Hello from Pensacola! We're in full in "spring" already with a hot rentals and sales market, A/C breakdowns, bugs, and big changes everywhere.
Here's an update
from our team
on what's going on with Hurricane Sally Repairs, COVID-19 Legislation affecting your investment, and the Pensacola Rental and Sales Market. If we can assist you
with anything, please
do not hesitate
to reach out via phone, text, or email us back here.
-The Realty Masters team
Appliance, Furniture and Material Delays
We are still feeling the effects from supply chain disruptions caused from
and huge demand causing
serious delays in certain materials like lumber and shingles and home appliances. In addition to a shortage of materials around the nation, we are still experiencing extremely
high demand as the area
works to recover from Hurricane Sally's impact in September 2020. This is causing an increase in pricing and a delay in time to complete serious repairs. We expect
delays with the recent
Suez Canal blockage.
Here's a few articles about the issues we're seeing and reasons behind it:
Appliance Delays Causing Serious Issues
Forbes: Renovating Your Home? These 4 Things Are In Short Supply- And Could Cost You Time, Money
Nightly News: What's behind the backup in new furniture and appliance orders
The Washington Post: Suez Canal mishap puts battered supply chains under more pressure
While this may be frustrating while you are trying to upgrade to a new
washer/ dryer, it becomes
a serious issue with your tenant occupied property when your tenant is left without a crucial appliance like a fridge. We cannot wait weeks or months to get a replacement
Your tenant may be
entitled to a rent reduction, credit, or some other incentive if you experience a lengthy delay in repairing or replacing an appliance. Here's more about the appliance delays
what can be done.
Buying Direct from Lowes/ Home Depot
used to be a great, easy option for homeowners and a
good way to take advantage of the 10% military discount on purchases. Unfortunately, we've been having serious issues with installation from
Lowes and Home Depot as of recent.
Even if the appliance comes with free delivery,
this does NOT mean installation. Furthermore, when you
purchase installation services, this does not mean that they send a qualified technician out to the property to install, and if there are
any issues, they will not install the appliances. We have recently
seen issues pop up with copper piping and copper lines. The installation teams are not equipped to handle turning off the main water
supply to the house, so if there are any water lines, this could
present an issue. As they do charge for installation, we find it best if you can arrange for delivery and coordinate with our office
to have a proper appliance person do the installation.
Items in Stock and Delayed
seen Lowes and Home Depot say that an appliance is in stock on their
website, only to find out that was not true and for the item to be refunded. When ordering appliances, you must call the store to
be sure it's in stock. Don't be surprised if they promise a date and
then later change it. Given all these obstacles, it may be better and worth a few extra dollars, to pay a local appliance company
to go measure, purchase, and install an in stock unit.
More About Appliance Delays
spoke with Joseph Lords at Lords Appliances to get some more information on what he's seeing locally. Over
the past year, he's noted:
- Fewer options in stock
- Shipping delays in both new appliances and replacement parts
He has gotten best results
with GE and Frigidaire and noted that, in terms of delays,
Whirlpool, Bosch, and LG have been really slow on replacement units and parts under warranty causing additional delays.
end appliances have seen a 15-25% increase as the standard
dishwasher that used to run $329 is now $399 and the basic top freezer/fridge that was $629 is now $699. These are also the
units that tend to sell out fastest and that the appliance
stores are having a harder time keeping in stock. He also warns of the trouble in trusting local hardware stores website for inventory and recommends
calling before ordering. Also, keep in mind
what we've said about delays in shipping dates. It may be better to purchase an in stock unit even if the website promises a quick delivery.
While we don't love the idea of used appliances, it may be a good idea
if you're budget conscious and need to get a unit fast!
We are happy to investigate this option for you, but keep in mind, most used appliances come with a very limited warranty and are not a good long
Roofing & Fence Work
We are finally receiving roof and fence
estimates in a timely manner. Unfortunately, these
coming back higher than ever. Roofing repairs are running about a month out and new roofs can be replaced in the same amount of
time. If you have outstanding fence, roofing, and tree work
at your property,
talk to your manager about your options.
