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Backyard Getaways in Orlando, FL

May 21st, 2018 by tisner

Backyard Getaways in Orlando FL

Many of us have seen the “she shed” photos on social media, where an outdoor building has been made into an outdoor spot for Mom to unwind–the counter to the basement man cave.  With these ideas, you can take your garden shed, gazebo or covered porch to many levels to provide a place to relax, entertain, or watch the children play in the sprinkler.   

Outdoor Oasis Plan 

  • First, check with your municipal codes for accessory buildings, garden sheds, and see what permits you need to add one to your yard. If you already have one, you’re one step closer to your party hut. 
  • Decide on what will fit in your space, then shop pre-fab shed distributors, Pinterest for DIY material-repurposing ideas, or online for downloadable building plans.  
  • How do you want to use your space?  Will it be an entertaining area, a place to relax, or a low-budget pool house? Make a budget for decorating and extras, and stick to it. 
  • Once you have your building in place, choose your decor and paint scheme:   
  • Beach-inspired colors are bright, and you can include an old surfboard, vintage buoys and signal flags found at tag sales. 
  • Rocking chairs, light colored walls, natural elements, and floral seat cushions make for a country retreat. 
  • Go modern with simple folding chairs, which offer a storage bonus, simple green succulent plants in sleep pots, neutral colors, and a sleek bar of polished wood. 
  • Send guests a message of fun in the sun with a palm-frond roof, tiki torches, lots of wood elements and an open-air bar for a tropical feel. 
  • Create a small pool house with space for lounge chairs, as well as hardware for hanging clothes and towels, and storage for pool toys.   

Outdoor Entertaining with Conveniences 

  • Lighting can be tricky if you don’t have electricity running to your outdoor structure.  If you decide to fully wire the place, have an electrician take care of this aspect.  You want it well-lit, but not a shining beacon–soft lighting is perfect for Summer night entertaining. 
  • Give self-charging solar lights a try.  LED’s associated with solar lighting have come a long way, and can be bright without being harsh. 
  • Battery-operated LED lights are an excellent alternative, and come in many designs to complement your decor.  Strings of Chinese lanterns and vintage-style bulb covers can be found in many styles in home centers and online. 
  • You may not want to deal with the cost of a hiring an electrician to wire your new party pad, but using solar power on your small building is easier than you may think.  Home improvement centers have small solar kits that you’ll need to light the night without adding to your utility bill. 
  • Solar-powered ceiling fans for outdoor use are easily found online, as well as stand-alone units.  Moving air will keep you and any guests comfortable.   

With so many products and ideas available at our fingertips, thanks to the internet, an outdoor gathering place can be outfitted as simply or luxuriously as we want–there’s no need to break the bank.  Create a haven that fits the needs for your family, and make fun-filled Summer memories without leaving your backyard! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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Photo credit: 888tuffshed.com

Overlooked Recordkeeping

May 4th, 2018 by tisner

Homeowners are familiar that they can deduct the interest and property taxes from their income tax returns. They also understand that there is a substantial capital gains exclusion for qualified sales of up to $250,000 if single and $500,000 for married filing jointly. However, ongoing recordkeeping tends to be overlooked.38285944-250.jpg

New homeowners should get in the habit of keeping all receipts and paperwork for any improvements or repairs to the home. Existing homeowners need to be reminded as well, in case they have become lax in doing so.

These expenditures won’t necessarily benefit in the annual tax filing but may become valuable when it is time to sell the home because it raises the basis or cost of the home.

For instance, let’s say a single person buys a $350,000 home that appreciates at 6% a year. Twelve years from now, the home will be worth $700,000. $250,000 of the gain will be exempt with no taxes due but the other $100,000 will be taxed at long-term capital gains rate. At 15%, that would be $15,000 in taxes due.

Assume during the time the home was owned that a variety of improvements totaling $100,000 had been made. The adjusted basis in the home would be $450,000 and the gain would only be $250,000. No capital gains tax would be due.

Some repairs may not qualify as improvements but if the homeowner has receipts for all the money spent on the home, the tax preparer can decide at the time of sale. Small dollar items can really add up to substantial amounts over many years of homeownership.

You can download a Homeowner’s Tax Worksheet that can help you with this recordkeeping. The important thing is to establish a habit of putting receipts for home expenditures in an envelope, so you’ll have it when you are ready to sell.

