Diversifying Investments With Real Estate

Many people accustomed to investing in the stock market are aware of the age-old advice that it’s wise to practice diversification. The idea is to minimize risk by not putting all of your eggs into one basket (or one particular stock) and to aim for a mix of different stocks, bonds and mutual funds. While all of these options will help diversify your portfolio, there are several reasons why adding real estate to your investment strategy is a good idea.
“Owning real estate is a tangible investment,” explained Jayme Nabors, co-owner of NBI Properties in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. “Instead of passively owning stocks and depending on a company’s performance to rack up gains, real estate offers investors more control over their profit margins.”
Real estate is typically a long term investment, although some investors prefer short term “flipping” transactions. Investors can purchase commercial or residential properties with a traditional mortgage, seller financing, or private loans. The silver lining is that tenants pay rent to cover the cost of repaying the loan and investors build up equity.
“The beauty of investing in real estate is that someone else pays for your property while you reap the benefits of ownership, including tax deductions and building equity,” said Nabors. “At NBI, we’ve found that once investors get involved in real estate, they are interested in adding more properties to their portfolios.”
Investors who own just a few properties may choose to manage tenants themselves while others opt for property managers to take care of all the details. Unless you have ample time to make improvements, collect rents, and take care of maintenance and repairs, it’s easier to hire a reputable property management firm to handle these important details.
“In our area, we currently manage more than 3000 properties,” said Nabors.”Many of the investors we work with live in other states and rely on us to handle the day-to-day business of keeping their properties we’ll maintained. For investors who own multiple properties, hiring a competent property manager is a necessity and eliminates a lot of headaches.”
For more information about real estate investment opportunities or property management, contact NBI Properties at 850-243-0007.

FEMA Allocates Disaster Assistance for Northwest Florida

Two months after a storm system brought massive flooding to Northwest Florida, $66.5 million in disaster assistance has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help homeowners, renters and business owners recover. Residents with property affected by the storms and flooding from April 28 to May 6 in Escambia, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties have until Monday, July 21, to register for disaster assistance with FEMA.

“The deadline is fast approaching, so we are encouraging all of our clients, friends, and neighbors to register claims with FEMA as soon as possible,” said Jayme Nabors, co-founder of NBI Properties in Fort Walton Beach.

Those needing assistance can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or at m.fema.gov on a smartphone. To apply by phone, call 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.

To date, more than 14,200 people have been in touch with FEMA seeking help or information on disaster assistance following what local officials called the worst flood in Northwest Florida in decades.

Since the May 6 disaster declaration, more than $32.1 million in financial assistance has helped more than 6,600 homeowners and renters who were affected by the spring storms and flooding. This amount includes more than $26.6 million in rental expenses and essential home repairs and nearly $5.5 million to help cover other essential disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $34.4 million in low-interest disaster loans for qualified homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations.

FEMA is continuing to work with state and local partners to connect people to recovery resources in their communities. Those who need extra help are encouraged to call Florida’s 2-1-1 information helpline or visit HelpNWFLrecover.org.

Several voluntary agencies, local community- and faith-based organizations and other non-profit groups are also helping those affected by the flooding with long term needs. Among these voluntary agencies are the American Red Cross, United Way, Volunteer Florida, Operation Blessing, Florida Baptists and Samaritan’s Purse.

More than 3,300 local residents and business owners have met with FEMA mitigation specialists at disaster recovery centers and home improvement stores for advice and tips on how to rebuild safer and stronger. An additional 62 requests have been made for FEMA’s Public Assistance program by eligible state agencies, local governments and certain private non-profits. Requests for public assistance start the process of getting eligible costs reimbursed, which helps get communities back on track following a disaster. The nine counties designated for public assistance are Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington.
For more information on Florida disaster recovery, survivors can visit fema.gov/disaster/4177, the Florida Division of Emergency Management website at FloridaDisaster.org or the state’s Facebook page at facebook.com/FloridaSERT.

