Pensacola Realty Masters Blog
Realty Masters is happy to present the following Pensacola area community and Pensacola real estate information!
Are you planning a military move to the Pensacola area or moving from base housing?
Timing is important.
If you are planning a move within 30 days, it’s time to get serious. Click here to view a current listing of our available rentals. Our office is open Monday - Saturday to assist you in your Pensacola area home search! Many active rentals available now, and you will need to start a lease within 2 weeks of being approved for the property. Since COVID, less landlords and management companies are preleasing properties while tenants are in place. Ensure that the availability date posted on the available rentals matches your needs within that time frame.
If you’re planning to move more than 60 days from now, it’s likely too early to lock in a single-family rental in the area as most renters only give 30 to 60 days’ notice. However, many apartment complexes do lease 60-90 days in advance so if you are looking to lease an apartment, you will need to start earlier to secure one.
Are you attending school at both Whiting Field & NAS?
Many military officers attend flight school at both Pensacola NAS in Southwest Pensacola and at Whiting Field in Milton. The bases are about an hour drive from each other. We suggest renting something in between the two locations to avoid having to move twice. Recommended areas include Central/Northeast Pensacola, and Pace. Your commute time will be about the same being 1/2 way between bases and you'll save lots of time and fuel while stationed here.
PCSing from out of the area and need to rent a house sight unseen?
If you are relocating from out of the area and need to secure a rental "sight unseen", let us help you. It’s always our recommendation to have a proxy who can view the property for you in your absence. This can be a friend, family member, or coworker who can physically travel to the property and view the home for you to provide a recommendation on the location and the property itself. We are able to complete video tours for military transferring into the property to give you a better idea of condition and location, however, there is no substitute for seeing the property in person. Because of this, some companies do not offer sight unseen leasing. We are happy to work with you to lease a property from afar. The entire application and leasing process is convenient and can be done online!
Please understand, our licenses do restrict us from classifying or offering any personal opinions on any area or home as a “good” or “safe” or “bad or “unsafe” area. Visit our page on Moving to Pensacola for valuable information to help plan your move. We ask you to do some research including checking with the local Escambia or Santa Rosa County Sheriff's office website's crime map, community links, Pensacola area zip code information, and school district information as these are great resources in your move.
Options for TDY Moves
If you are coming for a temporary duty move, it’s best to find alternative housing or stay on base. Single family housing is hard to come by in the Pensacola area, and turnover between tenants is costly to landlords. Many families with children move in peak PCS season when housing is scarce. We recommend looking for an apartment complex and being up front about the time you will be staying in Pensacola.
Keep in mind that Florida Statutes Chapter 83.662 do outline the procedures for the termination of a rental agreement by a service member. Be sure that your landlord offers a military clause with your lease agreement, and that it aligns with Florida Statutes procedures.
More Military Resources
Read more on our military page Military Information
Search for a Pensacola Rental Find Pensacola Rentals
Considering Buying a Pensacola Home? Search Pensacola Homes for Sale
Pensacola area Military Information Local Military Bases & Attractions
Reach out and let us know how our team can help you with your PCS move to Pensacola.
New to the Pensacola area or not sure where to go for Pensacola area information? We've compiled a list of Pensacola area resources for homeowners to assist with finding solutions to common questions and situations in our community. From a lost dog to a gas leak, the links below will help you. Reach out to the resources below for more information.
Escambia County Resources
Santa Rosa County Resources
Wildlife And Other Resources
It's easy to let your dog out and forget about the waste they leave behind when you are not looking. Pet waste is a huge nuisance and one that is often not tended to in the way it should. So here's 5 really good reasons why you should scoop the poop regularly.
1. One dog can excrete an average of .75 pounds per day. Over the course of 2 months, your dog, on average, will have deposited over 45 pounds of waste in your backyard.
2. You might say, it's waste and it will eventually decompose. Based on the time of year and weather conditions, it could take several months for a single pile of dog waste to decompose.
3. The EPA defines dog waste as an environmental pollutant in the same category as pesticides. It is dangerous to your family. Parasites like worms, coccidia, and giardia are prevalent in dog waste as well as bacteria and viruses that can harm you and your family. These can all be transmitted to other pets and some even to humans.
4. It attracts insects and pests like fleas and maggots. These insects themselves carry additional diseases.
5. When you mow your yard, these particles spread throughout the yard, onto plants, and you inhale into your lungs. It can leech into your groundwater and affect local water sources causing environmental dangers to local marine life.
For these reasons and more, add picking up dog waste to your weekly chore list for a healthier 2022.
Every year we find ourselves accumulating things in drawers and cabinets that we never use and even forget we own. This new year, make one of your resolutions to get rid of items in your home that you do not use, are broken, or do not bring you happiness. Having a lot of clutter in your home can make things feel messy and drain your energy; donating items is a great way to get rid of your unwanted but usable items without feeling wasteful.
Shrink your bills by going green.
Trying a more Eco-Friendly way of living does not have to mean expensive purchases like solar panels. You can try these simple and inexpensive changes to your home life to try to lower your carbon footprint as well as save on your bills!
Switch off all lights before leaving your home. (This one seems like a little thing, but can make a big difference!)
Switch to LED lights. LED lights use much less energy than the normal light bulb, have a longer lifespan, and are more cost-effective.
Clean and replace air filters regularly. If your air filter is dirty, your AC is more than likely working twice as hard to keep your home cool or warm, almost doubling your electric bill and also damaging your AC unit. A greener and more cost efficient option for the normal air filters is getting a washable air filter instead. Eco Plus makes affordable washable air filters and can be found in various sizes at your local Home Depot.
Work out a cleaning system to keep your home tidy.
We all love the feeling of a clean home, but working up the energy to clean a messy home is hard! Trying to put together a set daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning schedule can make cleaning your home so much easier and less tedious. Here is a link that can help you to create the ideal cleaning schedule for you.
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has made life difficult for everyone. We understand this has been a very trying time, especially for our tenants, and we would like to ease the financial burden that has weighed down our tenants over the last two years. If you are in need of financial assistance to help pay rent and utility bills, we have good news for you.
OUR Florida is a program of the Florida Department of Children and Families, and is providing rental assistance to those in need. Funding is provided by the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and all tenants are free to apply to see if they qualify for financial help. You can view all the necessary steps and required documentation at OUR Florida Supports Renters | Our Florida, where you can also find help and answers to any questions you may have about the application process. We hope this aid will help all those who need it as we continue to move forward to a return to normalcy and away from the shutdowns and financial strain of the last two years.
Please reach out to your property manager or landlord if you have additional questions.
More comforting news for Pensacola area landlords is that the Pensacola rental market is performing stronger than ever despite COVID and financial difficulties for many households. Despite the COVID pandemic, Pensacola’s rental market saw increases for the 2nd half of 2020 by 10%, on average, for new move in rents.
We came across this New York Times Article entitled “How the Pandemic Blew Up Rents” discussing the disparities between different markets and metros. The article cites that Nationwide, 2020 rents were down 1.2% year over year. The majority of larger markets saw rental decreases while smaller metros had the opposite, rental increases. As mentioned, we definitely saw strong rental increases in Pensacola’s market. According to Apartment Lists National Rent Data, our data matched up with theirs in showing that the Pensacola area saw nearly a 10% year over year increase. In contrast, other Florida markets did not perform as well. Markets like Orlando and Tallahassee saw a 5% rent decrease in 2020.
Locally, our employment numbers are strong despite and remained so during the pandemic. While we did experience high unemployment in the tourism industry, it’s clear that our area was not affected as much as others in the state of Florida, whose economy highly depends on tourism dollars.
