Northwest Florida Real Estate and Community News

Sept. 16, 2019

Preparing for Autumn

 

Autumn is by and far my favorite season. The weather is beautiful and there is so much going on all over our city! Here are some ways to get the most out of your autumn.

 

1. Clean the gutters

I know, I know, this is the WORST part of autumn. Nobody wants to get up there and clean out their gutters but I have a tip for you. If you clean your gutters out before fall and then install gutter guards, you've just reduced your work later and increased the value of your home!

 

2. Get a pumpkin

Getting a pumpkin is never just getting a pumpkin. It is a familial celebration of autumn. Most farms have tons of activities for the whole family! Check out this local treasure before you plan your next family outing https://www.sweetseasonfarms.com/. Their season begins September 28th!

 

3. Sip some apple cider

While everyone else gets caught up in the pumpkin spice everything, I am most excited about the apple cider. The smell, the taste, the apples, what's not to love? Check out this simple recipe that is both delicious to drink and will fill your home with fall fragrance https://addapinch.com/homemade-apple-cider-recipe/.

 

So join us in welcoming autumn this year! What is your favorite autumn tradition? 

Sept. 5, 2019

Aluminum Wiring and What it Means for Your Home

The History

In 1965 home builders were facing a new challenge. There was a shortage of copper throughout the US. Between decades of military usage, new coins using copper (instead of silver), and the advantages of aluminum; home builders were not using copper in the wiring of their homes. Homes built between 1965 and the early 1970s, were wired primarily using aluminum wiring. 

Aluminum Wiring Benefits

Aluminum wiring was lighter than that of the copper wiring. This and the scarcity of copper are what lead to it being used. That is it.

Aluminum Wiring Problems

Aluminum is not able to conduct electricity as efficiently nor as safely as copper. Aluminum’s conductivity, when compared to copper, is only 61%. In addition to the lesser conductivity, aluminum is 55% more likely to become a fire hazard. Aluminum wiring can overheat and produce sparks, which become a fire hazard. Finally, aluminum wiring can become dangerous when it rusts. When aluminum wiring rusts, it loses the ability to conduct electricity and can cause overheating. 

Impact on Homeowner’s Insurance

Many insurance companies will not insure a home with aluminum wiring. If you are buying or selling a home for cash, this may not be an immediate concern. However; if the buyer is securing a mortgage, the mortgage company will more than likely not grant funts without the homeowner’s insurance. 

Solutions 

Rewiring a home can range from $3,500-$8,000 for a 1,200sqft home to $15,000+ for a 3,000sqft home. The truth is, it will be expensive. What is great though is that the selling process is a negotiation. As a seller, I could increase my equity in the home by rewiring it and then putting it on the market with a markup for the new wiring. As a buyer, I could get the owner to replace the wiring and split the cost by raising the sales price proportionately. There are an infinite number of other possibilities when it comes to how to tackle the re-wiring of the home but these may be the two simplest methods. 

 

If you’re interested in buying or selling your home in the Pensacola area, reach out to our office. We would love to assist you. We can help you through the minefield of home buying and selling.

 

Aug. 28, 2019

Does it Need a New Roof?

If you're buying, selling, or investing there is one question that you will want to ask: Does it need a new roof? 

 

Since hurricane Ivan in 2004 home insurance in Florida has been totally changed. Insurance companies paid more than $6 Billion in insurance claims. To assist in the future, insurance companies now have more stringent restrictions on the homes they insure.

The current number one issue with homes is the age of the roof. If your roof has 5 years or less left on its life you may have issues getting your home insured.

 

Here are the general life spans of different types of rooves

  • Flat 10 years
  • Shingles 3 Tab 15 years
  • Shingles Architectural 20 years
  • Metal 30 years
  • Tile 30 years

When you are buying, selling, or investing the age of the roof can be a powerful negotiation tool. Additionally, even if you are not concerned about your roof, your mortgage company might be. Mortgage companies require that mortgagees have home owner's insurance. This is to best protect your investment and theirs. 

So before you by or sell, check on the age of the roof!

 

 

Aug. 22, 2019

I Just Bought My First Home! Now What?

Now What?

