Category Archives: Fun

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Category : Fun , Merritt Island

It is a conflict of both time and technology.  The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge sits on the northern end of Brevard County and shares it’s geography with one of the most advanced technological areas of the world, the Kennedy Space Center.

While NASA, the US Air Force, Space X, Blue Origin and others are sending satellites and getting ready to send astronauts back into space, there is another kind of amazing happenings going on with over 500 different varieties of wildlife and well over 1000 species of plants.  The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 35 miles of barrier islands strung along Central Florida’s east coast.  This is part of the are popularly known as the Space Coast of Florida.  The subtropical and temperate climate makes it ideal for most species of plants and animals to thrive year round.  The Refuge happens to lie geographically right along the Atlantic Flyway, which is the most significant and primary migration bird corridor on the east coast of the North America. The Refuge itself is a major stop for migratory birds.  The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) is home to one of the most concentrated collection or variety of endangered and threatened species of all wildlife refuges across earth.  We are very fond and proud of our Refuge and it itself is a testament that both nature and advanced technology can coexist.

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

photo: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Travel Distances From the Refuge Visitor Center:

Black Point Wildlife Drive – 3.5 miles

Hammocks Trails – 1.5 miles

Manatee Observation Deck – 10.5 miles

Playalinda Beach – 7 miles

Scrub Ridge Trail – 6.5 miles

Pine Flatwoods Trail – 13 miles

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Membership and Fees for the MINWR

The MINWR annual pass is a great bargain at $15.00.  Anyone with a valid i.d. can purchase an annual pass at the Visitor’s Center.  Additional passes can be purchased at the Visitor’s Center as well, including; The Refuge Daily, the Refuge Annual, the American and the Beautiful Senior, Access, Military as well as the Federal Duck Stamp.  Children, accompanied by an adult, under the age of 16 are admitted for free.  The Canaveral National Seashore Annual pass is also available and allows entry for all refuge fee areas.  Each pass admits the pass-holder and all of their passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle.

Refuge Daily pass can be purchased for $5.00 per non-commercial vehicle.

Individuals on foot or bicycles can purchase daily pass for $1.00.

America the Beautiful Senior Pass – $10.00

America the Beautiful Annual Pass – $80.00

America the Beautiful Access Pass – Free to medically authorized individuals

America the Beautiful Military Pass – Free to U.S. Military members and their dependents.  A valid U.S. Military I.D. must be provided.

Federal Duck Stamps – $25.00.

Cash or Check is required.  Credit Card payments are not accepted.


Visitor Center

The visitor center is the heartbeat of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  If you have never visited the Refuge before, it is greatly beneficial for first-time visitors.  Visit our Facebook Page for our Visitor Center Hours of Operation.The visitor’s center is located on SR 402, five miles east of U.S.1 in Titusville.


  • Refuge Maps
  • Wildlife and Habitat Displays
  • Auditorium for Movies and Programs
  • Bookstore and gift shop
  • Educational Resources
  • 1/4 mile Boardwalk


Foot Trails

One of the most popular activities at the Refuge is hiking.  With our subtropical and temperate climate and weather, hiking can be enjoyed year round.  There are currently 7 walking trails and they are marked on maps for the hiker’s convenience.

Visitor Center Boardwalk – 1/4 mile loop

Oak Hammock Trail – 3/4 mile loop

Palm Hammock Trail – 2 mile loop

Scrub Ridge Trail – 1 mile loop

Cruickshank Trail and Tower – 5 mile loop

Wild Bird Trail – 1/4 mile loop

Pine Flatwood Trail – 1 mile loop

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

photo: Don Norris


Wheel Chair Accessibility

  • Refuge Information Center & 1/4 mile Boardwalk
  • Manatee Observation Deck
  • Observation Deck at stop #9 on Black Point Drive
  • Observation Deck at Refuge entrance on SR406
  • Beach access at EddyCreek (parking lot #9) at Playalinda Beach



Restrooms are located at:

  • Refuge Visitor Center
  • Stop #9 along Black Point Wildlife Drive
  • Playalinda Beach


Beach Access

Some of the most beautiful beaches and shoreline in all of Florida.  The Canaveral National Seashore and Playalinda Beach has over 24 miles of undeveloped, natural and pristine beaches for relaxation, walking, sunbathing, swimming, surfing, camping, horseback riding, fishing and hiking.  Camping and horseback riding are limited to the months of November 1st through April 15th and require a special permit.  There are no designated picnic areas, food services, beach showers or drinking water available.


