Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/22/2014

Home prices are at rock bottom and mortgage rates at all-time lows so you may be considering going from renter to homeowner. If you are planning on staying put for a while the choice makes sense. There are a few things to take into consideration before you make the leap from renter to owner. First, you will need to determine how much you can afford. Consult with a mortgage professional to help you determine what kind of mortgage you qualify for. Just because you pay $1,000 a month in rent, doesn't mean you can handle a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment. There are more costs to owning a home than just the mortgage payment. As a homeowner you will also be responsible for property tax, home insurance, utilities, and repairs. To prepare for those costs plan on adding about 40 percent to your base cost. So, if your mortgage is $1,000, add about $400 a month for a better estimate of costs. Before you make a rash decision see if you really can afford the cost difference. Once you know the cost difference spend a few months depositing the difference between your rent payment and your cost estimate in the bank. In the previous example you would deposit $400 a month into savings. If you've been able to keep up the deposits and pay your other bills, that's a sign you can afford to buy. Now that you have been saving more you have more money to put toward the down payment of your new home. These are just a few tips to get you started. Once you have a better financial picture it will be time to start shopping. That is when the fun begins.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 4/21/2014

Year after year, study after study, good market, down market the story is always the same...owning a home is a good investment. Not only does it build wealth but it also provides many psychological benefits too. A survey released earlier this year by the magazine Better Homes and Gardens found that eight in 10 respondents said homeownership is still a good investment and believe owning a home is a smart financial move and a source of pride. Here are some results of the 2,500 people surveyed online:

  • 86% of home owners still feel owning a home is a good investment.
  • 85% feel “owning a home is one of their proudest accomplishments.”
  • 69% of Americans who don’t currently own a home agree with the statement, “No matter what happens in the U.S. housing market, owning a home is still an important goal in my life.”
  • 68% of Americans plan to spend money on their homes in the next six months, with roughly half (49%) expecting to pay up to $1,000.
 




Categories: Buying a Home   Real estate  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/22/2013

You may be considering buying a home but it is hard to know if you are ready to be a homeowner. It can be a big step. Buyers that educate themselves on the process and set realistic expectations have the best experiences. To gauge whether or not you are ready to own your first home you should ask yourself some serious questions.

  • Are you in a lease or is your living situation easily changed?
  • Do you need to remain in your current community or would you be willing to move?
  • Do you have the time and resources necessary to make your first home purchase a success?
If you have answered these questions favorably you may well be on your way to homeownership. The next step is to evaluate your financial situation. Here are some questions to check your financial readiness.
  • Do you have a steady source of income?
  • Do you know your credit history?
  • Do you have a down payment ?
  • Are you ready for the financial responsibilities that coincide with home ownership?
If your answers to these questions are positive then it is time to get the loan process started to see how much you can afford. A reputable lender will give you realistic expectations and many offer a free consultation for buyers seeking pre-approval. Now it is time to start your search. Working with an agent that you trust and are comfortable with is very important. My skills include educating you about the buying process, negotiating, having your best interest in mind and helping you find a perfect first home while hopefully saving you time and money.




Categories: Real estate  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/2/2012

It’s time to buy a home! That is right you heard it here, no more doom and gloom for the real estate market. The time has come to go out and buy some real estate. The only thing holding buyers back has been consumer emotion but a look at the facts should help buyer feel more confident in opening up their wallets for a great opportunity in today's housing market. JP Morgan’s Market Insights report has outlined why people looking to buy a home have never been in a better position. Here are just three important points from the JP Morgan report. The Price is Right One measure the report looked at was the ratio of personal income to home prices. “Since 1966, the median price of an existing single family home in the U.S. has varied between 150% and 251% of personal income per household. However, roughly three-quarters of the time it has been in a relatively narrow band between 185% and 230%. In September 2011, the ratio was just 153%, implying that to get back to an average price to income ratio, home prices would have to rise by about 27%.” Mortgage Rates are Right Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows as compared to personal income.  The report notes, “During the week of October 7, Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates had fallen to an average annual level of 3.94%. Assuming the use of a fixed rate mortgage with 20% down, this would make the median mortgage payment on a single family existing home just 6.9% of per household personal income, compared with an average of 14.4% since 1966.” What this means is that it is a buyers perfect storm. Buyers who buy now will likely reap a long term financial gain by buying a home at a lower than average cost and financing it for a lower than average cost. It is a win-win situation. Home Ownership Beats Renting The report goes on to look at the cost of renting versus owning. JP Morgan predicts that by the "third quarter of this year, we estimate that the implied median mortgage payment had fallen to just 78% of the median asking rent. In other words, at current mortgage rates, home prices would have to rise by 35% just to get back to their average relationship to rents." Home buying is now more affordable than it has been in decades. Home prices are at all time lows, mortgage rates are at rock bottom and income levels remain steady. Despite what you may hear on the nightly news home ownership has never been more affordable.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/26/2012

For the past several years there has been some confusion over whether it has been a better deal to rent or buy a home. Buying has always been the best long term investment. With the changes in the market it is now clear that in almost any situation buying is the best bet. Rents over the past few years have been on the rise and the demand for rental housing has been shrinking rental availability raising the rents and the competition for acceptable units. Rents have been increasing at about a rate of 2.5 percent a year while home prices have been dropping at about 3.1 percent a year. This makes buying a much better option. Lately, there has been an uptick in the home buying market and in some price ranges inventory is low for prospective buyers. Because prices and mortgage rates remain at all-time lows this is a perfect time to get out of a rental and into your own home. If you are looking for some hard numbers on your own personal financial picture the New York Times has an easy to use calculator that will help you determine how much you will save by buying a home. Click here to use the calculator.




Tags: Buy vs Rent  
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