Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/22/2018

Having equity in your home is an incredibly valuable thing. It allows you to borrow against your house and shows that the value of your investment is rising. Equity defined is the difference between your home’s value and the amount you still owe on the home. Equity allows you to move forward with other properties and sell your current one. 


As you pay down your mortgage, your equity increases. There is, however, always a risk of an equity slide where values drop a bit. There are a few ways that you can help your home’s equity value to increase faster.


Pay Towards The Principal


The first few years that you’re a homeowner, you’ll be paying a lot towards the interest and only a little towards the principal value of the loan. The quicker you pay down your home loan, the faster you’ll increase the equity of your home. Check your budget and see how much extra you may be able to pay. Then, talk with your lender to see if there are any pre-payment penalties. 


Complete Home Improvement Projects


You may not know that many home improvement projects can increase the value of your home substantially. There are many projects that you can complete in your home that won’t break the bank yet will give you a significant return. You can start simple, or think big. Some of the best home improvement projects that will add value to your home include:


  • Complete kitchen remodel
  • Replacing countertops
  • Refinishing cabinets
  • Installing new appliances
  • Replacing garage doors
  • Bathroom remodel
  • Putting on addition
  • Landscaping renovations


Any of these home improvement projects can add value to your home, bringing the equity value of the home up. Even if you’re not planning on taking out any equity in your home for some time, any improvement projects that you choose to do are beneficial for both you and how your home affects your finances.  


Increase The Amount Of Your Downpayment


You can increase the value of a home before you even buy it. If you put the traditional 20% down on a house, you’ll build equity a bit faster than if you put down a lower amount such as 3% or 5%. If you have already purchased your home, you can ask your lender to do what’s called a cash-in refinance. This type of refinance is where you bring cash to the refinancing closing table in order to lower the balance of your mortgage.   





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/15/2018

If you recently sold your home and plan to relocate to a new address, you may need to pack up your personal belongings. And in some instances, there may be items that you can sell before moving day arrives. These include:

1. Furniture

Although your couch, sofa, loveseat and other furniture may have served you well for many years, there is no guarantee that they will fit in your new residence. Furthermore, even if your current furniture fits perfectly in your new house, there may be a risk that it won't complement your new home's décor.

If you have furniture that you don't want to bring to your new home, there is no need to worry. You can always list furniture online or host a yard sale prior to moving day. Or, you may want to donate your furniture to a local charity.

2. Appliances

A refrigerator, washer, dryer and other home appliances can be large and heavy. Therefore, it sometimes may be beneficial to purchase new appliances when you arrive at your new residence rather than allocate time and energy to transport your existing appliances to your new address.

For those who want to get rid of large appliances before an upcoming move, lots of options are available. In addition to selling or donating your current appliances, you can offer your appliances to the individual who is buying your residence. Also, if you face a time crunch, you can provide your appliances free of charge to the person who is buying your home.

3. Home Decorations

Various decorations may have looked great in your current residence. But if you want to give your new home a fresh look and feel, you may want to sell your current decorations prior to moving day.

Generally, there is no shortage of online buyers or yard sale shoppers who may be willing to purchase your home decorations. You can donate your home decorations to a local charity or give them to family members, friends or other loved ones as well.

As you get ready for an upcoming move, you may have a lot of work ahead. Fortunately, moving companies are available that can help you streamline the moving process.

A moving company employs courteous, knowledgeable moving professionals who are happy to assist you in any way they can. These moving professionals can provide recommendations and tips to help you prepare for moving day. And if you have moving day concerns or questions, moving day professionals are ready to address them.

Lastly, if you need to sell your home so you can quickly move from one address to another, you may want to employ an expert real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive plenty of help during the property selling cycle. Best of all, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to sell your residence, get ready for moving day and ensure you can seamlessly relocate to any location, at any time.




Tags: moving tips   moving  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/8/2018

It’s common knowledge that a 20% down payment is key when you buy a home, but is it absolutely necessary? With average home prices continuing to rise, it’s hard to actually save up that sizable of an amount of money. Thinking bout the numbers, buying a home may seem impossible. 


There’s good news: The 20% down requirement is actually a myth. If you put less than 20% down, you can still get a mortgage with most banks. There’s a reason why you hear that you need to put 20% down to buy a home. If you don’t put 20% down, you need to get either private mortgage insurance (PMI) or government insurance from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). These types of mortgage insurance protect the lender if you don’t make your payments and the home is foreclosed on. 



Do PMI Payments Go On Forever?


When your loan-to-value ratio reaches 80 percent, you’re able to ask your lender to cancel the insurance. Once the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78 percent, the lender has a requirement to cancel the PMI. This type of insurance can be costly, averaging at least a few hundred dollars a month. 


Alternatives To 20 Percent Down


Look at financing before you find a house. There’s a few programs that can help you to buy a home without 20% down. There’s different ways to qualify for these programs, so your best bet is to talk to a lender well before you start your home search.


Government programs through places like the US Department of Agriculture and the Federal Housing Administration help people to buy a home with very little down- anywhere from 0-3.5%. Some of these programs can prove to be costly on the backend, due to extra insurance requirements, but they do provide an alternative path to home ownership.  


