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Dos and Don’ts for New Homeowners

January 31st, 2018 by tisner

The closing date has been set, you are boxing up your belongings and a move is about to happen! It’s an exciting time, but some practical things should be addressed before you move in. Find out what you need to do and what you don’t need to do in your new home. 

Do’s 

  • Paint–doing this before having to work around furniture and boxes makes the job go faster. 
  • Clean everything, including carpets if you plan on keeping them. 
  • Add storage to closets or utility rooms. 
  • If you’re planning on upgrading the floors, do it before you get everything in the house. 
  • Check the attic to make sure it’s adequately insulated.   
  • Change the locks!  Every door should get a new lock, including the garage door. 
  • Clean the ductwork and vents of the heating and cooling system.  If you’d like a deep clean, call a pro who specializes in cleaning HVAC ductwork. 
  • If there’s a fireplace, have it inspected to be sure it’s safe and that the chimney is clean. 
  • Find the circuit breaker box, and familiarize yourself with the switches.  If you can’t read the labels, turn each switch off and on to see what areas they control, and label them.  This is also a good time to locate your water main shut-off, so you’ll know where that is. 

Do Not’s 

  • Making major changes too soon isn’t a good idea, unless necessary.  Live in your new home for a while and get a feel for what you love and what you don’t love. Waiting to remodel will allow your finances recover from the down payment and closing costs, as well. 
  • You need to know everything that your homeowner’s insurance will cover, and what it won’t.  Make an appointment with your insurance agent to go over your information with them. 
  • Taking a large tree down isn’t a good DIY project; this should be left to a professional, so call an arborist or neighborhood committee member to find out what you need to do if the tree is diseased or is a safety hazard. 
  • Drilling or nailing into the walls of your new home is better done with a stud finder and make sure there isn’t any old wiring lurking behind the sheetrock.  There should be a setting on the stud finder for electric wires. 
  • If your home is brand new, maintaining it is key.  But if you live in an older home, don’t neglect a monthly walk-around and make sure everything is okay.  You don’t want a small fix to turn into a major repair. 
  • Saving money shouldn’t stop once you’ve bought your home!  Do your best to cut corners where you can, and continue the saving habits you got into while stocking away that down payment.   
  • Throwing away receipts, new appliance user guides and paper work is a mistake.  Keep everything together in a folder labeled “Home Receipts,” so you can find them when you need them. 
  • Don’t be a stranger!  Meet your neighbors before you move in; once you’re there permanently, it will be easier to invite them over for a casual get-together. 

Better Home and Gardens offers an extensive maintenance checklist for everything the new homeowner should know and keep track of. There are many resources for new homeowners available online, and ask your realtor for any ideas they may have to help get your new beginning off to a great start! 

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: www.localrecordsoffices.net

Getting Organized on a Budget

January 30th, 2018 by tisner

Your dream closet comes complete with drawers, shoe shelves, a complete vanity and a hefty price tag. Other organizational organizing gadgets and pieces can cost quite a bit as well, but there are a multitude of ways to get organized without spending a lot.  

Closets 

  • A chain plant hanger is perfect for hanging shirts and blouses to save valuable room.  Chains also come in a variety of sizes and finishes, and is available year-round at most hardware stores. 
  • Mount a short curtain rod on the inside of the closet door to hang scarves, and use clip-style curtain rings to hang hats and gloves in the Winter. 
  • Tension rods placed at top and bottom of your closet can extend your hanging space for lighter items, like blouses and shirts. Or add shower curtain hooks to keep purses, scarves or ties handy.  
  • This use of tension rods for shoe storage is awesome and easy! 
  • A large piece of sturdy wire mesh from a hardware or farm supply store, and even pegboard cut to fit any spare wall space in your closet can be installed virtually flat. S-hooks make perfect hangers awkward-shaped items, and ties and scarves can be stored flat. 
  • Closet space can vary, and if you’ve already utilized every inch, consider a wardrobe.  Scan online yard sale groups, flea markets and auctions for inexpensive pieces, add some paint to compliment your decor, and you have a custom wardrobe! 

