Storm Advice

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is June 1st until November 30th and we want you to be prepared for what happens when severe weather hits.

PRE-STORM

A young man stares at a bulletin board pinned with many papers and reports, much like Hoffman Realty clients seeking storm advice.

Have a Plan

Our first piece of storm advice is to make sure you have a plan for a safe place to evacuate if necessary, amble time to prepare and secure the property and to extra time for travel to the evacuation site – given added traffic flow.

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If you decide to shelter in place, make sure you have adequate non-perishable supplies for several days or more without power. Do you have a plan for your pet? If it is not safe for you outside, it is not safe for your pets either! If you are leaving the property, do not leave your pets behind. Gather and secure your important papers – renter’s insurance policies, identification, and your irreplaceable pictures, etc.

Build a storm supply kit

Shutter Installation or Board-Up Service

Hoffman Realty is not able to offer Hurricane Shutter installation and Board-Up service through our company. However, we have provided your landlord a list of local contractors should they want Hurricane

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Shutter installation and Board-Up. Some of landlords will make use of this service, most will not. If you aren’t contacted by one of these contractors assume the property will not be boarded up by your landlord. If your home has shutters available and you would like help installing them, please contact our office. Unfortunately we cannot authorize you to add hurricane shutters or board-up the property if they are not already available for installation on site, as your lease requires all modifications or additions to a property be first approved in writing by your landlord. Any hurricane shutters added to a property must be landlord approved AND professionally installed. However, should you decide to add hurricane shutters or board-up the property without approval, you should be prepared to return the property to it’s original condition after the storm. If you would like a list of local contractors that can add hurricane shutters or board-up the property, click the button below.

Local Contractors

Ensure you bookmark our Facebook Page

In 2004 when Hurricane Charlie threatened the Tampa Bay area our offices were subject to a mandatory evacuation orders well before the storm made landfall. It was chaotic with half our staff on the highways trying to leave

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Tampa and the other half making preparations to protect their families in place. Please don’t call us to get updates on the storm, or storm advice. Property managers in Houston recently found Facebook very helpful, so we will post general updates on our company Facebook Page as the situation allows.

Make sure you use the link below as there is a fake Hoffman Realty Facebook Page.

Our Facebook page

A hammer puts a nail into a piece of wood, an example of maintenance Hoffman Realty clients could do as they follow our storm advice.

Securing the Property

Secure all outside items. Bring in swings sets, play houses, small planters, trash can, anything that could turn into a flying object during high winds.

Secure house against damage.

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Follow all recommendations by the local news and the emergency preparedness teams for your area.

Do not put tape on the windows!If you evacuate the property or there is extensive property damage:

  • Turn off main breaker to property.
  • Turn off main gas line to the property. (Call Gas Company for instructions)
  • Turn off main water supply to the property. [/expand]

A pair of hands looks at a map on a smart phone, an example of following Hoffman Realty's storm advice regarding staying up to date.

Monitor the Storm

Stay up to date on the storm and its path. My Fox Hurricane is a good resource.

Update your contact information
Make sure Hoffman Realty has all your latest contact information. Please login to your Renters Portal to update it, or email us.

A young woman cools off her cup of coffee while she sits on her bed and logs into her Hoffman Renters Portal, seeking storm advice.

Ensure you have access to your Renters Portal

A huge part of our storm advice is to strongly recommend that you have access to your Renters Portal. This and email will be the primary means for contacting us after the storm.

AFTER THE STORM

Be Careful

Check for damage to your home. Use caution. More people die after a hurricane than during one. Be particularly aware of downed power lines or driving on flooded roads.

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Power will likely be out so use food in the refrigerator before it spoils. Discard any food that may have come in contact with floodwaters. If you cook with a grill, keep it outdoors. Conserve battery life on your flashlights. Limit use of cell phones to emergencies. We will also post general information through Our Facebook page.

A young woman creates a presentation of ideas on her laptop, an example of a Hoffman Realty client seeking ideas around storm advice

Let us know how you faired

As you are able, please let us know how you and the property faired. If you have Internet service you can use your Renters Portal to report to us. You can upload photos with a maintenance request. You can also complete a maintenance request on our website and email us.

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If you don’t have Internet service you can call our office at (813) 875-7474 or our maintenance line at (855) 559-5525. Please be patient and wait for us to respond back to you.

When we do contact you – please respond timely

Please monitor your voicemail and email regularly and check your Renters Portal. Respond timely to us and our vendors.

