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Save For a Home While Renting

There are so many benefits in owning a home that not even these hard economic times can deter its appeal.  Saving for a house, on the other hand, can be challenging for many apartment dwellers and tenants.  The truth is it is difficult to save for a house, when a big chunk of your income goes toward rent. The cost of renting can make the idea of owning a home seems like a fantasy, but saving for a house can be well within your reach.


Follow these five (5) tips to help save up for a house while renting:


Budget first, save later:

Making a list of your expenses and working out a budget seems like the oldest financial advice in the book, probably because it is.  People should take the time to learn where their finances are at, and then save as much as they can comfortably afford.


Stick to your savings:

A weekly savings account contribution of $50 adds up to $2,600 after a year.  After just five years, that gives you $13,000 to put towards purchasing your own home.



Move to a cheaper apartment for a few years.  You’ll save money on rent that could be put to better use, like buying your home.  A $100 to $200 savings per month goes a long way in giving your housing fund room to grow.


Start negotiating:

Consider negotiating rent with your landlord or property manager.  Emphasize to them your high value as a reliable tenant who pays his/her rent ahead or on time, and that it might be hard to find a new tenant of the same quality.



Find a roommate through friends, internet sources, social media, or newspaper advertisements, to cut down on your $1,200 monthly rental payment.  Put your money saved toward your housing fund.

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Buying Land

Many long-term endeavors involve the use of real property and most times present the option of purchasing.  In some cases land and building will be needed and in other cases only land.  Today we will discuss a few key areas concerning the purchase of land which should be given careful attention.


  • Use of the land: Dominica, although a predominantly mountainous country with vast acres of forest, has areas which are flat and areas that are sloping. Many people are charmed by the idea of having flat land but a sloping lot may be quite convenient for your endeavor.


The local planning authority has separated land use into categories: residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, agricultural, tourism and urban development, wildlife, conservation/forestry and protected lands.  The type of land that you purchase should coincide with your plan for the land.  You would not want to buy a piece of land located in a residential area for the purpose of building a factory.


Check with the physical planning authority to find out if the desired area has any restrictions or if the land is fit for your purpose.  It may be considered a hassle, but this may save you from troublesome situations in the future since you will ultimately need permission from the Physical Planning Division to build any structure or feature on the land.


  • Budget your money wisely: When purchasing land there are government and other associated fees that the vendor as well as the purchaser have to pay. On a typical land (and building) transfer in Dominica the purchaser pays 4% stamp duty, 1% assurance fund and 2.5% judicial fee of the purchase price or value, whichever is greater.  Often times a lawyer and a surveyor have to be engaged and paid a fee during this transaction.  All these must be factored into your budget.


  • Surveys are essential: A land survey plan provides information on the dimensions, access and boundaries of the land. A topographical survey will come in quite handy in providing more information about the gradient of the land allowing you to plan better.
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What’s In a Roof? Roof Options Available

The Gable Roof – is triangular in shape; also known as pitched or peaked roof and are very popular.

Pros: Gable roofs will easily shed water and snow, provide more space for an attic or vaulted ceilings and allow more ventilation.  Their simple design make it easy to build them and cheaper than more complex designs.


Cons: Gable roofs can be problematic in high wind and hurricane areas.  If the frames are not properly constructed with adequate supports, the roof can collapse.  High winds can also cause materials to peel away from gable roofs.  If there is too much of an overhang, winds can create an uplift underneath and cause the roof to detach from the walls.


If a gable roof is used in high wind areas, be sure proper braces are used and have the roof inspected after a large storm to ensure no damage occurred.


The Hip Roof – Slopes on all four sides which are all of equal length and come together at the top to form a ridge.

Pros: Hip roofs are more stable than gable roofs.  The inward slope of all four sides is what makes it more sturdy and durable.  They are excellent for both high wind and snowy areas. The slant of the roof allows snow to easily slide off with no standing water.  Hip roofs offer extra living space for vaulted ceilings or an attic.  They also provide more ventilation and are able to make additions, such as dormers or a crow’s nest.


Cons: Hip roofs are more expensive to build than a gable roof.  It’s a more complex design that requires more building materials.  Also, additional seams can make it easier for water leaks to form if a roofing system is not properly installed.


The Saltbox Roof – is one with two stories in front and one in the back, having a pitched roof with unequal sides, being short and high in front and long and low in the back.  The front of the house is flat and the rear roof line is steeply sloped.

