5 Crucial Tips for Buying your First Home, Advice from Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor Andrew Duncan



There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Andrew Duncan, Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor talks about 5 crucial tips for first time home buyers in Tampa Bay and the most important things to pay attention to when considering purchasing your first home on The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay.

5 things to think about before buying your own place:

This article is not only helpful to first time home buyers but also for those who are looking to buy or know someone who is thinking about buying a home.


Growth possibilities

When shopping for a place, make sure to consider not only your current needs but also your future plans. If you have a 5 year plan for example and you are thinking about having kids, make sure you consider that as a factor.

Also look at the growth around the neighborhood. Look for an area that has more development coming or an area that isn't that developed yet but will be in the coming years.


What's under the hood

Your first home might not have all the bells and whistles as you want but make sure everything should be working as it should. Hire an inspector but be reasonable with the inspection and your expectations. As discussed in previous shows, there are some buyers who cancel because of some minor inspection issues only to find out the other homes in the same price range have the same things. The home might have some issues but Andrew suggests to use it as a blueprint of what you need to take care of during the first year of ownership.


No home will be perfect

Your first home is not going to be perfect but make sure it has all the necessaries and a few nice-to-haves.


Consider ALL the costs of ownership

A lot of times buyers don't consider the costs of ownership. Some of the things to factor in are utilities, HOA fees, trash pick up and sewerage fees. One of the benefits of a newer construction home is the lower utility cost. Make sure you compare that between properties, neighborhoods as well as owning and renting.


Lifespan of things

Make sure to identify cosmetic and structural flaws that might need replacement or repair. Also make sure to look at things that are older in life which is where the Home Warranty steps in. He mentions they work with Home Warranty of America. They will warrant the things that could break like water heaters, appliances, etc. Make sure to factor those in and make room for variables like that.

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.


What Will the Channelside Redevelopment Bring to Tampa?



There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Today, we want to talk about some things going on in downtown Tampa that we think are going to have a huge impact on our real estate market.

We were at the press conference this week held by Jeff Vinik, where he shared the enormous plans he has for the redevelopment of the Channelside District. A number of financial backers, including Bill Gates, are going to help turn the area into a nightlife, entertainment, and residential district.

 A lot of great things - such as thousands of residential units, waterfront developments, and commercial developments - will be coming to the area because of this project. You can get some more information on this great project here! 


This redevelopment is going to bring energy, jobs, and population to downtown Tampa. Over the past decade, we've seen downtown St. Petersburg escalate into a thriving area, whereas downtown Tampa still needs some help. The goal of Jeff Vinik and some of his supporters is to get Tampa caught up with St. Petersburg.

We suspect we'll see some nice gains in value and improvements in real estate markets in the areas around downtown, such as Harbor Island and Channelside. We're also looking forward to seeing some improvements in infrastructure, so people start heading downtown and visiting these new establishments. Overall, we hope to see a revitalization of downtown.
We're very excited about these developments, as the real estate market in downtown Tampa is going to be completely different in 10 years. Keep your eyes peeled for further developments, as this is all very exciting news that will bring a lot of value to our community!

If you have any questions about the Channelside redevelopment, or need help with anything real estate related, don't hesitate to give us a call. We pride ourselves on being the best real estate resource in the Tampa Bay area!

Quick Tips on How to Sell Your Home Fast and for Top Dollar from Tampa Bay's #1 Listing Agent on The Duncan Duo Show



There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Andrew Duncan, Tampa Bay's #1 Listing Agent and Radio Show host, talks to The Diaz Duo at Waterstone Mortgage and Paul Arrington at Arrico Property Management, about how to get the most money out of fixing up your home and the best tips to sell your Tampa Bay Home fast and for top dollar.

Andrew talks about the articles that came out from Consumer Reports and Zillow on how sellers can increase the value of their home by up to 12%.

Here are 5 items you can do to help you sell your home for top dollar:

Decluttering
Clearing out boxes, organizing your things to make your space look bigger.

Kitchen Make Over
The tough part about the kitchen is a lot of times it's a personal choice. It is easy to overspend on this but it doesn't necessarily mean it will give you a good return. It is not the best place to invest your money on when you are selling. You must see it at a neutral standpoint of the consumer. The article focuses on really minor make overs for the kitchen. Some examples are changing the hardware from dark handles into stainless ones; replacing older appliances with new ones; putting a backsplash in; or staining the cabinets.

