Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/27/2017

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life, financially and otherwise. When you buy a home you're deciding on the region you want to live in, where you might want to raise children, and the people you'll live around for likely many years. You're also signing up for all of the responsibilities that come with a home: utility bills, issues and repairs, cleaning the house, maintaining the yard... the list goes on. So, before plunging into a mortgage, check off all the items on this checklist to determine if you're ready for home ownership.

The First Time Home Buyer's Checklist:

  1. I know where I want to live. Determining the location of your home is one of the most important factors that goes into home buying. Most decisions are influenced by your job/career, but things like family, friends and weather are all important things to consider. Aside from knowing where you want to live, you'll also need to know how long you want to stay. As a general rule, if you don't plan on staying in your home for at least 5-8 years it could be cheaper and easier to rent until you find somewhere you'd like to settle in.
  2. I have my finances under control. You don't need to be wealthy to buy a home, but you do need to have a strong understanding of your personal finances. In a spreadsheet, write down your total savings, monthly income and monthly expenses (including groceries, transportation, bills, and loans). Find out what type of mortgage and downpayment you can afford at your income level.
  3. My income is dependable. When you apply for a home loan the bank will look into this for you. But you should also want to make sure you can continue to afford your mortgage payments. How dependable is your job? Are there a lot of job opportunities in your field and in your area? These are all questions that help you determine the stability of your income.
  4. I have a good credit score. Your credit will be a big factor in getting approved for a home loan. Building credit seems complicated but it's based on four main things: paying bills on time, keeping balances relatively low, having a long record of repayment, and not opening several new cards or taking on multiple loans in a short period of time.
  5. I'm pre-approved for a loan. Getting pre-approved isn't mandatory, but it offers many benefits. First, it shows lenders that you are a safe person to loan money to. Second, it will give you insight into what banks think of your finances and will give you an idea of what price range you can safely buy in.
  6. I'm prepared for the responsibilities of owning a home and willing to learn. If you're handy around the house and can fix anything, that's great. What's more important, however, is that you have the time and willingness to learn new skills that will help you become a good homeowner.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/22/2014

Do you have a home buying strategy? Buying a home can be a risky and expensive proposition so you will want to make sure you have a plan.  In order to put a plan in place you will want to ask ask the following questions: How long do I plan to live here? You will need to consider how long you plan to live in your home to determine if it makes financial sense. Consider what changes you might make during that time frame. Will you be starting a family? Will elderly parents need to move in with you? You may need a larger home or need to find a community with better amenities for children, and that will increase the likelihood of you moving. How is the local market? All real estate is local.  Find out all you can about the neighborhoods you're considering. Look at the inventory of homes, how have properties gone up or down in value, and how much homes are selling for compared to the listing price. What is my financial stability? Consider factors like the stability of your job. Will you still be there in five years? What kind of future does your industry have? Does climbing up the career ladder mean you might have to move elsewhere to get ahead? Look at your current debts and income, not your future salary, to determine whether you can afford to buy.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 6/9/2014

For many seniors, the idea of selling the home that they have raised a family in can be met with some resistance. And while many seniors are perfectly capable and comfortable taking care of a large home, there are some who would much rather do away with the hassle of home maintenance and lawn upkeep, opting instead to spend their golden years in a more relaxed setting with a more comfortable climate.  If you find yourself thinking about selling your home and settling in greener pastures, then there are a few things you will need to consider.

    • Are you moving because you want to, or because you think that taking care of your home is becoming a burden?
    • Do you want to move closer to family?
    • Is the climate you currently live in aggravating any medical conditions you may have?
Firstly, you must ask yourself what you'd want in your new residence.  Do you want to live in a place where things like lawn care and home maintenance are taken care of for you, or would you just prefer a smaller home?  Would you like to stay within your community, or are you thinking about an out-of-state move?  Florida has long been known for its retirement communities, but places like Arizona and New Mexico are quickly becoming retirement hot spots due to their affordability and warm climate. A few things to consider.
      • Availability and access to medical care
      • Would you like to have access to a swimming pool for exercise?
      • Are you open to the idea of living in an area with group activities?
Once you've settled on a potential destination, it's time to establish how much your home is worth.  A qualified real estate agent can help you through this process. For more moving tips for seniors, please click here.