Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 4/28/2013

Whether you are a buyer or a seller it is time to get off the fence. Despite years of bad news surrounding the real estate market, the time has come when it is both a good time to be a buyer and a seller. Why Buy? Here are just a few reasons why you should get off the fence and buy: 1. When investors start gobbling up real estate you know it's a good deal. In 2011, investors upped their buying by 64%.  While it is still not time to start flipping for a profit the clock is ticking down to an uptick in prices. 2. Interest rates are historically low. You have been hearing this for a while but they are hovering right around 4%. 3. First-time buyers are in a unique position. They didn't lose money in the housing market. 4. It's a great deal! Prices are at all-time lows. So you may be saving as much as 40% off a home if you buy now. Why Sell? Here are just a few reasons why you should get off the fence and sell: 1. Inventory is shrinking. Demand is up and in certain areas and price ranges there is limited inventory so putting your home on the market now will most likely result in a sale. 2. Mortgage availability has stabilized. Mortgage restrictions are loosening and especially first-time buyers are able to get mortgages as they were not affected as much by the financial crisis. 3. Unemployment is not as bad as you think. One is 30 Americans is unemployed as a result of the recent financial crisis. There are lots of able buyers out there. 4. Houses are selling and some are even going to bidding wars. Homes that are priced according to the market are selling and selling quickly. 5. Don't wait for prices to increase. This could be a long wait.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 3/10/2013

A common question for sellers is if they will owe capital gains tax when they sell their home. The answer to that question: it depends. The capital gains tax law known as the Taxpayer Relief Act went into effect in 1997 but there is still a lot confusion over who pays what and why. If you sell your home you will not have to pay capital gains tax if:

  • You are selling your personal residence.
  • You have $250,000 in profit or less if you are single and $500,000 if married.
  • You have lived in your home for two of the last five years.
  • The home is not an investment property.
The capital gains exclusion can be used as many times as you like as long as it meets all of the above criteria. If you are going to make more than $250,000/$500,000 in profit you will be taxed at a 20% capital gains tax rate on the amount over the $250,000/$500,000 threshold. There are exceptions to the rule. You may be eligible for a tax break if:
  • You need to sell your home because a change in health.
  • You need to sell your home because of a long distance relocation.
  • You are in the armed services and moved to fulfill your service commitments.
Your individual tax situation may be different, so make sure to consult a qualified tax accountant or attorney.  





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.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 6/24/2012

Buying property can definitely be a very lucrative investment. However, before you decide on buying and selling real estate, you have to have a good understanding of the markets. In other words, if you are looking to buy so that you can sell down the road to make a profit on your real estate, then you are better off achieving this when the housing market is slow, as there is less demand for buying houses, thus forcing sellers to lower their prices. This in turn will allow you to get a home at the lowest price possible, and then being able to sell it at a higher price once the markets begin to move again. Of course, investing in real estate is not only about the current conditions of the housing market. In addition, you also have to look at other factors such as the location the real estate will be in, the condition of the real estate, and the reason why the owner is looking to sell. In the end, buying and selling real estate carries the same risks as any other type of investment, and the only way to avoid these risks is through proper research. More importantly, you will be spending a good amount of money on real estate compared to other types of investments, and so you want to make sure that your money is well spent. By keeping these valuable points in mind, you will be able to find the right property to invest in.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 4/15/2012

A home's curb appeal is the first thing a potential Buyer sees. It can be a make or break decision before even entering the home and sets the tone for the whole experience. Enhancing your home's exterior with colorful accents is an easy way to boost curb appeal. Whether you want to add a little color or a lot, these ideas from Better Homes and Gardens promise to give your home a whole new look. 1. Pick Up a Paintbrush Painting your home's exterior is one of the most cost-effective ways to update its look. When devising your color scheme, consider your home's architectural style -- elaborate Victorian homes might be able to handle four or five colors, while Colonial styles look best with two or three. Also consider colors that can't be changed, such as stonework on the home or in the landscape, roof color, and the palette of surrounding homes. 2. Update with Colorful Siding Vinyl siding was once offered in only a handful of neutral colors, but today's products provide nearly unlimited color choices so it's easy to find siding to complement your home's exterior. 3. Make a Statement with Windows Cladding, the aluminum wrap on an exterior window frame, lets you have the beauty of wood inside and a low-maintenance covering outside. Manufacturers offer cladding in various colors, so you can make your windows stand out or blend in with existing siding. 4. Coordinate Hardware and Lighting Entrance hardware, door knockers, house numbers, mailboxes, and porch lights all add character to your home's exterior. Choosing the same color or finish for these elements creates a sophisticated look. 5. Create a Welcoming Entrance Your front door is a great place to add a dash of bold color -- and boost home value. If you want to add color, look for doors that come ready to be painted and opt for a high-quality acrylic latex paint, says Sara Theiss, a Therma-Tru spokesperson. Decorative glass inserts offer additional color and complement a range of house styles. 6. Add Shutters Whether operable or decorative, these accents add color and bring a historical touch to a Federal or Colonial home. For easy maintenance, look for fiberglass models, high-density PVC, or composite wood materials; they offer the look of wood but don't crack, split, or rot. 7. Set It in Stone The natural colors of real stone enhance any style of home. Stone veneer, a lightweight alternative, makes it even easier to add the appeal of this natural material to exterior walls. 8. Consider Roof Color It might not be sexy, but this practical aspect can have a big impact on your home's overall look. For cohesiveness, choose a tone in the same color family as the paint or siding on your home -- or pick out a color that repeats hues found in the brick or mortar. 9. Go Glam with Copper The eye-catching metal comes with a high price tag, but the finished look can be worth the cost. For example, copper gutters transform an overlooked feature into a design element. "If you have a bay window with a copper roof or a porch with a copper roof, and you couple that with copper downspouts and gutters, it can be very handsome," says Washington, D.C.-based architect Bruce Wentworth. 10. Stain Concrete Curb appeal extends from the front door to, well, the curb! By staining existing concrete, you transform a drab patio, sidewalk, or driveway into an eye-catching surface that resembles stone, wood, or leather. Acid-base stains are available in earth tones, such as tan, brown, terra-cotta, and soft blue-green, while water-base stains expand the color palette.