10 Things to Know When Buying a Home

10 Things to Know When Buying a Home

Typically, a home purchase is the largest investment in most people’s lives. In the US, on average 40% of homeowners have their wealth associated with their home.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind as you move forward in purchasing.

1 - Think Long Term Purchase

You will likely be in your home at least for 5 years, with the average being 10 years, before homeowners make a move. Buy a home that will continue to offer you what you need for your needs for the next 5-10 years.

2 - Don’t speculate with Money, Buy to Improve Your Life

The housing market has become too unpredictable. And you will be spending the majority of your time in your home; enjoy being where you live. Focus on what will help you enjoy your life.

3 - Don’t Buy Into Trends, Buy Into What You Need

Shiny features are meant to lure you into paying more and paying for what you don’t need. Don’t be fooled. Focus on the essentials and what’s important to you.

4 - Determine Your Budget and Stick to It

Setting a budget is the first thing you need to focus on. It’s very easy to go over budget and suffer the monthly burden you will have to carry. This is particularly true for urban buyers. Typically 42% of buyers go over their budget compared to Rural Buyers.

5 - 20% is an Ideal Down, but Consider Lower or A Lower Priced Home if Cumbersome

Here are the reasons why 20% is ideal:

  • If less than 20%, then you will likely pay for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
  • Buyers with more down typically put more offers and buy faster
  • Higher down reduces financial risk

6 - Keep a 6-month Reserve

Thing happen. It’s best to be prepared and keep your peace of mind.

7 - Get Pre-Approved & Consider 15-30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

The Preapproval is an indicator of how much you can afford and what your monthly will be. The 30 year fixed mortgage offers you advantages, the biggest being locking in your interest rate. They typically require higher monthly payments, compared to other mortgages, but you won’t have a balloon payment and the longer you make the payment, the more will be applied toward the principle.

8 - Shop Around for a Mortgage to Get the Best Deal

Get quotes from different lenders. Each may offer their own incentives. Even by saving $40-$50 per month, think of the impact that will have over 15 to 30 years.

9 - Spend No More than 1/3 of Your After Tax Income on Housing

Don’t spend too much. The monthly headache will not be worth it.

10 - Always be Willing to Walk Away

A home purchase is an emotional one. But be wise, don’t just use emotions to justify the purchase. Those emotions dissipate. Buy for the long run. Be prepared to walk away if the seller does not meet your expectations. You will want to be happy 10 years from now, not just 10 weeks.


Be Wise. Use more than just your emotions. Think long-term. Build value, but imagine being in your home for a long time. Call Tarek & Associates and let us find you your next home. +1.949.337.8808

7 Tips on Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

7 Tips on Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a home, for most, is the most important financial decision. The agent you choose is absolutely critical in ensuring your success.

Interview & Check Track Record

There are lots of realtors nowadays, and the crowd seems to be getting bigger. It’s imperative that you choose someone who has firsthand knowledge working in the market that you are buying or selling.

Communication is Key

Some agents are only concerned about getting the signature on the dotted line & disappear shortly after. Make sure that your agent is there to support you throughout the entire process of selling or buying your home.

Negotiation Tactics

Believe it or not, there are a lot of subtleties that complete the transaction which go beyond just the contract. The personal negotiating style of the agent plays an important role in this process.

What is the Agent’s Workload?

If the agent is working alone on 8 listings, chances are you are NOT their top priority. If they are in a team setting, where an agent is assigned to your property & you, it may be more fitting. Choose what makes sense for you.

Research Their Record & Reputation

Review their recommendations, digital presence, and overall reputation. Spend a few minutes behind the computer and see if anything pops up that may be a red flag.


It’s easy to put a home on the MLS and wait for the phone to ring. What does the agent provide to set your property apart from the rest? Do they have a good online presence? How is their social media? You are using an agent to bring attention to your property if selling; it doesn’t help if they shy away from the limelight.