Locally, inventory levels for both the real estate sales market and rental market are at record lows. Hurricane Sally’s impact on our area in September 2020 exasperated our low inventory issue causing a spike in both rental and sales prices. Into 2021, we continue to see record low inventory and vacancy rates. Both rental rates and home sales prices continue to rise and affordability continues to be an issue as rents and mortgage rates are rising above what the average Pensacola family can pay. Many landlords continue to choose to sell their properties as they become vacant, especially with costly hurricane repairs and eviction moratoriums that limit the landlords right to collect rent and evict for non-payment.
According to the New York Times Article, rents are now stabilizing around the country and rent fluctuations are starting to slow. Locally, we expect the trend of low supply and increasing rents for the foreseeable future.
If you are considering purchasing a property in the Pensacola area, reach out to our team to discuss the rental market!
Evictions are a hot topic right now. As many tenants have been delinquent through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the legislation preventing evictions is expiring, many landlords are calling us about evictions.
As your property manager, we handle several aspects of your property management as allowed under our management agreement and Florida law. These roles have us property managers wearing several hats- Realtor, leasing agent, private investigator, maintenance coordinator, bill collector, bookkeeper, interior designer, and the list goes on. One of the roles we cannot assume, is that of a lawyer.
The Florida Supreme Court does allow for Florida property managers to handle evictions for property owners but only in a limited scope and only in certain instances. They give us the authority to:
- With the help of our attorney, draft and serve a 3-Day Notice
- With the help of our local county court, draft and file a Complaint for Eviction and Motion for Default
- With the help of our local Sherriff’s Office, obtain a Final Judgment and Writ of Possession
- Prepare eviction forms approved by the Florida Supreme Court
Your Florida Property Manager may be able to file and proceed with an eviction if:
- The eviction is for non-payment of rent
- The eviction is uncontested by the tenant
- We have written authorization from the property owner to evict the tenant
Unfortunately, if your tenant fails to move at the end of the lease, an eviction is necessary, but your Florida property manager may not be authorized to file this on your behalf. Additionally, if your tenant violates a lease term and is served a 7-day notice of non-compliance, we can serve the notice, gather the documentation, but cannot file the eviction on your behalf. Additionally, if we know your tenant will contest the eviction and that they have any ground to stand on, we will not be able to file any eviction on behalf of the property owner.
Why? Well, because the Florida Supreme Court does not want Realtors practicing law. Unfortunately, at a certain point, the eviction process can turn into such. This can be frustrating for property owners as the eviction process can be a little intimidating to navigate. The good news is that many owners, with a little guidance, are able to file and carry through the eviction with no problem. It may require an in-person or a conference call hearing. In many instances, hiring an attorney to handle the process is the best choice for many.
One of the worst things a property manager has to do I to tell a previous tenant their security deposit is getting charges because they did not clean properly upon moving out. We hope this helps you be more prepared for your move out to help insure the full deposit back.
- Windows- Window cleaning does not just mean the glass like many seem to think. The window tracks, frame, blinds and sills need to be wiped down and free of dust and grime.
- Bathrooms- Bathrooms need to be thoroughly cleaned.
- Exhaust Fan- wiped down and free of dust
- Toilet- tank, bowl and base scrubbed. (please make sure the water in the bowl is clean)
- Tub/Showers- Scrubbed and free of soap scum and mildew.
- Baseboards- All baseboards should be wiped down and be free of dust or grime.
- Kitchen- This is where the majority of the issues we see are.
- Fridge and Freezer- Should be cleaned out with white vinegar including trays, shelves, seal, and handle. It should be pulled out and the floor cleaned behind and underneath. Don’t forget the top of the fridge, too.
- Stove- Clean thoroughly including the outside, inside, racks, underneath and drawers. The drip pans should be replaced as well.
- Cabinets- ALL the cabinets including drawers should be emptied and whipped out free of dust and grime. The outside of the cabinets should be cleaned with a mild soap.
- A/C- Change air filter and make sure the door frame in HVAC closet is free of dust.
- Yard- Please mow the lawn (if required by lease) prior to moving out. Do not leave any debris laying around the yard. If you have trash left over, you may leave it by the road in accordance to the trash providers requirements. It is your responsibility to be sure it is picked up prior to when you cancel your trash service.
Please note, this is just a list of the items usually missed and is not the full move out cleaning guidelines. You may read those here.
Many renters are confused as to why they would need renter's insurance and surprised at how affordable renter's insurance can be, especially here in Florida! Renter's insurance protects more than just the landlord and your contents.
Realtor Mitch Adcox sat down with Felicia from our local AllState to talk about Renter's Insurance. In the video below, we cover what renter's insurance includes, how it protects you, and what the typical cost for insurance is.
We strongly suggest all of our renters secure insurance to protect yourself and your property. Additionally, remember that renter's insurance and homeowner's insurance do not cover flood losses unless you secure a separate flood insurance policy. Reach out to Allstate Insurance at (850) 479-3111 or your local insurance agent for more details and to obtain a quote today!
According to an article by the Better Business Beureau, rental scams are still widespread in the online community in both long term rental homes and short term vacation rentals.
Pensacola is on the BBB’s Scam Tracker list of metros with the highest number of complaints from clients in regards to the rental scams.
Here are some statistics according to the BBB:
-More than 5 million people lost money to rental scams
-1 in 3 victims lost more than a $1,000 in a rental scam
-43% of online shoppers came across a scam listing in their house hunting search
With these statistics in mind, please be diligent when utilizing free classified websites including Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace as well as other more reputable online listing sites including Zillow and Apartments.com.
The best websites to view rentals in the Pensacola area is the Pensacola MLS as this shows all inventory listed with real estate companies in the Pensacola area. You can always view our rental inventory of over 40 Pensacola area rental homes and apartments on our website here.
Of course, feel free to utilize 3rd party websites, but be diligent when doing so.
Here are some more tips to help you avoid rental scams while house hunting in the Pensacola area! Click here to read the full article from the BBB’s Rental Scam Study which provides very comprehensive information on different scams and recommendations for consumers to avoid being taken advantage of in a variety of scams, including rental scams.
As a renter, it's important to remember that your landlord does not have insurance for your personal property. Your landlord has insurance for the structure of the home which excludes your personal property inside. Because of this, it is strongly recommended that you secure a renters insurance policy.
There's several advantages to having renters insurance, and considering the affordable cost, there's no reason not to have renters insurance if you live in the state of Florida.
Here's 3 reasons why you should have renters insurance.
1. You can get policies for as low as $15 per month. Not sure where to start? Check with your car insurance provider or contact local insurance companies for a free quote.
2. Renters insurance provides comprehensive coverage. You can secure a policy that covers the following:
- Fire damage
- Water damage (not flood damage)
- Wind damage
- Personal injury
- Wind and hurricane damage!
It is important to note that you would need a separate flood policy to protect yourself against flooding water damages.
3. If a disaster hits our area, you may be out of work for some time. Even a paycheck or two makes a substantial difference for the majority of renters. Imagine the cost of having to purchase all of your household items on top of loss of wages.
Here's a few other examples of how renters insurance may pay off!
Did the fridge in your rental go out the day after you spent $200 in groceries? Renters insurance may provide reimbursement!
Without air conditioning for an extended period of time? Renters insurance may provide coverage for a hotel stay.
Have a tree fall on your call? Renters insurance may work with your car insurance to provide coverage.
There are so many great reasons to purchase renters insurance. Check with an insurance agent today for a free quote.
