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Property Manager Rates and Fees - How To Make Money Using A PM

Jennifer Delaney - Thursday, March 21, 2019

It may be hard to wrap your head around the idea that you might need to spend money to make money. It is a common theme in business and in life. When considering using a property manager to look after your rental property there are definitely some ways they can save you money while protecting your asset.


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AllPropertyManagement.com explains how you can save money beautifully, 

"To calculate what this reduction means for the average rental property owner's bottom line, we took a look at what it would mean for the owner of a property valued at $150,000, with a monthly rent of $1,250, assuming a 10% monthly property management fee. 

We found that, when you take into account both lost rent and turnover costs, each 1% drop in vacancy rate saves the property owner about $1,900 over the course of a five-year period. Thus, a reduction of 4.5% equals a savings of about $9,500 over five years. 

Meanwhile, at 10% per month, professional property management would cost only $7,500 over the same period, resulting in a $2,000 profit, which represents a 30% ROI."


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Let's take a look at a few ways you can save money by using the powerful systems that a property management firm can provide.

How does using a PM make us money?

Maximizing Rents - 

A professional knows what the market will bear!

Advertising - 

Property Managers have the budget and systems in place to advertise your rental and get you the best tenants.

Location Independence - 

You can live anywhere and keep your rental property.

Tax Deductions - 

The management fees may be deductible (check with your accountant).

Organization

“Not only are the services property management companies provide tax-deductible for the landlord, but they provide serious organization. Part of property management is issuing and managing all of the paperwork between the tenant and the landlord. This can come in handy come tax season, especially for landlords who are not particularly organized or good at bookkeeping. This allows the landlord to take the maximum deductions and credits she is permitted that may have been missed had the paperwork not been organized or easily sortable.” 

Spending to Save

"With the best property managers, paying a little bit more is a wise investment, because it helps enhance the value of your property, and they help retain quality tenants; studies have shown hiring a property manager can cut your vacancy rate in half. Conversely, going cheap with a property management firm can wind up being very expensive."

With potential rent on an average home of $1200.00 over a three-month vacancy, you would be out $3,600.00. During that time you would still be responsible for the mortgage, upkeep, and advertising to get it rented. With the help of a property manager and their experience in marketing, you can expect to cut that vacancy time in half. At only a 45 day vacancy you are looking at a potential of $1800.00 in lost rental income, but with a mortgage under $900.00, you could still break even on those two months.

Maintenance Before Renting

What maintenance can we do before we begin using a property manager to help save on repairs and maintenance fees once the property is handed over to be rented out?

 

Once you turn your property over to the Property Manager, their job will be to keep you, and your tenants happy. 

 

If you want to do a little upkeep and routine service before you rent the property out, this can save you money in the long run later. 

 

Most times, people will give the Property Manager an allowance for repairs (especially helpful for middle of the night emergency repairs). Maybe the allowance is up to $200 for a small repair. 

 

Any repairs over that amount will need to be approved by the landlord first. You can learn more about that in this great article where we interviewed a Navy servicewoman about her experience using a Property Manager. 

 

Taking a look over major appliances and home features, and doing a small bit of move-out repairs, may help save you from more costly repairs later. 

 

  • HVAC Service - Having your system checked out and possibly given a quick tune-up yearly could save you thousands over an unforeseen replacement. 


  • Yard Maintenance - Hire and meet with landscaper ahead of renting your home to set expectations will allow you to know what the monthly cost is and if you want to include that in the rent you are charging. 
    Regular Inspections -  Before you rent the home it is wise to inspect and document any existing issues and have them fixed. This will give set up a good baseline for the home. 

    Typically a property manager will have an on-call maintenance person so they are not incurring an emergency fee to resolve an issue. Regular inspections will address little things before they are big things and make sure the renters are staying within the bounds of the lease.

Do what you do best and outsource the rest. 

 

Figure out what your time is worth to you. Are your time and energy best spent vetting renters and chasing down rent checks each month? Do you have time to call multiple companies to get repair estimates when you haven't even seen the damage for yourself? Are you trying to do this after a frantic middle of the night call from your tenants while you sleep half a world away?

 

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There is nothing wrong from getting help from a professional. In the long run, it will likely save you money.

 

Forbes has a great list of questions you should ask yourself when considering if you should handle the management yourself and a list you should ask the property manager. 

 

  • Am I going to be close enough to handle emergencies?

  • Do I have the time to dedicate to marketing and vetting tenants?

  • Are there any fees when the property is vacant?

  • How do you screen tenants?

  • What’s your average vacancy rate?

  • How do you structure your fees?

  • How much experience do you have?

  • Will I receive regular reports or is there an online portal I can access?

  • How often are inspections performed?


Rather watch a video? Check out this short video “7 Tips For Selecting The Best Property Manager”. 

Ready to see how much your property could rent for? Get a free rental analysis now!


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7 Fun Social Media Marketing Tips To Help You Presell Your Ponte Vedra Beach Real Estate Property

Anastasia Morgan - Tuesday, March 19, 2019

All good things must come to an end. Sometimes that even means moving on from your gorgeous Ponte Vedra property to your next adventure. 

Not sure how to start? Here are things you can do yourself before you list (AKA “presell”) and start the “Days On Market” countdown timer (or have a professional realtor like Navy to Navy do it for you).



#1—Video

Let potential buyers tour your home and your neighborhood. Take them for a walking tour. Adding in a 360 shot from Google street view lends depth to posts. 


Facebook: Invite potential buyers to tour your home without the risk of muddy footprints. Keep the camera steady and take a walk about your premises. Tell a few stories or add in some easy listening style tunes (and cite the artists!) to keep the energy going. And no more worries about the Facebook police for using music. Woohoo! 


Bonus: Upload to YouTube and share/embed away!


Want to keep extra simple? Make a video slideshow of some great photos of your home. Try using Adobe Spark or Canva to make an easy slideshow that you can just as easily save as a video.


Dare to be daring? Panoramic shots and connecting to Google Street View can make an impressive combo with little muss or fuss.  You can even do a killer 360 view like this one!


Instagram: Do a fun series of around the house videos. Keep your videos short and sweet, and don’t be afraid of hashtags. If you still want to use longer videos but also want to use Instagram to get attention, no one says you can’t link to your o-so-awesome Facebook video in the description of your Instagram vid. 


Don’t be afraid of stories or going live. 24 hour bites can be enticing and who wouldn’t want to see the fabulous sunset from your back patio?


#2—Photos

More than static, you get angles, color comp, and can even use online tools like Canva or Stencil to create incredible, enticing images.


Facebook: Aside from videos, photos are the most tried and true way to get eyes on you (and your home). Since we’re talking about pre-selling rather than active listing, you have the advantage of sharing candids along with more polished (read: staged) photos. 


Instagram: Filter or not filter, that is the question! And the answer may surprise you. Using complimentary color filters on your home’s photos can greatly adjust the tone. Play into cool blues and let your home appear whimsical and restful in a midday photo. Lay warm tones over an early evening shot and give your home the appearance of a passion-filled getaway.


Twitter: Perhaps a surprising contender but Twitter not only syncs up well with heftier social media platforms like Facebook as well as bite-sized updaters like Instagram. Don’t be fooled, however. Twitter isn’t just the perfect link feed. Integrating photos, videos, and even gifs are easier than ever on Twitter. Drop your most popular images here and be choosy with your hashtags. 


#3—Tell a Story

Did you fall in love here? Did you discover your favorite food here? Create a great memory? Share. Humans love stories. Feed into your audience’s “need-to-know” as often as possible.


Facebook: Arguably the best social media platform for long form aside from Tumblr, tell your story. People don’t buy things. They buy memories. They buy potential. They buy hope. And what is a home if not the place to house those very things?