In the Kitchen 

  • A clean egg carton or small muffin tin is perfect for keeping things organized in the catch-all drawer. 
  • If your cabinets make it hard to find pots and pans that you need, consider hanging them! Pot racks can be made from many things, and if you’re feeling a project coming on, here’s a great DIY pallet rack to try! 
  • Use inexpensive dollar store baskets in your pantry for pull-out organization of cans, spices and baking items.  The baskets keep them neat, and easy to get to. 
  • An unused cookie jar is perfect for keeping cooking utensils handy and out of a junky drawer. 
  • A wall file-holder attached to the inside of a cabinet door is transformed into a plastic container lid holder. 
  • Mount a long piece of magnetic tape to your backsplash to hold knives and other often-used utensils for easy access. (Make sure the kids can’t reach them, though!) 

Bedrooms 

  • Use a bookshelf as a headboard to create space for books, (obviously), remotes, glasses, morning medicines or display items. 
  • Under-the-bed storage is essential for seasonal clothes, shoes, toys, old photos–anything you don’t use daily.  Suitcases, old dresser drawers (with adhesive felt or wheels on the bottom), inexpensive plastic storage containers, and vacuum-sealed storage bags make the most of this space. 
  • Is your makeup kept in a jumbled drawer or cosmetic bag? This DIY magnetic makeup board is a great way to keep it handy and easy to find. 
  • The kids’ toys can stay better organized by using baskets in bookshelves, open shelving on their level, and benches with storage.  

Getting organized is on many New Year resolution lists, and if you’re serious about it, start by decluttering, and using what you can afford or DIY to make it happen.  Putting the home in order can be pretty, practical, and even cheap! 

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: https://articles.bplans.com

Ready for Retirement

January 26th, 2018 by tisner

It can be shocking to hear how many people spend more time planning their vacation or next mobile phone purchase than planning for retirement. It is hard to imagine that they are expecting Social Security will take them through their golden years. A person who has paid in the maximum each year to social security can assume to receive about $30,000 a year.investable assets.png

Every adult in the work force, should go to SSA.gov to find out what they can expect based on their planned retirement age. Since it probably won’t be the amount you need to retire comfortably, at least you’ll know how much you’ll be short so that you can devise an investment plan.

There’s an easy rule of thumb used to estimate the investable assets needed by the time they retire to generate a certain income. The target annual income is divided by a safe, conservative yield to determine the investable assets needed.

A person who wants $80,000 annual income generated from a 4% investment would need investable assets of $2,000,000. If a person had $500,000 now, they would need to accumulate $1.5 million more by the time they retire. They would need to save about $100,000 a year to be ready for retirement in 15 years.

If saving that amount does seem possible, an IDEAL alternative could be to invest in rental homes. The familiarity of rental homes like owning a personal residence can reduce some of the risk. Rentals also enjoy other characteristics like income from the operation, depreciation in the form of tax shelter, equity buildup from the amortization of the loan, appreciation and leverage from the borrowed funds controlling a larger asset.

Some investors explain the strategy by buying good rentals with mortgages and having the tenant to retire the debt for you. Single family homes offer the investor an opportunity to meet their retirement and financial goals with an investment that is easily understood and controlled.

A Retirement Projection calculator can give you an idea of how many rental homes you’ll need to supplement your social security and other investments.

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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Balancing Risk and Deductibles

January 19th, 2018 by tisner

The benefit of insurance is to transfer the risk of loss to a company in exchange for a premium. The deductible is an amount the insured pays out of pocket before the insurance starts covering the cost of the loss. The challenge is to balance the risk an insured can accept with the premium being charged.28227782-250.jpg

To manage insurance premiums, policy holders often consider adjusting their deductibles. Lower deductibles result in less money out of pocket if a loss occurs in return for higher premiums. Higher deductibles will lower premiums but require that the insured bear a larger amount of the first part of the loss.

Insurance companies offer deductibles as a specific dollar amount or as a percentage of the total amount of insurance policy. The amount is usually shown on the declaration page of homeowner and auto policies.