How To Get Keys To Your Pensacola Area Community Mailbox
If the mailbox has a USPS sticker on it, you will need to get a key from the United States Postal Service. Here's how to do that in the Pensacola area.
- Once you have done that, call 850-434-9109 and follow the directions on the answering machine. It is an automated system so it will ask you to leave a voicemail and they will be in contact with you.
- The USPS will confirm your address and let you know what day they will re-key your box. There is a $25 key to get the key to your mailbox.
- If you are not home at the time of rekeying the USPS will leave the keys on your door.
The whole process should take 2-3 days.
If your mailbox does not have a USPS sticker on it, it is likely privately owned by a Homeowners Association of Condo Association and you will need to reach out to them or your proprerty manager.
Tips from our pest control vendors on how to reduce the number of bugs you have inside and around your home this year! When we reached out for advice, we found that most of the tips on how to keep bugs from coming inside involved reducing the habitats for bugs on the exterior of your property.
- Keep exterior lights off at night. Bugs are attracted to light. Turning off exterior lights at night can also keep termites away. You can purchase yellow insect lights which can deter insects.
- Do not keep standing water around the property. Certain items kept outside can cause water to pool and harbor mosquitoes. Moisture also attracts termites.
- Rake and remove all leaves around your property to drastically reduce the number of pests you have. Leaves from winter are a perfect habitat for roaches.
- Keep the grass short and well manicured as bugs are attracted to tall grass.
- Clogged gutters and downspouts can increase bug activity around your home so report any clogged gutters and remove any debris from downspouts.
- Check around the exterior for ant mounds and eliminate them before they come inside.
- Clean around entryways (doors and windows) to remove spider webs.
- Store items in plastic totes as opposed to cardboard boxes.
- When dealing with ant invasions, you can use white vinegar to neutralize the pheromone trail which will assist you in helping to eliminate them.
- One of the best things people with pets can do is have their pets on flea and tick prevention.
All insects are looking for food, water, and shelter. Eliminate these and you will be less likely to have a pest infestation. You're welcome to purchase your own pest control products or give a technician a call. The average price for a pest professional to come treat your property would be about $75. Prices range depending on size of property and frequency of desired visits as some vendors offer a discount for a quarterly pest control service. Reach out with any questions!
Pest Control Help
We have a lot of bugs and pests in this part of the world. If you are not from the area or used to this, this can cause great dissatisfaction this time of the year. If you want the assistance of a professional pest company to keep your property bug free, give one of these companies a call.
Bugmeister Household Termite & Pest
554-6952 Email Danny
Ham Pest Control- Travis
376-1523 Email Travis
Tombstone Pest Control
932-0977 Email Alan
originally posted 03-15-2019
Moving Soon in or from the Pensacola area? Here are Resources to Help!
Moving is so much work. If you are looking for moving resources in the Pensacola area, we have some advice for you including a list of reputable professional moving companies in Pensacola, do-it-yourself Pensacola moving truck rental companies, moving resources, packing tips, and moving tips below.
Professional Movers in Pensacola
There are quite a few moving companies in the Pensacola area! I'm going to give you the list of those we've had more experience with and that have the highest ratings.
- All My Sons Moving & Storage- offers Pensacola residents local, in-state, and out-of-state moves.
- Two Men And A Truck- offers local and long distance moves as well as packing services.
- Coastal Moving & Storage- offers local and long distance residential and commercial moves as well as storage and packing services.
- A Student Movers of Pensacola- is a locally owned and operated company that offers moving and storage services.
- Bayside Moving- is located and Gulf Breezes and serves Navarre, Pensacola and beyond. They offer both local and long distance moving assistance. They also offer a load/unload only option which allows you to pay for only assistance for loading or unloading should you desire.
Moving Truck Rentals in Pensacola
Need to save money with your move? Rent your own moving truck to easily relocate your family and possessions.
- U-Haul Moving & Storage- By far, U-Haul has the largest number of stores in Escambia and Santa Ros counties, making it the most convenient choice for a do it yourself move. They also offer storage, boxes and packing supplies, and moving labor.
- Budget Truck Rental- Budget Truck Rental has two locations in Pensacola. With one location in West Pensacola on Fairfield Drive and one location in Northeast Pensacola on Davis Hwy., it is another great option to consider for your Pensacola move.
- Penske Truck Rental- Penske Truck Rental has three locations for truck rentals in the Pensacola area. They also offer storage and packing supplies.
- Enterprise Truck Rental- Entprise Rent-A-Car features several options for vehicles to assist with your Pensacola move.
- Start early! Begin packing away non-essential items a month before your move.
- Put saran wrap over your utensil trays so items don't fall out when moving.
- Put trash bags around your hanging clothes so you don't have to take them off the hangers.
- Label everything! You will forget later, we promise.
- Take a picture of the back of electronics so you know exactly where the wires go when you hook everything back up.
- Pack the items you will need first in a clear plastic bin so you can easily find them.
Two of our team members just made a move and they have some advice for you.
- Start early. Secure your new property weeks in advance of your move out date so you can have a stress free, easier moving process.
- Make sure to transfer your utilities in time; don't procrastinate. Consider weekends and holidays when planning.
- Make a checklist of who you need to change your address with and do not forget your driver's license.
- If you have a yellow star in the corner of your Florida license, you can change your address online. If not, you must change your address in person at the DMV.
- Make sure you know which day the last day of the month is so you can plan accordingly.
- Line up your moving help or truck in advance as availability is low in spring.
- 12 Tips for your Move
- Move Out Guidelines & Notice Form
- Change your Address with USPS Online
- Change your Address with Florida DMV
And of course, if you need a Pensacola home or apartment to move to, visit our website to view our avaialble rentals.
originally posted 03-05-2019
Statistically, housing costs consume over 1/3 of our income nationwide. We hate to hear when residents have unexpected situations that cause a hardship and that they are having a hard time paying rent.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are resources in the Pensacola area to help with financial assistance for rent and utilitiy bills. We've compiled a list of resources available in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties should you need them now or in the future.
United Way can provide resources. While they do not provide financial assistance, they do serve as a resource referral center for emergency food and shelter, services for families and senior citizens, health care, child care, services for people with disabilities, counseling and mental health services and more. Call them at 2-1-1 or find them online.
The Salvation Army provides emergency assistance for needs such as rent, utility bills, food and clothing. If you need assistance due to an unexpected hardship, the Salvation Army provides financial assistance. You can reach them at (850) 432-1579 in Pensacola or (850) 623-4099 in Milton or online.
Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida provides emergency financial assistance for basic needs including financial, food, prescriptions, housing, and utilities. Call (850) 436-6425 in Pensacola or (850) 244-2825 in Fort Walton Beach or visit them online.
United Ministries of Pensacola offers help in a financial crisis with past due rent, mortgage, or utility bills. This assistance is contingent upon having a child in the home under the age of 18. Call their office in Pensacola (850) 433-2333 or online.
Northwest Florida Area on Aging provides assistance with home energy costs for those who are eligible over 60 years of age should the need arise to pay utility bills or repair heating and cooling systems. Call them at (850) 494-7101 or find them online.
Community Action Program Committee provides emergency financial assistance for utility bills when in need through their Home Energy Assistance Program. Give them a call at 1-844-356-8139 or find their application online.
Opening Doors offers utility assistance for those who are at risk of getting their utilities shut off. Call at (850) 439-3009 or visit them online.
FavorHouse of Northwest Florida provides assistance to victims of domestic violence including temporary and transitional housing. Call them at (850) 434-1177 or visit them online.
