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
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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 

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:  

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  

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

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

Courtesy of BPT