Monday, November 26, 2012

Dripping Dollars

Conserving water to be green while lowering your monthly bill to save green is a beneficial combination. Little things can contribute significantly to a large water bill.

  • Leaky faucets can waste over 1,000 gallons a year
  • Leaky toilets can waste 7,000 gallons a month
  • A five-minute shower saves more water than a tub bath
  • Water running while you brush your teeth or shave
  • Sprinkler heads need to be adjusted to spray on the yard only
  • Install a rain sensor on sprinkler system
  • Pool equipment can be a hidden source of wasted water
A larger than normal water bill can be your first indication you have a leak. Then, you'll need to track it down.
  1. Turn off all the water faucets and appliances; don't forget the ice maker.
  2. Open the water meter, usually located near the sidewalk in the front of the house. You may need a water key that can be purchased from a home improvement store or possibly borrowed from a neighbor.
  3. Locate the dial indicating water usage. It should not be moving since all of the water is off. If it is still moving, verify that you have turned off anything that might be using water.
  4. If it appears to be still, make a mark with a Sharpie and wait 15 minutes. If the flow indicator has moved, you probably have a leak.
  5. Now that you've confirmed that you have a leak, you may need help in locating it. A plumber or leak specialist may be able to help you track it down and repair it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Perfect Weather for a trip to Fort Pickens

Explore Pensacola's Rich History at Fort Pickens
It's perfect weather to visit Fort Pickens on Pensacola Beach.

Entrance to Fort Pickens area at Pensacola Beach~

Fort Pickens is located on Pensacola Beach, FL and is the largest of four forts constructed to protect Pensacola Bay. Completed in 1834, this historic landmark was restored by the National Park Service in 1976. 

Fort Pickens is open to the public as part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Fort Pickens is open daily from 8 am to sunset. Daily admission charges are $8 per vehicle. You can also purchase an annual pass to Gulf Islands National Park Service which allows for entrance into Fort Pickens and Johnsons Beach in Perdido Key, FL.

Spend a day exploring Fort Pickens at Pensacola Beach, FL~
Explore the main Fort and the ten concrete gun batteries that surround the Fort Pickens park area.  Soak up the sun and some history by taking a ranger guided tour at 2pm daily.  You can also choose a self guided tour and explore the park at your leisure.

Map of Fort Pickens ~ Gulf Islands National Seashore with batteries and fort areas!
With so much to do and see at Fort Pickens, the admission to the park is well worth the cost. Days of entertainment and rich history await you at Fort Pickens. Fort Pickens is surrounded by gorgeous white sand beaches including popular Langdon Beach along the Gulf of Mexico.  In addition, you will find the following activities at Fort Pickens and Gulf Islands National Seashore.

  • Fishing from the Fort Pickens Pier
  • Snorkeling Reef
  • Hiking Trails
  • Biking Trails
  • Camping Grounds
  • Birding Trails
  • Observing wildlife in their natural habitat 
  • Stargazing with Pensacola Astronomers Association
  • View of Pensacola Lighthouse from Fort Pickens~
    With so much to do at Fort Pickens, it's no surprise that Fort Pickens is rated #5 on trip advisors top attractions in the Pensacola Bay area!

    Fort Pickens is situated on a peninsula on Pensacola Beach. From the North side of Fort Pickens, you have a fabulous view of the Pensacola Lighthouse, another favorite local attractions, located on Naval Air Station Pensacola. 
    Battery Worth Picnic area & Bike Trail~ Pensacola Beach, FL

    Butterflies at Pensacola Beach, FL ~
    Birding is very popular at Fort Pickens in Pensacola Beach.
    Because Fort Pickens is protected by Gulf Islands National Park, wildlife is abundant in this area. Currently, a large number of butterflies are making their way through Fort Pickens for the annual butterfly migration. 

    Along with beautiful weather and mild temperatures, October and November are two of the best months to explore Fort Pickens.  Just make sure to wear close toed shoes, drink plenty of fluids, and wear your sunscreen!