Payments through RentTrack
If you have previously sent funds for repairs through RentTrack, you may have received an email
accounts as RentTrack was recently bought out by Zego. While they have successfully migrated tenant's accounts, they have not migrated owners accounts so you can disregard this notice.
You do not
need to take further action!
Do you need to send funds to us for repairs or utilities? We've got several easy ways to send funds.
- Go to
to send us funds. The e-check is only $1.49
- You can also use your bank's e-bill pay option to send a paper check from online. This is a free service
by a number of larger banks and credit unions.
- You can also send funds through your owner's portal, however, this utilizes a credit card and does charge 3.5% for any payments
- You can also send us a check through good old snail mail at 4400 Bayou Blvd 58B, Pensacola, FL 32503.
Please reach out if you have any questions about sending
Payments Made Directly to Vendors
we love owners paying their own
bills, anything outside of our normal bill payment routine can complicates things, so here’s a few things to note:
- It is
our policy to have funds in
our possession prior to authorizing any jobs over $200, so payment details need to be arranged before we can approve a job.
Some of our vendors do
take credit cards as can Realty Masters but there is always a fee involved in accepting a credit card. Neither the vendor nor Realty Masters is getting the fee,
as it is the credit card processing company.
Any payments you pay directly will not show up on your year-end statement or in your online account with us, just FYI!
Please keep in mind, there are tax reporting requirements that you will be responsible for if you pay the vendor directly. If you make direct
payments to vendors above $600,
you are required to collect a W-9 and are most likely required to send a 1099 to the vendor and the IRS before January 31st of the following tax year.
When we pay bills on your behalf, we
do this reporting for you. You can read more about these here:
was a hard
year for everyone! With that, we've got a few changes in staffing this year as Becky Jones
moves to retire and Johnna Atherton has moved out of property management. Thus,
your property manager
might be changing. If you've been working with Becky Jones or Johnna Atherton, you should
have a new contact. If you have not heard from our office about this change, feel free
to reach out to us now
by replying to this email.
Becky Jones is Retiring
After working with Realty Masters
for 20 years, Becky Jones is retiring to spend more time with her family and grandchildren.
McJenkin will be taking over Becky’s portfolio. She has been training with Becky and comes to us with 15 years of property
experience in multi-family housing. Email her at
Atherton Left the Company
Johnna Atherton is no longer a
property manager at our office. If you have not heard from an alternate contact
in our office, your
contact in the office will be Lacey Yurko. Lacey is a licensed Realtor and Property Manager and has
been with us for 6 years. You can reach out to her via email at
Spring has sprung, especially in Florida, and it's time to look at preventative maintenance
items. There's no better preventative maintenance item in Florida than a Spring A/C Tune Up! We've got
two companies offering a great deal on these tune up.
and Air offers a spring tune up for $65 and Mathews Heating and Air provides a spring service for $75.
These are done at the normal service call rate and can prevent your property
from needing additional service this spring. It can also identify if your system is close to a breakdown due
to age or condition and alert you to this issue now.
What are the benefits
of an HVAC Tune Up?
During an HVAC tune-up, the technician reviews your A/C system and
provides routine maintenance to prevent seasonal issues like an A/C leak or back up. They also
test the system thoroughly and can identify problems that can easily be fixed early to prevent a breakdown
or more extensive damages. A well-maintained HVAC system lasts longer. Neglecting your
system results in a shorter system life that can cost you hundreds or even thousands in early replacement
costs. Unfortunately, tenants are not great at maintaining the system, and this is one
of the ways we can educate the tenants plus show them you care about their comfort during the season.
does the Service Include?
- Clear Out Condensation
- Change filter if needed
- Check Indoor and Outdoor Coils
- Check Refrigerant
- Check All Electrical Connections
- Lubricate All Moving Parts
- Check Voltage on Motors
- Monitor A/C and Heating Cycles,
season applicable Test Starting Capabilities
- Check Safety Devices
you want to schedule a spring HVAC tune up for your property, reach out to your property manager or respond
to this email, and we will reach out to discuss.