Twitter: Get connected. Boldly use your @ and # and connect your experiences with favorite restaurants, charities, or locales and draw people in. “I absolutely loved volunteering with @PVwildlife and learning all about the #marinelife in our waters. #seasnailsanyone?” 


Be clever, be silly, be kooky. Don’t be inauthentic, don’t lie, and don’t let any bad times overshadow the good ones. (That’s life advice you can put on a pillow right there.)


#4—Sharing Culture/Local & Connected

Active in the community? Love the local library? In touch with the beach bums who know the best time to visit the beach is early morning or late evening when the sun has mellowed out?


Twitter: Much like tip #3 above, use Twitter to connect with the local culture. Use a mix of photos, text, and general engagement to make you—and by extension your home—stand out. 


Instagram: You didn’t think I would talk kitsch without bringing up the empress of food selfies, did you? Much like Twitter, connect with the local color. Unlike Twitter, spend more time talking about you and your property and your experiences. Was there an amazing boardwalk party less than a 10 minute bike ride from you? Share it. Own it. Love it. While it may sound hooky, wax a little poetic. 


LinkedIn/Facebook: Double feature! This sub-tip (tip-tip?) works well for both Facebook and LinkedIn. 


Joining groups centered around people interested in

a) real estate

b) purchasing properties

c) in love with the Ponte Vedra area

d) some combination of all three 

can yield helpful keywords, potential connections, and an in to the group at large. 


Being an active member in a group is one of the simplest ways to connect with like-minded folks. Do some talking, post about how awesome your property is (after mingling for a few weeks and getting the OK from the admin(s), and remember to always be kind and courteous.


Photo courtesy of Canva.com


#5—Be #hashtag Savvy

Know what hashtags are trending on each platform you intend to post on. A little bit of Google-fu and presto! Popular keywords at your fingertips. Keep in this in mind: While Instagram and Twitter are pretty much ruled by the almighty hashtag, each platform has its own culture and identity

 

So how do you figure out what to use when and where? Glad you asked! Here's a handy list of hashtags to get you started!


Google-fu hot tip incoming! 

Search using quotation marks. This tells Google to search only for that term such as “Ponte Vedra Florida” and only in that exact way. Couple this with a more general term like “on Instagram” (but without the quotation marks). This allows Google to troll for the appropriate items.  


Twitter/Instagram: Best advice? Do not drown your posts in #hashtags. Pick your top 3-5, use them, and rotate with more targeted hashtags that suit each post. You can read more about the differences between Twitter and Instagram here


Facebook: Hashtags can be helpful here; however, these are better navigators for small groups than the major trawl of an entire social media network. If you’re in some sort of Ponte Vedra community group, using hashtags here can be invaluable for two reasons. 1) Hashtags will make searching your posts more easy to locate. 2) Occasionally using something funny or clever with your usual tagging method in the group will get you noticed.


Photo courtesy of Canva.com



#6—The Final Countdown

While hashtags are cool, the real shining star of social media? Content. The key to making algorithms and audiences happy? Consistently updated content. So what better way to celebrate the impending active market than a pre-sell countdown?


Here’s the skinny: 30 days before on the market date, start your countdown. Each day, do something evoke emotion in your audience. Tell a story (like when you first moved in), an interesting factoid (Ponte Vedra takes its name from a 12-arched Roman bridge, the Pons Vetus), an interesting tidbit (did you know that Ponte Vedra is slightly north of a turtle nesting beach?).


Instagram: This is a great place for eye-catching visuals to shine. Be sure to couple this with smart but simple hashtags. This will allow you to crosspost more easily to Twitter while remaining consistent with your tags. Recommendations: Use sequencing tags (#day1 on the first post, #day2 on the second post, #day3 on the third, etc.), locale tags (#pontevedra, #florida, #atlanticbeaches), tags related to your fact/story/tidbit (#turtles, #floridaturtles, #babyturtles), and countdown tags (#countowntosell, #day4of30, #realestatecountdown, #countdowninthe32082). Simple and straightforward does not mean boring or uncreative or anti-fun. 


Twitter: Make use of the (relatively) new 280 character limit. Using interesting tidbits can help bring eyes to your tweets which can mean interest in your home. Visuals are still helpful here but due to Twitter’s much smaller pictures, Instagram is still a better choice. Note: While you can absolutely have your Instagram auto-feed to Twitter, you do no have to. If you’re more comfortable simply copying your post details, go right ahead! But be sure to a link to the related post on Instagram. You want to remain as social media accessible as possible.


#7—Boosted Posts


Or what I like to call “the genial advert”


Feel like you have a good handle on the tips above? Then it is time, young padawan, to maximize your potential—pre-selling potential, that is. Without sending you down an analytics rabbit hole, see what posts you’ve made that have done well. Take a quick look at likes and comments on your posts, find the ones that have the most, and get ready to BOOST.


Now what is boosting, what does it do, and why do you care?


All fantastic questions.


The short answer: Boosting literally boosts the visibility, and thereby popularity, of your posts. Friends will see your posts more frequently, typically with first priority. While each social media platform has its own particular way (and costs) for boosting posts, the same basic ideas work for pretty much all of them.


Here are some suggestions on post types to boost:

  • Short walk through videos

  • If something is under construction/reconstruction, show the blueprints + the intended result

  • Facebook panoramas of favorite rooms or property features — if you have a killer garden, show it off!

  • Couple an eye-catching photo with a quick blurb about why you’ve loved living in Ponte Vedra

  • If you have undeveloped property, get a great shot at sunrise or sunset—ideally over the water—and let your inner creative run wild. Talk about what you imagine being built here. If you’re feeling brave, ditch the photo + blurb combo and make a quick video. 

  • Select posts with good interaction (shares/likes)

  • Boost posts with popular (but applicable) tags


Calculating your theme formula  

Connection + location + culture + scenery + experiences + any unique festivals/interesting charities that are a big to-do = ENGAGEMENT


Keep in mind that you may not be able to integrate every proposed variable of this formula. And that’s OK. Instead, present quality and maintain genuineness. 


Think back on why you called Ponte Vedra your home and why you fell in love with the area. Your feelings. Your reasons.


If you can recall those, it will be a thousand times easier for someone else to feel the same way you did—and hopefully want to make your old home their new home. The start to their new adventure.


A word to the wise: Boosting posts is not free. Start with setting your frequency, picking your niche audience (and research who that would be!), and sticking with a small budget of a $1/day to rouse curiosity and interest. 


Summary

  • Videos — Keep ‘em short and sweet. It’s better to have quantity than length.

  • Photos — Share good shots. While it’s OK to use filters of complementary colors, don’t go crazy.

  • Tell a Story — Totally fine to share a little piece of your heart. People are more compelled by the humanness of stories than a great view and location alone.

  • #hashtagsavvy — Simple, on topic, and easy to find. If in doubt, do a quick search online for the most popular tags for your area + what real estate agents are using.

  • Countdown — If you’re counting down to the day your list your property officially on the market, treat it like a party that everyone is invited to. Where to be discerning: At the seller’s table.

  • Boosted Posts — While you will have to fork out a bit of cash—how much is up to you—to get posts boosted to begin with, the eye-catching factor cannot be denied. Use your most popular and engaging posts and you’ll see an increase in interest come on market time.

3 Buyer Favorites: Condo Communities We Love Near Orange Park

Delicia Ivins - Thursday, March 14, 2019

Everyone wants a condo in Florida. Well not everyone. But a lot of people do. 

So much so, that we decided to roll up our sleeves and write an article on the top three condo communities in Orange Park Florida. 

We looked at Google Reviews, Google satellite property features, property website and property Facebook pages (when they had them).

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A Little Bit About Orange Park and Why It’s So Special


As of the date of this article, according to Zillow.com, 

“Orange Park home values have gone up 9.6% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 10.7% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Orange Park is $112 which is lower than the Jacksonville Metro average of $132.”


