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Buyer | Blog

Wednesday, November 21, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

Does It Cost Anything for Buyers to Use a Realtor?

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People ask me all the time whether it costs anything for buyers to work with a Realtor. Usually, the answer is no. In the state of Florida, commissions are typically paid by the seller. This means that having an experienced Realtor by your side, which is an essential component to your success, comes at no cost. Having the guidance of a real estate professional is crucial if you want to earn the best possible deal.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

Buyers: Beat the Competition and Get Your Offer Accepted by Following These 5 Tips

Buying in a seller’s market poses some unique difficulties, but you can easily overcome these problems by following five simple steps. 

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Buying a home in today’s seller’s market may seem like a daunting task, but these five tips can help succeed in your real estate goals.



1. Be fully pre-approved up front. Our team works with some great lenders who can put you through underwriting at the start of your transaction. This will help you to compete in today’s seller’s market, even against cash buyers.


2. Don’t overanalyze your offer. If you find a great home, don’t think too hard about what it will take to secure it. Of course you want to make a purchase that is within your means, but don’t fret over fine details if they are all that stand between you and your dream home.
3. Work with an experienced agent. ...

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Thursday, August 23, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

What Can You Do to Reduce the Life of Your Loan?

Have no fear, homebuyers: there is a way you can shed years off of the life of your loan.



Want to sell your home? Get a FREE home value report.Want to buy a home? Search all homes for sale.

When I’m dealing with buyers, a lot of them will ask me whether they should get a 15-year mortgage or a 30-year mortgage.


I always try to recommend the 30-year mortgage, and here’s why: Your payments with a 30-year mortgage will be slightly lower each month, which allows you some flexibility in times of hardship.


However, here’s a useful trick to cut some years off of the life of your loan: if you add one-twelfth of your monthly payment onto your actual payment every single month, you can shave eight years off the total life of your loan.


For example, if your monthly mortgage payment is $2,500, and you pay an extra $200 per month on top of that, you’ll turn your 30-year loan into a 22-year loan and save a ton of money on interest.


I ...

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Wednesday, August 08, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

What 3 Lessons Did the 2007 Financial Crisis Teach Us?

There are three important lessons the 2007 financial crisis taught us that current homebuyers need to keep in mind.  


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It’s been over a decade since the 2007 financial crisis, but there are certain lessons we learned from it that you need to remember before buying a home.


First, you shouldn’t buy a home that costs more than you realistically can afford. Experts say you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your gross salary on a home. If you make $100,000 per year, for example, no more than $30,000 of that (or $2,500 per month) should go toward paying for your home’s mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc. Just to be on the safe side, it might be a good idea to buy a home that’s slightly less than what you can afford so you’re still in a strong financial position in case disaster strikes.


Second, make sure you have six mont ...

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Friday, July 20, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

Why Your Mortgage Payment Can Still Go Up—Even if It’s a Fixed Rate

When buying a home, make sure you factor in your future property tax bill when calculating your mortgage payment—not what it is right now.
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Want to buy a home? Search all homes for sale.
When buying a home, you want to make sure you can afford the mortgage payment that comes along with it, because you don’t want to end up “house poor.”


To know what you can afford, it’s important that you factor in what you’ll pay in property taxes. There’s a difference, though, between what the seller paid in property taxes for the home and what you’ll pay.


Let’s say you’re buying a $400,000 home. In our area, property taxes constitute about 1.75% of a home’s purchase price. This means your property tax for that $400,000 home will be roughly $7,000 a year. If the seller of that home bought it 15 years ago for $200,000, though, their property tax bill would ...

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