Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/28/2015

The housing market has been heating up and lately there seems to be more buyers than homes. So where do you start when house hunting? Many buyers like to start at Open Houses to get a feel for the market. It is always best to try to find a real estate agent to help guide you through the buying process , however, if you want to try to get your feet wet first an Open House might be your best bet. There are some things you will want to know about how to tackle an Open House: 1. How do you find Open Houses? Your best bet is to find a real estate professional that represents buyers and have them help you find Open Houses that are right for you. Agents are familiar with the inventory and could save you an unnecessary trip to a house that isn't right for you. Most open houses take place on Saturday or Sunday, so Thursday is a good day to start your search. 2. Be prepared Plan your route, make sure you have the right directions and have plenty of gas to get where you are going. Take along a pen and paper to make notes on properties. 3. Get to know the area The house may be great; but how is the area? Take the time to drive around the surrounding neighborhoods of homes you like and get to know the area. A real estate professional is a great resource for community information. 4. Check for agency Most agents at an Open House represent the seller. You will want to work with an agent that is able to represent you as the buyer. If you like the agent at the Open House, and have not yet contracted with an agent, make sure to discuss agency and representation. 5. Take notes Take notes and write down a list of quick pros and cons after you have viewed a home. This will help you remember the houses you have viewed. Viewing Open Houses can help you get a sense for what’s out there in the marketplace. It will help you determine if the house you want and your finances match up with the houses that are on the market. It is always best to find a real estate professional to help you find the home of your dreams. Buying a home is no small matter.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/16/2015

Trying to decide what type of mortgage is right for you can be tricky business. So you may be wondering what is an adjustable rate mortgage? An adjustable rate mortgage or ARM, has an interest rate that is linked to an economic index. This means the interest rate, and your payments, adjust up or down as the index changes. There are three things to know about adjustable rate mortgages: index, margin and adjustment period. What is the index? The index is a guide that lenders use to measure interest rate changes. Common indexes used by lenders include the activity of one, three, and five-year Treasury securities. Each adjustable rate mortgage is linked to a specific index. The margin is the lender's cost of doing business plus the profit they will make on the loan. The margin is added to the index rate to determine your total interest rate. The adjustment period is the period between potential interest rate adjustments. For example, you may see a loan described as a 5-1. The first figure (5) refers to the initial period of the loan, or how long the rate will stay the same. The second number (1) is the adjustment period. This is how often adjustments can be made to the rate after the initial period has ended. In this case, one year or annually. An adjustable rate mortgage might be a good choice if you are looking to qualify for a larger loan. The rate of an ARM is typically lower than a fixed rate mortgage. Remember, when the adjustment period is up the rate and payment can increase. Another reason to consider an ARM is if you are planning to sell the home within a few years. If this is the case you may end up selling before the adjustment period is up. Federal law provides that all lenders provide a federal Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement before consummating a consumer credit transaction. This will be given to you in writing. It is designed to help you compare and select a mortgage.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/9/2015

The time has come to buy a home and you have a list of questions a mile long. How many bedrooms does it have? What is the down payment? What are the taxes? What school district is it in? But there are some questions you should be asking that you may not have considered and these answers will not be disclosed on the property's listing sheet. In order to make a smart buying decision you will want to dig a little deeper into the neighborhood's crime rate, area residents and what safety measures are in place to keep your family safe. Here are a just a few things you will want to research before buying your next home: 1. Check the sex offender registry. Most states have provisions like Megan’s Law and other registries where individuals with histories of criminal convictions must register their home addresses with local authorities. Check the address of the home you are considering to see who is living in your potential new neighborhood. 2. What is the history of the home? You may think this unusual but some abandoned homes have been used as drug labs. Homes that were used as drug labs are hazardous to your health. A home that served as a methamphetamine lab contains chemicals that often make unsafe to live in. These homes are usually but not always sold by banks as foreclosures. If the bank or real estate agent does not know the home's history they don’t have a legal obligation to disclose it so you will have to do your own homework. First, talk to neighbors to see if they have any information. You can also search the federal Drug Enforcement Association’s Clandestine Laboratory Registry. 3.  Check the neighborhood's crime rate. Don't look at just the numbers of crime but also consider what sorts of crimes happen in the area. Are the crimes violent and non-violent? Will you need to invest in a car alarm or a security system after a rash of break-ins? SpotCrime.com gives detailed crime data, breaking down crime types with easy-to-scan icons and providing data for communities all over the country. 4.  What precautions are in place in the neighborhood? Does the neighborhood have a watch program? Talk to the home’s seller and the neighbors about what type of precautions are in place. For more information on neighborhood watch programs check out the National Crime Prevention website. 5. Visit the neighborhood at different hours of the day; watch for unsavory visitors, traffic and vacant homes. Buying a home is an investment in your family and your future. If you have any other questions regarding local information your real estate professional can help point you in the right direction. You can also always call the local police department and ask for any statistics they have on the area.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/24/2015

When buying a home the last thing you do before you sign on the dotted line is go to the house and do a final walkthrough. This is different than the home inspection and done just prior to the final closing of the sale. The purpose of this walkthrough is to make sure the house will be delivered as agreed in your contract. You want to make sure the seller is leaving the house in working order and no problems with the house have occurred since the last time you where there. Here’s a quick checklist that will help you make the most of your final walkthrough: -Bring your purchase contract with you and verify that all items agreed to in the contract have been taken care of -Make sure the home and the exterior are free of personal belongings -The home and exterior should also be free of trash -Test all the appliances - Confirm all the light fixtures are working - Turn on ceiling fans as well as exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry area. -Check to make sure that the garage door remotes are in working order - Go through the house and turn on every faucet and flush all the toilets - Run the garbage disposal and trash compactor - Open and close all the windows and doors to make sure they are opening and latching properly - Look for any damage on the ceilings, floors, and walls such as new scratches, cracks, or other issues - Finally, account for all keys to the property This is an important step to take and could save you lot of headaches. This allows you to be able to resolve any problems before you close on the house.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 6/22/2015

Trying to buy and sell a home at the same time can be tough. Sometimes these buyers and sellers are referred to as being in a sandwich because they are in the middle. The reason this can be difficult is because there is no guarantee that your new home will close at the same time as your old home. Selling and buying a home at the same time is possible but you will need help. Here are a few tips on how to get into your home while closing on your own home: 1. Hire a real estate professional. This is almost an impossible task without having a seasoned professional by your side. There are lots of details that go into selling and buying and an experienced real estate professional will know just what to do to get you to both closing tables. 2. Sell first, and then buy. This is probably the easiest and safest plan. List your home for sale and secure a buyer. You can either close on your home before purchasing another one, or ask the buyer for a contingency to allow you time to find a new home before closing on the previous one. There are many advantages to selling first, it allows you to know how much you can spend on a new home, and you don’t have to worry about temporary financing. 3. Try to schedule the closing date on the purchase of your new home on the same day, but after the closing on the home you are selling. This way, you can stay in your present home until you move into your new one. Bottom line, when it comes to selling and buying a home use the expertise of your real estate professional. Your plans may change depending on your circumstances and your local market.