Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Manna Food Drive Contest!

Manna Food Pantries, devastated by floods, needs donations!
Pensacola Association of Realtors teams up for the annual food drive.
 
Enter for your chance to win one of four $25 Gift Cards and give back to your community. Realty Masters is teaming up with the Pensacola Association of Realtors to help restock Manna Food Pantry! The Manna Food Pantry was one of the many casualties of the April 29th floods and is in desperate need of non-perishable food donations. Can you help? Details below.


Manna Food Pantries, who feeds more than 162 people a day,
many of which are families with children, lost more than one hundred thousand pounds food, all that it had in storage to feed these families. Last year the Manna Food Pantries helped 42,116 people in our area.

Realty Masters is asking for your help to restock the Pantry shelves and restore their daily distribution of food.

Please help us by dropping off non-perishable items at our office located at 4400 Bayou Blvd. Suite 58-B Pensacola, FL. 32503 between today and August 30, 2014.

Most needed items:

· Grains: flavored pasta, flavored rice, breakfast cereal, jiffy mix, oatmeal, grits, ramen noodles

· Vegetables-Canned: green beans, corn, English peas, tomatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, soups with meat or veggies and soups Cream of Broth

· Fruits: canned, juice, fruit snacks, dry fruits, raisins

· Dairy: Powdered milk

· Protein: Peanut butter, canned dinners, canned tuna, canned chicken, etc.

Please bring smaller serving cans 12-16 ounces. These fit in the bags that the Food Pantry distributes and prevents the distributers from having to break larger containers up into smaller portions, using more resources.

If you provide a donation to Manna Food Pantry, you will be entered into a gift card drawing to take place on August 30, 2014 where we will choose three winners at random.

Please email us back with any questions you may have. Follow Manna Food Pantries and Realty Masters on Facebook.

You can also donate money to help the Food Pantry buy supplies, such as fresh produce to distribute to those in need by visiting their web site, http://www.mannafoodpantries.org/index.html


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, July 29, 2014

Go-big upgrades that can help a lingering home sell at last



(BPT) - Everyone knows spring and summer are the best months in which to sell a home. If your house has lingered on the market, you may be eager to find ways to freshen its appeal for potential buyers. Perhaps you're even ready to go big and invest in upgrades that will improve the home's value, curb appeal and interior allure so much that potential buyers just won't be able to walk away from it.



If you're at that point, first figure out how much you can reasonably invest. Will the improvement increase your home value enough to allow you to recoup its cost? Maybe not, but if your priority is a faster sale, return on investment might have a different meaning for you.



Next, look at areas of your home where improvements will have the biggest impact - spots that are the least appealing or those that have the most appeal. Upgrading a less-than-great room can bring it up to snuff, but upgrading a good room could make it absolutely smashing. For example, painting a small bathroom in a bright color could make that cramped space feel bigger. Adding a skylight to your kitchen, bath, or other area in your home however, will really make a splash with abundant natural light and fresh air.



Here's a room-by-room game plan for high-impact upgrades that could make buyers fall in love with your home:



Anywhere



Buyers are, universally, looking for beauty and value. Any improvement that gives both can directly impact your ability to sell your home. Adding a skylight is a great way to enhance a home's visual appeal, livability and energy efficiency while improving indoor air quality by introducing much needed fresh air into the home.



Natural light can make a small room look bigger and brighter, and create a more healthful environment. Adding a traditional or tubular skylight to any room in the house brings more natural light into your home. Plus, Energy Star-qualified, solar-powered fresh-air skylights, like those made by Velux America, can provide fresh air through cost-efficient passive ventilation to reduce humidity and stale air, and heating, cooling and lighting costs. Add remote-controlled, solar powered blinds, and you can boost a skylight's energy efficiency by 39 percent, Velux states.



Finally, this is one high impact investment that can actually put cash back in your pocket. Installation of energy-efficient no leak solar powered fresh air skylights and blinds can qualify you for up to a 30 percent federal tax credit on the -products and installation costs. Visit www.veluxusa.com to learn more and calculate your tax credit for new or replacement skylights.



