Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 2/11/2018

When you think of buying or selling a house, the first thing that comes to mind may not be the legal aspects associated with the process. You may want to reconsider this rather boring part of the process as an important one. Hiring a lawyer can help both buyers and sellers to get through many hurdles that buying a home can present. 


The Contracts


There will be many negotiations and a lot of back and forth throughout the process of buying a home. Everything thatís involved with buying a home needs a contract for it to be legally binding. A real estate attorney will negotiate on your behalf and be sure that the contracts adhere to all state and local laws. The lawyer will also help you to address issues that may affect the future of the property such as botched inspections, liens against the home, and other items that could affect you as the home buyer. 


Title Search


Real estate attorneys will perform what is called a title search. This allows them to see if there are any outstanding liens or judgements against the house. This title search will also make sure that the seller has the right to actually sell the property thatís being sold. An attorney can do all of this much quicker than the average person since they have working relationships with title companies.


Transfer Of Property


If a property is being transferred through a corporation, trust, or partnership, things can get complicated. Itís good to have an attorney who is used to working with these complex situations and understands the legal boundaries within the state or municipality   that the property is in.


If You Choose Not To Have A Real Estate Attorney


Many times, a real estate attorney isnít required to buy a property. It is advisable to have one, however. Without an attorney you increase your chances of problems arising in the future. You run the risk of:


  • Being sued for failure to disclose information
  • An improper property transaction takes place
  • You could miss relevant facts about the property
  • Failing to file the correct documents at both the state an local levels
  • Deeds are not transferred
  • Building permits werenít correctly filed


The Takeaway


Having a real estate lawyer on your side is important due to the complex nature of property transactions. While some states require that an attorney be present throughout your property transaction, many states do not have this stipulation. You are smart to hire a competent real estate attorney to protect your own interests as either a buyer or a seller.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/26/2017

The process of buying a home is anything but cut and dry. There will undoubtedly be some twists and turns along the way. First, you need to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, youíll need to find a home that fits both your needs and your budget. Finally, youíll put in an offer on a place and hope for the best throughout the rest of the process.


There are plenty of things that you can do as a buyer to make buying a home both easier and more streamlined. Below, youíll find some of the best tips that are specifically for those seeking to buy a home. 


Give Them An Offer They Canít Refuse


When there is a low quantity of homes and a high number of buyers, competition can get fierce. When the market is like this, youíre not guaranteed to get a property that you put an offer on. It may take making several offers on homes in order for you to finally get the keys to your dream house. 


You never want your offer to be too low. A low offer could be insulting to sellers and instead of being countered, could just be outright refused. Make an offer too high and you still have a problem. A high offer may be accepted, however, itís not going to be approved by your mortgage company for you to borrow that much for the purchase. If an offer is accepted and a home appraises for less, you may be left with thousands of dollars that you need to pay on the spot in order to secure the home. 


The best way to present an attractive offer is to work with an expert realtor who can do the appropriate research and let you know what a good offer on the home would be.           


Know Your Contingencies


After an offer on a home has been accepted, you need to get to work on the contingencies that youíre going to want on the home. Your realtor will also be a huge advocate in this area. Contingencies will include things like the right to do a home inspection, the appraisal contingency, and the contingency that youíll only be able to move forward with buying the home if you have appropriate financing. These protect you as a buyer so that if something falls through, youíll be able to back out of the deal without a penalty.


Donít Go Credit Happy


Once your offer is accepted and your financing is in place, donít head out to buy tons of new furniture and appliances for your new home. Your credit matters until you get the keys to the house. Opening new credit cards or adding significant debt can affect your credit score negatively, possibly putting a damper on your home purchase. Hold off on making purchases until after you move into the house.    





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/19/2017

You have finally found what you believe to be the perfect home. Then, something rings off in your gut. Maybe it was poor communication with the seller. Maybe a big change happened in your own life in a short period of time. All you know is that you really want to back out of the deal. You might have a lot of questions. Is this possible? Are there consequences? 


The short answers to these questions are yes, and yes. There is a possibility that you could be sued by your backing out of a deal. Itís rare that buyers are actually mandated to buy a home that they donít actually want to buy. Sellers will, however, be able to keep any money that has already been paid as a deposit after a certain point in the dealings on a home sale. Sellers may also be awarded damages in some cases. 


Legally Backing Out Of The Contract


There are a few circumstances where buyers may have a legitimate right to back out of a contract on a home. If certain contingencies werenít met, as a buyer, youíre free and clear to walk away. These circumstances include:


  • Financing falls through
  • You couldnít sell your former home
  • Flaws in the home have not been disclosed
  • Property boundary line issues exist
  • Liens are against a homeís title
  • The seller does not meet the terms for improvement
  • Undisclosed uses exist for the land such as a pathway


If none of these reasons apply to you and you still have reservations about buying the home, you may need to sacrifice a huge chunk of money. The way that you exit the deal will all depend upon the contracts that were signed previously.


Other Buyers Are Waiting For The Home


If you are in a tight market and decide to back out of buying a home, you could be in luck. Often, if thereís a backup offer, itís enough to satisfy a seller that at least the home will be sold promptly. However, donít hold you breath when it comes to getting your deposits back. If you have already ďpromisedĒ to buy a home, you can kiss the deposit goodbye, unfortunately. 