    Have you been to Fort Pickens and want to share your experience? Have any questions about Fort Pickens? Feel free to ask us here or email me directly at

    See you at Fort Pickens!
    Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate & Beach Bum
    Realty Masters of FL ~ #1 in Pensacola Rental homes!
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
    Over 45 apartments and homes for rent in the Pensacola area.
    Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    What's the Point?

    What you need to know about Points & Tax Deductions when buying and refinancing your home!

    Pre-paid interest, sometimes called "points", is generally tax deductible when a person pays them in connection with buying, building or improving their principal residence. When points are paid on a refinance, they are not a current deduction but have to be taken pro-rata over the life of the mortgage.

    For instance, if $3,000 in points were paid on refinancing a 30 year mortgage, deduction of $100 per year is allowed. When the loan is paid off or replaced by refinancing again or the home is sold and the mortgage paid off from the proceeds, the balance of any un-deducted points may be taken in that tax year.

    Your tax professional needs to be made aware of any of these situations so that he can accurately reflect the deduction in your return. Currently, the most common situation is where homeowners may be refinancing their home for the second, third or even fourth time. If there are points that have not been completely deducted, they need to be treated in the year of refinancing.
    For more information, see points in IRS Publication 936; there is a section on refinancing in this publication. For advice considering your specific situation, contact your tax professional.

    Talk to you soon!
    Pam Keen Brantley, Broker Associate, CRS
    Realty Masters of FL (850) 473 3983
    Email me at

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

    One Warm Coat Drive at Realty Masters

    One Warm Coat Drive at Realty Masters
    Clean out your closet and help the Pensacola area community. 
    Coat donations in Pensacola, FL
    One Warm Coat Drive in Pensacola, FL
    Have you ever found yourself in a chilly situation without the proper clothes on to keep you warm? If so, you may very well know how uncomfortable it can be and how all you can think about is getting somewhere warm. It’s hard to believe that in this country (and right here in our community) there are still those, children included, without warm coats and proper winter attire to keep them warm in the winter months, but there are many who suffer silently all winter long due to financial inability to provide for themselves or their children.

    One Warm Coat Project! Please donate your old coats.
    I would like to spread the word about a community project that Realty Masters is participating in this winter season. We will be collecting clean warm coats and jackets to be distributed, free of charge, to local children and adults by  charitable agencies in the area. The staff of Realty Masters is asking for your support in our “One Warm Coat drive.”  You can drop off, clean and reusable, coats and jackets at our office, 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m., on Saturdays.
    We will provide a box outside for you to put the items in or you are welcome to come inside and say hello and give your donation to one of the staff members at the Realty Masters office. We will provide you with a charitable receipt for your taxes and a donation sticker.
    Drop your warm coats at Realty Masters office located in
    Cordova Square at 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL.
    If you do not have transportation or just can’t make it to the drop off site, please give Keven a call and he will schedule to pick them up from your location. You can reach Keven at the office 850-473-3983 or on his direct line at 850-304-5236.

    Please have your donated coat in to the Realty Masters drop off location or schedule with Keven to have your items picked up by December 20, 2012. We will deliver the coats to the organizations to be distributed out to those in need on Friday December 21st, 2012, the first day of Winter.
    Realty Masters and the “One Warm Coat drive” thank you in advance for your participation in the effort to provide as many people as possible with that needed warm coat and the acknowledgement that we care and that they are not alone during this holiday season.

    Thanks for your donation!
    Keven Ard, Broker Associate
    Realty Masters of FL ~ #1 in Pensacola Rental homes!
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
    Over 45 apartments and homes for rent in the Pensacola area.
    Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos


    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Neighborhood Profile: Grand Pointe in Gulf Breeze

    Neighborhood Profile:  Grand Pointe in Gulf Breeze
    Proximity to Gulf Breeze Schools makes this neighborhood a favorite among local residents.
    Grand Pointe is an upscale community with beautiful homes and well maintained landscaping.  It's proximity to Gulf Breeze Proper makes it a popular subdivision as it's only a 10 minute drive to Pensacola Beach or Downtown Pensacola including access to I-10. 
    Entrance to Grand Pointe Community off Hwy 98~

    This community was largely developed between 1995 and 2008. According to one of the board members, "It's a place to raise a family or enjoy your golden years."  With a community park and annual community events, more than 200 residents live in and enjoy the Grand Pointe Neighborhood.

