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Realty Masters Blog~ by Nicole

We are the leader in Rental Homes and Apartments in the Pensacola area

By Nicole St. Aubin | Agent in Pensacola, FL
  • Family fun in Pensacola area: Gulf Breeze Zoo

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Gulf Breeze, Parks & Recreation in Gulf Breeze, In My Neighborhood in Gulf Breeze  |  April 6, 2013 7:22 AM  |  2,617 views  |  No comments

    With the arrival of Spring, we are ready to explore the great outdoors along the Gulf Coast and Florida Panhandle.  One of our favorite places to explore is the Gulf Breeze Zoo in Gulf Breeze, FL.  Take a look at this video we made showcasing some of our favorite animals at the zoo



    Read more and view more photos on our blog here:
    http://realtymastersoffl.blogspot.com/2012/01/family-fun-things-to-do-in-pensacola.html

    Thanks and have a great day,
    Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
    Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
    Call us at (850) 473-3983
    Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at
    www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
    Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos

  • Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola, FL

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Pensacola, Parks & Recreation in Pensacola, In My Neighborhood in Pensacola  |  April 6, 2013 6:39 AM  |  2,061 views  |  No comments

    I made a recent visit to Big Lagoon State Park for the first time recently.  After taking a quick tour around the 650+ acre park, I wondered why I had never been to Big Lagoon State Park Before. 
    Big Lagoon State Park & Recreation Area in Pensacola, FL

    Check out a comprehensive blog I wrote on Big Lagoon State Park and all it offers the Pensacola/ Perdido Key area including boat launch, camping, observation tower, kayak & canoe rentals, nature trails, biking trails, and more here on our blog:

    http://realtymastersoffl.blogspot.com/2013/04/family-fun-in-pensacola-big-lagoon.html

    Thanks and have a great day,
    Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
    Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Property Management
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503
    Call us at (850) 473-3983
    Over 45 Pensacola Rental Homes at
    www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
    Like us on facebook ~ Follow our pins ~ Watch our videos
  • Free Fireworks show courtesy of the Blue Wahoos!

    Posted Under: General Area in Pensacola, Shopping & Local Amenities in Pensacola, Parks & Recreation in Pensacola  |  June 15, 2012 7:57 AM  |  3,055 views  |  No comments

    Saturday night Fireworks at Blue Wahoos a hit!
    Free Fireworks show from Palafox Pier over Pensacola Bay~

    Hopefully, by now, you've had a chance to see a baseball game at Pensacola's new waterfront stadium. If you haven't, you are surely missing out!
    Pensacola residents of all ages are enjoying the Blue Wahoos' first season. In addition to themed nights including 80's night and movie night, the Blue Wahoos also host a spectacular fireworks show on Saturday night home games. The show, although only about 4-5 minutes on average, is definitely comparable to the Pensacola areas Fourth of July Fireworks.

    View of the interior of Blue Wahoos Stadium
    It's my opinion that the fireworks alone is worth admission into the Blue Wahoos game. For as little as $5, you can get general admission tickets and secure a spot on the green. General admission does not provide a seat; it gives you entry into the ballpark but is standing room only so we suggest you bring your own chair just in case! Box seats are available for as little as $10 per ticket. You can purchase tickets here. Because of the fireworks, many Saturday night games are booked in advance so make sure you buy tickets the week prior in order to secure your seat at the next Saturday night home game!

    If you are working on a limited budget, tickets are sold out, or you are not interested in baseball, we have a secret we'd like to share with you! There is a fabulous view of the fireworks show from Palafox Pier in downtown Pensacola which actually overlooks the Blue Wahoos Stadium. Of course, there is no charge for admission and usually plenty of parking. The firework show starts at the conclusion of the game, which typically ends around 9pm but could begin as late as 10pm if there the guys go into overtime.


    Fireworks at Blue Wahoos Stadium in downtown Pensacola~ overlooking Pensacola Bay!


    We went a few weeks ago to check out the view from Palafox Pier (997 S Palafox St, Pensacola, FL 32502) There were only a few people there taking advantage of the view~

     Here's some footage of the fireworks showcasing the fabulous view from Palafox Pier!
    The finale of the show was awesome, but you will have to go see it for yourself!
    We are so grateful to have the Blue Wahoos in Pensacola and look forward to enjoying the many activities the team brings to our area! Thanks guys!