Bathroom 
Freshen up bathroom by getting a new vanity, calk in the tub, re-grout the floor or add in new fixtures,

Paint
Interior paint can really make a difference especially if the old paint looks worn out.

Exterior touch ups or Curb appeal
This is one of the best investments you can make according to Andrew because you can't change the person's first opinion. The first impression is being made online when the buyer sees that first photo. This is one of the reasons why The Duncan Duo takes a lot of drone shots because they know how important the curb appeal is and feel it's a better angle to show off the the land, the lot, the curb appeal and landscaping and what's behind or next to the home that consumer wants to know about. It doesn't need to be expensive like putting in some new plants, cleaning up the grass and putting in some seed.

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.

Tampa Real Estate and Realtor Career – How working at The Duncan Duo is different than typical Brokerage



There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Thinking about a real estate career? Working with The Duncan Duo is NOT like working for a typical RE brokerage in Tampa Bay. Andrew Duncan discusses this on the show and why his team model is a better fit for a lot of agents....especially when the first year failure rate for most agents is so high. His model provides coaching, support and plenty of leads so the agent doesn't have to spend a ton of money when they don't know how to lead generate and market.                                                                                
They run a team model not a typical broker model. Their agents go through a rigid screening process. They have to fit their culture and understand their systems. One of the nice things about joining a team and running on a team model is that unlike a broker model wherein you are responsible for everything, in a team model, they do all the marketing, all the lead generation and managing all the processes. The agents who join the team aren't responsible to spend money to market or create business. They do it for them. The agents merely have to service the leads generated.

Arnie Diaz from Waterstone Mortgage talks about the transaction side of things. He agrees that a lot of sales people, the go-getters, are not wired to be good at the process. He says that they have a similar model in Waterstone.

This is the reason why The Duncan Duo has a staff to take care of everything else so the agents could focus solely on representing their buyers and sellers. Their staff manages the administrative process from the contract to closing. Andrew shares that according to Re/Max, their company is one of the top companies in the country in terms of transaction count per license. Their model is run so that the agents do a lot of production, a lot of business, because they don't have all the admin work and responsibilities on their plate.

Andrew also shares that they give their agents the opportunity to be trained to be master sales people very quickly because of they have an amazing training and coaching program. This is one of the things that make their team model a success. They pay an outside company to train and coach their agents so they can get to speed a lot quicker than if they go work for another company.

Andrew himself went through the same difficulties as other realtors during his first year in Real Estate. He didn't have the opportunity to join a team like this when he started in the Real Estate business. On his first 12 months in the business, he only sold 1 home to his parents and gave them half his commission, so he earned only $4691.00 that year. That's the normal scenario for most agents but it doesn't have to be that way. The Duncan Duo has agents who sell 20-30 homes their first year and again it's because of the system they have which set their agents up for success. He highlights the importance of education in order to convert those leads into sales.

Another thing that sets them apart is their awsome culture. They have a tight knit team with people who enjoy working together, they help each other out. They play as a team. They go on trips together, they go hang out together. They have a culture where everybody has each others back.

They focus on highly productive, successful agents who do a lot of transactions and a lot of business to help serve their clients. Andrew doesn't like the hobyists, the part time agents. He wants people who are focused on it 100% to be able to serve their clients.

They have over 120 video testimonials from clients and over 500 5-star reviews on Google, Zillow, Trulia combined that speak about what they do differently and how they have worked with their clients.

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.

Check out Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank and Jack Harris from 970WFLA in our newest TV commercial



There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Watch Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank star in our most recent TV commercial talk about home seller success stories with The Duncan Duo of Re/Max.  Jack Harris from AM Tampa Bay and 970WFLA, also an endorser of The Duncan Duo's fast and guaranteed home sale programs, talks about how Barbara advice to partner with the agents she recommends is right on the money.  The Duncan Duo sold Jack's Beach Park home in South Tampa in 4 days for more than the asking price and more than he thought he'd get.  Barbara talks about hearing from many happy home sellers with The Duncan Duo in Tampa...you can see many of those clients on video on our youtube channel in our 'client testimonials' section - http://www.YouTube.com/TheDuncanDuo

Apply for our Guaranteed Fast Home Sale in Tampa Bay and get a free home value estimate, as well as hear from some of our past clients on video and other celebrities - both local and national - that endorse our real estate listing and marketing prowess in Tampa Bay by clicking here - http://www.SOLDorWeBuyit.com.

