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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.


Top 25 Markets for REO Fix-and-Flip Properties

  1. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
  2. Richmond, VA
  3. Cleveland-Elyria, OH
  4. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
  5. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
  6. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
  7. Rochester, NY
  8. Tucson, AZ
  9. Pittsburgh, PA
  10. Birmingham-Hoover, AL
  11. Jacksonville, FL
  12. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
  13. Oklahoma City, OK
  14. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
  15. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
  16. St. Louis, MO-IL
  17. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
  18. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
  19. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY
  20. Kansas City, MO-KS
  21. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
  22. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
  23. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
  24. Memphis, TN-MS-AR
  25. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

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DAWGS Gives Back to Chicago Communities

Chicago-based Door and Window Guard Systems has a long history of giving back to the communities they serve. One example is their long-term partnership with the Shore Joseph Koenig, Sr. Training Center located in Morton Grove, Illinois.

The mission of Shore Community Services is to improve the quality of life for persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Shore does this through educational, residential and vocational programs provided with community integrated support and services. 

Lisa Wright, COO at Shore describes the organization “Our tagline is ‘Guiding Individual Abilities’ which aims to empower every individual to achieve greater independence and a higher quality of life. We envision a world where individuals, at any level of developmental, intellectual and physical ability, enjoy vibrant and fulfilling lives while engaging in the communities where they live, work and play.” 

February 2020 marks seven years since DAWGS started working with Shore Packaging Solutions. DAWGS employs Shore team members to sort and rekit their door and window guard materials once removed from a property. Shore employees sort and repackage individual DAWGS components and ready them to be redeployed to secure vacant properties.

Diego Garcia, Plant Manager for Shore commented “We really like working with DAWGS because the work is consistent. The consistency of the job enables the individuals working on DAWGS’ account to become experts at the tasks asked of them.”

The relationship between DAWGS and Shore Services is beneficial to both parties. DAWGS receives great service at a competitive rate and Shore is able to provide work for 20 individuals on a consistent basis.

The 11 Worst Home Renovations for Your Money

Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report takes a look at national average costs for 22 home remodeling projects.

It compares construction cost estimates for each project with the likely resale value. To get those resale estimates, the researchers surveyed real estate agents in 136 U.S. real estate markets, asking them these projects’ value when a remodeled home is sold.

Some of these are “upscale” jobs, others are “midrange” in cost. Although regional results vary, nationally, none of the jobs here can be expected to totally recover their cost.

Here, from bad to worst, are the 11 projects that make particularly poor choices for payback.

11. Bath remodel (midrange)

Average cost: $21,377
Return on investment: 64%

10. Bath remodel (universal design)

Average cost: $34,643
Return on investment: 62%

9. Roofing replacement (metal)

Average cost: $40,318
Return on investment: 61.2%

8. Major kitchen remodel (midrange)

Average cost: $68,490
Return on investment: 58.6%

7. Master suite addition (midrange)

Average cost: $136,739
Return on investment: 58.5%

6. Bath remodel (upscale)

Average cost: $67,106
Return on investment:

5. Bathroom addition (upscale)

Average cost: $91,287
Return on investment: 

4. Bathroom addition (midrange)

Average cost: $49,598
Return on investment: 

3. Major kitchen remodel (upscale)

Average cost:$135,547
Return on investment: 

2. Grand entrance (fiberglass)

Average cost: $9,254
Return on investment: 

1. Master suite addition (upscale)

Average cost: $282,062
Return on investment: 

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10 Home Improvement Projects That Return The Most At Resale

If you want to get the biggest return on your investment in home renovation projects, it would be wise to take your to-do list outdoors. The 2020 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling magazine found that nine out of the top 10 high-return projects are exterior replacement projects. Only the minor kitchen renovation rivals the rate of return of most exterior projects.

Whether you are just thinking about remodeling or ready to dive in, prioritize these exterior projects that will add curb appeal and value when it’s time to sell or refinance.