    Until next time,
    Realty Masters of FL ~ # 1 in Pensacola Property Management!
    (850) 473-3983 ~ Over 40 rentals available at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
    Facebook ~ Pinterest ~
  • Family Fun: Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park~

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Fort Walton Beach, Parks & Recreation in Fort Walton Beach, In My Neighborhood in Fort Walton Beach  |  June 13, 2012 10:01 AM  |  2,981 views  |  No comments

    Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park~
    Beach front marine park opens with new name & new attractions!
    New animal encounters at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
    Visitors feed the penguins through one of
    the many new animal encounters~
    Looking for something fun to do in the Pensacola/ Destin area? Back for the 2012 Summer season, the Gulfarium comes with a jazzier name, AKA The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, and several new attractions including up close and personal encounters with the animals.

    The Gulfarium is located at 10101 Miracle Strip Pkwy in Fort Walton Beach, FL in Okaloosa County. Fort Walton Beach is approximately 45 miles east of Pensacola, FL and less than 10 miles west of Destin, FL.
    The Gulfarium has been a popular Gulf Coast attraction since 1955! This gulf-front marine park showcases several marine animals including dolphins, sea lions, seals, turtles, sea otters, tropical penguins, alligators, and several species of birds and fish. The Gulfarium also serves as a rehabilitation center and life-long refuge for some injured animals unable to survive in the wild.
    Video tour of the Gulfarium


    The park is open daily from 9am to 4:30pm. General admission is $19.95 for adults and children ages 3-12 for $11.95 with children under age 3 free and covers entrance to the park and exhibits as well as entrance to the dolphin and sea lion show.

    New EncountersThe new animal encounters at the Gulfarium are available for an additional charge and include opportunities to feed and/or interact with marine mammals including stringray, sharks, seals, sea lions, sea otters, turtles, and even dolphins! There are several encounters to choose from. The animal encounters range from $5 to feed the penguins to $349 to spend the day as a VIP marine mammal trainer. Reservations are suggested for animal encounters.
    Visitors snorkel in Stingray Bay with stingrays and sharks! The cost is $34 per participant and includes a 30 minute snorkel.


    Another new attraction is the "Living Sea" which features a huge indoor aquarium with several species of marine life as well as several other aquariums housing octopus, blow fish, sea horses and more.


    Living Sea Aquarium~


    Sea Lion Shows Daily
    There are three California Sea Lions who live at the Gulfarium and perform three shows daily at 9:30am, 11:30am, and 2:00pm. The show is entertaining and sure to make you laugh.
    Marine Mammal Trainer works plays with California Sea Lion during a show in Summer 2012~

    Sea lions play before show at the Gulfarium during 2012 Summer Season~
    Dolphin Shows Daily
    There are three dolphins that live at the Gulfarium and boy, are they smart! The dolphin show is one of the most popular attractions at the park. Held three times daily, shows begin at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 3:00pm. Although brief (it only lasts 15-20 minutes) it is well worth the trip to the Gulfarium for this alone. There is some seating, however, seating fills up fast so if you want to get a seat, make sure to get to the show early. If seating is full, you are welcome to stand around the pool and watch like we did for a closer view of the show! Just be careful, you may get splashed.

    Dolphin show at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach, FL~
    Dolphin relaxes in between tricks during the Dolphin Show at the Gulfarium

    A few more photos of the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park and the animals who live here:

    View from observation deck of part of the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park and beautiful white sand beaches

    Seal swims under water at Seal Harbor~
    Fish in the Living Sea aquarium at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach, FL ~
    Dolphin shows off at the Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach~












    For more information, visit
    their website or call them at 850-243-9046. What are you waiting for? Plan your trip to the Gulfarium today!

    Until next time,
    Realty Masters of FL ~ # 1 in Pensacola Rental Homes & Apartments!
    (850) 473-3983 ~ Over 40 rentals available at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
    Facebook ~ Pinterest
  • Gated Community near NAS Pensacola Back Gate~

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Pensacola, In My Neighborhood in Pensacola, For Rent in Pensacola  |  June 13, 2012 9:59 AM  |  3,609 views  |  No comments

    Gated Heron's Forest Subdivision
    Popular community right at the back gate of NAS Pensacola

    Heron's Forest is a gated community located less than 1/2 mile from the back gate of Naval Air Station off Gulf Beach Hwy near the intersection of Blue Angel Pkwy. The proximity to the back gate, beautiful white sand beaches, and popular Perdido Kid's Park make this a favorite community, especially among military families.