 

 

 

U.S. Job Market Picking Up Steam

The overall job market is finally picking up steam, and this time it’s to just projections or false optimism. With reports indicating employers added 288,000 jobs in June, it marked the fifth straight monthly gain above 200,000 since the infamous tech boom in the late nineties.
The hiring flurry in June helped cut the unemployment rate from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent, the lowest since 2008. The numbers are surprising to some because of how poorly the year began. The economy shrank at a steep 2.9 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter as a harsh winter contributed to the sharpest contraction since the recession.
“Obviously we don’t experience setbacks here due to harsh winters,” said Craig Barrett, co-owner of NBI Properties in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. “We actually benefit from residents and business owners interested in relocating here due to milder weather. We have been busy working with new businesses who are setting up shop here and bringing new jobs to the area.
As an example, Barrett added that NBI Properties recently executed a five-year lease with Baker Distributing at 101 Lovejoy Road in Fort Walton Beach. The company is engaged in the sales and distribution of HVAC, refrigeration, food service equipment, parts and supplies for both residential, commercial and marine applications.
“They have plans to add numerous jobs in sales and distribution, so it’s a nice boost to the local economy,” Barrett noted.
During the past 12 months, the economy has added nearly 2.5 million jobs — an average of 208,000 a month, the fastest year-over-year pace since 2006. With the job market surging, the stock market is following suit with the Dow Jones industrial average recently jumping 92 points to top 17,000 for the first time. Economists say it’s a clear sign the U.S. economy is improving while major economies are plummeting in Europe.

NBI Sponsors 7th Annual YOLO Relay Series

NBI Properties is a proud sponsor of the 7th Annual YOLO Board Relay Series. The three-part monthly relay series features race events at The Bay, South Walton’s newest waterfront dining destination located at the southern the foot of the 331 bridge. The events will include relay-style competition between male, female and co-ed teams of three in a recreational division.

“We love sponsoring the Relay Series because we are all paddle board enthusiasts at NBI,” said Craig Barrett, co-owner of the real estate firm. “We’ve been huge supporters of YOLO Board ever since they joined our community two years ago and we leased them the property for their beautiful store. It’s been very exciting to watch them grow and to host fun-filled events such as the Relay Series.”

The events include racers of all ages and skill levels competing for the coveted champion title, all the while rallying in friendly competition on local waters. Paddlers will compete on YOLO 12’ recreation boards provided for complimentary use to racers by YOLO Board during each event.
This year’s event will include giveaways, refreshments (including local craft beer Grayton Beer Company, available for purchase), and kids activities, as well as a welcomed new division to the race program dedicated to Special Olympics Florida SUP athletes from Okaloosa and Walton Counties. A strengthened supporter of Special Olympics since 2012, YOLO Board’s mission is to make SUP accessible and easy for area athletes.

The first Relay Series event was held June 19th and was an overwhelming success, with hundreds of people cheering on the racers. The next two scheduled races (weather permitting) are set for July 17th and August 7th at the following times:

Schedule of events:

4:30 Special Olympics Athletes Relay

5:30 Women’s Relay

6:00 Men’s Relay

6:30 CoEd

For general details on the event, visit http://www.yolorace.com/. The Bay restaurant is located at 24215 Highway 331 South in Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBI Welcomes von Herder Haus Kennels!

 

NBI Properties is pleased to welcome von Herder Haus Kennels to the area! NBI leased the 6300 square foot indoor training facility located at 180 Lynn Drive in Santa Rosa Beach to Steve Kotowske, who describes his business as a “one-stop shop” for dogs.

“We have two kennels for boarding, a large training area for our obedience classes, a Sniff Check program for training drug detection dogs, and a small retail shop for holistic supplements,” said Kotowske, a certified trainer who has worked with all types and breeds of dogs. “This building is perfect for us because there’s plenty of room for all the services we offer.”

Prior to leasing the space from NBI, Kotowske was operating out of his home and offering some private in-home training classes for dogs. The business quickly grew, so he started looking for locations that would be suitable for boarding, training, and all aspects of his business.

“NBI helped us find the ideal spot,” said Kotowski. “My wife and I looked at a lot of buildings that we’d have to spend thousands of dollars to renovate and make major improvements to fit our needs. Finally, NBI showed us this location and we knew right away it was exactly what we needed.”

One look at the facility and it’s evident that this is not your average boarding kennel. There are basic boarding options, but also plenty of upgrades for owners who like to pamper their pooches. In some areas, dogs are not kept in cages, but have their own rooms with natural lighting and a common play area for socializing. For the super spoiled pet, there are expansive 20 x 20 “Home Sweet Home” doggy condos furnished with all the comforts of home, including cable television that is always tuned to the Dog TV channel.