Kitchen and bathroom



Any Realtor will tell you great kitchens and bathrooms can sell a house. If yours are only so-so, they could be what's standing in the way of getting an offer. If you've already done the basics - cleaning and decluttering, repainting and replacing dated cabinet hardware - it may be time to pull out the big guns.



New appliances and fixtures will cost you a few thousand, but can go a long way toward wooing buyers. New appliances look great, are more energy-efficient, and provide buyers the peace of mind knowing they won't face repair or replacement costs any time soon. New fixtures such as rainfall shower heads and touch-free faucets add an element of luxury to the most common bathroom.



Adding a tile backsplash or new wood-look laminate flooring in the kitchen, and new tile floor in the bath can also create a big impact - and for less money if you do the work yourself. Replacing lower-quality or older countertops is also an eye-catching upgrade. The trick is to find the improvement that will have the biggest visual impact in your space.



Living room/family



When buyers enter your home, chances are the living room or family room will be one of the first rooms they see. Their impression of that room can set the tone for how they perceive the rest of the house. Again, assuming you've done the basics - painting, window treatments and accessories - a major upgrade in this room can have a winning impact.



If your home already has a fireplace, take a close look at it. What can you do to make it more appealing? Does it need a new facade? Larger gas logs or a better blower? Can you upgrade the mantel? If your home lacks a fireplace, adding one can be a great selling point. It's possible to add a gas fireplace for less than $5,000 in most homes. Adding a gas insert to a wood-burning fireplace is even cheaper.



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Joe Patti's World Famous Seafood

Joe Patti's Seafood Market~
Take a trip to Pensacola's favorite seafood market!

Joe Patti's seafood is a Pensacola dinner party staple.  Mr. Joe Patti has been selling fresh Gulf Coast seafood in Pensacola since 1930.  With over 100 employees, Joe Patti's Seafood is the largest fish market in the Pensacola Bay area and supplies fresh seafood to many Gulf Coast restaurants.

Joe Patti's is located at 524 S. B. St. in Downtown Pensacola on Pensacola Bay.


Joe Patti's Seafood Market in Pensacola, FL 32502 ~ Gulf Coast's favorite seafood market!
Joe Patti's Seafood Market in Pensacola, FL 32502 ~
Gulf Coast's favorite seafood market!
 
Joe Patti's Seafood Market~
Joe Patti's Seafood Market~

Their fresh fish selection includes amberjack, catfish, flounder, grouper, snapper, mahi mahi, salmon, swordfish, tuna and tilapia.  You can have your fresh shrimp, crab, and lobster steamed in store. It is customary for vacationers to leave Pensacola with a full cooler of fresh, Gulf Coast seafood. And when they run out, many of them continue to order online!
 
In addition to the seafood market, Joe Patti's includes:
  • Amangiari's Deli and Specialty Food Market
  • Sushi Bar
  • Anna's Fine Wines
Joe Patti's serves fresh baked breads, has a selection of fine wines , meats, and cheeses, and offers some of the best gelato (Italian ice cream) in town. Because they carry local products, I usually pick up a stuffed chicken courtesy of Cajun Specialty Meats when I'm there! From garlic spread and lemon juice, to vegetables and sides, Joe Patti's has everything you need to host a fabulous seafood dinner party.
Joe Patti's along Pensacola Bay

Joe Patti's is open Monday through Saturday 7:30 am to 7 pm and Sunday 7:30 am to 6pm. 
For more information about Joe Patti's, call their store at (850) 432-3315 and visit them online.

Do you love Joe Patti's just as much as we do?  What's your favorite local fish?  Make sure to leave your suggestions below.

See you at Joe Patti's!
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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pensacola Parks: John Jones Athletic Park

Pensacola Parks: John R. Jones Athletic Park
Home of the Mitchell Homes Miracle League Park in Northeast Pensacola.