By: PatZaby.com

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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Warm Weather Water Savers for Orlando, FL

April 30th, 2018 by tisner

warm weather water saving tips

Days of lounging by the pool or in a hammock with a good book while the children play in the sprinkler are on the horizon, and you can’t wait to wash the pollen off the car, not to mention the grime from Winter on the car tires.  Spring and Summer is probably when we use more water than other times of the year, and there are ways we can conserve and avoid a high water bill for the next few months. 

  • We shower more in the Summer, so conserve by shortening your shower time by just two minutes, and save 150 gallons of water per month! 
  • Keeping our landscaping green uses a great deal of water, and if you have a sprinkler system, make sure the timer is set for morning or evening, and that the showers aren’t falling on the driveway.  Pay close attention to the weather, and turn off the timer whenever a good chance of rain is predicted. 
  • Keep a pitcher filled with water inside the fridge for a thirst quencher instead of running the water from the faucet and waiting for it to get cold. 
  • Cut your grass on a higher setting, because the longer blades help shade the turf, and in turn, holds water better, so you’ll have to water it less. 
  • For the garden, landscaping and lawn, use a drip irrigation system instead of sprinklers or hand-watering with the hose.  Water is directed to the roots, where it needs to be. 
  • When the car needs cleaning, take the bucket and sponge to a car wash instead of washing it at home, and save about one hundred gallons of water!  
  • Purchase and set up rain barrels under gutter spouts or areas of the house where water runs off the roof.  You can get some very sophisticated barrels with faucet attachments for gravity-watering with the hose, and covers to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. 
  • Placing a cover on your pool not only helps keep it clean, but it can save the pool water from evaporating.  The Spruce lists several swimming pool water-saving tips. 
  • Instead of washing fresh vegetables from your garden under running water, fill a large bowl with water, and give them a bath.  Once they’re clean, use the leftover water for houseplants or potted plants outside. 
  • Growing native plants will help cut down on water usage, as they are adapted to your local climate.  Contact your local cooperative extension agent to find out how to plant a native plant garden. 
  • Place a five-gallon bucket with small holes in the bottom near plants or a tree that need a drink, and fill it with water.  The holes will allow the water to trickle out at a slow pace, and soak the soil, where the water should be, instead of the leaves. 

Water conservation isn’t just good for your wallet, it’s good for the environment. If you’re interested in learning more about using less water year round, check out the Water Calculator website to calculate your water footprint, and what you can do to use water more efficiently. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: plumbinghelptoday.com

Easy Updates Before You Sell in Orlando, FL

April 26th, 2018 by tisner

Updating your home to sell in orlando fl

Once you decide to sell your home, you want it to look its best, and a total remodel may be out of your budget.  Thankfully, there are some quick and affordable updates to add to your home to give it some extra style and character, not to mention the added value! 

  • You can add crown molding to your rooms with little carpentry know-how.  Plaster-covered foam molding is available in many styles, and anyone with a measuring tape, hand saw and some paint can install it.  This Old House has a how-to for this easy update. 
  • Clean up and, if necessary, paint your front entry door.  Add a new light sconce, and get a new welcome mat. 
  • Electrical outlets are usually not something you think about upgrading, but outlets with a built-in USB port are available at home centers, and are impressive to potential home buyers because of the convenience they offer.  Put them near the kitchen counter, and a few in the bedrooms for easy access. 
  • Cleaning the grout in the bathrooms, or even re-grouting can make your floor and tile look shiny-new. 
  • Upgrade your doors’ and cabinets’ hardware for every room if it’s outdated. 
  • Paint rooms a neutral color; grey and beige–even a mix called “greige”–are trendy right now if you don’t want all-white walls. 
  • Add potted flowers or plants to your front entry for a welcome sight–just don’t forget to water them! 
  • Check your crawl space for any falling insulation, and replace it. 
  • Change out any dated light sconces and chandeliers. 
  • A new shower curtain and decorative towels can do wonders for your bathroom. 
  • The right backsplash in the kitchen can really make it stand out and look like new.  There are many DIY options, and the self-stick products on the market now make this task go much faster for the novice. 
  • A chair rail and wainscoting in the dining area adds a nice eye-catching architectural detail. 
  • Most experts advise taking down your window curtains while your home is on the market, but you want some color on the windows.  A cornice box is an easy project to try, and cover them with your (now) old curtain fabric. 