Manatee Observation Deck

One of the most popular and beloved residents of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is the West Indian Manatee, or better known as the Florida Manatee.  Manatee can be seen year round at the Refuge, but most notedly in the months from Spring to Fall.  The manatee observation deck is a great place to view these wonderful animals in the natural habitat.  The deck is located 10.5 miles north of the Visitor Center off SR 3 at Haulover Canal.  (another good spot to view the manatee is at Bairs Cove boat launch)

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

photo: Don Norris


Boat Launches

If it will float, and you can get it there, the Refuge is a great place to enjoy a day out on the water whether you are in a motorboat, canoe, kayak or stand up paddle board.  A great place for fishing or just getting out and being one with nature.  Bring your camera for some amazing pics of scenery and wildlife.  Boat speed regulations are strictly enforced for the protection of manatee. Boat, canoe and kayak launching is limited to designated launch sites.  To launch from Bairs Cove, Bio Lab and Beacon 42, a $5.00 Refuge Daily Pass is required.

  • Bairs Cove – Haulover Canal
  • Beacon 42 – Mosquito Lagoon
  • WSEG – Mosquito Lagoon (No Fee)
  • Bio Lab – Mosquito Lagoon
  • Eddy Creek – Mosquito Lagoon


Wildlife Observation and Photography

The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge has the potential to make even the most amateur photography look like an expert.  The best trail or route to view wildlife is the Black Point Wildlife Drive.  One of the best ways to view and photograph wildlife is by kayaking or canoe.  Hiking trails, observation towers, decks and dike roads offer a great opportunity to view the diverse wildlife at the Refuge.  Best time for observing the wildlife is October through March.

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

photo: Don Norris

Refuge Regulations

Of course, there are some basic Rules and Regulations to keep both the visitors and the wildlife safe.  The park is always closed, unless otherwise posted, from sunset to sunrise.  All activities and use of the Refuge must be done during daylight hours.  Due to the close proximity of NASA, certain areas of the park may be closed from time to time due to security restrictions.

  • Air boats, jet skis, wave runners and ATVs are not permitted within the Refuge.
  • Carrying, possession and firing of any kind of firework is strictly prohibited.
  • Persons carrying a firearm must comply with all local and state laws.
  • Feeding, enticing, disrupting, or disturbing alligators, manatee or any other wildlife is not permitted.
  • Littering and dumping of any kind is prohibited.
  • Camping, open fires and barbecue grills are not permitted on the Refuge.
  • Pets are allowed on the Refuge, but must be registered (shots), leashed and under control at all times.
  • Horses are not permitted on the Refuge.  However, as stated earlier, they are permitted on the North District of the Canaveral National Seashore from November 1st through April 15th.  Call 386-428-3384 est. 0 for information and reservations.
  • Releasing any any wild or domestic animal onto the Refuge is prohibited.
  • Collecting, capturing, trapping or any animal or plant life on the Refuge is prohibited.  (other than legally taken fish or waterfowl)
  • Fishing and crabbing is permitted on the Refuge in accordance with state and refuge regulations.  A Refuge permit is required for both recreational as well as commercial fishing.  Fishing is allowed in open waters of the Indian River Lagoon, Banana River, Mosquito Lagoon, mosquito control impoundments and interior lakes.  Fishing is prohibited on the Kennedy Space Center security areas as well as along the Black Point Wildlife Drive and it’s adjacent dike roads with the exception of L Pond Road.
  • Two pole and troll zones are located in the Mosquito Lagoon.  Operation of internal combustion engines is not allowed within the zones and vessels drafting more than 12″ may not enter.
  • Electric trolling motors and non-motorized power sources such as peddles, paddles and push poles are permitted.
  • Waterfowl hunting is permitted September through January only in designated hunting areas.   A Refuge permit and hunter safety certification is required.  State, Federal and Refuge regulations apply.
  • Glass beverages containers are prohibited.
  • Bicycles are prohibited on foot trails.