What does that mean for you?

It means a great, low-maintenance property at a lower cost per square foot!

And if and when you decide to move on, the properties make perfect rental income properties for years to come.




Coventry Condominiums

4.4 Average Google Review - 23 Reviews

625 Oakleaf Plantation Pkwy, Orange Park, FL 32065


Coventry Condominiums are located about 25 minutes west of Orange Park, just outside prestigious Oakleaf Plantation. If you’re looking for a little more peace and quiet, these condos are near the Branan Field Wildlife and Environmental Area - a 386 pine forest preserve with walking trails for viewing wildlife and vegetation. 


Homes typically range in price from $114,000 to $135,000 and feature two to three bedrooms and two to three baths. The average list price is $123,000 in the average price per square foot is only $85. 


Assigned schools are:

  • Oakleaf Village Elementary School which receives an 8 out of 10 greatschools.org rating

  • Oakleaf Junior High School which receives a 7 out of 10 on greatschools.org

  • Oakleaf High School, which receives a 6 out of 10. 


School populations remain on the smaller side, with the high school serving only just over 2400 students at the time of this article.


Coventry Condominiums remains close to all schools with the elementary school just over a quarter of a mile away, the Junior High School just over a mile away, and the high school just over a mile away. 

No more waking up early to sit in carpool Mom. The kids can walk together. 


Coventry at Oakleaf is located minutes from restaurants, coffee shops (including a Starbucks), and health clubs and gyms to help you burn off all the restaurant calories.


Amenities feature a community swimming pool and an outside picnic table style facility that can be rented or special occasions.




Chatham Woods Condos Orange Park FL

Chatham Woods

4.4 Average Google Review - 7 Reviews

5260 Collins Road Jacksonville FL 32244


Just north of Orange Park and 295, Chatham Woods lies 6 minutes southwest of Jacksonville Naval Complex, 14 minutes south of Ringhaver Park, and 11 minutes from Orange Park Mall. 


If you’re without children, or have young children, Chatham Woods is a great fit! Their updated event calendar features community friendly events like an art walk downtown the first Wednesday of every month.


Chatham Woods condo properties average between $75,000 and $120,000, with the median sale price landing at $100,000. The average per square foot is $76. 


The average unit size ranges from 1020 square feet to just over 1700 square feet, for a 2-4 bedroom unit.  


Chatham Woods is a mixed-age condo community, with units built between 1983 and 2006.


Assigned schools are:

  • Venetia Elementary School which receives a 7 out of 10 greatschools.org rating,

  • J. E. B. Stuart Middle School which receives a 3 out of 10 greatschools.org rating,

  • And Robert E. Lee High School, finishing out with another 3 out of 10 greatschools.org rating.


The Chatham Woods website does not currently list amenities or features, but a Google Satellite view reveals a pond located on the property. A pool was not seen.




Cottages at Argyle

5 Average Google Review - 3 Reviews

8550 Argyle Business Loop, Jacksonville, FL 32244


A newer condominium site, the Cottages were developed mostly around 2006 and generally range from $90,000 to $125,000.


Most condo units are two to three bedrooms with two to three bathrooms. Condos in the Cottages range from 1100 to 1600 square feet. 


According to condo.com, the average list price is $117,500 as of the date of this article. Cost per square foot averages between $85/sq ft - 100/sq ft at current market value.


The Cottages lie off of Argyle Forest Boulevard and feature beautifully landscaped yards with a gorgeous central pond, community pool access, playground, and a community patio and grill station for summer cookouts.  


Assigned schools are:

  • Chimney Lakes Elementary School which receives a 9 out of 10 greatschools.org rating,

  • Jefferson Davis Middle School which receives a 1 out of 10 greatschools.org rating,

  • And Westside High School, finishing out with another 2 out of 10 greatschools.org rating.


The Cottages are centrally located, with only an 8 minute drive to Orange Park Mall and a quick 5 minute drive to Argyle Forest childhood favorites, like Chuck E Cheese. 


Summary

If you’re looking to stay near Jacksonville Naval Base, Orange Park is a great location. 


If you have children, Coventry Condominiums at Oakleaf Plantation offer the best rated schools, with about a ½ hour commute to the Base. 


However, that ½ hour drive may suit well, giving you ample time to decompress after a long day, to head home to hang out with the family and take a hike over at Branan Field.


If you have no children, elementary school age children, or homeschool your children - the Cottages at Argyle are also a top contender. With the assigned district school, Chimney Lakes Elementary, ranking 9 out of 10, a family-friendly community pool, and playground access for the littles - the Cottages work to offer a family-friendly environment at an affordable price.


If you’re looking to purchase a condo in or near Orange Park, you’ll want to keep a special eye on properties in these communities. 


And if you’re looking to sell your Orange Park condo, we’d love to help you get the information you need to help you sell your property for a great price!


Get your free property evaluation today and get ready for the future. 


How To Photograph Your Jacksonville Pool House To Sell: [Study] 8 Jaw-Dropping Luxury Pool Homes For...

Jennifer Delaney - Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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Do you have a unique pool at your Jacksonville, Florida home? Showcasing that asset can set your home apart from the rest. Following a few simple tricks, you will get beautiful results.

If you have some simple equipment you could do it yourself. The truth is, hiring a professional may be worth the price. Your realtor can suggest a photographer who can do both your interior photos and showcase your pool area.  


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Night time is the right time - You paid for the color changing LED -  you might as well maximize its effect.

You may need to use a long exposure for the colors to look their best. Another consideration will be if you use a tripod. With long exposure, you will need to hold steady for a much longer time than usual. By using a tripod you will have cleaner, crisper images.


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The point of view shot - If you can get a picture that invites people into your pool to see what life would look like from there it is a money maker!

Have a dramatic feature like an infinity edge? Use it! Help your potential buyers imagine sitting in your pool, enjoying that view. The view from your pool deck, sun ledge or outdoor patio will get them imagining living in the space.



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Outdoors are an extra room - Your pool is part of your home as much as your living room is. You want viewers to tour the home inside and out.

With a one of a kind area like the photo above, you want to give it the attention it deserves. Multiple shots from several angles will give a more complete picture of the area. If you have a unique area use that as a selling point.



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Get High - Take a photo from well above the pool to get a complete picture of your property.

You get a much more dramatic shot from above. If you have a balcony or access to a drone you can use the height to accentuate how the pool fits in the landscaping. If possible try several photos where you add or remove furniture to find the best composition. Shooting at dusk or just after dawn will reduce harsh shadows.



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An Oasis in the city - Show your pool as part of the overall landscape. Pools are part of your asset and should be considered in the composition of your photos.

Remove anything that distracts from the overall aesthetic of the area. You do not need beach balls and pool loungers to prove the area is the perfect spot to entertain.



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Timing is everything - Take pictures at many times of the day, reduce shadows by knowing your light. The best picture of your pool might not be during the day. As a matter of fact, in the daytime picture of the pool above it was not apparent there were swim lanes painted on the pool bottom.

Pay for a professional to do multiple sessions so you have day and night pictures of your pool and surrounding living space. You may find that midday does not shed the best light on your pool.



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Low and Wide - Small pools can be accentuated from a unique angle to look bigger and more appealing. Being willing to explore the corners and different angles can make the pool look completely different.

Wide angle lenses will make the pool look bigger on its own. By shooting from the corner in this example this moderate size pool looks very inviting. This is little more than a plunge pool with a  sun deck and spa. If the photographer had gotten a little lower they could have created even more drama and space in this shot.



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Clean and simple - Staging is important for your pool pictures too. Paying attention to the big picture of how all the pieces of the design work together will make your outdoor area shine.

