use of a new 321 area code could begin November 1st. However, as of Oct. 1, 2000, use of the 321 area code would be mandatory in Brevard County and customers who dialed the 407 area code for Brevard numbers would receive a recording that instructed them to hang up and dial using 321as the area code instead.

This change came from the efforts of one man, Robert ‘Ozzie’ Osband, fondly known as the ‘Rocket Hobo’.  Ozzie had a passion for space and oddly enough, for phones.  Growing up in Rochester, New York, Osband became a “phone freak” at about the age of 12.  "I was just interested in telephones, how they worked, I would hang around with the telephone man when he was in the neighborhood. And just generally enjoyed playing with them, and hooking them up, and doing strange things with them," Osband stated during a "Stay Curious" podcast, hosted by Mark Marquette, American Space Museum community liaison and host-producer of "Stay Curious." 

A resident of Titusville since 1987, Ozzie, a ham radio operator, and data programmer, noticed the  321 area code was up for geographic relief. "3-2-1, haven't I heard that number before?" he laughed. "Of course! Countdowns! And I live in the countdown capital. Now I know what area code I want."  He immediately went into action to petition the Florida Public Service Commission for testimony.  He was granted the opportunity to present his testimony on September 24, 1998 at a meeting in Orlando.  The commissioners loved the idea, and the rest is history.  On November 1, 1999 Gov. Jeb Bush made the very first 3-2-1 call to the Kennedy Space Center. On the other line, KSC Deputy Director James Jennings answered with Osband sitting by his side.

For four decades Osband, a self proclaimed ‘space geek’, rarely missed a rocket launch from the Space View Park in downtown Titusville where he would provide commentary and answer questions prior to launches.  On occasion, his enthusiastic “10-9-8…” countdown would humorously coincide with a liftoff, a playful quip among many friends due to the unpredictability of “T-0” timings and communication delays.

Ozzie Osband was passionate about the space program. For 20 years he served as a volunteer at the American Space Museum, Cape Canaveral Space Force Museum and Sands Space History Center, organizing talks and radio events in the early days of the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Foundation, the museum’s non-profit institution.  He was featured in both the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal for hatching the 3-2-1 idea.  The man who dialed up the idea said of himself, "Had to be a combination of 'Space Cadet' and 'Phone Freak,’ to come up with the idea,".  The quirky out of the box thinker passed away on August 6th 2023, leaving behind his 3-2-1 legacy.

Posted in Space Coast