For More Information about the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Contact:

Refuge Manager
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 2683
Titusville, Fl. 32781


Visitor Center Phone Number: 321-861-5601


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norris real estate brevard county

Top 10 Myths About Realtors

Category : Fun , Need to Know

Think You Know All There Is To Being A Real Estate Agent?
Top 10 Myths About Realtors

It’s not all Open House Events, driving around in expensive cars and selling million dollar waterfront homes all the time. Being exposed to the Real Estate industry for a number of years now, I have heard just about all the questions and misinformed statements there are about the Real Estate profession.

How many of these Top 10 Real Estate Myths have you heard?

1. Real Estate Agents get paid to drive people around to look at houses all the time. It’s their job!

Not exactly true my friend. The only time a Real Estate Agent gets paid is when they actually close on a transaction. Sometimes, all of that driving around from house to house results in a zero commission for the Realtor if the client’s financing falls through or the deal falls apart all together.

2. Realtors just want your commission on the sale of the house and will do anything to make it happen.

Now, I can’t personally vouch for every Real Estate Professional out there, but I do know for certain, that my wife and I and anyone on our team, as well as hundreds of other Real Estate Agents I know personally, have the customer’s best interests both financially as well as personally at the forefront of their mind.

Besides the fact, that there is the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) that monitors and governs all real estate laws and practices, there is the foundational fact that most business done in real estate is based off referrals. Good news travels slower than bad, we all know that. So, a good experience for a new buyer or seller goes much farther for the benefit of the Realtor than a bad or neutral experience.

My wife and I are in the business to help people reach their goals for a new home.

3. Realtors are Rich, live in big waterfront homes and drive expensive cars.

Don Norris and Natalie Norris

If that were true, the world would have an over-abundance of the Real Estate Agents. While it is true, that an individual can make a good living as a Real Estate Professional, it is no different than any other job or profession. A person is going to reap the benefits of hard work, exceptional customer service, ethical practices and smart business sense.

Natalie Norris and Don Norris Realtors

4. Agents Get Paid the Entire Commission On A Sale

NO! I wish this were the case, but all Realtors must share their commission with their Broker and in most cases the other Realtor working the opposite side of the transaction. Some Realtors share up to 50% of their portion of the commission with their Broker.

5. You Will Get A Better Deal If You Buy Directly from the Listing Agent

Don’t believe this for a second. In most cases, the seller has a contract with the listing Real Estate Agent to sale the property for a fixed commission percentage. By having your own Real Estate Agent, you have someone looking out for your best interests in negotiations, market price, repairs and inspection as well as closing costs.

6. No Need To Talk To A Lender Until You Have Found the Perfect Home

While this may work for some buyers, in todays housing market, you run the risk of losing your dream home to someone who has already prequalified. For those who have already arranged their financing by getting pre-approved, they are in a better position to secure a contract. Your dream home may get multiple offers on the same day you make your offer. By not being pre-approved for financing, you stand a big chance on being looked over by someone who has their financing pre-approval letter in hand.

Another advantage of pre-approval, is that you will have a clear picture of a dollar amount you have been approved for financing and thus, not waste any time looking at houses you will not qualify for.

7. Real Estate Agents Have An Easy Job

So, you think Realtors just drive around all day looking at nice houses and sit around and collect commission checks without doing much? Again, if this were the case, the world would have an over abundance of Real Estate Agents. Real Estate is a very complicated and difficult profession.

Realtors are constantly marketing, dealing with the public both on the private sector as well as the professional. Organizing home repairs, inspections, pest control and various other professionals it takes to close on a house. Many times, the Real Estate Agent does a lot of work on a transaction for a buyer, and the sale never goes through. The Realtor does not get paid for their time unless the transaction for the home closes and is funded.

Don Norris and Natalie Norris Realtors

In order for a Real Estate Professional to be successful, it requires a full time effort. Real Estate is not a 9-5 job. It is a weekends, early mornings and working into the late hours of evenings profession.