There’s also an option to actually finance the down payment with what's called a subordinate loan. his may make sense for some, however, you are taking out a loan in order to pay for another loan. The process may be counterintuitive for you and your financial situation. 


Different Paths To Homeownership


While there’s many different paths to owning a home, there’s no one right answer. Since everyone chooses different properties and has different financial situations, there’s a way for you. Even if saving up a 20% down payment is seemingly impossible, there’s way to get around it. Start with talking to your bank and other lenders to see what types of programs are available to you and discover what your path to homeownership is.




Tags: pmi   down payment  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/1/2018

If you've lived in your home for more than a couple years, chances are you've grown rather attached to it. Whether you're selling your house because your family has outgrown it or your company has transferred you to another location, you're probably attaching a lot of sentimental value to the price tag. Unfortunately, sentimental value does not translate into dollars and cents in today's real estate market.

The emotions of prospective buyers will often play a role in their decision to make on offer on your house, but they're probably not going to pay more than the market value for your property -- unless there's a bidding war situation going on. One of the best ways to determine a fair and reasonable asking price for your home is to have it appraised by an experienced real estate agent. Their appraisal will be based on objective data, such as the selling price of comparable homes in your area. The location and condition of your home will have a bearing on pricing your home effectively, as will the prevailing market conditions and other factors. Although online estimates can sometimes give you a ballpark figure of what your house may be worth, a local appraisal is more accurate

A common misconception among homeowners is that a $10,000 home improvement expenditure should justify a $10,000 increase in the selling price of a home. Although that concept may seem logical, it unfortunately doesn't work that way in the real estate market. An updated kitchen, bathroom, or roof may make your house more appealing to prospective buyers and help it sell faster, but it probably won't have a dollar-for-dollar impact on the price buyers would be willing to pay. Since each selling situation is unique, however, your local real estate agent is the best person to consult regarding a fair asking price for your home.

Avoiding Home Seller Mistakes

In addition to overpricing their home, another mistake home sellers make involves three related activities: decorating, staging, and attempting to create curb appeal. In spite of a homeowner's best intentions, their decorating and home staging ideas may clash with those of the house-buying public. When you attempt to tackle home staging on your own, several things could go wrong.

  • You could either spend too much or too little on making repairs and sprucing up your home's appearance.
  • You could spend your time and money upgrading inconsequential features of your home, while overlooking the real important changes that need to be made.
In either case, you're missing the mark when it comes to maximizing the marketability of your home. That's why it pays to take advantage of the knowledge, expertise, and objectivity of a professional real estate agent. Their recommendations on pricing and home staging will be based on experience, best practices, objective criteria, and current market conditions.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 6/24/2018

It goes without saying that buying a home is time-consuming.

 First, there’s the financial planning to determine when you’re ready to buy a home. Then you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for homes. After viewing several homes you finally find the perfect home. Then comes the difficult process of making an offer and negotiating the cost of the home. If all goes well, your offer is accepted and you get to enter the lengthy mortgage closing process. However, your work is not yet done. You’ll have to move out of your current residence and into your new home. All of this while juggling your work and social life.

 After all of this, it might seem like the only thing left to do is relax in your new home. While it may be true that you certainly deserve a break, there are some things you should do sooner rather than later when you move into your new home.

 In this article, we’ll cover ten things you should do right away once you move into your new home.

1. Home security

Your chief consideration when moving into your new home should be making sure it’s safe. The best first step to take is to change all of the locks on your house. In spite of how trustworthy the previous homeowner may have seemed, you can never be 100% sure who had spare keys to their home. Changing locks is quick and inexpensive, especially considering what’s at stake.

Another important step in home security is to put new batteries in and test all smoke detectors, make sure fire extinguishers are up-to-date, and ensure air filters are cleaned.

2. Set up your utilities

One of the first things you have to do when moving into a new home is to call your utility companies and transfer services into your name. Make a list of the services you’ll need to set up (electricity, water, garbage removal, internet, home security, heating, etc.). This is also a good time to set up online accounts and autopay for these services. It will save you time each month and make it easier to keep track of your bills if you simplify this process from the get-go.

3. Self-inspection

You should have already had the home inspected by a professional prior to closing on the house. However, things can change in the time that someone moves all of their belongings out of a home and you move all of yours in. Wiring can be damaged, pipes banged, windows cracked, and so on. Do a thorough inspection of your home to check for leaks, broken wires, and fire hazards to be sure that your home is in good condition.

4. Deep clean

It might be tempting to just move your belongings into their new places once you arrive at your new home. However, the best time to clean a room is when it’s empty. Before you set up your furniture or fill your cabinets, give them a thorough cleaning.

5. Familiarize yourself with circuit breaker and water valves

When disaster strikes, you’ll want to be ready for it. Get to know your circuit box before the first power outage. Store flashlights in easily accessible places and make sure they have fresh batteries. Similarly, familiarize yourself with the main water shutoff valve in case you have a pipe burst. If the former homeowner lived alone and you have a large family, there’s a chance that the sudden surge in power and water usage could reveal issues with plumbing and wiring that the former owner wasn’t aware of.