Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/21/2015

With the recent growth in telecommuting, home offices are also becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. Home buyers are looking for a place where they can work, a place to pay bills or simply surf the net. Investing in a home office will help you now and may pay off later. Have you always dreamed of a home office? Do you have an office that is overrun with papers? A home office is usually the place where junk finds its home. Getting that room into a place where organization is king can be easier than you think. Implementing an organizational system that has you working in peace with everything at your fingertips is easy if you follow these simple tips. 1. Choose the space. Think of all the things that you'll need to work comfortably in your home office. You want to make sure the space will allow for your desk and chair and anything else you will need in your office. 2. Organize your space. Part of organizing means decluttering. If you have three staplers, six pairs of scissors you will need to get rid of anything extra. Clutter is very distracting and reduces efficiency. Identify a space for all the necessities. You need to identify a place for the printer, file cabinet, reference books and supplies. 3. Schedule the date and time for your office organization. Set aside a specific time and date to plan your space. If you have lots of files and file cabinets, make a decision on how much you want to get done in the initial session. You may need to plan several dates to complete the whole task. 4. Reorganize. Clean and organize your office at the end of each day. It will only take a few minutes and keep you on track to staying organized. Plan on reorganizing your office every three months or so. By planning your home office space and getting it organized you'll enjoy it more. Your work will be better, you'll appreciate being at home, and you'll have the perfect place to work--your home. Now focus on success!





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/14/2015

When you think of a hot real estate market you probably think springtime, however, fall can also be a great time to buy or sell a home. Fall is the second busiest time of year for home sales. Here are some reasons to sell your home this fall: 1. Inventory is lower. Less inventory on the market means that you have a greater chance of making a sale. 2. Fall is great for home staging. It is easy to make your home seem cozy and inviting to a prospective buyer. 3. It is easier to keep the house clean. Children are back in school making it easier to keep the house neat and tidy. 4. Fall is a beautiful season. Make your yard look more inviting by placing a variety of cheerful mums and other fall plants in your flower beds. A fall wreath on your front door and an arrangement of pumpkins on the steps can make your home's entry warm and welcoming to guests and prospective buyers. 5. Since the days are shorter you can show off your home with warm accent lighting. 6 . Warm fall scents, like cinnamon, apples, and pumpkin, whether in baking or in candles, can make your home feel more inviting.  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/10/2015

Did you know that pets can significantly reduce your home's value?  Homebuyers are hesitant to buy a home with pets because they are weary of odors and damage. If you are a pet owner here are some tips to ensure you get the highest final sale price for your home: 1. Start outside. The outside of your home is the first impression, it is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Fill and holes in the yard that have been dug by pets. Make sure to walk the yard and pick up any pet waste. 2. Check the woodwork. Pets have a habit of chewing. Go through your home and look for any damage. Check the floor trim, the threshold of your doors, and the corners of doors and cabinets. Also don't forget to check carpet, window ledges and screens, especially if you have cats. Hardwood floors can also get scratched by pets too. You may need refinish your floors if they have pet scratches. 3. Check the carpet. Carpets are usually best replaced rather than repaired. It is almost impossible to remove pet odor from carpet. If the carpet has been chewed or frayed from scratching it can likely be stretched and re-tacked by a professional. 4. Look for stains. There can be stains on carpet, flooring, drywall, and trim. Make sure to repair or replace any items that are stained before a buyer sees them. 5. Address odors. You may not even notice pet odors in your home but they will be very obvious to buyers. Ask someone else to give you an honest opinion of pet odors in your home.  Make sure to vacuum daily and open windows if you can. It's not just accidents that cause bad odors. Your pet's hair, dander and sweat also create odors. 6. Clean your furniture. Even though the buyer is looking at the house, if your furniture is stained or ruined buyers will still devalue your home. 7. Keep the pets away. If possible remove pets from your home when showing it. You could board them, or have a friend keep your pets while you're showing your home. If that is not possible make sure to buy pet crates to keep them locked up and out of the way.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/27/2015

Today's homebuyers are savvy and they know what they want. If you are looking to get top dollar or a quick sale you will want to make sure you home has what it takes to meet the high standards of today's buyers. Here are a few things that top buyer's lists: 1. Smaller: Believe it or not buyers are purchasing smaller homes but that doesn't mean they are sacrificing for smaller spaces. Open and flowing floor plans are big hits with buyers today. 2. Energy Efficient Appliances: Buyers know energy efficient appliances save money and they want them in the home they purchase. 3. Storage: Who doesn't love storage? Built-ins, custom closets and shelving sells homes. 4. Outdoor living space: Living space on a deck or patio increase the square footage and usable space and buyers are looking for a private outdoor area to relax and entertain. 5. A kitchen with eating area: Kitchens sell homes. Buyers want a large kitchen with a designated eating area. 6. Home office: More and more people are working from home and need a place to work that is away from the hustle and bustle of the main living area. Think about inventive ways to use space in your home to show a buyer that your home has everything they want. You may want to use a home stager to help you showcase these areas.  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/13/2015

You might have seen the ads on TV about reverse mortgages, but what is a reverse mortgage? It is a loan for older homeowners that uses a portion of the home’s equity as collateral. Instead of the homeowner paying the lender, it is the lender that pays the homeowner based on the equity in the home. How much can be borrowed? The amount that can be borrowed in a reverse mortgage is determined by an Federal Housing Authority (FHA formula).  The formula considers age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of the home. What are the requirements for a reverse mortgage? You must be at least age 62 The home must be owned free and clear or all existing liens. Any mortgage balance must be paid off with the proceeds of the reverse mortgage loan at the closing. There are usually no income or credit score requirements. How is the loan repaid? The loan cannot become due as long as at least one homeowner lives in the home as their primary residence and maintains the home in accordance with FHA requirements (keeping taxes and insurance current). The must be repaid when the last surviving homeowner permanently moves out of the property or passes away. The estate will have approximately 6 months to repay the balance of the reverse mortgage or sell the home to pay off the balance.