Make sure your pool is clean! No leaves, deck swept, no dirt in the bottom, it is worth some extra time. You would not leave crumbs on the kitchen counter, so be mindful here too. Removing any unnecessary distractions can be just as important to the composition of your photo.    


Considering a move? 

We can help. We offer modern-day marketing techniques to help you sell your Jacksonville pool house - faster. 

Get a free home estimate below.


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14 Prep Tips To Help You Position And Sell Your Atlantic Beach Dream Home

Jennifer Delaney - Thursday, March 7, 2019

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Your Atlantic Beach home is beautiful, set up just the way you like. It was your dream home. The decor is a wonderful reflection of your personality and style. All that said, you have decided to move on.


When you are putting your luxury home on the market there are many things to consider. You know your home and probably have some favorite features. A real estate professional, on the other hand, knows what features the buyers will be looking for. 

There are some things that you need to consider when getting ready to sell. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and you will get into the mindset necessary to have a great experience. 


1. Price The Home Right The First Time 

Hiring a team to dive deep and research your home and area will get you a higher price. Anyone can look over neighborhood comps and get an idea of what an average home in the area has sold for. 

Having an expert showcase the unique features of your home will get a more accurate price where the value is supported by the features. 

You recently updated your sunroom. It's gorgeous! And while you may see that updated sunroom as an asset, boosting the value of your home, the buyer may now see all the other rooms that need to be updated...

Your home needs a personalized approach, not just a "neighborhood comp". 

A professional realtor will know the market fluctuations and can help you position and price your house to sell within the needed time frame.


2. Effective Marketing

It’s not 1990. A flier and yard sign will not sell your beach house.

This is a time for pulling out all of the stops to maximize your return on investment.

Being on the beach will attract buyers on its own, but you must be strategic. You are appealing to a specific group when selling a beach home. 

Your realtor should have a comprehensive marketing plan in place including professional photography and pre-listing avenues.

Want to dig in?

You can look at realtor listings on Zillow.com and Realtor.com for comparable luxury homes in your market.

Review the photographs of the home, and review the Days On Market averages for each realtor.

Homes in the luxury market generally have longer Days On Market numbers than non-luxury homes, but you should be able to quickly identify the realtors who excel in marketing luxury homes based on their track records.


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3. Photos - Videos - Virtual Tours

Hiring a professional will be worth the price when it comes to showcasing your Atlantic Beach home. Not all of your buyers will be local and available for an in-person showing. 

You want potential buyers to be able to not just see a floor plan and still photos. 

The people who purchase your home may not live anywhere near Jacksonville, FL. 

You need a team that can help potential buyers to see the beauty of your home, even from 3,000 miles away.

A video is great, but a full virtual tour will allow viewers to walk through your home from anywhere in the world. 

With the addition of a drone video of the entire lot, your beach-views can make a stunning statement to someone considering your space. 

Other potential features: floor plan mapping, and pre-listing emails to a warmed up audience can help you get top dollar for your luxury beach house

Do not neglect your outside spaces.

Many times, your potential buyers will be viewing your home late at night on a computer, phone, or tablet. 

You want to entice them to view the home in person. 

You want the best photos of the exterior of the home and the yard to be featured prominently since they will be the first thing that greets potential buyers.

Have a pool home? Check out our post on "How To Photograph Your Jacksonville Pool House To Sell: [Study] 8 Jaw-Dropping Luxury Pool Homes For Sale in Jacksonville, FL"


4. Stage Every Room

Your luxury Atlantic Beach home deserves top-notch staging. Let’s face it, if the house does not look like somewhere people want to live they will not buy. Would you? 

Forbes and the National Association of Realtors have data that supports 

“for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400. A staged home will sell for 17% more on average than a non-staged home, and 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That is statistically 87% faster than non-staged homes.”

Coldwell Banker notes, 

“home staging has transitioned from an add-on service to an expected part of a luxury homes marketing program, the expectations have increased, and so have the offerings.”

This is not a place to skimp. 

You will not put your home in the best light if you only do half of the job. 


Beautiful kitchens, living rooms, and master bedrooms may be selling points, but they are not the whole package. It is worth your time to make sure the office, spare bathrooms, and guest rooms are just as appealing. 

Mansion Global makes a good case that staging is a necessary expense. 

At the lowest end, when staging for a home that’s $500,000 to $750,000, the typical fee is $3,500 to $5,000, which includes the design, installation and three months for furniture rental. 

After three months, the monthly rental fee is 10% of the initial charge—in this case, $350 to $500 per month—until the furniture is returned. 


5. Neutral Colors

White Orchid Interiors suggests going neutral as a rule. Maintain color neutrality throughout the space to allow prospective buyers to visualize themselves in the home. Prospective home buyers are likely to be turned off by vibrant hues.

Dark walls and ceilings can make a room seem small or confined. Your love for bright colors may not be everyone's cup of tea. The neutral colors can create a pallet that people can imagine themselves customizing and living in.


6. Lighting

Dark rooms can feel small or uninviting. 

You will want to do a daytime and nighttime audit of the space to see if there are places you could improve lighting. 

TIP: A quick way to compare your lighting is to take pictures morning, noon and evening to see how the rooms change with the current lighting. You may find that there is room for improvement in some areas. 

If you have dark walls, ceilings or furniture consider adding extra lighting and making sure you have the brightest possible bulb for your fixtures. 

If the fixtures are outdated or wrong for the space consider the option of replacing them before your interior photos are taken. It could be a small cost for a big impact.

Don’t forget exterior lighting. 

Solar path lighting is a quick way to make an impression at night. Make sure if you have accent lighting at night that professional photographs make the most of the dramatic effects. 


7. Accentuate Unique Features

Do you have the biggest pool or an entryway waterfall? 

What are the unique things that make your house special even amongst Jacksonville, Florida’s best? 

Knowing the features of the homes around you will allow you to point out the parts of your house that set it apart. 

Because Atlantic Beach IS a focal point, you will want to capitalize on your location. 

Consider the area as part of your home. 

Make sure you showcase Atlantic Beach as one of the highlights of your home's appeal and its many amenities. 


8. Make Sure The House Is DEEP Cleaned

You might be known for having a super clean kitchen in your social circles. 

Your guest bath might always be neat and well stocked. 

But this is time for a next-level cleaning.

A professional service can come in and make sure your grout and baseboards shine - making an impression on discerning buyers or their representatives. 


9. Curb Appeal - It Isn’t Just The Grass

Don’t forget the yard. The first thing your potential buyers will see as they pull up is your yard. 

The small price of a good one time clean up by a landscape firm can set the stage for a wonderful first impression. If any of your plants or trees are looking a little sad you may consider having a few flower beds refreshed or replanted.

Many of your buyers will form their initial impression not just from the outside of your home, but from the photos they first see on the internet. 

The outside and yard areas of your home need to be showcased there as well.  


10. Oooh, That Smell

Just because you love a specific scent does not mean that a buyer will. We tend to go “nose blind” in our own space. 

Your love for garlic and onions may permeate your kitchen and you don’t even smell it anymore. The master bedroom may smell of the signature fragrance that your husband buys you every year. These are things we easily get used to and simply may not notice. 

Your home selling team will be able to point any scents you overlook and suggest a fresh clean, neutral fragrance that will not draw attention away from the homes overall aesthetic. 

Some of this will be reconciled by the deep cleaning as well.


11. Extra Incentives 

Do you have art that was made for a specific space that won’t fit your new place? How about a safe too big to move? Is there a built-in sound system and home theater that will be staying part of the home? 

Any of these things that you take for granted may be incentives for buyers to purchase your home over another. Depending on the items, they may not just increase interest but also the overall value of the property.

Be sure to check with your property stager first, to make sure that something you view as an asset, will not be a burden to potential viewers. 


12. Gather Your Paperwork 

Before you put your home on the market make sure your mortgage documents and any other paperwork is in order. 

