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The Tax Difference in Second Homes

June 15th, 2018 by tisner

A principal residence and a second home have some similar benefits, but they have some key tax differences. A principal residence is the primary home where you live and a second home is used mainly for personal enjoyment while limiting possible rental activity to a maximum of 14 days per year.10213246-250.jpg

Under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Mortgage Interest Deduction allows a taxpayer to deduct the qualified interest on a principal residence and a second home. The interest is reduced from a maximum of $1,000,000 combined acquisition debt to a maximum of $750,000 combined acquisition debt for both the first and second homes.

Property taxes on first and second homes are deductible but limited to a combined maximum of $10,000 together with other state and local taxes paid.

The gain on a principal residence retained the exclusion of $250,000/$500,000 for single/married taxpayers meeting the requirements. Unchanged by the new tax law, the gains on second homes must be recognized when sold or disposed.

Tax-deferred exchanges are not allowed for property used for personal purposes such as second homes. Gain on second homes owned for more than 12 months is taxed at the lower long-term capital gains rate.

This article is intended for informational purposes. Advice from a tax professional for your specific situation should be obtained prior to making a decision that can have tax implications.

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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Get a Jump Start on Hurricane Season Prep!

May 30th, 2018 by tisner

Hurricane Season Prep

June 1 marks the official beginning of hurricane season, and everyone, especially homeowners, should be prepared in every way.  Once you’re ready, it’s less stressful when a watch or warning is issued, leaving you time to get a few big jobs done without having to concern yourself with the smaller details. 

  • Check with your insurance agent and ask any questions about your homeowner’s insurance policy so you’ll know what’s covered, and what isn’t.  If you need more coverage, add it to your policy now. 
  • Make sure you have flood insurance, or that your coverage is up-to-date. It takes thirty days for a new policy’s coverage to begin, so don’t wait until a storm is bearing down on you before you purchase. 
  • Plan your evacuation route in case of a mandatory event from your local government.  This is especially important if you live in a new area. Print route maps and keep them handy, or store them in your smartphone’s maps app. 
  • Have a plastic storage tote with lid that contains tarps, light blankets, flashlights, brand new batteries, bottled water, canned food, manual can opener, and a battery-operated radio. Print a list of necessary phone numbers and emergency contacts and place it inside the tote as well, in case you’re unable to keep your cell phone charged.  
  • In case of power outages, inexpensive portable USB chargers can be used to keep your cell phones charged.  Solar chargers are available as well but cost more. 
  • If you don’t have an emergency fund, start one now.  
  • Take a look around your home and make sure gutters are clear, shingles are sturdy, shutters are tight, as well as making sure outdoor additions and buildings are secure.  Make upgrades or repairs if necessary. 
  • Check any trees on your property for hanging or dead limbs, and overhanging limbs that could cause damage.  Have a tree service remove them. 
  • Look out for elderly neighbors and family members.  Ask if they need help getting the big things ready or ask them if they’d like to be included in your family hurricane plan.  They may want to remain independent, but it may be a relief to them knowing they’ll have some assistance a phone call away in time of an emergency. 
  • Don’t allow your vehicle’s gas tank to get below a half tank.  Keep it as full as possible in case of shortages when the time to evacuate comes. 

The Red Cross offers many other tips about being prepared for emergencies, including what to do about your pets and contacting your distant family afterwards.  Waiting until the last minute can create added stress on you and your family.  Don’t get caught in the worst of the storm to realize you forgot flashlight batteries or bottled water.  Take an afternoon to prepare now, and, like a home fire drill, make sure the whole family knows their role in case of an emergency.

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: South Florida News Service

Assumptions May be an Alternative

May 11th, 2018 by tisner

For the last 25 years, most buyers have gotten a new mortgage or paid cash when purchasing a home. For a practical reason, owner-occupant buyers have another alternative: assuming a lower interest rate existing FHA or VA mortgage.29377293-250.jpg

In the late 80’s, both FHA and VA began requiring buyers to qualify to assume their mortgages. Prior to that, good credit or even a job wasn’t required. The real reason there haven’t been significant numbers of assumptions in the past 25 years is that interest rates have been steadily going down. If a person had to qualify, they might as well do it on a new loan and get a lower interest rate.

Even though mortgage money is currently attractive and available, it is at a four-year high. When interest rates on new mortgages are higher than the rates of assumable FHA and VA mortgages originated in the recent past, it may be more advantageous to assume the existing mortgages.  Conventional loans have due on sale clauses that prevent them from being assumed at the existing rate.

FHA loans that originated with lower than current interest rates have great advantages for buyers and sellers.

  1. Interest rate won’t change for qualified buyer
  2. Lower interest rate means lower payments
  3. Lower closing costs than originating a new mortgage
  4. Easier to qualify for an assumption than a new loan
  5. Lower interest rate loans amortize faster than higher ones
  6. Equity grows faster because loan is further along the amortization schedule
  7. Assumable mortgage could make the home more marketable

This financing alternative can save money for the buyer in closing costs and monthly payments. While the equity may be more than the down payment on a new mortgage, second mortgages are available to make up the difference. Call us at (407) 467-5155 to find out if this may be an option for you.

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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Waiting Period After Distressed Sale for Orlando, FL

April 13th, 2018 by tisner

“How long do we have to wait to qualify for another mortgage” is the question concerning people who’ve had a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy. The loan types for the new loan will differ in amounts of time to heal credit scores based on the event.43296989-250.jpg

The following chart is meant to be a general guide for how long a person might have to wait. During this waiting period, it’s important that the person be current on all payments and maintains a history of good credit.