While this is not a comprehensive list, this is a good start in finding assistance from several Pensacola area non-profit organizations that can assist with financial needs in the way of rent and utility bill assistance.
originally posted 01-31-2019
A new year is the time to start new habits. Remember that leasing a home is a tool to help you become prepared to one day own and care for your home. Building good habits now can help you in the future. Here are a few suggestions to be sure you and your home are ready for the new year!
- Make sure rental insurance policy up to date or start a policy! You can insure your personal property for as little as $20 per month.
- Work on a family budget. Review your expenses from 2018 and see how you can cut back to establish a savings, build your credit, and ensure you can make payments timely.
- Don't forget- you can pay your rent online with RentTrack and opt-in to credit reporting. As long as you make payments on time, you can build credit while you are renting through us! Are you taking advantage of this?
Inside your home
- Pick up a year's supply of air filters for the A/C system, then you can have one to change out every 30 days, and can date them to remind yourself.
- Check batteries in all of your smoke detectors and change them if you have not in the last 6 months. Report any concerns about detectors to our office.
- Check all water sources for leaks inside, especially those that are not seen often! Open sink cabinets and check for dripping pipes under the sink. Inspect the hot water heater. Look at the water pipes going to your washing machine. Open the toilet lid and inspect the inside to see if the flapper is sealing properly.
Outside your home
- Walk the yard and check for areas of concern! Are there any soft spots in the yard? Is there debris on the roof? Report to us any safety concerns.
- Inspect the exterior pipes, faucets, hoses, and sprinkler heads for any damages or leaks.
- Clean up any pet debris in yard!
- Trim back shrubs, bushes and low lying tree branches to be sure they will grow back healthy in spring.
- Rake leaves in the yard and remove all excess debris to ensure grass can grow back in spring.
Is becoming a homeowner on your list of resolutions?
If you are interested in becoming a homeowner in 2019, reach out to our sales team with your questions. Don't forget that we have a cash incentive for our residents who purchase a home through a Realty Masters realtor!
We have recently sold a few of our tenants the home they are currently leasing! If you are interested in seeing if the property owner would sell the home you have been leasing, reach out to our team.
originally posted 01-16-2019
Keeping your family and property safe is imperative. Too often, especially around the holidays, residents leave keys for friends and family members carelessly around their property. DON’T hide a key outside your home, under mats or above your door frame on the outside of your home! These are the first places someone will look.
Here are some alternatives to hiding a key under your door mat.
- Get an envelope or pouch to put the key in and keep it in your car.
- If you have a neighbor you trust or a friend/family member that lives close, have them hang on to it.
- A lockbox with a combination code is easy to use and you can put on almost any type of rail or knob outside. We use a lot of these in real estate to make sure keys are kept safe.
If you have no choice but to hide a key outside your home, make sure you’re clever and choose an object like a fake sprinkler head or a walkway lights. Make sure this is a temporary hiding spot and never permanently leave a key outside of your home.
Write the location of your spare keys some place safe like a sticky note in your phone. You can also set a reminder to confirm the keys are still in place at least once a week. Losing track of your keys leaves you open to someone else finding them and getting into your home.
originally posted 12-27-2018
Do you have a septic tank? The easiest way to determine if you have sewer or septic is by looking at your water bill. If you do not pay for sewer, you are likely on a septic tank! Being on a septic tank does save money each month, however, it requires certain care that sewer does not.
If you have a septic tank, you should be following certain practices to ensure that you are not damaging the tank or drainfield lines. Here are some tips on septic tank systems!
Be Careful What you Introduce into your Plumbing System
Never flush cat litter, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, “flushable” baby wipes, dental floss, Qtips, tampons, paper towels, facial tissues, coffee grounds, or cigarette butts and filters. These items will clog your septic tank and cause a sewage back up!
Use Garbage Disposals Wisely
Do not ever put starchy or stringy vegetables such as celery, asparagus, artichokes, lettuce, potato peels, pasta, rice, egg shells or coffee grinds in the garbage disposal.
Do Not Pour Grease Down the Drain
Milk, cooking oils, grease, or anything that is liquid but solidifies into a solid can clog up your septic tank drainfields and pipes. These items should be placed into the trash.
Avoid Hazardous Chemicals
Varnish, paint, paint thinners, motor oils, gasoline and other similar chemicals can ruin your system and are a hazard to groundwater. Dispose of them properly.
Minimize Heavy Duty Cleaners
Overuse of heavy cleaners kills beneficial bacteria in the septic tank, so solids won't break down as well. Try using vinegar as alternative to chemicals when cleaning.
Use Rid X monthly!
Using a powder, liquid, or gelpac septic tank treatment (like Rid-X or Draino Septic Tank) monthly to reduce your chances of a messy septic tank backup.
Do not Park on the Grass
Your septic tank is located in the yard. Parking on top can damage the tank.
Avoid Excessive Water Use on Rainy Days
On heavier rainy days, please do not wash clothes. As the ground is saturated with water, using excess water during heavy periods of rain fills the tank.
Promptly Report any Plumbing Issues
Dripping faucets and other leaks in the plumbing at your property can cause your tank to overfill. Promptly report any plumbing issues to our office. If you own your home, make sure to address any of these plumbing issues immediately.
If you Rent, you Can be Charged for Causing a Septic Back Up
Should you disregard these instructions causing your tank to back up, you can be charged for the cost of septic tank pumping. It is expensive! Please be careful and mindful.
originally posted 11-29-2018
Moving is one of the most stressful times in a person's life, especially if you are making a move across country or after a life-changing event. We understand how stressful the moving process is and want to help in whatever way possible.
We found these tips from Florida Realtors we thought were too helpful not to share!
1. Plan your move far in advance. They recommend this moving timeline and checklist from Upack.com which outlines the moving process and includes a timeline with detailed instructions with planning beginning 2 months in advance. The checklist includes several items many people overlook until it becomes an issue including changing your address. Check it out!
2. Protect files and photos. As items can get damaged or lost in the move, it's important to be sure you have safeguarded your important items such as family memories, important documents, and more.
3. Photograph your cords. Have you ever spent 30 minutes trying to hook electronics up? Take a photo of the connections on your computers, TV's, and more so it's easier to assemble when you are unpacking.
4. Make plans for pets. Your pets may need to be kept in a separate area or room while you are packing or moving. Not all hotels are pet friendly. Make sure to consider your pets in your plans.
5. Get a Movers Guide from the Post office. You can complete the change of address form online here. USPS also includes resources for your move!
6. Color code your boxes. Create a system to make unpacking easier. You can use color coded boxes or labels!
7. Mark essential items. Find a way to dictate which boxes are most important, fragile, or will be needed first. Label these and set them aside.
8. Create a box of essential items. Use suitcases to carry items that you will need the first night so you are not having to unpack in order to find your essentials. Don't forget essentials like toilet paper that may be easy to overlook when you are packing.
9. Keep most expensive and most important items separate. If you are utilizing a moving company or help with your move, it may be best to pack the most expensive or important items in your personal vehicle.
10. Pack cleaning items separate. Often you may want or need to clean up prior to unpacking items. Keep some Lysol wipes or other cleaning items handy!
11. Make a layout map for your funiture. It's much easier to move and unpack if you know where you want furniture and larger items to go! Spend some time planning where you want your larger items to go. You can hand sketch a map or utilize a tool like HomeDiary, a free visualization tool, to lay out your furniture before the big day.
