Property Management Blog

10 Tips for a Successful Remodel

System - Thursday, August 1, 2019
Property Management Blog

So on the subject of upgrading and “remodeling”, it can be overwhelming, right?  The time, the expense, the decisions! One of the keys is to make your investment where it will matter the most which is likely the kitchen and/or baths. Why?

These areas see a lot of action in life and a rental property is no different.  These areas have the most, for lack of a better term, “features” (as opposed to a 9’x9’ sq. ft. bedroom) and they are necessity rooms (as opposed to the addition of a deck or a pool). 

Materials and labor will likely be the biggest portion of the overall expense but we’ve got a handy visual here that outlines the overall process and what to anticipate. Fortunately, the upgrades in a rental property take place during vacancy, alleviating some of these factors and our property managers are on hand for many of the other steps.

Did You Know????

System - Monday, July 1, 2019
Property Management Blog

The “industry standard” refrigerant of yore, R-22 (also known as Freon) is being phased out worldwide due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer.

As per the US Environmental Protection Agency, R22 refrigerant will become illegal in the United States on January 1, 2020. After that R22 refrigerant phase out date, R22 refrigerant can no longer be manufactured or imported into the US.

After that date, it will become difficult (if even possible) and expensive to acquire R-22.

So, for example, if you have been “getting by” with an older system that leaks refrigerant by periodically adding R-22, it’s going to become cost prohibitive if not impossible.

This leaves homeowners (with older systems using R-22) with 3 basic choices:

  1. Do nothing until your system needs an expensive repair.
  2. Retrofit (or convert) your old R22 equipment to use an existing refrigerant.
  3. Replace your system proactively.

We always weigh the repair vs replace question whenever a major system issue comes up. We advocate for planning now for replacement if you have such an older system as this decision is inevitability. The systems being installed today are much more energy efficient and tend to come with more generous warranties than years past. 

We’ll talk more about that next time….

Grass is Greener…….

System - Friday, June 14, 2019
Property Management Blog

So earlier this month we brought up watering restrictions and it just so happens it was a bit of a dry period at that point. Now, we’ve had some much needed rain but here are some other items to consider when caring for a lawn during dry conditions---as they could come back!

  • Water correctly. Aside from mandated watering restrictions, you need to “train” your lawn to thrive on less water and become more water efficient. Limiting the amount of watering will gradually train your lawn to send down deeper root systems that will be much more efficient at using whatever moisture is in the soil.
  • Reduce foot traffic on lawn and mow grass to a taller height ( this will shade the soil and keep roots cooler)
  • When feasible, plant drought tolerant grass.

Here in Florida, moisture is usually not an ongoing problem but when we do experience dry periods, mowing and watering correctly can keep the lawn viable until our weather returns to its typical moisture laden ways!

It’s HOT! Your Yard is Thirsty! Storm Season is Coming!

System - Monday, June 3, 2019
Property Management Blog


It’s HOT! Your Yard is Thirsty! Storm Season is Coming!

So we just survived record breaking temps this past Memorial Day weekend. It’s Florida—little chance of that circumstance dissipating before September! So a few reminders…..

  • Hurricane Season starts June 1 and runs to November 30. See the links below to read recent press about the predictions and take heed! 
  • Time to think preparedness as the storm season commences……there is lots of “intelligence” on this topic (including our past newsletters and blogs) so educate yourself if necessary.
  • The blazing heat and lack of rain is stressful for your lawn. If you are not the homeowner but have responsibility for upkeep of the yard, make sure you are tending to it which includes knowing the watering restrictions in your area.  We’ve included the links to all three counties that we manage properties in so you can check if you are not already well acquainted!

Hurricane season predictions…….

Watering Restrictions


System - Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Property Management Blog

If you read our newsletters and/or blog, the topics are usually relatively serious; preventative measures, maintenance tips, legislative issues and the like.  We decided to change it up for the month of May  (where our residents are concerned) and write about something fun!  Summer fun to be specific.

Check out the newsletter here on our site; there are great links to great places right here in Jax to enjoy this summer. A component of the newsletter our residents received was a call to action for a gift card drawing (if they read the entire newsletter!).  

We are happy to say we had a lot of responses but there was only one prize and the winners were our residents Andrea & Leti (pictured here). Congrats to them—we hope to hear what “summer fun” they invested in with the gift card!

Keep checking in—you never know what surprises we’ll dream up for our readers!

Summer is Coming....

System - Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Property Management Blog

So, here we go again---the summer season is upon us.  Memorial Day weekend will be here before we know it!

  • Heat & humidity= HVAC systems running constantly
  • Longer days, more sunshine = lawns growing faster
  • June 1 = Hurricane season commences

Yes, there’s a lot to look forward to this time of year due to (mostly) pleasant weather, vacation time/kids out of school, the beach beckoning….a healthy side of peace of mind would be nice too.

