Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Your tax documents - what to keep and shred

(BPT) - Whether you use old-fashioned manila filing folders, a flash drive or cloud storage, tax and personal finance authorities agree on the importance of saving tax documents and records. In addition to using the information for preparing your next income tax return, it may come in handy years from now.

"Your tax data is helpful and often required in many non-tax financial situations," says TaxACT spokesperson Jessi Dolmage. "For instance, insurance companies, lenders and creditors often use tax information to verify income and asset value. Form W-2s can provide proof of income if your Social Security benefits are less than what they should be."

Information to save for your next tax return

Organizing and saving information throughout the year will cut tax return preparation time and can even save you money. Save any information related to:

* Income from wages, dividends, interest or business: Forms W-2, 1099, and K-1, bank statements, brokerage statements

* Deductions and credits (child care expenses, medical and dental expenses, business use of home, charitable gifts, vehicle sales tax, alimony): Receipts, invoices, mileage logs, bank or credit card statements, canceled checks

* Home and property: Closing statements, invoices, proof of payment, insurance records, receipts for improvements

* Investments: Forms 1099 and 2439, brokerage statements, mutual fund statements

While you don't need a fancy or high-tech organizing system, you do need to keep the information in a secure place. Consider saving electronic copies to the cloud or on a backup storage device in addition to, or in place of, your paper files.

"One of the key advantages of going digital is that your tax information is better protected from natural disasters," says Dolmage. "Saving electronically also means you can access the information anywhere from a mobile device."

Apps and websites make digitizing documents easy. TaxACT DocVault is a free mobile app and website specifically designed to create and save secure, digital copies of tax documents. At tax time, import DocVault images into TaxACT Deluxe to save with your return.

What to keep after filing your taxes and how long to keep it

Knowing what information to save and for how long can be confusing. As a general rule of thumb, keep tax returns and related documents for at least three years from the April 15 filing deadline.

* Three years: Tax return forms and schedules plus all information to support what you claimed on your return, especially records related to property, investments, or business assets (for depreciation). While there are exceptions, the IRS has three years to assess additional tax and audit returns. Three years is also the amount of time you have to amend your return.

* Four years: Many income-taxing states have an additional year to audit individual returns.

* Six years: Forms W-2, 1099, etc. because the IRS has six years to contact you if you've failed to report income.

* Seven years: Any information regarding loss from worthless securities or bad debts.

Certain documents should be saved longer. "Information related to your home, property, investments and retirement plans should be kept indefinitely," says Dolmage. "If you dispose of an asset, be sure to keep the information for another three years."

Business owners should keep tax information for at least four years. That includes employment records, gross receipts, invoices, bank statements, proofs of purchase, asset records, databases, emails and even voicemails.

Refer to IRS Publication 552 at www.irs.gov for more information about tax recordkeeping, Publications 583 and 463 provide specific information for businesses. Visit www.taxact.com/apps to download TaxACT DocVault for free.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pensacola Real Estate Market Update

Pensacola Real Estate Market Update
Home sales continues to increase in the Pensacola area.

According to Pensacola MLS statistics, the number of Pensacola homes rented this year fell slightly from previous years.  Inversely, the number of homes sold continues to increase. 

Economists predict home sales will continue to increase and forecast that fewer will rent. Other predictions include:
  • Increase in first time home buyers from millienials
  • Decrease in investor sales
  • Mortgage rates will gradually increase
  • Home sales and home prices will gradually increase
  • Increase in new home construction
If you have any questions or want more statistics about the Pensacola real estate area, contact our broker Pam Brantley (850) 232-2200 or email her at Pam@PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

Thanks and have a great day,
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Rental Homes!
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983
Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poising
Tragic case of carbon monoxide poisoning claims the life of three Pensacola residents.

Pensacola residents are mourning the loss of three Pensacola area residents who passed away this week from carbon monoxide poisoning.  We are so sad for this family who suffered poisoning after using a propane heater without proper ventilation. Read more about this story here: http://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/2014/12/11/one-killed-carbon-monoxide-leak/20241655/

If you have a gas heater, hot water heater or stove, you could potentially be subject to carbon monoxide poisoning.  A gas leak can occur inside your home from your appliances or outside your home from the main gas line. Carbon monoxide poisoning can also be caused from burning charcoal or wood, This colorless, odorless, tasteless gas is extremely dangerous because it is so hard to detect without a carbon monoxide detector.

