Property Management Blog

Murphy’s Law: What can go wrong will go wrong. It never fails right?

System - Sunday, July 16, 2017
Property Management Blog

The absolute worst time for the air conditioner to act up is now—and that’s when it happens! Should you find yourself with underperforming or non-functioning AC-- and you are awaiting the service provider to the rescue—here are some helpful hints to keep cool.

  • Use box and ceiling fans to keep air circulating. Open doors throughout so circulation is not blocked. Open windows at night (if feasible) and close windows, blinds, etc. during day.
  • Leverage the power of water: Soak feet in cool water. Keep a cool towel or bandana around your neck. Take a cool shower. Spritz with cool water. Get in a pool (if you can!) or the ocean!
  • If your home is more than one level, stay below (you know this—heat rises)! Eliminate heat producing sources when not necessary, i.e. stove, overhead lights, etc.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Eating “lighter” so you can avoid increasing your metabolic rate/body temp.
  • This is a great time to visit the Mall or movies or STAY with a family member who you are overdue to spend time with (if your system is being replaced)!

Keep Calm and Cool On

System - Sunday, July 2, 2017
Property Management Blog

One thing all of our neighborhoods have in common in the summer, from Julington Creek to Ponte Vedra Beach to Riverside: EXCESSIVE HEAT AND HUMIDITY! Our “summer” is one long, very hot season. If you have lived in this area for just one summer, you probably know this but it bears repeating and is especially important for our newly relocated neighbors from other parts of the country or world!!


SIMPLE TIPS FOR DEALING WITH HEAT AND HUMIDITY

  • Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Don’t wait until you feel parched and eat high water content foods. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol!
  • Shut the blinds, turn off the lights, and avoid using heat producing appliances and plan meals that involve minimal cooking!
  • Wear loose fitting, light colored and protective clothing when outdoors (think brimmed hat!). Avoid strenuous physical activity, especially during the daylight hours. SUNSCREEN is a MUST!
  • Do not leave children or pets in parked cars--EVER!
  • Monitor loved ones and neighbors who are most susceptible: elderly or very young

Storm Evacuation

System - Sunday, June 18, 2017
Property Management Blog

Regardless of whether you plan to evacuate in the event of a storm or not, it’s always a good idea to have a supply kit that is easily assembled. This is especially critical if you think you will “hunker down” as they say, based on your evacuation zone. In the aftermath of a storm many services we take for granted will be hampered, i.e. gas stations, ATMS, retail operations, etc.

Assemble Disaster Supplies: This includes food & water, medications, batteries/chargers, gassing up (the car) and cash on hand

Recommendations from the JEOC (Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center)

A Disaster Supplies Kit should include:

___ A supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
___ A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food
___ Special dietary food if needed
___ Utensils such as a manual can opener, disposable plates, cups, utensils, etc.
___ A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes
___ Personal hygiene items such as soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrush & paste, aspirin, etc.
___ Blankets or sleeping bags
___ A first aid kit and prescription medicines
___ An extra pair of glasses
___ A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries
___ Credit cards and cash
___ An extra set of car keys
___ A list of family physicians
___ A list of important family information
___ Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
___ Books, magazines, cards, toys and games

Doing this now will ease a great deal of anxiety when a storm is imminent. The planning is one of the only elements we have control over during hurricane season!

To Evacuate or Not Evacuate?

System - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Property Management Blog

If you were residing in North Florida last October, you may have experienced your first taste of flirting with a real storm impact. Hopefully, it was a non-event and a valuable lesson in “what if”! Regardless of whether you now reside at the Beaches or deep in Duval, Clay or St. Johns counties, take this opportunity to be prepared for what may be a very active hurricane season 2017!

Develop An Evacuation Plan:

Recommendations from the JEOC (Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center)

  1. Are you in an evacuation zone? SEE MAP!
    • ZONE "A" RED:
      Area most vulnerable to damage from hurricane, evacuation required in Category 1 -5.
    • ZONE "B" ORANGE:
      Area subject to damage from major hurricane, evacuation required in Category 3 - 5.
    • ZONE "C" YELLOW:
      Area subject to damage from the strongest of hurricanes, evacuation required in Category 4 – 5
  2. Plan your route.
    Routes are indicated but based on where you plan to go in the event of an evacuation, plan accordingly.
  3. If and when they come, follow orders to evacuate and plan for your pets!

