Skip to content
A vision for your life

DBS Real Estate

Bringing It All Together

Brokerage Services

Comparative Market Analysis

A unique form of presentation that is bound to leave you with results and help you move across problems with ease.

Broker's Price Opinion

Affordable prices tend to stand tall as an essential aspect of our services in order to promote you to attain a complete sense of satisfaction.

Total Market Overview

As our services are catered to help you advance in the market, we provide an analytical overview of all that you need to know.

Real Estate Appraisal

Advancing further comes in the form of appraisals as a move to set forth your agenda and ensure that it is completed.

Facilitating a Purchase

Ensuring that all parties are satisfied with the result by pushing forward the central aspect of needs and requirements.

Exchanging Property

Formulating a vital process with ease as it moves across through well-planned moves and methods.

Brokers and Supervising Agents

Experts and qualified professionals will be present right from the beginning to drive suitable changes that are going to hit you with benefits. As their experience does all the work, you will receive the right guide needed to eliminate problems and move ahead without them. So do the right thing and give us a call to learn all about the business of Real Estate.



What Our Clients Say

“Their work ethics and forms of management have always surprised me as they always ensure to provide the right kind of support.”
Micheal T. Millette
“DBS Real Estate was a crucial factor in guiding me towards the perfect business plan that was beneficial on all counts,”
John R. Cook
“A uniformed plan of action is what I was able to receive from DBS, and thanks to that, the rest of the task was relatively easy.”
Maryellen N. McDermott
Happy Clients

Latest News

Homeowners Insurance Rates for the Gulf Coast

Gulf Coast Homeowners Insurance

Gulf Coast homeowners insurance rates are on the rise


The 2020 hurricane season was characterized by six named tropical storms and a record number of storms. Insurers are trying to limit catastrophe losses by increasing rates for homeowners along with forecasts of an active storm season. Carriers are increasing their underwriting guidelines and limiting their capacity. In some cases, they may even pull out of certain markets. South Florida’s three-county area is seeing rate increases that are especially steep. However, Gulf Coast homeowners who live from Florida to Texas can expect higher premiums and deductibles, as well as fewer wind coverage options.

The University of Colorado raised its 2020 hurricane forecast from the usual 12 to 20 storms after Tropical Storm Edouard became the fifth-earliest named storm. Fay was soon followed by Edouard as the first sixth named storm. This year, the University predicted nine hurricanes, as opposed to an average of six.Gulf coast insurance rates

After a decade-long hiatus, hurricane activity has increased in recent years. From 2005, when Wilma made landfall in the United States, a record number of Category 4 hurricanes hit the country. In 2017, Harvey battered Houston with record rains, and Maria decimated Puerto Rico. The 2017 hurricane season resulted in a staggering $92 trillion in insured losses. Named storms caused insured losses of $15 billion in 2018. This was primarily due to Hurricane Florence which brought heavy flooding to the Carolinas and Hurricane Michael, which struck the Florida Panhandle with the strongest storm ever recorded. Category 5 Hurricane Dorian was threatening Florida in 2019. However, the majority of the damage occurred when the storm stalled over Bahamas. It caused approximately $4 billion of insured losses and destroyed the islands.

Insurers have become more cautious due to recent catastrophes. This, combined with the drive of Lloyds to increase profitability, has resulted in a reduction in capacity for storm-prone regions. However, it’s not only about catastrophe losses. A large part of the equation is also played by attrition losses. Insurers have had to increase minimum home insurance values or make improvements to reduce potential losses due to increased water claims, especially in Florida and Texas. Insurers base their underwriting decisions on the results of individual properties, so modeling is a more important role. It is harder to get coverage for homes that are not well-modeled.

Homeowners along the coast can expect to pay higher rates, higher deductibles, and more restrictive terms this year.


Florida homeowner insurance ratesSouth Florida homeowners with low-to-mid-value homes and older constructions are experiencing double to triple rates due to expiring policies. The most affected homes are those in the $100,000-300,000 range, with more market access for those over $500,000 than those below.

In areas where 2% was common, deductibles have risen to 5% and sometimes even 10%. Mortgage lenders are now more open to accepting 10% deductibles. To save premiums, homeowners without mortgages may consider deductibles up to 25%

As more insurers limit their ability to cover wind and other properties, the capacity is decreasing. Some markets have withdrawn completely from the coast. Carriers want to diversify their coverage throughout the state. Capacity is easily available for the Tampa and central Coast areas where rates are lower.

In order to reduce losses due to water damage in low-value homes, some carriers have increased or instituted minimum insured value thresholds. In large markets, minimum insured values have been set at $300,000 to $500,000 and as high as $700,000. These higher-value homes are still a substantial portion of South Florida’s market.


Flooding in Mississippi Homeowners Insurance

Rate increases are being seen along the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts. These areas had been relatively spared from tropical storms after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It remains the most expensive U.S. storm to date. Both states were hit by Hurricane Nate in 2017. However, rates did not change significantly after a long period of quiet.

Domestic carriers have increased their rates. One carrier doubled its rates while another pulled out completely. Mississippi gulf coast insurance agencies cover a wide range of insurance policies, however carriers are tightening their guidelines and limiting their capacity. Mississippi hail and wind deductibles are increasing, with some cases reaching 5%. Carriers emphasize risk mitigation and favor newer construction. Older properties will need to have their wiring, heating, and plumbing updated. Water losses are a growing concern, just like in Florida.


