Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 3/10/2014

Some people think that bigger is better even when it comes to buying a home. Before you buy the biggest house your budget allows you may want to consider if the size of the home is what will make you a happy homeowner. Besides the size of the home there are many other factors to consider, here are a few things you may want to think about when buying: Your Commute Often times a bigger home is one that has a longer commute. So would you choose a bigger home over a shorter commute? When considering a longer commute most home buyers significantly underestimate the negatives of a long commute like high stress levels, poorer health, and less active social lives.  Swiss economists, Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer coined what they call “the commuters paradox”. They found that someone with a one-hour commute must earn 40% more money than someone who walks to work to be as satisfied with life. Community Another thing that can affect buyer satisfaction is the quality of a surrounding community Think about the community your home would be in. Is it a subdivision? Do you have to drive to get places? How far away are neighbors or stores? Walkable communities have more active residents, they are better for the environment and help us save money too. Studies have shown residents of a walkable neighborhood on average weigh 6 to 10 pounds less than someone in a car-dependent one. Walkable neighborhoods also give us more opportunities for social interaction. The more neighbors walk around the more involved they are in the community. Ultimately the more community involvement the happier people are.        





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 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.