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Pensacola Realty Masters Blog

Realty Masters is happy to present the following Pensacola area community and Pensacola real estate information! 

Capital Gains Taxes & Opportunity Zones
10-23-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Opportunity Zones and Capital Gains Taxes
06-04-2020

There's been a lot of talk this year about Opportunity Zones and a new way to reinvest funds that would have normally been paid towards capital gains taxes in real estate in low income zones designated "opportunity zones." If you are an investor looking to invest in Pensacola area real estate, you may be interested to learn more about Opportunity Zones.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Code Section 1400Z provides new tax incentives in the way of exchanging capital gains if reinvested and held in accordance to the rules outlined. This rule applies until 2026. We're surely not CPA's and this topic digs quite deep into tax code so always consult your tax professionals before moving forward with an investment plan that involves significant tax implications. 

HUD has now created a website with information to further explain Opportunity Zones.  Visit it here as it applies for the entire U.S. and not just the Pensacola area.  https://opportunityzones.hud.gov/  and includes a map to show certified opportunity zones. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity also has a variety of information about Opportunity Zones on their website here.

In Pensacola, there are limited zones identified as Opportunity Zones and includes 5 small areas in Pensacola, a portion of Milton, Florida and most of the city of Century, Florida. 

  • East of Interstate 10 from Baars Street north to Royce Street
  • A section between Fairfield Drive and Beverly Parkway west of Palafox St. 
  • A section both north and south of W Cervantes St. 
  • An area next to Corry Station including New Warrington 
  • An area west of Palafox Street to P St. 

#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
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Do you have Hurricane Insurance?
09-09-2019
MacKenzie Rathbun
Hurricane Insurance
06-18-2020

hurricane picture 

Florida hurricane season is roughly May through November. That is over half the year! On top of that, hurricanes don't always occur during their season. For homeowners in Florida and in other coastal communities, hurricanes are a huge threat.

Does your insurance policy adequately cover hurricane damage? You'll have to consider several items to reach this conclusion. 

In Florida, all insurance companies are required to offer hurricane insurance for deductibles of $500, 2%, 5%, and 10%. Cutting through the insurance technical talk; Say you get a policy that covers $200,000 worth of damage and your house. Your policy has a 2% deductible. If your house is completely destroyed, your insurance company will write you a check for up to the amount of your coverage (in this case $200,000) minus your deductible (in this case $4,000). If this were to happen, you would receive the difference between your coverage and your deductible ($196,000).  If you were to experience damages to your home above your deductible, the insurance company would likely offer to pay the estimated or exact repair costs less your deductible.

As we can see, a 2% deductible is great! But what about 10%? If you had a 10% deductible in the above situation, that would be $20,000! If the damage to your home were $19,995, you would be responsible for those repairs. If the damage to your home does not exceed your deductible, you would be responsible to pay the repair costs out of pocket. 

Sometimes we don’t realize how high our deductibles are and we’re not able to meet it to repair our homes. If you’re not sure what your deductible is, now is a great opportunity to check. If you’re not happy with what you find, it may be time to shop around for a new policy. In some cases, improving your policy could be a matter of speaking with your insurance agent. Some policies can reduce the deductible for a minimal increase in your monthly payments. 

Another thing to be aware of is that your insurance company will only make a payout once during a hurricane season. Hurricane insurance will only be paid out for damages caused by a hurricane declared by the National Weather Service. Deductibles are applied to damages occurring from the beginning of a hurricane watch up to 72 hours aver a watch/warning has ended. 

Please be aware that not all insurance policies offered include hurricane or wind damage coverage as there are several different types of insurance policies. Ask your insurance agent specifically about your hurricane and wind coverage. Some policies require a separate policy for hurricane and wind-related damages. Also, make sure you that you have the right type of policy for your situation. For example, homeowners who occupy their home as their primary residence need different policy coverage than those who rent their properties. If you do not have the correct type of coverage, the insurance company may be able to deny a valid claim.

Are you a homeowner looking to ensure you have the proper coverage or a new homeowner looking for first time coverage? It is best to reach out to an insurance professional to review your policy and inquire about what insurance carrier, policy, premiums, and deductibles are right for you.

Check out these other articles about day to day insurance issues:

·         Aluminum Wiring and What it Means

·         Does It Need a New Roof?

If you need recommendations for local insurance agents, please reach out to us for referrals!

