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Loan Limits Increase!!!

Conventional and VA Loan Limits Have Increased!


Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac have increased the conforming maximum loan amount limits to $424,100. Dyer Mortgage Group offers conventional loans up to $424,100 with as little as 3% down. VA loans with $0 down also have increased the loan amount to $424,100. Jumbo VA loans up to $2,000,000 are also available with a down payment.

Please contact Dyer Mortgage Group with any questions at: 321-215-4419






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5 Questions to Ask if You Keep Guns in Your Home


5 Questions to Ask if You Keep Guns in Your Home

There are an estimated 300 million firearms in U.S. homes. And, with a lot of guns comes the potential for a lot of gun-related accidents. So, ask yourself these questions to help prevent your household in Florida from experiencing one.

  1. How secure are my guns? Nobody — especially kids — should be able to access your firearms without your permission or knowledge. Keep them in a gun safe or locked cabinet, and consider a gun-locking device as a second layer of security.
  2. Are my firearms loaded? Whenever they aren’t in use, keep guns unloaded. And, every time you access a gun, check again that it isn’t loaded.
  3. Where’s the ammo? Keeping ammunition separate from firearms, in a locked location, is yet another layer of security.
  4. How much does my family know? Everyone should be aware that you keep guns in your house. And, remind kids regularly not to touch any firearms, anywhere – even if they find one in someone else’s home.
  5. What does my insurance cover? Homeowner’s policies may cover accidental and negligent acts, but typically not intentional ones, which means you might not have liability protection even if you take action in self-defense. We can advise you on whether an umbrella policy is appropriate and also make sure all of your guns are covered. Many policies have limits on property coverage for firearms. Give us a call to learn more.

Keeping firearms in your home is a personal choice. And, if it’s one you make, be sure you do so safely. Because we here at Kim Osman Insurance care about your family and our community, and we know you do, too.





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Preventing and addressing rodents in the home

As much as homeowners enjoy the shelter and comfort of their home, mice, rats, and other rodents do too. Not only do rodents make a mess, they can carry and spread diseases, contaminate food, and cause property damage.

The first step in keeping rodents out of the home is prevention. Rodents commonly enter homes, garages, sheds and other structures through small cracks and openings. Even a dime-sized hole is large enough for a mouse to get through. Common entry areas include behind stoves and refrigerators, around where water pipes enter the home, attics and crawlspaces, basements, and laundry drains. Outside the home, look for openings around windows and doors, gutters, and places where wiring, plumbing, and gas lines enter the home. Small holes can be stuffed with steel wool, which rodents cannot chew through, and caulked into place. Larger holes may require patching with metal, hardware cloth, or lath screen.

Removing food sources is another key to prevention. Pantry foods should be stored in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight fitting covers. Food-soiled cookware and dishes should be washed and kitchen surfaces cleaned soon after use, and pet food should not be left out overnight. If food waste is kept inside, it should be stored in a metal container until it can be disposed of outside in a rodent-proof trash can. If homeowners enjoy feeding wild birds, feeders should be located away from the house as spilled bird food is a real treat for rodents. There are bird seed mixes available that have been treated with hot pepper – unappealing to rodents and other mammals but birds are unaffected by it.

If rodents are present, it is extremely important that they be removed properly prior to sealing holes and gaps. Snap traps are the most effective method of catching rodents; follow the manufacturer’s instruction for best results. It can take several days for rats to respond to a baited trap. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, snap traps are preferable to live or “humane” trapping, which can cause stressed rodents to urinate and increase possible exposure to disease. Once a rodent is trapped and killed, it should be wrapped in newspaper and disposed of in the trash. Any rodent – dead or alive – should not be handled with bare hands; use disposable rubber or vinyl gloves. Rodents are carriers of Hantavirus and other viruses and bacteria that can cause serious, even deadly, diseases in humans. A person can become exposed to Hantavirus while sweeping or cleaning up rodent droppings as particles become airborne and are inhaled. In addition, fleas, mites, or ticks may be present on the rodent, providing an additional carrier for the spread of disease.


  • The Pillar To Post Inspection Report is generated on site at the completion of the inspection, so your client won’t have to wait for the results.
  • All Pillar To Post inspectors carry E&O insurance to protect you, the referring agent.
  • Three different Home Inspection Packages to choose from that allow your client to select the range of services they prefer – click here to learn more.
  • As North America’s leading home inspection company, Pillar To Post is committed to providing the highest quality service to real estate professionals and their clients.

Kelly Cox
5120 N. Hwy. Us-1, Suite 101
Palm Shores, FL 32940

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5 Do’s and Don’ts of Flying a Drone

Drone Safety

5 Dos and Don’ts of Flying a Drone

Drones are exploding in popularity in Florida, and so are the news stories about someone flying too close to a commercial aircraft or shooting down a drone. These are real incidents, but with these five dos and don’ts of drone operation, you don’t have to experience one.