    The Subdivision is located 4 miles east of Gulf Breeze Proper. The traffic light on Hwy 98 allows vehicles to enter the front entrance to Kelton Blvd.  The rear entrance to Grand Pointe is off of East Bayshore Rd. on to Mary Kate Dr.

    Private Park at Grand Pointe in Gulf Breeze, FL
    Street names in the subdivision include the main road of Kelton Blvd., as well as Mary Fox Dr., Meek St., Frank Cir., Abbie Elizabeth Ct., Grand Pointe Dr., Mary Lou Ln., Edmund Dr., Angel Ct., and Shadow Ridge Ct. There are several phases in the Grand Pointe Community with over 200 homes.
    Neighborhood Amenities
    • Private Neighborhood Park
    • Community Picnics & Events
    • Community Newsletter
    • Sidewalks in Subdivision
    • Underground Utilities
    Proximity to Major Employers
    • 4 Miles to Gulf Breeze Elementary, Middle, and High School
    • 1 Mile to Gulf Islands National Seashore
    • <5 Miles to 2 public boat launches
    • 5 Miles to Pensacola Beach
    • 22 miles to NAS Pensacola (40 minute drive time)
    • 26 Miles to University of West Florida (40 minute drive time)
    School Districts for Grand Pointe in Gulf Breeze
    All three schools are located on Hwy 98 in Gulf Breeze Proper approximately 4 miles west of the Grand Pointe Neighborhood. Buses for each school run at different times. For more information, visit the Santa Rosa County School District website! 
    Gulf breeze Elementary, Middle, and High Schools
    Gulf Breeze Schools along Hwy 98. 4 Miles E of Grand Pointe

    Grand Pointe Homeowners Association
    As with most new construction communities, there is an active Homeowners Association in this community. Prior to renting or purchasing a home in this community, please familiarize yourself with the covenants and restrictions which govern the neighborhood. This association is professionally managed by our company, Realty Masters.  Yearly dues are assessed in the amount of $200 and cover association management, common ground maintenance, signage, and enforcing the rules and regulations for the community. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Email for more information.
    Different styles of homes in the Grand Pointe Community~ Homes range 2,000 to 5,500 square feet- most with side entry garages
    Grand Pointe in Gulf Breeze, FL Homes for Sale
    Since January 1, 2012, almost two dozen homes have sold in the Grand Pointe community with sales prices ranging between $270,000 to $850,000 and an average sales price of $420,000. For a current listing of homes for sale in Grand Pointe, email Pam Keen Brantley at or call her at (850) 232-2200.
    Grand Pointe in Gulf Breeze, FL Homes for Rent
    Grand Pointe is a community of luxury brick homes ranging from approximately 2,000 square feet to 5,500 square feet. Since January 1, 2012, five homes have rented in the Grand Pointe community with rents ranging from $1500 to $2700 per month and an average monthly rental rate of $1,980. Availability changes daily, so make sure to email me if you are interested in renting a home in the Grand Pointe Community or other similar Gulf Breeze neighborhoods.

    Until next time,
    Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
    Realty Masters of FL ~ #1 in Pensacola Rentals
    Call us with your questions (850) 473-3983
    Over 45 rental homes and apartments
    Like us on Facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our Videos

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Are your colorful walls costing you money?

    Is your color costing you $$$?
    Take a good look around your house and ask yourself!

