Plumbing issues can be one of a landlord's most troublesome problems!
Whether you have a septic tank or city sewer system, homeowners and landlords alike should respond to repetitive plumbing issues as soon as possible. If you are having issues with water and sewage backing up in your property, there's likely an issue with the main sewer or septic lines on your property.
Just like other items in and around your property, these major plumbing items in your home may eventually need to be replaced.
Replacing your sewer lines, septic tank, or drainfield lines are costly repairs! Why? Sewer and septic lines are buried underneath the ground and hard to access. Heavy machinery must be brought in. We recently had an up close look at drain field lines being replaced at a rental in Pensacola.
Our friends at Ensley Septic Company in Pensacola helped our property owner to install new drainfield lines in their septic system and a complex of townhomes in Northeast Pensacola. The properties were built in 1984 and had a failing drainfield system that was affecting several of the units in the building.
The residents in this building were having sewage back up into their tubs resulting from failing drain field lines connecting to the septic tank. If you have city sewer and are having these issues, it could be a sign of a clog, growth, or break in your sewer lines.
Common signs of drain septic tank or drain field issues:
- Slow draining water at toilets, showers, and sinks
- Bubbling noises
- Sewage back up
Ways to extend the life of your drainfield lines and septic tanks:
- Limit water usage
- Decrease the amount of cleaners and bleach you are using
- Do not use the dishwasher and washing machine at the same time
- Take breaks between loads of laundry
- Be cautious not to use too much water after it rains when your lines are still wet
- Have your tank pumped every couple of years
- It is best not to have a garbage disposal when you have a septic tank
Do not ever flush or introduce the following items into your septic system:
- Coffee grounds
- Paper towels, handi-wipes
- Kitchen greases
- Sanitary napikins, tampons, or condoms
- Small animals or dead fish
- Rangs, strings, or floss
- Disposable diapers
Often, these issues are exasperated by excessive water usage. If you are experiencing sewer or septic issues, limit excess water usage as much as possible to prolong the life of your sewer or septic system.
Weather can also affect the performance of your sewer or septic system. During and after periods of heavy rain, the ground around your septic system becomes too saturated to absorb your waste water.
Septic Tank Companies in Pensacola we recommend:
- Ensley Septic Tank - 850476-9610
- Extreme Pumping and Septic, LLC - 850-999-7800
- Economy Septic Tank - 850-968-5130
#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses
Realty Masters has a nice selection of Pensacola rental homes for the first time in 2017!
After months of below average inventory, we've got over 40 rentals in the Pensacola area with apartments and single family homes for rent in Pensacola, Pace, Milton, and Navarre, Florida.
We also have properties in the popular Downtown Pensacola and East Hill areas for the first time all year.
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses
The Pensacola Real Estate Market is strong!
We are taking a look back at 2016 Real Estate Statistics. The Florida Real Estate market, which was known to be hard hit by the recession, is showing continual signs of improvement. This is great news for homeowners and landlords but not necessarily great news for tenants.
Let David Keen, Realtor, give you a rundown of some of the highlights of the 2016 Pensacola Real Estate Market.
Here's a summary of what David Keen, Realtor, has to say.
Pensacola Real Estate Market
- Home Sale Prices in the Pensacola Area were up about 5% over 2015 Home Sale Prices
- Inventory is down and supply is limited
- New Construction makes up a large percentage of inventory
- Foreclosures and Short Sales are now only about 3% of active sales inventory
- Average time on the market for properties for sale in Pensacola is sitting at approximately 90 days
With days on the market down along with inventory and supply, sales prices are likely to continue to increase in the Pensacola area. As David mentioned, the distressed inventory made up nearly 29% of our active inventory just two January's ago and now the distressed inventory is down to about 3% of active inventory. Because so many of the sales comparables were distressed properties, it kept the market and appraisal values down. In comparison, today in 2017, nearly 1/3 of the active inventory are new construction, or brand new, homes.
