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Ready to Build or Buy a House?

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By Lisa Harrison Rivas

So, you have a pre-approval letter from your lender and you’re ready to go house hunting.

Now, you must decide if you want to buy an existing home or have a house built.  If you choose to build, will it be a tract home from one of the well-known builders or will you choose a custom home?

A custom home is built to the specifications of the buyer, while tract homes feature similar styles and floor plans. Tract homes are what you see in most subdivisions.

As a Realtor, I can help guide you through the process for buying any of these types of homes.

But if you are considering a custom home, you’ll need land and design plans. Your lender can provide information about home construction loans.

The San Antonio area has numerous custom home builders including Abraham Solis, chief of operations for Future Tech Custom Homes. Solis says his firm can offer construction loans at 4 percent interest and provide help with design plans.

“We have three designers that you can work with each with different price ranges from low to high,” he said. Future Tech Custom Homes start at $250,000.

Solis now runs the business that began with his father’s framing business 30 years ago. He and I recently talked about some basics of custom home building.

Q: What surprises people most about the process?

A: I think for us it was the timing. People were surprised at how fast we were.  And surprised with how we work with them and how everybody treated them.

Q: How long does it take?

A: For a big home, a million-dollar home, it generally takes about eight months.

Q: How does the process work?

A: I have a little system before we even start. When we get the initial commitment contract signed, they put down a deposit and from there, I give them a checklist. They have to go and get all the materials for the flooring, everything, you name it. So, before we even begin anything, they already start doing that checklist. So right before I break ground, on day one, I’m already ordering floors, countertops things like that.

Q: Do you help clients order the materials?

A: We have vendors that we have been working with, so we can send them to our vendors. If they have vendors, that’s fine too.

Q: Where do you build?

A: We mainly build in the north area. We’ll go as far as Austin.

Q: How would you describe Future Tech Custom Homes’ style?

A: It’s Hill Country meets modern contemporary. You still have your metal roofs, the colors outside are the light beiges and on the inside, it has a Spanish feel.

Q:  Why is Tech part of the name?

A: The smart homes. There’s a crew that we work with, they fully automated one of our homes. Apple watches can be used to turn on lights and appliances.  People really like that.

Q:  How much would that technology cost?

A: A good setup would cost about $10,000 or $15,000 for a fully-automated home.

Q: Do most people want one or two stories?

A: One story. People just don’t like to go up the stairs. Another thing that I also heard is that they like to do away with dining rooms as well. They want a nook, that’s it.  An open floor plan and a little nook on the side.

Q: Any unusual requests?

A: One couple had a foyer with a dome ceiling and the woman wanted gold flakes up there. They ended up going with this copper type paint.  It shined, it looked beautiful.

Q: Why would someone have a custom home built?

A:  I’ll say it the way my dad would say it. In a custom home, you get what you want. Everything is pretty much beefed up on a custom home. You’ll get your bang for your buck.


Lisa Harrison Rivas is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Don Johnson Realtors. 
If you are planning to buy or sell, feel free to contact her at 210-380-9006 or lhrivas@realsa.com

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Black Woman-Owned Courier Company Expands Services to San Antonio

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Express Errands & Courier is one of the fastest-growing female lead companies in 2021, and their growth is not slowing down. The company currently has 11 locations and plans to expand in four metropolitan markets to include San Antonio, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Charlotte by the end of 2021.

Express Errands & Courier offers same-day delivery solutions to other 3PL’s, Auto, legal and medical industries, specializing in expedited deliveries, the “EXPRESSWAY.” Trusted by Ferrari of Atlanta, Kimberly Clark, Duke University, and MTV, to name a few – it’s clear that founder and owner Roslyn Ellerbee knows how to meet courier and delivery needs large and small. With a focus on reliable and affordable logistics solutions, Express Errands & Courier is quickly becoming one of the leading companies in the logistics industry.

Ellerbee is a professional with experience in digital marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship. Through Express Errands & Courier, she is building partnerships with businesses that propel them to the next level. Ellerbee says, “2020 has taught us that change is the seed of growth with the right strategic partnerships, your company can thrive in an uncertain economy.”

She is well known for her business sense and relatable way of communicating with her clients and partners. Express Errands & Courier consistently receives positive feedback from customers and employees throughout their service areas.

About Express Errands & Courier
Express Errands & Courier offers safe and reliable delivery and courier services in 11 convenient locations. Their friendly and well-trained staff is available to help with logistics needs and questions via their website at ExpressErrandsofJAX.com. Visit their contact page to find phone numbers for each service area, as well as an online quote form.