Plug in Carbon Monoxide Detector in Pensacola Home
Plug in Carbon Monoxide Detector in Pensacola Home
Protect Yourself

A carbon monoxide detector can be purchased for under $25 from online or at your local hardware or Walmart. If you have a multi-story home, you should have one on each level.

 There are two basic types of carbon monoxide detectors. 
  • Wall mounted, battery operated carbon monoxide detector (either just CO2 or combo CO2 & smoke detector)
  • Plug in (usually with battery back up) carbon monoxide detector
Carbon monoxide detectors expire after 10 years. Check the date on yours to ensure it's still effective.

Wall mounted CO2 detector in Pensacola Home
Wall mounted CO2 detector in Pensacola Home
Warning Signs of a Gas Leak:
  • Carbon monoxide detector alerts
  • You may hear a hissing, leaking or roaring sound
  • You may smell a foul odor
Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomitting
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Chest pains
Tragically, serious cases of carbon monoxide poisoning lead to death.  It is important to recognize the grave dangers of a gas leak and to stay informed with the use of carbon monoxide detectors.

If you suspect a gas leak, immediately vacate your home! Call your gas company immediately and do not re-enter your home until it is safe to do so.  Pensacola Energy's emergency number is (850) 474-5300.

The Pensacola Police Department is holding a blanket drive now through December 22, 2014. Consider donating some new or used blankets to be distributed to those struggling to keep warm this winter.   Bring your donations to 711 N. Haynes St. in Pensacola or call

More Resources:

Thanks and have a great day,
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Rental Homes!
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983
Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The New Landlord: Basic Rental Laws

The New Landlord:  Basic Rental Laws
Zillow study shows renters & landlords don't understand basic rental laws.    

I found this research study completed this year by Zillow to be fascinating.  With over 100 million renters in the US, it appears that 1 in 2 renters lack a basic knowledge of landlord and tenant laws.  Surprisingly enough, even 50% of landlords lack the same basic knowledge!  

The study showed that both landlords and tenants have a hard time understanding:

  • Laws surrounding security deposits
  • Laws surrounding background checks and credit checks
  • Laws surrounding privacy and access rights
  • Laws surrounding early lease termination
As many as 82% of renters and 76% of landlords reportedly do not understand the laws surrounding security deposits and credit/ background checks.

How knowledgeable are you?
Take this fun 10 question Zillow Quiz designed to test your Landlord & Renter IQ. What did you score?

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, it's imperative that you develop an understanding and abide by all regulations set forth by all the bodies and ordinances which govern landlord and tenant laws.  

Just a few of the regulatory bodies you must consider when leasing your home! 
Professional Property Managers
As a professional property management company, our job is to continually monitor, learn, and comply with all national, state, and local laws that affect the housing market. Because we are not attorneys, we have a team of real estate attorneys on retainer to help us when we are unsure of how to interpret the lengthy laws. 

Are you a Florida landlord or interested in becoming one? 
Make sure to follow our blog series "The New Landlord: Tips & Tricks for the Profitable Landlord" for more advice on how to be an effective landlord!   See our past articles including:

Thanks and have a great day,
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Rental Homes!
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983
Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Homes for Heroes

Homes for Heroes
Do you qualify as a local hero to take advantage of this home buying program?

Pam Brantley, broker of Realty Masters, is now a registered Homes for Heroes Realtor! As Pam is a retired navy nurse, she is very excited to help community heroes take advantage of the Homes for Heroes program.

Through Homes for Heroes, Pam works with a preferred group to honor special community heroes. All participating companies, including the realtor, offer significant discounts and rebates to help ease the upfront costs associated with buying or selling a home.

This program thanks:

  • Active duty military
  • Veterans
  • Educators
  • Firefighters and EMT
  • Police Officers
  • Medical Field 
The Homes for Heroes website quotes an average savings of $2,000 for these groups! 

Learn more here:

Realty Masters is happy to participate in this program by giving a percentage of her commission back to Homes for Heroes to help pay your closing costs whether you are buying or selling a home.