A small fire in a $300,000 home that resulted in $5,000 of damage might not be covered because it is less than the 2% deductible which would be $6,000. If the homeowner can afford the cost of repairs in exchange for lower premiums, it might be worth it. On the other hand, if that loss would be difficult for the homeowner, a change in the deductible for higher premiums could be considered.

Raising deductibles can save money in the present when paying the premium but could cause problems later if a claim occurs. Homeowners should review deductibles with their property insurance agent to be familiar with the amounts and make any changes that would be appropriate.

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!

Downsizing for Retirees and Empty Nesters

January 17th, 2018 by tisner

Your children have flown from the nest, or maybe retirement is not so far away.  Do you still need all of the space your current home has? Or maybe the idea of selling and buying a smaller home and save the profit for a boost to your retirement income.  Whatever the reason, many empty nesters and retirees are downsizing. Let’s look at these things to consider: 

  • Downsizing can be a huge change for most, and planning for it is the key.  Talk with your partner, your family and friends, tell them of your thoughts, and have some of them help you start a Downsize Plan.  
  • Think practically when you’re thinking about what sort of house you’d like to buy.  You don’t want to go so much smaller that you don’t feel at home.    
  • Do you want to stay in the general area you are currently in, or do you want to move across the country? Maybe you’d like to have an adventure and travel.   
  • Look at your budget and go through it very carefully.  Even with a home sale, your new place could be in a more expensive area, with property taxes and higher utility costs.  Choose carefully so you save more of the profit from the old house’s sale. 
  • We don’t like to think about aging, but one consideration you should be taking is that if this will be your last home, make sure it will work for you as you get older.  In case of mobility issues later on, a single-story house that will be easier to maneuver around in, or one with a smaller yard for less maintenance is best when house-hunting. 
  • The thought of maintaining our landscaping can make us groan as we get older in more ways than one, so consider a condominium or townhouse to relocate to. Be sure to ask if there are extra maintenance fees in these communities. 
  • Once you make your decision, contact a realtor in the area with questions about the housing market, as they can assist you with figuring out how much your house would sell for, as well as finding a smaller and affordable home for you to buy or even consider a rental for a while. 
  • Once you decide to sell and relocate, start the first step of the moving process of going through your belongings, and deciding what you’ll have room for in a smaller home.  This downsizing article from Sixty&Me.com has some extreme but practical advice to help you start this emotional task. Get the family involved if your children still have belongings stored in your attic or spare room. 
  • If the thought of cutting out so many of your belongings is too daunting, find a professional organizer who can help.  Look for one that specializes in downsizing. 
  • You have probably acquired a houseful of furniture, and a smaller home means less space to place what you have now.  Talk to family members who may want pieces that you have, sell some furniture, or donate practical items to a shelter or thrift store. 

Preparing for the later years in life can be daunting.  If you’re getting ready for retirement, or dreading the thought of the last child leaving home, downsizing and a new beginning can actually be something to look forward to.  Be sure to share your housing concerns and desires with your real estate agent, who will do all they can to find the perfect home for you to make every moment enjoyable for you for years to come. 

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: thenubiannews.com

Homeowner Tax Changes

January 12th, 2018 by tisner

The new tax law that was signed into effect at the end of 2017 will affect all taxpayers. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the areas that could affect them which may require some planning to maximize the benefits.

Some of the things that will affect most homeowners are the following:

  • Reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for loans made after 12/14/17. Existing loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap.40009294-250.jpg
  • Homeowners may refinance mortgage debts existing on 12/14/17 up to $1 million and still deduct the interest, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount of the existing mortgage being refinanced.
  • Repeals the deduction for interest on home equity debt through 12/31/25 unless the proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.
  • The standard deduction is now $12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for joint returns. It is estimated that over 90% of taxpayers will elect to take the standard deduction.
  • Property taxes and other state and local taxes are limited to $10,000 as itemized deductions.
  • Moving expenses are repealed except for members of the Armed Forces.
  • Casualty losses are only allowed provided the loss is attributable to a presidentially-declared disaster.

The capital gains exclusion applying to principal residences remains unchanged. Single taxpayers are entitled to $250,000 and married taxpayers filing jointly up to $500,000 of capital gain for homes that they owned and occupied as principal residences for two out of the previous five years.

