Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/21/2016

Dreaming of better days soaking up the sun on a tropical island? Bring that feeling into your home (or close to it) with beach themed home décor. And you don’t have to live by a beach or an ocean to incorporate the theme into your home. DIY home décor projects are fun and fairly simple, and if you are a deal getter, fairly inexpensive. All you need are some supplies: glue (craft glue, hot glue gun, and super glue), rope, beach accessories, ribbon, and whatever craft needs for each project. Below are a few simple and fun beach themed DIY projects: Burlap Wreath: Burlap wreaths are so easy to make, require a small workspace and create a very minimal mess. All you need is burlap, a wire wreath frame, wire, and decorative accessories. Make sure to choose decorative accessories that are not too heavy as they will weigh the wreath down as well as pieces that can be attached easily, either with craft glue/hot glue gun or rope. Vase: There are endless options with this one. The vase could be a stand-alone piece or house flowers. Supplies include a glass vase(s), craft glue, craft rope or net, and accessories. You can use rope wrapped around ¾ of the vase or just use small accents of it. Add on the accessories to decorate the vase to your own taste. Candleholder: Similar to the glass vase, there are endless opportunities for creating a beach themed candleholder. The same supplies would be needed but with the addition of a wax candle or flameless candle. Lights: Beach themed lighting is a great addition to any room. Lamps are perfect for bedrooms or living spaces and hanging lighting would perfect for entertainment spaces including dining rooms and outdoor spaces and hallways. Create rope or net lanterns by attaching to existing light fixtures. Add seashells and starfish to sand colored or sea colored lampshades. Hang string lights around larger seashells and starfish on the wall above your headboard. Take it a step further and DIY your switch plate cover with a little spray glue, sand and shells. It will pull the theme together. Find the accessories such as seashells, starfish, sand dollars, beach rocks, sea glass and sand at your local craft store or search around your favorite beach to make your project a little more special. These projects are so simple and perfect for adding a beach-y feel to your home. Plus, you’ll feel accomplished having created new décor for your home. All you need are a few supplies and a tutorial (search the Internet or check out Pinterest) or an imagination and you’re on your way to being a DIY expert.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/7/2016

Choosing between satelllite television or a local provider in today's world is a lot more complicated than it was a decade ago. Cable TV has made a concentrated effort in the last decade to offer the channel variety of a satellite television service, while satellite television has tried to offer the same kind of bundle deals to their customers that make cable subscriptions so appealing to people who like the idea of an all-inclusive bill for their at-home entertainment. While both services can be very rewarding in terms of quality of service and variety, your family's entertainment needs will have to be ultimately considered if you want to make the best decision possible. In this guide, I will attempt to highlight the best features of each service, how they stack up to each other in terms of quality, and illuminate the potential drawbacks for each. Cable TV Cable television offers you an easy opportunity to condense all of your digital services into one package (Phone, tv, and internet.) While some satellite television companies offer similar packages, they usually have to hire a third-party company in order to be able to do so. And with cable television moving into the digital realm a little more every year, they are now finally providing picture quality that you could only previously get with satellite television. Additionally, you never have to worry about bad weather affecting your reception like you would if you were to chose a dish network. Also, many cable companies now offer DVR as part of their digital packages, which allows you to pause, record, and rewind any program you'd like, a service only previously available to satellite customers. If your family's home entertainment needs center around fast, high-quality internet service, and your television requirements can be satisfied without needing hundreds of channels, a cable television package will definitely suit your needs. Satellite TV While it may sound like Cable TV is the more appealing option at this point, you must consider a few things; namely, Satellite TV absolutely trumps cable in terms of the sheer variety of programs and content. Dish TV boasts a roster of 250+ channels, and the number is always growing. That includes over 80 PPV channels, whereas cable can only manage about 40. In addition, satellite television offers you a slew of international programming that a cable service simply cannot compete with. Dish TV also consistently outperforms Cable in terms of customer service ratings. But while Dish TV currently has the edge in terms of variety, your access to local programming is pretty limited. And, as mentioned previously, reception can be an issue during inclement weather. Your property will also need to have an unobstructed view of the sky in order to receive optimal reception, which can be a problem for some homeowners. As far as pricing is concerned, your television needs may be the determining factor. If having television in every room is a must for you, then opting for a cable package may suit your needs better. Satellite companies tend to offer per room fees, which can be expensive in the event that you would like the service to extend beyond one or two televisions. There is also the equipment cost to consider. While opting for a satellite package may cost you more money up front, your monthy bill will more often than not be lower than a cable package, as maintainance costs tend to be lower. For additional information on cable television, please visit www.comcast.com or www.verizon.com/fios For additional information on satellite television, please visit www.directstartv.com or www.dish.com    