Homeowners Insurance

Texas coast property rates can rise by as much as 5% to 25% depending upon age and construction. The capacity is decreasing and carriers are being more selective on barrier islands. Coverage is being driven by modeling results. Admitted markets will only accept newer homes that have wind mitigation features, such as shutters for barrier islands and wind roofs. As insurers are unwilling to cover single-family homes valued below $200,000, lower-priced properties may have a harder time getting coverage.

There is less capacity in areas along the coast where Lloyd’s played a significant part. Some wholesalers and admitted carriers are also running out of capacity, as they hit aggregate limits. This forces them to discontinue writing new policies, or non-renewing existing ones.

Carriers operating in coastal areas are more likely to exclude wind. This has forced homeowners to seek out the Texas Wind Insurance Association which offers wind and hail coverage for Gulf Coast counties. Tier One areas 5-25 miles from the coast have seen a greater number of carriers become more cautious, including Houston’s Harris County.

Even in coastal areas, internal damage to homes is a serious problem. Insurers are trying to limit losses by offering water deductibles for homes older than 15 years.


Homeowners insurance policy

The Carolina coast is seeing an increase in homeowner costs and rates of approximately 5% to 15%. Some areas of North Carolina are experiencing 10% to 25% increases. Underwriting decisions are still influenced by home age and occupancy (primary or secondary) Coastal capacity has been reduced due to decreased model results over the last five years. Admitted markets will only accept newer homes that have primary or seasonal occupancy. The key to pricing is modeling results. Larger homes that were built after 2005 and are valued at over $500,000 for Coverage A, are more attractive to carriers. They typically receive a lower rate.

There is less capacity available in areas along the coast where Lloyd’s played a significant role. The limited E&S numbers of domestic markets that write in the small coastal areas are starting to exhaust their capacity. Some have stopped writing new business. While wind deductibles in most of the Carolinas are at 2%, some barrier islands in North Carolina range from 3% to 5%. As the capacity of the system continues to shrink, deductibles will likely increase due to market limitations and homeowner’s seeking relief from rate increases.


How Much Money Do Real Estate Agents Make Each Year?

how much money do real estate agents make each year

Are you looking for a high-paying job? You can make a six-figure living as a real estate agent, even without a college degree.

Many people make less than six figures, and many quit real estate before earning their first commission.

What is the average income you can make as a real estate agent? This article examines the potential income for real estate agents.

What is the average income for a real estate agent

Most real estate agents work on commission. This means that most or all of their income comes from selling (or helping to buy) houses. So how do real estate commissions work? A typical commission of 6% is paid by a seller when they sell a home with the assistance of a real agent. The commission is split between the buyer agent and the seller agent. Each side will receive a 3% commission. This is a common arrangement. Each agent can expect to make $7,500 if they sell a house worth $250,000.

The commission split

The commission can be split between buyers and sellers. The broker (i.e. the company the agent works for), may also receive a portion of the commission (up to 50% for new agents). Agents in real estate must also pay their expenses. This includes driving customers around, professional fees, signs, advertising costs, and any other expenses.

In the above example, an agent might make $7,500, but only $2,500 after expenses.

Because so much money is at stake in each transaction, the question becomes: How many transactions can a realty agent handle each year? The National Association of Realtors averages 12 transactions per year. The average real estate agent would earn $5,000 per transaction after expenses, which would bring them $60,000 annually. These real estate agents average 10 years of experience. Since newer agents will generally sell fewer properties; they will have lower incomes and earn less.

The average agent income nationwide

If you want to know how much real estate agents make, the average real estate agent makes $45,990 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, there is a wide range of income. One-tenth earned less than $23,000 and 10% earned more than $110,000. While some agents work part-time, most of them work 40 hours per week. Below is a chart from

How much real estate agents make in each state

State Location Avg. Salary
Alabama Birmingham $95,571
Alabama Statewide $94,433
Arizona Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale $84,440
Arizona Statewide $88,959
Arkansas Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway $90,670
Arkansas Statewide $91,228
California Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim $91,205
California Statewide $92,223
Colorado Denver $89,243
Colorado Statewide $82,601
Georgia Atlanta $75,612
Georgia Statewide $78,002
Hawaii Honolulu $120,471
Hawaii Statewide $117,392
Illinois Chicago $79,654
Illinois Statewide $81,122
Indiana Indianapolis $82,357
Indiana Statewide $92,372
Iowa Des Moines $53,035
Iowa Statewide $98,908
Kansas Wichita $81,931
Kansas Statewide $76,528
Kentucky Louisville $80,722
Kentucky Statewide $94,740
Louisiana New Orleans $76,302
Louisiana Statewide $59,548
Maryland Baltimore $82,680
Maryland Statewide $79,619
Michigan Detroit $76,972
Michigan Statewide $80,080
Minnesota Minneapolis-St Paul $73,331
Minnesota Statewide $81,426
Mississippi Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula $69,761
Mississippi Statewide $98,675
Missouri St. Louis $72,936
Missouri Statewide $81,287
Montana Missoula $61,798
Montana Statewide $73,925
Nevada Las Vegas-Paradise-Henderson $80,770
Nevada Statewide $88,169
New York New York-Long Island $93,343
New York Statewide $86,872
Oklahoma Oklahoma City $85,459
Oklahoma Statewide $72,246
Pennsylvania Philadelphia $72,234
Pennsylvania Statewide $87,700
South Carolina Columbia $57,656
South Carolina Statewide $89,376
Texas Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington $84,044
Texas Statewide $75,456
Utah Salt Lake City $87,987
Utah Statewide $87,576
Virginia Arlington-Alexandria $82,415
Virginia Statewide $78,204
Washington Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue $96,415
Washington Statewide $95,050
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia $85,281
Wisconsin Milwaukee $75,170
Wisconsin Statewide $79,855

What does it take to be a successful real estate agent?

