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D.A.W.G.S. (Door And Window Guard Systems) manufactures and rents attractive steel panels (Door and Window Guards) used to cover door and window openings on vacant buildings. Our vacant property security solutions eliminate break-ins and many of the other problems associated with vacant property.

Property investors, property managers, housing authorities rehabbers and real estate professionals trust D.A.W.G.S. to keep their vacant properties secure.


Metros Most Vulnerable to COVID-19’s Fallout

States along the East Coast, Connecticut through Florida, as well as Illinois, are more vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and its continuing impact on the U.S. economy, according to a Q1 2021 Special Coronavirus Report published by ATTOM Data Solutions, while Western States seem better prepared to withstand a downturn.

Markets were considered at greater or lesser risk based on the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with underwater mortgages, and the percentage of average local wages required to pay for major homeownership expenses. (More about ATTOM’s methodology is available at

The researchers showed 33 of the 50 counties most vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic in the first quarter of 2021 were in FloridaIllinoisNew JerseyConnecticut, and North Carolina. 

The only three western counties in the top 50 during the first quarter of 2021 were in northern California, while Louisiana was the only southern state outside of the East Coast with more than two counties in that group.

According to ATTOM, first-quarter trends generally build on those found in 2020, but with smaller concentrations around several major metropolitan areas.

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Remodeling? Avoid These 10 Home Improvements That Do Not Add Value

Americans spend $400 billion annually on remodeling, but they’re not all adding value to their homes in the process. Whether you’re dreaming of adding a big-ticket item like solar panels or a swimming pool, or you simply want to upgrade your kitchen, gauge how your project will impact your property value before you commit.

We crunched ROI data and spoke with two top real estate agents to round up 10 home improvement projects that do not add value to your home. We’ll break down why these common home improvements won’t increase your property value as much as you expect.

Tools used to complete home improvements.

  1. DIY home improvement projects
  2. Garage conversions
  3. Solar panels
  4. Quirky wallpaper
  5. Custom luxury upgrades
  6. Wine cellars
  7. An oversized home edition
  8. Remodeled basements and attics
  9. New windows
  10. Swimming pools

The Bottom Line: Not all home improvements add value

A final word to the wise: Consider your selling timeline before you embark on a home improvement that does not add value to your home. If you plan to sell your home in the near future, it’s best to spruce it up with a new coat of neutral paint and other improvements proven to add value and increase marketability.

On the other hand, if you plan to stay awhile, Suits shares it’s okay to focus on home improvements that bring you joy, even if they don’t add significant value to your home:

“Do whatever makes you happy. To me, that is really what homeownership is all about. Just realize you might not get every dime back, or you might have to make a modification to it. Chances are, if you love something, someone else might too.”

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DAWGS Rescuing Dogs

Door and Window Guard Systems (DAWGS) doesn’t just keep vacant properties secure, they have saved and rescued dozens of dogs while out in the field installing their steel door and window guards.

Some of the dogs were found roaming the streets near properties DAWGS was securing, others were found inside the vacant properties. The DAWGS employees were able to rescue the dogs and take them to safe no-kill animal shelter. In some cases, the rescued dogs were adopted by the DAWGS employees who saved them.

Two of the dogs rescued were chained up in the backyard of abandoned properties. These poor dogs were just left behind when their owners moved out of the property. If it were not for the DAWGS team’s kind actions these dogs most likely would not have survived.

Rescued dog – Roxy

DAWGS followed the story of these two abandoned dogs and learned that they were adopted into good and loving homes. One of the rescued dogs, Roxy is pictured here.

The dog-loving DAWGS team will continue to rescue and save homeless, abandoned, forgotten dogs they encounter on and off the job.





Foreclosures Low in 2020, But a Backlog Is Awaiting

The Year-End 2020 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from ATTOM Data Solutions shows that foreclosure filings were reported on 214,323 U.S. properties during the year, which was down 57 percent from 2019 and 93 percent from a peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010, to the lowest level since tracking began in 2005.

Those properties with foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions) represented 0.16 percent of all U.S. housing units, down from 0.36 percent in 2019 and down from a peak of 2.23 percent in 2010.

“The government’s moratoria have effectively stopped foreclosure activity on everything but vacant and abandoned properties,” explains Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM Data Solutions company. “There is a backlog of foreclosures building up – loans that were in foreclosure prior to the moratoria; loans that would have defaulted under normal circumstances; and loans whose borrowers are in financial distress due to the pandemic.