The John R. Jones Jr. Athletic park is located at 555 E. Nine Mile Rd., Pensacola, FL 32514.  This 70 acre park is home to several group sports including the Mitchell Homes Miracle League Park of Pensacola!
Parks in Pensacola, FL 32514
Tot Park Playground at John R. Jones Athletic Park

This park is the perfect place for an afternoon picnic and allows plenty of space for your children to run around and expend excess energy.  The John R. Jones Jr. park features:
  • Children's playground
  • Walking path
  • Covered pavilion
  • Picnic area with security lights
  • Tee ball, youth baseball, and adult softball 
  • Youth Football
Mitchell Homes Miracle League Park in Northeast Pensacola, FL 32514
Mitchell Homes Miracle League Park in Northeast Pensacola, FL 32514
Parks in Northeast Pensacola, FL 32514
One of the two playground areas at the John R. Jones Jr. Athletic Park in Pensacola, FL 32514


Miracle League Park Pensacola, FL
Entrance to Miracle League Park
This park partners with the following groups to host athletic events year round:
 Also, make sure to check out our articles on other Pensacola area parks including:

Pavilion and picnic area at John R. Jones Jr. Athletic Complex
Pavilion and picnic area at John R. Jones Jr. Athletic Complex

For more information on this park and other Escambia County Parks, contact Escambia County Parks and Recreation at (850) 475-5220, email them at recreation@myescambia.com or visit them online.
 
For more information on the Miracle League of Pensacola, visit their website.

Baseball and football fields at Athletic Complex
Baseball and football fields at Athletic Complex

We love our hometown and are happy to provide this Pensacola Bay area information for you. If you are looking for a home in Escambia or Santa Rosa Counties, please give us a call Monday through Saturday at (850) 473-3983 or search our website http://www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com 
Do you frequent John R. Jones Athletic Park? Tell us about your experience. Comment below to share with our readers.
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, July 23, 2014

Curb appeal puts your home in big demand



Curb appeal In a market where sellers are in competition to make the most out of their largest investment, improving your home's first impression is one of the best ways to set it apart from the rest of the pack.



When prospective buyers or renters drive through your neighborhood, what do they see? This is a really important question that you need to answer because it will help understand what your buyer is going to be looking for in a new home. Once you've answered this, ask yourself objectively if the front of your home is in keeping with the rest of the houses on your block. The first impression is critical in setting the mood for prospective agents and buyers. If your home's exterior looks like it needs work, then people immediately assume that it's a 'fixer-upper'. The opposite is true if your front yard is manicured, the roof is in good shape and the driveway is in good condition. Having a potential buyer walk into your front door in a positive mode can translate into big dollars for you.



Both Virginia Tech and the University of Guelph did studies in 2011 that measured the effect of landscaping on property values, and they both came to the same conclusion. To improve curb appeal, basic landscaping increased the home's value by 5%, but more extensive landscaping including decks and patios increased the homes value up to 15%.



So where do you spend the money?



Set your budget and be realistic about what you're trying to accomplish with it. Keep in mind that you are trying to create an excellent first impression to attract potential buyers. This isn't the opportunity for you to realize your landscaping dreams. Consider a new paint job using a color scheme that highlights the character of your home. Install a new front door or at least update your door's hardware. Even something as simple as full and healthy planters can make a favorable impact.



One of the easiest ways to improve curb appeal is to have a clean and tidy front yard with a manicured lawn. Maybe this is the opportunity to invest in some new tools to help do the job properly. The best part about this type of investment is that not only will your plants and lawn look better with edging, pruning and cutting, you also get to take your new tools with you once you've sold your home.



The technology for landscaping tools has made the purchasing task much easier as well. Now you can get a hedge trimmer, string trimmer or sweeper & vac all in one system. With the Black & Decker 36V Lithium system, for example, you can use the same battery and charger for all three of those tools. A quick prune of the shrubs with the hedge trimmer, followed by a 'one-around' with the string trimmer and then tidying up with the sweeper will help you to maintain the front yard as short as 10 minutes per day.



