Rent or Buy?

By Nef Cortez Most people start their independent living when they first move out of their parent’s home by renting.  They either choose to rent a room at another person’s home, or possibly move into a friend’s apartment. Many times they go from that living arrangement to sharing the cost of renting an apartment or […]

Giving Thanks for Housing

By Nef Cortez Everyone that has a “roof over their heads” has a reason to be Thankful.  Many of us were able to sit around the dinner table and enjoy this Thanksgiving with family and friends. In contrast, there are many unfortunate people throughout the world that are spent this Thanksgiving Day 2017 without one […]

Tax Reform and Housing

By Nef Cortez The current effort to Reform the Tax Code can have some very disconcerting consequences to homeownership in California. The incentives that are built into the tax code benefit Homeowners directly in the ability to claim as a deduction the interest paid on a home mortgage, as well as the property taxes paid. […]

Payoff Home Loan Early!

By Nef Cortez You can save tens of thousands of dollars, possibly even hundreds of thousands, in the repayment of your home loan by using a very simple money management trick.  The typical home loan that is taken out in the purchase of a home is written or amortized over a 30 years period.  The […]

Safety and Homeownership

By Nef Cortez One of the most important considerations when one is looking to buy a home is the safety of the community in which the home is located.  Diamond Bar has consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the US, and without a question, in California. I attended Supervisor Janice Hahn’s first […]

Down Payment from 401(k)

By Nef Cortez Achieving the American Dream of owning your own home requires planning ahead, and a lot of discipline.  The American Dream for many is getting further and further away from their reach, as prices continue to increase.  The Dream Home, having “nice curb appeal” (appearance of the front of the home as viewed […]

Sources of a Down Payment

By Nef Cortez How much money does a person have to have in order to buy one’s home? The answer to this question, of course, varies in many ways. One variable is in what city one decides to make their home. That decision, of course, will affect the price of homes that a person has […]

Helping Homeless Veterans

By Nef Cortez Homeless veterans make up close to 10% of the Homeless population.  Although it is a very large number, it has decreased substantially from what it was 7 years before by approximately 40%.  The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV)lists  a very good outline of the types of services individuals or groups can […]

Housing Inventory Shortage Solutions

By Nef Cortez The Housing Inventory Shortage is becoming a bigger problem in many ways.  Economics 101 taught us that the change in either side of the Supply-Demand equation will create a change in outcomes to the marketplace. In this case, the Housing inventory is the supply, and being an illiquid investment, it does not […]

Housing the Homeless Part 3

By Nef Cortez The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that there are currently over 500,000 homeless people in the United States. We have all seen “the homeless” as we drive to and from work, while running errands, at freeway off-ramps, underneath freeway overpasses, along the Santa Ana River near Anaheim Stadium. The 1/2 million […]

Housing the Homeless Part 2

By Nef Cortez Last week I wrote Part 1 of Housing the Homeless. Questions were posed as related to Organized Real Estate’s efforts to participate in the fight to end homelessness. As evident in cities across the country, it is a big problem that has had very negative effects on the quality of life for […]

Diamond Bar Home Prices Still Up!

By Nef Cortez Home prices of those transferring ownership in Diamond Bar during the second quarter of 2017 maintained the high levels reached in the first quarter.  These prices maintain historically high levels not seen since the housing market peak of 2006. Including single family residences (SFR), townhomes, and condominiums, the current median sales price […]

Homeownership is Good for Parents Too!

By Nef Cortez I wrote last week on “Homeownership is Good for Kids!” I explained how in many ways, homeownership impacts children’s development in positive ways. In my 41 year career in the real estate industry, I have seen many instances of this lived out, where my clients bought a home and were able to […]

Homeownership Is Good For Kids

By Nef Cortez Homeownership has long been lauded as an important factor in the success of children in school and subsequently in their careers. Much research and many studies have been completed with analysis on the beneficial impacts of homeownership on children. This fact has long been used by the real estate and lending industries […]

Rent or Buy? Part 2

By Nef Cortez Part 1 of “Rent or Buy?” written last week covered some general factors that most people consider when deciding whether to buy or rent. I promised to provide in more detail what some of these factors are, and how they might impact you when considering renting or buying a home. According to […]

HOA Fee: What is it Good For?

By Nef Cortez A first time homebuyer once asked me, in reference to the HOA Fee, why do I have to pay that? What is it good for, and how does it benefit me anyway? In today’s real estate market, when many of the Homeowners association fees run anywhere from $250 -$500 per month, that […]

High End Falters

By Nef Cortez The Real Estate market in Diamond Bar and Chino Hills are part of the higher end of the real estate market in the East San Gabriel Valley and the West San Bernardino County.  The median home values of  homes in these communities surpass by the thousands of dollars the median home values […]

Why Sell Now?

By Nef Cortez How can it be a good time to buy and at the same time a good time to sell? Real Estate is local!  Although Macroeconomic factors are the overall influence on the real estate market, individual property values are most influenced by local market conditions. We have all heard the mantra “Location, […]