The main focus, however, is the What’s Up, Dog training program which offers professional dog training from puppies through competition obedience. Kotowske continues to provide in-home private training to the Destin, Fort Walton Beach area including Rosemary Beach, Sandestin, Pensacola, Freeport and Panama City Beach.

Whether it’s a new puppy who needs to learn rules and stop chewing shoes or an older dog with some bad habits, Kotowski can help with proven training methods. A longtime trainer and breeder of world class German Shepherd show dogs, he loves the challenge of training any dog to be a better pet.

In addition to obedience training, protection dog training is available for approved dogs and handlers. Kotowske describes this as a serious endeavor and not something every dog is capable of. He says that most people don’t need a ‘protection’ dog; they merely need a deterrent, and there is a big difference.

“A well-trained dog can be a great deterrent to crime,” he said. “An uncontrollable dog is a distraction to the owner and can actually allow crime to happen right under your nose.”

If that isn’t impressive enough, Kotowske works with the Walton County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agents to train their drug detection dogs. The program is called Sniff Check, and also offers drug detection services to regular business and drug rehab centers who want to achieve a certified drug-free workplace.

“Businesses are interested in this because they can avoid expensive drug testing and also save money on Worker’s Comp and insurance,” he said.

Kotowske also gets calls for home drug detections, mainly from parents concerned their children may be taking drugs. He no longer charges for this service, as he believes the welfare of a child is more important than his fees.

Lastly, he said the kennel sells top-notch nutraceuticals for dogs from Nature’s Pharmacy.

“We really do have everything for dogs here,” Kotowske added. “There is no place like this anywhere in this region.”

For more information about von Herder Haus Kennels, call 850-420-2894 or check out the web site at www.vonherderhaus.com.

 

Disaster Relief Deadline Approaching

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) area residents have less than two weeks to apply for disaster assistance from recent devastating storms and floods. Residents in Escambia, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties are eligible to apply for disaster assistance that may include money to help pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs or other serious disaster-related expenses. The deadline to register for assistance is Monday, July 7.

Another option for residents is to submit loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration for low-interest disaster loans, which is the primary source of federal funds for long-term recovery. The quickest way to apply for an SBA disaster home or business loan is filling out an online application at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ela. The deadline for applying for these low-interest loans is also July 7.
“We’re trying to get the word out about FEMA assistance and low-interest loans because some people are not aware they can qualify for aid,” said Craig Barrett. “We saw a lot of property damage in many communities throughout our area, so we are encouraging people to get relief for these disasters so they can repair or rebuild.”
Those who sustained damage from the storms and flooding from April 28 to May 6 can apply for assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov or use a smartphone at m.fema.gov/ until midnight July 7. Residents may also apply by phone at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585 until 10 p.m. July 7. Recovery assistants remain available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CDT) daily.
For more information on SBA low-interest disaster loans, call the SBA disaster customer service center at 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339, send an email to DisasterCustomerService@SBA.gov or visitSBA.gov/Disaster.

Retirement Communities Boast New Amenities

Baby boomers are redefining retirement by remaining busy and active during their golden years. They have little interest in traditional retirement communities, which is forcing developers to thinking more creatively about housing options for people over 55. As a result, many builders are seeking to attract older people who want to remain active or continue with their jobs.
“Seniors are a major force in the housing market now because they have built up equity in their homes and they can use it to move,” said Jayme Nabors, co-founder of NBI Properties in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. “But instead of quiet retirement communities, they are looking for places with amenities so they can socialize and remain active.”
Pleasing retirement-age clients is becoming increasingly crucial for developers as projects catering to this group rank among the hottest sectors. Last year, there were approximately 21,000 starts of age-restricted homes – an increase from 13,000 in 2012, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Most agree that demand for age-restricted communities will continue to grow rapidly over the next 10 years or so due to the aging population. The number of people 60 to 75 years old is projected to jump to 56 million in 2025 from 46 million currently.
Nabors added that builders catering to retirees on the Emerald Coast are catering to active seniors who want fitness centers, clubhouses, swimming pools, and tennis courts.
“Boomers are interested in taking advantage of the Florida lifestyle by playing tennis, swimming or bicycling year-around,” Nabors said. “Builders are responding by developing communities where seniors can pursue their interests without leaving home.”