This is one of the most challenging questions that someone can ask themselves. Especially if you've just bought a home. 

Here are a few things that Realty Masters suggests you do after you bought a home!

Taxes

What?? You mean I just went through ALLLL that paperwork and now you want me to do my taxes?? 

Well, I guess you don't have to do them right now, but you'll want to make sure that when. Buying a home can come with some great tax writeoffs! Here is a link where you can learn more about it: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p530.pdf

Update Your Address

You wouldn't want to have your Amazon package sent to the wrong address! After you buy a new house remember to change your address with the USPS. If your new home has a keyed mailbox, that's even more of a reason to update your address! Here is an article we wrote to help you get that changed: https://pensacola-gulfbreezehomes.realgeeks.com/blog/how-get-keys-your-communitys-mailbox/

Find Your New Local Spot

Every community has a "spot", the place you go to hang out and enjoy. Pensacola has dozens of cafe, parks, book stores, and shops. go on an expedition to find your new Spot! Check out Google maps to see what is around you. (If you're in the Pensacola area, be sure to check out Wild Honey https://www.facebook.com/wildhoneyfroyo/)

 

Congratulations on your new home! We hope this helped you find your "now what"!

 

 

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 13, 2019

Benefits of Flipping A Property

Have you ever seen a property where the price was too good to be true? Do those properties just have one vague photo of the front yard? Does the property description read "motivated sellers"? Congratulations! You have just found a listing for a potential investment property. 

What are some physical characteristics of an investment property you intend to flip?

Every property is different with its own unique set of needs. Here are some common property issues with investment properties:

  1. Surface mold
  2. Dated kitchen appliances
  3. Outdated color schemes 
  4. Musty smells
  5. Water damage
  6. Uneven floors, counters, and shelving
  7. Personal belongings of the previous owner
  8. Accordion doors
  9. Wallpaper
  10. Leaking roof
  11. Roaches, termites, mice, or/and rats
  12. Plumbing issues
  13. About a million other things

So if there is so much to do in a property why should I invest in flipping it?

Properties don't have problems so much as they have challenges. Each challenge takes a unique and creative mind to tackle it. There is a type of conquering feeling about overcoming each obstacle these homes can throw at you. In addition to the feeling of satisfaction from the flipping process, you will also get to personalize the home. 

Personalizing the home is so much more than choosing paint and flooring (although that is fun!). This is an opportunity to knock out a wall here or to put a window there. Everyone has those little things they wish they could do to improve the layout of a home, this is your opportunity.

Finally, the return on your investment. When you flip a property you have several options. You may love it so much you want to live there yourself. You may want to rent out their property for the additional monthly income. Or you may want to sell the property for a profit. 

Whether you are looking to invest in your fiftieth or your first investment property let us help you find the perfect house! And when you're ready to sell or rent out the property give us a call and we'll work hard to help you capitalize on your investment. 

What is your investment story? Let us know in the comments!

 

Aug. 8, 2019

Top Three Tips To Stage Your Home

The Competition

If you're selling your home, you're in a competition. The competition is between the home you're selling and all the other homes on the market. So what will make your home stand out? Things like location and floorplan of the home will be important to buyers, if your home meets those needs then you just need to show them how. 

The Opportunity

Staging a home is an opportunity to show people what the home could look and feel like if they lived there. Here are my top three tips for staging.

1. Pack any personal items and clutter

Family photos, your kid's art projects, those magazines you like; pack them all. A major part of selling any home is making the buyer see it as their home. It is hard to see something as yours when it is clearly someone else's.

2. Re-arrange the furniture

Minimalism is the key. If you have bulky furniture you can do without, a tv you can put in storage, or anything that would open up space, you'll want to put it away. The fewer things filling an area, the larger it will feel. Additionally, this is another way for someone to be able to figure out how they would fill the space with their belongings.

3. Bake some cookies

Finally, my favorite staging technique. Bake some cookies right before the showing. This will have two effects, your home will smell warm and inviting and you'll have a nice treat to welcome potential buyers. You would be amazed at the effectiveness of some chocolate chip cookies!

So pack up, tidy up, and bake your way to the sale of your house.

What are your favorite staging tricks? Let us know in the comments! 

