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Lighting Conversion Plan

November 24th, 2017 by tisner

In 2007, Congress passed an energy act that required new energy-efficient standards for basic light bulbs. Standard incandescent bulbs are being phased out and eventually will be unavailable.

The alternative bulbs differ considerably in price. LED bulbs are the most efficient but they also cost the most. CFLs are a less expensive alternative.  Interestingly, the more expensive replacements offer lower operating costs and longer economic life.

One approach will be to inventory the different types and quantities of light bulbs you need in your home. Then, research either online or a big box store to find out what each type of bulb costs. This information will give you a total budget for converting your lighting.

It could be a significant expense to replace all the bulbs in a home at one time, especially when most of the bulbs still work. That’s where a plan might make sense.

Replace the bulbs in the rooms where the lights are used the most such as kitchen, family rooms and bathrooms. There may be other “rooms” where the lights are used frequently like certain hallways or stairs. Outside flood lights for security purposes may be a large energy consumption.

Bulbs can vary in light output measured in lumens as well as color of light from warm white to bright white and daylight. The lighting label required by the Federal Trade Commission on all packaging will help you determine which will give you the most bang for your buck.

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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What You Should Know About the KRACK WiFi Breach!

November 22nd, 2017 by tisner

In October, a breach was found in the most commonly used WiFi security, WAP2, used by homes and businesses worldwide. The breach was given the acronym KRACK, for Key Reinstallation ATTACK. It affects smartphones, laptops, pc’s, smart house devices–anything that connects to a WiFi router. Your personal information can be stolen, including credit cards, social security numbers, bank accounts as well as any other personal information you may have stored on your devices.  There are several things you can now do to keep your information safe. 

  • Smartphone users should update their operating systems as soon as possible.  iPhone users should be updated to iOS 11.1, and Android’s update from the 2017-11-06 update release should patch the problem. 
  • The MacOS 10.13.1 update issued October 31, 2017 for iMac, MacBook, and Mac Pro corrects the vulnerability for those devices.  If you’re unsure about your device’s operating system, check for updates from Apple here. 
  • Your home’s smart devices are vulnerable as well.  Individual manufacturers are supposed to be providing protection in their own updates.  To make certain, call your device’s customer service number in the owner’s guide, or look on their website. 
  • If you use a Windows PC or laptop, your KRACK protection should have come in the update on October 10, 2017.   
  • WiFi routers should be updated by their makers as well. Check this list if you would like to make sure if your home or office router has been protected. If you can’t find your router maker, call your internet service provider, and they can tell you whether your protected or not. 

The good thing about whether your home is safe from attack or not is that the hacker has to be in range of your WiFi service.  If you see any strange behavior near your home or even in your neighborhood, call for help, and shut down your WiFi until you know no one is trying to steal your personal information.  Take care in public WiFi hotspots, and if a business cannot tell you whether they have patched this breach or not, turn off your smartphone/device’s WiFi connection, and use data.   

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: Popular Mechanics 

Windermere Real Estate Market Report for October 2017

November 17th, 2017 by tisner

The Windermere Real Estate Market Trends Report shows the average sales price was $691,792 in October 2017 compared to $577,272 in October 2016. Homes were on the market for an average of 82 days compared to 95 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.

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Kissimmee Real Estate Market Report for October 2017

November 17th, 2017 by tisner

The Kissimmee Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34741 shows 45 homes sold in October 2017 up from 44 in October 2016. The average sales price was $174,158 compared to $153,213 in October 2016 and homes were on the market an average of 47 days, down from 56 days in October 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.

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Celebration Real Estate Market Report for October 2017

November 17th, 2017 by tisner

The Celebration Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34747 shows 99 homes sold in October 2017 compared to 95 in October 2016. The average sales price was $261,345 compared to $302,889 in October 2016 and homes were on the market an average of 102 days, down from 106 days in October 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.

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Holiday Travels

November 16th, 2017 by tisner

The last thing you want if you’re traveling these holidays is to worry about someone burglarizing your home. Use this check list to add some peace of mind while you’re out of town.

  • Ask a trusted friend – to pick up mail, newspaper and keep yard picked up to avoid an appearance of being empty.
  • Consider discontinuing your mail (USPS Hold Mail Service)
  • Don’t post about your trip on Facebook and other social media until you return – some burglars actually look for this type of announcement to schedule their activities.
  • Do notify police or neighborhood watch – especially if you’re going to be gone for more than just a few days. Let your monitoring service know when you’ll be gone and if someone will be checking on your home for you.
  • Light timers make it look like someone is home – use several sets for different times to better simulate someone being at home.
  • Do unplug certain appliances – TV, computers, toaster ovens that use electricity even when they’re off and to protect them from power surges.
  • Don’t hide a key – burglars know exactly where to look for your key and it only takes them a moment to check under the mat, above the door, in the flower pot or in a fake rock.