  • Now is a great time to have your HVAC system checked for preventative maintenance and even better, put it on a recurring plan if possible. It could make the summer even more stress free for you as a homeowner and/or investor.  Ditto on the storm season preparations; we’ve talked about this before.
  • If you live in a managed/association community, better have a service provider or plan to stay on top of the accelerated lawn growth during these months—avoid those citations. 
  • If you haven’t yet heeded our advice and evaluated your insurance coverage, NOW is the time—we’re just about 30 days out from hurricane season.

Just a few things to think about if you haven’t already………..

Call or email us anytime—we’re here to help make summer time the BEST time! Our Utility & Maintenance Reduction Program is just one way we tackle that!

Getting Outside Gets Dicey….

System - Monday, April 1, 2019
Property Management Blog

When the weather starts to get consistently warmer, of course activities tend to move outside.

Biking, swimming, boating, golfing…..we don’t encounter much direct challenge with any of these—except swimming. We’ll throw in trampolines for good measure.  These are two items that demand serious evaluation for a rental property.

We do not allow above ground pools and/ or trampolines for one simple reason: safety and liability.

Some rental properties do have in ground pools and we’ll get to that later this month.  Our lease prohibits trampolines and above ground pools, period.  We are not insurance experts but if you talk to yours, we are confident they will have something to say about a trampoline or above ground pool on a rental property.  You might not like what you hear…..and the image (above) pretty much sums it up.

Hurricane storm season preparation tips for HOMES

System - Thursday, March 14, 2019
Property Management Blog

Earlier this month we wrote about basic personal preparation (and see our owner newsletter for basic storm facts). Whether home owner or rental resident, there is something here for everyone to consider. There is still about 3 months to ponder and ultimately prepare (and not under pressure or panic!)

1. Doors, windows and skylights. Gale-force winds create flying debris that can act like bullets, easily passing through windows and sometimes doors. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, consider impact-resistant glass or shutters. Some shutters have a track system that allows you to store them while not in use; when a storm approaches, they’re fairly easy to install. Don’t overlook garage doors, either. They may need extra bracing to withstand high winds.

2. Landscaping. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed of dead branches; prune all trees back to keep a 10-foot safe zone around homes. Monitor any cracks or splitting in trees.

3. Eliminate flying objects. Before the storm, remove outside objects that can become airborne. Don’t assume patio furniture is heavy enough to withstand high winds.  If they can’t be moved, then secure these outdoor objects as well as possible.

4. Seal tight against water damage. Close and lock doors and windows. Ensure gutters are debris-free and will carry water away from foundations

5. Exterior structure. Because hurricane-force winds can easily pull homes apart, starting at the roof, consider a construction fastening system. In hurricane-prone areas, install hurricane straps to strengthen roof-to-wall and wall-to-foundation connections. Properly brace roof trusses. 

6. Get ready. Know first if you should be evacuating! Consider a portable generator to get through the storm’s aftermath. Keep basics on-hand: portable radio and plenty of fresh batteries, candles, water, non-refrigerated food and a first-aid kit. Make sure friends and loved ones know where you’re riding out the storm. Have an up-to-date inventory of your home and its belongings, using your smart phone’s video and photo capabilities, and upload these files to the cloud so that they can easily be retrieved.

Check this link for the 411 on hurricanes (especially if new to Florida!):


System - Friday, March 1, 2019
Property Management Blog

NOW is the time….it’s 3 months prior to storm season. Yeah, no one likes to think about this at all but now gives you ample time to prepare, especially where insurance coverage is concerned.

  • Make sure your home owner’s insurance is up to date; check your flood zone situation
  • If you rent, seriously consider renter’s insurance
  • Have an online account with your carrier and keep reference info on hand
  • Update or create the detailed inventory of your contents
  • Photograph it and keep on flash drive or send to the cloud
  • Create a master list of accounts for reference (bank accounts, etc.)
  • Stock up on supplies between now and June while they’re plentiful

Check back later this month for more suggestions but 3 months out you have plenty of time to address the above if you haven’t done so previously. Do not forget what happened here in Florida with Hurricane Michael at the end of last season—be prepared, not scared!

EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule

System - Thursday, February 14, 2019
Property Management Blog

So earlier we outlined the what, how and why of the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule. If you missed it, see below (February 1)!

Now we’re going to reinforce why you need to pay attention and be in compliance because it affects something we know is important to everyone: your wallet!

SIMPLE: If repairs/work are not done according to the RRP rule, all parties involved could be fined $37,500.00 per incident.

If a contractor might disturb more than six square feet of paint in a pre-78 home, then you must engage a lead based paint certified contractor for the job—or suffer the consequences. What are the consequences again? See above. Many, many dollars.

What is that expression about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure????

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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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