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The Scoop on Sumter County Property Tax Hikes

Earlier this fall, the Sumter County Board of Commissioners voted to increase the property taxes in Sumter County for the first time in 14 years. The millage rate is increasing by approximately 24% to $6.70 per $1,000 of assessed value. As an example, the owner of a home assessed at $200,000, after a $50,000 homestead exemption, would pay $1,675 next year in county property taxes, up $204.53 from this year.

The increase in property taxes was needed to help pay for much-needed services like road construction and maintenance as well as a fire protection for the rapidly increasing population of the county as a result of the explosive growth in The Village® Community. The county is currently resurfacing two significant roads in The Villages, Morse and Buena Vista Boulevards, as well as an almost 20 million dollar extension of Buena Vista that reaches to the Villages of Southern Oaks.

However, even with the substantial increase in taxes for the upcoming year, Sumter County property taxes are still some of the lowest in the state.


What is Home Staging?

home staging in The Villages FloridaPreparing to move out of your home can be a stressful time. There are so many different things to get together and worry about some small and some large. One of the most important things when selling your home is to make sure that it gets sold! There are ways to make your home realty ready, and that's with the help of a home staging service.

What exactly does "home staging" mean?
Home staging is getting your private residence set up for sale on the housing market. Staging the home to show off it's best assets and prime the entirety of the house to sell quickly and for the most money. Hiring a home staging service to take the reins on this project could save you a lot of time when you have so many other things going on in your daily routine.

Is it an expensive service?
The price of a home staging service can cost a few hundred to thousands of dollars, varying in size and style of the home. The real estate agent can typically cover this cost, but this is not always the case. Thankfully though, even if the seller is looking to hire someone themselves and pay out of pocket, the service is considered to be very well worth it. Home staging done correctly can bring in a little extra on the sale at the end, which could easily cover the cost of the service hired. It's also typical for real estate agents to have home staging consultations before hiring the service, rendering if it's necessary or not.

Am I guaranteed to sell after hiring a home staging service?
If your realtor has suggested you bring in the service, it's a good investment. Renting various types of furniture, artwork, plants, etc. can bring new life into an old home as well as bring new ideas for potential buyers. Home staging can make a home you grew up in looks like a different place with some rearranging and new additions. The service will also bring in many more potential buyers, so it gives many more opportunities to be seen and decided on.

If you've been trying to sell your home for some time and have had no luck, this might be a service for you as well! You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you plainly can put some fresh paint on an old barn and have it looking new again, and that's just a small example of what home staging can do for a potential seller.


What to Expect During Peak Hurricane Season in The Villages® Community

the villages florida hurricaneAfter the damage of Hurricane Irma, the residents of The Villages® Community needed to learn to prepare better from possible devastation and do all that we can to improve our hurricane response. However, there's only so much control when it comes to natural disasters, so remaining vigilant during hurricane season is vital. Just like anything else in life, education and preparation are key.

According to NASA, Hurricanes are the most violent storms on Earth, and peak season is from June 1st to November 30th. They're fueled by just two ingredients; heat and water. With warmer waters and lower pressures (the higher of which would typically trap and cool potential hurricanes, condensing their swirling vortex into clouds), we’re now seeing more destructive storms.

Here’s a list of what you should keep on hand:

  • batteries
  • flashlights
  • coolers
  • reusable ice packs/sheets
  • bungee cords & tarps
  • a first aid kit
  • candles
  • containers of clean water – several days’ worth for both humans and pets
  • non-perishable food such as peanut butter, nuts, beef jerky, breakfast bars, dried fruit, oatmeal packets, cans of coffee, Gatorade, cracker & cheese packs, soup, chili – and maybe a little wine!
  • extra pet supplies
  • propane
  • bucket

You can also get battery operated fans or misting fans (Ryobi and others offer long-lasting options which you can recharge in your car with the appropriate cord), solar charging kits, generators, and more.

The Red Cross offers a variety of items for your Disaster Kit, including sandless sandbags, a hand crank/solar charged emergency weather radio with a phone charger, Lifewater filtering straws, and bath wipes, to name a few.

You should prepare by:

  • pruning dead or weak tree branches
  • get your medication refills done ahead of time
  • clear and store all loose outdoor items, potted plants, and patio furniture
  • put your relevant documents into waterproof containers
  • secure your valuables
  • have a plan for your pets (and enough food, water, and medication for them)
  • register with the appropriate emergency management office if you are physically challenged or have special medical issues
    charge your phone and devices
  • make sure your car has plenty of gasoline. In the event of a power failure, the gas pumps won’t work. Neither will the ATMs. Automatic locks and garage door openers will fail as well. Make sure you have alternate entry access.
  • make sure you have flood insurance (which isn’t automatically covered in homeowner’s insurance) and check your hurricane coverage
  • set up a buddy system or network with friends and neighbors

You should have a plan. If you’re going to evacuate, where will you go? The roads and airports will be crowded, so you must have a destination.

If you don’t plan to evacuate, will you go to a shelter? Will you need a pet-friendly shelter, which is very limited and on a first-come, first-served basis? Do you have a safe room? If you’re in a Zone A or B, do you have someone in a higher zone you can stay with?

We urge you not to delay. Hurricanes will not wait for us to get prepared, and in an emergency, necessities run out rapidly, and things happen fast. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

If we plan for the worst and hope for the best, things usually work out better than expected. Plan and prepare now.

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What Is a Home Watch Service?

home watch serviceNowadays, it's essential to be involved in your home security. It's especially important when you're not always at your home and can't be there to do routine checkups. In Florida, this is something that is a real issue for many residents considering the high "snowbird" population that comes during winter. Snowbirds, for those that don't know, are those that live up north during the summer and early fall months and live in Florida (or other warmer states) during late fall through early spring. Those are long periods to be away from your home, especially in another state. That's why a home watch service is almost a necessity for these residents. But what is a home watch service, and what do they provide?