    Most of us are not HGTV design stars. More often than not, when  we try to customize and decorate our walls with bold, bright colors, the result is not what we anticipated! 
    Take for example, these patterned and sponge painted walls.
    Paint your walls neutral if you intend on renting or selling!
    Time consuming projects such as these don't always produce the intended results!
    These projects are time consuming and require a lot of money and energy to produce. While you may enjoy them, the majority of the public will not. When it's time to rent or sell your home, you need to examine the colors in your home and ask yourself a few questions:

    Do these colors appeal to the masses?
    Will ihese colors match someone elses furniture?
    Will the wall colors or patterns distract the buyer or renter?
    Will they get past the pictures and come look at your home?

    Sometimes, it's not a specific color, but a combination of colors that do not mesh well together! And some colors we love, but wouldn't want to see a whole room painted in them. Unless you have a great sense of style, we suggest staying away from any paint colors that are too bright, too dark, neon, or using a combination of too many colors.
    Bright neon colors do not appeal to the majority of renters or buyers!
    Bright colors do not release a calming, inviting tone that neutral paint colors tend to!

    First impressions are everything! Especially when you are trying to rent or sell your home, wall colors matter.  If your walls are personalized with bold colors, get rid of them!
    Neutral wall colors are more appealing
    to the general public at whole!
    Studies show that neutral colors throughout a home are preferred to brightly colored or patterned walls.  A calming neutral tone throughout your home can increase your property's value and decrease the amount of time on the market. So break out your paint brushes, find the right neutral color for you, and get to painting! 

    Here's a few of our favorite articles on choosing the right neutral color for your home:
    Do you live in the Pensacola area and have questions about renting or selling your home? Give us a call at (850) 473-3983, email us or post your questions here.

    Realty Masters of FL ~ #1 in Pensacola Rental homes!
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
    Over 45 apartments and homes for rent in the Pensacola area.
    Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Waterproof Camera + Pensacola Beach=

    Find Paradise at Pensacola Beach
    Sit back, relax, and watch this soothing video of the waves at Pensacola Beach~

    It's November and we're just feeling the effects of Fall here along the Florida Panhandle. With temperatures still in the high 70's, there are still some beachgoers during the warmest hours of the day along Navarre Beach, Perdido Key, and Pensacola Beach.

    Our agents took one last trip in the chilly beach waters so we could share paradise with you. Enjoy the serenity Pensacola Beach offers while letting the waves take you away.

    Make sure to visit our website for more information on Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.

    Interested in moving to the Pensacola area? Email with the subject line "Relocation" and we'll send you some information on the Pensacola area. Or give our friendly agents a call Monday through Saturday at (850) 473-3983.

    See you at the beach!
    Realty Masters of FL ~ #1 in Pensacola Rental homes!
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
    Over 45 apartments and homes for rent in the Pensacola area.
    Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival~ Pensacola, FL

    Annual Art Festival popular among Pensacolian's
    Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival in Downtown Pensacola~

    Great Gulfcoast Art Festival in Seville Square, Pensacola~

    Art Festival in Seville Square in Downtown Pensacola
    Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival in Seville Square- Downtown Pensacola, FL
    This past weekend, thousands of Pensacola area residents crowded Seville Square in downtown Pensacola for the years most anticipated art festival:  The Great Gulfcoast Art Festival.  Residents from all over the Gulf Coast flock to downtown Pensacola to celebrate the arts. 

    The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival features over 200 national and local artists from all over the United States! These artists not only showcase and sell their artwork, but also compete in a juried contest to win over $25,000 in prizes.
    Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival in Downtown Pensacola
    Crystal Sculptures at the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival~
    Prizes are given in the following categories:
    Downtown Pensacola ~ Seville Square~ Gulfcoast Arts Festival
    • Ceramics
    • Drawing
    • Fiber/ Leather
    • Glass
    • Jewerly
    • Mixed Media
    • Oil/ Acrylic
    • Photography
    • Printmaking/ Graphics
    • Sculpture
    • Watercolor
    • Wood
    As with all good festivals in the Pensacola area, plenty of live music and delicious food accompany this event.  Admission to the festival is free.