  1. Do know your drone — and your capabilities. Practice your maneuvering skills, including safe landings, in an open field or empty parking lot. You could even join a local club to learn how to fly. Once you do, be sure to stay away from people, wildlife, public events and, yes, your neighbor’s pool party.
  2. Don’t forget to register your drone. In the eyes of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), your drone isn’t a toy. It’s an Unmanned Aircraft System, one you need to register with the agency.
  3. Don’t fly above 400 feet or within 5 miles of an airport. If you do, you’ll violate FAA guidelines. Though flying near an airport may be possible after first obtaining clearance from the facility and control tower.
  4. Do get authorization for commercial use. If you use a drone for commercial purposes, such as taking photos for your real-estate business, you must get FAA authorization first. Just using a drone for personal recreation? No authorization required.
  5. Do understand the risks. Drones can weigh up to 55 pounds, so there’s the potential for them to cause some serious damage – damage for which you might be liable. However, not all homeowner’s insurance policies provide liability coverage for hobby or model aircraft. Give us a call to find out what kind of coverage you might have.

Hey, we get it. Drones are affordable, fun to fly and have a number of interesting uses, such as aerial photography. Just remember to be smart and safe while yours is in the sky. And, if you’re being impacted by someone else’s drone use, it’s best to talk it through. Because we here at Kim Osman Insurance don’t want to see you on the local news!






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Storage Wars: “The Battle of the Bulk”

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“Storage Wars”. If you haven’t watched it, you’ve probably heard of it – another of Hollywood’s zany “reality” TV shows (which are usually far from any resemblance to reality). The premise of the show revolves around the contents of delinquent storage units being sold off to “treasure hunters” who are only allowed to view the contents from outside the unit for five minutes before bidding against one another < insert drama here> for the privilege of owning someone else’s abandoned stuff.

Now, let me direct you back to real life – in which, if you’re an average American homeowner, you’ll likely at some point have the need to store some of your precious belongings (also referred to as “stuff”).

The two primary choices potential storage clients have to consider are with professional moving companies who provide storage or with a self-storage facility. Of course, there are other hybrid types of solutions – ranging from storage pods to Cousin Joe’s barn (but we’ll leave those to the creators of reality TV to address). The choice between the two is most often directed by an individual’s circumstances.

For instance, the majority of the moving industry’s storage business is what is referred to as “storage in transit” (SIT). As the name implies, this type of storage is for goods that are normally “going somewhere else” – hence, in transit. Most commonly, SIT is a temporary resting place for people’s belongings (stuff) to remain safe and secure until a final destination becomes available. This also means that goods placed in SIT would be loaded at the residence by professional movers and would not be accessible by the owner during the storage period (don’t store important documents needed in the interim or little Billy’s favorite stuffed animal). The mover would also be responsible for delivering the storage contents to the customer’s new residence.

Mover’s storage warehouses are typically stacked floor-to-ceiling with wooden storage containers that hold roughly a room of furniture each and are professionally loaded, sealed and easily moved about the facility by forklifts. Military-approved facilities like Brand Transfer & Storage will also be subject to random inspections by the DOD to insure their high standards of quality, safety and security are met.

Although they too can be used for short-term situations, self-storage companies provide a more viable alternative when the storage need is long-term or if the client wants to have access to the storage goods. Units vary in size anywhere from a closet to a 3-car garage or larger. Many self-storage customers will utilize this space for the overflow from their homes and garages. Most are protected by high-tech security systems, but still allow clients access when needed.

With the busy summer moving season in the not-too-distant future, both professional moving companies as well as local self-storage facilities are standing ready to assure your storage needs become a reality – without having to go to war over it!


Tom Hall

Moving Consultant

Brand Transfer & Storage Company


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Avoid the Top 10 Moving Mistakes

Hurray! The “SOLD” sign is in the front yard! So, what’s next on the agenda? Does the word “MOVING” bring the onset of a panic attack or make your muscles ache just thinking about it? With so many things happening at once and big changes right around the corner (or around the country), it’s easy to forget to organize something or make costly mistakes. Relocating doesn’t have to be difficult if you take the time to plan ahead and avoid these 10 common mistakes people make when planning a move:

One of the common mistakes people make is to fill out a change of address form for the post office and assume that is all they have to do. There are many individuals and organizations that you may need to contact. Make a check list so that you don’t lose contact with someone important after you move. Some of the people or organizations on your list may include banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, credit card companies, utility providers, driver’s license, auto registrations, health care providers, employer, magazine/newspaper subscriptions, IRS, social security, accountant, attorney, clubs or organizations, alumni, friends and family. It is also a good idea to have your medical and veterinary records forwarded to your new providers. If this is not possible, see if you can get copies.