You will need to have more than a few yard signs if you are looking to make six figures as a realty agent. Real estate agents must be careful about their expenses, particularly advertising costs (on sites like Zillow), which can take up large chunks of profits. The more money that you make on each transaction, you will earn more overall.

Real estate marketing

Spending money is a big decision. Many agents invest their advertising dollars on Facebook ads to maintain a professional and easy-to-find online presence. Some invest in mailings to be sent to potential buyers who may wish to sell their homes in the near future. Successful agents have created custom videos to help each homebuyer grow their social reach. These videos include music, photos of the new home, and a view from the buyer’s house. These videos are shared on Facebook by many happy clients to announce their major purchase.

Hiring other agents

Many real estate agents eventually become brokers and hire agents to work for them. Although they have lower costs (which are paid by the hiring agent), these agents also earn lower commissions because the agent takes a cut. Many agents can add agents to their team without doing a lot of extra work.

Customer service matters

It is important to provide exceptional customer service. Even though buying a house can be a major deal, many people sell and buy houses every few years. You will be referred to your friends by repeat customers if you are a good agent. The best way to generate new business is through word of mouth.

Which market to target

Depending on where you live, there may be a wide range of home prices. It is wise to target a specific market. Going for the lower-end market may provide more clients, but each sale will net only a small commission. If you choose to go after the high-end housing market, the clients will be fewer, but each commission will be significant.

Either way can work and there are several levels between the bottom and the top. Selling 100,000 condos is easier, but selling homes for $500,000-$1,000,000 is much more lucrative per sale.

how fast can i make my first commission

How quickly can you generate your first commission?

A key factor in becoming a successful realty agent is to generate your first commission quickly. Before they can find their first client, real estate agents have to pay several thousand dollars in costs (licenses and education, signs, etc.). You’ll lose money if you take longer to get your first commission.

Friends and family

Let your family and friends know you are a real estate agent to ensure you make money quickly. You can let people know by using social media or personal contact. Let people know that you are an agent when they mention that they may be moving. Although it might seem a bit ostentatious, you must get the word out. After you have completed a few transactions you can start to see your business expand through referrals.

Work consistently

Hourly work at a realty agency is a good option if you are looking for an income to supplement your commissions. You’ll gain experience in the right area and earn an income, regardless of whether you are doing marketing work, clerical work, or advertising work. Your work in a real estate office will allow you to have some spare time to grow your agent business.

You need a real estate license

To become a licensed real estate agent in your state, you will need to be licensed. You may need to be licensed in several states if you live near a border. Although the requirements for licensure are different from one state to another, you will need to pass a test. You must also be at least 18 years of age. You will need to pass a test that covers a variety of topics, including the real estate laws in the state you will be licensed.

Other than your state licensure you don’t require any certifications. It is vital to continue learning about your field to grow as a real estate agent. However, just getting the certificate won’t bring you any new clients.

Final thoughts

When considering this field, it is important to understand the compensation of real estate agents. The average real estate license sells one home every two years. This means that many agents don’t make much money. However, many agents make as significant amount of money, especially those who open their own brokerage or buy into a franchise.

You want to hire the best 10% of agents when you’re a customer. This shows they can sell homes in your local area. Even if they offer a great commission, you won’t want to work with a seller who only sells 1-2 homes per calendar year.

Flood Zone Classifications

Flood Zone Classifications

Flood zones are areas of land that could be affected by floodwaters. Flood zones are not created equally. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has mapped floodplains in the United States, which can be found by looking at the FEMA Flood Map Service Center. These maps will show you what areas are most prone to flooding and how deep it is likely to get if a flood does occur. 

When purchasing flood insurance, it’s important that you find out which zone your property falls into so that you know what type of coverage is best for you. There are several types of classifications from A-VZM, with Zones B through V being more susceptible to flooding than other areas on this list.

Flood Zone Risk Levels Explained

Understanding flood zones and flood risks are very important for identifying financial risk of buying a home in a certain area. If you are looking at buying a home in a flood zone, you should look into flood insurance so you will not have to pay for flood damage out of pocket.

High Risk Areas

Flooding is very possible in high-risk areas with there being a 25% chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. Flood insurance is required for all homeowners and businesses in these areas who have mortgages from federally insured or regulated lenders. These zones are marked with the letters A and V on flood maps.

Flood Zone Classifications

Moderate/Low Risk Areas

The risk of flooding in areas with moderate to low risk is reduced, but not eliminated. Over 20% of the NFIP flood claims are given to these areas and a third of the disaster assistance from flooding. Although flood insurance is not required by federal law in low-to-moderate areas, it is highly recommended for all property owners as well as renters. These zones are marked on flood maps with the letters B or C, or X.

