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Pensacola Realty Masters Blog

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

Florida COVID-19 Rent & Utility Assistance
07-30-2020
Nicole St. Aubin
COVID-19 rent assistance
07-30-2020

rent assistance funds with coin jar

We received good news this week in regards to housing assistance for those who have faced hardship due to COVID-19 income changes.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has announced hardship funds for housing and utilities coming available to assist Pensacola area residents. As these funds will be limited, we are in communications with both Escambia and Santa Rosa County to be informed on how you can apply to receive these funds. The state is working on implementing an application process and has not yet finalized this process. Our local Pensacola area counties have received more than $2.5 million dollars for this sole purpose to assist residents with rent, mortgage, and utility bill payments.

  • Escambia County-  While you cannot yet apply, you can call 850-595-0872 and join the waiting list. All you have to do is leave a message with your name and phone number and they will reach out to you once the application is available.  
  • Santa Rosa County- Santa Rosa County is a little further along in the process. They are available to speak with you and answer questions you may have. You may move forward to complete a phone questionnaire and join the waiting list. Call Santa Rosa County at 850-981-7092 to speak with a representative in regards to the application process.
  • Okaloosa County- Okaloosa County has funds too! View the information here.

Unfortunately, we are not sure when these funds will be available but anticipate the funds to be released to them within the week to begin distributing. We have been told that they will help reimburse for past month’s rent and/or help with future payments through December so you do not fall behind on rent due to COVID-19 related income changes. Please note, they will require proof of income changes due to COVID-19 so begin working on gathering this documentation now. Please reach out to the county to begin the process and reach out to us if you have any questions.

These funds are available for both renters and home owners in the state of Florida! 

If you are facing financial difficulty, please know that you are not alone. If you rent from us, we are here to help as much as possible, and we want to work with you. If you are behind on payments or having difficulty making payments, please contact your property manager to discuss. 

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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Mortgage Forbearance & COVID-19
04-14-2020
Nicole St. Aubin
Mortgage Forbearance
06-04-2020

mortgage forbearance COVID 19

There's a lot of talk about Mortgage Forbearance since the passing of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act requires lenders to allow mortgage forbearance options for 90-180 days with an option to extend another 180 days. Mortgage forbearance can allow you to defer, not waive, mortgage payments. Additionally, this option may be available to you without negative consequences to your credit. The CARES Act does not allow your lender to report negatively to the credit bureau during this time.

While this sounds very enticing, we've heard of lot of negative chatter from mortgage and financial professionals on the mortgage forbearance options being offered. Because of this, we are advising against mortgage forbearance unless it is absolutely needed.

Here's some of what we've heard:

A lot of forbearance agreements contain provisions that call the missed mortgage payments due as a balloon payment at the end of the forbearance period, called "reinstatement" to bring your account current. 

Some forbearance agreements call for a repayment plan to repay the deferred mortgage payments for a period of up to 12 months. Keep in mind, you would need to pay your mortgage payment plus the additional amount under the repayment plan each month in order to keep this agreement. 

Some forbearance agreements are offering deferment, where they allow you add the missed payments on the end of your loan. This is best case scenario, but make sure the language is guaranteed. For example, if it is says "at the end of the loan period, you may apply to have these payments added on..." does not guarantee this.  

We've heard that some of these agreements may call for loan modification and can actually change the terms of the loan or call the loan due if you are unable to pay the amount back within a specified amount of time. 

Obviously, each mortgage company has different policies, which is why it is so important to read the details of an agreement before signing it. I've not heard if these details can be negotiated, but we would recommend trying. 

If you find yourself worrying about making your mortgage payment(s), we recommend you reach out to your mortgage company immediately. First, ask them if you fall under the covered category for the CARES Act. Second, ask them about your options for forbearance or any deferred payment plans or options. We strongly advise you to read the fine print of any agreement the mortgage company sends you before agreeing to a plan. In some instances, it makes more sense to investigate alternative options including home equity, personal loans,refinancing, or even selling your property. 

While we advise using mortgage forbearance only as a last resort option, it may turn out to be the best option for some, especially if your bank is more lenient than some of the others. Should you decide to do a mortgage forbearance, it's best to pay as much toward the amount due as possible at this time and defer only what is necessary.  

mortgage help assistance deferment and forbearance

If you are a landlord and considering a forbearance on an investment property, we do recommend that you make a plan that you can adhere to even without your tenant's payment. We are working very hard to ensure tenant's understand their requirements under their lease agreement has not changed and there will be repercussions should they fail to adhere to these responsibilities. We cannot assure you that your tenant will not use this as an opportunity not to pay their rent. Please consider this when making plans. 

Here's a few recent articles to read with more information about these issues. 

We're happy to help and advise in whatever way we can during this time; however, do keep in mind that we are not attorneys, accountants, or mortgage professionals. We remind you to consult these experts with your specific questions. 

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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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
Follow us on Facebook ~ Twitter ~ YouTube 

What is a HOA or Homeowner's Association?
05-15-2019
Realty Masters HOA Managers
HOA
06-04-2020

HOA Pensacola, Florida

The main purpose  of an HOA is to help to keep everyone’s property values as high as possible.  The HOA maintains the common property of the community.  At a minimum, this refers to entrance landscaping and signage.  However, it can also include  amenities such as:  parks, playgrounds, athletic facilities, club house, community pool, etc.   It can  also include retention ponds, roads, gates, walking trails, etc.

To keep property values high, HOA’s usually have a minimum standard of upkeep for each vacant lot or developed lot in the neighborhood.  There are usually minimum construction standards such as:  square footage of each building, required minimum landscaping standards, and getting prior approval from the architectural review committee prior to construction or changes to the exterior of any building or landscaping or lot.  These guidelines are all spelled out in the covenants of the HOA.

The owner's association is funded by requiring an annual assessment be paid by each member of the HOA.  Membership in the hoa is almost always mandatory.  If assessments are not paid, the hoa has the right to put a lien on the property and ultimately foreclose for lack of payment.  The HOA also has the right to fine members of the hoa for non-compliance with the covenants. 

Unless you are willing to follow the rules of the homeowner's association, you should consider buying property that is not regulated by an HOA.

You should definitely read  all the governing documents of the condo or homeowner's associatn before you decide to purchase.  Once you purchase,  you are bound by the regulations.

Here are some common examples of covenant restrictions that we see in homeowner's associations:

  • You might not be able to store a boat or an RV on your property
  • You may not be able to erect a basketball goal on your property
  • You may not be able to install an above ground pool or even the type of fence that you would want
  • You may not be allowed to run a business out your home

By reading the governing documents, you should know the answers to most of your questions.  If you still have questions, we recommend you contact the board of directors of the homeowner's association or the HOA mananger.

Jay Schwartz

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 08-03-2018

How to Find HOA Documents Rules and Regulations
05-15-2019
Nicole St. Aubin
How to Find HOA Rules
07-28-2020

how-to-find-hoa-docs-pensacola-florida-homeowners-associations

Are you considering purchasing a home in a home or condo association? Before renting or buying a home in a covenant enhanced community, you should be fully aware of the homeowner's association and the rules governing the community.

Florida law allows for ce

All associations should be registered with the Florida Department of State Divisions of Corporations. You can search their website here

If Realty Masters manages the property, you will find  pertinent documents on our website by selecting your association's page and finding the documents section. 

If Realty Masters does not manage the property and you know it is professionally managed, check with some of the other homeowner association management companies in town. 

It is utilimately the responsibility of the owner of the property to provide the buyer with the docs and other HOA info.

 

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 


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