How to Get and Keep the Best Renters

How to Get and Keep the Best Renters – he opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Ocala Screen and Patio.

Best Renters

How to Get and Keep the Best Renters


Owning real estate investment properties is an exceptional endeavor for those looking for a way to maintain the family income. But, it does take lots of work, and there are many decisions that you need to make before you start your rental business. Ocala Screen And Patio is pleased to present today’s post that can help you make some of these decisions and reduce stress as you begin your next professional chapter.


Choosing a Rental

Choosing a rental starts with deciding on location. You’ve already chosen Ocala, then you’re one step ahead. Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Ocala is currently rated as the #4 Safest Place To Live in the US and is one of the most popular retirement destinations in the Sunshine State. Here, you can’t really go wrong with location. However, when you’re trying to maximize your rental income potential, take a close look at everything from the school zone to the condition of the property to crime rates. Each of these will affect what you can charge for rent.

If you’re not sure how to set a price, look at comparable rentals. (Importantly, if you own properties in Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, New York, California, or Maryland, you must also become familiar with rent control laws.) You must also know what renters want. Zillow’s data shows that most rental consumers prioritize safety and budget above many other things, including their commute and number of bedrooms, although these are important as well.


Administrative Tasks

Once you’ve made a purchase, it’s time to build a solid foundation for a long-lasting rental business. Forming an LLC is a smart move in the early days. As a limited liability company, your financial risk is contained within properties under the umbrella of the LLC. Do a bit of research yourself, and form your LLC for less than the cost of an attorney.

Next, decide whether you want to try and manage it yourself or outsource this to a dedicated property management firm. You also want to research the type of background check results, income, and credit score that you’re willing to accept for your property. In many cases, you cannot have a blanket policy precluding someone with a criminal conviction; to keep yourself from violating Fair Housing laws, you must be fully familiar with state and federal regulations.

Marketing is something else that you need to get out of the way early on. Make a list of the best attributes of the property, and then plug these along with images into a pamphlet template. You can design online and share digitally or print copies of your brochure out to leave in places that are likely to be seen by potential renters. Go ahead and set up social media and consider planning an open house.


Design Decisions

If you do opt for an open house, this is the perfect opportunity to showcase your new property. Before you plan your event, look for ways to make a property stand out. A few of these include:


  • Adding a screened-in sunroom – the weather is beautiful in Florida year-round, and having the extra space to enjoy the outdoors will make your property more appealing.


  • Hardwire for the internet – with many people working from home, hardwired internet means everyone can stay connected.


  • New paint and carpet – Real Property Management Enterprises says that neutral colors and high quality will need replacing less often. For the paint, stick with neutral as well, and don’t be shy about using peel and stick wallpaper to instantly transform any room.


As with all businesses, you will eventually learn how to balance quality and customer service with pricing and amenities. But, until you get years of experience under your belt, do your research and know what you can and can’t do and how to get the most out of your rental. We hope today’s post is helpful, and feel free to reach out to Ocala Screen And Patio for everything from screened-in sunrooms to gutters.

Home Improvement for Older Properties: A Resource Guide

Home Improvement for Older Properties: A Resource Guide – The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Ocala Screen and Patio.


Home Improvement

Home Improvement for Older Properties: A Resource Guide


If you live in an older house, you undoubtedly love the unique architectural charm and history it offers. However, you probably don’t love the upkeep costs! Older houses tend to cost more to maintain — and figuring out what to fix first when you have multiple home improvements can be tough. The below resource guide, courtesy of Ocala Screen and Patio, is here to help you get those upkeep costs under control.


Make a Plan to Prioritize Your Fixes

Focus on repairs and renovations that improve livability and enhance value first.

  • Educate yourself about critical home repairs that are a top priority, such as the roof, foundation, and any plumbing issues.
  • Once the essentials are taken care of, move on to improvements that boost home value, such as kitchen and bathroom upgrades.
  • Look into budget-conscious ways to pay for home improvements, like financing or a home equity line of credit.
  • If you have any torn or damaged screens (doors, windows, etc.), get in touch with Ocala Screen and Patio to schedule a repair.


Tackle Simpler Projects Yourself

Don’t waste money paying someone else to do these basic jobs.

  • A fresh coat of paint can make a room look new and is an easy DIY job.
  • New light fixtures are another quick fix that can quickly upgrade a space.
  • The exterior of the home counts too! Give your house’s siding a thorough deep clean using a pressure washer.
  • To further enhance your outdoor area, look into easy landscaping projects you can do solo, like installing a fire pit or outdoor lighting.


Hire Professionals for Complex Home Improvements

Trying to DIY these kinds of complicated jobs can be dangerous and ineffective.