You want your home to make a great impression as soon as a possible new owner walks to the front door.  Small details can make a big impact on their decision, and as the seller, it’s your call on what makes your home sell.  Walk through with your Realtor, and ask for suggestions from them, as they are the expert.  Tackle what projects are within your budget, and hopefully you’ll soon be reaping the rewards! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: ghostandbread.com

Case Study – Housing Decision During Retirement

April 20th, 2018 by tisner

A couple is planning to tour the United States in a travel trailer during their first few years of retirement. They are going to sell their current home now and purchase another home when they finish their travels.30349530-250.jpg

An interesting exercise is to determine the optimum time of selling the home: now or when they’re ready to buy their replacement home.

If they intend on traveling for more than three years, then, it may be a good decision to sell prior to the sojourn to avoid paying taxes on the gain in their home. IRS allows for a temporary rental of a principal residence while still keeping the $250,000/$500,000 capital gains exclusion intact. A homeowner must own and use a home for three out of the previous five years which means that it could be rented for up to three years, but it would need to be sold and closed before that three-year window expires.

If the travel will be less than three years, there is an option of selling now or later. Using the example below, the homeowner sold the home, paid their expenses and invested the proceeds in a three-year certificate of deposit until the replacement home was purchased.

case study retirement-1.jpg
As an alternative, if the homeowner rented the home, not only would they have income, the home would continue to appreciate and the unpaid balance would go down resulting in larger net proceeds. Based on a 5% appreciation and continued amortization of the mortgage, the net proceeds could easily be $40,000 more.

case study retirement-2.jpg
Obviously, there are a lot of considerations that affect the decision to sell now or later but in an appreciating real estate environment, being without a home for several years could affect the financial position of the owner in the replacement property. It is certainly reasonable to look at various alternatives before making a decision. Call me at (407) 467-5155 to help you look at the different possibilities and talk to your tax professional.

By: Patzaby.com

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Getting Ready For Outdoor Time in Orlando, FL

April 16th, 2018 by tisner

Getting Outside Ready for Summer Orlando FL

Warmer days are on the way, and when the weather cooperates, home owners are outside preparing their yards, gardens and pools for the coming Summer. But is your patio looking a little sad?  Do you want to utilize your front porch more this season?  Your outdoor spaces only need a little TLC and elbow grease! 

  • Sweep patios to remove loose debris.  Use a pressure washer on concrete, or a long-handled stiff brush and warm water mixed with bleach–a 10:1 mixture is strong enough to clean the area well.   
  • For porches, sweep the flooring, as well as ceilings and posts, and a shower of water from the garden hose should remove the dust and cobwebs.  If something needs more attention, use a soft bristled brush or flat mop dipped in a mixture of warm water and mild dish detergent. 
  • Wood decks may only need a simple sweeping and washing down with a hose and soft scrub brush. If you’re thinking about staining or painting the woodwork, a pressure washer would be the best tool to prep it for its makeover.  
  • Screening should be checked for holes and rips that can be eventually be big problems, and is easy to replace for little cost. 
  • Check for any cracks in cement patios.  Fill them with caulking or even quick-drying concrete.  Many easy and affordable repair kits are in local home stores. If the problem goes deeper than just a crack, call a contractor to come and make sure the problem isn’t structural. 
  • Bricks and pavers can become loose over time, and filling the spaces between them with sand is one way to sturdy them.  According to Neave Masonry, after filling in between the pavers with sand, use a broom to distribute it evenly, wet the pavers, and once it’s settled, add more sand and repeat.  Continue to add sand until the spaces are filled with sand. 
  • Keeping outdoor furniture covered when not in use is great, but it still would be a good idea to give it a good cleaning since you’ll be using it soon.  Today’s Homeowner Danny Lipford has great tips for cleaning your pieces, from wrought iron to plastic. 
  • Get your planters ready for flowers by removing soil from them and clean with a spray from the water hose.  Soak them in a mixture of 9 parts water to one-part household bleach to get rid of any bacteria that could’ve grown in the Winter, and rinse well. 
  • Outdoor pillows can take a beating, so if yours are looking grim, you can purchase new covers more inexpensively than completely replacing the pillows.  If they have been in outdoor storage, wash them, hang them outside to air dry, and add the new covers. 
  • Spruce up the seating area with fragrant plants, an outdoor area rug, hang pretty sheets or shower curtains on tension rods to add some drama, and some DIY lighting–check out these ideas from BuzzFeed.   

