Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/12/2015

Are you thinking of buying a home with a septic system? Septic systems are common in the suburbs and more rural areas where municipal sewers are not available. So what is a septic system? It is a self-contained, underground waste water treatment system. It consists of a septic tank and a drainage system. The septic tank is a large, watertight container. It can be made of concrete, steel, fiberglass, or polyethylene. The septic tank is connected to your home's sewer line and collects all water and the waste in it. The drainage system has several parts; an outflow pipe, a distribution box, a network of perforated pipes, and a leach field. When liquids inside the septic tank get high enough, they flow out of the tank into the outflow pipe. The outflow pipe leads to the distribution box which then channels waste water into the perforated pipes. The waste water is then distributed into the leach field. There is usually no cause to worry when buying a home with a septic system. It is prudent to have the septic system inspected or ask for proof of inspection during the purchase process.  If maintained properly, a septic system can last between 25 to 35 years.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/25/2014

Could condo living be for you? For many condominium living can be an attractive alternative to a single family home. The price per square foot of a condo is often less than a single family home. Before you make the leap to condo living make sure to do your homework to see if it truly is the best choice for you. Here is a checklist of a few things you may want to consider before signing on the dotted line.

  • Condominiums have monthly maintenance fees.
  • Check with the condominium association to see what the annual increase in the monthly maintenance fee has been for the past few years.
  • What is the percentage of residents are current with their monthly association payments. Look for about ninety-seven percent of the development's residents to be current with their monthly payments.
  • What percentage of the association fees are dedicated to a reserve fund. A good number would be at least 10 percent of the association's annual budget.
  • What are the condition of the condo's roof and major mechanical systems? When were they last replaced or repaired. When the condo requires big upgrades, costly "special assessment" fees are passed on to the homeowners.
Most importantly try and talk to some of the residents. They can be your most valuable resource for learning about the development's pros and cons of the condominium development.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/10/2013

Child-Proofing Your Home. Unintentional injury is one of the leading causes of death in children under 14. That should be enough to make any parent shudder. Child-proofing a new or existing home can be quite the headache, but it's an incredibly neccessary step in making sure your home is safe for all members of your family. Luckily, by following a simple checklist, you can rest easy knowing that you've covered most, if not all of your bases. While there are extra steps that may need to be taken on a house-by-house basis, most of these steps are applicable to just about every kind of residence. Smoke Detectors - While this may seem like an obvious step, you'd be surprised how many people don't follow through with their fire alert system. Low batteries, improper placement, and broken detectors can all spell potential tragedy for you and your family. Pay close attention to the manufacturer's instructions. You should have at least one smoke detector per level of your home, including the basement and attic. One very important step you can take these days is to purchase batteries that are designated for electronic devices. Carbon Monoxide Detectors - These need to be placed near sleeping areas, and at least 15 feet away from any fuel-burning appliances. Anti-Scalding Devices for your faucets - Contact your local plumber to get an estimate. Door Stops and Door Holders - If your home already comes equipped with these, then make sure they are all in good working order. Outlet Covers and Plates - Ensure that covers and plates aren't easily removable. Edge and Corner Bumpers - These come in a variety of styles, and are easily installed on the sharp edges and corners of your home. Pay special attention to the corners in your kitchen, as many child injuries take place here. Safety Latches and Locks - These need to be installed in cabinets that would be accessible at your child's level. These will prevent your child from gaining access to areas that hazardous cleaning materials are stored, like under your sinks. Doorknob Covers and Door Locks - Use these on rooms that aren't child-proofed. If you can prevent unsupervised access to a room, you don't have to worry about keeping it in perfect working order in regard to child proofing. Child Gates - Stair-related accidents can be avoided by implementing a gate system. Pay special attention to the types of gates used.....Pet gates are NOT the same product, and may lack the level of protection needed to ensure proper safety of your child. Childen are resourceful individuals, and can breach many systems that your family pets cannot.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 3/24/2013

If you are thinking of adding an addition to your home there are some things you will wants to be aware of. If you decide to add a new space, ask yourself the following questions: * Can I finance the home improvement with my own cash or will I need a loan? * How much equity is in the property? A fair amount will make it that much easier to get a loan for home improvements. * Is it feasible to expand the current space for an addition? * What is permissible under local zoning and building laws? Despite your deep yearning for a new sunroom or garage, you will need to know if your town or city will allow such improvements. * Should I make the improvement myself or hire a contractor? Many homeowners consider going to job alone to save money. Consider how much time you have, your level of expertise or willingness to handle the job, amount of help from friends or relatives, and how much you want, or need, to save by doing the job yourself. You could save up to 20 percent of the project cost through your own hard work. Be aware, however, that you may need to call in the pros. Going it alone can sometimes lead to spending more time and money. if problems arise. Most home improvement experts suggest that homeowners who do not have a lot of experience should stick to painting, minor landscaping, building interior shelving, and other minor improvements.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/20/2013

You have decided to sell. But before you put the sign in the yard there are some things you will want to make sure you have done. Time spent doing research and setting the right price will most likely yield you a better return in the end. A home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Track your neighborhood values Find out what homes similar to yours are selling for in your neighborhood so you will have a good idea what your home is worth. Buyer or seller market You need to judge whether it's a sellers' market or a buyers' market in your neighborhood. Remember that all real estate is local. You will want to research things like interest rates, home inventory, job forecasts, and even time of year. Research inventory How many homes are for sale? If you live in a desirable neighborhood and there aren't many homes for sale, you will have a clear edge here. However, if you see lots of homes on the market and they're not selling very quickly, you might have to reduce the price you had in mind. Know the average days on the market Review the homes in your neighborhood and their days on market sometimes referred to as DOM. Look at trends for the past year and assess whether homes were appreciating or depreciating. Monitor the job market Is a big company relocating workers to your area? Or are they moving out and shutting the doors? The job market has a lot to do with the real estate market. Attend nearby open houses Observe how other properties are showing and compare them to your home. At an open house you can often feel the "mood" of potential buyers. Get a professional opinion A real estate professional will be able to help you gather all of the above information and come up with a CMA or comparable market analysis to determine the best price range for you home.