Property Management Blog

Home Warranties: Cost Savings?

System - Thursday, September 14, 2017
Property Management Blog

We promised (and despite the storm aftermath) to talk about costs associated with home warranty programs as a follow up to our discussion regarding the pros and cons….

A service call for a warranty provider to show up and diagnose a problem runs anywhere from $65-$125. (roughly the same or a bit more than most of our property management vendors). One key difference is many of them require this payment up front before they show up; our vendors typically don’t.

WeUsually the warranty is most useful in covering issues impacting 4 key dynamics: HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing and Appliances. This is where it gets difficult to pin down costs but we’ll attempt to provide some broad generalities here, using APPLIANCES as an example:

  • Fridge Replacement cost: $500+ depending on type (average life 6-15 years )
  • Stove Replacement cost: $500+ depending on type(average life: 10-15 years)
  • Dishwasher Replacement cost: $400+ depending on type (average life: 8-10 years)
  • Washer/Dryer Replacement cost: $400+ each, depending on type (average life: 8-12 years)

Repair or Replace: We weigh if repair cost is close to half of cost of replacement and depending on age. Warranty company will always try to repair first which could translate into repeated issues, repeated service calls and various replaced parts over time.

This is why we urge due diligence in selecting the plan and, in the case of appliances especially, find out what brand they would replace any appliance with and research the service record/performance of that line. If you can, also find out what vendors they work with local to your property’s area: Julington Creek? Riverside/Avondale? Atlantic Beach? It could inform your decision…..

So You Think You Want a Home Warranty…….

System - Monday, September 4, 2017
Property Management Blog

We agree—you should consider it! Can we give you some possibly helpful suggestions and thoughts before you pull the trigger? FPM Properties has a bit of history and experience dealing with home warranties…..

If we sold you this house and you are going to be living in it, you might be very glad you made what is, in the grand scheme of things, a small investment for some protection. Even if we didn’t sell you the house (and you don’t already have a home warranty from the purchase) a home warranty could be a good thing. Take the time, if you haven’t already, to get to know some facts about your home. How old are the major systems in the house (electrical, plumbing, HVAC)? How old are the various appliances? Who are the manufacturers?

Fire up Google and do a little research about what you have. Some brands of appliances have better track records than others. Ditto on accessibility of replacement parts and/or sources qualified to service.

These are all dynamics you should factor into, subsequently, the evaluation of various plans you may look at/consider. Most warranties have specific parameters for what aspects of a major system (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) they will cover or not cover. Appliances—same thing.

Another important consideration—if there is no proof of regular/ongoing maintenance of the system in question, they may decline to cover an item (otherwise covered). Weigh the cost of the deductible, the items that aren’t covered (and the possible associated cost) with the savings you may realize on the covered items. Next time, we’ll talk a little about what things tend to cost……..

Lead Based Paint---What Do I Have to Do?

System - Monday, August 14, 2017
Property Management Blog

We’ll stay focused on pre 1978 housing but remember this also pertains, at least in part, to child occupied facilities. First let’s clarify what the EPA considers to be “renovation”.

If the surface to be painted is not disturbed by sanding, scraping or other activities that may cause dust, the work is not considered to be renovation. However, if painting projects involve surface preparation that disturbs paint, such as sanding & scraping, then it is considered renovation.

Here’s an abbreviated list of what you must do prior to renovation:

  • Distribute EPA’s lead pamphlet to occupants/residents
  • For multifamily common areas: distribute pamphlet to tenants or post informational signs about the pending work where they can be seen and contain dates, nature and location of work and be accompanied by pamphlet and/or instructions on access to it.
  • Utilize a lead based paint certified provider for the work

So what’s the big deal? Penalties can go as high as $37,500.00 per violation, per day. For a sobering check, visit this link: -

FPM Properties has not one but two MPMs (Master Property Manager) and well over 50+ years combined experience on the team and extensive history managing properties in Riverside, Avondale, San Marco, St. Nicholas, Atlantic and Neptune Beaches (just to name a few) which have high concentrations of pre 1978 homes. If you own or are considering purchasing such an investment property and don’t want to deal with all this, you should contact us!

Lead Based Paint---What’s the Deal?

System - Monday, July 31, 2017
Property Management Blog

What is the EPA’S Lead Based Paint RRP Program?

Great and important question! Let’s tackle first from the vantage point of a homeowner (or property manager) with a home OR child occupied facility built prior to 1978.

  • It’s a federal regulation aimed at protecting against lead based paint hazards associated with renovation, repair and painting activities (like painting, carpentry, window replacement, plumbing and electrical work as well as remodeling/repairs)
  • The rule requires workers to be trained to use lead safe work practices and requires renovation firms to be EPA certified (these became fully effective April 22, 2010
  • RRP= Renovation, Repair and Painting. It applies to residential houses, apartments and child occupied facilities (like day care centers) built before 1978.
  • Anyone who is paid to perform work that disturbs paint in housing and child occupied facilities built before 1978 must follow requirements (like painters, plumbers, electricians, general contractors and carpenters)

There are further parameters and details to this which we’ll address in our next blog; for now, if you can’t wait another moment for more details, call us at FPM Properties (904-497-4200) or check out:

Homes in Atlantic, Neptune and Jacksonville Beaches as well as San Marco, Springfield, Avondale, Riverside and Murray Hill (to name a few) could be subject!

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!!


  • 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!

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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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