#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
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Tips for Raising Rents While Keeping Tenants
08-29-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Landlords
06-04-2020

Should you raise the rent on your tenants?

As a landlord, you may sometimes find yourself in undesirable positions. An example of when this can happen is when it’s time to renew a tenant’s lease, and you are unsure if you should raise the rent. It may have been hard getting a qualified tenant in the home and you want to avoid a vacancy, especially if they have been properly maintaining the home. You may also hesitate to raise the rent because you don’t want to risk losing your tenants. But there are many factors that come into play when making this decision. For example, if the maintenance expenses, taxes, or insurance for the investment property have increased you may need to make this raise. Additionally, the rental market has been strong and rents have been rising. It is important to remember that although you want to do well by the tenants and keep your good relationship, you are technically running a business and you need to make a wise decision so you are not losing money and they are not overpaying. So, what do you do?

The way a landlord or property manager delivers the news of a rental increase can have a significant impact on the tenant’s reaction. We suggest you begin by making some positive comments and maybe mention how well they have kept the home up. Then you can move on to explain if there has been an increase in your expenses which will need to result in an increase in rent. You must be sure that you allow them enough notice for them to consider the renewal offer and decide whether or not they want to stay and pay the increased rent or vacate at lease expiration. If your expenses haven’t really increased and you have great tenants, you may want to keep the rent the same for the renewal and then consider raising it the next time around.

Below are some tips on incentives to help make an increase less scary for your tenants:

1.Offer a small rent reduction for the first month after they renew. This will allow them a little break to help adjust to the new rental rate the next month.

2.Buy them something for their home. As you review the evaluation pictures, you will notice the décor so you can pick something out that they may like- a cute welcome mat, for example. This will offer a nice personal touch.

3.Ask them if there are any suggestions they may have for updates around the house. (this may be a more reasonable offer after they’ve occupied the property for a couple of years)

4.Send them a thank you note along with a gift card. This will be a big hit because the tenant will be able to buy whatever they like.

5.You can offer a one-time service like lawn clean up, carpet cleaning, or pressure washing.

Please be sure to communicate well with your tenants so everyone has ample time to prepare for the next step, whatever the decision may be. Remember, if your tenant decides to move and you need a quality property management company to help you rent the property, we are here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact Realty Masters of FL. You can find more information about our Pensacola property management services here and information for real estate investors here.  

#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
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Normal Wear & Tear Versus Tenant Damage
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Wear & Tear Versus Damage
07-16-2019

Landlords and tenants alike have a lot of questions when it comes to what is defined as normal wear and tear versus tenant damage. Since there is not a clear cut answer to this, we rely on years of experience with Landlord Tenant attorneys and judges who set forth case law and guidelines to establish normal wear versus damage. Keep in mind, even when an item is tenant damage, the law requires items to be pro-rated to take into effect useful life and the time a tenant has remained in the property. Since this is a complex formula, we take each instance on a case by case basis; however, the following chart will help to demonstrate some basic differences between wear and tear and tenant damage when it comes to specific items in the home. 

Normal Wear & Tear                                        Versus                                              Tenant Damage 

Well-worn keys and locks/knobs                               vs.        Missing keys, damaged or pried locks

Sticky keys/locks                                                       vs.        Key broken off inside lock

Worn pattern/spot in counter tops                             vs.        Burn mark on counter tops

Rusty, scratched refrigerator shelf                             vs.        Missing/cracked/broken refrigerator shelf

Discolored, worn, or scuffed flooring                         vs.        Cracked/chipped tile, tears in vinyl, burn marks,
                                                                                                gouges, scratches from pets

Carpet seam unraveling                                            vs.        Stains, pet damage, burn marks on carpeting

Cracked paint at seams                                             vs.        Holes in walls, pet damage, crayon/marker on walls

Faded, blistered, sun-damaged blinds/drapes          vs.        Torn/ pet damage, dusty/dirty blinds or drapes

Window/vertical blinds won’t close properly              vs.        Missing turn stick, missing blinds

Faded, dirty or tears on window screens                  vs.        Bent window screen

Wobbly toilet                                                              vs.        Broken toilet tank lid, cracked toilet bowl

Rust stain under bathtub spout                                  vs.        Chip or crack in tub, dirt/scum build up