As we are expecting an increase in interest rates in the coming months, many buyers are using this opportunity to purchase a larger home and sell their old home or deciding to make the leap from renter to homeowner.
Pensacola Rental Market
- Rental Rates have increased about 3% over 2015 rental rates. While this is not as strong as the improvement for the sales market, we expect tighter inventory to continue to drive rental rates up!
- The average rental rate in Pensacola is up to approximately $1,100
- Rental Supply is limited with nearly 1,000 fewer units on the single-family rental market than five years ago.
What do these statistics mean? The shrinking inventory of Pensacola area rental properties comes from forced landlords who previously could not sell their homes. These hesitant landlords leased their homes, condos, and townhomes out of necessity, not out of desire. Because of the improving real estate sales market, hestitant landlords are choosing to sell their properties rather then releasing when their tenants vacate. This trend began in 2013 but ramped up in 2016.
The increase in rental supply in 2014 comes from a huge increase in investor purchases as prices were down and distressed inventory was high. Now that it's harder to find affordable investments in the Pensacola area, the investor sales have finally leveled off although demand has not. We expect even more landlords to sell their rental properties this year further tightening the rental inventory. Because of these factors, rental prices will continue to increase over the coming years. This lack of inventory and increase in prices is forcing some renters to make the leap to homeownership earlier than they had desired!
Are you interested in building a rental portfolio? We have owners ready to sell their rental properties and know where you can find the best deals on auction sites, with tax deed sales, and with existing foreclosure inventory.
Do you have questions about the Pensacola rental market or the sales market? Reach out to our team for answers!
David Keen, Realtor
#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses
It's important to have the right mindset in order to be a successful landlord.
Recently, I have seen several stories online relating to violence between landlords and tenants. A tenant was stabbed in the Bronx; a landlord was killed in her house in Clearwater, Florida. It can be hard being a landlord, but it shouldn’t land you in a hospital, a jail, or a morgue.
In most cases, your tenants will rarely take as good of care of your property as you would. Your renters will not pay for maintenance costs willingly and they will most likely not properly prepare your property for the next resident. Your rental is going to have vacancy time and it will cost you money. It is very likely that you will have to pay for a very expensive repair at some point. These are the risks and challenges you accept when becoming a landlord.
When becoming a landlord you must have the right mindset to be accepting of these truths or the entire experience of being a landlord could drive you crazy.
If you go into being a landlord thinking, “I can find the over-achiever, grade A tenants every time!” you will probably be disappointed.
Another idea new landlords have is, “I just want my property to look like it did when I lived there”, but this is not a realistic long-term approach to being a landlord unless you contribute to keeping it that way. You must put forth effort, money, and energy into maintaining or improving your properties. Landlord Tenant Law does not allow landlords to charge tenants for every cost required to turn over a property for a new tenant. The majority of tenants will not do routine maintenance tasks such as pressure washing, small interior maintenance, or keeping up with the yard.
Instead, realize that your tenants are not going to put forth the same effort you may have and incentivize them to do more by equally contributing to routine and preventative maintenance.
Be very appreciative of your excellent tenants.
- The ones who pay rent on time, keep your place immaculate, plant flowers, and don’t complain or ask for a lot.
- Send them a thank you card or mail them a small gift during the holidays.
- Thank them for preserving your property like you would have and for increasing the property value while they did.
Be appreciative of your good tenants.
- The ones who paid a week late that one time when their car died, that don’t plant flowers, but that mow the yard timely.
- The ones that don’t clean right when they move and the walls need a little touch up but everything is intact and well cared for.
- By occupying your rental property, they are helping you to gain equity, to keep your credit score up, and to save for retirement.
You can even be appreciative of the bad tenants.
- Appreciate the ones who call every month with some new major issue because they’re not letting your house fall apart.
- Appreciate the ones who move in the middle of the lease because they paid rent timely and voluntarily turned over keys so no eviction was necessary.