Not addressed in the new tax law, the Mortgage Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 expired on 12/31/16. This temporary law limited exclusion of income for discharged home mortgage debt for principal homeowners who went through foreclosure, short sale or other mortgage forgiveness. Debt forgiven is considered income and even though the taxpayer may not be obligated for the debt, they would have to recognize the forgiven debt as income.

These changes could affect a taxpayers’ position and should be discussed with their tax advisor.

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!

Before You Remodel…

January 10th, 2018 by tisner

Depending on whether you are planning to sell your home in the next year or if you are in your forever home, remodeling is a great way to get what you want out of your home, or what buyers want.  There are things to consider before you jump into remodeling. 

  • Decide on a budget, and how you’ll pay for the upgrade.  Consider hiring a financial planner who can help you choose which way is best. 
  • If you decide to do this project yourself, and you’re not in the construction business, plan on taking much longer than a professional.  Be realistic about your skills and hire help if you need it. 
  • Acquiring an architect or designer is a good idea if you’re making major changes.  You don’t want to run into major structural or electrical issues and not know what to do. 
  • Think about how long you want to stay in your home before you invest in big ticket items, like a six-burner range for the kitchen, or expensive hardwood flooring throughout the house.  If your sole plan is to make money from a sale, or if you want and can afford the upgrades, go ahead. But if you’re not going to enjoy those items while you’re living there, consider a simple refurbishing or using what you have if it’s in good working order and won’t look out of place. 
  • When looking for a contractor, price isn’t necessarily the important thing.  Ask for references, check their license numbers, and call the former clients and ask to see the work that was done, either in photos or in person. The research will be worth it in the end.  
  • Once you hire your contractor, start getting your paperwork in order.  The contractor has their own responsibilities, and the homeowner has to take care of other items–check this list from realtor.com to see who is responsible for what. 
  • Planning a timeline with your contractor is especially important, and make sure you leave room for possible unexpected issues. 
  • Sit down with your family and figure out logistics, especially if you’re remodeling the kitchen or one of the bathrooms in your home.  Remodeling can cause a lot of stress, but if everyone knows what to do before it all happens, things can flow better. 
  • As with moving, clean out the room before the renovation, giving away, selling or throwing out what you haven’t used in months.  Wrap and store any items you’re keeping in a spare room. 
  • Before the construction team comes in to begin the project, sit down with your contractor to set location boundaries for the crew and your family, along with other logistics. The crew doesn’t want your children playing around with tools, and you don’t want your good bathroom towels used for grimy hands.  Everyone needs to know what is okay, and what isn’t.   

A home remodel is a big undertaking; watching renovation shows on television can give the idea that everything goes off without a hitch.  It takes planning, communication and good all-around management to make the process go smoothly, even if you hit a few bumps along the way.

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: www.river105.com

Winter Decor Ideas

January 8th, 2018 by tisner

The Christmas decorations come down, and everything looks so stark and plain, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Try some of these ideas to brighten up your home during the long winter days.

  • Change your light bulbs to those that give off a blue hue to mimic sunlight. For dark mornings, invest in a sunrise light that comes on and brightens over a period of time to simulate the sun rising.
  • Force the flower bulbs you were given as gifts. Their bright colors will bring Springtime early—indoors, anyway.
  • Use light, bright colors everywhere you can—cozy throws, pillows, slipcovers, and accent rug—the light colors reflect what natural light we have coming through the windows and help boost our mood.
  • Using natural items isn’t just for Christmas. A basket of pine cones with battery operated LED lights woven through them, or a simple wreath of twigs can double as decor for January.
  • Use snowflakes, no matter where you live, to brighten up your interior. Get the kids to cut out paper snowflakes, or make these popsicle stick snowflakes. Hang either on clear monofilament and make a mobile or garland and hang them in a window.
  • Cut the arms off of old sweaters and use them to wrap around candle holders and vases for a fun, cozy appearance.
  • Clip small branches and twigs, spray them with white spray paint, (or leave them natural), and display them in vases with artificial snow, small pine cones, or whole nuts as a filler.
  • Hang a mirror, or several, in a dark spot in your home. It will reflect light and brighten the space.
  • Winter greens joined with a child’s sled, vintage ice skates, or a harness of jingle bells make great front door adornment.
  • Use unused scarves wrapped around a foam wreath core for a fun and unique decoration. Hang a pair of mittens in place of a bow.
  • Do you or any friends have flowering trees? If so, ask them for a few snipped branches, and force-bloom them with these tips from Fine Gardening. The Springtime buds will brighten any room.