A grey cat lying down looks out a window next to a vase of sunflowers, an example of good weather before a storm hits, prompting Hoffman Realty clients to seek storm advice

Please be Patient

After one storm in 2004 we had hundreds of calls a day and our voicemail filled with messages faster than we could respond back to them. The volume of call traffic seriously impacted our ability to assess and respond to storm damage.

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It will take longer than any of us would like to get properties permanently repaired. Resources and skilled labor are in short supply. In fact in 2004 materials and resources were in such short supply after a storm, that many of our vendors were unable to repair storm damage. We had roofers that could not get roofing materials; handymen that could not get plywood or tarps; tree service contractors that could not rent cranes (to lift trees off houses); drying vendors that could not get fans, dehumidifiers and generators. Insurance companies were overwhelmed and it took weeks to get a claim approved.

Many of our staff will be working long hours and also dealing with their own storm damages affecting their families and their lives. In 2004 our office was without power for 10 days which really impacted our ability to communicate and respond. Power outages are likely to happen again, so we ask for your patience with us and our staff after the storm.

REVIEWS

4.9 /5
399 Reviews

Jun 16, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Ruxandra
Hoffman Realty is an excellent property management team in Tampa Bay. From the beginning we received help with the leasing process from MaryAnn, Jeanette is doing an outstanding job of managing our property and Pamela is sending helpful accounting reports on monthly basis. Thank you all for making the leasing process comfortable, professional and easy! Very highly recommended to family and friends.
Jun 14, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Kelly
Amanda Coffman and the entire Hoffman Realty team come through again with quick and efficient resolution to our mechanical problem.
Hoffman Realty replied on Jul 16, 2018:
Thanks Kelly, We appreciate your feedback on Amanda and how we are doing. Andrew
Jun 14, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Jennifer
I tell everyone how happy I am with Hoffman Realty. I know my home is in the best of hands with Amanda. I don't live in the area anymore, and as a former tenant myself, I am very appreciative of how they take care of my tenants. They are quick to respond to any emergencies and never dodge calls. They will be in charge of my town home as long as I own it.
Hoffman Realty replied on Jun 15, 2019:
Hi Jennifer, Thank you for your kind words about Amanda and Hoffman Realty, MaryAnn
Jun 14, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Kathryn
Amanda is a wonderful CSR. She is always helpful and very prompt in her replies. She is just a joy to work with. Solid five stars!
Hoffman Realty replied on Jun 15, 2019:
H Kathryn, Thank-you for your kind words about Amanda. Andrew
Jun 13, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Kerry
Easy turnover for me as a remote home owner. I aim to have safe and comfortable housing for my amazing tenants. Screening is very important; management is key to success. Thanks, Pamela Pagel, for managing all the moving parts.
Hoffman Realty replied on Jun 14, 2019:
Hi Kerry, Thank you for you nice review of Hoffman Realty and Pamela, Andrew
Jun 11, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Cathy
Hoffman has managed 5 properties for me fr approx. 11 years. I've not had one real issue with them. Dave Hartmann Falls Church, VA.
Hoffman Realty replied on Jun 12, 2019:
Hi Cathy, Thank-you for the 5 Star review. I just looked up how long we have been working for you and David and I was surprized to find it is almost 10-years. How time flies when we have great clients like you. Andrew
May 21, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Chris
MaryAnn Hoffman is a true professional that works extremely hard to serve her clients. I highly recommend her company
Hoffman Realty replied on May 19, 2019:
Hi Chris, We really appreciate your nice feedback, MaryAnn
May 20, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Sait
Great Customer Service !!!! A+
Hoffman Realty replied on May 20, 2019:
Hi Sait, Thank you for your nice feedback, Andrew
May 20, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Remy
MaryAnn and her team have managed our townhouse since 2012. We have appreciated all their work and efforts in maintaining and renting our townhouse, and they have been our representatives since we are out of state. Especially in terms of paperwork and ensuring a smooth process for everyone involved. They have always encouraged only the best path for us as landlords. Thank you!!!
Hoffman Realty replied on May 21, 2019:
Hi Remy, Thank you for the kind words about MaryAnn and Hoffman Realty LLC. We really enjoyed working for you. Andrew
May 16, 2019
Google Hoffman Realty Keith
Hoffman Realty LLC has managed our property for more than 2 years now and Mary Ann, Jeanette and the entire Hoffman Realty team has been very responsive to the concerns regarding our property. It’s not often that a customer can directly contact the company owner (Mary Ann) and feel how genuinely she was about finding the best workable solution to a perceived negative encounter that we had with the company. Hoffman Realty does a great job in developing an honest relationship with its customers and is very responsive to our needs. We would recommend Hoffman Realty LLC to family and friends alike. Continue the good work. Thank you for being outstanding professionals in the property management community.
Hoffman Realty replied on May 17, 2019:
Hi Keith, We really appreciate having you as a client and your feedback means a lot to me personally. Thank you for your kind words and for being an awesome landlord! MaryAnn

FAQ

Can a home depreciate in value?
Generally, real property never depreciates in value, or more so, it is not very common for property to depreciate. This is why it’s a great investment. Make sure you carefully consider location and community when choosing a home, it can effect the homes future value greatly.