Whether buyer or selling, Tarek & Associates offers a series of advantages to garnering you the very best proposals for the property of your dream. With over 475 transactions and 15 years of experience, there are few others which surpass the experience we bring to the table in negotiating a winning outcome for our clients. Call us today and speak to us about what sets Tarek & Associates apart: 949.337.8808

Purchasing A Home? What to Avoid

Purchasing A Home? What to Avoid

There is a simple test, which will always tell you if your home purchase is a good one or a bad one. It’s the kitchen.
It’s typically the room most utilized in the house and tells you a lot about how the home has been maintained.

Look for these telltale signs.

Water Damage

Water damage is of the utmost importance in ANY home purchase, but particularly so in the kitchen, as evidence of flooding is an epithet to future woes. Save yourself.
The issue could be the pluming, the sink, or even bad weather. Ask your inspector to pay very close attention to this issue. It will save you much chagrin and money down the line.

Asbestos Pipes

A common problem with older homes, typically built before 1978, asbestos was used to insulate pipes and keep them from freezing. It is particularly dangerous if it has begun to breakdown.
If you have children, it is imperative to keep them away from the toxic material.
And if you spot this in a house, it’s better to find another, which does not contain potential exposure to this toxic material.

Cheap Flooring

Linoleum floors, or older wood flooring are typically glued to the ground. This is very time consuming and expensive to replace. If you are planning renovations, this will heavily affect your budget.

Cabinet Issues

If there is any rot, run! You can leverage the cabinets in getting credit from the seller, but they are costly to replace and required a lot of manual labour.


With that said, let Tarek show you the very best in what the marketplace offers. He knows what to avoid and how to save you money, time and future headaches. Contact us today for a full list of great homes that are on the market: 949.337.8808



Sting’s New York Penthouse $56M Already Under Contract

Sting’s New York Penthouse $56M Already Under Contract

15 Central Park West, the iconic Upper West Side New York address. Much like the iconic resident. 'Sting' & his wife, Trudi Tyler have called this address home while in New York.

The terrace alone is bigger than most New York Apartments. 5,417 square feet interior space, 396 square feet overlooking Central Park. 4-bed, 5.5-bath, two floors, spiral staircase, central park views from every room.

24 hour concierge service, 14,000 square foot private gym, private wine cellars for residents, are just some of the community perks.

Currently under-contract at $6M below listing price.

Please contact Tarek & Associates for all of your out of state referrals with top luxury real estate agents.

Sting’s New York Penthouse $56M Already Under Contract Image 2

5 Great Reasons To Buy a Home in the Fall

5 Great Reasons To Buy a Home in the Fall

Fall typically begins a slightly slower market in real estate which is great for buyers!

Leftover Deals Will Result in Deals

New Homes come on the market during the Spring, at higher prices. These same sellers have fewer chances of capturing buyers because of their high prices. By fall, the are more realistic.

Fewer Buyers During this Season

Families have to be settled at this point due to school schedules for their children, creating less competition.

You will notice fewer buyers at open houses, the competition is less

Sellers Want to Close by End-of-Year

Motivated sellers are abound, especially for tax benefits. Sellers may offer incentives to close by then.

Now is the time to buy! Call Tarek And Associates for a list of homes currently available for purchase.

How Much Is My House Worth?

How Much Is My House Worth?

Considering selling your home? The first question typically is how much is it worth in today’s market.

Comp Analysis is the First Key

An experienced Realtor, such as Tarek El Moussa has been examining markets for over 15 years. He understands how to maximize profits.

How Are the Best Comps Found

Recent Solds are the best indicators of what you can expect to fetch in the current marketplace. Here in Newport Beach, being on a different side of the street can drastically affect value. You have to have know-how for accurate selection of Comparable Properties.

Home Improvements: Yes or No

You have to compare your home to what the market places needs. In high-end enclaves, such as Newport Beach, buyers demand high quality finishes and upgrades.


The exterior of the house is the first impression buyers get. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make it enviting.


Contact Tarek & Associates for a personalized Comp Market Analysis.