“While it’s still highly unlikely that we’ll see another wave of foreclosures like the one we had during the Great Recession, we really won’t know how big that backlog is until after the government programs expire,” he says.

Lenders repossessed 50,238 properties through foreclosure (REO) in 2020, down 65 percent from 2019 and down 95 percent from a peak of 1,050,500 in 2010, to the lowest level as far back as data is available (2006).

Counter to the national trend, there were metropolitan statistical areas with a population greater than 200,000 that saw a year-over-year increase in REOs, including Lake Havasu, Ariz. (up 30 percent); Champaign, Ill. (up 29 percent); Chico, Calif. (up 26 percent); and Bremerton, Wash. (up 25 percent).

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 131,372 U.S. properties in 2020, down 61 percent from 2019 and down 94 percent from a peak of 2,139,005 in 2009, to a new all-time low.

“The impact of the government foreclosure moratoria and mortgage forbearance programs is nowhere more obvious than in the foreclosure start numbers from 2020,” Sharga remarks. “We ended the year with a near-record number of seriously delinquent loans, but historically low levels of foreclosure activity.

“The good news is that the government and mortgage industry succeeded in working together to prevent unnecessary foreclosures; the question remains how many homeowners whose finances have been affected by the pandemic will ultimately default on their loans, and whether the strength of the housing market will help cushion the fallout,” he says.

States that saw declines in foreclosure starts from last year included Oregon (down 79 percent); Kansas (down 77 percent); Arkansas (down 77 percent); Nevada (down 71 percent); and Massachusetts (down 70 percent).

Counter to the national trend, Idaho saw a slight uptick (up 4 percent) from last year.

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DAWGS Expands Operations to the Memphis Market

DAWGS Expands to Memphis

Door And Window Guard Systems Inc. (D.A.W.G.S), a provider of steel window and door guards for vacant property security, announces expansion of operations to the Memphis, Tennessee market.  Memphis and the surrounding areas have long been plagued by vacant properties and the dangers associated with them. Vacant properties depress property values, de-stabilize neighborhoods and if not properly secured, they attract a criminal element.

As a leader in vacant property security, DAWGS impenetrable, proprietary door and window guards are uniquely designed to prevent theft, vandalism, and uninvited occupation. DAWGS steel door and window guards keep vacant and abandoned property secure, while providing managed access to the building as needed and keeping crime at bay.

DAWGS door and window guards also fight blight.  They blend in with the surroundings and provide an aesthetically pleasing alternative to other board-up options. According to Brandon Buhai from DAWGS, “DAWGS is excited about their expansion into Memphis and the surrounding areas. The expansion will also bring employment opportunities to the area.”

As DAWGS continues to expand their operations into new markets – they help to stabilize and revitalize blighted communities across the country.

10 Home Renovations With the Best ROI: 2021 Guide

Whenever you sink money into improving a home, there’s an opportunity cost. Spend $20,000 on a bathroom remodel, and that’s $20,000 you won’t have available for another project. As such, it’s important that you understand which home renovations offer the best return on investment. This holds true whether you’re flipping houses for a living or are trying to improve the property you live in to sell eventually. With that in mind, here’s a list of the home improvements with the best return on investment per Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value report.

The Evolution of the Single-Family Rental Market

In the past decade, the single-family rental market has evolved from individual units owned and rented out by small landlords to large scale operations by big investors with significant portfolios of houses. Some of the large companies entering the market are building units specifically to rent or creating communities of single-family rentals to be professionally managed like an apartment complex.

Bloomberg‘s Patrick Clark last week tackled the topic, pointing out that single-family rentals are drawing interest from institutional money, and that builders and apartment firms are pushing into that corner of the market.

While a study last summer showed the interest in SFR has been increasing since recovery from the Great Recession, Clark’s article notes that the pandemic has ignited Americans’ desire for larger living spaces and thus sparked a new level of “Wall Street zest” for this sector of suburban real estate.

Clark notes that big investors including J.P. Morgan Chase and Nuveen Real Estate recently have bet on the supposition that “there are lots of Americans who want spare bedrooms and backyards, but don’t have cash for down payments.”

“It’s really an inflection point in SFR,” Michael Carey, Senior Director for Altus Group, an advisory firm, told Bloomberg. “It used to be an alternative asset class. Now people look at it as a solution.”