- Be appreciative of the ones that stayed for five years even though they were so messy and Florida Landlord Tenant Law says you can’t charge them for fresh paint and new carpet. Appreciate them because they have saved you months of vacancy costs over the years.
Look at being a landlord as being a small business owner. With revenue comes expeses.
Routine and preventative maintenance is important for your rental investment and increases the value of your real estate asset. Properties with up-to-date features and in overall better condition will yield higher rents, be easier to maintain, and have less vacancy costs.
- Don’t be upset when your tenant calls in routine maintenance, be appreciative of the opportunity to increase the value of your long-term asset in smaller increments over time.
- It will be a relief when the A/C repair only costs you $350 because it didn’t require a brand new inside and outside unit.
- Be appreciative when the plumbing emergency doesn’t happen on a Sunday or a holiday and that it didn’t flood your downstairs.
Landlords who invest in real estate with the wrong mindset will constantly be disappointed with their tenants actions and will never appreciate the fact that another person is paying down their mortgage and helping them to build wealth with a real estate investment.
Do you have questions about becoming a landlord in the Pensacola, Florida area? Reach out to our team for honest advice on being a landlord.
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses
The Escambia County School District approved the purchase of 32 acres of land in 2015 for the construction of a new middle school in Beulah.
This middle school is part of a larger plan that includes a new elementary school and other renovations to relieve overcrowding issues for the north Escambia schools.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held October 28, 2016 for the new Beulah Middle School located at 6000 West Nine Mile Road, which was previously the Coastal Airport.
The plans for the school estimate the cost to be $45 to $48 million and will have the capacity of around 1,100 to 1,300 students. The current students from Woodham Middle and some from the overcrowded Ransom Middle School will be relocated to the New Beulah Middle School.
The new elementary school, Kingsfield Elementary, will cost around $25 million and be able to hold 800 students. It will be built on 10 to 12 acres of land next to Ransom Middle School that the district already owns. This will allow some students to be relocated from Beulah Elementary and Pine Meadow Elementary since they are having overcrowding issues as well.
In addition to new school construction, the district has plans for renovating the current Woodham Middle facilities to accommodate moving West Florida High School. The $3 to $5 million renovations are an effort to prepare Woodham Middle to be a high school and to provide improved athletic facilities to future students.
Both of these newly constructed schools hope to be ready by the start of the 2018-2019 school years and are funded from the half-cent sales tax. The half-cent sales tax funds the construction of new schools, school improvements, and updates to school technology. Although it will be several months until the completion of Beulah Middle School and Kingsfield Elementary School, it is awesome to check out the progress and see the half-cent sales tax funds be put into motion.
The renovations and new construction plans are the response from Escambia County School District to alleviate crowding issues in schools and prepare for projected growth in the Beulah, Cantonment, and north Escambia areas. Much of this growth is fueled by the creation of nearly 10,000 jobs as Navy Federal Credit Union Headquarters in Beulah.
Take a look at this drone aerial footage of the ongoing new Beulah Middle School construction
#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses & Apartments
As Realtors, we take safety and security at your home very seriously. That's why we reached out to Ashlee Carpenter, Vice President of Complete DKI, one of the leading property restoration companies in town, to bring you these Fire Prevention Tips. Watch Ashlee as she gives us several fire prevention tips to consider.
Ashlee warns us that statistics show 1 in 5 people will experience a house fire in their lifetime. Her quick tips today include:
1. Set a loud timer on your cell phone while you are cooking. Do not rely on your stove timer.
2. Check your holiday lights every year before using them. Make sure to read the safety instructions.
3. Keep atleast a 3 foot buffer around any space heaters you may be using. Do not let space heaters run while you are not home!
4. Have a fire safety plan and emergency plan for your family in the event you have a fire.
5. Inspect your smoke detectors every month! Make sure they are not expired (as they expire after 10 years) and that the batteries are working properly. We recommend upgrading to a 10 year tamper proof detector for maximum protection.