The goal is to create an emotional connection at the first glance of any prospective buyer, so before you put that sign on the lawn, be sure to spend enough time at the curb.



Courtesy of Newscanada



Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Importance of Property Managers

The Importance of Property Managers
Property Managers serve a critical role in maintain your income producing investment.

Whenever you purchase a rental property, there are a lot of different factors that go into determining whether you can properly manage it. This is why lots of people choose to hire property managers, since that eases the burden on you and ensures that your rental property is in the best condition possible.

Pensacola Property Management
Ask any rental expert today and they will tell you that the best way to ensure that the property is in good running condition is by making sure that everything is in working order and by properly managing the tenants.
A property manager has education and experience in managing rental properties, which is one of the major reasons why so many rental property owners choose to hire property managers. In order to have your investment property managed in the right manner, you need to hire the right property manager, preferably someone who you can trust and have good communication with.

To pinpoint the importance of a property manager for rental property owners, here are some of the main things that a property manager can help you with:

·         Screening of tenants

·         Knowledge of the Landlord & Tenant law

·          Home values, local rental market and proper rent pricing

·         Knowledge about Property Maintenance and Repair

·         Solid connections with respected vendors

All the above mentioned incentives that a property manager provides you will not only ease the burden on you, but also ensure that you get the most out of your rental property today and in the future.
The Role of a Property Manager

A property manager is someone who you will have to rely on and trust in order to make things run smoothly. The manager will screen all the tenants who are looking to rent your property, and you should be sure they choose the best possible tenants based on their past rental history and references, credit and criminal background, and current verifiable income sources. 

Screening and finding the best tenants will minimize problems or trouble for you down the line. They may not, however, use subjective criteria such as appearance, nor violate any fair housing laws in choosing your tenants.

They will also be required to know the law regarding tenants and the landlords, so that they can properly handle any imaginable scenario that may occur over the course of time. They will also know the rental value of the homes in the Pensacola area and will therefore be highly beneficial to you when it comes to setting the monthly rent for the investment property.

You want to get the most you can, but you don’t want to price it too high as vacancy costs money.  Trying to get $50 more than market can cost you a lot more than $50 if your property sits vacant while potential renters chose another home. If you live in the Pensacola area and want a free fair market evaluation of rental potential from a home, visit our price evaluator.
AC Systems are one of the most costly in your home!
Your manager will also have knowledge about the maintenance and repairing of the property, which will become a huge advantage for you. Maintaining a rental property is not as easy as it seems and you will be required to make repairs from time to time.

A good property manager is highly efficient and knows all about keeping proper maintenance on the property, and the right times to make repairs to the property to keep it in proper working order and preserve the property value, as well as keep your tenants happy so they will want to stay in the property, which will reduce turnover costs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       When the time comes to remodel your investment property, a property manager may become invaluable, since they tend to have solid connections with reputable vendors in the area. This may end up saving you thousands of dollars. 

Thinking about selling your investment? 

Your property manager is likely a licensed real estate agent that can advise you about recent sales and property values in the area.  They may be able to help you price and sell the home, possibly while your tenant is still in place, as they can coordinate appointments for prospective buyers with your tenants and meet prospective buyers at the property, as well as share the information about the repairs and improvements that have been made.
 
Pam Brantley, Broker
Realty Masters of Florida is a full service real estate brokerage that manages over 800 properties in the Pensacola area.  We specialize in assisting investors with buying, leasing and renting their investments. Give us a call at 850-473-3983 if you need help with buying, selling or renting a home.

Pam Brantley, Broker/ Owner
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
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Hilarious Real Estate Blog

Hilarious Real Estate Blogs~ 
We can't stop laughing at these hilarious real estate blogs. 


This one is from Pensacola MLS this year!
As our office real estate photographer, I absolutely love the sense of humor and premise behind both of these real estate blogs!   Give them a quick look and I promise you will laugh out loud. 

Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos
"Inexplicably bad property photographs. It's that simple."  Follow them on twitter @BadRealtyPhotos 

This real estate blog went viral after posting horrible MLS photos that other real estate agents took and published online when listing homes for lease and sale.  Readers can submit their own photos and it's updated weekly! It is absolutely hilarious. 
Poor Bear! This one didn't make it online. 

Ugly House Photos
"Phoenix Area Homes with Clutter, Ugly Decor, and Bad Taste"

Equally hilarious, this older that showcases ugly homes in Phoenix.  Check out the "Hall of Fame" to see the ugliest photos.  As a Florida realtor, I'm glad to see we face some of the same design and decoration challenges across the country! 

We've attached a few ugly and odd photos that we've encountered through the years.  Do you have a terrible real estate or ugly house photo? Feel free to post it below! 


Nice art work on the walls~ ?!?

Ugly House Photos
We call this one "Creepy Chairs by the bathroom"
Landlord says it's "Ready to Rent"

Happy Real Estate! 
Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola area Property Management
(850) 473-3983  www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Best of the Bay: Property Management

Best of the Bay Awards vote best companies
Pensacola's favorite companies as voted by Pensacola Bay area residents. 

Pensacola Bay area residents cast their votes for their favorite local professional, shopping, attractions and restaurants.  We are happy to be chosen as a finalist for Best of the Bay "Best Property Management Company."

To view a full of Best of the Bay Winners, visit the News Journal website here: http://php.pnj.com/bob/bob2014.php  

Here's a few of our favorite real estate related categories and the winners:
  • Best Insurance Agent:  McGraw Insurance Services
  • Best Home Inspector:  Sims Inspections 
  • Best Granite Showroom:  Emerald Coast Granite, Tile, & Glass
  • Best Garage Door Company:  Pinkards Garage Doors, Inc. 
  • Best Home Builder: Adams Homes of Northwest Florida
  • Best Architectual Firm:  Dalrymple Sallis Architecture
  • Best Golf Course:  Marcus Pointe Golf Club 
  • Best Local Event:  Downtown Pensacola Gallery Night 
Pensacola Property Management
Best of the Bay:  Property Management Company 
Realty Masters is the leader in Pensacola rentals and leasing~ We rent a house every day in the Pensacola area. 

If you are looking to rent a home in Escambia & Santa Rosa Counties, you can view rental properties at http://www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com  

If you are in need of a Pensacola area property manager, give our friendly Realtors a call at (850) 473-3983 or email Nicoles@PensacolaRealtyMasters.com 

Thanks and have a great day,
Christine Laughlin, Pam Keen Brantley & Nicole St. Aubin
Realty Masters of FL~
 #1 in Pensacola area Property Management
4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503~ 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Elegant outdoor entertaining on a dime



(BPT) - Wish your soiree could have a bit more swagger? You don't need a celebrity budget and abode to throw a stunning celebration. With just a bit of creative vision and DIY savvy, you'll have an affair to remember in no time at all.



Sensational seating



The first step to ensure an enjoyable event is to provide enough seating for your guests to relax.



Enhance the look of your current table and chairs with a quick finish update with Rust Protector from Krylon.This spray paint works wonders on weathered metal tables and chairs, providing coverage, durability and corrosion protection. Available in several new multi-color, textured finishes it dries in as little as eight minutes so that you can quickly move on to other aspects of your party planning.



Elegant ambiance



Once your seating area is set, create an eye-catching centerpiece to set the mood. Turn forgotten pedestal candle holders into chic showpieces that will impress guests and inspire dinner table dialog. Simply spray paint each with a coordinating color of Krylon's Rust Protector Multicolor Textured Finish for an updated and elegant look. Once dry, add candles of various heights and decorate the bases with pebbles or decorative beads for subtle and sophisticated ambiance.