Low housing inventory means builders including Lennar Corp., the largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, are launching campaigns of unprecedented focus on rental-specific builds.

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Four Things to Know About the Housing Market in 2021

What to know about the 2021 housing market

Last year was an exceptional one for the housing market, which boomed in the second half. The National Association of Realtors’ January existing-home-sales data show the continuation of some of the same trends this year—as well as some key changes and rising challenges.

Single Family Sales Remain Strong—But Condos Are Making a Comeback
Existing-home sales in January reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million, faster than the 6.61 million FactSet consensus expected, and an increase of 0.6% from December’s revised rate. Sales were up 23.7% compared with last January, the release said. That high rate shows the resale market is still hot after home sales shot up in the second half of the year. January’s seasonally adjusted rate is one of the highest since April 2006, second only to the rate reported in October 2020, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, said on a conference call with reporters. While single-family sales remained strong at a rate of 5.93 million, condo and co-op sales made a greater leap. Sales of condos and co-ops increased 4.1% month over month and 28.8% year over year, compared with a single-family sales increase of 0.2% month over month and 23% year over year. “Single family was far preferred over condominium during the last year,” Yun said, “but now the condominium market is making a comeback.” Single-family homes still made up a far greater share of transactions in January, at 89% of all sales on an unadjusted basis.

Luxury Leads the Way
Single-family-home sales jumped 23% compared with last January—but the picture varies by price point. Homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000 comprised the greatest share of homes sold at 40.1%. Sales in this category grew 27% year-over-year. More-affordable-home transactions shrunk. Sales of homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000 were 2% lower than the same month last year, while sales of homes under $100,000 fell 28% compared with last January. The greatest growth came from homes priced above $1 million, sales of which grew 77% compared with last January. “Upper-end sales growth is very strong, while, in the lower priced category, it is either down, or increases are very minor,” Yun said. Buyers’ enthusiasm for higher price points could help explain existing homes’ median sales price of $303,900—a slight decrease from previous months, but 14.1% higher than the median price one year ago.

Inventory Remains Tight
A historically tight supply of existing homes for sale could have cut into transactions in 2020—a trend that shows little sign of slowing in 2021. Housing inventory set another record low in the first month of the new year, Yun said on the call, falling to 1.04 million units. Months’ supply, or how long it would take at the current sales pace to sell every home listed, remained at 1.9 months, flat with December but down from 3.1 months last year. “Sales could be even higher, but just inventory is simply not there,” Yun said. Strong housing demand and short supply gave builders a boost in 2020—but, entering 2021, the industry is contending with rising costs. January new-home construction data released earlier this week showed a dip in the seasonally adjusted rate of housing starts, which the National Association of Home Builders attributed partially to the high price of materials. “We have to get more inventory,” Yun said on the call. “I know [builders] are facing these lumber prices and other material costs, but we need to build more homes to bring more supply onto line.

Mortgage Rates Are Going Up
Low inventory isn’t the only concern hanging over the residential real-estate market as it approaches the spring selling season. Rising rates could also weigh on sales, said Yun, citing upward pressure on the 10-year Treasury yield, “a forerunner for mortgage rates.” This isn’t the first time during the Covid-19 crisis that fears of higher mortgage rates have arisen. Builder stocks dropped in October as the 10-year yield rose to a four-month high. At the time, the rise in the 10-year yield did little to impact mortgage rates due to the unusually wide spread between the two. But the spread would continue to thin. Mortgage rates began to increase from their all-time lows in early January. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.81% this past week, its highest point since mid-November, according to Freddie Mac. And buyers shouldn’t expect rates to drop, Yun said. “It is inevitable that, in the upcoming months, mortgage rates will be rising,” he said, citing factors like more stimulus or improving economic prospects as potential contributors to a rising 10-year Treasury yield. While rates will rise, they will remain low by historical standards, Yun says. He predicts that mortgage rates could reach an average 3% by the middle of 2021.

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Will Foreclosures Boom in 2021?

Given the number of Americans who have struggled financially during the coronavirus pandemic, you’d think foreclosure numbers would be booming. But actually, according to new research on household debt by The Ascent, foreclosure rates are down this year. While there were around 50,000 foreclosures in November 2019, there were just 10,000 in September 2020. But things could change in a very unfavorable way come 2021.