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/21/2015

Just about every homeowner at some point will have a hole in the wall that needs repair. Repairing a hole in the wall can be inexpensive and easy. The whole process should only take about 30 to 45 minutes but will need to be done over the course of a couple days. Follow these instructions and you will be well on your way to your wall looking like new. You will need: • Sandpaper • Putty knife • Drywall patching compound (spackle or plaster) • Wall hole patch • Wet sponge or spray bottle • Wall texture spray • Paint • Paintbrush Directions: 1. Clear and remove loose drywall around the hole. Look inside and around the edges of the hole for pieces that are still attached. 2. Smooth the edges around the hole to create a surface the drywall patching compound can adhere to. 3. Remove the backing paper from the sticky side of the wall patch. Apply the sticky side of the patch around the edges of the hole, leaving at least a ½” on each side of the hole. Smooth the edges of the patch around the hole. 4. Apply the patching compound with a putty knife liberally around the edges of the wall patch. Work your way in from the edges before getting to the middle of the wall patch. 5. Don't finishing covering the rest of the hole until the compound is dry (about 15-20 minutes). This allows the compound to partially dry so that the wall patch does not move when applying patching compound to the center of the patch. 6. Apply compound until the entire wall patch is covered. Smooth out as much as possible. The patch will still be sanded so it doesn't need to be perfect. Allow to dry overnight. 7. Sand until smooth making sure the edges are even with the rest of the wall. 8. Wipe the area down with a wet cloth and allow it to dry for 10-15 minutes. 9. Paint as needed. Your wall won’t look exactly like it did before but it will be close.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 5/12/2014

Who doesn't like to save money? A penny saved is a penny earned and there are some quick and easy do-it-yourself tips that you can do around your home to help the savings add up. 1. Did you know a shorter dryer hose will make your dryer run more efficiently? You could save up to $25 a year by just trimming the dryer hose. Make sure to trim the hose length just long enough to pull the dryer a few feet out from the wall. 2. Keep the closet doors closed. Not only does it make your room look neater it will also keep you from heating or cooling more square footage. You could save up to $50 a year by just closing the closet doors. 3. Check the water heater and make sure it is set to 120 degrees.  You may have to wait a few minutes for the shower to heat up but you could also save up to $30 or more per year on gas, oil, electricity, or propane. 4. Replace all your light bulbs with energy-efficient halogen bulbs, rather than incandescents. Just by doing this you could save a whopping $20 per fixture on electricity over three years. 5. Chim chiminey, chim chim cher-ee! Get your chimney swept in the summer. Having your chimney done in the off-season will save you money by getting an off-season price. You could save approximately $50 per flue. Just doing these simple tips can save you hundreds of dollars a year.  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 10/7/2012

Just because winter is approaching doesn't mean you have to put off home projects. In fact, while some projects are better done during the summer, there are a select few that are best done while the weather is taking a turn for the chilly. Here's a few ideas to help get you started. Caulking your windows and doors - Fall provides you with a unique opportunity to find the drafty spots in your home, and rectify them before a harsh winter hits. Caulk adheres to surfaces best around 45 to 50 degrees, and with the temperature falling to the 40's and 50's in the fall, you'll find yourself being about to feel out which rooms are drafty and need some attention. Properly caulked windows and doors will save you a boatload in utility costs, not to mention the obvious benefit of keeping your house comfortable in what is sure to be a tough winter. Evaluating your attic insulation - Now would also be a good time to check up on your insulation, and consider whether or not it would be in your best interests to replace your existing insulation.  Improperly insulated attics can wreak havoc on your utility bills, and unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of the kind of insulation at work in their attics. Energystar's website has a comprehensive guide for what kind of insulation your home should have, as well as a brief guide explaining the classifications of insulation, and why certain kinds are preferred over others depending on the climate you happen to find yourself in. Guarding against fall pests - Due to decaying vegetation and falling temperatures, some insect populations experience a population explosion during fall weather.  After this population boom, and the temperatures drop, these insects will do anything they can to find shelter, including wiggling right into your home.  Luckily, by practicing fall lawn maintenance regularly, you can avoid the brunt of this onslaught.  Bugs LOVE dead leaves.  It serves as not only a food source for them, but due to the decay of vegetation raiding the ground temperature, it also serves as a shelter from the colder temperatures.  By staying vigilant and keeping your yard free of debris, it will also keep your home from being overrun with pests. Pave your driveway - Because repaving your driveway is one of those projects that is notoriously put off time and time-again, this is just a friendly reminder to consider this project before the cold weather prevents you from doing so.  A fresh, smooth driveway will make snow removal much easier in the dead of winter, not to mention the aesthetic appeal it can convey.  If this is one of those home projects that you were planning on doing this year, just keep in mind; time is running out.