One of the most common mistakes that people make when planning a move is that they don’t give themselves enough time to plan for the move. It seems simple at first: book movers, pack up the house and off you go! It’s not nearly that simple and relocations across state lines or internationally is an even more involved process. Taking the time to systematically plan every step of your move will ensure that nothing gets forgotten along the way. Partnering with a professional moving company and conferring with an experienced Moving Consultant will help take the pressure off of you to be the expert.

Often people who are moving forget to purge all of their unwanted belongings before relocating. Taking unwanted stuff with you will not only be more costly but also take extra time to pack and unpack belongings you no longer want or use. This is the perfect opportunity to have a ‘cull’ of your belongings and to really cut down on the things you don’t need. If you’re a hoarder this can be hard work, but you may find it incredibly liberating to just let go of a lot of your stuff and it makes moving far less complicated. De-clutter now!

There is nothing quite as stressful as having to pack an entire property up in a single evening or two. If you postpone packing until just days before your move, the job can be much more daunting when you finally get around to it. Start packing early so that you can do it at a leisurely pace and then you’re ready to go when move day comes. Designate a room for your boxes so that your packing doesn’t get in the way. Or maybe a better option: Check with your professional moving company for a quote on having expert packers perform this service for you. Most packing services can be completed in just one day (hoarders not included).

If you do pack yourself, having unclear labels or no labels at all will make the move more difficult, so take the time to label your boxes. You will want clear, legible labels to make sure your things get to the correct room in your house. Don’t label on the top of the boxes – you’ll have to unstack them one at a time to figure out where they go. You don’t want to have to take the time to move things around to different rooms once you’ve got everything inside.

Some movers will want to give you an estimate over the phone. Do you really think a guy on the phone can give you a precise estimate of how much it will cost to move all your worldly possessions? No way…no how! Maybe you can get an accurate moving estimate if you have a very small move, but it still pays to have someone look at your stuff in person. Also, with a phone quote, you have no proof you gave them an accurate inventory of your items. And come moving day, the movers could say you didn’t give them a complete inventory, and now your move will cost more than the estimate – and you have no way to prove otherwise. Insist on a free in-home written estimate. To receive the accurate estimate you’re demanding, it’s a two-way street — moving consultants need to see everything you have to pack, move and the lay of the land. (Don’t try to hide things because you think you’ll get a cheaper price!)

We can’t say this enough: DO NOT choose the moving company that has a dramatically lower quote. That’s the No. 1 way to get scammed! Do you really think someone who comes in 30 percent to 40 percent below other movers has such lower costs? Nope, not if they are a legitimate company. Here’s how it goes: You get the low estimate now, and all of a sudden extra charges start piling up until you’re at or above the estimates you got from the other movers. Worse yet, a rogue mover holds your goods hostage until he gets his money.

Mistake #8 NOT KNOWING YOUR MOVER (aka Word-Of-Mouth Referrals are the Best!)
Making decisions on price alone is a bad idea. Take the time to research movers, rather than blindly accepting the lowest offer in a bid to save some money. The fact that you’re only making a local move doesn’t mean that you should get skimpy when it comes to choosing a moving company. You still want all of your stuff to get to the new house, and you want it to get there in one piece. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your move in the hands of someone who doesn’t care about your property and who will not take care of it as if it were their own. Ask your realtor for a referral. Talk to family and friends about their experiences with movers. Only the really bad movers make evening news – you may have to inquire a little more to hear about the really great ones!

We cannot tell a lie — during a move, even with movers who have the most professional, caring and cautious crews — things can go wrong. But first things first: Movers provide ‘valuation’ protection, not insurance. Valuation and insurance operate similar to one another, but with a key difference: valuation protection is governed by federal requirements, while insurance you buy is regulated by your state. Also, the protection levels vary between valuation and insurance, as does the cost.
There’s basically four types of ways to protect your move: A. Accept the “limited liability” coverage provided by your mover – it’s free, but it doesn’t provide much protection (most likely 60 cents per pound per article). B. Rely on any coverage you might have from your homeowners insurance company (but do NOT assume you’re automatically covered). C. Pay a bit more and get a higher level of protection through your mover, known as “full-value replacement protection.” However, this option may not always be available to you depending on the type of move you’re planning. D. Buy an insurance policy through a third-party insurer.


Perhaps the biggest mistake that those who are looking to move make is thinking that they can simply move themselves and that it will be cheaper. Sure, it sounds like a good time – all your friends and family, a rental truck and some pizza and beer! While it is possible to make a move around the block or across town by moving yourself, it can still prove costly and stressful. Oh, and did we mention the strain on your relationships when those well-meaning friends damage your belongings or property, or even worse, permanently throw their back out? Of course, if you do insist on the P&B move….be sure to serve the pizza and beer AFTER the move, not before or during! Do yourself a favor and avoid moving mistakes. Contact Tom Hall, a top notch Moving Consultant for Brand Transfer & Storage Company. Tom has been helping families and businesses to meet their relocation needs for nearly twenty years.


For More Information contact Brand Transfer & Storage Company, Inc.




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