Decorating for the colder months doesn’t have to scream Santa. Light colors, natural things and cozy pieces are perfect for brightening the long nights, and making your home as inviting as it was during the holidays.

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: Country Living Magazine 

Prevent False Home Security Alarms

December 29th, 2017 by tisner

Some police departments report as high as 98% of calls are false alarms. Not only is this an incredible waste of police resources that could be available for legitimate emergencies, it annoys neighbors, startles pets and results in expensive false alarm fees.36192772-250.jpg

Know your codes – entering an incorrect keypad code is a common mistake leading to false alarms. The solution is to create codes that are easy for all members of the family to remember without them being obvious to potential burglars like your street number. Let everyone know when you change your code.

Secure windows and doors – be sure that all windows and doors are closed before activating your alarm. Disarm your system before opening a window or door.

House guests – tell visitors that you have an alarm system and when you normally arm it. Housekeepers, baby sitters, outside family and close friends also need to be aware of your procedures and possibly give them a code to disarm the system if it is accidentally activated.

Batteries – most systems have battery backup in case the power goes out. Know how often you need to replace the batteries; some last considerably longer than others.

Motion detectors – pets can trigger a motion detector and then, the alarm. There are sensors made for households with pets providing an alternative to turning them off. Other things that could activate motion detectors are helium balloons or curtains and plant leaves being blown in front of a sensor.

Home alarm systems are valuable to homeowners by increasing security, providing peace of mind and lowering insurance premiums. Some municipalities require a license fee for any home with an alarm. Use your alarm wisely.

By: PatZaby.com

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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!

Saving Money for a New Home Down Payment

December 20th, 2017 by tisner

With the new year approaching, many people start thinking about resolutions.  If you’re seriously considering buying a new home, you’ll definitely need to be thinking about having your down payment ready when you find the perfect house.  Follow these ideas for saving as much as you possibly can.

  • First and foremost, know your house-purchasing budget, and estimate needing 20% of that budget.
  • Set up a hands-off down payment high-yield savings or money market account.
  • Start cutting out expenses, or find ways to make extra money. Every little bit counts.
  • If you plan on getting an end-of-year bonus or income tax refund, set aside that money to begin your new nest’s egg.
  • Sign up with your employer to deposit a portion of your pay into a down payment savings account if you’re not great at putting money into savings. Most of the time, if you don’t see it, you don’t miss it.
  • Receiving gifts from family members towards your down payment require documentation so your lender, as well as the IRS, knows where the money is coming from, and that the money doesn’t require re-payment.  More information about down payment gifts are here from The Mortgage Reports website.
  • Start paying off your credit card debt by paying more than the minimum payment. Lowering and/or eliminating your card balance also lowers your interest rates, so you can start taking what you’d normally pay on credit cards and depositing it towards your down payment fund.
  • If you have investments in stocks or bonds, plan on liquidating those assets when it’s time to purchase your house. Make sure you document these sales.
  • A pay raise at work is great, but if you happen to get one, stay on your old budget, and have the extra pay direct deposited into your down payment account.
  • You can always borrow from your 401k or IRA, but make sure you’re not having to pay penalties. Talk with your account holder before you make any withdrawals.

A down payment, especially at twenty percent, can look daunting.  If it just looks impossible, do your research.  There are many first-time buyer programs available, as well as lower down payment options through the USDA, the VA and state-specific programs.  Zillow has a terrific guide on low down payment guidelines and opportunities. Planning ahead and keeping your eye on your goal will get you well on the way to home ownership.

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: northeastfunding.com

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