1. Manufactured stone veneer
Average cost: $9,357
Average resale value: $8,943
Cost recouped: 96%

2. Garage door replacement
Average cost: $3,695
Average resale value: $3,491
Cost recouped: 94%

3. Siding replacement (fiber cement)
Average cost: $17,008
Average resale value: $13,195
Cost recouped: 78%

4. Siding replacement (vinyl)
Average cost: $14,359
Average resale value: $10,731
Cost recouped: 75%

5. Window replacement (vinyl)
Average cost: $17,461
Average resale value: $12,761
Cost recouped: 72%

6. Deck addition (wood)
Average cost: $14,360
Average resale value: $10,355
Cost recouped: 72%

7. Window replacement (wood)
Average cost: $21,495
Average resale value: $14,804
Cost recouped: 69%

8. Entry door replacement (steel)
Average cost: $1,881
Average resale value: $1,294
Cost recouped: 69%

9. Deck addition (composite)
Average cost: $19,856
Average resale value: $13,257
Cost recouped: 67%

10. Roofing replacement (asphalt shingles)
Average cost: $24,700
Average resale value: $16,287
Cost recouped: 66%

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8 Real Estate Market Predictions for 2020

What will the 2020 Real Estate Market look like?

More of the same, or will we see some of the trends begin to shift? Real estate experts were asked to weigh in with their predictions for 2020. They provided their expectations across commercial and residential real estate, interest rates, and even what governments and private sector companies could do this year to impact the affordability crisis.

8 Trends Real Estate Experts are Predicting for 2020

  1. Retail closures will continue to be a problem for landlords.
  2. Rent control will spread more widely, eating into investor interest in higher-cost markets.
  3. Mortgage rates will fall to record lows.
  4. Homebuilders will keep focusing on starter homes.
  5. Venture capital will fund new real estate models in 2020.
  6. The private sector will bring new solutions to the affordable housing crisis.
  7. Investor appetite for Opportunity Zones is going to weaken after the 2019 rush.
  8. Clashes over multifamily housing developments will increase and get more heated.

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Mortgage rate forecast for 2020: Experts predict low rates will last

If you’re looking to buy an investment property in the new year, there’s good news: Today’s low mortgage rates are expected to continue into 2020. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate started 2019 at 4.68 percent and steadily declined before closing out the year at 3.93 percent. In 2020, rates are expected to remain mostly stable, not straying too much higher or lower from the 4 percent mark. Here are responses from a range of experts predicting what will happen to mortgage rates in 2020.

Expect mortgage rates to remain low

Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst, predicts mortgage rates will stay relatively stable around 4 percent in 2020. “The benchmark 30-year fixed rate mortgage will hopscotch back and forth over the 4 percent mark for much of 2020, remaining low enough to facilitate home buying and providing ample refinancing opportunities on those trips below 4 percent,” he says. Inflation is something borrowers should watch for, especially toward the end of 2020, McBride says. Core inflation, as measured by the Fed’s PCE Index, will top out at 2.2 percent, he predicts, which will likely keep the Fed muted on rate hikes. “Rates will trend higher toward the back half of the year as inflation readings move above 2 percent.” Since the end of June 2019, interest rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage have stayed south of the 4 percent mark. They hit their lowest point on Sept. 4, dropping to 3.74 percent, according to Bankrate data. These historically low rates have helped homeowners save money by refinancing and made it easier for folks to afford to buy a house.

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Top 10 Features of a Profitable Rental Property

Top 10 Features Of A Profitable Rental Property

1. Neighborhood. The neighborhood in which you buy will determine the types of tenants you attract and your vacancy rate. If you buy near a university, the chances are that students will dominate your pool of potential tenants and you will struggle to fill vacancies every summer. Also be aware that some towns attempt to discourage rental conversions by imposing exorbitant permit fees and piling on the red tape.

2. Property Taxes. Property taxes are likely to vary widely across your target area, and you want to be aware of how much you will be losing to them. High property taxes are not always a bad thing in a great neighborhood that attracts long-term tenants, but there are lousy places with high taxes, too. The municipality’s assessment office will have all the tax information on file, or you can talk to homeowners in the community. It is also wise to find out if property tax increases are likely in the near future. A town in financial distress may hike taxes far beyond what a landlord can realistically charge in rent.

3. Schools. If you’re dealing with family-sized homes, consider the quality of the local schools. Although you will be mostly concerned about the monthly cash flow, the overall value of your rental property comes into play when you eventually sell it. If there are no good schools nearby, it can affect the value of your investment.