Do you qualify?
To learn more about this valuable program and to find out if you qualify, email or call her at Realty Masters at (850) 473-3983.

Thanks and have a great day,
Pam Keen, Broker, CRS, USNR
Realty Masters of FL ~

(850) 473 3983
Find your dream home.http://www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Restaurants thriving in Downtown Pensacola

New Restaurants thriving in Downtown Pensacola~ 
Pensacola area residents enjoy new dining choices on Palafox.

Long gone are the days of choosing pizza or a hamburger when dining in Downtown Pensacola. Just a few years ago, residents had few choices for dining in the heart of Downtown Pensacola.  With staples like New York Nicks, Hopjacks, and later Tin Cow, Palafox has seen several new restaurants like The Wine Bar on Palafox, Beef O Brady's, Jacos, Carmens Lunch Bar, and even al Fresco.

One of the most popular new restaurants thriving in downtown Pensacola is Khon's on Palafox. Their slogan is "Authentic Southeast Asian Cuisine, Sushi, and Fine Sake."

Khon's is located at 34 Palafox Pl., and is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11 to 2 pm and for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 pm.  View their menu which includes a wide variety of sushi, tapas, fried rice and noodle bowls here: http://www.khonsonpalafox.com/

Downtown Pensacola Restaurants
Khon's Southeast Asian Cuisine is a new restaurant thriving on Palafox St. in Downtown Pensacola~ 

Following the success of Khon's, a second sushi restaurant opened on Palafox, Nom Sushi Izakaya, Nom has received 5 star reviews since it opened in October.  Nom is located at 410 S. Palafox St. near the intersection of Main St. in the SOGO district of Downtown Pensacola.

Also new in the SOGO district is So Chopped, located inside of the Bodacious Brew at 407 S. Palafox St.  This salad bar style restaurant is the first of its type in the Pensacola area. So Chopped offers over 40 different salad bar toppings including a variety of greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, and cheeses.  So Chopped is open Monday through Friday for lunch between 10:30 to 5:30 pm and open on Saturdays from 10:30 to 2:30 pm.

Cars line Palafox St. at dinner time! 
V. Paul's Italian Restaurant has also been popular with Pensacolians since it opened this summer.   V. Paul's Italian Restaurant is located at 29 Palafox Pl. In addition to a fancy restaurant with a full bar and a banquet space available for lease.

V. Paul's offers fine Italian cuisine with seafood, duck, veal, chicken, steak and vegetarian options.  You can view their menu here: http://vpauls.com/menu/

What are your favorite restaurants Downtown?
Want to know more about new real estate developments in Downtown Pensacola?  Read this:

Thanks and have a great day,
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983

Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 year low for First Time Home Buyers

First Time Home Buyers buying less!
NAR reports 30 year low in first time home buyers.

The National Association of Realtors released their annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers earlier this month.  Only 33% of those who bought homes were first time home buyers, compared to 38% last year. 

Historically, this represents the lowest percentage of first time home buyers since 1987 marking a 30 year low.  Despite a recovering economy and historically low interest rates, millennials are not purchasing homes. Millenials make up the young adults born between early 1980's and early 2000's. 

Economists are citing several reasons for this dip:
Pensacola Real Estate
Pensacola Real Estate ~ Several deals available for first time
home buyers!
  • High student loan debt
  • Millienials are getting married and starting families later in life
  • More young adults living at home
  • Harder to save up down payment with rising rent costs
  • Lack of consumer confidence
According to NAR, the median age of first time home buyers was 31 years old, and the average home price for first time home buyers was $169,000.

There is good news! With an average home price of $175,000 for the Pensacola Real Estate Market in 2014, many of the homes on the market are available for a first time home buyer to purchase.  We are working with several Pensacola area lenders who have special loan programs that can offer 100% financing.  Are you interested in purchasing your first home? Email Nicoles@PensacolaRealtyMasters.com or just call our sales team at (850) 473-3983.

The drop in first time home buyers is reported to be holding back the housing recovery.  Are you a millienial? If so, what is holding you back from making the leap to homeownership?

Thanks and have a great day,
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983

Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beulah, FL area continues to grow

Beulah area of Pensacola continues to grow.
New jobs at Navy Federal bring continued growth to Beulah.
More great news for Beulah! 