    View Larger Map

    Street Names in Heron's Forest Subdivision include the main road Rookery Road, as well as the cul-de-sac roads of Jaburu Lane, Limpkin Lane, Grallatoral Lane, Rail Circle, Tanger Circle, Lorikeet Lane and Bittern Drive.

    Within 5-10 minute drive, there is adequate shopping including Target, Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Publix as well as access to Perdido Key Beaches and Big Lagoon State Park. Additionally, the popular Perdido Kids Park is less than a mile from this community. The Perdido Kids Park is a well maintained newer park, and is hands down the best park in the Pensacola area!
    Community Features
    • Gated Subdivision
    • Gated community pool
    • Two nicely maintained tennis courts
    • Access to Nature Trail & beaches
    homes with pools near NAS pensacola
    Community Pool in Heron's Forest Subdivision near NAS Pensacola

    homes for rent near NAS Pensacola
    Tennis Courts at Heron's Forest Subdivision

    Trout Point Nature Trail
    Approximately 1 mile walk to Beaches
    via access to Trout Point Natural Trail
    from Heron's Forest Community
    Heron's Forest is surrounded on three sides by the US Navy Trout Point Watchable Wildlife Area which is part of NAS Pensacola. This area is largely wetlands and offers fabulous opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habitat.

    In addition to access from inside the gates of Naval Air Station Pensacola, there is access to the Trout Point Nature Trail from inside Heron's Forest Community. The trail entrance is off of Bittern Dr. and includes approximately 1 mile walk through the nature preserve to beautiful white sand beaches. 
    Trout Point Nature Preserve over Big Lagoon
    End of Trout Point Nature Reserve on Big Lagoon!
    Observe wildlife from Trout Point Nature Trail~
    School Districts
    Hellen Caro Elementary- A School as of 2011
    Jim Bailey Middle- A School as of 2011
    Escambia High- C School as of 2011
    
    To view more information on Escambia County and the current school grades, visit their website here.
    Blue Angels fly over Heron's Forest
    Warning: Your neighbors are loud!
    Due to the proximity to the Naval Base, you can expect some noise from planes nearby. In fact, because Pensacola is home to the Navy Blue Angels, you may hear quite a bit of noise. During their season, the Blue Angels practice overhead every Tuesday & Wednesday morning right at 8:30am. It's part of the charm of this subdivision- unless you happen to work 3rd shift~ Don't say we didn't warn you!

    Style of Homes in Heron's Forest Subdivision
    One of the things I love about this community is that every house has its own personality. Many of the newer subdivisions are what we call cookie cutter subdivisions- each home varies silghtly but overall design is the same. This is not the case in Heron's Forest! Take a look at a few of the different style homes in the community.

    South Florida Stlye stucco home with side entry 2 car garage~
    Brick patio home with front entry 2 car garage ~
    Craftsman Stlye Home in Heron's Forest Community
    Homes for rent in Heron's Forest
    While most of the homes in Heron's Forest are owner occupied, there are a few rental homes in this community. Currently, there are three homes available for rent in Heron's Forest, although avaiablity changes daily. The homes are listed between $1695 and $1750 and are all over 2,000 square feet.
    Homes for rent in Heron's Forest have rented previously $1150 for a smaller patio home to $1800 for a larger executive style home. Rental rates are on the rise and I don't expect seeing many homes below $1350 in this community for some time!
    If you are interested in renting a home in Heron's Forest community or other similiar gated communities, email Nicole at Nicoles@PensacolaRealtyMasters.com for a list!

    Homes for sale in Heron's Forest
    There are several homes for sale in Heron's Forest. They are listed from $210,000 for a 3 bedroom 2 bath, 1900 square foot home to an executive 3,350 square feet home for $425,000. Comparable homes have sold in 2012 between $229,000 and $288,000 with an average price of $96 a square foot or $255,000.

    If you are interested in purchasing a home in the Heron's Forest Community, email Pam Keen at Pam@PensacolaRealtyMasters.com with your requests or feel free to call her at (850) 232-2200.