Do you have blueprints for your beautiful custom home? 

Tech manuals for appliances, product warranties, pool instructions, any remote logins, and a list of local resources will help your homebuyer make a seamless transition.

If you in an older home, you may have the opportunity to pass on some history of the home or the area to the new owners. 

Any historical information on when replacements or upgrades were made can help a new owner plan for their future. 


legal documents for selling your jacksonville fl home


13. Put Away Or Remove Valuables/Fragile Items For Potential Showings 

In a perfect world, you will have 24 hours or more to get ready for a showing. 

But let's be real. Your beautiful beach home could get the attention of not only local but foreign buyers. A situation may arise where someone flies in to look at only a few homes and yours comes to their attention. 

Are you going to miss a potential sale because you are short a few hours to get ready? 

Having all of your personal and valuable possessions already stored away for safekeeping will make your job of a quick clean up exponentially easier. 


14. Hire A Professional 

Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have the right team helping you through the selling process. You and your home deserve the best. 

Read reviews, ask friends, and interview potential realtors or teams before making a final decision. 


About Us

Navy to Navy homes is a professional real estate company based in Jacksonville, Fl.

This Veteran owned and operated team was founded by a 24-year retired Navy Pilot, Mario Gonzalez, who serves the Jacksonville area with almost two decades of real estate experience.


Navy to Navy is a full-service real estate brokerage that specializes in property management, sales, and relocation services for military families in the Jacksonville area.

While we focus on helping and serving our community’s heroes, we love to help Jacksonville area citizens as well.

Our friendly and personal staff will provide unparalleled customer service to you, whatever your real estate need may be. We are here for all of your Jacksonville area real estate needs. 


Interested in learning more?

Get your home’s Free Home Analysis Report to get a starting point idea of what your home could sell for.


Top 5 Suggestions Before Renting Out Your House

Anastasia Morgan - Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Top 5 Suggestions Before Renting Out Your House


While renting out your home can be appealing for lots of reasons such as additional cash flow, investment diversification, or simply keeping the house in your name and the mortgage paid, there are some definite factors to consider before taking on tenants and the mantle of landlord.


Top 5 Suggestions before renting out your Jacksonville, FL house


SUGGESTION #1: Best House in the Best Neighborhood Doesn’t Always Equal the Best Rental ROI


  • DON’T assume that you will get as much for rent as from tenants as your bank gets from you for the mortgage

  • DO take the time to research the local market


Know your area. Have the numbers of renters vs owners. Remember that an occupied home with some money coming in is better than an unoccupied property with no money coming in.


Military.com has some great suggestions on where to dig up the details


“Get an idea of rent amounts by checking newspapers, online resources or neighborhood rental signs. Be realistic about rent levels. The rent may be lower than your mortgage payment, but if you want to find a tenant, the rent must be comparable to what's in the market.”  


When it comes to money matters, always research, research, research.



SUGGESTION #2: Keep in Mind That Not All Properties and Locations Are Treated Equally


  • DON’T think that leasing your country bungalow is the same as renting out a downtown NYC flat

  • DO respect and take into account both property location and property type


Location, location, location + property type = a highly individual metric for you and your property. 


While an NYC flat may command higher rent, the fact that there’s no yard does not mean there’s no maintenance. Rather, you would redouble your efforts to make your home the most attractive option available to potential renters. Keep in mind that the rental pool would be far smaller (higher cost of living, not enough space for price per square foot, etc). 


A country bungalow might have higher upkeep costs for land care and lower rent compared to the NYC flat; however, due to a larger potential renter pool, the country bungalow may be the more lucrative of the two in the long run. Plus, the country bungalow may also have a shorter unoccupied status which would mean longer period of uninterrupted cash flow. 


LawDepot.com's Kristy DeSmit puts it into perspective like this


“The type of property you’re leasing affects the amount of maintenance and attention you will need to put towards it.”


Customize, market, and utilize the property type accordingly in order to minimize headaches. You may not earn maximum profit from your property but an easy-to-maintain rental means fewer expenses eating into your bottom line.


rental home repairs, property management company Jacksonville, FL

Know the difference between repairs/improvements and maintenance to save headaches at tax time.
Image courtesy of Canva.com


SUGGESTION# 3: Know Your Maintenance Types and Costs


  • DON’T lump all property repairs and improvements under the same umbrella

  • DO keep detailed records of which maintenance items are repairs, which are improvements, the costs respective to each, and the date(s) these maintenance items occurred  


Whether making repairs/improvements yourself or logging maintenance expenses, know when to put in the elbow grease/sweat equity yourself or hire someone else to do the work for you. 


Ensuring you get the best, most accurate deductions/credits at tax time is just as important as keeping your property a desirable place to live.


The brains at TurboTax break down repairs vs improvements as


“Maintaining a rental property includes fixing the building up over time. Some of these costs are repairs, and some are improvements. The basic definition of a repair is anything that puts the property back into the same condition it was in originally.

[...]

The reason it is important to differentiate between the two types of costs is that repairs and maintenance costs can be expensed in the year incurred, whereas improvements must be capitalized and the expense taken over a period of years through depreciation.”


Know your limits, figure out what's needed, and use this as an opportunity to improve and repair your property. This is also a great opportunity to maintain—or even improve—your reputation as a landlord. After all, people talk. 


Current rental expense or capital rental expense, Jacksonville property management expenses

Knowing what and how to expense incurred costs during a rental period is vital at tax time.
Image courtesy of Canva.com


SUGGESTION# 4: Learn to Determine If an Expense is a Current Expense or a Capital Expense


  • DON’T overstate or inflate your expenses

  • DO keep good records and report your expenses accurately


It’s easy to understand that replacing a broken sink is an expense. Determining if that new sink falls under improvement or replacement is a different story. 


Thankfully Lucas Hall over at Landlordology.com explains current vs capital expenses like this


“[Current expenses] are generally one-off items that help keep the property in good working condition and habitable, or help you operate your rental business.


The entire expense can be deducted from your taxes in the same year that it was incurred, hence “current” expenses. Repairs are generally expected to restore an item to its previous working condition.


To qualify as a current expense, it must be considered:


  1. Ordinary and necessary

Ordinary expenses are those that are common and generally accepted in the business. Necessary expenses are those that are deemed appropriate, such as interest, taxes, advertising, maintenance, utilities and insurance.

  1. Current

Must have more short-term value than long-term value. Fixing a hot water heater has short-term value. Replacing the appliance has long-term value.

  1. Directly related to your rental activity

The expense must be business related.


  1. Reasonable in amount.

There’s a valuable lesson to be learned here: If you claim to have paid $500 for a toilet seat, you will get audited.

[...]

Anything that increases the value of the property or extends its life is categorized as a “capital expense” or “improvement” and must be capitalized and depreciated over multiple years."


Lucas goes on to say that his "general rule of thumb is any item that costs hundreds of dollars (or more) to replace should probably be deducted as a capital expense.”


In short: Don’t play games with the IRS. They will find out. If in doubt, ask a tax professional.



SUGGESTION# 5: Be Discerning About Renters


  • DON’T take potential tenants at their word

  • DO protect yourself by vetting potential tenants and verify that they are the best fit for you and your property


Not only make sure that you and your tenant can have an amicable relationship, ensure that he/she can pay, understands the terms of your rental agreement, and has a good track record from previous landlords.


RocketLawyer.com advises


“[...] take the time to verify their good credit and their employment, which will help you determine their ability to pay the rent.  Keep in mind that it’s much easier to find another potential tenant than it would be to evict a tenant who can’t pay the rent.” 


Remember: It’s easier to avoid tenants who can’t or won’t pay than it is to go through the eviction process. Don’t think of this as unkind or unfair. Instead, think of this as protecting you and your property from those would would not respect your time, your values, your home, or your time. 