Complete DKI For more information on Complete DKI, visit their website at http://www.CompleteDKI for more prevention tips and to learn about their restoration services.
#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses & Apartments
We are now hiring in the Pensacola, Florida area for a full-time property condition assessor to join our team!
Realty Masters of FL is seeking a full time, motivated, hardworking property condition assessor for a fast paced real estate property management company in Pensacola, Florida. Realty Masters manages nearly 1,000 rental properties.
- Self-starters, good with time management and organized
- The ability to use technology including cameras, ipads, and basic computer skills are required
- Customer service skills are a must as the employee will be interacting with tenants and property owners
- Must have basic knowledge of home systems and/ or general maintenance knowledge or be capable of learning basic acceptable conditions for the interior and exterior of properties
- Must have a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record and your own reliable vehicle although company vehicle is available for frequent use
- Have a great attitude regardless of where the day takes them or what they walk into
Description of Property Condition Assessor Job
The property condition assessor will visit multiple properties per day in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties. Property condition assessors spend the majority of their day out in the field, checking the condition of single and multi-family properties. The condition assessor is responsible for taking photos and completing a report of vacant and occupied properties to thoroughly document of the condition of each property. Reports include but are not limited to move in condition reports, new property reports, move out reports, 90 day reports, and renewal reports of occupied properties.
Other duties in the field include taking advertising photos, collecting room sizes, putting up and taking down rental and sales signs and key lockboxes, posting notices, following up on work completed by vendors, reporting all findings to team, and working with the property managers.
Secondary duties include: Answering incoming phone calls, sitting front desk, responding to rental inquiries via phone and email, scanning and filing documents weekly, assisting property managers and supervisors with overflow work, maintaining client databases, assembling move in cups and folders, and completing any other duties assigned to the employee as needed. While the primary job duties of the condition report team involve out of the office work, employee is expected to provide value to the team when in the office.
This is a full time position with 40 hours weekly. Monday- Friday 8:30 to 5 pm at our Cordova Square location. Employer offers insurance assistance and four paid holidays a year. Hiring range is $10-$12 per hour depending on qualifications and experience.
Realty Masters of FL is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any applicant or employee because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or military or veteran status in accordance with federal law. In addition, Realty Masters of FL complies with applicable state and local laws governing non‑discrimination in employment in every jurisdiction in which it maintains facilities. Realty Masters of FL also provides reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with applicable laws.
For more details on this position, please contact Nicole St. Aubin at Realty Masters.
#1 in Pensacola Rental Houses & Apartments
Oh what a time to live in the great city of Pensacola!
The growth our city has seen in the past few years has been nothing short of phenomenal. No area has seen a shift in popularity quite like the Downtown Pensacola area. The area has gone from a few businesses and restaurants, to a haven for entertainment, nightlife, and now best of all, home town sports. The shift began on Palafox with the addition of multiple bars and restaurants, to surround the already rich historical area that the street sits on and continued to slowly expand outward. With the growth of that area came opportunity.
Luckily, the University of West Florida, The Studer Group, and former Mayor Vince Whibbs saw this growth potential and decided to expand on it. After years of planning and approval, they formed what is now Maritime Park and the site of the Blue Wahoo’s Stadium.
This site consists of a 3,200-seat "multi-use" stadium. Pensacola finally had a team to cheer for a stadium to cherish, and a new cymbal of the emergence of our great community.
For years this stadium was used for local events, food and beverage festivals, and Pensacola Pelicans games. After 2011, the team made the transition from the Pelicans, to the Pensacola Wahoos. This new team would play in the Southern League and would operate as the Class Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball team. Since the transition, the team has become a beloved Pensacola treasure and even managed to win organization of the year following the inaugural season.
UWF has always flirted with the idea of adding their own twist to this beautiful stadium. Well ladies and gentleman, that day has finally come to fruition. Saturday, August 3, 2016 marked the kick off of the inaugural season for the University of West Florida Argos football team.