If you are in a newly developed area, do some research on the construction of the surrounding areas being developed to determine if they may effect your homes value.

Is an older home as good a value as a new home?
This is really just a matter of preference, but both newer and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle.

Older homes can generally cost less than new homes, however, there are many cases where new homes can also cost less then older homes. Most new homes will not have any backyard landscaping and some don”t include any front landscaping either. With an older home, the landscaping is normally already completed and could have 10”s of thousands of dollars in landscaping done, which is included in the purchase price.

Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home but shy away because they”re concerned about potential maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the peace of mind you deserve. A good Home Warranty plan protects you against unexpected repairs on many home systems and appliances for a full year or more after you move in.

In a new house, you can pick your own color schemes, flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, custom wiring for TV”s, electrical, computers, phones and speakers, etc., as well as have more upgrade options. Modern features like media rooms, extra-large closets and extra-large bathrooms and tubs are also more attainable in ground-up construction. In a used home, you rely largely on the previous resident”s tastes and technological whims, unless you plan to farm thousands into a remodeling and rewiring.

New-home designers can use new building materials such as glazed Energy Star windows, thicker insulation and other technology that will lower future energy costs for the owner. Most states now have minimum energy-efficiency requirements for new construction. Kitchens and laundry areas in new homes are designed to house more efficient energy-saving appliances. Older homes, unless they have undergone an energy retrofit, usually cost much more per square foot to air-condition and heat.

Builders have to follow very strict guidelines in new-homes and additions, especially in the West and Northwest, where earthquake safety standards must be observed. In general, new homes are usually more fire-safe and better accommodating of new security and garage-door systems.

Older homes can be better judged for their quality and timeless beauty. New homes that now possess a smooth veneer might reveal the use of substandard building materials or shoddy workmanship over time.

As you can see there are advantages and dis-advantages to each, but it really comes down to what fits you and what you are looking for in a home.

What is a broker?
An agent who is authorized to open and run his/her own agency. All real estate offices have one principal broker.
How can I avoid private mortgage insurance?
The easiest way to avoid PMI is by putting 20% down payment; however, PMI can also be avoided if you only have 5% or 10% for the down payment. The way to accomplish this is via a first and second mortgage combination commonly referred to as 80/10/10^s or 80/15/5^s.

These two methods combine a first mortgage lien for 80% of the home price with a second mortgage lien for either 10% or 15% of the home price leaving the remaining 5% or 10% as the down payment. Because the first lien is at the magical 80% loan=to-value, there is no PMI required, even though a second mortgage is being |piggybacked| onto the financing thus allowing for the lessor down payment.

While the second lien terms are not as attractive as first lien rates, the second mortgage is still home mortgage interest and thus deductible as such on your federal tax return where PMI is insurance and offers no deduction.

What is the difference between being prequalified and preapproved for a loan?
If you’re prequalified it means that you POTENTIALLY could get a loan for the amount stated to you, assuming that all of the information you provide to the bank is accurate and true. This is not as strong as a preapproval.

If you’re preapproved, it means that you have undergone the extensive financial background check, which includes looking at your credit history, previous tax returns and verifying your employment – and the lender is willing to give you a loan, basically meaning you’re approved!

You will usually be provided an accurate figure which shows the maximum amount that you are approved for. Most sellers prefer buyers that have been preapproved because they know that there will not be any problems with the purchase of their home.

How is interest calculated on a mortgage loan?
Most mortgages originated today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating interest is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.

If You’re a Landlord with Questions, We’ve Got Answers

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Check out our free eBook, “Landlord Tips: Making the Most of Your Rental Property.” This eBook will help you:

~Understand how to increase your profits
~Learn how to avoid common landlord pitfalls
~Discover the value a Tampa property manager can bring
~How Landlords Must Hold Escrow
~Earning Positive Cash Flow
~Commanding Top Dollar for Your Rental
~Maintenance and Inspections
~Why You Need Landlord Insurance
~Finding Tenants with Hoffman Realty

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