    Homeowners Association
    If you are interested in renting or buying a home in Heron's Forest Community, I urge you to review their important documents including the Rules and Regulations as well as Covenants and Restrictions for the Homeowners Assocation. There is an active Home Owners Association, the Heron's Forest Property Owners Association. HOA dues are currently $100 a month and cover the assocation, common grounds landscaping, pool maintenance, tennis court maintenance, and professional management of the community.

    Until next time,
    Realty Masters of FL ~ # 1 in Pensacola Rental Homes & Apartments!
    (850) 473-3983 ~ Over 35 rentals available at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
    Facebook ~ Pinterest
  • Septic Tank Inspections not required any longer!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Pensacola, Home Selling in Pensacola  |  June 13, 2012 9:54 AM  |  2,962 views  |  No comments

    Septic tank inspections no longer required in Pensacola
    New Florida Statute drops requirement for septic tank inspection

    Last week, I saw an announcement on the Pensacola Association of Realtors website in regards to septic tank inspections that Escambia County septic tank inspections are no longer required when selling (or buying) a home! I was a little surprised to see this- as septic tank issues can be costly to fix!

    Regardless of the change in FL statute, I will suggest to our clients that they still have a licensed plumber or septic tank company do a visual inspection on the septic tank and drainfield lines to ensure there are no issues. You can contact a company to do an inspection a septic tank for between $150 and $400 depending on the scope of the inspection and whether or not the tank is pumped prior to inspecting.

    You still have the option to get an inspection
    Although you are not required to, you still have the option to get a septic tank inspection. Frankly, I'm unsure why the state of Florida made this change. However, if you are purchasing a home with a septic tank, it is, in my opinion, a good idea to have the tank inspected. The plumbing system in your home is pretty important. Most of the homes in our area with septic tanks are older or located farther away from city limits. Especially with an older tank, having an operable septic tank is important when making the decision to purchase a home. If you are opting for the septic tank inspection, make sure you have a septic tank inspection contingency as part of your contract and
    get the inspection completed prior to the inspection period.

    Further questions about septic tanks? Call my friends at: Ensley Septic (850) 476-9610 or Economy Septic Tank (850) 968-5130 or visit the Escambia County Health Department online or by phone at (850) 595-6786.

    Here's a copy of the letter that we saw in case you wanted to read it.

    "To Whom it May Concern:
    The Environmental Health Division of the Escambia County Health Department has conducted property sale inspections as required by Escambia County Ordinance Chapter 98, Article III since August 1999. As of April 27, 2012, House Bill 1263 became a law and prohibits the requirement for an evaluation of a septic system at the point of sale. House Bill 1263 modifies Florida Statute Section 381.0065 to now state the following:
    "381.00651 Periodic evaluation and assessment of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems.-
    .... (4) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this section, a county or municipality that has adopted a program before July 1, 2011 may continue to enforce its current program without having to meet the requirements of this section, provided such program does not require an evaluation at the point of sale in a real estate transaction..."

    This modification supersedes the current Ecambia County Ordinance and property sale inspections of septic tank systems are no longer required.

    If a septic tank system is requested or required to be performed by a seller, buyer, or lender, the inspection must be performed in accordance with the 'Procedure for Voluntary Inspection and assessment of Exisiting Systems" in Chapter 64E-6 of the Florida Administrative Code. The inspection must be conducted by a master septic tank contractor, a registered septic tank contractor, a state-licensed plumber, or persons certified under section 381.0101, Florida Statutes with the exception of Department of Health employees.

    Please post pertinent information from this letter on your website in hopes to reach out to as many local realtors as possible. Please do not hesitate to call (850) 595-6786 with any questions"

    Signed by Mr. Phillip Davies, Environmental Supervisor 1

    Until next time,
    Nicole St. Aubin, Broker Associate
    Realty Masters of FL ~ # 1 in Pensacola Rental Homes & Apartments!
    (850) 473-3983 ~ Over 35 rentals available at www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
    Facebook ~
  • Your guide to Gulf Breeze, FL Parks!

    Posted Under: General Area in Gulf Breeze, Quality of Life in Gulf Breeze, Parks & Recreation in Gulf Breeze  |  May 16, 2012 7:22 AM  |  4,341 views  |  No comments

    Your Guide to Gulf Breeze Parks~
    Gulf Breeze has a park for just about everyone!

    Along with East Hill in Pensacola, Gulf Breeze proper houses the most parks per square inch in our local community. This is one of the reasons Gulf Breeze is such a sought after area (that and the A+ school districts.) Here's our guide to helping you enjoy Gulf Breeze Parks!