Flood Zone Classifications

Undetermined Areas

These areas have not been subject to flood-hazard analyses, but there is still a flood risk. Flood insurance rates reflect uncertainty about the flood risk. On flood maps, these areas are labelled with the letter D.

Flood Zone Classifications Assigned By FEMA

Flood Zone A

These areas are susceptible to flooding by the 1 percent annual chance flood, or the 100 year flood, which are generally determined using approximate methodologies. There is not a detailed hydraulic analysis and, because of this, no flood depths are available. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply here and to all of the following areas labelled with A.

Flood Zone A1, A1-30

The 1 percent annual chance flood would affect these areas. This has been determined using detailed methods mentioned above.

Flood Zone AH

These areas are susceptible for shallow flooding by the 1 percent annual chance flood (usually areas of ponding) where average depths are between one and three feet.

Flood Zone AO

These areas are susceptible for shallow flooding by the 1 percent annual chance flood (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) where average depths are between one and three feet.

Flood Zone AR

These areas result from the decertification of a previously accredited flood protection system. These areas are in the process of being restored to flood protection. 

Flood Zone A99

These areas are susceptible to flooding by the 1 percent annual chance flood, but they will be protected upon completion of an under-construction Federal flood protection plan. These areas are considered special flood hazards because they have seen enough progress in the construction of flood protection systems, such as levees, dams, and dikes, that it can be considered complete for insurance rating purposes. Zone A99 can only be used if the flood protection system is making the required statutory progress towards completion.

Flood Zone V

These are areas along coasts susceptible to flooding by the 1 percent annual chance flood with additional hazards associated with storm-induced waves. Mandatory flood insurance requirements still apply in the zone labelled V.

Flood Zone VE, V1-30

These areas are susceptible to flooding by the 1 percent annual chance flood with additional hazards due to storm-induced velocity wave action.

There Are Some Flood Zones Outside of the SFHA

The Flood Insurance Rate Map also shows areas of moderate flood hazard, Zone B and Zone X. However, they are not included in the Special Flood Hazard Zone. These are areas with a minimal flood hazard but have an elevation higher than that of the 0.2 percent annual chance flood or the 500 year flood. 


It’s important that you take the time to research which flood zone your property falls into as flood damage is one of the many hidden costs of home ownership. When purchasing insurance, it is essential that you get coverage for the specific type of flooding risk in your area so that if a natural disaster hits and there is damage to your home or business, you are covered. This will allow you to continue living comfortably while waiting for repairs on what used to be your home or place of work.

Guide to Commercial Roofing Systems & Materials

Commercial Roofing Systems & Materials

Although residential and commercial roofs serve the same purpose of protecting your home or property from the elements, there are some differences. The most significant difference between commercial roofing systems and residential roofing is the slope of the roof which is determined by the size of the building. Residences have a steeper slope roof than commercial roofing systems. They use materials like architectural tile, asphalt shingles, slate, and other roofing materials. Commercial roofs are typically flatter or less sloped due to the greater size of commercial buildings. There are many options for commercial roof materials. These choices depend on the structure of the building as well as other factors such climate conditions (e.g. extreme heat or cold) and if the surface is to withstand heavy foot traffic.

Commercial Roofing Materials

Commercial roofing contractors stay on top of developments in commercial roofing technology. They are well-versed in choosing the right roofing solution for each project based on its needs. New commercial roofing products that are resistant to extreme temperatures and maximize environmental efficiency have been developed in recent years. This helps to reduce storm water runoff, heating, and cooling costs.

Commercial roofing systems & Materials

Choosing a Commercial Roofing System

There are factors to consider when choosing the type of commercial roofing system you’ll need for your business, whether it is a brand new business or an existing business that needs a roof replacement. Because different kinds of businesses have specific needs, you need to take into account the type of facility that you work with. It will be easier to make a decision if you are familiar with the different types of commercial roofing systems available.

Commercial roofing systems & Materials

Shape of Commercial Roofs

Commercial roofing systems must consider the roof’s slope. Roofs are classified as Low Slope Roofs (or Flat Roofs) and Steep Slope Roofs.

  • Low-slope Roofs: These roofs are commonly found in warehouses, large-box stores, and shopping malls. There are many options for flat roofs with this roofing system: EPDM, PVC,  and TPO. 

Steep Slope Roofs: These roofs are often used on single-family and multi-family houses more than on commercial properties. Popular roof materials for this type of roofing are metal, shingles and slate.

Types of Commercial Roofing Systems

Once you’ve identified the slope of the roof, you can choose the right type of roofing system to meet your needs. This is important so that you don’t take any financial risks buying the wrong type of roof. These are the most popular commercial roofing systems.

Single Ply Roofing

These roofs are made from TPO, PVC, or EPDM. These roofs are extremely flexible and robust materials that are preferred by many building owners. They resist cracking, peeling, and other weathering. They are intended to be used in one layer. The single-ply roofing industry has two main types: thermoplastic and thermoset membranes.

Commercial roofing systems & Materials

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)

This material is used most often on North American low-slope roofs. It includes reinforced roof sheets with heat-welded seams that are highly reflective and reinforced roof sheets. TPO is a single-ply membrane made of polypropylene or ethylene-propylene rubber. They have been polymerized together. TPO belongs to the thermoplastic membrane group and is available in many colors, but the most popular ones are white, grey, and tan. There are several ways to install the membrane, including adhesive, mechanically attached and ballasted.