Last month, Navy Federal Credit union announced 5,000 more jobs coming to the Pensacola headquarters.

Navy Federal Credit Union off Beulah Rd.
Navy Federal Credit Union off Beulah Rd.

Last week, Escambia County residents voted to renew the half cent sales tax for education which will fund a new elementary and middle school. 

Beulah, one of the fastest growing areas in Pensacola, is located in Northern Escambia County, FL 32526 off US Hwy 90 ( 9 Mile Rd ) and is convenient to I-10, UWF, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Beulah Park.

Because of this growth, we are seeing an increased amount of sales activity in the Beulah real estate market. If you are looking for a home to lease or purchase in the Beulah, FL area near Navy Federal Credit Union, call our friendly agents at (850) 473-3983. 

Below is one of the newest listings in the Beulah area, a four bedroom home in Busbee Plantation.   This home is for sale $147,500 ~ View more photos on our home website http://www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

This newly built, 4 bedroom 2 bath home located at 6777 Fort Deposit Rd., Pensacola, FL 32526 in the Beulah area.  If you are looking to purchase a home in the Pensacola area or want to tour this home, call us at (850) 473 3983 or email Nicoles@PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

Thanks and have a great day,
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983

Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pensacola Septic Tank Contractors

Pensacola area Septic Tank Contractors. 
List of FL Department of Health Licensed Septic Tank Contractors

A septic tank or drain field line repair can be costly.  Many times, permits are required. Because of these reasons, it's important to choose an experienced septic tank company with the proper

We were given this comprehensive list of Pensacola area septic tank contractors who are licensed and recommended by the Florida Department of Health.

Florida Department of Health Licensed Septic Tank Contractors

Santa Rosa County Septic Tank Contractors 

AAA Thompson’s Septic – 850-994-8221                               
BST Installation – 850-939-3186 or 932- 6720                                                     
Carter & Sons Septic – 850-994-4008         
 Emerald Coast Plumbing & Septic – 850-994-3976                                           
Joey Crews – 850-994-4008                         
Joseph Reader – 850-554-0594                                              
Jr. Peaden Septic – 850-623-5634                                     
O.C. Peaden Septic – 850-995-5917                      
Odom Environmental Services – 850-995-8585 
P&P Septic (Exempt Plumber) – 850-623-9365                   `               
Reed’s Septic & Plumbing – 850-981-2356 or 232-5638 
WPR, Inc. – 850-626-7777                    

Santa Rosa County Important Numbers

Addressing – 981-7000                                                                      Building Department – 981-7000
Clerk of Courts – 983-1973                                                               Environmental Control – 981-7090
Midway Annex – 934-8099                                                               Milton Eh Office – 983-5200 X. 167
Property Appraiser- 983-1880                                                         Records Research – 983-1966
Zoning – 981-7000
Santa Rosa County Water Companies

Bagdad- Garcon – 623-8508                              Berrydale- 675-6086                          Chumuckla- 994-3001
City Of Milton – 983-5401                                 East Milton – 623-8750                      Garcon Utilities – 623-6774
Gulf Breeze – 834-5100                                     Holley-Navarre – 939-2427               Jay – 675-4556
Mount Carmel – 675-6174                                     Midway – 932-5188           Navarre Beach – 981-888

Pace – 994-5129                                                 Point Baker – 623-4545                     South Santa Rosa – 934-5110 

Escambia County Septic Tank Contractors 
Anthony’s – 850-477-2232         
Boyette’s – 850-944-5536                                                               
Chavers Septic – 850-474-1966                 
Clyde’s Septic – 850-453-2982                                             
Economy Septic Services – 850-968-5130 
Ensley Septic – 850-476-9610                                             
Johnson Septic – 850-327-4988  
 NASSEF – 850-484-2700                                                    
Ron’s Septic – 850-944-3899                                               
Root-A-Sewer – 8050-944-0705                     
Southern Septic Services- 850-587-4330 or 1800-237-9223          

Escambia County Important Numbers

Building Department- 850-595-3550                   Clerk of Courts Official Records 850-595-3930 
Planning and Zoning-    850-595-3475                Property Appraiser -  850-434-2735 

