Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 5/20/2018

Owning a second home or vacation home is the dream of many Americans hoping to retire in style. However, owning a second home can also be a huge financial asset and even an added form of income if you’re savvy with the rental process.

What stops most of us from buying a vacation home in our ideal getaway? The funding, of course. But, there are ways to plan ahead to ensure you’ll be ready to take the plunge and purchase a second home when the time comes.

In today’s blog post, we’re going to be talking about the steps to buying a home away from home and give you some tip on how to accomplish this goal in the most financially-sensible way possible.

1.  Location is Key

When you buy a second home, you take on all the responsibilities of homeownership a second time. Since you won’t be around every day to tend to maintenance tasks and troubleshoot problems, you risk discovering costly repairs that could otherwise be avoided.

The most common issues to be concerned with are frozen pipes in northern climates, flooding in coastal areas, and problems like pests that can be found just about anywhere.

Depending on your budget, you might want a home you can drive out to on the weekends, meaning somewhere close by to your primary home. This option also makes it easier to stay up-to-date on home maintenance tasks before they become an issue.

2. Try before you buy

If your ideal vacation home is in an area you’re not totally familiar with, it’s a good idea to visit the neighborhood, talk to the locals, and gain their perspective on the area before buying.

This trip will also give you a sense of what you can expect to spend each time you visit the home. And, if you plan on renting out the property when you aren’t using it, you’ll be able to gauge what a reasonable rent price is for the location.

3. Earning income from your vacation home

Making extra cash from a home that you get to use pretty much whenever you want. Sounds like a dream, right? It can be if done properly, but you’ll need to ensure a few things before you can start earning income from your vacation property.

First, be aware that investment properties often require a larger down payment (typically 30%). Lenders also charge extra interest on homes that will be rented out.

Finally, there are local and state-level laws you’ll need to adhere to. These laws are designed to protect your interests as well as the people who rent out your property, so make sure you use a standard rental agreement for your area.

4. Making an offer

You’ve been here before. Once you’ve decided on a home, it’s time to start crafting your offer and negotiating with the seller’s agent.

However, before you pick a number, do some research on all of the expenses you’ll be paying on the house in question. Property taxes, homeowners association dues, utilities, and any other costs should be on your radar before determining if it’s the right home for your budget.

You’ll also want to be aware of the stipulations of renting out a property you own. This includes reporting income from renting your home to the IRS.


Now that you know the steps you’ll need to take to move toward your goal of buying a vacation home, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions that are best for you and your family’s future.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 5/13/2018

If you plan to sell a house, it can be easy to try to rush through the home selling cycle. However, doing so may do more harm than good, particularly for home sellers who want to maximize their profits.

Ultimately, a wait and see approach can be beneficial for a home seller. Some of the key reasons to consider taking a wait and see approach to selling a house include:

1. You can clean your house from top to bottom.

A messy home is unlikely to generate interest from large groups of homebuyers. Comparatively, a neat, tidy and pristine home is sure to stir up plenty of interest once it reaches the real estate market.

If you spend some time enhancing your house's interior and exterior, the benefits can be substantial. In addition to making your residence more attractive to homebuyers, you may be able to raise your chances of receiving offers at or above your initial asking price.

To clean your house's interior, you should spend some time mopping the floors, wiping down walls and ceilings and doing whatever you can to make each room look great. Meanwhile, to improve your house's exterior, you may want to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and do everything possible to ensure your house has plenty of curb appeal.

2. You can conduct a comprehensive home appraisal.

A home seller who immediately adds a residence to the real estate market might not understand what his or her house is worth based on the current housing market's conditions. As such, this home seller risks pricing his or her house too high or too low.

Conversely, if you perform a home appraisal, you can set a competitive price for your residence from day one. This appraisal also will enable you to identify your home's strengths and weaknesses and find ways to transform assorted weaknesses into strengths.