4. Crime. No one wants to live next door to a hot spot for criminal activity. The local police or public library should have accurate crime statistics for neighborhoods. Check the rates for vandalism, serious crimes, and petty crimes, and note if criminal activity is moving up or down. You might also want to ask about the frequency of a police presence in your neighborhood.

5. Job Market. Locations with growing employment opportunities attract more tenants. To find out how an area rates for job availability, check with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or go to a local library. If you see an announcement about a major company moving to the area, you can be sure that workers in search of a place to live will flock to the area. This may cause house prices to go up or down, depending on the type of business moving in. You can assume that if you would like that company in your backyard, your renters will as well.

6. Amenities. Tour the neighborhood and check out the parks, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, public transportation links, and all the other perks that attract renters. City Hall may have promotional literature that will give you an idea of where the best blend of public amenities and private property can be found.

7. Future Development. The municipal planning department will have information on new development that is coming or has been zoned into the area. If there is a lot of construction going on, it is probably a good growth area. Watch out for new developments that could hurt the price of surrounding properties. Additional new housing could also compete with your property.

8. Number of Listings and Vacancies. If a neighborhood has an unusually high number of listings, it can either signal a seasonal cycle or a neighborhood in decline. You need to find out which it is. In either case, high vacancy rates force landlords to lower rents to attract tenants. Low vacancy rates allow landlords to raise rental rates.

9. Average Rents.  Rental income will be your bread-and-butter, so you need to know what the average rent in the area is. Make sure any property you consider will bear enough rent to cover your mortgage payment, taxes, and other expenses. Research the area well enough to gauge where it will be headed in the next five years. If you can afford the area now but taxes are expected to increase, an affordable property today may mean bankruptcy later.

10. Natural Disasters. Insurance is another expense that you will have to subtract from your returns, so you need to know just how much it’s going to cost you. If an area is prone to earthquakes or flooding, coverage costs can eat away at your rental income.

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Top 10 Real Estate Markets for 2020

The Urban Land Institute’s annual look at the year ahead cited Austin, Texas, as the top U.S. real estate market for 2020.

“Austin is number one, rising from sixth place a year ago to first in overall real estate prospects and from fourth to first place in local expectation of investor demand in 2020,” according to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report. The analysis considered many salient features: Its slogan “Keep Austin Weird”, its deep pool of talent, unique and popular lifestyle, and ambitious commitment to business and real estate expansion.”

The report also noted Austin’s negatives: “Traffic is an ongoing issue,” the report said. “Housing affordability pressures are rising. These could be exacerbated since Austin has the highest projected population growth rate for the coming five years among the 80 markets we analyze.”

Below are the top 10 Real Estate Markets for 2020:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
  3. Nashville, Tennesse
  4. Charlotte, North Carolina
  5. Boston
  6. Dallas/Fort Worth
  7. Orlando, Florida
  8. Atlanta
  9. Los Angeles
  10. Seattle

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DAWGS Cold Weather Checklist for Vacant Property

As the temperatures drop, it is important to take steps to protect your vacant properties from cold weather ice and snow damage. DAWGS had put together a Cold Weather Vacant Property:


  1. Confirm with your property insurer – they may have specific cold weather requirements to ensure your building is properly covered.
  2. Drain down the water system to prevent pipes from bursting.
  3. Check gutters for blockages such as trapped water or ice if unchecked, they can cause drain pipes to shatter.
  4. Clear and clean the property to prevent pest infestations.
  5. Ensure the property is safe and secure, undertake a comprehensive risk assessment to assess potential risks and vulnerabilities.
  6. Inspect the premises for mold which can pose a serious health risk if left untreated.
  7. Check for any damage to the roof as this will help prevent associated water, ice or snow damage.
  8. Switch off your utilities such as gas and electrics. This will reduce the risk of gas leaks, and deter potential squatters
  9. Schedule property inspections and patrols will give you the peace of mind that your property is being checked up on regularly.

The Future of Real Estate: 4 Trends of 2020

What is the future of real estate? There will be some shifts in the industry that real estate organizations need to prepare for. The future of real estate is facing trends of urbanizations, changing demographics, and new real estate technology trends. Looking forward to 2020, there will be some economic and social shifts, a wider range of opportunities, larger risk and return, and new drivers of value that you need to look at if you’re invested in the real estate industry. The PwC Real Estate 2020: Building the Future report highlights the main predictions regarding the environment of future real estate investing. Let’s take a look at some of the most evident real estate trends mentioned in the report so you know what to expect.