Escambia County Water Companies

ECUA  850-476-0480        People's Water -  850-455-8552

Okaloosa County Septic Tank Contractors 

William Arnett – 850-682-8882  
Florida Septic – 850-837- 7200                                                            
Fowlers Septic – 850-682-5233  
Rodgers-Grant Septic – 850-632-4021                                                                              
Superior Septic – 850-994-7200                                                            
Willie Harmon – 850-243-8047        
Wilkinson Septic – 850-682-4832                                                                        
Zeb Watts Septic Tank Underground Inc – 850-826-2982

Thanks and have a great day,
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983

Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Easy ways to renovate your kitchen

You may have your reservations about renovating your kitchen. After all, there's all the noise, dust and lack of mobility while your kitchen is getting renovated. Also, there is the cost factor to consider. However, with a little planning in mind you can take care of all these things in a manner that works for you. You can make use of all the resources available in the market to make sure that you have what it takes to renovate your kitchen and live through the process. It is actually a very simple process if you think about it. All the information that you have and all the products that you need are available. All you need to do is make the right choices and you are set to renovate your kitchen. Of course, your kitchen will be unavailable for use for the next few days. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have made arrangements so your daily routine is not affected. This is most important as the kitchen forms an important part of your household. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have arrangements ready as a substitute for not using your kitchen.

There are many things to consider while renovating your kitchen. You need to seek out what you require from your kitchen first. If your gas is not working, then you need to change your stoves. If you are not getting proper electric connection, then you need to change your lines. If your piping is not working, then you need to get a proper plumber. These are the essentials of a functional kitchen. Check them one by one and make sure to have a list of things to repair.

The next important factor to consider is that the renovations being done should enhance the look of your kitchen. This would mean cosmetic modifications to your kitchen, which would come in form of countertops and cabinets. Marble countertops will give your kitchen a grand luxurious look that would enhance the quality of your kitchen. You can purchase such countertops from home or kitchen renovators. You should look for one stop shops for all your kitchen renovation needs. This will help you to get all the assistance you will need for your kitchen renovation.

by: Easy Ways to Renovating Your Kitchen


Myth busters: Why vinyl siding is America's hottest home design feature

(BPT) - Chances are, you've seen and heard a lot about vinyl siding on home renovation television shows, in magazines and in your neighborhood. Once seen as a drab and boring alternative to aluminum siding, vinyl siding is now driving new design trends, effortlessly adapting to any architectural home style.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, vinyl siding is a hot home exterior material, appearing on nearly one third of all new homes built, more than any other cladding material. Still unsure about vinyl siding? Consider these myth-busting facts:

Myth: Vinyl siding is boring and looks cheap

Vinyl siding has come a long way since it was introduced and manufacturers have made strides in research and development efforts for design and performance. Nearly 350 vinyl siding colors have been certified for color retention, according to the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI). The variety offers homeowners a virtually endless palette of fade-resistant colors, combined with complementary trim, accents and accessories. Additionally, the texture and attention to detail on the siding panels make high-end vinyl siding nearly indistinguishable from wood clapboard, cedar shake shingles or other traditional materials.

Thanks to these advancements in color and technology, top designers on shows like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "George to the Rescue" have recently made vinyl siding a focal point of their renovation and new-build home designs. And many historical societies across the U.S. have turned to vinyl siding for historic home renovations because of the wide selection of period colors, architectural details and low-maintenance benefits.

"After the devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo., we built seven houses in seven days using vinyl siding exteriors," says Kim Lewis, architectural designer of Kim Lewis Designs and former lead designer for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. "At first I was skeptical, but we were able to bring forward character-driven design on each of the home's exteriors with vibrant colors and architectural elements. After spending some time with the material, I have a more positive outlook on vinyl siding."

Myth: Vinyl trim doesn't have the authentic look of wood

A common misconception about vinyl siding is that trim options don't offer a high-end look like authentic wood. Though in recent years, siding manufacturers such as Ply Gem have made significant strides in the design of low maintenance, holistic finishing solutions for windows, doors, eaves, gables, columns and more, introducing trim and mouldings made from cellular PVC.

These trim packages are designed to look and function like real wood, accentuating the best features of any architectural home style, but eliminating the need to clean, replace or stain in years to come. With today's trim options, even the most discerning homeowners will find there's no need to compromise beauty to get low-maintenance curb appeal.