12. Save receipts and records. Make sure you save and submit receipts for reimbursement if they are covered! If you don't get any reimbursement, don't worry, most do not.
originally posted 11-23-2018
One of the leading causes of wildfires in the state of Florida is from debris burning. Because of the high number of wildfires that are a result of careless burning practices, there are a number of government agencies that regulate outdoor burning. The Florida Forest Service is the top government agency tasked with creating and enforcing burning regulations. They regulate the statutes in place; however, local government agencies can place additional restrictions on burning. If you live in the city limits of an area, you may be subject to additional ordinances that regulate burning.
Personal Experience with Fires
Our team has experienced the results of irresponsible burning with several instances over the years. Here are a few examples of first hand experiences our team members have seen as a result of irresponsible practices.
-A fire pit that was not properly extinguished. The ashes from the fire pit were put in a trash can. The trash can caught on fire and caught the house on fire. The house had to be torn down and all the tenant’s items were ruined from smoke and fire damage.
-A burn barrel fire that caught the grass underneath it on fire. The fire spread to several acres and threatened homes nearby.
-Several kitchen fires that resulted from leaving the kitchen while cooking something on the stove top.
It is imperative that you practice fire safety, have working smoke detectors, and have a personal fire extinguisher and water hose available.
Considering Burning Outdoors?
The law does allow for burning of dry outdoor vegetative debris such as leaves, tree limbs and shrubs; however, it does place several restrictions on this which could make burning even these items in your yard a violation of the regulations.
Outdoor Burning Regulations
-It is illegal to burn household garbage including paper products, treated lumber, rubber materials, tires, pesticides, paint and aerosol containers.
-Dry (not green) vegetative debris such as grass clippings, pine straw, leaves, tree limbs and shrub trimmings can be legally burned between 8 a.m. and one hour before sunset if it is in a pile not larger than 8 ft. in diameter and located:
-25 feet from any forested area (grasslands, brush or wildlands).
-25 feet from your home or other combustible structure.
-50 feet from any paved or public roadway.
-150 feet from any occupied dwelling other than your own home.
-A burn pile greater than 8 feet in diameter requires an authorization from the Florida Forest Service and additional requirements.
When you consider these distance requirements, it is very likely that your property is not large enough to accommodate a burn pile. We do not recommend you utilize a burn pile for yard trimmings. You can place these items by the road for your trash company to compost or dispose of properly.
The Florida Forest Service warns you that if your fire escapes, you may be held liable for the cost of suppressing the fire and for any damage to the property of others!
Safety with a small Fire Pit
If you are looking for a small fire to roast a marshmallow or cuddle in front of on a cool night, we would recommend the use of a small fire pit with a cover if your property allows for one. Be sure to practice fire safety by adhering to all regulations discussed and by practicing the following:
Be sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby before you operate a fire pit.
Be sure to saturate the fire with water after it is out.
Use the protective screen.
Never leave a fire unattended.
Do not place a fire pit on a balcony, too close to a property, or under any covered area.
Do not underestimate the amount of time it takes for the wood or coals to extinguish properly.
Live in a Condo, Townhome, or Apartment?
Condos, townhomes and apartments often have regulations built in regarding restrictions for safety. The Florida Fire Prevention Code regulates this with the following: With respect to cooking equipment, section 10 of the code prohibits using hibachis, grills, and other similar devices for cooking, heating, and any other purpose on a balcony, under any overhang portion, or within 10 feet of any structure, other than in one and two-family dwellings. The section does allow for some smaller electric grills, however, most associations do not permit any type of grill or fire pit on the premises for safety.
Check with your condo association’s rules and regulations or the local fire marshall for more information or clarification on your community’s rules.
Renting & Your Lease Agreement with Realty Masters
Remember that your lease agreement contains an addendum as to the use of fireplaces, stove, fire pits, and candles. Please refer to this addendum to be sure of your responsibilities under the lease agreement. It requires, among other things, that you have a water hose or a fire extinguisher when utilizing any item with an open flame.
Additionally, if you damage any part of the yard or home from a fire, you can be held responsible for any damage to the home or property.
Please make sure you are abiding by all regulations and practicing fire safety. Now is also a good time to check your property for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We want you to have fun this holiday season, but we also want you and your family to remain safe while doing so.
Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to Deputy Howard Enderson with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit give a talk to the Pensacola Association of Realtors on safety.
A lot of the advice he gave us is applicable to safety for all at your home and business and I wanted to pass along my favorite tips from the crime prevention unit.
- Have a free security assessment of your property and home for specific recommendations on how to make your home safer.
- Survey your property and look for places that people can hide. Eliminate those places!
- Use the 2/6 rule- shrubs should be no higher than 2 feet and tree limbs should be no lower than 6 feet.
- Do not let shrubbery grow above or over your windows.
- Never hide a key at your property.
- Always lock your vehicle and do not leave garage door openers in your vehicle overnight.
- Did you know that you can have a background check done for a small fee at the Sheriff's Office in one day? Before hiring someone to come pet sit, clean your house, or babysit your children, use this service and order a background check.
- Don't open the door for solicitors. Additionally, you can call the Sheriff's Office to report door to door solicitors.
- Make sure everything is password protected.
- Choose flight over fight but protect yourself if necessary.
- Always be alert and listen to your instincts!
Did you know that the Escambia County Sheriff's Office offers free security assessments of your home, business, or church? They will come in the residence and offer tips to increase security at your property. To request a security assessment of your property, do so at this website: http://www.escambiaso.com/security-surveys/residential-security-survey/
For additional security tips from the Escambia County Sheriff's office, visit this page: http://www.escambiaso.com/home-safety/
originally posted 08-08-2018
ECUA has Free Bulk Waste Pick Up
Did you know that ECUA offers bulk waste pick up included in your bill?
ECUA is the largest provider of trash services in the area and now offers recycling for a lot of Santa Rosa County and even the City of Pensacola.
How does it work? If you have old household items you want to get rid of, place them in a 6'x 6' x 6' pile and leave them at the curb on your normal trash pick up day. They inform us that they start picking up bulk items early so to have your items on the curb by 5:30 a.m. on your routine trash collection day.
What type of items can you get rid of?
- Couches and mattresses
- Other furniture items
- Desks, dressers and chairs
- Rugs and carpets
- Vacuum cleaners
- Electronics must be placed in plastic bags to keep them dry
If you live in Santa Rosa County, you must call to schedule pick up. ECUA is the largest water and trash provider in our area. If you have a different trash service, please reach out to them as they likely have similar programs available. For more information, visit ECUA's website.
ECUA also offers oil and grease recycling as well as traditional recycling programs.
If you have nice items you think others may enjoy, check out our article on item and furniture donations in the Pensacola area.
Call ECUA at (850) 476-0480 to schedule your trash pick up.
originally posted 07-03-2018
In the Pensacola Bay Area, there are plenty of single family, multi-family, luxury apartment homes and other real estate developments to choose from. If you are not familiar with the area or process then you probably are wondering, where do you start? Of course, the first place I would suggest is the Pensacola MLS, as it is not a third party website and is accurate with most available listings by real estate companies. The other place would be the actual website for the property management company or complex that you are inquiring about. I would scroll their website, send in an email/ rental inquiry or give the office a call.
The average rents in the Pensacola Bay area are around $1,100-$1,500 per month. As prices are increasing and the availbility is decreasing, many house hunters are turning to websites like Craigslist or Zillow to find a rental property.
Potential renters can find private owners but also real estate companies post on Craigslist, Zillow or Facebook Marketplace as well. There are many online rental scams active in the area and several were found on these websites. They take a home that is listed for rent with a management company or offered for sale and advertise the property for rent. It is wise to be mindful of sending your personal information and money via online/email. We've had several potential renters tell us they sent money and personal information like social security number and dates of birth to these scammers. As technology improves, it is harder to spot a scam. Scammers are now able to utilize local phone numbers from free avenues such as Google Voice.
