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

A house barn in a country side with purple clouds and lightning, which is like a representation of a Hoffman Realty's shutter installation

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

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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.

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

a caution sign in an uphill with lighthouse on top, like Hoffman Realty warning to be careful

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 fared

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
4.9 /5
452 Reviews

Google
5.0/5
Nov 22, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty Betsy
I'm so grateful to be one of the vendors for Hoffman Realty. Nina was great, she helped me to start the process with the vendor package and the team is easy to work with.
Google
5.0/5
Nov 21, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty Kata
While relocating back to Tampa, FL, during these unprecedented times, I got the pleasure to work with Nibea (Nina) Vargas, an agent from Hoffman Realty. From the very first “hello” she has been extremely helpful, responsive and …More While relocating back to Tampa, FL, during these unprecedented times, I got the pleasure to work with Nibea (Nina) Vargas, an agent from Hoffman Realty. From the very first “hello” she has been extremely helpful, responsive and knowledgeable, a pleasure to work with. She made the experience of finding my new home so easy and enjoyable. I am looking forward to continuing to work with Nibea in the nearest future when I am finally ready to purchase my new home, would not want to work with any other agent. I wholeheartedly recommend Nibea to help find your new home.
Google
5.0/5
Nov 21, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty Anthony
I must say from the start of my search for a rental property Nibea had my best interest at heart one of most professional Realtors i gave ever worked great job and thank you for your help
Google
5.0/5
Nov 21, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty MANUEL
Great job by Nina in our rental needs. She explained the process really well and helped us the whole way. Thank you!!!
Google
5.0/5
Nov 3, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty Ken
Mary Ann and team managed my property for almost 8 years after moving overseas. I always knew they could handle anything that arose with tenants, repairs and maintenance (and things did!). When I was ready to sell - Mary Ann was my selling agent and it sold within a week. Great team of people.
Hoffman Realty replied on Nov 4, 2020:
Hi Ken, We really enjoyed working for you over the last 8-years. Thanks for being a great landlord, Andrew
Google
5.0/5
Nov 2, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty Salim
I LIVE IS A RENTED HOME AND EVCERY TIME I HAVE ISSUE THEY ARE THERE TO TAKE CARE OF IT.THANKS SO MUCH
Hoffman Realty replied on Oct 30, 2020:
Hi Salim, We work hard to ensure that you have a safe and well maintained home. Thanks for your feedback. Andrew
Google
5.0/5
Oct 30, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty Claudio
My job requires that I constantly move, and this is my second time living in the Tampa Bay Area. As a tenant, I am grateful to the responsiveness and professionalism in which the team answer concerns. If I return to the area, Hoffman will be my first choice to rent a property. I can count on their service.
Hoffman Realty replied on Nov 1, 2020:
Hi Claudio, Thank you for your kind words. Your feedback means a lot to our team, MaryAnn
Google
5.0/5
Oct 28, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty Loren
Hoffman Realty expertly handled the sale of my home just as they went beyond my expectations for all matters managing it as a rental property for the better part of the past ten years.
Hoffman Realty replied on Oct 29, 2020:
Hi Loren, We are glad your insurance claim and all the repairs are now complete. That was a lot of work and we really appreciate your kinds words. Thank-you, Andrew
Google
5.0/5
Oct 10, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty Kyle
Hoffman Realty has managed our rental properties since 2013 and they are great. Not only that, but when the time arose for us to sell one of the rentals, Hoffman also listed the property and made the transition very easy for our family. …More Hoffman Realty has managed our rental properties since 2013 and they are great. Not only that, but when the time arose for us to sell one of the rentals, Hoffman also listed the property and made the transition very easy for our family. The selling process was smooth and streamlined which allowed our home to sell remarkably fast. If you are an investor or just someone seeking a home to rent, Hoffman should be the first place to contact. If you're looking to sell your home, you won't be disappointed with Hoffman's expertise in realty.
Hoffman Realty replied on Oct 2, 2020:
Hi Kyle, Thank you for being an awesome landlord for the last 7+ years. We appreciate your business and loved serving you, Andrew
Google
5.0/5
Oct 7, 2020
Google Hoffman Realty Anna-Clara
Thank you, John and Linda, for finding my place in Tampa. It has been great working with you, fun and you have always been right there and with fast answers. Thanks for all the great research and negotiating you have done. Truly appreciate it!
Hoffman Realty replied on Oct 10, 2020:
Hi Anna-Clara, Thank-you got the kind words about Linda and John. You are s pleasure to serve. Andrew

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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