Myth: Vinyl siding isn't durable

Don't let the light weight of the product fool you. Products like Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem vinyl siding are manufactured with technologies tested to resist wind speeds of more than 200 mph. These products have been put to the test and withstood the elements in recent storms such as Superstorm Sandy.

In addition to holding its own against Mother Nature, vinyl siding puts up a pretty good fight against Father Time. The product has tremendous longevity, in many cases lasting 30 years or more with very little maintenance and low cost of ownership. Vinyl siding does not need to be painted and it can be cleaned with simple soap and water.

If you believed the myths above, don't be discouraged. One thing that is undeniably true is that vinyl siding will continue to lead the way in exterior home design. For links to more facts and studies on vinyl siding, visit www.plygem.com. Manufacturer sites like these are also a great resource for homeowners who want to experiment with vinyl siding colors and options before committing to a new build or renovation, offering exterior design tools for photo-realistic virtual makeovers on a variety of architectural home styles.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Habitat for Humanity Women Build

Pink Hammers and Tool Belts~
Pensacola area women join together to build a Habitat Home!

Chuntell and Nicole from Realty Masters at
Chuntell and Nicole from Realty Masters at
Habitat for Humanity Women Build

Over 100 female volunteers from different professions and organizations joined together to complete this years Pensacola Habitat for Humanity Women Build. 

In addition to fundraising nearly $75,000 to fund the home, the women worked in shifts to complete the majority of the major construction on this Providence Manor home in Pensacola.

Chuntell Patterson, fellow Realty Masters real estate agent and property manager, and myself volunteered for this event as part of the Pensacola Young Professionals.  Together, we worked with our team to install walls and to transport and install several wooden truss' into the home.

Pensacola Habitat for Humanity has built over 1,000 homes since they opened their doors in 1981. Volunteers are the heart of this organization with over 3,000 volunteers annually. 

Women Build Habtiat for Humanity ~ Pensacola, FL
Women Build Pensacola Habitat for Humanity
Women Build Pensacola Habitat for Humanity
To join the next Women Build Habitat for Humanity project or to donate your time to Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, contact them at (850) 434-5456 or visit http://pensacolahabitat.org/ to register as a volunteer!

Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983

Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Easy season: Fall gardening spells success

Favorable fall conditions mean growing cool weather crops is comparatively easy, with less watering and care needed for a successful garden. Cool crops will start out strong, growing quickly and then slow their growth as days become shorter and cooler. You'll also need to work less to protect your garden from pests, as both insects and animal populations will taper off in fall. And since weeds will germinate less frequently and grow slower, weeding won't be a time-consuming task. Finally, more rain and less sun and heat mean you'll need to water less.

If you're ready for gardening success, now is the time to grab that hoe, break some ground and get growing. Tips to get you started:

Pick your plants

Start with transplants, rather than seed. A shorter, gentler growing season means you need to get started right away. Many local garden centers will have a selection of transplants from producers like Bonnie Plants that will grow well in your geographic region. Transplants will be six weeks old and give you a jump start. You'll be able to harvest sooner than if you start from seed and skip the volatile, sometimes unsuccessful, seed-starting process. Bonnie's transplants come in earth-friendly biodegradable pots, making planting easy, preventing transplant shock and sparing the use of much plastic. As the pot biodegrades, it'll add nutrients to your soil, too.

Choose cool crops that your family likes to eat. Popular fall favorites include:

* Lacinato kale -A cold-hardy vegetable, kale leaves sweeten after frost. Kale is a super food, and Lacinato leaves extend excellent health benefits, lowering cholesterol, fighting cancer and decreasing inflammation.

* Early dividend broccoli - Many greens love the fall, and broccoli is no exception. Plant stalks 18 inches apart and get ready for an easy, hearty harvest. Broccoli is high in fiber and calcium.

* Cabbage - The quintessential fall vegetable, Bonnie's hybrid cabbage grows large, round blue-green heads. From salads to stews, cabbage adds a punch of flavor and nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamins C and K, and plenty of fiber.

* Romaine lettuce - Romaine packs a big punch with more vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients than other popular types of lettuce. Rich in fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene, romaine is especially good for heart health. Space transplants 18 inches apart.

