Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



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 4/7/2014

Paying off your mortgage early and having no bills sounds like a no brainer. The answer however is not so simple. The answer really is; it depends. First you need to ask yourself a few questions. 1. Have you capitalized your employer’s match to your retirement savings? If the answer is no and you are not contributing the maximum than you are throwing away free money. You may want to consider putting your money here before paying down your mortgage. 2. Do you have other debt other than your mortgage? Pay off high interest credit card debit first. It makes no sense to pay off a lower interest loan and carry high interest debt. 3. Do you have an emergency fund? Experts suggest at least a three month supply of living expenses. Some even go as much as twenty four months of living expenses after the turn in the economy and job market. It makes more sense to have money set aside for a sudden loss of income before you pay off your mortgage. 4. Do you owe more than your house is worth? If you are upside down you are more susceptible to foreclosure. Ask yourself how much how much you enjoy living there. Would you be willing to buy it again for more than it is worth now? 5. Do you have life, health and disability insurance? If you are the main source of income in your household what would happen if you were no longer able to make the payments? Putting safety nets in place first is a wise idea. 6. Do you believe you can get better return investing elsewhere? Paying off your mortgage is an investment decision. Ask how does paying off my mortgage stack up with other investment options? 7. Are you thinking of retiring and want to live with the worry of a payment? The thought of living on a fixed income can be scary. Paying off your mortgage may give you peace of mind. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It really comes down to what is most important to you. Sometimes, the answer is not based just on dollars and sense and more on what works for you, your life, your family situation and just plain old personal preference.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 2/17/2014

You are about to make a big decision; putting your home up for sale but there are some very important things you need to do before the sign goes in the yard and you open your doors to potential buyers. Getting these things checked off the list will help get you to a quicker and more profitable sale. Here are some tips to get you started: 1. Sit down with your real estate professional. Come up with a game plan and set a realistic asking price. Make decisions about marketing and showing availability. Pre-scheduling meetings or times to catch up with your agent will help keep the lines of communication open. 2. Get your paperwork in order. Prepare a list of repairs, upgrades that have been done to your home. Assemble all maintenance records, warranty information and user guides for appliances in the home. If you do not have them many are available on the internet. It will show potential home buyers you care about your home. 3. Clean your home top to bottom. Wash the walls, shampoo the rugs, touch up the paint and get every cobweb from the corners. Remember your home will be looked at very closely and the last thing you want is a buyer to be turned off by a little dirt. 4. Organize and declutter everywhere. You have probably acquired quite a bit of stuff. Go through every closet, cabinet, and start clearing out. You may want to have a yard sale or donate unwanted items to charity. For the things that you must keep consider a storage unit. 5. Get a home inspection. Have a pre-sale inspection of your home. This will prevent any surprises and help you identify any problem areas in your home. Repairs can affect the ultimate sale price of your home. For problem areas, make repairs or get estimates. This will help you determine what the ultimate sale price or items you may need to be prepared to negotiate on. 6. Stage the home to sell. Hire a professional stager to dress your home for sale. You will want to stage the home inside and out. Research shows that staged homes typically sell for more money. Congratulations you are well on your way to a successful sale.  





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 9/1/2013

Does a backyard pool add value to a home? That has been a long debated question among real estate professionals. While there is no clear answer the National Association of Realtors reports that pools add approximately 7.7 percent to the average property value. But there are some caveats to that statistic. In recent years, pools have become more part of the landscape that a hole in the yard. Things that increase home values with pools also include backyard landscaping, fencing, walkways, decks, and fabulous plantings. Another factor that increases a property’s desirability and value is if the home is in an area that has a large number of pools. Be aware if your neighborhood has a community pool it may be difficult to attract buyers for your home. Experts say buyers that are looking for pools are typically middle age with teenage children.  While buyers with younger children might shy away from a home with a pool and view it as an accident waiting to happen While in-ground pools return approximately 50 percent of their initial investment, be sure to keep service records that show it’s in good working order prospective buyers will want to see the pool has been properly maintained.