Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/11/2013

Before you sign the papers to purchase your home, you will want to get one important thing done: a home inspection. This essential task will not only give you insight into the potential problems a home has, it was also give you the ability to renegotiate based on what is found. Knowing what to expect is the first step. A home inspection should include the condition of the roof, attic, walls, ceilings floors, windows and doors, the heating and cooling system, plumbing and electrical systems, the foundation and basement. All these areas of inspection as done only if accessible. For example: if the roof is covered with snow, an inspector will look at what they can, but the snow may obstruct the view. The cost of an inspection can vary depending on your location. Getting a variety of prices from different licensed inspectors can help you find the best deal in the area. While the cost may make you want to skip out on an inspection (with all the money you are spending to by the house, one more cost can feel enormous), not getting one can really hurt your wallet later on. Major structural issues, leaks, and toxins can cost big bucks to fix. A multi page detailed report will be created based on the inspection, including recommendations. This should be reviewed carefully to estimate the amount of work that will be involved in maintaining and/or fixing the house. While that roof the report mentioned isn't leaking today, if the inspector mentioned that it may need to be replaced soon, figure it will. Then of course, there are more immediate areas that may need attention, that you will have to plan on addressing right away. Finally, if there are major issues with the house, you can negotiate this into your offer. All offers should be made contingent on the inspection, so that once the inspection is done, the offer can change. So if that roof is already starting to leak, you can bring down the offer price to be able to put money towards a new roof right away. No matter if you are buying a year old home, or one from 1950, a home inspection is a must when making an offer. Skipping the inspection will only increase the risk of damage to your finances down the road. Better safe than sorry!




Categories: Buying a Home  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 6/9/2013

Buying a home is a big decision and it will most likely become one of your greatest investments. In order to help navigate through the process you will want to assemble the right team. Think of  a group of experienced professionals as your real estate buying team. Here is a list of some of the professionals that you might want to add to your team: Real Estate Agent The real estate agent will represent you and your interests. Always make sure to discuss your agency relationship with your agent so you fully understand the relationship. An experienced agent can help guide you through the process to a successful closing. Mortgage Advisor Unless you are paying cash you will need a loan to buy your home. Your mortgage broker or loan agent who will arrange financing. Your mortgage advisor will search for different loans that match your financial situation. Real Estate Attorney This is the only member of your buying team who can give you legal advice. You should hire an attorney that specializes in real estate to review any contracts. An attorney can usually solve any surprise legal problems before the closing. Home Inspector A home inspector's job is to go through your prospective home a complete physical. A home inspector is an objective third party who will produce a report detailing the condition of the structure and systems of the house. Putting the right team together is critical. If you need help assembling a team your real estate agent can provide you with a list of names or ask your friends and family for referrals.





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 3/31/2013

Is it time to buy a home? According to a Gallup poll done on 1/17/2012, 67% of people polled say yes! According to Gallup, “Overall, there is good reason for most Americans to think now is a good time to buy a house. Interest rates remain near historic lows. Home prices are down sharply, providing many incredible buys.” According to the November 2001 National Housing Survey conducted by Fannie Mae, buyers cited their major reasons for buying a home. Here are the results:

  • 80% Having a good place to raise children and provide a good education
  • 79% Having a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
  • 75% It allows you to have more space for your family
  • 69% It gives you control over what you do with your living space 69
So despite what has been a negative sentiment towards the housing market, buyers and the general public still think that homeownership is the way to go.  




Categories: Real estate  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/13/2013

When buying a home and shopping for a mortgage there are lots of new and unknown terms and one of those is often PMI. What is PMI? PMI stands for private mortgage insurance and chances are if you are first-time buyer you will have to pay it. First things first, PMI is for the lender, not for you. Typically, homebuyers who put down less than 20 percent on their homes are required to pay private mortgage insurance. PMI protects the lender in the event that you default on the loan. Mortgage insurance requirements vary by loan type and are not inevitable. Different loan types will have different mortgage insurance requirements. You will want to shop around because some loans have no PMI requirements at all. If your loan has PMI some lenders may offer something called “lender paid mortgage insurance” in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate. Here are some typical loans and the PMI requirements: FHA loans: Require mortgage insurance to be paid up front and monthly if equity in the home is less than 20 percent. VA loans: Do not require mortgage insurance. USDA loans: Do not require mortgage insurance. Conventional loans: Require mortgage insurance if equity is less than 20 percent. If you have to pay mortgage insurance you are not stuck with it forever. Once you reach an equity position of 20 percent or more you will be able to stop making mortgage insurance payments.  When you reach this position notify your lender, who will send you information on what is required for your specific loan program to get rid of mortgage insurance payments.