  • While you can wash siding solo, gutter cleaning is often best left to a pro, especially if your home has more than one level.
  • If you’re planning to set up a home office, make sure you have enough outlets for all the devices and equipment you need. For example, if you want a landline for your office, work with a pro to handle the installation.
  • Any kinds of plumbing issues are also best left to experts. Ask potential plumbers key queries to vet them before hiring them.
  • Know the signs that it’s time to update your heating and cooling system and hire an HVAC contractor to make the swap.


While an old house requires more effort to maintain than a new property, you can save money by doing some of the work yourself. Consult the resources above to determine what you can DIY and what you should entrust to an expert.

From Plants to Furniture, Here’s 13 Enclosed Patio Design Ideas to Finish the Space

From Plants to Furniture, Here’s 13 Enclosed Patio Design Ideas to Finish the Space – The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Ocala Screen and Patio.


Enclosed Patio Design

From Plants to Furniture, Here’s 13 Enclosed Patio Design Ideas to Finish the Space

Spring is nearly here which means more time spent outdoors enjoying the green trees and flowering plants. Whether you have a solarium, sunroom, or enclosed patio, there’s countless ways to finish the space, from plants to furniture and more. So if you’re planning to enclose the patio in your San Diego, CA home this spring or are getting ready to add a sunroom to your home in Tampa, FL, there’s plenty of enclosed patio design ideas to choose from.

To help you get started, we’ve consulted experts from across the country to provide their best advice when completing your indoor-outdoor patio space. Check out what they had to say so you can begin enjoying the spring weather today.

Think strategically when furnishing your enclosed patio

When it comes to decorating an outdoor space, things like patio furniture, indoor/outdoor rugs, and other decor accents can add up quickly when it comes to price. I always decorate slowly— I set my goal of when I’d like the look to be complete, then I hunt down exactly what furniture and décor I want for the space and price it all out. Then I assign each item a month (or a week- however long you want depending on your budget and timeline) and buy the items piece by piece. It makes it a fun process that I can fit into my monthly budget. Pro tip: October is the best month to get a deal on patio furniture. – Katie Hennessey, Champagne & Savings

Consider sun-resistant furniture

The ideal way to furnish a sunroom or any available patio space is with a sun-resistant luxury bed swing, outfitted with plenty of our handmade fade-resistant Sunbrella pillows, and surrounded by live plants, a natural fiber rug or two, and even a small water feature. A spacious, moving bed swing in the right room provides an “escape” for the whole family that is often a dynamic contrast to our daily routines. – Vintage Porch Swings LLC

Walking into a sunroom feels like walking into a secret garden 

Designed to feel like you are outside, the right decor is essential to its charm. For a space like this, it is important to choose furniture that is comfortable but also aesthetically pleasing. This could be anything from two cozy armchairs for reading, to a large conversation set to spend the day with your family depending on the size of the space. You’ll want to spend hours in this room, so make sure it is relaxing and inviting. Choosing outdoor furniture for your enclosed patio really keeps the spirit of the outdoors alive. We suggest wicker or more commonly known as PE rattan. Neutral colors complement the surrounding nature, so we suggest going with off-white, cream, or grey cushions. And as a final touch, personalized accent pillows or a throw rug can really complete the space. – Fabrika Outdoor Living

Make your enclosed patio a space for relaxation

Enclosed patios should be a space for family as well as a retreat to get away after a long day. Spice up any patio with a cozy space to relax, as well as a dining table to be able to view the outdoors. Sprucing up any patio with some strategically placed flowerpots and colorful hanging baskets with overflowing greenery, will help accent the natural feel. – CTW Home Collection

Your sunroom should feel like a vacation

When designing an enclosed patio or sunroom, you want to make your space comfortable and relaxing. Create a permanent getaway in your home that includes soft pillows, calming tones, lots of greenery, flowers, candles and books. When you enter your sunroom, it should feel like you have walked into a beautiful tranquil vacation. – Carise Harper, Style by Carise

There are countless enclosed patio design ideas

When choosing furniture to configure your patio space – it’s a great idea to consider how many people you’d like to accommodate. Is there direct lighting or sunshine coming into this space? If so, do you want to face into it or will you require added shade options? A sectional sofa is highly configurable and maximizes seating as well as most corner spots on a patio or large balcony. You can even split the sectional into various seating arrangements when more guests arrive. Consider adding a footstool/ottoman to your existing patio. It can pair with a club chair or even a sectional sofa to turn any spot into a lounger or daybed. They are also an ideal solution for a table – simply add a tray and you’ve got the best of both worlds. Of course they are instant extra seating for guests too.