Employ an experienced home appraiser to evaluate your house – you'll be glad you did. With a top-notch home appraiser at your side, you can receive the expert insights that you need to price your house appropriately.

3. You can discover the right real estate agent.

When it comes to selling a house, why should you be forced to work with an inferior real estate agent? Unfortunately, if you rush to add your residence to the real estate market, you may select the first real estate agent that you meet. And in this scenario, you risk making a poor choice.

On the other hand, a home seller who takes a wait and see approach can spend some time evaluating many real estate agents. Then, this home seller can make an informed selection and increase his or her chances of enjoying a successful home selling experience.

There is no reason to hurry through the home selling journey. Instead, deploy a wait and see approach, and you should have no trouble remaining patient and capitalizing on the right opportunities to maximize the value of your house.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 5/6/2018

Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibility. You'll need to keep up with your bills, cleaning and maintenance, and have a keen eye for managing your finances. What many people don't tell you when you buy a house is that you could also become the victim of scammers who specifically target homeowners. Like computer viruses, scams are constantly evolving to stay one step ahead of the game. However, many of them rely on behavior that should raise a red flag for homeowners. In this article, we'll cover some common scams that affect homeowners and tell you how to avoid them to keep you, your home, and your wallet safe.

You've won!

Congratulations! By reading this article you've won an all-expenses paid trip to the destination of your dreams. One of the most common scams affecting homeowners come in the form of phone calls, mail, or even door-knockers informing you that you've won some kind of prize. Unless you've specifically entered to win a certain prize, you can almost be certain that this is a scam.

Identity crisis

We've often heard of the dangers of identity theft, but homeowners in particular are an at-risk demographic. Identity thieves attempt to steal your personal information in order to commit fraud or crimes. To avoid identity theft, be responsible with your mail. Always shred mail with personal data and be sure to have someone take care of your mail for you when away from home for extended periods.

I noticed your roof needs to be repaired

Many scams come in the form of people knocking on your door to offer a great deal on a service. People who solicit you and ask to be let into your home or onto your property to "inspect" part of your home should never be allowed in. They may actually be a roofer attempting to convince you to repair your roof (regardless of whether it needs to be repaired). Or, they could be a would-be burglar scoping out your residence. These scammers will attempt to sell you anything from "subsidized" and "energy efficient" home energy products all the way down to fixing imagined water/moisture issues in your basement.

Make $60k a year working from home!

Work-from-home jobs do exist, and they're growing in number as technology makes it easier and more efficient than traveling. However, some job offers are too good to be true. Be wary of job offers that require you to enter personal information like your social security number before ever having met the employer. Many of these "too good to be true" jobs can be spotted when they ask you for money to get started. They may say to need to pay for your own training but then can make thousands, or will ask for a company buy-in that will pay off later. Regardless, never give money to a potential employer.

I came to read the meters

Someone in a safety vest with a name tag and clipboard knocks on your door and says they're from the energy company, water company, etc. They seem legitimate and tell you how important it is to have your meter read. The might even say you're eligible for a refund or subsidy. It's important to always ask representatives to show you their ID or ask them to call and make an appointment before letting them enter your home.




Tags: home   scams   fraud   scammers   homeowners  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 4/29/2018

If you own a dog, cat or other pets and plan to list your residence soon, there may be no time like the present to conduct an in-depth home cleaning. By performing extensive home cleaning, you can eliminate pet odors from your residence and ensure that your house is show-ready.

Ultimately, there are many quick, easy ways to remove pet odors from your house, including:

1. Wash your pet regularly.

When was the last time that you gave your pet a bath? If it's been a few months, now may be the perfect time to wash your pet thoroughly.

Ideally, you should bathe your pet at least every two weeks. This will help reduce the risk of pet odors that can emanate throughout your residence.

To bathe your pet properly, it is paramount to eliminate loose fur during the lathering process. Also, use a drain cover in your bathtub or shower to prevent pet hair from clogging the drain.

