Like what you have been reading here? Subscribe now and receive email updates of our articles.

Menu

Syndicate this blog

Most Popular

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

Protect Yourself Against Internet Schemes

January 15th, 2018 by tisner

With the arrest of a Louisiana man charged with almost three hundred counts of helping scam innocent people out of millions of dollars, email and internet scams are in the forefront.  We must be diligent about protecting ourselves, as well as elderly loved ones against cyber robbery.   

Emails and Websites 

  • Avoid opening emails whose sender you don’t know personally, or haven’t signed up to receive. 
  • If a sender’s name looks like it’s from a legitimate site, say Google for instance, and the subject matter says that you need to enter your information after clicking a link in the body of the email, don’t.  Google and other reputable email providers, as well as your bank and credit card companies never ask you for information unless you initiate the change. 
  • When you aren’t sure of a link in an email, hover over it with your cursor, and read the address that pops up at the bottom left of your screen.  Hover over this link:  www.freecadillacforyou.com. Do you see that the actual link says that it will take you to google’s homepage?  That’s how those links work.  Make sure what you’re clicking on goes to where it says it will. 
  • Anyone that you don’t know that sends you an email telling you they will give you money in exchange for helping them obtain part of it is lying to you.  They are scammers and will clean out your bank account. 
  • Most web browsers will let you know with a symbol or a pop-up message if a site is secure or not.  If you are trying to go to your bank’s website, but the padlock symbol on your computer is open, then you’re at the wrong place.  Don’t type any personal information–including username and password. 

Social Media 

  • Many times, scammers will hijack someone’s account and create a new profile with copied photos and start sending friend requests. As soon as people accept, the imposter sends personal messages claiming to need money because they lost their wallet or debit card. Do not reply to any more messages, and report the scammer to the fraud department.   
  • “What Character from The Simpsons Are You?” types of quizzes and other questionnaires that request your name and cell phone number in order for you to share with your friends will likely add a charge to your cell phone bill. 
  • Be careful about complaining in a public tweet or post about your cable company going up on your rates, or your high cell phone bill.  There are scammers who comb social media for posts like that, then, posing as a customer service rep for that company, send you a direct message, offering you a discount if you’ll provide your account number and verify your credit card. You’ll see bogus charges on your next card statement.  
  • Don’t click on the link for the local news story that Johnny Depp or George Clooney had a flat tire in your town and fell in love with the location, and decided to purchase a home there.  Those fake news websites will install malicious software onto your computer and gather personal information. 

Not only do you need to protect yourself, but talk with your teens and elderly family and friends so they will be aware of these online scams.  The FTC offers some other tips on how to avoid being scammed.  As technology gets “smarter,” so do hackers and scammers, and we have to keep diligent watch over our personal information.  

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: FBI.gov

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

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

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!

ATM Safety Tips

December 21st, 2017 by tisner

During the holidays as throughout the year, getting cash from an ATM is normal for many people. ATM’s are available 24 hours a day and they’re located in bank branches, convenience stores, grocery stores, malls, airports, sports venues and on street corners.46024154-250.jpg

Unfortunately, the convenience aspect can compromise personal safety especially if you are distracted or not paying attention. Planning for an ATM withdrawal and applying common sense can help you avoid trouble.

  • Be aware of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction like people sitting in a nearby parked car or someone offering to help you.
  • Safeguard your PIN. Don’t share it with anyone. Don’t write it down. Don’t use your birthdate, last four digits of your phone number or other obvious numbers.
  • If there are other people at the ATM to make a withdrawal, shield the keypad when entering your PIN number.
  • Keep your car doors locked and windows raised, except for your driver’s window, when using a drive-up ATM.
  • Minimize the time spent at the ATM by being prepared with your card ready, what you plan to do and do not count your money until you are in a safe place away from the ATM.
  • Take your receipt with you and destroy it if you decide to discard it.
  • Be aware that some thieves use skimming devices to steal account and PIN numbers. If something doesn’t look “just right”, consider finding another machine to use.
  • Especially at night, pay attention to locations with adequate lighting and being visible from the street. Don’t compromise your safety just because it is convenient.
  • After you have your money, pay attention to see if someone might be following you. If you are concerned, go to a nearby police or fire station or well-trafficked business and call the police.
  • If you feel uneasy during a transaction, cancel it, remove your card and LEAVE.

There may be a time in the not too distant future when we don’t have a need for cash anymore. Until that time, paying attention to simple safety precautions can help protect us during the holidays and throughout the year.

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!

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

Windermere Real Estate Market Report for November 2017

December 14th, 2017 by tisner

The Windermere Real Estate Market Trends Report shows the average sales price was $510,876 in November 2017 compared to $605,913 in November 2016. Homes were on the market for an average of 67 days compared to 96 days last year. Homes sold for 97% of the list price.

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!

Kissimmee Real Estate Market Report for November 2017

December 14th, 2017 by tisner

The Kissimmee Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34741 shows 41 homes sold in November 2017 up from 36 in November 2016. The average sales price was $205,841 compared to $150,900 in November 2016 and homes were on the market an average of 42 days, down from 61 days in November 2016.

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!

Celebration Real Estate Market Report for November 2017

December 14th, 2017 by tisner

The Celebration Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34747 shows 104 homes sold in November 2017 compared to 85 in November 2016. The average sales price was $370,645 compared to $270,123 in November 2016 and homes were on the market an average of 123 days, up from 106 days in November 2016.

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!

Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
66 Riley Road
Celebration, Fl 34747

This site is proudly sponsored by Orlando FL Real Estate Kissimmee and Celebration
Copyright © 2008 Orlando FL Real Estate Kissimmee and Celebration | All Rights Reserved. Sitemap