Realtors are constantly working with various personalities of their clients and maintaining a high level of customer service. For most people, a real estate purchase is the biggest and most important financial transaction of their life, and the Real Estate Agent is responsible for making sure the best interests of the clients is at heart.

Real Estate is certainly not an easy job and not everyone is cut out for it. Realtors are special people who are able to deal with the emotional, rude and “time wasters” on a regular basis. Education for Realtors is a constant engagement to stay up to date and certified on new real estate laws and practices.

8. A Realtor Is Only Allowed to Show Their Own Listings or Those Listings of Their Sponsor Broker

Not at all! A Real Estate Agent who represents a buyer can show any home listed on the market. The sales commission for a Buyer’s Agent is no more or no less than any of their own listings or listings of the sponsoring Broker.

When a Realtor is representing a buyer and that buyer is interested in purchasing a home their agent also has listed, then that Real Estate Agent then transitions into what is called a Transaction Broker.

9. If Your Aren’t Getting the Offers You Want For Your Home, Your Realtor Isn’t Doing Their Job

Of course this is not the case! Prices of homes are driven by the overall market. Some houses in a neighborhood sale for more than others, but there are some many factor that go into that. Square footage, location, updated appliances and amenities, as well as desirability of the individual looking. The Real Estate Agent has no influence in those factors. You home is only going to sell to someone when the appraisal value of the home is at equal or less than the selling price. *(unless of course, a buyer wants to purchase the home for more than it is appraised for and is willing to bring cash to the closing to make up the difference)

10. Fast Expensive Cars and Million Dollar Water-Front Properties Shows How Good A Realtor Is

Not always! Some Real Estate Agents are very successful and drive nice, expensive cars no doubt. Those same Agents also list some very expensive, impressive large homes as well. That does not always relate to how good a Real Estate Agent is though.

The key to being an excellent and successful Realtor is not based on the car or listings they hold. It all comes down to customer service and customer satisfaction. People who trust and have confidence in their Realtor are those who are likely to refer that same Agent to their friends and family. Also, they are those who are most likely to use that agent for future transactions.

Find an agent that you can connect with, trust and know they are looking out for your best interests.

Brevard County Realty

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Our Guarantee for a Successful Open House

Category : Fun , Need to Know , Sales

Our Guarantee for a Successful Open House

Thinking of having an open house to get more prospective buyers to notice your property? Think you have it all figured out? Maybe, but just in case, read on.

It’s common knowledge that a house that smells like cookies is a sure fire way to attract interested buyers and set your house apart from the normal smelling house a few streets over having their own open house. Of course, people being able to locate and find your Open House is a given.

I’m here to tell you folks, the days of lighting a Yankee candle that smells like baked cookies and just waiting for the people to show up one after the other are over. It just doesn’t happen like that.

Top 10 ways to have a successful open house

There should be a considerable deal of planning and coordinating to your open house.

I realize that there are many real estate agents these days who don’t believe that open houses are an effective means to marketing and selling your home. I am not going to debate and engage that ideology for the simple fact that having an open house to market and sell your house is a proven and effective means to do just that. I have experienced this first hand on numerous occasions and I am telling you, it makes a big difference between your home and the numerous homes like yours that aren’t having an open house. Year after year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows in their annual report, Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, that those who are looking to buy a home are finding theirs homes 10-15% of the time through open house events. While that 10-15% isn’t necessarily a staggering amount, it is a significant amount of buyers. Keep in mind, this is only one tool a good real estate professional will use to market and sell your home for you in as quick a time frame as possible.

Before you have an open house, be sure to discuss some of these ideas with your real estate agent.

Market the Open House Event

Yes, this is an event. This isn’t simply a day to unlock the doors to your house, have your real estate agent sit on the sofa with a book and wait for people to stroll by to see what it looks like on the inside.

People have to know about your open house event in order to get a substantial amount of traffic to walk through your front door. Everyone knows, real estate is based on numbers and marketing. If you get a piece of property in front of enough people, someone is going to be interested enough to pay a price you are happy with.

Other than the traditional method of putting out Open House signs in the area, balloons on the mailbox and front of the house there are a few other methods we use to make it more of an event to maximize your houses exposure.