Once you know what you'll be planting, it's time to get the ground ready. Remove any garden debris from the past season's garden and remove weeds before they go to seed.

Size up your soil. Loosen compacted soil, fluffing it up with a garden fork. Soil test and amend if necessary. Adding a 2-inch layer of bagged compost is always good practice. You can also spread a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, according to labeled instructions, for added nutrients.

Plants will need an inch of moisture per week, either through rain or supplemental watering. You might want to consider raised bed planting; beds are easy to build or buy and allow you to start out with good quality soil. Plus, you'll bend less come harvest time.

Position your plot and let the sunshine in. Most vegetables need full sun - at least six hours per day. Finally, don't fear frost. When frost threatens, cover plants with floating row cover, cold frame or a cloche. Or, you can grow fall veggies in a container and move pots to a protected location on frosty nights.

Whether you're working in the backyard, a raised bed or in containers on a deck, you'll see how easy and successful fall planting can be. Start now to ensure you enjoy a healthy, plentiful and fulfilling fall harvest. For more tips on fall gardening visit www.bonnieplants.com.

Pensacola Beach Sea Turtle~

Pensacola Beach Sea Turtle~
October provides the perfect landscape for wildlife viewing along Pensacola Beaches!

Pensacola Beach Sea Turtle~
Pensacola Beach Sea Turtle~

October is one of my favorite months to enjoy the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches that surround our home town. 

The weather is mild and wildlife is abundant.  The lasts of the turtle nests hatch along the Gulf of Mexico and the monarch butterflies pass by on their great migration to Mexico. 

I spent last weekend exploring some of our local beaches and found this turtle enjoying a swim in Gulf Islands National Seashore.  I wanted to share a few pictures with you!

Pensacola Beach Green Sea Turtle in October~ Gulf Islands National Seashore
Pensacola Beach Green Sea Turtle in October~ Gulf Islands National Seashore

Happy Fall!
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983

Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Greener decorating for your deck and patio

If you're planning some outdoor decorating or renovating this summer, here are some tips to make your exterior living spaces green and inviting:

Eco-friendly construction materials

For many homeowners, decks and patios are key elements of outdoor living spaces. If you plan to add either this summer, be sure to look for environmentally friendly materials like natural stone or responsibly harvested wood. When choosing wood, look for products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FCS) as having been harvested following sustainable principles that minimize the impact on the environment. If you're building a patio, choose reclaimed brick or stone pavers that have been recycled from other installations. If you can't find reclaimed pavers, look for natural stone that's been quarried locally or bricks that have been locally produced to minimize the energy spent on transporting the products.

The Sierra Club recommends you seek a deck builder that is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. These builders will have advanced knowledge of eco-friendly practices.

Icing the cake

The accessories - furniture and decor items - that you add to your outdoor environment should be as green as possible, too. Choose patio and deck furniture made from eco-friendly materials, such as recycled plastic (but avoid anything that contains PVC), reclaimed wood or FCS-certified wood. Rehabilitating older iron or wood furniture is also a great way to achieve a singular look while keeping those items out of landfills.

Opt for decor items that minimize their impact on the environment while providing maximum impact on how great your space looks. For example, a wallpaper mural can create an eye-catching focal point and set the tone for your outdoor room. Yet traditional mural painting can be expensive and traditional wallpaper can involve less-than-eco-friendly paste. A removable wallpaper mural creates a striking visual in outdoor spaces without the need for paste or glue. Murals Your Way offers a high-end product that can be moved and reused hundreds of times without losing adhering qualities. Plus, it clings to virtually any flat surface, including glass. You can choose from a myriad of graphic patterns, nature scenes and other images, or have the company produce a custom mural from your original photograph or artwork. Learn more at www.muralsyourway.com.

Continue the eco-friendly theme with lighting for your deck and patio. It's easy to find a variety of solar-powered accent lights online and in home improvement stores across the country. You can even find decorative post caps for your deck railing that are solar-powered. Solar lights create a soft glow at night and provide accent illumination without the expense - and carbon impact - of electric power.

Finally, as you're landscaping, keep sustainability in mind. By choosing plants native to your region, you not only minimize the transportation impact involved in getting the plant from the production point to point-of-sale, you can also ensure they'll require less watering and work to thrive.