These easy-to-handle suggestions may protect your belongings while you’re gone while adding a level of serenity to your trip

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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Smart Technology For Your Home

November 15th, 2017 by tisner

Not only does it seem like we have new gadgets for communication being released on a daily basis, but smart home technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. Don’t let all of the available devices overwhelm you when you’re shopping around.  Follow this guide for tips to help you get started on your smart home journey. 

  • Smart thermostats are the perfect way to get your feet wet for advanced technology in your home.  They control your heat and air more efficiently by using presence sensors, and can save 10-15% on your power bill. Nest has two versions available, and prices vary $179-$250. Check with your power company to see if they offer a rebate on your new smart thermostat purchase. 
  • Keyless entry isn’t just for your car anymore.  Smart locks are available for your entryways with mobile and desktop apps, so you can control them, and using fingerprint and voice recognition for opening doors.  Prices vary greatly, and the choices are numerous. PCMag has made a list of the best smart locks of 2017 that can help you comparison shop. 
  • Home security systems have been around for eons, and the older brands have someone monitoring your system for you, and you pay a subscription fee.  Today there are DIY security kits that will connect to your home smart system, and will alert your mobile phone app if there is a breach, but it’s your responsibility to contact authorities.  
  • Sometimes a simple security camera can give you peace of mind, and cameras are now available with motion and heat sensors so that they only turn on when you have chosen those sensor settings.  These cameras have WIFI connectability, and you can use your PC or laptop to check the daily camera video. 
  • If you don’t care for a whole-house lighting control system, there are smart light bulbs controllable via Bluetooth, but that means they cannot be controlled from outside the home, or if you’re out of range.  These bulbs can cost $50, but will last for twenty years. 
  • Home voice-activated assistants are becoming more popular, as well as less expensive. Apple’s Siri, Google Home, and Amazon’s Echo all have different features, but perform the same way by with voice activation. Get advice from friends and the internet before you decide which assistant is right for you and your family. 
  • Water leak and mold sensors are a very important gadget to add to your smart system.  They sense water leaks, and humidity and temperature changes in your home and can save you a bundle on water or mold damage repair. 
  • No more checking smoke alarm batteries every six months–smart smoke alarms are hardwired, have built in carbon monoxide detectors, and can be controlled from your mobile phone.  Some detectors even have sensibility settings, so they know the difference in a lot of smoke and your bacon getting a bit too done. 
  • Turn practically anything into a smart object with a smart plug. Once it’s plugged in to the object and connected to WIFI, you can control that object with your phone, or a home assistant.   

If you have technical or more specific questions about smart products, see this article from the National Association of REALTORS’® Center for REALTOR® Technology group.  It is a wealth of smart home information, as well as data issues, and ownership of devices in case of a home sale.   

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: techfruit.com

Gas or Electric Fireplace – Which Is Right For You?

November 13th, 2017 by tisner

Wintertime will soon be upon us, and if we want to save money and energy consumption, we turn the thermostat down a few degrees.  What better way to take the chill off while in the family room than a fireplace? Gone are the days of strictly using wood to warm us up–check out this comparison of gas and electric fireplaces, and see what’s right for you and your family. 

  • Installation should be your first thought if you don’t have a wood fireplace to convert to gas or electric. When choosing gas, you need a gas line installed, as well as a propane tank.  With electric, inserts and free-standing units are available, and you simply need the equipment and a nearby power outlet. 

Gas 

  • Gas fireplaces come vented, or unvented.  Vented gas logs must be used in a wood burning fireplace with a chimney and damper. Ventless logs can be used in an existing fireplace, or as a stand-alone unit. 
  • Vented logs look very realistic, but a large portion of the heat goes up the chimney.  You’ll get less “real” with a ventless set of logs, but they are much warmer, and use less gas than vented. 
  • There’s a great deal of ongoing debate about the safety of ventless gas fireplace units, and you have to be extremely cautious of how long you burn them, because of oxygen depletion.  Discuss these and other safety matters with the salesperson or gas company representative.   
  • Gas fireplaces get very hot, because they use an actual flame to produce heat.  Children, the elderly, and pets shouldn’t get close to the fireplace while in use. 
  • Prices for gas fireplaces run the gamut, as they can be constructed to look like a real fireplace, with a mantel and hearth.  Lots of options are available, depending on where you make your purchase. Cost of use varies, depending on whether propane or natural gas is being used. Gel-burning fireplaces are on the market as well, and could be a good option for your home. 
  • Safety should be first and foremost with gas fireplaces.  Talk with your gas provider, read the instruction manuals carefully, and follow all guidelines.  If you have a problem, call customer service or a repair company immediately. 