If you must evacuate, you must get out of the hazard that caused you to evacuate. You must leave the evacuation zone and you must leave mobile and manufactured housing. You should go to a well-built facility outside the storm surge. The best option is family or friends within the county so as not to contribute to the out-of-county evacuation traffic. The next best option is family and friends outside the county. A final option is public shelter within Duval County or outside of the county. Public shelter is listed as a final option, because a shelter is very basic. Comfort amenities are not provided other than what you bring with you. Public shelter is a life boat; not a cruise ship.

COJ.NET is a great resource to find this and much more detailed information related to storm preparedness and evacuation!

Know Your Flood Zone!

System - Thursday, May 11, 2017
Property Management Blog

This will be an important consideration as it relates to your insurance plan! Flood insurance is typically separate from your homeowner’s policy and averages around $350-400 annually. Read on—it may still be fresh in your mind from last fall!


Areas clarified, courtesy of News4jax:

  • People living in Zone A (indicated in red) would be the first to evacuate. Under the plan released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this zone not only includes the coastal area of the beaches and along the Intracoastal Waterway, but areas in the Northside, Southside and even Westside along inland waterways. These areas would evacuate first.
  • More of the Beaches, part of San Marco and the Sports Complex east of downtown are in Zone B (marked in brown), which would be the second group to evacuate.
  • Zone C (yellow) expands the evacuation of San Marco, includes Riverside and Avondale, neighborhoods along the Arlington River and Intracoastal West
  • If things get worse, San Marco, Mandarin and most of the Northside and much of Northwest Jacksonville would be evacuated in Zones D (green).
  • Throughout downtown, San Marco and the beaches, the city of Jacksonville has placed poles that show the potential water level at that location for different categories of hurricanes.
  • Authorities said people asked to evacuate should have certain things on hand, like a disaster kit with food, water, tools and supplies. He said everyone who lives in Florida should also have a plan for their family, pets and business.

Stay on Target!

System - Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Property Management Blog

Wrapping up our thoughts about spring preventative maintenance, here are a few more tips, recommended by HomeAdvisor, to take into account:

Do a deep housecleaning to remove dust & allergens with a top to bottom cleaning. We at FPM Properties submit this is like detailing a car: thoroughly dust baseboards and door frames, wipe down surfaces that don’t often get attention (top of water heater, washer & dryer, seals around all appliances, etc.), dust the high light fixtures and fans and blinds. Clean the grills on the appliances and clean the range hood filter—you get the idea.

Perform lawn maintenance; encourage healthy growth and prevent spread of problems. It’s a great time to do this after the slow to no growth of the winter months

Clean the garbage disposal: flush with water & dish soap to eliminate odors and reduce build up. This is especially smart if you use yours extensively.

Test smoke detectors: ensure proper function to protect home and family! Safety first!

Taking some time to put in that little extra bit of effort seasonally can forestall potential headaches down the road and provide added enjoyment of your home. From every corner of the region-- St. Johns County to Clay County to Duval County, everyone wants maximum preservation and enjoyment of their biggest investment!

Seasonal Diligence

System - Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Property Management Blog

From Julington Creek to Arlington to World Golf Village and all points in between, one thing every property type and style has in common is the need for ongoing preventative maintenance.

This traditionally happens seasonally but what do you do when you live in a place that seemingly has no seasons? You do it anyway—and stay particularly diligent on the maintenance items that are most impacted by hot and humid weather! In our estimation that means:

Check weather stripping and caulking around windows & doors, especially if using central air. Insuring tight seals keeps the hot, humid air out and stymies the escalation of that utility bill during the months when the AC is running non stop

Change HVAC filters. This is so important to insure the most efficient operation of your HVAC system which is working even harder during the “Florida” summer which can last easily 6 months!

Check exterior for cracked or peeling paint (caulk & repair as necessary) the ravages of exterior weather conditions (and think hurricane season) can create conditions for mildew and water intrusion—much more costly to resolve than some touch up painting and caulking

Clean windows & check door and window screens (repair as needed) Screens can be critically important during those transitional months when it hasn’t become so consistently hot all the time that you might actually open the windows! A circulation of fresh air is not a bad thing when the house will likely be sealed like a sarcophagus against the summer heat June through September!