Pros: The slope makes it easy for water to run off, making the saltbox roof good for areas that receive heavy rain.  The asymmetrical design makes it more durable than a simple gable roof.   It adds more living space by making a home one and a half to two stories.


Cons: The design can be tricky, which makes the building costs higher. Although more living space is provided, it isn’t as much as a regular pitched roof.  Also, some of the rooms may have slanted ceilings.


The Flat Roof – It appears to be completely flat but has a slight pitch to allow for water run-off and drainage.  Though generally used in industrial or commercial buildings, this style roof can be found on houses.

Pros: Easy to construct and requires fewer building materials, keeping costs down. It allows for more living space on the roof for a patio, garden.  Heating and cooling units can also be placed on flat roofs, keeping them out of sight. The design is also conducive for installing PV solar panels for a more energy efficient and energy independent home.


Cons: The low pitch makes flat roofs more susceptible to water leakage. They are not advised for high rainfall or high snowfall areas.  Although the upfront cost of building a flat roof is less expensive than a pitched roof, they can be more expensive in the long run due to maintenance and ongoing roof repair and replacement costs.

Ensuring a flat roof is waterproof is imperative. Using material that is continuous with no seams is the best.  The most common materials used are tar and gravel, roll roofing, metal sheets, PVC, TPO, and rubber membrane.


The Butterfly Roof – It is a V-shaped roof constructed of two tandem pieces which are angled up on the outside.  The midsection is angled downward where the two pieces meet into a valley.  The overall effect is of a butterfly’s wings in flight.

Pros: The upper angle of the outer edges allows larger windows to be used.  This gives the home more natural light, lower heating bills in the winter and brings an open feel to the design.  The valley in the midsection of the butterfly roof allows rainwater to be collected, making it beneficial for high drought areas.  The butterfly roof lends itself to an environmentally friendly home design, as PV solar panels, water collection systems and natural light can all be easily incorporated.


Cons: The complexity of the design makes the butterfly roof more expensive.  Not only are the upfront costs higher than conventional roofs, but the maintenance will also be more expensive.


Using a solid, continuous membrane with no seams is the key to keeping a butterfly roof watertight.  Other options are to use metal, organic materials or solar panels.

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News: Millenia Realty offers sales professionals the opportunity to be part of its Real Estate Sales Affiliate Network.

Millenia Realty has been operating as a broker in Real Estate sales and rentals on the Dominican market since 2010.  Over this period, we have earned the reputation of being trustworthy, fair, flexible and creative.


After doing business the conventional, same ole, same ole way all these years, we realized that both the broker/in-house agent commission-based structure and the broker/fixed salary employee structure often shortchanges the customer and typically disappoints the agent/employee.


We have concluded that a model that allows for complete flexibility and control by the sales person with a parallel commission split will address the inefficiencies and laissez-faire attitudes that we have seen in the conventional model.


This new model forms the basis of the Real Estate Sales Network that we recently launched.   This network offers independent sales professionals who are interested in the fast-paced and lucrative real estate sales business with an opportunity to fast-track their own business by utilizing our brand, our well-established online presence, among other benefits.


The flexibility of agents running their own businesses while they utilize our services lends itself to greater motivation and freedom which will improve on agent commitment and therefore increase client satisfaction.


Anyone interested in using their sales knowledge and experience to develop their own profitable real estate business should contact us to discuss how to join our Sales Affiliate Network.  Millenia Realty’s office is located on 24 Church Lane, Pottersville, Dominica.  We can be reached via email:; phone: (767) 614-1806.

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Choosing Interior House Paint Colors

When painting the interior of your home it is important to stick with a cohesive color scheme throughout the entire home (remember to keep the exterior in mind as well). Before selecting paint colors it is also important that you consider what the individual rooms will be used for since color has been proven to have an effect on our mood. Certain colors can also affect the appearance of a room in terms of how large or how small it looks and feels.

Today we share a few tips to help you select the right paint colors for the interior of your home.