Here are a few things to look for:
- Below market rent or a deal that looks too good to be true
- Usually some or all utilities are included (this is not common practice in our area)
- The ad says the house can be rented furnished or unfurnished
- Out of state contact information especially when it comes to sending money or picking up keys
- Scammer tells you the property is vacant and door is unlocked (be careful, this may not be true and presents a dangerous situation!)
- Emailing an application or request for personal information that does not look legitimate
If you see a listing on Craigslist that may fit the above description then please flag the post. In order to flag a post for misrepresentation then you would click on the box in front of prohibited to inform the Craigslist administrator. This information is located at the top left corner of the Craigslist ad. Please see example below :
X prohibited[ ]
It would be good practice not to release any personal information to anyone over the internet. It's also best practice to meet with the person at the property or if you are out of town then verify with the local property appraiser site to see if that person owns the home. Here is a link to Escambia and Santa Rosa County Property Appraiser sites. Keep in mind that these scams are sophisticated and scammers also create email addresses using property owners names. Do a google search on the property to see if any other contacts or real estate companies come up associated with the address and reach out to them to verify the status. The more cautious you are the better. This can save you from identity theft or losing $1,000’s in move in fees.
Here's an article on WEAR with some details on a particular recent scam.
If you have any questions regarding a particular address then don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will be happy to see if we can provide assistance to you in determining if the property is clearly a scam based off our experience.
The Realty Masters of FL Team
originally posted 06-21-2018
Subleasing is Not Allowed at your Rental Property!
We understand that some residents may want to add a roommate to help with housing expenses. Please remember that you must request prior written approval to add an occupant on your lease agreement. Occupants will need to apply with our office and be approved by the property owner in advance of their move in.
This is important for many reasons, and is also enforced for your protection. There are many applicable laws and many times residents are not aware of those laws. You can actually face criminal charges for removing a roommates personal items or trying to force a roommate to move from your property. This happened recently in town and now a Pensacola area resident is facing criminal charges.
Want to rent a room out?
Most leases have a clause that prevent subletting. If you lease from another company or landlord, check your lease agreement to see if this is allowed.
You cannot advertise a room for rent on AirBnB and attract short term residents at your property. This is against the lease agreement and does present some safety hazards for your family. Please be careful and cautious. Reach out to our office with questions on adding, removing, or replacing roommates.
What if I own my own home?
Even if you own your home, you should also exercise caution and consider possible consequences of subleasing, whether short or long term, before proceeding. A new younger generation of homeowners are offering rooms for rent in their home on internet sites like Home Away, AirBnB, Craigslist, and VRBO. Before doing this, you should carefully consider the following:
- Check with your insurance company to see if short term subleasing is allowed and covered under your policy.
- Document your personal property and furniture before you allow guests with photos and written reports. You should thoroughly inspect between each guest.
- You need a good lease or occupancy agreement.
- Use a platform that helps to screen or vet potential renters, even if they only plan to stay one night.
We recommend you thoroughly research this before deciding to lease out any portion of your space.
originally posted 06-16-2018
If you are house hunting this spring or summer in the Pensacola area, you will find that the active rental inventory is tight! We're seeing record lows in the single family rental market in the Pensacola area.
There are simply not enough properties for rent at this time to meet the current demand of renters looking to move. To help you ease the stress and frustration of house hunting this season, we've put together a video with helpful house hunting tips.
Here are some of the highlights from the video:
- Do your research. It's up to you to do the research on the neighborhoods and areas. Do a neighborhood search (Escambia County Crime Map: http://www.escambiaso.com/crime-map/ )
- Be prepared! Review the requirements for renting and have all of your documents necessary ready to apply. Have a double security deposit ready if you do not meet the rental criteria.
- Consider purchasing a home.
- Check into the multi-family apartment complex community for availability.
- Have vet records, photos, and extra pet deposits for your pets.
- Don't just apply to apply! This lowers your credit score and is costly. Be intentional and serious before you apply.
- If you are relocating, do not expect to be able to pull a U-haul into town and move in a property the same weekend. If you have someone who can view properties on your behalf, have them coordinate viewings and sign a lease.
- Be available for showings! You may have to take some time off work in order to be successful in house hunting this season.
- Have a back up plan in case you don't find a property!
- Adjust your expectations for the criteria you need, not the criteria you want. It is not the time to find a dream house!
- Housing affordability is an issue and will continue to be as the economy and real estate market improves. Rents will continue to increase. Plan for this!
- Be happy where you are. Do not be upset by a small rental increase or an unresolved maintenance item that is not important.
- Show up at real estate offices! The call and email volume is overwhelming for us now. Make time to pop by the office and talk with someone in person for best results.
- Act fast when you find a nice property. Be ready to pay a deposit and sign a lease when you apply.
Reach out to our office and let us know how we can be of assistance whether you are looking to buy or rent a home in 2018.
Realty Masters of Florida Rental Office (850) 473-3983 http://www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
originally posted 03-27-2018
Moving to the Pensacola area?
It's hard to get a good feel of a new community.
If you are moving to Pensacola, knowing and understanding Pensacola area zip codes will definitely help you with your move. Pensacola is located in Escambia County, Florida and includes the following areas of Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach, Cantonment, Beulah, Century and Molino.
Here's a quick infographic and rundown on Pensacola area zip codes to help you familiarize yourself with the Pensacola area.
Pensacola Zip Codes
32501 & 32502- Downtown Pensacola!
Home to Historic Downtown Pensacola, the 17th Ave. Grafitti Bridge, Belmont/ DeVilliers, Pensacola Bay Center, Blue Wahoos Baseball Stadium, Historic Pensacola Village, Veterans' Wall South Memorial and more!
32503- Southeast Pensacola
Home to East Hill and East Pensacola Heights Neighborhoods, Bayview Park & Dog Beach, Scenic Highway Bluffs, Pensacola Christian Academy and Pensacola Christian College, 12th Ave. Tree Tunnel
32504- Northeast Pensacola
Home to Cordova Park Neighborhood, Pensacola State College, Cordova Mall, Pensacola International Airport, Sacred Heart Hospital
32505- South & West Pensacola
Home to Brownsville Neighborhood, Marcus Point Golf Course, T&W Flea Market, Car City Pensacola
32506- West & Southwest Pensacola
Home to Pensacola Greyhound Racing, FL/ AL State Line via Lillian Hwy, Corry Station
32507- Southwest Pensacola & Perdido Key
Home to front and back gate of Naval Air Station, Perdido Kids Park, Big Lagoon State Park, Johnsons Beach, and Perdido Key
32514- Northeast Pensacola
Home to University of West Florida, I-10 Interstate 10, Elylson Indsutrial Field, and the gateway to Santa Rosa County via the bridge to Pace
32526- Northwest Pensacola
Home to Beulah and Bellview Neighborhoods, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pensacola Fairgrounds, Pensacola Equestrian Center
32533 & 32534- Cantonment and North Northwest Pensacola
Home to Ascend Performance Materials, International Paper, and I-65
32561- Pensacola Beach
Home of beautiful, white sand Pensacola Beaches!
Moving to the Pensacola area?
Let us know how we can help you with your move. Realty Masters has over 35 rentals available in the Pensacola area at any given time. Give us a call or view our available rentals here.
originally posted 01-29-2018
New construction in the Pensacola area is booming. The Northwest Pensacola region in Beulah and 9 Mile Road areas along with Downtown Pensacola has shown the largest growth.