SUMMARY


  • Best House in the Best Neighborhood Doesn’t Always Equal the Best Rental ROI - Research your local market to get an accurate picture of current rents

  • Keep in Mind That Not All Properties and Locations Are Treated Equally - When considering what to charge for rent, remember to take into consideration property type, location, estimated vacancy time, and regular, ongoing maintenance costs - like landscaping.

  •  Know Your Maintenance Types and Costs - Track your maintenance types and costs. You can use something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Don't have Excel? Check out Google Sheets - Google's free spreadsheet software. 

  • Learn to Determine If an Expense is a Current Expense or a Capital Expense - Know how to classify your expenses at tax time. If you're unsure, always seek professional help from a CPA.
  • Be Discerning About Renters - Remember, "...it’s much easier to find another potential tenant than it would be to evict a tenant who can’t pay the rent."


If you need help, or have questions, we'd love to be your first stop. You can get #1 "Research your local market" completed right here on our site. 

Grab your free, in-depth Jacksonville Rental Analysis Report below.



Interview: How This Navy Family Reduced Stress and Saved Money Renting Their House

Jennifer Delaney - Thursday, February 28, 2019

Interview: How This Military Family Reduced Stress While Making Money Renting Their House


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A 20+ year veteran of the U.S. Navy, Kathy chose to keep a house in an area that she loved. 


She hoped to come back to that area somewhere further in her career. 


As life would have it she got orders to move, met the love of her life, got deployed several more times and had three beautiful children, never making it back to live in San Diego. 


I was fortunate to sit down and talk with her about her experience as a landlord and her use of a property manager during her 10 years that she kept her townhouse. 


Why did you decide to buy and how long did you rent out your house?


I was already 10 years into my Navy career and was looking at a year in San Diego. I was really hoping that I would get to stay or return, maybe retire there. So I took that opportunity to buy a house. 


So, I bought the townhouse, my tour in San Diego, that one, only lasted a year. I was transferred. I rented it out to a lady who, ultimately stayed in it for the almost 10 years that I had it. 


We sold it right after my daughter was born. I was actually in the hospital with her when I signed the escrow papers. 


When I rented it out, I was fortunate enough to find my neighbor was a realtor/property manager. He offered to help and told me that he did property management. He lived across the driveway from my place. I thought, “He is great. He is perfect. He’s right there. He’s certainly not going to let someone trash my house. Because he is going to have to look at it every day.” 


And he was the manager for 7 of those 10 years. When he retired from that business and sold it, I stayed with the person who bought it and continued on with them managing the property, until we decided to sell. 


We finally decided to sell to free up more cash flow to buy something that would accommodate (the now 5 of) us. 


Were the mortgage and insurance covered by the rent you were getting?


Nope, not even close! (she chuckled) So, I bought in California at the top of the mid-two-thousands housing bubble. I actually bought it from a couple who paid $10,000 more than I bought it for. But then the market kept dropping. Part of the reason I kept it so long is because I was underwater on it. I wasn’t totally underwater, I was able to make my mortgage payments every month. But, I was able to do that because we (her now, husband and her) decided to live in smaller places to be sure we could cover both. But the market rent in San Diego at the time was nowhere near what the mortgage and insurance were. 


As soon as we got to a point in the mortgage where we could sell it for as much as we owed on it, and I think we actually sold it for a little more than we owed on it. We did not make any money, but we did not lose any either in the end. 


You have talked to plenty of colleagues over the years, what is your take on why people do or do not use a property manager?


A lot of people in the Navy will choose not to have a property manager because they don’t want to pay for it. But my concern was I was single and I was going to potentially be out at sea and unreachable by my renter. 


I felt like I needed to have someone that my renter could reach out to if something happened. Something that (a property manager) could take care of it. And the guy I hired, I knew he was a nice guy, he had been really helpful to me over the course of the time I lived there when I needed something. 


I trusted the property manager I hired. I knew that he knew the neighborhood. He knew the San Diego area, he had been there his entire life and had been doing real estate there. In fact, he was the one who had managed the property for the people who owned the townhouse before me. I used him to help me rent the place out and he managed it until he retired. We were fortunate that my place was not vacant more than the time it took to shampoo the carpets. 


Something that was nice about him, we had an agreement. He would take care of any repairs up to a set amount without having to notify or ask me. So if it was something small he would just take care of it for me and he would just subtract it, with his monthly fee, from the rent.

He collected the rent from the tenant. He made a deposit into my account each month of the rent minus his fee and any repair cost (any repair cost that was up to $75). 


Anything beyond that ($75), he would call or email me to get prior approval. He always had a bid if it was over $75 so I knew what I was getting into.  We would then talk through it, so it was a really easy thing for me to not have to be worried about managing the property. I didn’t have to worry about the property being torn up. 


military property management, jacksonville fl


Would you say that it offered you some peace of mind having a property manager when you were across the country or across the world?

Absolutely!! There are a lot of schools of thought there and I have heard a lot of my Navy and other military colleagues talk about this. There can be tax implications when you have a property manager versus when you do not. But that depends on where you live and the tax laws there. Rather than have yearly write offs, I got some tax relief when we sold. That was an informed decision I made before I rented the townhouse. 


I found that it was a great situation. I never worried. I never got advice that felt off or shady about the property. 


If you had to do it again, would you hire a property manager or go it alone?

If I had to do it again I would. I would also definitely ask whoever that was going to be, “How will you handle things if and when I need to put this home on the market?”

I would (also) want to know if they would work with me if our situation changed. The guy who took over the business (after our original property manager of 7 years), seemed to be on the side of our renter and pushed back a little when we needed to sell.

In the end, it worked out fine, the renter moved out and we sold the townhouse. 


I was fortunate to have only one renter. Had I had renters who were more transient that would have been a different story. She ultimately did not want to leave. 

Considering whether to rent or sell your house? 


There are many right decisions when it comes to your house. Should you sell, rent it yourself, or should you hire a team to manage your property? Only you know what is best for you. 


If you’re considering renting your house in Jacksonville, FL, you’ll want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that someone is close by to handle an emergency when you are gone. 


If you’re considering using a property management company, check out this quick video, “7 Tips For Selecting The Best Property Manager”.


Want to know what your house will rent for?

You can get your free rental analysis here


This in-depth report will give you information about your home and the Jacksonville, FL rental market so that you can make an informed decision. 


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Military Family Move: Do I need a Property Manager to Rent My House?

Jennifer Delaney - Tuesday, February 26, 2019

So you got orders, maybe not for the first time. The clock is ticking until you move your family to another base, state, or maybe even country. This time is different; you really love this house. There may be a chance of orders here in the future. Possibly, you see yourself coming back here after you finish your time in the military altogether. 

After some consideration and thought you have decided to keep the house and rent it out. Now the hard decision. Do you try and rent the house yourself before you go or do you hire someone to take that burden off you and watch over the home while you are gone? But do you really need a property manager to rent your house?


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Considering A Property Management Service

If you are going to be deployed more than 12 months you will very likely need someone to fix a few things. Are you going to find a plumber or electrician from across the country in the middle of the night? A better question is, do you want to?

Who is going to look in and make sure that your yard is being maintained? You put time and many man hours into making it beautiful. Do you care if the flower beds are weeded while you are gone? Are you going to hire a company to take care of that before you leave? And how can you be sure they are doing what you want? There are so many things to consider.

Knowing that the rent is collected, tenants concerns are being met and the house is still standing can be worth a lot. You don’t need the added stress of worrying about your home if you are deployed a few hundred miles away, or half a world away. No one solution is right for every homeowner.


Analyzing Property Manager Costs

Costs can be a concern for any homeowner. Everyone wants to keep more of their money. 

When considering costs of using a property management service, it's also important to take into consider potential costs of not using a service.  