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Black Female Lawyer Launches Legal Fund

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Black Female Lawyer Launches Legal Fund to Support Black-Owned Businesses Using Crowdfunding to Raise Capital

Meet Elizabeth L. Carter, Esq., founder and owner of a Black woman-owned securities law firm that has launched a legal fund to support Black businesses that plan to raise capital through crowdfunding campaigns and other means. The Chicago-based firm is seeking corporate and individual contributions to the #BlackCapitalMatters Gift Legal Fund, which will help subsidize securities legal services for Black-owned businesses.

Black-owned entities, including businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, and investment funds, that are looking to raise capital in 2021-2022, and need affordable securities legal services, can apply for the fund at ELCESQ.com/legalfund (Fund contributors who wish to receive a tax deduction can donate directly to the firm’s fiscal sponsor, the Oakland-based Sustainable Economies Law Center, at TheSELC.org/blackcapitalmatters)

There are a series of legal documents, filings, and other requirements that business owners must complete to ensure they are legally compliant before they launch their campaign. Yet many business owners may not be aware of the legal requirements and therefore put themselves at risk for penalties and costly delays.

Led by Elizabeth L. Carter, the boutique law firm is the only securities firm in the country with a mission to help Black-owned businesses navigate the legal requirements that come with raising capital. The firm often provides its services at discounted rates and has built an ecosystem of comprehensive professional support services to make it more feasible for Black businesses to raise capital. Securities law is a complex area of business law that ensures the legal compliance of raising capital from investors. Unfortunately, this complex law carries a hefty cost and is often out of the budget for the average entrepreneur.

The #BlackCapitalGift Legal Fund will allow the firm to provide legal support at below-market-rate so that more Black-owned businesses may combat the disparities in investing that they often face. Since 2015, Black and Latinx founders have received only 2.4 percent of the total venture capital raised, according to the 2020 Crunchbase Diversity Report. Due to these disparities, more and more Black-owned businesses are turning to crowdfunding to raise the capital that they need to fully launch or expand their business.

“The racial bias in financing from banks and private investors, including angel investors and venture capital firms, has caused many Black-owned businesses to turn to the general public to get the capital that they need for their businesses,” Carter said. “Oftentimes, these businesses don’t have adequate funding to pay for legal support as they launch crowdfunding campaigns. This puts them at risk of criminal and civil penalties at disproportionate rates.”

The economic hardships caused by the recent pandemic and recession have only exacerbated the need for funding among minority-owned businesses. During the first few months of 2020, 41 percent of Black businesses and 32 percent of Latinx-owned businesses permanently closed.

“Our mission is to find creative and innovative ways to counter the unfortunate reality of insufficient business capital that plague so many of our underserved businesses,” Carter said.

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Supplier Success Leads Expansion of Facebook’s Invoice Fast Track Program

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Supplier Success Leads Expansion of Facebook’s Invoice Fast Track Program, Providing Up to $100 Million for Diverse-Owned Businesses

 Supplier Success, a black-owned supplier finance consultancy, recently celebrated the expansion of the Facebook Invoice Fast Track program to financially support diverse-owned businesses across the United States.

The program, set to relaunch on October 1, 2021, will now provide tens of thousands diverse -owned companies with immediate payment for the goods and services they’ve invoiced their customers for — but would otherwise have waited months to get paid.

The announced expansion follows the completion of a successful pilot program with Supplier Success and its technology partner, Crowdz. The program was previously only available to Facebook’s own diverse suppliers.

Under the new terms of the program, Facebook has pledged up to $100 million in funding on an ongoing basis for a low, fixed fee of 1% of total invoice value. This provides diverse-owned SMBs with the affordable capital they need to invest in the recovery and growth of their companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supplier Success played a key role in scaling the financing, technology, and risk management models of the pilot program, so that the expanded offering could be made available to the broader universe of diverse business member organizations. These partner organizations include the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, National Veterans Business Development Council, Disability:IN and US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

“Facebook is going above and beyond to support as many diverse SMBs as possible during this critical time of need,” said Louis Green, CEO of Supplier Success. “We’re proud to work with them to address the urgent access to capital needs of diverse businesses nationwide.”

Diverse-owned businesses are encouraged to visit the Facebook Invoice Fast Track program to check their eligibility and get started on October 1.

About Supplier Success, LLC:
Supplier Success is a supplier finance and corporate diversity consultancy based in Detroit, MI. Supplier Success focuses on solving access to capital issues facing diverse-owned businesses, strengthening the corporate supply chain, and improving corporate diversity and procurement efforts. Founded in 2014 by Louis Green, Supplier Success, LLC is a certified minority business enterprise. For more information, please visit www.suppliersuccess.com.

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