One final suggestion to update your living space – whether new or old – is to add some toss cushions. Their hits of colour and vibrance can completely rejuvenate your outdoor oasis and if you’d so desire you can change them seasonally for festive updates or even bring them indoors to enhance any living space – Wickertree Langley, We create dream living spaces. Indoor, outdoor & more. The Wickertree Home & Patio. Excellence in quality, style and service – since 1976.

You have options from an enclosed patio to a sunroom

Gainesville Screen and Ocala screen patio remodeling/renovations has teamed up with Payne Construction Group to now offer room additions, sunrooms with LOW E vinyl windows with a 10 year warranty. Our exciting approach to remodeling and renovating your space is our passion. – Gainesville Screen & Ocala

Enclosing your patio gives you to opportunity to use it more often

Among other relevant benefits, enclosing your patio will extend the time that you will enjoy that special part of your home. No matter if it rains or it is too hot outside, current cutting-edge technology will provide the level of protection you and your family need against the main environmental risks, such as dangerous UV rays or excessive humidity. – Window World of Texarkana 

And it lets you enjoy the outdoors in less favorable weather

Enclosing an outdoor patio or porch can be a very cost saving addition to your living space. Bringing the outdoors in when the weather is not cooperating or the bugs are biting. The added square footage could also raise the value of your property. – Kerri Kerri Burk Designs, The Cob Collection Interior Design & Home Renovation

Help bring together the indoors and outdoors

Enclosing an existing porch can be a great option for adding additional enclosed square footage to your home and creating a transition from indoors to outdoors. There are many points to consider including adequate insulation in northern climates, the existing foundation and structure, and the cost of the renovation. Ensure the investment complements your lifestyle and enhances the value of your property. – Patrick Roche, Vintage Home Sanctuary

Choose the right plants for the amount of sunlight the space gets

A sunroom that receives a lot of direct sunlight is great for plants like hibiscus, snake plant, croton, succulents, and cacti. If your enclosed patio or covered porch doesn’t provide a lot of direct sun, you can decorate with fern, ivy, monstera, palm, or pothos. Plant flowering annuals to add color, and aromatic plants like rosemary or lavender to heighten the senses and make the area more relaxing. – Lanoha Nurseries

And vining plants are always a great option

Depending on if you have an indoor or outdoor space, vining plants create an effortless beauty in your space. Wherever they are climbing up or trailing down, they give an extra flare to the space, and are often easy to care for. – SWN Garden Center

Consider these three plants for your sunroom

If you’re new to plants, these three should help you get off to a good start. First choice is “The Cast Iron Plant.” It does not require a lot of sun, or anything else for that matter.  It grows long dark green leaves that can reach two feet in length. It does flower, but they are on the ground because in its native environment the plant relies on slugs rather than bees to pollinate.

Next is one you may have seen in the home of an extended family member – aloe vera. Aloe also does not need much sun. It does have medicinal purposes. We keep one in the kitchen in case we touch something hot, or get cut. You simply break off one of the thick leaves and squeeze the juice onto your skin.

The third plant to consider is Portulacaria afra, or “Elephant Plant.” This plant does like the sun, but does not get too big inside. Like all the plants listed, give it some water when you notice the soil is dry, and it’s “happy.”

Potting tips: If you choose a pot made from terra cotta, remember that these pots dry out the soil in them quickly. I prefer to use pots with saucers for several reasons. One, it catches water that may run through the soil of your plant, which will allow the water in the saucer to keep the root tips moist. Two, housekeeping, they catch excess water that may run through the plants soil – Eric Hammond, Hammond’s Landscaping Corporation

Originally published by Redfin

Need a Bigger Space to House Your Growing Home-Based Business? Things to Consider

Need a Bigger Space to House Your Growing Home-Based Business? Things to Consider – This is a guest blog. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Ocala Screen and Patio.


home-based business

Need a Bigger Space to House Your Growing Home-Based Business? Things to Consider

Operating a business from home has its perks. From better rental opportunities to increased flexibility, starting a home-based business is great to do if you can. However, suppose you are looking for a bigger home to accommodate your growing business. Ocala Screen and Patio shares how to go about searching for the ideal property that’ll have everything you are looking for plus some so that your business continues to thrive.

Be specific

Finding a home that will cater to your requirements might take you that bit longer to do because you will have your business to consider too. Therefore, you will need to be a little bit more specific to avoid skipping all important details that might cost your business at the end of the day. Here, we’re referring to details such as additional parking space should you require it, an extra bathroom for client use, ease of access for clients trying to find your new working premises, an attractive curb appeal, and more. Of course, there is a chance that you might not find a place that will tick off everything on your wish list, in which case you might want to consider building a home from scratch instead.