According to Forbes.com there are a few items to consider before you take on renting your home yourself:

  1. Do you have time to manage your home yourself? 

  2. How will you screen tenants from afar?

  3. What will you do if there is a vacancy? How will you fill it?

  4. What happens if you need to proceed with an eviction? 

Let's review a few services a property management company offers.


Property Management Services and Benefits

Reduced Tenant Vacancy Periods & Tenant Screening Services

A good property manager will keep your tenants happy. By properly vetting and selecting you the best possible people for your home, you are more likely to keep a tenant long term. With the professional eye of someone who has likely reviewed hundreds if not thousands of applications, you get some extra piece of mind. Having a great, long-term, tenant can save you a lot of money in the long run.


Emergency Repair Services and Maintenance

How much time will you have to dedicate to your house? Depending on where you get deployed, there may not be time or the resources you will need to keep up with your home. There may not be a reliable way to reach you at all times. Depending on your orders, you could be unreachable for weeks.  it could be weeks you are unreachable. 


Easy Income via Deposited Funds

In a situation where your deployment is extended or you transfer somewhere else unexpectedly, you will have everything in place for your rental to stay leased and income still being deposited into your account. You may depend on that income to pay the mortgage on that home you love so much.


Professional Legal Jargon Navigator

A lease agreement can be complex, depending on the state laws and your own personal requests and policies (pet policies, yard maintenance policies, etc.). Sometimes, the "fine print" and legal terms of it all can be overwhelming. If fine print and specific terms are not something you enjoy or feel comfortable navigating yourself, a professional property manager can help.

Check out this definition of just the word "lease" from Investopedia. There are specific terms for each party, ways to refer to the property.

DEFINITION of Lease

A lease is a contract outlining the terms under which one party agrees to rent property owned by another party. It guarantees the lessee, also known as the tenant, use of an asset and guarantees the lessor, the property owner or landlord, regular payments from the lessee for a specified number of months or years. Both the lessee and the lessor face consequences if they fail to uphold the terms of the contract.

There may also specific disclosures - lead paint disclosures, etc. - that may need to be added to a lease agreement to minimize legal recourse against the property owner.

A well-written Florida State Lease Agreement can be 10-14 pages long depending on what needs to be included. 


pet policy house rental pet damages to rental house property management company jacksonville fl


Pets and Pet Damage Policy Enforcement

Another big consideration is pets. Will you allow cats and dogs? What about birds?

Allowing pets can make your home more desirable, decrease tenant vacancy, increase tenant loyalty, and even attract better renters (sometimes - if you know what to look for). 

But there are things that should be considered when leasing your home to pet owners. Two common considerations are move-out cleaning and property damage. 

Extra cleaning. 

There may be extra cleaning when the renters move out. Is this something you're prepared to handle yourself, or something you'd like someone else to take care of for you? 

Property Damage. 

There could be damage to the house or the yard. How will you recoup that cost? How do you have to word that in your lease agreement for it to be legally binding in your contract with your renters? 

A property manager can source an excellent cleaning company for you to prepare your house for the next tenant, as well as contract out necessary repairs to keep your house in excellent condition.


Additional Lease Agreement Considerations

If you plan to manage the property yourself, but you are unsure what pieces you need in your agreement, you can refer to standardized, templated lease agreement, like the one here. But remember, these templated services may not always be up to date with state laws. Make sure that you have an attorney look it over to ensure it meets Florida statute standards and will hold up in court.

Military.com has a terrific list of additional items you may want to add to your lease agreement.  You will want to address these issues in a clear and concise way, that leaves no room for misinterpretation.

  1. List of tenants - Know who is living in your property, how many are in the family, and who is working to pay the rent.

  2. Rules of behavior - Lay out the acceptable noise level, proper neighborly conduct and whether smoking is allowed in the home or on the property at all.

  3. Pet policies - If you allow them, specify the deposits. Dogs? Cats? Proof of Pet Registration? Size?

  4. Lease term - A month-to-month lease offers more flexibility if you're still trying to sell, while an annual lease provides more stability if you plan to hold on to the property. What will happen at the end of the lease? Will you renew for 1-year? 6-months? Month-to-month? Evict?

  5. Security deposit - This is usually one month's rent or more. Knowing what the going rate in your area is will help you get good tenants.

  6. Repairs - Detail who is responsible for what. Are you taking care of the yard maintenance or leaving a lawn mower for them to use. Do you include yard maintenance, using an outside service, in your monthly rent? 


When To Consider Professional Property Management Services

Zillow says there are benefits to hiring a professional property manager. A property management team will take care of all the little details (like everything above) so that you don't have to.

You can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that someone else has it handled.

(Want more peace of mind? Check out our post: "Interview: How This Navy Family Reduced Stress and Saved Money Renting Their House".)


Summary Of Property Management Services

  1. Someone else collects the rent and deposits it into your account.

  2. If there is an emergency, someone is always local and available to answer the call and fix the issue no matter where you are in the world. No matter how simple or complex the emergency.

  3. Tenants are vetted and leases are signed without you needing to be in the area. You can receive electronic copies to your email anywhere in the world.

  4. A property manager will take care of the legal issues like holding the security deposit in an interest-free Escrow account per Florida laws. 

  5. You have someone who can and will keep up with the maintenance in your absence, allowing you some piece of mind that your home is in good condition. 

  6. In the event of an eviction, you will have someone to follow through all of the necessary steps required to get you free of a problem tenant. 


Having the right team behind you and your home is important. You can try to do all of the work yourself, but with a team, you can rest easy that your investment is taken care of. 

The first step is knowing how much your home will rent for. You can get your free rental analysis here. This in-depth report will give you information about your home and the Jacksonville, FL rental market, so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.


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18 Ways to Have a Pet-Friendly Rental (While Protecting Your Home)

Anastasia Morgan - Thursday, February 21, 2019

Want to know one of the best ways to make your rental property instantly more appealing without lifting a finger? Be pet-friendly. 

While pets can and do make a mess, allowing tenants to have pets means happier tenants. 

(No, really! It’s true!

And happier tenants mean better tenants. 

See, the availability of pet-friendly abodes is small. By being a pet-friendly property, you become an immediate rock star for prospective tenants. 

For you and your property, this means low vacancy rate and a high tenancy rate—and that means more money in the bank. 

Plus you can bypass tenants sneaking in their furry friends (who could cause property damage anyway) and skip straight to a rental agreement with a legally enforceable pet addendum. 

Check out our list of 18 ways to have a pet-friendly rental while still protecting your home.


pet friendly rental home ideas in jacksonville fl


#1 — Require Proper Identification, Licenses, and Vaccinations

Make sure everything is up-to-date. This will ensure everyone stays safe and you can avoid unnecessary litigation.

#2 — Have both a standard pet deposit and a damage deposit in place.

Not only will this protect you, tenants will pay (fair) premiums to keep their fur babies with them. Wear and tear is normal; these deposits keep the bulk of responsibility on tenants.


#3 — Check your carpets.

If pets have been in the home before, be sure to give your carpets and padding a thorough cleaning. Have an honest friend or family member tell you if there’s a distinct odor. Know your carpet’s condition before renting. Be fair with renters—accidents happen and that’s why you collect security deposits—but don’t get suckered with the ol’ “it was like that when I got here” line.


landlord pet cleaning for rental house jacksonville fl
Photo from Pexels 


#4 — Consider changing up your flooring.

Carpet might be cozy but alternative flooring options like tile or hardwood are easier to clean and maintain. Seal your floors with polyurethane to minimize odor absorption and provide easy clean up for both tenants and you.


#5 — Protect your walls, doors, and windows.

Use semi-gloss, high-gloss, or satin paints to make your rental walls easy-to-clean surfaces. Keep the walls texture free to help minimize pet temptation to chew or scratch.  Add Lucite panels to doors and windows to drastically reduce scratches from excited fur tenants. 