Tampa Celebrity and Professional Athlete Realtor an Relocation Expert talks about how celebs are different in buying/selling



There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Andrew Duncan, Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor's talks with Arnie Diaz of Waterstone Mortgage, both former Division 1 college athletes, about how celebrities and professional athletes handle the purchase or sale of a home differently on The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA. Both have a considerable amount of experience helping pro athletes for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tampa Devil Rays and other NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB teams relocate and buy and sell homes in Tampa Bay. Duncan also talks about helping celebrities buy and sell as his team has done on several occasions.

Having celebrities as clients is a lot different on how it's handled. A lot of them have people doing business for them. They don't necessarily deal with the athlete directly all the time. They have different disclosures because a lot of times, they are very conscientious about their reputation or the brand they represent. They will require you to sign agreements like you're not going to distribute original signatures, confidentiality agreements, etc. As compared to dealing with normal consumers wherein the realtor deals directly with the client, when it comes to a celebrity, they barely or do not deal with them at all.

The other side of working with celebrities is that generally, a lot of them are very conscientious of disclosing who they are so some of them use Trusts, LLCs. They don't usually disclose who they are when they are offering because they're afraid that it might somehow harm them during the negotiation. They are also very structured about their privacy.

Some people think it's so cool to have celebrities as clients but Andrew having worked with several celebrities from the media shares that although you are representing them, you don't really get to spend a lot of time with them. A lot of the communication go through their people - their attorneys, their agents.

Arnie Diaz of Waterstone Mortgage talks about the financing side of things. Even celebrities and athletes go through the same things as normal people do. Just because they're celebrities, it doesn't mean that they don't get tax returns or do the ratios.

Andrew says that if you feel your time is very valuable and you have people like a CPA to help you like what athletes or celebrities do, then you can lean on them to do the legwork like compiling the paperwork and other things. A lot of athletes do this not just because their time is too valuable to be spending it on that but also because it's not their strength. Arnie agrees saying they are not very good business people most of the time.

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.

Home Staging and New Programs from ShowHomes to Help Sell the Emotion and Aesthetics of Your Home



There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Andrew Duncan, Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor's talk about the importance of staging on the sale of your home.  He has Linda Saavedra from ShowHomesTampa.com as a guest on The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA.

He starts off by sharing how that staging was one of the ways Barbara Corcoran built her business. She really pushed staging to set her apart from other realtors especially in New York. It helped her convince how an 800 sqft condo is being sold at $2M. It became a crucial part of her business.

Linda Saavedra from ShowHomesTampa.com talk about their services and how aside from staging, they also do a some light rehab or interior renovations, pre-listing consultations, post listing trouble shooting, painting, flooring, landscaping, cleaning and more. They are a one-stop shop to get your house ready to sell.

Andrew said he saw an article about small exterior upgrades gives the best return of investment. He mentions the top 10 upgrades that will give the best cost recoup but none of them will give them 100% recoup of their costs. They are meant to increase the sale price, increase the saleablity or increase the certainty of sale of your home. Andrew himself is a fan of the landscaping side of things. He feels that consumers need to put more attention to this to get more curb appeal, they need the grass looking green, they need fresh moss, etc.

Consumers don't need to break the bank. They can do some minor cosmetic things that are affordable and reasonable which can make a huge impact. At the end of the day, it's all about presentation. That's what's going to get that buyer focused on your house versus another house down the street.

Another important thing is knowing your competition, looking at homes that are on the market and figuring what your home's weaknesses are and hoping that staging could help overcome those weaknesses like a weird floor plan, a water view that is not taken advantage of to name a few.

It is also important to look at the home on the buyer's perspective because it's an emotional thing. Although it is standard to provide facts about the home, the buyer needs to fall in love with the home. They need to have an emotional attachment to it. They need to be able to walk in, feel, experience and love the home then the facts will just support the case for them to move forward.

Staging for older homes that have dated or kind of flawed areas also helps minimize or soften that up so that buyers don't see it. And when the consumers fall in love with the home, they have their rose colored glasses on so those things won't matter to them anymore.