  • If you want the room to feel energized or comfortable use warm colors such as red, yellow or orange. Warm colors tend to work well when used in rooms that host a lot of activity, such as family rooms or living rooms. Muted shades of these colors would be best as the main color as brighter paint colors can make a room feel overwhelming when they are used too much and too often. Instead, use these brighter tints of warm colors as an accent.
  • Cool colors such as blue, green, and purple are ideally used to give a room a relaxing feel by creating a calming sensation. Cool colors are great options for bedrooms as well as sitting rooms but using darker shades such as deep green or navy blue can help the room feel more grounded giving the space a cozy feeling.
  • To give a room an open feel or to make it feel larger than it actually is, consider using lighter tints such as pale yellows, blues or even white. Because light colors have minimal visual weight our eyes are not drawn toward them as they would with more vibrant and darker shades. When painting a room keep the ceiling in mind. Using light colors for the ceiling can create the illusion that the room is taller than it is.
  • Since darker colors draw our eyes towards the walls they make rooms feel smaller and more intimate. If you have a home library or a study you might want to use dark colors to create a quiet, intimate atmosphere.
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Signs you Need to Move House

You’re Daydreaming about the Perfect Home—Finding yourself constantly daydreaming about features you wish your current house possessed? Is it an open-plan kitchen, triple garaging, swimming pool or master bathroom? You would be more comfortable if you upgraded to a more modern house packed with more features. You want a house that has it all. This is a sign that you are ready to move to a home with larger bathrooms, larger closets (maybe a walk-in), a home office, etc.


Your Family is Growing—Planning on growing your family or trying to cram your children into a shared bedroom? Then you are ready to move into a new home. Having the right amount of space is an important part of a happy household, especially as your children get older. Living with 1 bathroom might be manageable when your kids are toddlers, but just imagine 3 teenagers sharing one tiny bathroom. Mornings will get stressful really fast!


You Hate Your Commute—This sign that you’re ready to move into a new home sometimes has little to do with how much you love your home. It’s about your job and the amount of time it takes for you to travel from home to work. Long commutes can be mentally and   physically exhausting, not to mention financially draining with the current price of gas.  Spending more time in the car than you spend in your home is a sure sign that you need to move.


Your Voice Echoes in Your Home—Once your home was filled with the harmonious, melodic hum of a busy family. Now you ask your spouse where the keys to the car are and you hear your voice bounce off the walls like you’re in some sort of sanatorium. The kids are gone, and their noisy friends with them. When did that happen? Hard to say, but it happened and now your way too big house is just a haunting reminder of your kids’ absence. Time to ownsize. The space will feel more practical, and the limited square footage will discourage adult children from moving back in with you.


You Dread Caring for Your Yard—You might be ready to move if you are constantly frustrated with the upkeep of a huge     backyard or expensive landscaping. Consider moving to a home that has a smaller, more manageable yard.


Your Neighbourhood Has Changed —When you first moved into your neighbourhood, it may have been a quiet leafy street of single storey homes. However, neighbourhoods can change over time. If increased development caused by a growing population isn’t to your liking, it may be time to find somewhere away from the urban life.


When you come to the decision to move, be smart and seek advice from a trusted agent to get you up to speed with the market in the area in which you are looking to move.

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Say I do in the Nature Isle

I’m thinking of things we can do in Dominica and the first thing that came to my mind is GET MARRIED!  I’m already married but I can always consider renewing my vows in one of those lovely locations here.  Although Dominica is often referred to as untouched, this is an advantage because we can enjoy almost entirely free of charge, the Hot Water Springs, Waterfalls, Lakes, Rivers, Beaches, Forests, Flora and Funa, as well as the God Fearing and Loving People.


What comes to mind when you think of romance? PRIVACY, SECLUSION, QUIETNESS, JOY, COMFORT.  Picture yourself in a cottage surrounded by nature; birds chirping, the sound of a water fall or river flowing nearby, the smell of the forest, the cozy wooden structure, ohh the list can go on and on… and all of that with a loved one.


In addition to the beauty and comfort offered here in Dominica, getting married is pretty simple.


It basically involves obtaining and submitting to Ministry of Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs a completed marriage application form, a valid passport(s), original birth certificates and EC$7.5 postage stamps. A Non-marriage Certificate or Statutory Declaration attesting to the marriage status of applicants is also required; in cases where one or both of the applicants are divorced a Decree Absolute is needed, if one spouse died a Death Certificate is needed and in cases where an applicant changed their name a Deed Poll in required.  In cases where relevant documents are not in English, an authentic translation is needed. 


Once the documents are reviewed the applicant can pay relevant fees at the Accounts section.  These fees are:

  • Licence Application Fee – EC$300.00
  • Additional fee for licence granted under Section 39 (2) where applicants do not meet the two (2) day residency requirements – EC$200.00
  • Weekend or public holiday processing fee – EC$204.00


Additional information, details and assistance can be obtained from Ministry of Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs.


Ok, we’ve dealt with the serious stuff let’s ponder on the experience of honeymooning in the nature isle.