Work with other agents

Talk with other listing agents who are helping owners sell their house in the neighborhood and make it a neighborhood event. It’s all about the traffic. If there are multiple houses in the neighborhood that will participate, make it even more fun and interesting by making a game of it with punch cards and door prizes.

Community Events

Coordinate your open house at the same time as a local community event. This could generate more foot traffic to your home. This works great during community or neighborhood garage sales, grand opening of businesses or local sporting events.

Old School Marketing

There is no shame in using some old school marketing techniques. Door hangers is still an effective method for getting people to hear and spread the word about your open house. People who love where they live, want other people to know about it. Especially people who want their friends to move to their neighborhood and live close by them.

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is a potentially powerful tool. We have been experts in internet marketing for the past 25 years. If you have someone who knows their way around the internet and knows how to effectively market your property through the internet, there are no other methods more powerful.

Posting your property on Zillow, social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are all free and effective methods for getting potentially thousands of eyes on your property and then those thousands of people could potentially “share” your listing with thousands of other people. You beginning to see the potential here?

Think Outside the Box!

Just because everyone has an open house on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, I encourage you to switch it up a bit! Try having an open house in the evening hours, to showcase the sunsets, tiki lamps around the pool. Try having one on a Monday night during Monday Night Football and stage it as a tailgate party to get couples more involved. Thinking outside of the box is one way to separate you from the hundreds of other people all doing the same thing as one another.

Open House Themed Tailgating

Educate Your Sellers

Communication is the key to any relationship, whether it is a personal or a professional one. As a seller’s agent, we believe that setting the proper expectations up front creates the best experience for everyone involved. Be sure to explain clearly to your client that an open house is not a guaranty of a sell, especially on the day of the event. Make them aware of the possible dangers of inviting strangers into their home, by making sure any loose valuables are secured safely. Many times, during an open house event, a real estate agent may pick up a buyer for a different piece of property based on the needs and wants of that buyer. By setting realistic and clear expectations of an open house event, everyone should walk away feeling like winners.

Nosey Neighbors are the Best

Successful Open House for Real Estate

You’re sitting there at your open house, and the only foot traffic you are getting so far are all of the nosey neighbors coming by to look at the house and the updates they have been wondering about for months now. Some may see that as an annoyance and frustration, but you can use this to your advantage and turn it into a positive. All of those nosey neighbors can actually help you sell that house. When they go back home and run into their friends and talk on the phone, they will;l be talking about how great the “Johnson’s” old home looks that is now for sale. They will be telling their friends and possibly even family members how they could buy the home and live close enough to hang out during the day and walk the dogs in the evenings together.

You may even consider having a neighbors only preview and start the Open House an hour early by passing out a few flyers to the surrounding neighbors as an invitation only.

Keep the Valuables Safe and Away

Unfortunately, not everyone who comes to an open house is there to see the house for sale, but to actually “case” the house for a potential burglary mark. Educate your seller about the importance and need to tuck and secure any valuables away that could easily “walk off”. This of course would include, but not limited to jewelry, small family heirlooms, prescription drugs and of course, money.

Keep valuables safe during an Open House

Get Those Digits and Email!

Sign in sheets may be good in a pinch, but how many times has a Real Estate Professional looked over their sign in sheet to see that some very famous people and cartoon characters were there at the Open House. Sadly enough, some people just don’t want to share their information and of course some do it just to be silly.

Try being more creative with a door prize that will be giving away a day or two after the Open House or using an app to have the potential clients sign in and register with upon arrival.

Getting the visitors sign in information could turn them into a future client even if they do not feel a connection with the home you are currently showing.

Plan Ahead and Be Safe

Sitting at an Open House alone is not necessarily a bad thing nor is it unsafe. That being said, it may be a good idea to have someone join you for your Open House just to be there with you. Safety is always better in numbers. If you really want to be creative, bring along one of your favorite Lenders to join you in the event you so your potential customers can talk with and ask questions about their financing needs and situation.

This is your Open House and it could very well be the 2-3 hours you need to sale that house. Treat it as though it is going to happen and market it like it is the best house in the neighborhood.

Brevard County Realty

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