Don’t wait until it gets steaming hot or two hours before your cookout guests arrive to get your yard and outdoor seating area in order.  Doing it now will encourage you and yours to spend more time in the outdoors to dine al fresco, relax with a good book, or spend time winding down after a long day at work.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Beautiful and Easy Landscape Plants for Orlando, FL

April 4th, 2018 by tisner

Beautiful and Easy Landscape Plants for Orlando, FL

Walk through your local garden center and finding what’s right for your landscape and gardening skill level can be overwhelming.  Not everyone wants to spend the warm months of the year taking care of needy plants, and there are many available that will offer color all summer and don’t need a lot of attention! 

  • Daylilies come in hundreds of varieties and colors and are almost plant and forget.  Plant different cultivars in a sunny spot about twelve inches apart, keep them watered well for the first few weeks, and you’ll be rewarded with pops of color all Summer. 
  • Everyone loves sunflowers, and they are easy to plant from seed. There are even varieties available that are only a few feet tall that would work in containers.  If you plant seeds, try planting each set every two weeks for six weeks, and once they bloom, they’ll bloom until Fall. 
  • Who wouldn’t like grass that doesn’t need mowing?  Ornamental grasses such as zebra grass, purple fountain grass, blue fescue, and Japanese blood grass grow to be different heights and can add interest as well as color with little maintenance.  
  • If you have a shady spot, impatiens are non-stop blooms if you keep them cool.  Some call them “cowboy flowers,” as they can look almost dead, and give them a drink of water, and they come back to life! They’re great in containers and hanging baskets and can brighten any dark spot in the yard. 
  • Attract butterflies to your yard with a butterfly weed plant.  Since it is a native wildflower, it is practically carefree, and butterflies love the nectar.  Planting from seed can make flowering take a year or two, so look for an older plant already in flower in your garden center. 
  • Zinnias put on a show all Summer, and come in many colors and bloom varieties, and all it takes is a scattering of seeds.  Like sunflowers, if you plant them every two weeks for about six weeks, they’ll bloom successively for many weeks. 
  • Portulaca is a succulent plant that grows low to the ground and blooms in bright pink, orange, red, white and yellow.  When everything else is drooping in the heat of Summer, because of their heat tolerance, will be shining bright. Another plant for those shady places is fern.  There are many cultivars, and ferns thrive in shade, and you get a bonus because they come back every year. 
  • Trumpet vine is so easy to grow, it is commonplace along country roadsides, climbing power poles, blooming with bright orange trumpet-shaped flowers.  Plant this with some support, and besides looking pretty, hummingbirds enjoy it! 
  • Look for easy care hybrid roses.  Not only are the modern cultivations easy to keep, they bloom all season. 

Check with your local cooperative extension service if you need advice on what is good to plant for your local climate, or find your region in this article from Better Homes & Gardens™ for more ideas.  Gardening can be as time-consuming or as carefree as we want–we just have to pick the right things to grow. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Overlooked Spring Cleaning Jobs

April 2nd, 2018 by tisner

Overlooked Spring Cleaning Jobs

Spring cleaning is a time-honored, worldwide tradition of sorts.  For centuries, humans have been opening their windows and doors when the warm weather returns, allowing the long daylight hours inside, and cleaning everything in sight.  Thankfully, we don’t have to wipe through a Winter’s worth of soot-covered furniture and windows, but for many, deep cleaning is a must this time of year.  Some cleaning jobs are obvious, but there may be a few things to add to your list. 

In the Kitchen 

  • Refrigerator coils can gather lots of dust and pet hair, along with spills from the fridge.  Getting the coils cleaned as much as possible can make a difference in how well your refrigerator motor runs.  Check with your appliance’s manufacturer website for the best way to perform this task. 
  • The dishwasher doesn’t get dirty, because it’s a washer, right? While they clean, dishwashers can have greasy build up. With vinegar, baking soda, and a bit of elbow grease, Wikihow shows us how to get the dishwasher itself to help us get it sparkling clean and smelling sweet. 
  • Herbs and spices are often overlooked while cleaning pantry shelves.  McCormickⓇ reports that whole spices last 3-4 years, 2-3 years for ground spices, and herbs have a shorter life of 1-3 years.  Check the freshness date on the container, and if it’s within that time frame, keep it.  If not, throw it away and restock your spice rack. 
  • Don’t neglect the freezer compartment when you’re wiping down the fridge.  A mixture of equal parts of hot water and white vinegar to wipe down the door, seal and inside will take care of the grime, and help with any lingering food odors.  Before you refill the freezer with food, go through it and toss anything that looks freezer burnt. 