2. Clean your pet's bed.

Pet beds may be used frequently, and as a result, can collect assorted pet odors over time. Fortunately, these beds usually are simple to clean.

In many instances, pet beds are machine-washable. Look at the tag attached to the bed itself, and you likely will find instructions about how to wash this bed.

Also, be sure to clean your pet's bed on a monthly basis, at the very least. This will ensure pet odors won't linger for an extended period of time.

3. Don't hesitate to reach out for professional assistance.

As a home seller, it is essential to do everything possible to keep your house looking and smelling great. Thus, if vacuuming the furniture, scrubbing the floors and other home cleaning tasks aren't enough to eliminate pet odors, it may be worthwhile to reach out to a professional home cleaning company for extra help.

A home cleaning company will allocate significant time and resources to clean your residence from top to bottom. That way, your home will look show-ready in no time at all.

Perhaps best of all, a home cleaning company always employs friendly, diligent staff members who are happy to help you in any way possible. These staff members will make it easy to remove pet odors from your residence and can even offer expert guidance to prevent these odors from returning to your home.

Lastly, if you need help selecting a home cleaning company, a real estate agent may be able to assist you.

A real estate agent can provide insights into the top home cleaning companies in a particular city or town. He or she also can serve as a guide throughout the home selling journey, ensuring that you can showcase your residence to the right groups of homebuyers.

If you're struggling to remove pet odors from your residence, you're not alone. But with the aforementioned tips, any home seller can quickly and effortlessly eliminate pet odors from a home, thereby increasing the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 4/22/2018

Ready to transform your bathroom from drab to fab? With a bathroom cleaning checklist in hand, any home seller can improve the look and feel of any bathroom.

When it comes to putting together a bathroom cleaning checklist, here are three key areas to focus on:

1. Sink

Let's face it – no one wants a dirty bathroom sink. Whether it's toothpaste residue or a sticky foreign substance in a bathroom sink, even minor particles can negatively affect the sink's appearance.

Use an all-purpose cleaner to help your bathroom sink pop. Apply the cleaner and scrub the sink thoroughly to remove any unwanted residue.

In addition, remember to clean your bathroom sink at least once a week. This will ensure your sink will sparkle any time homebuyers check out your residence.

2. Shower

When was the last time that you cleaned your shower? If it's been a few weeks, there may be no time like the present to clean your shower from top to bottom.

To clean your shower, you'll want to wipe down the shower door, floor and wall. An eraser sponge usually offers a great option to clean a shower, as it enables you to eliminate shower stains and mildew without the use of harsh chemicals.

Furthermore, don't forget to clean grout. Although it may require hard work and patience to clean grout, those who allocate the necessary time and resources to complete grout cleaning can keep a shower looking great.

3. Toilet

Most home sellers dread cleaning the toilet, but doing so can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. In fact, home sellers who spend even a few minutes daily cleaning the toilet can reap the benefits of their efforts immediately.

A combination of baking soda and vinegar makes it simple to remove dirt, debris and assorted residue from inside a toilet bowl. And if a toilet has an unsightly ring, it commonly pays to use a toilet pumice stone to eliminate this problem.

Also, swishing a toilet bowl with water and a toilet brush at least once a day is ideal. This practice will help you maintain a toilet's appearance both now and in the future.

If you need extra help improving your bathroom's appearance, don't hesitate to contact a home cleaning company as well. This business employs friendly, highly trained cleaning professionals who are happy to help you enhance your bathroom's look and feel.

Lastly, if you're entering the housing market and want to bolster your home both inside and out, you should hire a real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your disposal, you can receive expert home selling support.

A real estate agent will offer home improvement recommendations, help you negotiate with homebuyers and much more. Plus, if you have any home selling questions, your real estate agent can respond to your queries at any time.

Get started on the home selling journey – perform bathroom cleaning and other home improvements, and you can boost the likelihood of a fast, seamless and profitable home selling experience.