Plants native to your environment are pre-disposed to do well in your backyard. Be sure to choose plants that will do well in your particular setting, too. For example, if your backyard is very shady, plant greenery that requires less sun. If your yard gets a lot of sun throughout the day, choose plants that can stand up to hours of sunlight without the need for extensive irrigation. Check with your local agricultural extension to find out what plants will do well in your environment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a free online listing of extensions throughout the country.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pensacola Parks: Roger Scott

Pensacola Parks: Roger Scott Athletic Complex
East Pensacola's most utilized athletic complex! 

The Roger Scott Athletic complex is located at 2130 Summit Blvd in Pensacola, FL 32504 and encompasses the athletic park as well as the tennis center, pool, Vickrey resource center, and dog park.  This 5.4 acre City of Pensacola park is well maintained and has a lot to offer Pensacola families of all ages.
  • Leap Trail Playground
The LEAP trail is a product of Leadership Pensacola, an organization chosen by the Chamber of Commerce for community leaders to participate in a leadership development.  

The Class of 2013 created the LEAP Trail, a 3 mile walking trail with exercise equipment and a playground along the way.  The LEAP trail and playground are integrated with Roger Scott Athletic Complex.

  • Roger Scott Tennis Center 
Roger Scott Tennis Center is the most utilized tennis center in Pensacola with 18 hard courts, 10 softer clay courts, and 2 hitting walls. 

In addition to offering tennis lessons, Roger Scott Tennis Center hosts junior and team clinics and competitions including the upcoming October 4, 2014 Help the Kids Tourney. 

While Roger Scott offers an annual membership, they also allow the public to rent courts for between $8 and $12 per hour.  Roger Scott Tennis Center is also home to Catholic and Washington High School tennis teams. 

To view their schedule or for more information, visit their website http://www.tennispensacola.com/clubs/Roger-Scott-Tennis-Center.htm 

  • Vickrey Resource Center 
Vickrey Resource Center in Pensacola, FL 32503
Vickrey Resource Center in Pensacola, FL 32503
The Vickrey Resource Center offers a wide variety of resources for all ages with special children and senior classes!  They host fun and affordable classes including zumba, tai chi, chair aerobics, fitness classes for seniors, and even bingo. 

For only a $1, you can access and use their indoor weight and fitness room. The room is free for seniors. 

The resource center hosts basketball and volleyball games indoors and allows for free play.

The Vickrey Resource Center picks up K-5 students from both Cordova Park and Scenic Heights Elementary to host affordable and educational after school programs Monday- Friday from 2 to 6pm.

You can also rent their community room which accommodates up to 275 people.  For more information about the services offered at the Vickrey Resource Center, please call them at (850) 912-4056.
  • Dog park
Roger Scott is also home to two fenced dog parks.  One dog park is limited to smaller dogs while the other allows for dogs of all sizes.  The dog park is free and open sunrise to sunset daily.
  • Team Sports
The Roger Scott Athetic Complex is home to several team sports including cheerleading, baseball, softball, football, and soccer. 
  • Baseball and Softball
Baseball fields at Roger Scott Pensacola FL
Baseball fields at Roger Scott Pensacola FL
  • Football 
Football fields at Roger Scott Athletic Complex in Pensacola, FL 32503
  • Soccer 
Soccer Fields at Roger Scott Atlhetic Complex
Soccer Fields at Roger Scott Atlhetic Complex

  • Swimming pool
  • If you are interested in swimming at the Roger Scott Pool, you view photos, hours of operation, pricing, and more here. 
Hot summer day at Roger Scott Pool~ Pensacola, FL
Hot summer day at Roger Scott Pool~ Pensacola, FL 
Roger Scott Pool in Pensacola, FL
Roger Scott Pool in Pensacola, FL

In addition to these fun activities, Roger Scott is also home to seasonal fundraisers and events including Easter Egg Hunt, Senior Softball Tournaments and even Police Dog Competitions. There's always some fun to be had at Roger Scott. 

Also, make sure to check out our articles on other Pensacola area parks including:
For more information on this park and other City of Pensacola Parks, please contact the City of Pensacola Parks & Recreation department at (850) 436-5670 or visit them online. 

Go explore your Pensacola area parks this weekend! Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
Call us at (850) 473-3983

Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com