Commercial Roofing Systems & Materials

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC roofing material consists of two layers made of PVC and a polyester reinforcement scrim between. The membrane is UV-resistant because the top ply has additives. The bottom ply, which is usually darker in color and has plasticizers to allow for greater flexibility, makes installation much easier. A PVC membrane has many other benefits, including durability, fire resistance, and longevity. PVC can also be weldable, which means that it can be welded onto another sheet to make it watertight. You can make PVC sheets look like a standing seam roof system. This is done by welding a prefabricated rib to the surface. It costs much less. PVC membranes can also be recycled and reused in new sheets.

EPDM Roofing (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)

What is EPDM roofing? The letters are for “ethylene propylene monomer,” an obscure chemical compound known for its toughness and elasticity. EPDM roofing is a material that can withstand the intense ultraviolet light and all of the sun’s harmful rays. EPDM rubber roofing, which is a popular commercial roofing material, is highly sought-after because of its low cost and high resilience. EPDM roofing membranes are made from natural gas and oil. EPDM roofing material can be found in low-slope commercial buildings around the globe.

Modified Bitumen Roof Systems: This modified bitumen roof is made from asphalt and a special chemical polymer that provides flexibility and resistance to temperature. It can be applied in many layers in a variety of ways, including hot-mopped asphalt or torch-applied adhesives. This makes it an option for installation in all four seasons. To form a secure bond, the seams are melted together. They are resistant to fire, wind, and hail, which makes them immune to damage from a storm.

Commercial Roofing Systems & Materials

Built-Up Roofing Systems

Built-up roofing is one of the oldest roofing systems on the market. It has 3-5 layers to provide enhanced protection in extreme climates with high and low temperatures. Built-up roofing, also known as BUR, has been around more than 100 years.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofing is well-known for its beauty, durability, and longevity. Many building owners love the durability and look of metal roofs. They can be used on steep and low-slope roofs. Many homeowners and builders are choosing metal roofs over traditional shingle roofs because of their longer life span and greater durability.

Commercial Roofing Systems & Materials

Liquid Applied Roofing

Liquid applied roofing membranes are made in place using resin and reinforcing polyester. Because it can reach areas that are difficult to reach, it offers superior waterproofing. You can spray it on or roll it, often in two separate coats. Because liquid roofing is not invasive, it doesn’t cause any odors or create invasive disturbances. It is a great option for businesses that need to remain open during construction.

Roof Coating Systems: A fully adhered membrane is what makes this roof coating system. It is flexible and can return to its original form. There are many roof coatings available, but silicone and acrylic are the most popular. Coatings are best suited to metal roofs. They can keep buildings cool, reduce energy use, prevent leaks, and prolong the life of commercial roofs.

Green Roofs

Green roofs may not be suitable for all spaces. They can be useful in reducing energy costs by providing natural insulation. They also create pleasant spaces for animals and people. The general benefits of green roofs include improved air quality and a reduction in the Urban Heat Island Effect. Nations Roof(r), has installed numerous green and vegetative roofing systems throughout the country.

Commercial Roofing Systems & Materials

Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels

Solar panels convert sunlight into usable energy by absorbing it. Photovoltaics can be used to roof, resulting in long-term cost savings, particularly for those living in areas with high sun. Nations Roof(r), a company that installs rooftop photovoltaic systems, can help you to maintain the roof integrity and keep your building watertight.

Steep Slope

Steep slope roofing is a type of roofing material that can be used on roofs with slopes greater than 3:12. This style is most commonly found on residential properties. However, it can also be seen on commercial buildings, such as hotels and universities. There are many materials you can use, including asphalt composition roll, fiberglass 3-tab, fiberglass laminate (architectural), shingle and specialty asphalt shingle.

Commercial Roofing Systems & Materials

Hidden Costs of Home Ownership

When people think about the cost of home ownership, they are usually thinking of the cost of the home and maybe the utilities and, for some, HOA fees. Many of the other, and sometimes expensive, cost get overlooked until after the purchase.  Below are the most common costs to owning a home that you need to consider before purchasing.

Homeowners and Flood Insurance

For most homeowners, insurance costs are either completely overlooked (for worse) or conveniently glossed over. There are two main types of insurance that you will need when owning a home. Flood insurance refers to a particular insurance policy against property damage from flooding caused by a burst water pipe or other high-risk natural occurrence. It may not be expensive.  If you are in an area where flooding is not common, you may qualify for cheap flood insurance. To decide risk factors for certain properties, insurance providers will frequently refer to regional topographical surveys that denote low-lying areas, floodplains, floodways and other vulnerable locations. In these cases, the flooding risk is proportional to the proximity of the vulnerable flood zone to a residential area.

It is important to note that flood insurance is not intended to replace homeowner’s property insurance, which is designed to cover the loss of your belongings in the event of a disaster. Flood insurance helps protect your possessions, but it is primarily a secondary policy meant to help protect your other insurance needs. Homeowner’s insurance policies can also provide short term and long term assistance with replacement costs for your belongings, if you suffer a total loss of them during a disaster. Homeowner’s insurance policies are designed to offer a variety of protection and perks to customers in order to compensate for the significant financial burden caused by disasters such as storms, fires and earthquakes. It will replace the loss of your belongings in the event of a disaster. Although natural disasters do occur only periodically, they are not uncommon or unexpected.