The Bathroom 

  • Give your toothbrushes a good clean.  Pour about an inch of antibacterial mouthwash into a cup and soak the bristles in the mouthwash for about five minutes, and rinse. If you use a toothbrush holder, wash it in warm soapy water and allow to air dry before returning the toothbrushes. 
  • Bathroom exhaust fans can collect dust like ceiling fans, and the buildup affects how well it exhausts the humidity warm showers cause.  Danny Lipford of Today’s Homeowner has step-by-step instructions for getting your fan clean and running efficiently. 
  • Many of us don’t think of cleaning hair and makeup brushes.  Remove loose hair from hairbrushes and combs, allow them to soak in warm water with some shampoo mixed in, and use an old toothbrush to scrub hairspray build up and body oils and rinse.  Makeup brushes should be soaked, given a lather, then rinsed in cool water.  Air-dry everything on a hand towel. 

The Rest of the House 

  • Light fixtures get grimy and dusty, so covers should be removed after turning off the circuit breaker and washed in warm soapy water then air dried on a thick towel.   
  • Remove mattresses, vacuuming both sides, and if possible, prop them in the sunlight for a few hours.  The sun’s rays freshen and can kill some germs. When you replace them on the beds, make sure the mattress is flipped and rotated from its original position.   
  • HVAC registers should be vacuumed, using the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner.   
  • Curtains and blinds collect a lot of dust, but are usually washable, so check the manufacturer’s information before you toss them in the washer or clean them.   
  • Once your deep clean is complete, take care to wash or clean brooms, mop heads and dusters, as this simple move will help your home stay fresher as you do your regular cleaning.

Hopefully, the season of Earth coming back to life will encourage you to get everything in your home spic and span.  Spread it out over a few days or weekends, making lists to stay organized and on task, so the job won’t overwhelm you.  Don’t forget to get the family involved!  Once everything is gleaming, you can enjoy the coming months more, knowing your home is clean, and the job is done for another year. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: 180066ducts.com

Roof Inspection Tips in Orlando, FL

March 21st, 2018 by tisner

Roof Inspections Orlando FL

Winter can be harsh on a roof, between the cold wind, rain, and snow and ice in some areas.  While on your Spring maintenance check, you should look carefully at your home’s roof, and see how it fared the season, and whether you have a DIY patch job to do, or a major roof repair that needs professional attention.  Keep the following in mind while you’re doing your inspection: 

  • Cracked, curling or buckled shingles are an obvious problem. These should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible to prevent water damage and mold infestation. 
  • Are your shingles dirty? Look in the gutters for tiny bits of the shingle granules.  If you find a lot of them, and not many are left on the shingles themselves, it may be time to re-shingle the roof. 
  • Check around chimneys, vents, skylights, and anything else that is installed on the roof for any cracks or tears in the flashing beneath the shingles that could be allowing water to leak in. 
  • Inspect carefully where tree branches could come in contact with the roof, to make sure they haven’t caused any damage from Winter winds. 
  • Now would be a good time to check the eaves and gutters.  Make sure the wood is in good shape, and that gutters are clean and not loose. 
  • If you think you may have especially bad soft spots in your roof, call a professional to climb up for a more thorough inspection.  

When you’re looking for roof damage, a great place to look is on the underside, and that requires an interior inspection. 

  • Get into the attic and look for dark spots or obvious places where water has run.  Pay close attention if your attic smells musty and look for mold or mildew.  If you see any daylight shining through where it shouldn’t be, you need to check the corresponding area on the roof and get that repaired. 
  • Check every inch of the top floor interior ceiling plaster or drywall for discoloration, crumbling, cracking or bubbling. 
  • Don’t forget closets, cabinets, storage areas, and even wallpaper.  Use a very bright flashlight to help you see these hard-to-see places. 

Roofing materials can vary from asphalt shingles to stamped tin, and each one has a different way to inspect and repair.  Scott Yancey, real estate instructor and host of the television show Flipping Vegas, offers these tips for inspecting all kinds of roofing.  Your roof is the most important aspect of your home’s construction, and maintaining it is important to prevent costly repairs or replacement or expensive interior damage.   