Let there be light



While your new centerpiece will illuminate the table area in the evening, be sure to light up the night with additional accent lighting. Tiki torches are an easy and inexpensive solution that provide excellent perimeter lighting and can even work double duty to keep pesky mosquitos at bay, ensuring your invited guests don't bolt because of uninvited ones.



Luscious libations



A signature drink can be a fun treat for your guests - but be sure the vessel is just as festive. An inexpensive and trendy way to keep guests refreshed and delighted is to serve your libations in the classic mason jar. Jazz up the jars by placing peel-and-stick chalkboard labels on the jars and provide chalk for guests to write their names. And as the final touch, offer mini umbrellas or nostalgic striped paper straws to allow guests to sip in style.



Heat it up



Why not enjoy your tasty refreshments around a fire pit when the sun has finally set? It's the perfect ambiance to relax and enjoy company. Restore your rusty fire pit from last season with Krylon's High Heat Max spray paint, a durable and stylish option for DIYers who want to touch-up surfaces that need to withstand extreme temperature swings. It delivers maximum color and rust resistance in three contemporary finishes, including black, aluminum and copper, for a designer look all year long.



You don't have to spend a ton of money to create an elegant gathering that will impress guests. By paying attention to small, inexpensive details, you can turn a bland backyard, patio or deck into a stylish spot for entertaining that won't leave you penniless at the end of the night.



For more information on Krylon products or spray paint projects, visit krylon.com.



Courtesy of BPT



Tips to navigate the real estate landscape and find the perfect home



(BPT) - For most Americans your home is the biggest ticket item you will ever purchase. It's no wonder that people can take months, and sometimes even years, to find the perfect home. When you walk into a house that's on the market, many times the homeowner or real estate agent has "staged" it to ensure that you focus on the home's greatest assets and overlook its flaws. Your job is to look past all that to see if this house is right for you.



Annette Lawrence, academic director of design programs, at The Art Institute of Ohio - Cincinnati, and Marissa Alexander, interior design program coordinator at The Art Institutes International Minnesota, offer these tips to navigate the real estate landscape.



Before you ever step out of your current home, make a list says Alexander. Your list should include one column for "must haves" and another for "wants." "The wants you can compromise on," advises Alexander. If you know what you are looking for and what you can't live without, it's a lot easier to find it.



Many people get caught up on the basic aesthetics of a home. "The paint is not a big deal," says Lawrence. "Countertops are not a reason to choose a home or cross it off your list." The shag carpeting can be ripped out and replaced. These are all easy fixes.



You should beware of the fixes that can break the bank. Will the roof need to be replaced? What about other big-ticket items like the heating and cooling system? Does the perimeter of the house slope toward it? That could mean flooding during a heavy rain. And what about the structural integrity of the foundation? A good inspector will spot the red flags and could keep you from making a costly mistake. That inspector will also check the chimney, the insulation in the attic and the gutters and spouts.



And there are things you can check on before you call in an inspector. "If you want to know whether a floor is warping, just take a ball and roll it across the room," says Alexander. If it doesn't roll straight across, it could signal issues with the foundation.



Figure out what kind of layout you want for your house. "Ask yourself what kind of floor plan you like," says Lawrence. "Those are the kinds of things that are costly to change." If the floor plan is right for you, the cosmetics will be a fairly easy and inexpensive fix.



While you may think that this home purchase will be one of many, you should consider the possibility that this could be your home for decades to come. That's why Lawrence is a big proponent of finding a home that allows you to "age in place." She suggests you find a home with a first floor master bedroom and laundry room. Also consider how many steps there are from the driveway into the home. Are the hallways and doorways wide enough for a wheelchair or a walker?



Even if you do not think you'll need these accommodations, consider your home's "visitability." If you have elderly relatives or friends with disabilities, are they going to be able to come to your new home? "My grandmother was one of my most frequent guests," explains Lawrence. "I had low lighting and had painted the walls dark colors. Consequently, she couldn't see too well when visiting."



Courtesy of BPT