Property Taxes

One other factor that can affect the total cost of Home Ownership includes property taxes. Property taxes can be included in your mortgage payment by being part of your escrow or paid separately. If you choose to pay them separate from your monthly mortgage payment, you will need to make a single large payment annually either at the beginning of the year or at the end, depending on the city in which you live. Local property taxes are based on the market value of your home and the tax rate for the city you live in. So, if your property taxes are high, that can add a significant amount to the cost of home ownership.

Mortgage Principle and Interest

Since we mentioned mortgages in the last paragraph, its worth going into a little further.  Obviously, a mortgage payment is a large part of the cost of owning a home, but what is it actually made up of? A mortgage is basically a long-term loan designed for you to purchase a property. The mortgage consists of two main parts: the principle and the interest. Principle is part of the loan that represents how much you actually borrowed.  For example, If you put $50,000 as a down payment on a home you purchased for $250,000, then the amount you’re borrowing, and therefore the principle, is $200,000 (250,000 minus 50,000). In addition to repaying just the principle, you also need to make interest payments on the balance of the loan. You’re monthly payment will also include interest.  Interest is the amount of money you are being charged for the bank or mortgage company to lend you the money to buy the house.  The annual percentage charged on the money you owe is call the interest rate.  That rate can vary greatly and will depend on the current interest rates set by the federal government as well as you credit score and other factors.

Home Maintenance

Then, course there is home maintenance. The cost of maintaining your home can be expensive. It will also vary greatly depending on the condition of your house as well as the size and its features. In general, you are supposed to shell out 1% of the overall value of your house per year for maintenance alone. So, if your house is worth $250k, you should expect to spend about $2500 per year, on average, to cover expenses for maintenance. Trying to skimp on these expenses can and will ultimately cost you more in the long run.

Is Savannah, Georgia a Kid-Friendly City?

Savannah Georgia

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly city in which to raise your family, Savannah, Georgia is the place for you. Savannah Georgia is a beautiful coastal Georgian city separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River. It is well known for its beautiful historic architecture, elegant parks and historic carriages. Enjoying the vast quantity of outdoor activities you can find here is just one way that a trip to Savannah Georgia will benefit your family. If you’re planning on making this your annual trip or even your permanent residence, it’s a great idea to check into a realtor’s listing of things to do in Savannah, Georgia. Your Savannah, Georgia realtor will have what you need to find the best places to go in the city for fun and education.

Savannah, Georgia Museums, Art Galleries, & Natural Attractions

Savannah is home to some of the country’s best museums. Many of the museums are supported by the Georgia State Museum and the Savannah Museum of Art. These two museums are very educational, and are kid-friendly museums as well. The four major museums are the Museum of Savannah Historic Sites, Aquarium at Fort Wilson College, Morehouse Museum, and the U.S. Military Museum. Savannah has numerous art galleries as well as museums that showcase various arts. If your family likes to take advantage of the great natural attractions found in this Southern city, also consider taking the family to visit the Botanical Garden or to the Savannah Zoo.

Savannah Georgia

Savannah, Georgia Schools

If you’re looking for great schools in the area, you won’t be short of options. Fannin Elementary is located right in the heart of downtown and enrolls both elementary students and gifted children of all ages. You may also want to consider Gramercy Park Middle School, which serves students in grades six through eight, and has one of the best middle schools in the state.

Entertainment in Savannah, Georgia

If you’re looking for fun and exciting activities, keep an eye on what’s happening in the local entertainment venues. Michelle Obama and her husband have made it a point to visit the Savannah Music Theater. The theater is one of the South’s premier cultural venues, and tickets go on sale every day. As you might expect, the musicality of the performances is reason enough to attend. Another local favorite is the beloved Brixton Green, which puts on musical shows every night. Other live music performances include the South’s longest running musical, Atlanta Soul with Dirty South Band, and the Temptations, a popular gospel band.

Savannah Georgia

Would You Like to Live in Savannah, Georgia?

If you are looking for a realtor in Savannah, Georgia, you can easily find one by using a search engine like Google. The major search engines like Google, MSN, and Yahoo offer the information about realtors based on the address provided. You should do a thorough research about the realtor before taking any action. You should personally meet the realtor and get to know more about him. You can discuss various issues about properties with the realtor in order to get a better understanding of the real estate market in Savannah Georgia.


If you’re looking for a place for your family or kids to get away from the chaos of the big city, Savannah is a great choice. It’s a relatively safe community, and it has many employment opportunities for all ages. The museums and galleries in the area are second to none, and Georgia Aquarium is another great destination. It has one of the most comprehensive collections of marine life in the world, including all types of corals, sponges, and tropical fish. It’s also home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, one of the most respected ensembles in the world. There are several great restaurants in the area, as well as several sports bars, so there’s something for everyone when you come to this great city. Talk to a real estate agent in the Savannah, Georgia area about living in the city or the financial risk of investing in real estate in the city.

9 Practical Tips for Starting a Real Estate Brokerage

Starting a Real Estate Brokerage

Starting a Real Estate Brokerage

About 92 percent of homes in the U.S. are sold using a real estate agent or a broker. Starting a real estate brokerage can be a great business idea. However, it takes a great deal of work to start this kind of business and get it up and running. So how can you build a successful brokerage from the ground up?