Right now, there’s a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions that’s set to expire in January 2021. And while it could get extended, that’s not guaranteed. Once that protection runs out, homeowners whose mortgage lenders were already in the process of pursuing foreclosure before the pandemic will have the option to pick up where they left off.

Right now, a large number of homeowners are getting a reprieve from paying their mortgages. One provision of the CARES Act, the coronavirus relief bill signed into law in late March, was that borrowers were entitled to up to 360 days of mortgage forbearance, during which time they could hit pause on their payments. But once forbearance runs out, borrowers will have to start catching up on their missed payments and making good on their regular payments. And that could prove problematic for some people — namely, those whose finances are in bad shape due to the pandemic.

That said, if a second relief bill passes into law, it may include provisions for struggling homeowners that are comparable to what the CARES Act allowed for, so borrowers with mortgages in forbearance need not give up hope. There’s also a good chance mortgage lenders will try to work with borrowers to avoid a widespread foreclosure crisis.

Furthermore, some borrowers may have the option to refinance their mortgages and substantially lower their monthly payments in the process, making it possible to keep up. And for those who simply can’t afford their homes any longer, selling before they’re foreclosed on may be easier than it has been in the past. Often, foreclosure happens when a homeowner can’t pay a mortgage but also can’t sell a home for enough money to repay that loan in full. But home values have skyrocketed during the pandemic, so borrowers who need to unload their homes may be able to sell with relative ease, especially since low mortgage rates are currently contributing to incredibly high buyer demand.

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The Top 10 Housing Markets of 2021

Wouldn’t it be great to look into the future? You could see just how quickly the world will recover from this deadly pandemic, get the winning lottery numbers—and learn just which real estate markets will be a solid investment.

By analyzing data and trends, the economics team put together a list of the housing markets that are expected to sizzle next year. The nation’s top markets of 2021 are tech hubs with strong job markets, state capitals where buyers can get more square footage for their money, and smaller cities that are affordable alternatives to the larger, coastal metropolises. Seven of the metros that cracked the top 10 are either established or burgeoning tech hubs. Half are state capitals, and four are in California, where prices just keep on accelerating.

Now these markets aren’t cheap—not even close. Just one has a median list price lower than the national median of $348,000. But most are still less expensive than San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. They’re siphoning off these big-city residents who can now work remotely due to the pandemic and are moving to lower-priced areas where they can afford larger homes. And they don’t have to compromise on big-city amenities—bars, restaurants, and cultural institutions are all accounted for, when it’s safe to frequent them again.

These markets are expected to experience higher price growth and more sales than the rest of the country. Median home list prices are anticipated to rise 6.9% in these metropolitan areas, compared with 5.7% nationally. Sales are to increase 13.1% annually versus 7%.

“The housing markets in tech towns are thriving because that industry is doing well,” says Chief Economist Danielle Hale. However, she adds, “a lot of companies in the [San Francisco] Bay Area have given workers the flexibility to work remotely. … [Many] of the markets on our list are the places that tech workers leaving the Bay Area look to relocate to.”

To come up with the ranking the team factored in past sale prices and number of sales; the rate of new construction; and previous and anticipated economic, household, and income growth in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. (Metros include the main city as well as nearby smaller towns and urban areas.)

So which markets will rise to the top in 2021?

1. Sacramento, CA

Median home price: $554,000
Anticipated home price change: 7.4%
Number of home sales: 17.2%

2. San Jose, CA

Median home price: $1,199,050
Anticipated home price change: 10.8%
Number of home sales: 10.8%

3. Charlotte, NC

Median home price: $368,820
Anticipated home price change: 5.2%
Number of home sales: 13.8%

4. Boise, ID

Median home price: $445,000
Anticipated home price change: 9.1%
Number of home sales: 9.8%

5. Seattle, WA

Median home price: $629,050
Anticipated home price change: 9.7%
Number of home sales: 8.9% 

6. Phoenix, AZ

Median home price: $412,260
Anticipated home price change: 7%
Number of home sales: 11.4%

7. Harrisburg, PA

Median home price: $262,000
Anticipated home price change: 3.8%
Number of home sales: 14.4%

8. Oxnard, CA

Median home price: $824,000
Anticipated home price change: 5.5%
Number of home sales: 12.5%

9. Denver, CO

Median home price: $520,000
Anticipated home price change: 5.4%
Number of home sales: 12.5%

10. Riverside, CA

Median home price: $475,050
Anticipated home price change: 5.5%
Number of home sales: 12.4%

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