Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/19/2020

House hunting can be time-consuming. With so many houses currently on the market and so little time to spend visiting homes, it’s important to narrow down your search as much as possible before attending a showing.

Fortunately, in today’s digital world, it’s possible to learn a great deal of important information right from your phone or computer.

In today’s post, I’m going to give you some advice on researching the homes you’re thinking about making an offer on. We’ll talk about researching the neighborhood, and--of course--the house itself.

Putting together all the stats on the home

Let’s start with, arguably, the most important thing to research: the house itself. When you want to learn about a home, the best place to look is usually the real estate listing. Since most of us discover homes through listings, odds are you’re already on this page. However, there’s a lot of information in a listing, so take the time to go through it and gleam whatever you can from the home’s description.

Next, Google the house address and click on listings from other real estate sites. Oftentimes, a house that has been sold before will have multiple listings across the internet with different data.

Once you’ve scoured the listings, head over to the county assessor’s website to look at records of the home’s ownership. This will tell you who bought and sold the home and when. There’s much you can learn from this data, especially if a home is being sold frequently. You can also use this information to contact previous owners to ask them questions about the home that the current owner might not know the answer to.

Snooping around the neighborhood

If the house is nearby, simply driving through the neighborhood can tell you a lot. You can visit the neighborhood during rush hour to see what the traffic is like, for example.

However, it isn’t always practical to take the time to visit a house that you aren’t sure you’re interested in. So, what’s the next best thing? Google Maps.

Visit the neighborhood on Google Maps to see what’s in the area. Are there a lot of closed businesses? That could be a sign of a neighborhood in decline. Check for nearby things like parks, grocery stores, and other amenities that could influence your buying decision.

Next, use Google’s “street view” feature and explore the neighborhood. You can see what kind of shape the other homes are in, and find out the condition of infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.

Note addresses of comparable homes in the neighborhood and look up their purchase prices. This will give you an idea of whether the home is being priced appropriately.

If you’re having trouble finding information on a home, such as sale records, try contacting the local assessor. They should be able to point you to a database that will help you in your search.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/12/2020

Are you getting ready to add your house to the real estate market? Before you list your residence, it may be worthwhile to interview several real estate agents.

Hiring the right real estate agent can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. In fact, with the right real estate agent at your disposal, you can increase the likelihood of a quick, seamless and profitable home selling experience.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to interview various real estate agents prior to listing your home, and these include:

1. You can find a real estate agent who makes you feel comfortable.

It's one thing to read a real estate agent's online profile; it's another to actually sit down, interview a real estate agent and find out whether you're comfortable working with this housing market professional.

When it comes to finding a real estate agent to help you sell your home, nothing beats a face-to-face interview. This meeting will enable you to learn about a real estate agent's personality and demeanor and ask this person how he or she will approach the process of selling your home.

Setting up meetings with several real estate agents will enable you to evaluate a wide range of housing market professionals. Then, you can select a real estate agent who makes you feel good about the home selling process.

2. You can employ a real estate agent with extensive industry experience.

Allocating the necessary time and resources to assess a real estate agent's experience is paramount. That way, you can find out if a real estate agent has what it takes to sell your home and optimize its value.

With several real estate agent interviews, you can evaluate multiple housing market professionals and their respective industry experience. As a result, you'll be better equipped than ever before to hire a real estate expert to help you sell your residence.

3. You can work with a real estate agent who won't take "No" for an answer.

The right real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you in any way possible. If you meet with multiple real estate agents, you can find one who is dedicated to excellence in everything that he or she does.

Ideally, you should try to hire a real estate agent who is persistent and pays attention to even the minor details. This housing market professional won't take "No" for an answer, and as such, can help you overcome myriad challenges throughout the home selling process.

Of course, during real estate agent interviews, you should ask a housing market professional how he or she handles tough situations. Whether it's a difficult negotiation with a homebuyer or a slow housing market, the right real estate agent will know how to handle adversity time and time again.

Kick off real estate agent interviews today – you'll be glad you did. And once you find the right real estate agent, you should have no trouble listing your home and getting the best price for it.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/5/2020

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

It may be tempting, when buying a home remotely, to jump at the first great deal that fits your checklist. But, number of beds and baths aren't everything. Location matters, too. So does the school district if you have school-age children. Don't be afraid to delve deeply into a property that you're thinking of buying sight unseen, because failure to do so could lead to some serious buyer's remorse. Here's the checklist of items to cover and questions to ask before you buy a home long-distance. 

Neighborhood Crime Statistics

Sites such as ADT.com and Cityrating.com can help you learn about crime rates in your potential new neighborhood. The local police department or sheriff's office is a good resource, too. All are easy to find online once you know the address of the home or county in which it's located. Find registered sex offenders living nearby and whether your new neighbor has a collar for burglary. 

Costs of Getting There

If you're searching remotely for homes that are close to your new job location, ask your employer about job relocation assistance. Sometimes employers have packages in place to help with the logistics involved in relocating for work. A package might include financial assistance for multiple items, including:

  • Costs associated with moving companies.
  • Costs associated with storage facilities.
  • Cost to rent or own a home in the new location.
  • Costs associated with selling your existing home.
  • Having financial help to get you and your family settled in before your first day of work at your new job is a great perk. It goes a long way toward alleviating the stress of relocation. 