Every real estate agent shouldn’t necessarily be a broker. You can be a fantastic and very successful Realtor and without the right assistance, can fail as as the owner of a real estate brokerage.


The first thing you should decide is whether you choose a real estate franchise or become an independent broker. If you choose to become a real estate franchise, it will cost you more money but will provide you with a structure and a brand to start marketing. Good real estate franchises will have digital marketing options, recruiting processes and proven training as well as back office assistance.

When you purchase a franchise, you pay a relatively large upfront cost to get “onboarded”. In addition, franchisors will charge a royalty of each real estate transaction. Many real estate franchises also charge a marketing fee — where you pay a pro-rata share of marketing based upon your total revenue. There are some new real estate franchise models that are substantially reducing the amount of upfront costs associated with opening a franchise such as 1 Percent Lists and Realty One.

If you choose to start an independent broker, it is substantially cheaper, but you must create all of your own set of tools and services to provide to your agents. In addition, you will not be starting with a well known brand such as Remax or Keller Williams — you real estate brokerage might be Smiths Real Estate.


When starting a real estate business, proper planning will increase your chances of success. Considering the stiff competition in this field, you will want to carefully develop and refine your idea. Think about your skill set, your target customers, the purpose of the business, your goals and how your strengths differentiate you from the competition. You may also want to identify the right niche for your company.


Take time to understand the real estate market you are about to enter. You need to identify your direct competitors and find out what makes them successful. You should learn more about your target clients as well as the overall real estate market. This includes their likes and dislikes, their current rent or mortgage and what they consider when purchasing real estate. With this information, you will know how to position yourself in the market.


Once you know what you are up against, you should clearly define your goals and create a roadmap. A business plan allows you to formalize your goals and direction. Writing down your business and financial goals will encourage you to stay focused and motivated as you work towards achieving them.


To start a real estate brokerage, you must meet the relevant requirements in your state. Part of this involves acquiring a brokerage license. Oftentimes, to get this license, you will need to have a real estate license, be experience and complete the necessary pre-licensing education. You must also pass the broker licensing exam and pay any applicable fees.


Determining your legal structure is an important step when opening a brokerage. Your business structure will determine how you register the company, your tax obligations and the financial liability of your brokerage. There are four main legal business structures you can choose from: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Once you choose your legal structure, you can proceed to register the business.


Starting and running a real estate brokerage is not cheap. As such, you will need to raise the necessary funds to help you turn your dreams into reality. You can decide to use your own savings, get help from family or take out a loan to start the business. In addition to raising funds, you should have a plan on how to manage your money and ensure your operations are profitable.


When it comes to setting up shop, you can choose to use a physical office for your brokerage or opt for a virtual setting where agents work from home. Before making a decision, you need to understand the advantages and disadvantages associated with each model. It would be equally important to determine your staffing needs and hire the right people.


Creating a strong brand identity is critical for the success of your brokerage. A brand represents how people know your business and affects how they perceive you. Your branding strategy should focus on having a simple business name, a unique logo, a memorable tagline, a great website design and an active social media presence. You can also boost your brand visibility using marketing materials like business cards, postcards, flyers, brochures and real estate signs. In the end, you should have a strong brand presence both online and offline.

Buy a Franchise


If you are not established in the real estate industry, starting an independent brokerage can be challenging. This is why you may want to consider buying a franchise. A franchised brokerage is an easy way to have all other details taken care of because most of the work needed to launch the business idea will have already been done. You will not have to worry about issues like branding, marketing or preparing a business plan. It will be easier to secure financing, not much experience is required to start, and you will get support from a larger network of businesses.

Once your brokerage is operational, you will have to find ways to beat the competition and grow your business. This may involve developing a solid marketing plan that includes networking, digital marketing, asking for referrals and managing your reputation to build credibility.

Importance of Identifying Financial Risk

Importance of Identifying Financial Risk

When you are an investor and you are just starting out, you need to identify your personal financial stage first before you go on to the next step. How will you know the stage that you are currently in? You may refer to a chart that summarizes your personal financial stage. By knowing the stage, you will be able to decide whether this is the right time to invest. In any case, you should start analyzing how the market trends move and what are the possible areas of risks. It is always better to stay on top of things before taking a decision.


Identifying financial risk is very important in the area of investments. Risk factors are needed for investors to assess the potential risk in an investment. The various risk factors that have been identified are also used as part of the selection criteria in certain kinds of business loans, commercial leases, mortgages, etc. Identifying these risk factors is very useful especially when you are about to make an investment decision. It will keep you updated with the current trends in the financial markets.


If you want to identify the possible risks and the areas of your investment that pose high risks, you can refer to various websites on the Internet. Most stock brokers provide a comprehensive list of risk factors. However, you can also find many websites on the Internet that provide you with information about specific companies or industries. It is also recommended that you research about the company before you decide to invest. You can look at the financial reports about the past few years to identify the trends of the company.


Importance of Identifying Financial Risk


You can use the stockbrokers’ report to find out more about a certain company. It is usually available for the last five years. It is also advisable to ask your financial advisor to give you a report on the past several months about the financial risk that a particular investment might present. This will help you assess whether or not you need to change your current strategy. However, there are certain instances when you need to invest regardless of the financial risk.


Identifying investment opportunities that present low risk but could generate high profit is possible. These are usually products or businesses that have potential growth prospects. For instance, you can identify the opportunities in the energy sector. These investments are relatively safe, although there are always natural disasters and other risks. In this case, you can continue to invest as there will be no immediate need to shift your financial instruments.