    The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is by far the largest art festival in the Pensacola area.

    Next years Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is scheduled for Friday-Sunday, November 1, 2, and 3, 2013 so mark it on your calendars! For more information, visit their website here.

    Festivals in downtown Pensacola
    Residents enjoy wood art at the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival in downtown Pensacola!

    Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival in Downtown Pensacola!
    See you there,
    Realty Masters of FL ~ #1 in Pensacola area rental homes
    (850) 473-3983 ~ Over 45 rental homes & apartments
    Like us on Facebook~ Follow our pins~ Watch our Videos

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    Our boss featured in Florida Realtor Magazine!

    Our boss featured in Florida Realtor Magazine!
    Realty Masters broker, Pam Keen Brantley, interviewed for real estate publication.

    Congratulations to our boss and broker, Pam Keen Brantley, for being featured in this months issue of Florida Realtor Magazine. This popular Florida real estate publication is a monthly must read among Florida real estate agents.We are proud to have Pam Keen Brantley represent the Pensacola area and Northwest Florida real estate. 
    Realty Masters boss Pam Keen Brantley featured
    in Florida Realtor Magazine November 2012 issue~

    Pam and her staff at Realty Masters received safety tips and advice from safety expert Dr. Andrew Wooten. The article is entitled "Don't Run with Scissors: And other Safety Tips."
    Did you know that November is National Safety Month? Since this interview, Realty Masters has increased safety policies and procedures to protect our employees and clients.

    If you are interested in purchasing a home in the Pensacola, Florida area, email or give her a call at (850) 232-2200.  Pam specializes in investment real estate and assisting clients with purchasing income producing real estate investments.

    If you are in need of profesional property management services in Escambia or Santa Rosa Counties in Florida- email or give us a call at (850) 473-3983. For more information about our property management services, visit our website at

    Stay safe out there!
    Realty Masters of FL  ~ #1 in Pensacola Rental homes!
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
    Over 45 apartments and homes for rent in the Pensacola area.
    Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    Voting in the Pensacola area!

    When and where to vote for the 2012 election.
    Realty Masters answers your questions on voting in the Pensacola area!

    With less than 4 days until the 2012 presidential election, many Escambia and Santa Rosa County voters still have questions on voting policies and procedures. We are here to provide the information you need to ensure your vote is included!

    There are 3 Ways to Vote:
    Santa Rosa County Early Voting Locations:
    Milton Elections Office, 6495 Caroline St. (behind McDonalds on Hwy 90)
    South Service Center, 5841 Gulf Breeze Pkwy (1 block east of zoo on Hwy 98)

    Escambia County Early Voting Locations:
  • Supervisor of Elections Main Office, 213 Palafox Place, 2nd Floor
  • Supervisor of Elections Annex, 292 Muscogee Road, Cantonment
  • West Florida Public Library, 200 West Gregory Street
  • Tryon Branch Library, 1200 Langley Ave
  • Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway

    • Absentee Vote- Must be turned in before 7pm on election day, November 6, 2012.
    • At the Polls- Vote on election day, Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Polls are open from 7 am to 7 pm.
    Where to Vote:
    To find your voting location for election day, use this free search for Escambia County and Santa Rosa County.

    To check your voters status:
    Visit the Florida Division of Elections here. Don't worry, if you are reported as inactive due to address verification, you may update your address at the polls and vote immediately on election day.

    Please remember, you do not have to have your voters registration card, but you will need a photo ID and signature verification.

    Online Voters Guides for the Pensacola area
    For an Escambia County voters guide, click here (Pensacola, Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach, Cantonment, Molino)
    For a Santa Rosa County 2012 voters guide, click here (Navarre, Gulf Breeze, Pace, Milton)

    Read up on the Proposed Amendments for 2012 here.

    Have any other questions? Ask us below! Happy Voting everyone.

    Until next time,
    Realty Masters of FL ~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management!
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
    Over 45 rentals at
    Like us on Facebook~ Follow our pins~ Watch our Videos