Property Management Blog

Keep Your Cool and Take Care of Your AC

System - Monday, April 30, 2018
Property Management Blog

It’s May already and soon the seasonal heat will be upon us and our air conditioners will be running nonstop. Property managers are vigilant of major systems in the homes they manage for myriad reasons. Aside from the significant investment they represent to the home owner, it gets very hot & humid here in the summer and your resident will be running the AC a lot and expect it to be operational at all times!

While there are no guarantees, especially based on the age of the system, you can reduce the likelihood of a malfunction (and worse yet an unexpected one) by maintaining the system. What does maintaining the system involve, really?

Yes, changing the filter consistently is one of the easiest steps. Keeping the vents clean and the areas around the handler and compressor clear/debris fee. Keeping the condensate drain clear. One of the best ways to insure optimum performance and minimal surprises is checking the system at least annually—the provider will run diagnostics. This typically includes assessing the coils, capacitors, compressor and refrigerant. This can reduce the chances of that sudden call that the system just isn’t cooling (or running at all) that sends your resident into a panic and frankly can make for sleepless nights if not remedied swiftly. Trust us, no one wants to experience that and a comfortable resident is a happy resident! A less than maintained system can lose at least 5% efficiency as well…..

Check back later this month when we get into the costs associated with not maintaining your system as compared to the investment of doing so…..

This is Simple…..

System - Saturday, April 14, 2018
Property Management Blog

Having focused on appliance life expectancy and maintenance this month, we thought a bit of discussion about successful fire mitigation might be relevant as well. This information comes from a class some of our FPM Properties property managers attended recently courtesy of Puro Clean. Here are some quick facts:


84% of all fires happen in single family homes

49% of fire damage is from cooking

Some of the primary causes of residential fires:

  • Open flames & sparks
  • Electrical wiring & fixtures
  • Cooking (see above!)
  • Smoking
  • Low temperature ignition

If not mitigated within 48-72 hours, smoke damage is compounded, much like moisture damage.

Simple steps to prevention can’t hurt: KEEP IT CLEAN! Wipe down interior of microwave, keep interior, burners and hood vent clean on the stove, and keep dryer lint free. Be aware of condition of the power cords. Anything that could be flammable or create a blockage is a problem in the making…..

Life Span and Maintenance

System - Sunday, April 1, 2018
Property Management Blog

So this month we’ve been talking about appliance life span and maintenance. In our business, the question of repair vs. replace inevitably comes up. We have found that taking into account the actual age of the appliance in question, it’s “expected” life span and the proposed cost of the repair can usually help arrive at the right conclusion.

In this month’s owner newsletter we’ve included some information on expected life span of various appliances. If the appliance in question is halfway or further into its “expected” lifespan and the cost of the repair will be 50% or more of the cost of replacement, it’s a fairly safe bet that replacement will be the more cost effective way to go.

There are variables to consider in repair as well—even if deemed affordable. Ease of procuring parts (which can translate into time it takes) and access to resources that can actually install them (again, time—how quickly they can be scheduled to make the repair). A refrigerator is considered more critical than, say, a microwave (and assuming the stove/oven is operational!)

Check out these links that also address this topic………

Code Enforcement—Why It Matters

System - Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Property Management Blog

If you read our previous blog, you now know a little about how to avoid a citation. Here are some additional compelling questions (answers courtesy of the City of Jacksonville):

Why is there enforcement? 

The City of Jacksonville acknowledges the need to enforce a certain standard of property maintenance and to ensure a reasonable quality of life for the city’s residents and neighborhoods

Where do they “enforce”? 

All privately owned properties, structures and parts thereof, including but not limited to:

Yards, Premises, Parking Lots, Driveways, Easements, Homes, Businesses, Vacant Lots, Warehouses

Most Common Violations (just a sampling!)

  • Junk or abandoned vehicles with expired or missing license plates
  • Accumulation of garbage, rubbish or trash or debris
  • Excessive growth of weeds, grass or noxious vegetation
  • Potentially dangerous dead trees or limbs
  • Conditions which could breed (read: standing water) or harbor insects or rodents
  • Unmaintained swimming pools
  • Fences, gates or accessory structures in disrepair

The answer to why it matters is simply stated in the City’s answer re: why there is enforcement. As a reminder, the City of Jacksonville encompasses a large area, from Riverside to San Marco to Jacksonville Beach to Mandarin and beyond.