Staging will help consumers see the true vision for the home and look past the little flaws. When a consumer buys a home, they are going to change a lot of things to it anyway so you want to make them see all the positives about the property and let them have that emotional attachment.

Another thing that could affect a home buyer's decision is if the home owner is there during the showing. It would be more difficult for a consumer to fall in love with the property if someone is constantly talking over their shoulder. It actually turns them off because the owner is intruding in their own time and space and they will not get emotionally attached to the property. It is important to set the stage for the buyer to let them feel that emotional connection to the home.

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.

Home Buyers Who Waited to Buy in 2014 – Did They Win or Did They Lose on Rates & Prices by Waiting?



There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Andrew Duncan, Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor's topic during this show is whether or not Home Buyers who waited until 2014 to buy win or lose based on the rates an prices? He has Arnie Diaz from Waterstone Mortgage as a guest on The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA.

Andrew starts off by discussing an article that recently came out Did it Make Sense to Wait? It was a recap of the real estate market of 2014. It says that a lot of consumers were celebrating they didn't buy in 2013 but finally bought in 2014 because they thought they have saved money because the interest rate dropped.

Arnie confirms that since January 2014, the rates have dropped to the low 4s or just under 4 but the home values have gone up 4.3 % which according to Andrew equates to almost $12,000. You might have saved $700 but paid an additional $12,000 for the house! If you do the math with the payments, you really lost $11 a month. In fact the rates are up again and are back to where it was in the beginning. Arnie said that it was just a point in time and that the rate fluctuates. Based on the example of last year, the rates dropped but home prices went up. This year it is said that rates will go up a bit and home prices will continue to go up so it's even more important for home buyers to get off the fence. People who are out there renting or thinking about buying should realize that deals are not going to get better, that it's not good to wait because it's just going to be more expensive.

Arnie raises another point for those who are renting and how much it's going to cost them if they wait. The rental rates rose again and their rent money is going to their landlord and they don't get any tax benefits on owning their home.

Many people want to buy a home but the problem is not so much on the credit rating or their desire but the fact that they think they need to put down 20%. They have the wrong information because there are options like a VA loan with no money down, an FHA with 3.5%, or with a conventional loan with 3% down. Other options like USDA with no money down and bond programs out there depending on your income level with no money down, too. It's just a matter of getting with somebody like Waterstone Mortgage who can go over things with you and figure out how much money you need to buy a home.

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.

Tampa Bay 55+ Communities, One of the Healthiest Segments in the Housing Market & Discussions about Reverse Mortgage



There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Listen as Andrew Duncan, Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor talks about the Tampa Retirement Real Estate, 55+ communities, buying when retired & some information about the reverse mortgage with guest Arnie Diaz from Waterstone Mortgage on The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA.

He read in an article that the 55+ housing market is one of the healthiest segments. The National Association of Home Builders came out with this study. The new construction market will continue to do well in Tampa Bay because building for the 55+ communities is one of the areas they will focus on.

Andrew asks Arnie what a retired person needs to have or to do to qualify for a mortgage in order to buy a 55+ home if they are on a fixed income though have the cash to buy. Arnie says one of the things would be the asset dissipation wherein the lender basically look at the consumer's assets and make a calculation based on a 15 year period as an example, and figure out how much the monthly income would be when the person is just pulling it out of his assets every month. And based on this, they would qualify them. Though a person doesn't have a job, they can use the assets as their income. 

Andrew asks if there are any credit qualifications or rates and if there are comparable programs in the market for this type of scenario wherein the person doesn't have a job but has assets they want to use to qualify. 

Arnie says there is a program called reverse mortgage. To qualify, you must be of at least 62 years of age. You will not be getting the loan at 95% financing though. You will get a lower percentage on the value. The older you are, the higher the percentage. It something that not many people are aware of. It's a great loan. You don't have to qualify credit wise, it's all about the equity of the property and you don't have to make a payment for the rest of your life.

It's one of the few loans in Florida that is a non recourse loan so when the loan is due, ther is no one personally obligated, there is no deficiency if the value of the loan exceeds the value of the property. It's just the same as a conventional loan. When the mom and dad dies, the children inherit the house and if there's a mortgage, they would still need to repay it. They also have the option to refinance or sell it. 

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.