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: regionalroofing.net

Protecting Household Surfaces While Cleaning for Orlando, FL

February 28th, 2018 by tisner

protecting household surfaces

Your new home has gleaming hardwood floors and a gorgeous kitchen countertop. How you maintain those surfaces protect the investment in your home, because proper cleaning keeps them looking good as new.  Some of these materials require special care to stay looking their best. 

Flooring 

  • Whether you have old hardwood floors that have been brought back to life with sanding and new sealing, or brand-new flooring, take care of it when you clean. Sweep often and use a vacuum on bare floor setting once a week. Don’t use chemical products for mopping; a mop dampened with warm water and mild soap are best, going over it after mopping with clean warm water afterwards to rinse any residue. 
  • Tile is such a practical material, it’s a popular flooring choice.  Cleaning them is much like hardwood, using a damp mop (no sponge mops!), and mild soap and water.  Buff with a microfiber cloth as it’s drying for a beautiful shine.  The grout is best cleaned with baking soda and water and soft brush.  Sealing the grout will help keep it from having to be deep cleaned so often. 
  • Concrete is a new trend for indoor flooring, because it is polished, stained or painted, and sealed, and looks fantastic. Castile soap mixed in warm water is perfect for getting the floor clean, going back over them with clean water to rinse. Chemicals can damage the sealant, causing them to become stained. Concrete may need resealing every few years to keep them stain-resistant. 
  • Vinyl is a common flooring choice, and is easy to clean, especially the most recent types, as they are sealed.  A half cup of vinegar in a gallon of warm water will clean vinyl just as well as commercial cleaners.  (The odor will vanish after it dries, or you can add some lemon essential oil to combat the smell.) Stubborn scuff marks can be removed by rubbing the streak with a tennis ball, melamine sponge (“magic” eraser), or a clean pencil eraser. 
  • For less common types of floors, Real Simple has great tips for cleaning bamboo, cork and natural stone flooring. 

Stainless Surfaces 

  • Regular wiping with plain warm water is your first defense in cleaning any stainless surface, followed by a microfiber cloth or paper towel drying. 
  • Glass cleaner or a mixture of dish soap, water and a bit of household ammonia will wash away fingerprints and grease spots. 
  • For scratches and scrapes, a clean cloth with a few drops of mineral oil–or even olive oil–will do the trick.  Wipe in the direction of the grain, and minor scratches will disappear.   

Countertops/Sinks 

  • Laminate countertops are best cleaned with a cloth dampened with warm soapy water.  Bleach can discolor the laminate, so for stains, make a paste from baking soda and vinegar, and apply to the stain.  Allow it to sit for a few minutes, and wipe away with a scratch less sponge. 
  • Many choose granite for its antibacterial qualities, thanks to its seal. Warm water and mild soap is great for general cleaning, as well as keeping germs at bay. Don’t use bleach, ammonia or even acidic vinegar.  Rubbing alcohol mixed with water in a spray bottle is a good solution if you need to disinfect. Having it resealed on a yearly basis helps protect it, as well as maintaining the germ barrier. 
  • Quartz is becoming increasingly popular for kitchen and bath, and although it’s a tough surface, treat it gently.  Wiping warm soapy water is best, and since it’s a manufactured product, using anything to scour away an errant stain will scratch the surface.  This Old House offers a ton of information about quartz, so see if it’s the right surface for your needs. 
  • Stone is a softer hard surface, so don’t use anything abrasive while cleaning soapstone, slate, or even concrete.  A mild bleach solution is safe to use for disinfecting after a swipe with soapy water. Use a soft bristled brush with the bleach solution for stubborn stains. 
  • Cutting boards and countertop areas made with butcher block are best kept sanitized with hot soapy water, and even a water-vinegar mixture.  If a scrubbing is necessary, sprinkle the surface with salt, and use a half lemon as a scrubbing pad.  The acid in the lemon combined with the abrasiveness of the salt will keep your wood surface clean. 

We are bombarded by advertising with messages that we need a certain product to keep our homes cleaned and sanitized.  Natural cleaners, and mild detergents clean just as well, if not better, all while protecting the surface.  If you have a big mess that you can’t take care of, call a pro for advice or to do the job. You chose your appliances, countertops or floors for a reason, and keeping them in top condition will help them hold their value. 

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Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
1170 Celebration Blvd
Suite 200
Celebration, Fl 34747

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