Loose, inoperable faucet                                           vs.        Missing/broken faucet handle

Bathroom mirror starting to ‘de-silver’                       vs.         Mirror cracked, caked with residue, missing mirror

Mildew in shower due to lack of ventilation              vs.         Mildew due to lack of cleaning or running fan being installed or no window                                                                               ventilation fan

The Realty Masters of FL Team

#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
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originally posted 04-16-2019

Landlords: 10 Year Tamper Proof Smoke Detectors
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Smoke Detectors
07-16-2019

As a landlord, you have to mitigate liability by ensuring that your property meets all applicable city, county, state, and national laws. One of the biggest challenges for the do-it-yourself landlord is staying on top of all of these regulations! 

One regulation you may not be aware of is the need to have 10 year tamper proof smoke detectors in your rental property. 

In 2015, Florida Landlord Tenant Law added language that requires all battery operated smoke detectors to be replaced with 10 year tamper proof batteries. Of course, the lithium battery detectors cost more and can be up to $30 for each detector (versus under $10 for the old kind). They still sell the old 9 volt battery detector at your local home improvement store, however, be advised that this detector does not meet the threshold of Landlord Tenant Law (and likely new building codes, although I am not an expert on following those). 

The law dictates if you have to replace the detector, you must replace it with a tamper proof detector. 

Battery operated smoke detectors expire every 10 years. Check the date on the back of the detector to make sure the detector is not expired. 

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are not optional expenses as they are required under the law. 

The Realty Masters of FL Team
#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
Sales Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #52B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 453-9220 www.RealtyMastersofFlorida.com
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originally posted 01-04-2019

Multi-Family Properties for Sale in Pensacola, Florida
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Multi-family
08-06-2019

Multi family investment properties for sale in Pensacola, Florida

I ran across this article on Bigger Pockets recently entitled "Here's Why I'll Never Sell My Multifamily Investment Properties" and thought it was really telling as to why there's always low inventory in the small to midsize multi-family sector. Most investors, especially the seasoned investors, are in the landlord game for the long haul as this gentlemen is.  The end game is passive retirement income. Sure, it ebbs and flows, and some years are better than others, but over time, the reward is worth the pay off as long as you purchased a property in good condition in a good location and have active management. 

Duplex, triplex, fourplex, and other multi-family owners tend to purchase and hold for long term making less opportunities for others to get into multi-family housing.

Looking at sales prices of duplexes and quads over the last ten years:

2007   Duplexes: 51   Average Sales Price $144,209   Quads: 38  Average Sales Price $223,275

2008   Duplexes: 17   Average Sales Price $139,712   Quads: 12  Average Sales Price $159,200

2009   Duplexes: 18   Average Sales Price $94,338    Quads: 16  Average Sales Price $149,227

2010   Duplexes: 28   Average Sales Price $53,089    Quads: 11  Average Sales Price $99,750

2011   Duplexes: 26   Average Sales Price $47,319    Quads: 12  Average Sales Price $112,650

2012  Duplexes: 30   Average Sales Price $84,715     Quads: 14  Average Sales Price $96,279

2013  Duplexes: 33   Average Sales Price $74,076     Quads: 19  Average Sales Price $96,766 

2014  Duplexes: 49   Average Sales Price $80,440     Quads: 19  Average Sales Price $88,400

2015  Duplexes: 30   Average Sales Price $76,670     Quads: 22  Average Sales Price $98,851 

2016  Duplexes: 44   Average Sales Price $107/521   Quads: 17  Average Sales Price $164,770

2017  Duplexes: 55   Average Sales Price $142,582    Quads: 18  Average Sales Price $174,851

Looking at some stats on Pensacola MLS this year, 76 multi-family properties sold YTD at an average sales price of $201,600. Currently active, there are 42 multi-family properties with an average listing price of $290,273.

We've been getting so many calls and emails from investors trying to locate income producing multi-family investments in the Northwest Florida area. We are having an increasingly hard time finding our clients investment properties that cash flow and make sense as prices and interest rates continue to increase. If you have a duplex, triplex, fourplex, or other apartment in the Pensacola area, we can find a buyer for you. Looking at the last ten years of multi-family sales, now may be a good time to sell. 

If you're interested in purchasing a small or midsize multi-family property, reach out to Pam in our office as she's always on the hunt!