Over the last year, we’ve seen an explosion in brand new apartment communities with the most growth in North Pensacola. The Navy Federal Credit Headquarters on 9 Mile Rd. continues to develop and bring in thousands of new jobs for the Pensacola area. Coupled with the growth at the University of West Florida, demand has been strong for the North Pensacola area. While a few single family neighborhoods that have popped up in these areas, so far, the growth has been in the commercial sector and, most impressively, in new apartment communities.
Our real estate team has done some research to bring you some great information on these new apartment complexes.
New Apartment Communities in Northwest Pensacola - 9 Mile Road area
- The Pensacola Grand Apartments – 9091 Airway Dr., Pensacola, FL 32534
The Pensacola Grand apartments are located at 9091 Airway Drive and are still undergoing construction although some residents have already moved in. Amenities include a pool, sauna, fitness center, clubhouse, a dog park, and a playground. The Pensacola Grand Apartments are pet friendly with a $250 pet fee and $20 per rent, per month with some breed restrictions.
The Pensacola Grand offers 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units for lease. The 1 bedroom 1 bath apartments are offered for lease at approximately $1,000 per month, the 2 bedrooms 2 bathroom range around $1,300 per month, and the 3 bedrooms 2 bathroom apartments cost approximately $1,350 per month. They have various floor plans on each level and rates do vary based on availability, amenities, and apartment type. A media package is included! The apartments offer a modern interior with all black appliances and ceramic wood tile look.
- The Crossings at Milestone – 1431 W. 9 Mile Rd., Pensacola, FL 32534
The Crossings at Milestone is located at 1431 W 9 Mile Rd. and was built in 2017. The Crossings at Milestone features 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments for rent. The complex features a pool, fitness center, furnished clubhouse, a playground, and a dog park. Garbage and pest control are included in the rental rate. Rates vary depending on the floor, floor plan, and amenities but are currently being offered around $1,050 for a 1 bedroom, $1,265 for a 2 bedroom(,) and $1,450 for a 3 bedroom. The community is gated with security so good they wouldn’t allow us to take photos of the complex from the outside! They also offer private garages.
- West Woods Apartments – 3202 W. 9 Mile Rd., Pensacola, FL 32534
The West Woods Apartments are located at 3202 W. 9 Mile Rd. This community was just developed in 2017 and offers brand new, luxury apartments just minutes to Navy Federal and I-10. West Woods Apartments offer 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units for rent and all units come unfurnished. The 1 bedroom 1 bath units are between $1,000 and $1,075 for rent, the two bedroom, two bath apartments range between $1,220 and $1,295, and the three bedroom two bath apartments range between $1,425 and $1,477 per month. All apartments include a full size washer and dryer and the rental rate includes trash and pest control. The apartments feature stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and wood like ceramic tile floors. The community is very pet friendly with no weight or breed restrictions(,) but are charging $500 pet fee and a $10 per pet monthly pet rent. The complex is beautiful with two pools, two grills, two fitness centers, a car care center, dog parks, and more.
We’ve also written about new schools under construction to support this new growing population. Read that article here! (Link to School Article)
- Student Housing near UWF – 10300 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514
The Edge Pensacola is a new, off-campus, student housing apartment complex located at 10300 University Parkway that opened in August 2017. The Edge caters to University of West Florida students and offers individual leases for students in shared apartments. The apartments come in 3 bedroom/3 bath, 4 bedroom/4 bath, or 5 bedroom/5 bath units. Renters can choose their housemates or can be placed in a roommate matching system to share the common areas including living room, kitchen, and dining areas. Amenities include laundry, computer lab, study lounge, pool, and a fitness center. The units come furnished and most utilities are included.
Similar apartment communities including The Next Apartments and College Vue have opened in 2015 and 2016 within a 1/2 mile of the UWF main entrance.
While apartment complexes offer amenities, these increasing prices for apartment communities make leasing a single family home look more affordable than ever! Interested in comparing prices with single family rental properties on the market? Visit our available rentals to browse homes and apartments for rent in Pensacola.
originally posted 01-10-2018
Temperatures will reach below freezing and may continue to remain below freezing through Friday of next week. Take precautions this weekend and keep your pipes protected for the coming week. Repeat these instructions anytime there is a freeze warning.
If you do not make precautions now, you will be without water and will be responsible for damages to the property caused by failure to protect your pipes. You must take these precautions to make sure your plumbing, sprinkler, and pool pipes do not freeze leaving you without water on New Years Day or throughout the coming week.
Here's Patty and Carlin with some advice on how to prepare your home for the freeze:
You must take the following precautions to ensure your pipes are protected:
1. Walk around your home and survey for any outdoor pipes. Any exposed pipes like sprinkler or pool pump pipes should also be covered to insulate it from the freezing temperatures. Simply cover them with towels, blankets, or insulation tape.
2. Leave an outdoor faucet dripping or better yet, wrap your outdoor faucets and/ or cover with insulation boots. The best bet is to wrap all of your outdoor faucets. Hop on YouTube for some solid ideas on how to install your insulation boot cover or to wrap your faucets with common household items.
Also, remember to remove any sprinkler hoses from your spigot.
3. Leave an indoor faucet dripping slightly to keep water flowing through the pipes.This relieves the excess pressure that can build up inside pipes during freezing weather.
4. Locate your water shut off valve in case a pipe does burst as water will need to be turned off at the main connection (usually at the meter in your yard close to the road). This is essential to know and easier to locate in a non-emergency situation.
5. Make sure your heater is on and set to at least 65 degrees.
6. If you have a sprinkler system or a pool, your sprinkler pipes and pool pump pipes must also be covered. If you have insulation tubing, that is best, but if not, cover your pipes completely with towels, blankets, newspaper, or insulation tape.
originally posted 12-30-2017
Credit Scores have vital information that lenders and other companies use to help decide the credit worthiness of consumers. Having good credit helps one make the large, important purchases in life like getting an auto loan or home mortgage. To most people, it is a mystery on how credit companies calculate your score and what information they are using.
Realty Masters, like other property management companies, have some minimum criteria that renters have to qualify for to be approved - one of the big ones is your credit score.
The First Step is knowing where to look:
There are many websites and services available to consumers to evaluate or monitor their credit score. The first step is finding out your score. One of the most widely used credit scores are FICO® Scores. Some great information is provided on FICO® Scores at http://www.myfico.com/credit-education/credit-scores/. Also, here is a little more information on credit scores directly from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) that is valuable: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0152-credit-scores.
The Second Step is knowing your score and monitoring it:
There are several companies and services that give you access to your credit score. There are websites, apps, and banking services that help consumers monitor their credit. Some of those cost money as an one-time fee or monthly subscription.
You are eligible to get a free credit report every 12 months as authorized by the FTC.
There is a website where you can get access to all three of your major credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action. It is important to know as the more times your credit is pulled, that also affects your score. The credit agencies vary slightly on how they score your credit and even each credit reporting company (like ours being Resolve) can come back with a slightly different score based on the criteria and which credit bureau they use. I know, it’s so confusing!
I understand it’s frustrating getting approved for a rental property without a rental history and a credit score, however, those are the only criteria we have to give to the owner as Fair Housing doesn’t allow us to tell the owners anything about our potential renters.
Tips on Improving your Credit Score:
Paying your bills on time
The % of available credit to the credit limit
How long you have had credit
Realty Masters is excited that we are now partnered with - Renttrack - Our new payment system allows for online payments at a discounted rate from Payclix and also allows you the opportunity to build your credit by reporting your rental payments to the credit agencies!