The team opened up the season with a bang and energized fans hours away in dominating fashion by beating Ave Maria University 45-0 on their home field near Naples FL. This marked the start of an amazing tradition of UWF Football and gave a jolt of energy to this program for the season ahead. Now, just a day away, we countdown the hours until the Argos march into Blue Wahoo’s stadium for a sellout crowd. In a typical sell out, Blue Wahoo’s Stadium would only hold 5,038 for a baseball game. However, UWF athletic officials said Wednesday, that it in the future it will be expanded to hold 6,238 for football games, with standing room, and temporary bleachers.
The team will face off against Missouri S&T in what is sure to be landmark day for the city and the University of West Florida. Now, in the buildup of the first home game, the team has also managed to gain another huge boost to the program in the form of a 1 million dollar contribution from Pen Air Federal Credit Union. The money will go a long way to spark a budding team and fund any football endeavors they may have. To honor the donation, the turf will bear the name Pen Air Field.
Although the game is sold out, there will multiple options for the avid fan to catch this historical game.
- The game will be broadcasted on WPNN 103.7 FM and 790 AM, with a simulcast on Blab TV (WFDB).
- A very limited number of tickets do still remain for the final four home games at Blue Wahoo’s Stadium. Those tickets can be purchased online at www.goargos.com.
- The final four games will also be available on multiple outlets as well. The games will be featured on television or webcast through Blab-TV (three games) or American Sports Network (one game) or ESPN3 (Oct. 22 vs. Shorter).
On Saturday the stadium areas and the surrounding park will open its doors at 12 for tailgating, while the game itself will kick off at 6 PM. Then, just like many Wahoo’s games, this game will end with a bang by putting on a water front fireworks show to cap off a monumental night. We hope to see everyone come out there to support the Argos and the next big step for the City of Pensacola!
Summer is here! With that, comes constant rain storms and sometimes unbearable heat. As with snow, you have to prepare for the heat accordingly.
The Pensacola Fire Department shared this information on hot car safety regarding your pets on their facebook this week. With lows in the 90's all month, it's imperative you make plans for your pets accordingly.
You may not realize how much higher temperatures are inside your vehicle.
Cracking the windows or leaving them down does not decrease the temperature enough to be safe.
This is also the time of the year where accidentally locking or leaving a child in your car can be fatal. Some recommend leaving one of your shoes in the backseat. Older siblings can easily accidentally lock a child in a car. Do not allow your other children possession of your keys.
With such high temperatures, it only takes a few minutes for one to succomb to heat exhaustion. If you are working outside or in the heat, be sure to take short breaks often, properly hydrate, and follow safety protcolls!
For more safety tips, follow the Pensacola Fire Department on Facebook.
Moving out of a Realty Masters Rental Property
We want all of our residents to receive a full security deposit return! We also want our residents to leave the house ready for the next resident.
Watch this video for tips on how you can receive a full security deposit refund in 15 days. Moving is hard- it takes a lot of time and proper planning. We understand how stressful the moving process!
Because we typically have residents moving in right after you vacate, it's important to plan your move and ensure you leave plenty of time to clean, have the carpets professionally cleaned, and have the lawn manicured. Florida Landlord Tenant Law and your lease agreement require these items to be done by the resident. If not completed, the law allows the owner to hire workers to complete the work and make a claim against your security deposit if we have proper documentation to support the claim.
Please consider how you would like to find a home when you are moving in and understand that if you do not leave the home in white glove clean condition, we will have to hire a cleaning service and make a charge against your deposit which can delay the return of your security deposit up to 45 days! Most residents do not clean as thoroughly as thoroughly as they would expect a home to be cleaned upon their move in. Because of this, we suggest hiring a cleaning service upon move out to ensure your deposit is not tied up due to minor cleaning charges.
Give us a call or email us with any questions you may have about moving out of a Realty Masters rental property in the greater Pensacola, Florida area. We are happy to explain the move out process and answer any questions you may have.