It matters to us because every home under management tends to have multiple aspects that can be affected by code. 

Professional property managers are vigilant for potential code violations that could cause you headaches if overlooked or ignored. Most homes generate trash and have yards (and may struggle with weed control) with trees and fences! They will proactively recommend action to avoid citations (time consuming and in some cases, costly). You can find all the details at www.coj.net under “code enforcement”

Code Enforcement—What You Don’t Know Could……

System - Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Property Management Blog

Code Enforcement—What You Don’t Know Could……

Get you a citation! There is a lot to know about code enforcement in Duval but for starters, here’s how to AVOID a citation (simplified and abbreviated), residential OR commercial (courtesy of City of Jacksonville)

  • Maintain property appearance: yards cut, trash removed, etc.
  • Maintain exterior structure appearance: surfaces painted, stained, etc.
  • Maintain the building: repair or replace missing, damaged, rotted or worn components
  • Maintain electrical & plumbing systems: address faulty, leaking or corroded components
  • Maintain interior components: worn, torn or damaged flooring, windows, walls, etc.
  • Maintain all water heaters, appliances, etc. per manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Smoke detectors-at least one properly operating
  • Keep property safe & sanitary: address ANY issues that may pose an imminent threat to health or safety IMMEDIATELY

Check back here mid-month for more details on code enforcement that could impact you!

Renter's Insurance

System - Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Property Management Blog

At this time of year we remind property owners about reviewing their insurance before storm season officially commences…..but what about the non-owner resident

It’s important to understand the difference between what the homeowner’s policy covers and why you need, as a renter, to consider renters insurance.



Read the following, courtesy of Peter Scott, Tony Blankenship Insurance

  • A landlord's insurance policy, required by the mortgage bank, covers the building and any outbuildings and protects the landlord against lawsuits arising out of accidents on the property. However, landlord insurance does not cover the personal possessions of the tenant. This is a piece of information that seems to come as a shock to many tenants after disaster strikes.
  •  A staggering number of renters do not carry renters insurance. Marshall Loeb, writing in MarketWatch last year estimated that nearly two-thirds of the 81 million people who rent their homes are uninsured for their contents or for any liability arising out of their tenancy. 
  •  While some renters may assume that they are covered by some mythical insurance umbrella held by the landlord, others simply do not associate the need for insurance with their own circumstances until it is too late. They aren't homeowners so they don't need homeowners insurance, right? They do not think beyond that question and many probably don't even know that tenants' insurance exists. 
  •  If you rent, look around. You probably have a pretty substantial amount invested within those walls you do not own. A stereo, high-def TV, a business and a leisure wardrobe, all of those small appliances in the kitchen, the electronics in the study; even if your furniture was bought second hand or from Walmart it all adds up and should disaster strike, everything will have to be replaced out of pocket. 
  •  And there is the matter of liability. Should your television repairman trip on the front walk he will probably sue your landlord. But if the repairman takes a swan dive over a poorly positioned coffee table inside your apartment or if sweet little Fluffy decides that his ankle looks like lunch it will not be your landlord's problem. It will be yours. 

PUT ANOTHER WAY:

The homeowner’s policy covers the building and outbuildings—it does not typically cover the contents if they are not residing in the home. Thus the contents—your possessions as a renter—are not covered in event of storm, disaster, break in, etc. To put it more “officially”:

Tenant's insurance covers personal property within a home or apartment against the same types of loss covered by homeowners insurance - fire, theft, vandalism, and water damage (but not flood damage and probably not earthquake damage either) as well as protecting your interests should someone have an accident within your dwelling unit for which you might be held liable.

Review Your Insurance NOW

System - Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Property Management Blog

We know—no one wants to start thinking about this right now…….

Even if you went through this exercise this time last year, do it again. Storm activity was more significant last season and dynamics in insurance are constantly changing.