A recommended lender can give you specific information regarding your individual situation and can make suggestions that will improve your ability to qualify for a mortgage. This process should be started before looking at homes because of the time constraints listed here can vary based on current requirements and possible extenuating circumstances of your case.

Waiting periods Distressed sales 2.png

We want to be your personal source of real estate information and we’re committed to helping from purchase to sale and all the years in between. Call us at (407) 467-5155 for lender recommendations.

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!

By: PAtZaby.com

FHA Advantages for Orlando, FL

March 29th, 2018 by tisner

The Federal Housing Administration, operating under HUD, offers affordable mortgages for tens of thousands of buyers who may not qualify for other types of programs. They are popular with both first-time and repeat buyers.

The 3.5% down payment is an attractive feature but there are other advantages:fha3.png

  • More tolerant for credit challenges than conventional mortgages.
  • Lower down payments than most conventional loans.
  • Broader qualifying ratios – total house payment with MIP can be up to 31% of borrower’s monthly gross income and total house payment with all recurring debt can be up to 43%. There is a stretch provision taking it to 33/45 for qualifying energy efficient homes.
  • Seller can contribute up to 6% of purchase price; this money must be specified in the contract and can be used to pay all or part of the buyer’s closing costs, pre-paid items and/or buy down of the interest rate.
  • Self-employed may qualify with adequate documentation – two year’s tax returns and a current profit and loss statement would be required in addition to the normal qualifying and underwriting requirements.
  • Liberal use of gift monies – borrowers can receive a gift from family members, buyer’s employer, close friend, labor union or charity. A gift letter will be required specifying that the gift does not have to be repaid.
  • Special 203(k) program for buying a home that needs capital improvements – requires a firm contractor’s bid attached to the contract calling for the work to be done. The home is appraised subject to the work being done. If approved, the home can close, the money for the improvements escrowed and paid when completed.
  • Loans are assumable at the existing interest rate with buyer qualification. Assumptions are easier than qualifying for a new mortgage and closing costs are lower.
  • An assumable mortgage with a lower than current rates for new mortgages could add value to the property.

Finding the best mortgage for an individual is not always an easy process. Buyers need good information from trusted professionals. Call (407) 467-5155 for a recommendation of a trusted lender who can help you.

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!

By and photo credit: PatZaby.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

Windermere Florida Real Estate Market Report for February 2018

March 16th, 2018 by tisner

The Windermere Real Estate Market Trends Report shows the average sales price was $521,477 in February 2018 compared to $544,748 in February 2017. Homes were on the market for an average of 91 days, equal to 91 days last year. Homes sold for 97% of the list price.

Windermere Florida Real Estate Market Report

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 Florida Real Estate Market Report for February 2018

March 16th, 2018 by tisner

The Kissimmee Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34741 shows 37 homes sold in February 2018 down from 54 in February 2017. The average sales price was $185,898 compared to $146,058 in February 2017 and homes were on the market an average of 50 days, down from 65 days in February 2017.

Kissimmee Florida Real Estate Market Report

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 Florida Real Estate Market Report for February 2018

March 16th, 2018 by tisner

The Celebration Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34747 shows 123 homes sold in February 2018 compared to 92 in February 2017. The average sales price was $280,660 compared to $358,122 in February 2017 and homes were on the market an average of 123 days, compared to 116 days in February 2017.

Celebration Florida Real Estate Market Report

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!

Buying New Construction in Orlando, FL

March 14th, 2018 by tisner

Buying New Construction Homes

The thought of a brand-new, up-to-date home appeals to many, and if you’re considering buying a new construction, there are few things you should know. Following these guidelines can make your venture a little easier.

  • Before you make that first visit to the model home, find a real estate agent to accompany you, and keep them involved in every aspect. If you wait until after you’ve talked to the builder’s agent, you lose the benefit of having buyer’s representation.
  • Hiring your own real estate professional is wise, because you’ll have someone with your interests at heart.
  • Shop around for the best loan in advance. If the builder’s lender has incentives and discounts, consider this if it will benefit you in the end.

Some questions to ask the builder’s agent on that first meeting:

  • Ask for info about how many lots and homes have been sold.
  • You need to know about each home site’s size, and how close each house is to each other.
  • What is the investors ratio allowed in the community? This will tell you the rental the number of homes that are possibly rentals.
  • What is the projected completion date for the new construction site?
  • If the completion date isn’t met after we have signed a contract, is there a deposit refund or a cancellation clause?
  • How long is the home’s warranty, and what does it cover?
  • Is a garage or deck standard or an extra cost?
  • Is smart technology wiring included in the basic home package, and is wiring to all bedrooms an extra expense?
  • How much input do I have on paint colors, flooring, kitchen cabinets and bathroom finishes?
  • What appliances are included?
  • Is there a builder’s upgrade credit?
  • Find out the what the builder’s policy is if they run short of materials. Most builders have the right to substitute, and you don’t want to be surprised to see mosaic tile where you thought subway tile would be in your finished home.
  • Keep in mind that the model home you are shown has all the upgrades. Don’t assume you’re getting everything in your home that the model has. For instance, shelves and the latest organizational features are in the walk-in at the model home, but all of those could be upgrades. Ask about these features and write everything down as you get answers.
  • Talk to residents who are already living in the community, and ask them about any concerns they have, and what they love about their new home.
  • Don’t skip getting a home inspection just because it’s new construction. Humans make mistakes, and it’s better to pay extra for a home inspection to find out everything is fine than deal with something that will cost a lot in the long run. Be sure your purchase contract allows you to hire an inspector outside the building company.
  • If the model home is one of the last homes left in the neighborhood, ask about buying it! You may not get every finish just as you’d like, but you can paint a room or change the flooring if the cost of the house with all the bells and whistles is comparable to one that’s just been finished.

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: Decker Home Services

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