Keeping Tenant's Month
There are quite a few reasons we don't
like to keep tenants month-to-month, but given these circumstances, we are now being advised by our attorney to keep tenant's month to
month when they have:
- Expressed difficulty in paying
- Made recent late payments
- Are delinquent or past due on rent
This allows us the control to non-renew
the tenant and file an eviction based off their failure to
move, rather than non-payment, which is nearly impossible to do right now. Discuss this option when your property manager reaches out about lease
renewals. Of course, new legislation could prevent us
from even non-renewing or evicting even based off a failure to vacate but we will continue to monitor this situation and make suggestions as
we learn more.
Moratorium Has Been Extended
As suspected, the CDC Moratorium
has been extended until June 30, 2021. We fully expect another extension
after this one to
September 30, 2021. Here's an
article with details.
Locally, we still have not seen the rent assistance
that was voted
on and approved earlier this year. We are working closely with both Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties to find
these funds when they are available and connect your residents with them.
we have been able to use a non-renewal of lease as a tool to evict tenants
who are delinquent on rent. We hope no further legislation prevents
this, but we
will keep you posted with updates as we hear of new pending legislation that will affect you and your investment.
Real Estate Market Update
2021 has been the hottest year for selling in
decades in the Pensacola area, and the proof is in the statistics. The strength of the market goes hand in
hand with how many days on the market a home sits before selling. The current Days on Market
average for residential homes in 2021 is 37 compared to 49 the previous year.
The other major factor
is the sales price percentage of the list prices. This year, homes have sold for 99.03% of
list price, which shows that sellers are not budging on prices and in many cases going well over list
price. The median home sales price is sitting around $240,000 currently in our area, up drastically
from years ago.
The other tell-tale sign of a sellers' market is the percentage
of listings that have expired. In 2020 that number was 5.6% and today that number is sitting at just
Take all those factors and combine it with a major drop in inventory of over 50% in
most price ranges, and you can begin to see why we are dealing with such a strong seller's market.
There truly has never been a better time to sell. With Summer just around the corner, the market
is only going to keep heating up. Call us today and we can show you just how valuable your home
is in this market
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Pensacola Rental Market
More comforting news for Pensacola area landlords is that the Pensacola rental market is performing
stronger than ever despite COVID and financial difficulties for
many households. Despite the COVID pandemic, Pensacola’s rental market saw increases for the 2nd half of 2020 by 10%, on average,
for new move in rents.
We came across this New York Times
Article titled “How the Pandemic Blew Up Rents” discussing the disparities between different markets and metros. The article
cites that Nationwide, 2020 rents were down 1.2% year over
year. The majority of larger markets saw rental decreases while smaller metros had the opposite, rental increases. As mentioned, we definitely
saw strong rental increases in Pensacola’s market.
According to Apartment Lists National Rent Data, our data matched up with theirs in showing that the Pensacola area saw nearly a
10% year over year increase. In contrast, other Florida markets
did not perform as well. Markets like Orlando and Tallahassee saw a 5% rent decrease in 2020.
Locally, our employment numbers are
strong despite and remained so during the pandemic. While
we did experience high unemployment in the tourism industry, it’s clear that our area was not affected as much as others in the state
of Florida, whose economy highly depends on tourism dollars.
inventory levels for both the real estate sales market and rental market are at record lows. Hurricane Sally’s impact
on our area in September 2020 exasperated our low inventory
issue causing a spike in both rental and sales prices. Into 2021, we continue to see record low inventory and vacancy rates. Both rental
rates and home sales prices continue to rise and affordability
continues to be an issue as rents and mortgage rates are rising above what the average Pensacola family can pay. Many landlords continue
to choose to sell their properties as they become vacant,
especially with costly hurricane repairs and eviction moratoriums that limit the landlords right to collect rent and evict for non-payment.
to the New York Times Article, rents are
now stabilizing around the country and rent fluctuations are starting to slow. Locally, we expect the trend of low supply and increasing rents
for the foreseeable future.
Did you know? You can text our office! (850) 473-3983
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Questions About Your Property?
If you have any questions or concerns about your rental property, please respond to this email to reach a supervisor or reach out to our office phone, text, or email. Don't hesitate to let us know how we can be of assistance to you. We look forward to hearing from you.