Nicole St. Aubin
The Realty Masters of FL Team
#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
Sales Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #52B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 453-9220 www.RealtyMastersofFlorida.com
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originally posted 09-27-2018

Escambia County Ranked #57 out of 449 Counties as Best County to Invest in
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Real Estate Investments
07-16-2019

Pensacola ranked #57 among counties to buy investment real estate

Across the country, low inventory and increasing home prices are causing rentals to be more indemand. The Pensacola Real Estate market, is definitely a Seller and a Landlord's market as of 2018. The supply of quality homes for rent is currently exceeded by the demand.

In a recent study done by attomdata.com, we see that Escambia County is 57 out of 449 best counties to invest in single family rental properties in 2018, according to the analytics. Pensacola ranked the highest among all Northwest Florida Counties. The data reports less than a 5% investment property vacancy rate and an 11.8% 2018 Annual Gross Rental Yield. 

Neighboring Santa Rosa County was ranked 299 out of 449 and Okaloosa County was ranked 219 out of 449. 

Demand for Single Family Rentals

One of the major things shown by this report, is that there is a demand for Pensacola rental property. People simply want to live is this beautiful area! From our trendy downtown areas to our upscale beachfront communities, there is something here for every person and every budget. Pensacola is still ranked as one of the most affordable markets in Pensacola. 

So what are some contributing factors to Pensacola’s booming rental market? One of the most influential factors, is the military presence in the area. The next factor would be the large growth in the north side of the county due to new jobs being created at the Navy Federal Credit Union. Additionally, we have two colleges including University of West Florida and Pensacola State College which feed the rental market. Finally, there are the renters who simply appreciate the fact that when something goes wrong, they have property management to turn to.

Investing in Pensacola Real Estate

The article points out that the people benefiting the most from the current economic condition of rental real estate, are the owners who have invested in 6 homes. With the demand for rentals on the rise, rents are increasing in the area. We are seeing low supply and high demand so we must admit that it's tough right now to purchase an income producing property. You need a good realtor to help you find, identify, and act fast on good income producing properties.  

As we are fellow real estate investors ourselves, we want to help you build income producing real estate investments. We are here to come beside new and experienced investors to streamline the process. Our sales team and property management team work together to identify viable properties to purchase and our sales team of qualified Realtors are prepared to walk you through the investment process with honest, reliable advice. 

When you are ready to rent it out, our property management team is ready and willing to assist. So if you are considering investing in the Pensacola area or in Escambia County, give our agents a call!

Click Here for the original article and more data on real estate markets around the state and country. 

The Realty Masters of FL Team
#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 

Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
Sales Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #52B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 453-9220 www.RealtyMastersofFlorida.com

Follow us on Facebook ~ Twitter ~ YouTube 

originally posted 04-04-2018

How long will the components in your home last?
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Maintenance Tips
07-16-2019

Thanks to Florida Realtors for doing the research and providing this inforgraphic to tell our homeowners how long the average components and systems in your home will last.

This information is especially important for landlords! Don't be surprised as you have to replace major components in your rental home. As your home ages, so do the components in your home. Keeping up with preventative and routine maintenance is imperative for a landlord.

Average Lifespan of home components

Realty Masters of FL~ (850) 473-3983
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
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#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses 

originally posted 03-08-2017

Landlords access to property
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
Landlords
06-04-2020
  • What does Florida Landlord Tenant Law say about owners visiting their properties while the home is tenant occupied?

As a local landlord with or without a professional property manager, you may be required to visit your rental property regularly for inspections, maintenance, and showings. You may also just be in the area and inclined to drive by and check up on your tenants.  Before you do that, make sure you know and understand your state’s landlord tenant laws. 

For those Florida landlords who live close by their rental properties, here are the 2016 Florida Landlord and Tenant Statutes to consider.

“83.53 Landlord’s access to dwelling unit.—

(1) The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the dwelling unit from time to time in order to inspect the premises; make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements; supply agreed services; or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors.

(2) The landlord may enter the dwelling unit at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit upon reasonable notice to the tenant and at a reasonable time for the purpose of repair of the premises. “Reasonable notice” for the purpose of repair is notice given at least 12 hours prior to the entry, and reasonable time for the purpose of repair shall be between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit when necessary for the further purposes set forth in subsection (1) under any of the following circumstances:

(a) With the consent of the tenant;

(b) In case of emergency;

 


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