Realty Masters of FL~ (850) 473-3983
Realty Masters is hosting our annual Manna Food Drive and Gift Card Giveaway May 1 through June 30, 2016. Enter by bringing non-perishable food items when you come to either of our offices or by leaving your tagged food items on your counter during your regularly scheduled inspection. Thank you for your donation!
Manna Food Pantries provides emergency food assistance in both Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties in Northwest Florida including the Pensacola area and serves children, families, and seniors. They are especially in need of food items during the summer time when children are more likely to be hungry. Visit their website for more information and ways you can help. http://www.mannafoodpantries.org/
3 Easy Ways to Give
1) Drop by either Realty Masters office locations (4400 Bayou Blvd 58B, Pensacola, FL 32503 or 6800 W Hwy 98, Pensacola, Florida 32503) with non-perishable food items.
2) Leave your tagged items on your counter during your routine scheduled inspection.
3) Drop by a few dollars or donate directly to Manna on their website!
Manna Food Pantries, with the help of our community, has helped over 15,645 families in the last year. Over
22% of those who received assistance last year were seniors. 36% of the donations went directly to children
under the age of 18. Manna Food Pantries assists so many people in our community that your help is needed.
Thank you for your participation!
Update as of July 1, 2016, we were able to collect 100 pounds of food for the community thanks to our staff and clients.
Pensacola Rental Market Shortage
We are into peak rental season with below average inventory in the Pensacola rental market. The Pensacola rental market picks up drastically in February and March and peaks in July and August. The market slows drastically over winter with the slowest month of the year being December.
Rental rates have been increasing since 2011 and have increased on average $120 per month over the last four years from $960 per month to an average rental rate of $1,080 per month.
- The average list price for a 3 bedroom 2 bath in the Pensacola metro area is $1,144.
- 3% are over $1,000 a month (179) and 47% of those under $1,000 per month (158) .
- The least expensive 3 bedroom 2 bath home is $750 and the most expensive is $2,295.
- There are 338 rental properties on Pensacola MLS. This is just at one month's inventory for a typical March.
- 221 properties are located in Escambia County (Pensacola, Cantonment, Perdido Key, and Pensacola Beach) and 106 in Santa Rosa County (Pace, Milton, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre)
- Of these, 237 are single family homes, 19 are condos, 68 are town homes or duplexes/apartments, and 8 are mobile/manufactured homes.
Last week, areas of Northeast Pensacola and Milton were affected by tornadoes in the Pensacola area. The week before, a tornado devastated the town of Century in Northern Escambia County, Florida. The Pensacola News Journal reported over 170 houses with "major damage." A lot of these renters and homeowners have been misplaced. This puts further stress on the Pensacola real estate market, especially the rental market as these misplaced homeowners seek a rental property. Supply and demand always affects pricing and of cousre, home prices typically peak in the summer months as competition is more intense.
It will be hard summer to nail down your "perfect dream home" whether you are looking to rent or purchase! Make sure to sign up for new rental alerts and enlist the help of a real estate agent if you hope to purchase a home.
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
- Maintenance Do's and Dont's
- Items in Rentals
- Home Warranties
- Credit Score
- Unapproved Dog List
- Drain Field Lines for Septic Tanks
- Pensacola Rental Inventory
- Home Buying
- Tourism Pensacola Beach
- Real Estate Market
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- Beulah Middle School Construction
- Safety Tips
- Things to Do
- Realty Masters Team
- Item Donations
- Pensacola Rental homes
- Maintenance Tips
- Landlords access to property
- Bed Bugs
- Moving out
- Community Involvement
- Managing Rental Properties
- rental market
- Maintenance Do's and Dont's
- Some items an owner SHOULD AVOID having in their rental property!
- The Struggle with Home Warranty Companies and your Rental Home
- Credit Scores: What are they and how to see yours for free!
- Pensacola List of County Maintained Roads
- Nicole St. Aubin
- Carlin Symmes
- Realty Masters of FL
- David Keen
- Chuntell Patterson