Importance of Identifying Financial Risk


The best way to identify risk is through experience. Start small and you can gradually increase your risk tolerance. Identifying financial risk is very important in deciding which investment opportunities to invest in such as buying a home or renting out an apartment to a tenant. The main idea is to reduce the risk and increase your profit. You need to be prepared to take any risk to gain maximum profit.

Buying a Franchise – How Much Money Will I Invest?

Buying a Franchise - How Much Money Will I Invest_

Buying a Franchise – How Much Money Will I Invest?

Buying a franchise means legally entering into an agreement with a franchisor. Franchise agreements normally dictate how you conduct the company, so there might be very little room for wiggle room. There are usually regulations on the products you sell, where you run the company and where you get your supplies. These things can make or break your business, but if you have the right organization behind you, then you’re much more likely to succeed.


One thing that some real estate franchise opportunities require is an investment in a piece of real estate or other property. While this doesn’t always guarantee success, it does help. The owner needs to have an understanding of what they’re doing in order to understand the need of the consumer and market to that end. The owner also needs to have an understanding of how to sell goods and services. If you are able to demonstrate the ability to provide quality products and services, then consumers will recognize your name and come to you because of it. This is one of the best ways to sell goods and services and build name recognition.

Another requirement for a successful franchise opportunity is a disclosure document. This states what type of products or services are offered and how they will be sold. This is required by law and must be carefully followed. A disclosure document is also necessary if you plan to participate in a program administered by the United States Department of Education. In this case, you will be required to provide financial assistance to eligible students who qualify for single mother scholarships. You need to disclose all of these requirements before you invest in a franchise opportunity.

Training and support

Other areas which will require disclosure before you invest in a franchisee are the training programs and support services provided. It is important that you know exactly what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line. The more you know, the better decisions you will make about whether or not to buy into the venture. For instance, some franchise rule require potential franchisees to learn about the franchisor’s business model and all of the other important components before signing the agreement. This way, if problems arise, you will not be left holding the bag.


In addition to learning about the product and service offerings, you may want to learn how much money the company is going to pay you as a franchisee. You will want to make sure that you get the full picture regarding the earnings potential. Also, it is essential to understand how much time you will have to put into the business. Remember, if you choose to invest in a franchise system that pays a high commission and gives you very little time, then you may find yourself disappointed.

 Some franchise brokers may offer you royalty payments as part of your investment package. These are typically modest and are related to the size of the franchise opportunity that you are investing in. However, keep in mind that many brokers also offer royalty payments to those who are interested in buying into their own franchise opportunity. In this case, your royalty payments could be substantial and you may find yourself waiting a long time for the check to arrive! Again, your choice will be dependent upon whether or not you can wait a while for royalty payments to be earned.

Why You Should Seek Legal Advice Before Buying Into an Existing Business

buying a franchise

Why You Should Seek Legal Advice Before Buying Into an Existing Business

Thinking of buying a franchise for your business? Investigate everything before you spend. Before you sign the dotted line, really read this article for tips on evaluating prospective franchise opportunities. When you purchase a franchise, you can receive support and proven product and service branding and sell proven support and service at lower costs than you could do it yourself. In short, you can reap huge benefits when you own a franchise.

But, what if you decide to buy such an opportunity that promises much money down but doesn’t deliver in the long run? Will you lose a lot of money? No, definitely not. As a rule, franchise ownership is a lucrative investment only if you are willing to invest back a substantial sum of your savings or income. And you should never forget that running any business involves running expensive operations at some point.

Some franchisors provide franchisee earnings claims, or income statements, which include gross margin figures. Some other franchisors provide earnings estimates by considering certain factors such as sales volume, average ticket price, and average ticket price over a specified period, number of outlets, and various other factors. Although these reports can be very useful, it is important to be aware that these reports can also be manipulated and the original figure can be significantly overstated. If you are buying a franchise and looking for earnings, make sure that the franchisor provides earnings claims with the numbers you are considering.

There are many reasons why someone would want to buy into a franchising opportunity. Perhaps they have an existing business that would benefit from the franchising model. Or maybe they are considering buying a franchise so they can start their own business. Perhaps there are personal reasons for buying into a franchising opportunity. Regardless of the reason, it is important that you know the franchisor’s track record. You need to make sure that there aren’t any significant signs that they are losing money on their franchisees.

When buying a franchise system, it is critical that you have a licensed professional such as an accountant or a lawyer review your agreement. The laws regarding franchises vary from state to state and a franchisor cannot operate without having a copy of the FDD Franchise Disclosure Documents signed by a CPA or an attorney. These documents provide detailed information about the business entity. The accountant will review the technical terms of the document in order to ensure that it is legally enforceable. They will also look at whether there are any material conflicts between the information provided and the financial statements that the business has filed.

It is important to remember when buying a franchise that there are significant costs associated with franchising. Many of these costs come from initial fees that cover the cost of advertising, trademark names and the cost of having a qualified workforce. Many franchises also charge royalties based upon the success of the franchiser’s sales. If you are considering buying into an existing business instead of starting your own that offers franchising opportunities, it is critical that you thoroughly review the contract before agreeing to buy into it.

Click or Call We do it All

Have a Creative Real Estate? Get a Free Consultation By Our Experts