#6 — Interview the pet, not just the tenants.

While Joe Blow may be a great fit for your home, his dog might be an unholy terror. Have a face to face interview with both. Check reactions, behaviors, and general manner and attitude before agreeing to let Fido stay. But also make sure that Joe Blow acts like a responsible pet owner during the interview as well.

Someone who doesn’t treat their pet well will not treat your property well, either. 


pet interview for rental house jacksonville fl property management
Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels 


#7 — It’s OK to be choosy on what animals are allowed in the home.

Restrictions on type of pets, breeds, number of pets, and size/weight are acceptable. Be sure to check with your insurance in case there are any potential “do not allows” on their list that could invalidate your insurance. Keep in mind Emotional Support Animals are an exception to insurance rules.


#8 — Require cats and dogs to be spayed/neutered.

Having an animal desexed will cut-down on potential mess, late night mating calls, and improve general amiability of the tenant’s pet.


#9 — Include your pet policy in your lease agreement.

Whether tenants are coming in with a pet or bring one in later, your terms and conditions are clearly laid out and the tenant has agreed to them. Keep in mind: If you update your lease agreement and/or pet policy, provide an updated copy to your tenants ASAP.


#10 —Require renters insurance

Just in case a pet damages the property—or worse: attacks someone—, requiring tenants have renters insurance will lower the chance of litigation and save out of pocket expense for you.


#11  Landlord liability insurance

Whether renting to pet owners or not, having landlord liability insurance will keep you and your property safe even if you’re on the other side of the world.


#12 —Make sure the rental agreement places liability for damages on the pet owners.

Not only does this protect your flooring and the rest of your property, this protects your sanity.


#13 — Perform annual reviews of the property.

This helps to determine what damage may have been pet made and allows you to nip it in the bud before it can become a bigger, costlier repair later on.


#14 — Wellness records from the vet

Because illness can sometimes cause a lot of mess, see what health condition potential fur-tenants may have that could make them incompatible with your property.


#15 — Emotional Support Animal? Be sure to verify!

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects people with disabilities, which also protects Emotional Support Animals. Refusal to accommodate an Emotional Support Animal carries huge repercussions such as hefty fines and legal action. Thankfully, these animals require paperwork to back their Emotional Support Animal status. Most people will register there animals through a website such as US Service Animals.org


#16 — Set up a “pet potty” for pets that do their business outdoors.

Not only will this make clean up a snap for tenants, this will help protect your yard. Win-win!


#17 — Be specific in pet care requirements and property maintenance expectations

Set a certain number of hours an animal can be outside as well as how many hours unattended. Take into account weather conditions and write those into your pet addendum. 


#18 — Talk to previous landlords.

While there’s a lot of important info to collect from your tenant and their pet, talking to their previous landlords is paramount. 


Considering renting out your house? 

See how much you could be making with our Free Rental Analysis report.

Tailored to Jacksonville, FL, and its surrounding areas, this report gives you the deep dive into the Jacksonville rental market so that you can price your home accordingly (just don't forget to include those pet fees!). 

Get the best doggone tenants and rental income possible and let us help you today!


pet friendly jacksonville property management company

10 Reasons NOT to Sell Your House During Deployment

Jennifer Delaney - Tuesday, February 19, 2019


One thing you can count on as a member of the United States military is that you will have to move. Deployment is just a fact of life you accepted when you enlisted. 


Depending on the choice you made when accepting your current duty station you have a few options for what to do about housing. If you purchased a home you have a few more options. There are many advantages to retaining ownership of that house, below you will find the top ten reasons for keeping your home instead of selling it. 


1 - Income while paying down your mortgage


You could have someone else paying your mortgage!

The rent you collect could be enough to cover not only the mortgage and insurance but may allow you to put some cash aside if any repairs are needed in your absence. 

Example: Your mortgage payment, including PITI, comes in at $800/month. Your house rents for $1100/month. That's an extra $300/month passive income or use that extra income to pay down the principle on your loan - building equity and saving you THOUSANDS in interest payments.


If you are at a loss for how to price your home for rental Smartasset.com has some suggestions, or you can get your personalized free rental analysis report here.

Your best source for rental pricing is to see what people are already paying in your neighborhood. You may find that information to be more accurate for your specific area than using a complicated formula.  


2 - Security of having a home to come back to when the deployment is over


If there is a chance you will be coming back to the same location you could save yourself the struggle of finding new accommodations when you return. By renting your home you can arrange for the rental duration to be short enough to expire around the time you will return.

Do you just love Jacksonville? Are the beaches here your favorite place in the whole world? There is life after the military and you will have to settle somewhere. Why not come back to Florida?


3 - Tax benefits


If using the house as an income property you can still receive the tax write off for your interest. Please make sure you check with you tax preparer to be sure you are maximizing your deductions. 

The Motley Fool has a comprehensive list of write-offs for rental properties that might sway your decision. If deductions on your taxes are a factor for you then make sure to check out the entire list here. A few of our top ones are:

  • Property Taxes

  • Mortgage Interest

  • Repairs and Supplies

  • Yard Maintenance 


4 - Rental market is booming


All around the country, the rental market is booming!! In many urban areas it is significantly more per month to rent than it is to pay a mortgage. You could be passing up some serious money over the time of your deployment by not renting out your home. 

Forbes.com lists Jacksonville as one of the 25 Best Markets For Rental Property Investment. Since you already own a house here you are ahead of the game!


5 - You can always sell later


You just never know what life will throw at you. By renting out the house you can preserve a location to live when you return. If something comes up and it makes sense to sell you can always do that later. Working with a property manager who also deals with real estate sales could save you some time and effort if you decide to sell before returning. 


6 - Plans Change


Deployments get extended or cut short, you just never know. You might fall in love with that next duty station and decide to permanently stay there. So many unknowns can come up that having your option to return or not might save you some stress on the front end.


7 - Cut your losses if your market is in a downturn


In the current economy, it isn’t likely that you will see a sharp turn down in the real estate market. Unlike stocks and other investments real estate is a steady market. If something does change you can always put the house on the market as you see a change. 

Jacksonville is a top choice as a rental investment and a military town. You know if you are deploying that others will be too. If something changes you can always sell at the first sign of any market changes. 


8 - You can be totally hands off and keep your home


If you are worried about home repairs, don’t!! There are many reputable property management companies that can do everything for you from finding the perfect tenant to collecting the rent. They can even authorize and hire repairs in case of an emergency. 

Better than doing repairs they can find you the perfect tenants that will treat your home as their own while you are away.


9 - Have a vacation property to visit


If you want a little more flexibility in your rental you could rent it as only a short term vacation rental. Don’t think you are limited because your area isn’t a resort town. If it is, even better!!

You may find that a few days a month in vacation rental income will cover the expenses of the house allowing you to come and go when it is convenient or offer the space to friends and family for a weekend away. 

Check out what other vacation rentals are going for in Jacksonville Beach right now, here!!


10 - Because it is YOUR home


You took time and effort to pick out the perfect home for you before you bought. If you love the house, renting it out and keeping it is a sound option. You will have the security of knowing it is being looked after and will be there for you when you return. 



In the end, the decision is up to you if you want to keep your property or sell it. 

There are several great options above, but what now? 

If keeping your current house makes sense you will need to find some help. 

Navy to Navy Homes can be the realtor or property management company to help you make arrangements, and protect your asset while you are gone. 


Want To Learn More?


The first step for either decision is to get a rental property assessment. Knowing the market value of your home gives you piece of mind in your decision making.

You can find out what you could be making each month by simply putting your address into our Free Rental Analysis calculator here

We'll email you a free market report telling you what you could be renting your property for, as well as other helpful market information to help you determine if renting is the best option for you.





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