The all-important budget

If you are considering going the build-your-home-yourself-route, then working according to a predetermined budget will ensure you get most of it done without leaving half the home unfinished. Nonetheless, establishing a budget to build your home is going to take considerable thought and planning to ensure you get what you want done and that it all goes according to plan.


Some of the things you want to take into consideration when drawing up your comprehensive budget may include costs such as the cost of the lot, building materials, building permits, architectural fees, etc. Of course, this may require putting a lot of money down upfront to cover these costs. But say you don’t have a sizable initial lump sum to work with, then you can also consider getting a construction loan to help pay off these expenses over time.

Creating your ideal home office

Suppose your home is being built and is all ready to go, but you have yet to set aside a designated space for your home office. You’ll first have to choose a space that is workable for you in terms of size, functionality, and practicality. If your office is going to be your primary place of work it will need to be big enough to accommodate the right office furniture, your office equipment, and it will need to have access to a reliable power source. The correct lighting is of course another vital consideration as is attractive décor if you are going to have clients coming around on a regular basis.

Refreshing your knowledge

Say you want to refresh or even expand on your knowledge before your business really takes off. Then why not enroll in an MBA course online to ensure you’re off to a good start? A masters of business administration will provide the foundation you need to excel at all business-related tasks including business strategy, improving your management and leadership skills, enhancing your self-awareness, your self-assessment skills, and more. Plus, learning online gives you the flexibility of learning at your own pace, which is great for business owners with little time left on their hands to juggle their businesses, tend to their families, and still achieve their goals as a business grows.


In summary, accommodating a growing business from home is exciting to witness because it means you’re heading to where you always wanted to be. You’ll just need to make sure you plan accordingly so that space doesn’t become the one thing that inhibits you on your journey to success.


Need a Bigger Space to House Your Growing Home-Based Business? Things to Consider


Image via Pexels

How to Make a Move With Your Pet Safe and Anxiety-Free

How to Make a Move With Your Pet Safe and Anxiety-Free –  This is a guest blog. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Ocala Screen and Patio.


Pet Safe

How to Make a Move With Your Pet Safe and Anxiety-Free


When we decide to move to a new home, we often get wrapped up in what we need to do in order to prepare for the exciting transition, but we rarely consider the thoughts and feelings of our pets. Your furry friend does so much for you, so it is only fair that you think about how you can move them safely without causing unneeded anxiety. Here at Ocala Screen and Patio, we know how important it is to find the perfect home for you and your pet, so we have some advice on how to find a suitable property and make the move as smooth as possible.


Finding the Perfect Home

Once you decide to move, you will want to find a home that suits your desires and the needs of your pet. For starters, when looking at potential cities, do your research and make sure that there is a veterinarian in the area who can care for your pet when the time comes. Once you are good with that, you can start to look at specific properties and determine if they have what you need.

For instance, if you have a dog that loves to run around the yard, then you will want to find a house that either has a large yard or a suitable dog park nearby. If you rather keep them at home then verify that any property on your shortlist has a strong and well-maintained fence around the perimeter to keep them safe. If you have a cat or other pet that likes to roam outside but you want to keep them close, then consider finding a home with a screened-in porch or have Ocala Screen and Patio install a new one.

When you are looking at suitable neighborhoods, you should also check the rules of the local homeowners association. Some HOAs will restrict the type of pets you can have and you will want to respect those guidelines.


The Moving Process

Once you have chosen your new home, you will want to ensure that your pet is safe and happy while you are running around during the moving process. You will want to consider everything that could trigger your pet, including the weather. If you are moving during a particularly hot month or your pup typically runs hot, then you may want to buy a cooling mat that they can rest on when needed so they can adequately cool down.

It is also a good idea to move all of your belongings before you move your pet. Keep them comfortable in their room with blankets, toys, and their bed so they can be happy while you get all of the other boxes out of your home. That way, they aren’t running loose and they can stay in an environment that they are used to for as long as possible.


Help Them Adjust to the New Home

While keeping your pets safe during the move is important, so is ensuring that they can properly adjust to the new home. Before you transport them to the new property, you might consider setting up your pet’s room in the same way that they had it in the last place, with all the toys and comforts that they love. That way it isn’t as jarring when they are in a new home.

If you can, consider staying home for a few days after the move so you can be a companion to your pet. That way, they won’t feel scared and afraid while in the new environment alone and you can comfort them as needed. While you’re at home, consider getting your pet out for plenty of exercise so they can feel good and adequately scope out the new neighborhood.

In the end, while your pet will likely have some sort of anxiety during the move, the tips above should help them adjust as well as possible. If you have more questions about screen porch installation or repair, then contact Ocala Screen and Patio at the form here.


How to Make a Move With Your Pet Safe and Anxiety-Free