Remove pine straw from roof, inspect condition and clean the gutters: accumulation of any material on roof can lead to moisture intrusion/damage and clog gutters

Pressure wash exterior: inhibits moisture intrusion and enhances other efforts (prior to sealing windows) and enhances curb appeal!

And More about Décor Trends………

System - Sunday, February 12, 2017
Property Management Blog

Bathroom trends, specifically. Here are some great insights from Apartment Therapy, with our two cents added!

Textured/patterned tile

Cement, terracotta and even zellige tiles lend a rich, old-world feel to the bathroom. If you're concerned about price, try half-height tile in a smaller bathroom, like a powder room, or creating a small accent behind the sink. Many of the older and Jacksonville beaches homes already feature this look!

Rustic/industrial elements

Rustic and/or industrial elements are another great way to bring in texture. Other ways to get the look: worn woods, exposed brick, or concrete accents. Ditto—older home = interesting features!

Vintage vanities

Using a vintage piece as a vanity gives your modern bath a timeless feel. If you have the floor space in the bathroom, you can also press a vintage piece into service as extra storage — both beautiful and practical. See where this is going? Think San Marco, Riverside, Avondale, Springfield….

French door shower enclosures

These eye-catching glass enclosures take the shower from a utilitarian space to the focal point of the bathroom. Gorgeous but not for the modest minded inhabitant!

Darker colors

As part of a trend towards darker, moodier colors all over the house (and especially kitchens), we're starting to see more somber, dramatic colors in the bathroom as well. Balancing dark colors with shiny white fixtures and gold accents is one way to keep this look from getting too gloomy. Instant drama!

Vintage-look tile floors

Everything old is new again. Vintage-style tile floors look great in any style of bathroom, are relatively inexpensive, and they're sturdy enough to last for a long, long time. You will definitely find this in some beaches properties (Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach) as well the historic districts in Jacksonville

Round mirrors

Round mirrors are great way to soften the hard lines of a modern bathroom, and lovely to look at as well. A pair of mirrors over a double vanity, or just a single oversized one, is especially eye-catching. Easy change up and affordable too!

Where is Décor Headed in 2017?

System - Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Property Management Blog

We’ve been researching and reading about décor trends, both those a renting resident could implement without too much difficulty and for owners looking to make small, affordable improvements. We found 4 recurring trends—meaning lots of different resources are citing them as relevant:

  • Marble accents
  • Black fixtures and hardware
  • All beige interiors
  • “Smart” home technology

We also found these additional trends emerging from various sources like House Beautiful and My Domaine and they all strike the same thematic chord:

  • Organic shapes
  • Earthy materials
  • Plants
  • Jewel tones (and more specifically, ”Greenery”, the Pantone color of the Year for 2017)

It seems the trend is towards more natural, organically oriented details in numerous areas. Adopting any of these trends could be fairly easy either in terms of shapes or material of acquired items (a new side table?) or simply adding a signature plant to your interior or painting an accent wall. Interestingly, there has also been a lot of reading lately on the health benefits of having plants in your home. For our money, that’s a double down benefit—relatively inexpensive and good for you!

2017 OFF & RUNNING!

System - Sunday, January 15, 2017
Property Management Blog

So if you read our 1st blog of the year and/or are reading our Facebook posts, you know we’re trying to stay mindful of the “book” we are writing for 2017, as individuals and as an organization. It’s not so much about “resolutions” as it is about “reconsiderations”. We’re thinking about how we do things and why we do them that way—is it out of habit, because that’s the only way we were taught or is it a product of thoughtful consideration?

We’re asking ourselves: “Are there old habits that are pulling you back and weakening your motivation (to improve)?”

In property management and real estate, dynamics are always evolving and change is virtually a constant. We often must adapt and more specifically, embrace changing “old habits”—however well they may have served us and everyone we work with in times past! The ”old habits” we may find ourselves letting go of are all in the interest of serving our residents, owners, vendors and each other better—to write a book for 2017 that surpasses 2016. We have a few “old habits” that are being reconsidered even as this is penned—stay tuned here for some potential revelations and why it will be a good thing!


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