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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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  buyer, seller

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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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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  buyer

Friday, June 22, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

4 Tips for Winning Against Multiple Offers

How should you deal with multiple offer situations as a buyer? Here are four of our best tips.
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Today we’re going to talk about how you should be handling a multiple offer situation as a buyer. Here are four of our best tips:


1. Get fully pre-approved by a reputable, local lender. By getting fully pre-approved up front with an experienced lender,  there’s a good chance they can actually push your loan through underwriting and allow you to present an offer that’s basically as good as cash. This will really help your offer stand out. We have great recommendations for you if you need one.


2. Reduce the number of contingencies in your offer. For example, shortening the inspection period to five to seven days from seven to 10 days will really help your offer stand out. Most good inspectors can complete an inspection with a one or two-day notic ...

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Friday, June 08, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

Don't Let Buyers Click Away From Your Online Listing Because of Bad Photos

When it comes to photos of your listing, only the best will do. Today let’s discuss how professional photography can be the key to selling success in our current market.
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The way you represent your listing online is critically important because in today’s internet-based world, 90% to 95% of homebuyers begin their search online. These days, the internet is where 70% of all buyers find their next home.


So how do you make sure your home stands out from the competition? Truthfully, presentation is key. Buyers will perceive a professional-looking listing as more valuable, and will therefore be willing to pay more for that home.


The secret to achieving an engaging online presence is to utilize professional photography and videography. At the Mandel Team, we provide sellers with a full motion video tour of their home. This video tour allows buyers to vi ...

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  seller

Thursday, May 17, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

What Zillow's Zestimate Tool Can and Can't Do

Many people wonder whether Zillow’s Zestimate feature can be trusted, so today I’d like to get to the bottom of this common question.
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You’ve likely heard of Zillow’s Zestimate feature, but can you really trust this online tool?


When Zillow assigns a numerical value to a home through their Zestimate feature, the figure is determined by a computer algorithm. And this algorithm is based on things like a home’s square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms it has. It also takes into account comparable properties within a certain mile radius.


What the algorithm doesn’t take into account, though, is where issues arise. The problem with the Zestimate is that it doesn’t consider specific neighborhoods, upgrades, or other significant home features when it assigns a value to your property. A bathroom remodel or a ...

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  buyer, seller

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