 

Boomers Shaking Up the Housing Market

Boomers are making a splash with cash in the housing market with a record number of them using cash to purchase homes. Craig Barrett, co-founder of NBI Properties in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, said his brokerage is seeing more boomers plunking down cash for homes on the Emerald Coast than ever before.
“We are seeing more homeowners taking advantage of the increased equity in their current homes to purchase another home,” Barrett said. “In our region, many are opting for second vacation homes near the beach while others are looking for the perfect spot to retire. But we’ve found they are choosing to pay cash rather than taking on another mortgage.”
A recent study by Bloomberg also confirms that 29 percent of non-investment buyers used cash to fund their housing transactions in the first quarter of this year, marking the highest numbers ever compiled.
Barrett added that the economic recovery, attractive interest rates and the stock market in a bullish mode have all contributed to the influx of boomers paying cash for new residences. He said that boomers tend to have more equity than other generations because they owned homes during the 30-year housing bull market.
“Boomers have a lot of clout right now because they can tap into decades of accumulated equity from their existing mortgages,” he said. “Facing their retirement years, they are skipping the hassles of having a mortgage in favor of paying cash.”
Reports confirm that in April, the median price of an existing-home was $201,700 compared to $67,800 in 1982 when many boomers had purchased their first properties. Census data also shows that 16.3 million Americans older than 60 owned their homes outright in 2012, which is up from 12.1 million in 2009.
“The data shows that baby boomers will be a strong influencers driving the housing market for years to come,” Barrett said. “Boomers today are generally more active and in better health than their parents, so they are living longer and focused on enjoying retirement.”

 

 

Emerald Coast Cancer Center Leases New Location in Destin

NBI Properties is pleased to announce the expansion of Emerald Coast Cancer Center (EMCC) to a new location in Destin. ECCC has been serving Okaloosa and South Walton County for more than 20 years, treating cancer and blood patients from Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Freeport, Mary Esther, Navarre, Niceville, Santa Rosa Beach, Shalimar and Valparaiso. Established at 1024 Mar Walt Drive in Fort Walton Beach, ECCC leased a second 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility from NBI Properties at 7720 US Highway 98 West in Destin.

“We were pleased to be able to find a great location for them,” said Craig Barrett, co-founder of NBI Properties. “This location makes it more convenient for many of their patients who don’t have to travel as far for regular appointments and treatments.”

The Emerald Coast Cancer Center is a member of the Emerald Coast Health Alliance, an organization formed and owned by local healthcare providers. It is an Independent Practice Association (IPA) established to provide patients, employers, and payors in the region with a multi- specialty network of high quality physicians and other healthcare providers. Services include:

Physician Consultation on cancers
Physician Consultation on blood diseases
Chemotherapy by certified oncology nurses
Referrals for services not provided by our practice
Referrals to home care or Hospice care when needed
Financial / Insurance Counseling

For more information on ECCC, call the Destin office at 850-622-8165 or the Fort Walton Beach office at 850-863-3148.

 

 

 

Investors Taking Advantage of Rising Rents

Think it’s taking longer to buy a new home? Try looking for a rental and you may be surprised to find it’s taking just as long. That’s because rental prices are soaring in most parts of the country, and especially in Florida where many are still recovering from the housing crisis in recent years. Although rising rates are bad news for renters, it’s good news for investors who are cashing in on the national trend,

“Several investors we worked with in 2010 or 2011 when rental real estate was a great deal are telling us they are reaping the benefits now,” said Jayme Nabors, co-founder of NBI Properties in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. “These clients are now able to get a nice return on their investments by taking advantage of the national trend and raising rents accordingly.”

A recent study from Harvard University found that half of all renters in the U.S. are currently spending more than 30% of their income on housing, which is up 12 percentage points since 2000. Nabors said that while rental prices on the Emerald Coast have increased to keep pace with the trend, he believes prices in the area are a bargain compared to other parts of the country.

“Of course there’s always a demand for beachfront rentals in this area and owners are able to command top dollar for those coveted spots,” he said. “But overall, statistics show that major cities have been hit the hardest with soaring rental prices, so it’s not much of a problem here now.”

If you’re interested in investing in commercial real estate, including rental properties and multifamily units, please call NBI Properties at 850-243-0007.