    HOA Restrictions

    Homeowner's Associations can be beneficial in keeping housing values steady in your target area, but they can be costly, as well as restrictive. Is your new home governed by an HOA? If so, expect to pay monthly dues, and read up on the restrictions before you commit. If you plan to change the color or layout of your new home, you may have strict guidelines you're required to follow. 

    Reputation of the Local Schools

    Parents of school-age children should also be concerned with the school district they're moving into. Your real estate agent should be a good resource for the best schools in the area, but it never hurts to Google. The best schools have a low student-to-teacher ratio, strong test scores compared with the rest of the state and plenty of support programs in place for students and parents.

    A little homework done from the comfort of your home office can help you score the remote home purchase of your dreams. Don't be afraid to play investigator throughout your new target neighborhood. 




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/29/2019

    Image by Photographee.eu from Shutterstock

    Having a beautiful home is wonderful, but having a beautiful home with an elegant and functional kitchen is fantastic. Updated kitchen décor and finishes are an on-trend way to create a warm gathering place for friends and family. A real wood countertop is a top option for perfecting the natural kitchen décor motif.

    Wooden Countertop Styles

    There are distinctive styles of wooden countertop materials available, and each serves a different purpose and esthetic.

    • Butcher Block Countertops: For countertop that allows you to slice and cut directly on the surface, the butcher block is your best choice. The wood is two to three inches thick of alternating species and can withstand damage from chopping and dicing with proper care. Available in various wood mixtures as end-grain and edge-grain, its hardness and color options make it easier to choose the one that fits into your kitchen theme.

    • Reclaimed Wood Countertops: For people who appreciate the rustic look, a repurposed wood countertop is a great option. Currently among the trending countertops, reclaimed wood is relatively simple to find and source locally. Most reclaimed wood countertops come from recycled or discarded wood.

    • Live Edge Wood Countertops: Made from planed but not trimmed raw wood, a live edge countertop retains the original shape of the tree. The unique thing about this countertop is its rustic and uncommon look; it curves inward in some areas and rounds out in others, giving your kitchen or bar area a beautiful and unique look. 

    • Solid Wood Countertops: The solid wood countertop option works well with all kitchen designs, creating a timeless and traditional look for your kitchen. Thick planks of mahogany, walnut, knotty alder, or other hardwoods waterproofed with acrylic polyurethane come in flat, dull, satin, and semi-gloss finishes for an elegant addition to your countertops.

    Your Choice of Wood

    Ensure that the design, grain, and finish of the wooden countertop you choose is appropriate for its purpose. Hardwood like maple, teak, oak, chestnut, and mahogany make great countertop material, especially if you intend to chop and slice directly on the counter surface. For a more sustainable option, bamboo, while not technically wood, is an attractive and durable choice. 

    Your kitchen countertop has a significant impact on the look and feel of your room. For best results, consult with or hire a professional contractor who is knowledgeable about the installation process for these unique surfaces.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/22/2019

    When we’re trying to find a new home and planning for the changes that will come with moving, it can seem daunting to also have to think about how you’re going to sell your old home.

    Everyone has their own unique situation that they’ll have to account for when selling. Some people choose to buy a new home and move in before selling their old home. For others, this isn’t always possible and they have to rent or stay with family while they wait to close on their new house.

    Regardless of your circumstances, there are a few things you can do to make the process of selling your home easier. In today’s post, we’ll teach you how to do just that.

    1. Make a timeline

    Undoubtedly, you’re going to have a lot going on in your life when selling your home. To keep yourself on track, work with your real estate agent to establish a timeline for accomplishing everything you need to do.

    This will help you avoid feeling rushed when it comes to completing the tasks on your list. Whether that includes cleaning, packing, preparing documents, or popping the champagne bottle after your sale, it always pays to have a schedule.

    To make this process even easier, be sure that you and your spouse/family are working on the same schedule so that everyone is on the same page.

    2. Pack and store

    When you’re showing your home to potential buyers, you don’t want it to be cluttered with your personal belongings. Furthermore, all of those belongings will soon have to be packed and transported anyway.

    To save yourself time and to increase the appeal of your home while it’s on the market, pack up your items by room and store them until you’re ready to move.

    You can do this by renting a storage unit or just packing things neatly in your basement until you can move.

    3. Make minor repairs now

    Before ever putting your home on the market, it’s a good idea to do a thorough walkthrough of the home to check for small issues that you either haven’t noticed or have been putting off.

    When a potential buyer visits your home, you can be sure that they’ll be looking for signs that the how was well-maintained. This is your chance to prove that you’ve been staying on top of things around the house.

    Making these repairs in advance if selling your home will relieve some of the workload and stress you’ll be feeling once you get closer to selling.

    4. Be available

    This last step can be the hardest, especially if you and your spouse work full-time and have children with obligations like sports.

    Your real estate agent will do most of the work for you when it comes to showing and preparing the home. However, it’s vital that you’re available to respond quickly at key times. This means answering any questions your agent has for you, gathering paperwork when it’s needed, and discussing offers when they’re made.


    If you can pull of these four steps, you’ll be in good shape to sell your home quickly, ensuring a smooth sale and transition for you and your family.