July 26, 2019

Big Changes Headed to Pensacola

 

If you are at all like us, you love to shop and you love a good deal. That is why we're so excited about the two newest stores coming to Pensacola!

 

BJ's Wholesale

Have you ever wanted a store that has everything and has it in bulk? That is what BJ's is. It is a fantastic warehouse filled with books, food, electronics, movies, kayaks, and all sorts of supplies! Are you looking to get 10 boxes of browny mix and the latest flic? BJ's is where you'll want to be.

This is a club store much like Sam's Club, membership starts at $55 a year. 

The new BJ's will be located in University Plaza, replacing where the Sears used to stand.

 

Check out their website! https://www.bjs.com/

 

Five Below

This may be one of our favorite stores (especially with all the college students in town). This store is fantastic for decorating your home, getting essentials for a party, school supplies, birthday gifts, and more! 

This store will be located on Airport by the Marshalls and opening this Fall to accommodate all your trinket needs!

Check out their website! https://www.fivebelow.com/

We look forward to having these additions to our community! We're excited about the jobs it will create and the positive economic growth that it signifies. These companies are choosing to invest in Pensacola, how about you? 

 

 

July 17, 2019

Ready for Move-In!

As a buyer, move-in ready is a subjective term. Recently Realtor.com did an article called "What ‘Move-In Ready’ Really Means" One major thing that we can learn by looking at the results of this survey is that move-in ready means different things to different people. It goes along the lines of "one man's trash..." 

So what should you look for in a move-in ready home?

1. Updated appliances

When looking for a ready home, appliances can be very important. You will want to see what appliances the seller will be leaving and how old they are. Additionally, seeing if the property will have a washer and dryer staying in it would assist in it being considered ready. 

2. Professional Cleaning

There is nothing worse than moving into your new home and finding that there are signs of the previous owner everywhere. Hair, dust, dirt, and grime. While searching for a home ask if the seller will have the home professionally cleaned. 

3. Completed Maintenance 

Finally, you'll want to make sure that the home has all in-progress maintenance completed. This could be as simple as making sure that all patchwork and minor repairs are completed.

A major misconception is that a property is not move-in ready without new carpet and painting. The truth is with a little skilled patching, paint can look good as new and carpet generally has an 8-year life. With proper care, the home may be ready without these costly updates. 

Let us know what is most important to you in a move-in ready home in the comments!

 

 

Posted in Buying a Home
July 3, 2019

Pensacola Fire Works

 

 

Pensacola loves a good party so you can only imagine how lively our Independence Day activities will be! Across the city, there will be activities, food, and fireworks to celebrate. 

For the evening fireworks, there are two main places to be. Seville Square at 9 or Casino Beach at 8:30. 

These events fill up quickly so make sure to plan ahead and get your spot early!

So what should you bring to the fireworks show?

  1. Earplugs/ear protection
  2. Your family
  3. Your camera
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Portable phone charge
  6. A blanket to sit on
  7. Bottles of water

We're looking forward to another great year celebrating our nation's independence. Stay safe and have fun!

 

Posted in Community News
June 24, 2019

How To Fight the Bug Invasion

 

There are tons of wonderful things about living in Florida but one major thing we have to prepare for are the bugs. So here are a few tips and tricks to secure your home from pests.

 

  1. Make sure the seal around your windows and doors are solid. Replace any seals that are worn or broken.

  2. Dry up any water and fix leaks. Pests such as roaches are attracted to wet and damp areas.

  3. Spray the doors and windows of your home with pest deterrents such as Raid.

  4. Clean all dishes immediately and don’t leave any sitting in the sink for extended periods of time.

  5. Try to keep the temperature in your home down as most pests are attracted to warmer areas.

  6. Make sure all your food is sealed.

  7. Manage all cracks and holes in your home so that pests are not able to enter.

  8. Find a local professional to treat your home.

    1. Tombstone: https://tombstonepestcontrol.com/

    2. Terminix: https://www.terminix.com/

  9. Sweep brush and leaves away from your home regularly.

  10. Spray peppermint oil throughout your home. This is a natural way that will repel insects.

 

Do you have any tricks or tips to keep pests out? Comment below!