2020 Trends Shaping the Future of Real Estate

1) Expansion in Cities

The future of real estate is looking very bright as the industry is seeing a trend of urbanizing cities and economic growth. Cities across the world are working on building themselves to be centers of wealth creation. As construction activity is booming for 2020 and beyond, expect to see more contribution to the future of real estate from growing cities across Asia (most fast-paced region), Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Overall, total construction output globally is projected to reach a whopping $15 trillion by 2025.

As entirely new cities emerge in nations across the world, migration will rise. China is expected to experience the largest migration (1.5 million new residents a month for the next ten years). Even developed cities are witnessing population increases. London will welcome 2 million new residents by 2031. There will also be major US developments (like the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project in New York) which will catalyze city expansions in 2020.

Now just because a lot of cities are building and experiencing growth, that doesn’t mean they will all succeed. Some might not witness the high level of migration they expect. And some might have such a large increase in population, they’ll fail because their economy wasn’t equipped to support them with enough jobs. As 2020 projects fierce competition between these emerging real estate markets, you need to keep an eye out for the ones which truly thrive. The future of real estate is in the cities that come out on top as leading centers for the investment community.

2) Demographic Shifts Trigger Real Estate Demand

Ending 2020, the world’s population of middle-class consumers will have increased by 1 billion. Developing countries have the largest share of younger populations. The aging population in advanced economies will have a bigger effect on the future of real estate. For example, the Bank of International Settlements analyzed these economies and found that house prices in the US are going to be deflating (about 80 basis points per annum in real estate prices over the next 40 years). What does an aging population mean for the future of real estate investing? New sectors in the real estate market will emerge to gain investor interest.

While the future of the real estate market will indeed be dominated by the main sectors of office, industrial, retail, and residential, there will be some changes. The older population will require more nursing homes so healthcare and retirement will become significant subsectors in the market. A projected global increase in population to 9.3 billion will demand more affordable housing. The growing population means larger food consumption; this will spark more investor interest in the agriculture subsector. The future of residential real estate? The shifts in demographic trends will definitely lead to some changes in consumer demands and real estate development. So expect the US housing market 2020 and other developed economies to start adding new and different types of property to their real estate inventories.

3) A Greener Future for Real Estate

Population growth and urbanization bring along with them the necessity for more eco-friendly real estate development. It’s projected that by 2050, the world will need 50 percent more energy, 40 percent more water, and 35 percent more food to sustain the population. This means new properties will be designed with a “green” strategy in mind. As we’re already seeing buildings starting to include renewable energy technologies and waste reduction, the future of real estate marketing is looking more and more green as this is what people will be looking at. But if this trend of economical efficiency outpaces current buildings’ abilities to go green, they could drastically drop in value. So this trend also plays a role in the future of real estate appraising.

4) Real Estate Technology Trends in 2020

With so many industries taking their business online, it’s only natural to think about the way tech will affect the future of real estate in 2020 and beyond. We’ve already seen a growing use of data analytics in the industry. This makes sense. Real estate is all about the numbers, especially when it comes to investment properties. Real estate professionals need to be looking at a lot of data to maintain their assets. Artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics are a necessity if you want to be competitive in the industry.

Looking at the global real estate industry, we’ve seen a boost in demand for blockchain applications in some of the more rapidly developing regions like China, Singapore, and Southeast Asia. But will this be a serious trend shaping the future of real estate? A lot of players in the industry are hesitant to participate in this trend because of blockchain’s connection to cryptocurrency, which has been extremely volatile ever since it gained market attention in 2017.

But blockchain and cryptocurrency aren’t the same thing. Blockchain is simply the technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. And this technology can be designed to support any type of transaction. Think of it as a web-based real estate market. The future of real estate agents will revolve around this technology, actively selling and buying properties using blockchain. But this can also negatively affect the future of real estate brokers. As technology continues to simplify real estate transactions, reliance on agents for property searches may reduce. The Western housing markets haven’t picked up this trend as quickly, but after seeing the development in Asian markets, expect to keep hearing about this trend.

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