    Shoreline Park (North and South)~ Sports, boat launch & dog park

    Shoreline Park South ~ Boat Launch, fantastic waterfront picnic area, & dog park


    Shoreline Park
    is located off Shoreline Drive in Gulf Breeze Proper. The park area spreads over 150 acres so is divided into subareas including Shoreline Park South, Shoreline Park North, and Sunset Kids Park. With its sister park across the road (Sunset Kids Park) and the Gulf Breeze Rec Center on the property, these parks offer everything you could ask for in one convenient location!

    Dog Park at Shoreline Park South in Gulf Breeze Proper~



    Waterfront picnic area at Shoreline Park South
    At Shoreline Park South & North:
    • Public boat launch
    • Covered picnic areas with grills
    • Baseball, soccer, and softball fields
    • Dog park (Bark Park)
    • Nature Trail
    • Public restrooms and showers
    • Volleyball court
    • Plenty of parking
    • Great place to kayak, canoe, or paddleboard
    Beautiful nature trail


    Sunset Kids Park in Gulf Breeze Proper~ The Kids Park to be at!
    Sunset Kids Park is located conveniently across the road from Shoreline Park South and next to to the Gulf Breeze Rec Center is beautiful Sunset Park. Here you will find:
    Basketball and tennis courts
  • Sunset Skate Park
  • Two playground areas including areas for tots
  • Restrooms & picnic areas
    Sunset Kids Park ~ at the corner of Sunset Ave. and Shoreline Dr. in Gulf Breeze Proper


    Nice playground equipment at Sunset Park in Gulf Breeze near schools


    Public skate park in Gulf Breeze near Gulf Breeze Recreation Center
    Basketball Courts overlook tennis courts and skate park

    Other parks in Gulf Breeze:

    Wayside Park is a waterfront park along Hwy 98 near the 3 Mile Bridge in Gulf Breeze proper area. This park doesn't get busy and is a great place to have a picnic or to go fishing. There is a public boat launch as well. There isn't a playground set here so not your tyipcal park! 

    Wayside Park in GB Proper near 3 Mile Bridge.
    Woodland Park is located in Gulf Breeze proper off Fairpoint Rd. and Highpointe Dr. which is located in a more residential area of Gulf Breeze Proper. This 1.5 acre park includes two sets of playground equipment including one for smaller children, swings, two tennis courts, and a waterfront dock!

    Waterfront dock- great picnic area


    The tennis courts are located a little farther down Highpoint Drive from the rest of the park area at Woodland Park and is considered Highpoint Park. The area encompasses two tennis courts and a picnic area.
    nice tennis courts at Woodland Park off Highpoint Dr. near Fairpoint.


    There are two other public parks in residential areas in Gulf Breeze Proper including Williamsburg Park and McClure Park. McClure park is a smaller .5 acre park with playground equipment, swings, and picnic areas off McClure near Hwy 98. Williamsburg park sprawls over 3 acres and includes a large open field, playground equipment, and picnic areas and is located off Williamsburg Ave. and Shoreline Ave.

    Swenson Park is located in the Oriole Beach area at the intersections of Laurel Drive, West Ave, and Circle Drive is Swenson Park. This public park boasts baksetball goals, a rock climbing wall, playground equipment including equipment for smaller chldren, swings, tennis courts and more. Enjoy the sunset here too!

    Another fabulous place in Gulf Breeze is the Naval Live Oaks in the Gulf Island National Seashore off Hwy 98. You should definitely check it out if you haven't yet.

    There is a huge park facility in the Tiger Point area of Gulf Breeze off Hwy 98 named Tiger Point Park and is located at 1370 Tiger Point Lane. The park spans over 30 acres and includes basketball courts, soccer, baseball, and football fields, batting cages, picnic areas, playground areas and restrooms.
    Private Park in Grand Pointe Subdivision
    Many local neighborhoods also feature parks including Grand Pointe off Hwy 98, Shadow Lakes off Hwy 399, and many in Gulf Breeze proper.

    Geeze, Gulf Breeze has a lot of parks! Did I miss one? Let me know!

    Until next time,
    Realty Masters of FL~ #1 in Pensacola Rental Homes & Apartments
    4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503~ (850) 473 3983
    Over 45 rentals available! Follow us on facebook and pinterest
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