Home watch services can be known by several different names and titles such as house check, property watch, home concierge, the list goes on, but it all means the same thing. It means there are scheduled inspections of a home that is deemed to be vacant while the owner is elsewhere. It's not just a check to see if there are unwanted guests or squatters; it goes beyond that. Home watch services make sure everything is in working order that otherwise gets overlooked. This means plumbing is used and checked to make sure there are no issues or backups. The lights and power are checked to make sure nothing is shorted out or that something got left plugged in or turned on (imagine leaving your stove on and you're 1000 miles away). 

The best part of the home watch services is that the owner is in the know the entire time. If there is a problem, the homeowner is notified immediately, and from there, it's determined what action(s) to take. Plus, with the added presence in the home, it wards off any aspiring intruders who may see your vacant home as an easy mark. 

Be vigilant of who you hire when it comes to a home watch service. Look for reviews and any word of mouth to back up the legitness of the company you're looking to hire. No reviews and no trace back to them is not a good sign unless you know the workers personally. And even then that is taking a considerable risk. It is vital that the company you hire be NHWA Accredited or you could be dealing with some risky business.

Have peace of mind when you're not at home for an extended period, hire a home watch service to keep your home safe and in perfect condition. Don't risk it, secure your home away from home today!



Hiring a Commercial Janitorial Service for Your Business

For those that own a business, there are a lot of different factors to worry about. Mostly you want to make sure that your customers are satisfied with the highest and you've done all you can to make sure their experience with your company is a great one. So if you have an office building, is it not equally important to make a good impression when people visit your office? First impressions can say a lot about a business, and the cleanliness of an office can let a potential customer know if they want to continue to do business with you or not. Here we will give off a few great reasons why it's incredibly important to hire a commercial janitorial service to keep your office space looking brand new.

  • lake county commercial cleanersFirst impressions are key! Like stated before, a potential customer is going to judge your company based off first impressions usually and if the office they're visiting is dirty and cluttered, then chances are they're not going to be so keen to use your business. And as a business owner, cleaning your entire office building might slip by you if you have several other more important things to do throughout the day. Hiring a commercial janitorial service to come in after hours and clean up space will give you that instant relief of knowing you're coming into a clean and tidy office the next morning. 
  • Have a couple of people coughing in the office? Not everyone stays home when they're sick because bills still have to be paid, and sometimes sick days aren't an option. With a janitorial service for your office, this could stop the spreading of that sickness to other employees throughout the building. These services would keep main areas of the office disinfected and even replace some hands-on devices with no-touch items (trash bins, soap dispensers, hand dryers, etc.) so the spread of germs is at a bare minimum. 
  • Who else will get in the nooks and crannies of your office space? Hiring a janitorial service crew will make sure that the most ignored spots (like air vents and behind big items/machines) get attention too. Checking filters in air conditioners or air purifiers isn't something that is done as frequently as it should be, but with the help of janitorial professionals, it will be done as much as necessary to ensure the work environment is comfortable and free of harmful allergens.
  • A clean office is a happy office! Going back to first impressions, the way someone feels about an office or building, in general, can change over time if the presence deteriorates.  Meaning if you start to slack on the cleaning, morale in the office could drop as well. Coming into a clean room or clean office can instantly change someone's mood. Imagine coming home from a long day to walk into a dirty home; it sucks the joy out of you. The same goes for a work environment, working in cluttered and messy areas can drain you of any motivation or desire to be in the office. 
  • There are tons of things a commercial janitorial cleaning service can do for you! It's not just limited to cleaning bathrooms and wiping down bookshelves and blinds. Services can range from steam cleaning of carpets and rugs to restoration of tile and grout to even pressure washing and upholstery cleaning. There's something for every office needs.

If you own a business and can't find time to clean along with all the other hard work that needs to get done, it's time to check out a commercial janitorial service. It will save you money and time in the long run and keep your workspace neat, tidy, and ready to take on whatever business you bring in that day!


Contact Us Today.

White Pelican Realty helps you take care of your home, whether you are there or not.

We specialize in selling homes, villas and condos, as well as leasing them for vacations or seasonal residents. We also offer home maintenance services like exterior and interior painting, housekeeping and roof cleaning.

We also provide home watch services for seasonal residents to ensure that your home stays safe and secure even when you are thousands of miles away.

We also offer golf cart rescue, repair and transportation services.

Let us know how we can help you, and we will gladly provide details in writing of how we intend to help.

White Pelican Home Services Service Area

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Latest Blog Posts

The Scoop on Sumter County Property Tax Hikes

Friday, January 3, 2020

Earlier this fall, the Sumter County Board of Commissioners voted to increase the property taxes in Sumter County for the first time in 14 years. The millage rate is increasing by approximately 24% to $6.70 per $1,000 of assessed value. As an example, the owner of a home assessed at $200,000, after a $50,000 homestead exemption, would pay $1,675 next year in county property taxes, up $204.53 from this year.


What is Home Staging?

Monday, November 11, 2019

Preparing to move out of your home can be a stressful time. There are so many different things to get together and worry about some small and some large. One of the most important things when selling your home is to make sure that it gets sold! There are ways to make your home realty ready, and that's with the help of a home staging service.


Cities We Serve

  • The Villages® community
  • Fruitland Park
  • Oxford
  • Summerfield
  • Leesburg
  • Wildwood

About Us

White Pelican Realty, Inc
718 S. Hwy 441
Lady Lake, FL 32159

(352) 388-3738 (phone)
Service available 24/7

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