Some say that Dominica is one of the most exotic and romantic places in the Caribbean and although I haven’t visited sooo many places I must agree from what I’ve seen so far.  There are many locations to choose from, from Calibishie Lodges and Secret Bay in the North to Jungle Bay in the East.  If you are a town person then there is the Fort Young Hotel, Garraway Hotel and Flamboyant Hotel.  Even in the midst of our forests are cottages and eco-lodges such as cocoa cottages offering that natural, calm, snug, pleasant and romantic environment.


Getting married? Take advantage of nature or better yet, the Nature Isle.  Not yet ready to say I DO? A romantic weekend with the significant other is also a reason to enjoy the nature isle.

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Useful Tips for Moving Into Your Newly Purchased Home!

You have done it! The documents have been signed, the sale has been finalized and the keys are now in your hands. Congratulations!!! Now that your real estate dreams have been realized and you are finally the owner of your dream home, what’s next? Now you are ready to move in.

Today we share a few simple but useful tips for homeowners who are moving into their newly purchased home.

1) First thing you do is change the locks of the new home! Do I need to say why? I did not think so! Apart from the previous owners, real estate agents, cleaners, maintenance workers you really have no idea how many strangers could have access to the keys of your newly purchased home.

2) Remember to have your mails forwarded to your new address! You may also need to have your address updated at important institutions. Otherwise your mail will keep being sent to your listed old address.

3) Do not give junk a free ride! Before you move, sort through your belongings and get rid of as much things as possible: sell, donate or throw away.

4) Make sure to pack socks in pairs! Just kidding, that was a bonus. This fourth tip is to place screws, bolts or plugs for all furniture in clear bags and tape them to the respective piece of furniture.

5) Label all boxes or bags with numbers and create a master list separated by rooms and place the relevant numbers with the room it belongs to.

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Ross University’s Leaves Dominica

Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) is a private international medical school located in Bridgetown, Barbados as of August 2018. The main campus is now located in Barbados, and separate administrative bases are located in Iselin, New Jersey and Miramar, Florida in the United States.


RUSM was originally named The University of Dominica School of Medicine and was founded in Portsmouth, Dominica in 1978 by entrepreneur Robert Ross. In 1982, the University Of Dominica School Of Medicine formally changed its name to Ross University School of Medicine at the request of the government of Dominica.


The school was impacted by Hurricane Maria in 2017, when the Category 5 Hurricane struck the island of Dominica. Students and faculty were located through a university-initiated roll call, and then were evacuated from the campus to the U.S. mainland.


Ross University School of Medicine has announced that the main campus will be permanently relocated from Dominica to Barbados for the beginning of the 2019 Spring semester due to extensive damage done to the prior campus in Dominica.


Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit issued an address informing the nation has that Ross University has taken a decision to leave Dominica. Below is a video of the entire address by the Prime Minister:


The Ross University School of Medicine pre-clinical campus will be located at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre at Two Mile Hill in Barbados. The campus is expected to feature a medical and anatomical imaging laboratory, a simulation center, and classrooms equipped with several plasma screens and projection equipment, similar to the previous campus in Dominica.


For more information, visit

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3 Important Questions to Ask Prospective Tenants

The best way to help ensure that you chose the right tenant is through a screening process that you will be able to use for every prospective tenant that expresses interest in your property. You can either create a rental application form or have an open discussion with the prospects, whatever works best for you. The goal of both methods is to gather necessary information about the prospect that will help you to make a decision. There are a lot of questions that can be asked during the screening process, but these should never be forgotten:

  • Why Are You Moving?

This very simple question can provide a lot of information about a prospective tenant. You want to look for reasonable explanations such as wanting a shorter commute to work or needing a larger space. Be cautious when dealing with prospects who have been evicted or who are moving due to issues with their current landlord or neighbors. While exercising caution still keep in mind that the fault may not lie entirely on the prospect so remember to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  • What Is Your Monthly Income?

The question of income can help you determine whether or not the prospective tenant can afford to pay the rent for the property. Ideally you will want to accept a tenant whose monthly income is significantly higher than the monthly rent. Especially if they are leasing the property on their own. In a co-applicant situation where more than two or more individuals are leasing the property together the collective income of the applicants should be able to cover the rent and any additional utility cost that may not be included.

  • Can You Provide References?

References are very important. The prospective tenant should be able to be able to provide names and contact information of suitable individuals who are willing to speak to their character. If the prospective tenant does not feel the need to provide references you should not consider giving them a second thought. Apart from personal references, references from an employer and landlord is recommended. The employer will help verify income and stable employment while the landlord will provide you with information on what you can expect from the prospect as a tenant.