As Realtors, we take safety and security at your home very seriously. That's why we reached out to Ashlee Carpenter, Vice President of 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.
originally posted 02-09-2017
Are you moving, doing some serious holiday cleaning, or just need to get rid of some items?
There is an alternative if you're not into online marketplaces or don't think you have enough stuff for a good garage sale. How about donating your items to a local Pensacola area charity!
There are four main organizations in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties that support item donations and offer free pick up for these items! Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity Restore, Salvation Army, and the Waterfront Rescue Mission.
Goodwill Industries offers local drop off and pick up from several bargain centers in the Pensacola area including one in Pace, Milton, and Gulf Breeze. Goodwill has 6 locations in the Pensacola area including 15 E Brent Lane, 5998 Mobile Hwy, 600 E Cervantes St., 4081 Olive Rd., 2 E Nine Mile Rd., and 2155 W Nine Mile Rd. Find the closest one to your home. They also just opened a new megastore at 1751 E. Olive Rd. in Pensacola, FL 32514.
- What they accept: Household items, furniture, clothing, blankets, and much more!
- What they don't accept: Items in non working condition with missing parts, items that are stained and torn, and items that have been recalled, banned, or do not meet safety standards.
- What they do: Help people in our community build skills and find employment.
Habitat for Humanity Restore
Local pick up and drop off for Pensacola items offered! Pensacola's Habitat for Humanity Resale Store location for drop off is 5810 North Palafox Place, Pensacola, FL 32503.
How to schedule a Pick up for Habitat for Humanity Restore: Call them at 850-476-0001 or schedule pick up online.
- What they accept: Appliances no older than ten years, building materials of all kind, lighting, cabinetry, windows, hardware, furniture (no mattresses or stained,tears or pet damage), toys, musical instruments, filing cabinets, area rugs, cars, books, and other household items.
- What they don't accept: Anything that doesn't work, needs a replacement part, is torn, has pet damage, or is soiled, and the following: Appliances more than 10 years old, dishwashers manufactured, microwaves over 5 years old, Automobile parts/ accessories, Baby items, Clothing/linens/bedding/drapes/bed pillows
- Computers, printers, desks, Electronics, Fireplaces, Exercise equipment, Hazardous chemicals, Hospital Beds, Metal or plastic window blinds, Mirrored Doors or glass,
- Pianos, Upholstered items with rips, stains, tears, and/or pet odors, Used Paint, Waterbeds, Water Heaters manufactured before Jan. 2014
- What they do: Sell items to fund homeownership for hundreds in our local community!
Local pick up and drop off for Pensacola items offered! Pensacola's Salvation Army location is 3780 N. Davis Hwy, Pensacola, FL 32514. Call them at (850) 432-1943.
- What they accept: Used matteresses with frame only. Clothes, vehicles, household items, appliances and furniture.
- What they don't accept: Tube tvs or anything stained, ripped or damaged in any way.
- What they do: Items are sold at Salvation Army Family Stores and help fund rehabilitation services.
Waterfront Rescue Mission
Local pick up and drop off for Pensacola items offered! Pensacola's has several area Waterfront Rescue Mission Bargain Stores including one in Cantonment, Milton, and West Pensacola. The Pensacola Waterfront Rescue Mission recycling and donation center location is 388 West Herman St., Pensacola, FL 32505. Call them at (850) 607-8340 or schedule pick up online at http://www.pickupmydonation.com
- What they accept: household items in good condition including clothing, furniture (no mattresses), appliances, lighting, lawn equipment, musical instruments, home decor, electronics (no tube TV’s of computer monitors), tools, toys, books, recyclable materials, and much more.
- What they don't accept: Mattresses, water beds, tube tv's, non-working tv's or computers/monitors, expired foods, hot tubs, and furniture that is not safe or too heavy for their crew.
- What they do: Provide resources and meals for homeless men, women, and children in the Pensacola area.
originally posted 12-05-2016
Our friends at Nelson's Appliance helped us with some quick appliance maintenance tips to keep your appliances running efficiently to kick off our new web series "One Minute Maintenance Tips." Take a minute and learn how to keep your appliances running smoother for longer.
The appliance maintenance tips are:
1. Use jet dry in your dishwasher.
2. Always wash your dishes.
3. Run your dishwasher twice a month.
4. Clean refigerator coils.
5. Use garbage disposal twice weekly.
If you have any appliance issues in the Pensacola area, contact Nelson's Appliance at (850) 572-5102 or visit them online at www.nelsonsappliancerepair.com
originally posted 11-01-2016
originally posted 07-06-2016
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.
originally posted 06-08-2016
5 Tips for Pensacola Renters: Finding a home in a competitive market
- Do your research! Look up school districts, view all photos, walk down with street view on google maps, do a sex offender search. Read our blog here for more tips and websites to do research. If there is a real deal breaker, know about it in advance and don't waste everyone's time. Remember, a lot of the homes on the market are occupied so an appointment has to be arranged with a property manager and a current resident!
- Don't be so picky. I know, you want a fabulous house for as little as possible, we all do! With low availability, you can't be picky about
- Not all homes are brand new or just remodeled. If that's what you require, you will have a harder time finding a place and will have to act fast.
- Sure, East Hill is a great place to live but with only 5 rentals available in the area and a median price of $1,000 per month, it's nearly impossible to find a 3 bedroom 2 bath affordable rental in the area. Downtown is similar with very few available and the majority being smaller, older homes in outlying areas of Downtown.
- Gulf Breeze schools are among the highest rated; that's why there's less than 20 properties for rent in the area with only four rentals in Gulf Breeze Proper and nothing available on Pensacola Beach. The average rental rate in Gulf Breeze is currently $1,700.
- As we approach PCS season, we see limited availability especially nearby the back gate of Naval Air Station. Expand your search area.
- Come prepared! We see great applicants miss out on homes every day as we are getting multiple applications on the most desirable properties. Be flexible and available for open houses and showings. Be sure you have your deposit ready when you apply.
- Have a folder with the following documents ready for when you find the right house!
- Driver's license copy for all adults over 18 residing in the property
- Pay stubs or income verification for at least one month. Have all forms of income available and documented for each adult.
- Photos of any pets you may have
- Previous landlord information including phone and email address. Better yet, ask your current landlord for a letter of recommendation stating your rental rate, dates of residency, and contact information.
- Have a folder with the following documents ready for when you find the right house!
- Be weary of scams. Unfortunately, people like to take advantage of others when inventory is low. Never send your personal information via email or send money overseas without verifying. Craigslist scams are common and scammers are smart about their scams. They even create email addresses to mirror the actual owners name. This happens all the time so please be careful when leasing from owner, especially from out of state.
- Consider Purchasing. In 2011,the average rental rate was $960 per month. The average Pensacola rental is now over $120 more expensive per month representing a 13% increase in rents over the last four years. Interest rates are low. Talk to us about your options to own your own home! Unsure about whether you have the funds required to purchase? Look into first time home buyer bond and grant programs. If you want more information, contact our office or email me here.
originally posted 03-01-2016
- Tenant Education
- Pensacola Real Estate
- Owner Education
- Pensacola Community
- Real Estate Market
- Military PCS Move to Pensacola
- New Construction Builders in Pensacola
- Considerations when Purchasing a Pensacola Multifamily investment
- What Makes a Good Pensacola Investment Property
- Buy and Hold Investment Strategy
- Nicole St. Aubin
- Pam Keen
- Nicole St Aubin
- Erica Parker
- Mike Hamby
- David Keen
- Realty Masters
- Mitch Adcox