If you have not reviewed your insurance recently and dodged a bullet (so to speak) DEFINITELY DO IT NOW! Here in Jacksonville we had some particularly (and unusually) hard hit areas like San Marco and Riverside/Avondale that in some respects are still recovering.

We suggest scoring some time with your agent to go over the following questions (especially if you are not sure of all the answers) and differentiate between the property you are residing in and any investment property:

 Do I need flood and windstorm coverage?



What does my policy cover and exclude?

Will my policy pay “replacement cost” or “actual cash value” for a covered loss? 

 What about additional living expenses?

What else can I do to prepare? 

 What about policy changes?

How can I safeguard my records? 

It’s amazing what a little due diligence on the front (read: early) end can save you in heartache on the back (read: aftermath) end!

Buying a house? 6 things that are surprisingly negotiable

System - Thursday, January 11, 2018
Property Management Blog

So you've found the right agent to work with and you've secured your pre approval. You've even been checking out neighborhoods, listings and have identified a few homes you want to pursue. Before this goes any further check out these points on the aspects that are potentially negotiable and discuss with your agent before you get into any offer situations.

From Julington Creek to Riverside to Atlantic Beach--wherever you are looking-- your agent will likely be indispensable in helping you navigate your way to an offer.

Due diligence of all kinds on the front end may make this process go that much more smoothly for everyone involved.

  • Closing Costs
  • Transaction related taxes
  • Fixtures & Appliances
  • Furniture (crazy right?)
  • Move Date
  • Repairs

We've included a link to an article on these very items

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/buying-a-house-6-things-that-are-surprisingly-negotiable/ar-BBIcvvF?ocid=ob-fb-enus-621

#NewYearGoals : Let’s Buy a House this Year!

System - Monday, January 1, 2018
Property Management Blog

We think it’s a great goal and we can help with that! It’s a process, for sure but with assistance from a licensed Realtor and some due diligence, it can be fun and relatively painless!

We recommend first and foremost, find an agent you can work with. They can be invaluable in helping you navigate this process, especially if you are first time home buyer. Here’s what to look for:

  • What’s their forte? First time buyers? A particular area? A particular price segment? Does it fit with your objective?
  • Recommendations? Either received personally or via research. Then contact them and find out more. Interview them as if you were hiring them for a job (which you are!)
  • Education and/or designations—indicate investment in knowledgeability in their profession!
  • Are they a member of MLS (Multiple Listing Service)?
  • Recent Listing and/or Closing activity—what’s it been?
  • Are they offering you expertise that will best position you for success, i.e. how to prepare for the process?

These are just a few suggestions to get you started—more to come! We have agents who know Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties very well. Call us at 904-497-4200 or email: info@fpmproperties.com if you’d like to talk with an agent about your potential home search!

We’re halfway to the end of the year!

System - Thursday, December 14, 2017
Property Management Blog

So a few more weeks left before the end of the year and especially for the last minute holiday shoppers…here’s more safety tips (courtesy of JSO). This is a bit redundant but relevant AND abbreviated so we encourage you to check out the entire list at: http://www.jaxsheriff.org

  • Keep everything locked and secured: cars, home (all doors and windows), garage, etc.
  • Don’t display gifts where they can be seen and don’t put packaging from big ticket purchases on display at the curb
  • Ditto for your car—get valuables OUT and out of view
  • If you must keep documents in the glove box, lock it!
  • Keep your home well lit (especially if not home) and if traveling, have the Post Office hold your mail
  • Make sure your children know not to share personal information on the internet
  • We’re big on this one: Record you serial numbers and place this list with your insurance documents. If possible Invest in a floor safe or larger, heavy, fire-proof safe is recommended

We highly recommend looking at the link above which has many more valuable tips. We wish everyone a SAFE and happy holiday season!


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Fax: (904) 241-9991

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​ Disclosure: First Place Management Properties, LLC is "not" a real estate brokerage and does not lease or sell properties.
All sales and leasing activities are conducted through FPM Properties, dba. & First Place Management, Inc. both are licensed Florida Real Estate Brokerages. ​



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