Always Hire A Real Estate Attorney


Whether your state requires it or not, you should always hire a real estate attorney. These professionals can help you to read each and every line of the contracts that youíre signing when buying a home. They will make suggestions as to how you can protect yourself through the process along the way. Itís a good investment to hire a lawyer when youíre buying a home.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 10/29/2017

Whether youíre shopping for your first house or your next house, finding a listing you love is exciting. You browse the pictures, check out the property facts, share the link to your significant other, and maybe even schedule a showing.

With the exciting prospect of owning a new home that has all or many of the features youíre looking for, it can be easy to forget about certain details that matter. Most of us look for similar things in a house--close proximity to work, enough bedrooms, an upgraded kitchen, and so on.

In this article, weíre going to give you a list of things to investigate about the house youíre looking at to get a better idea of whether or not itís the perfect match for you and your family.

1. Re-read the listing

If youíre like me and get lost in the photos of a home and forget to make note of the details, be sure to go back and check out the listing a second time. It will likely give you important details of the house that you overlooked on your initial visit.

Look for things like the year the house was built, information of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, and the total acreage of the lot and square footage of the home. These things are hard to accurately represent in the listingís pictures, but will likely be important to your decision of whether or not you should view the home.

2. Do your online research

The number of things you can learn about a home and neighborhood on the internet is astounding. We suggest that before you go to visit a home, you spend 10-20 minutes on Google researching the following topics:

  • School district ratings. If you have or plan to have school-aged children, youíll want to know what your options are for your childís education. Itís often a good idea to check out the local schoolsí websites to see what

  • Commute times. With Google Maps and similar sites, you can plan out what your new commute will be and see how long it will take. You might find different routes that will save you time or avoid traffic (we could all use those extra few minutes in bed every morning). Google Maps isnít always accurate when it comes to morning traffic estimates, but itís a good place to start.

  • Amenities. Having moved into a neighborhood that has no grocery stores within a 20-minute drive, trust me--youíll want to know whatís in the area. Use Google Maps to find stores, gas, schools, parks and trails, hospitals, and other things youíll want close by.

  • Street view. While weíre on Google, use street view to take a remote look around the neighborhood. Youíll be able to see how the infrastructure looks--if the neighborhood is taken care of and if there are sidewalks that offer a safe place to walk or jog.

  • Crime ratings. Donít get too caught up in this section. Crimes happen everywhere, but this is a good way to see if the area youíre moving to is a safe place

3. Donít be afraid to ask questions

If, after all of your online research, you decide you want to go view a home, donít be shy when you arrive. Itís understandable that you wouldnít want to be a burden in someone elseís home. But remember--if youíre considering living there someday youíll want to know as much as possible before making an offer.

Test the plumbing, ask about average utilities, and donít be afraid to introduce yourself to neighbors and ask them questions about the community. The more you know, the better. Happy sleuthing!





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/17/2017

Whether new or old, many homes can have issues that arenít obvious from photos. Many of the most common problems in a home have to do with the plumbing system. Since water can be so damaging, itís especially important to get these issues out in the open prior to sale.

Some sellers might be aware of their plumbing issues, others may have no clue at all. Oftentimes, if a home was previously occupied by only one or two people who didnít entertain many guests, they may not be aware of the strain that a larger family could have on things like the septic system.

In this article, weíll cover some of the most common plumbing issues that a home has and help you identify these issues before you buy a new home.

The small fixes

Letís start with some problems that are common and simple to address. When touring a home or performing an inspection, test all of the homeís faucets. Dripping faucets might not seem like a big issue, but the cost of wasted water can add up on your utility bill.

Leaking pipes are another issue that is seemingly harmless, but can lead to bigger problems that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Check ceilings, floors, and underneath cabinets for signs of water damage.

Flush the toilets in the house to see if they continue running. Toilets that continue running water is often a simple fix, like replacing the chain or flapper in the tank. However, a leaking toilet could be symptomatic of a bigger problem that could include having to replace the toilet.

Sewer line and septic systems

Ask the owner about the history of the sewer or septic system. Find out if theyíve had problems recently and when the last time they were taken care of. If there is a septic tank or field on the property, look for signs of issues such as the grass having been dug out, water pooling in the yard, or foul smells in the area.

When it comes to septic and sewer issues, always reach out to a professional. They will be able to give you an accurate assessment and estimate of costs.

Inspect the pipes

Spot-checking the pipes in the home will tell you a lot about the state of the plumbing. Pipes that are old, worn, and lacking insulation are signs that plumbing issues could be coming. Rust is a major red flag. The water lines that lead out of the house for lawn faucets should also be wrapped to avoid freezing in the winter months.

Hot water heater

Just like the septic system, youíll want to ask about the history of the homeís hot water heater. If itís over ten years old, you might have to replace it soon after purchase.

You should also consider the size of the hot water heater. Youíll want to be sure it can accommodate your expected water usage. If children are in your future, having a bigger hot water heater might be something you want to plan for to avoid cold showers in the morning.