Electric 

  • Electric fireplace units don’t need to be vented, because they don’t put off any gasses. 
  • The only heat you have to be concerned with is the heat that keeps your toes warm–electric fireplaces are constructed from materials that don’t transmit heat, so you don’t have to worry about anyone getting burned if they touch it. 
  • Installation is easy.  Choose your unit, decide where it’s going to be a focal point in the room, set it up and plug it in. 
  • Thermostats are available on electric units, making it much easier to control the room temperature.   
  • No fuel means no gases being emitted, and it can be a safer choice if you want to keep it burning for longer than a few hours. 
  • Costs for electric units are about the same, but the extra cost associated with operation will be on your electric bill.   

Adding a new heat source is not something to be taken lightly, and when it comes to gas and electric fireplaces, there are pros and cons with each.  Talk with knowledgeable people, search the internet, and talk to your family before you make the final purchase.  Whatever you choose, it will be nice to have a fireplace to cozy up to on a chilly night. 

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.bowdensfireside.com

Cash-In Refinance

November 10th, 2017 by tisner

Would someone really refinance their home and not take money out of it? Certainly, if they could get a lower rate, build equity faster and pay off the home sooner.65125303-250.jpg

For people with extra cash available, this can be very attractive compared to the low savings rates being paid by banks.

In the example below, the current mortgage is 5% for 30 years after 48 payments of $1,342.05. The owner can refinance for 15 years at 3.37%. If they put $36,000 into the refinance, their payments will be slightly more but the mortgage will be paid off in 15 years. At that same point, if they keep the current mortgage, their unpaid balance will be $136,049.03.

If you have a goal to get your home paid off and have the available funds, a Cash-In Refinance may be just the strategy for you.

cash-in refinance.png

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!

 

Simple Kitchen Fixes

November 6th, 2017 by tisner

Whether you are planning on selling your home or just want to spruce it up a bit, the kitchen is the main attraction and heart of your home.  You don’t have to do an expensive remodel to improve the space! Here are a few tips to get your kitchen looking great and up-to-date. 

  • Cabinets are on prominent display in your kitchen, and should look great.  Clean them up and give them a coat of primer and paint.  White, as well as neutrals like grey or taupe, gives a clean look and brightens up the space, and all work well with pops of color around the kitchen. Darker colors work best in large kitchens, and bright colors can be the star against neutral wall colors and decor. Click here for more cabinet painting tips from HGTV. 
  • Refurbish with new cabinet doors.  This can be a little more expensive, but not as costly as replacing all of the cabinetry. You can even ditch the doors and use open shelving for a modern, clean feel. 
  • Change out the hardware on drawers and cabinets.  Have an idea of what you want before you go to a home store to purchase the pieces, because there are so many choices available.  Classic styles are best if you plan on putting your home on the market. 
  • Not only would it protect walls from liquids and grease, but adding a tile backsplash gives a whole new look to your kitchen. Thanks to advances made in peel-and-stick technology, double adhesive mats are strong enough for tile, and you can do this yourself with very little tile installation knowledge. This video from Ask This Old House shows step-by-step how to use this improved material and save time and money while updating your kitchen. 
  • Give your sink a makeover simply by replacing the faucet and the handles. 
  • Countertops dated and unattractive? Replacing them doesn’t have to be a big expense; some laminates look like the real thing and cost much less.  Styles include look-alike marble and faux granite.   
  • Add a dash of style to cabinets with glass doors by papering the inside of the cabinet. Con-Tact© paper or any self-adhesive shelf liner is perfect for this small project.  Amazon carries many designs to choose from.  
  • Installing a new light fixture can make a big difference in your kitchen, and doesn’t have to break the bank.  Look in thrift stores, consignment shops, or yard sales, and give an old fixture a facelift with some spray paint! If you’re unsure about installation, call an electrician or handy person to change the old to the new. 

If you decide to make just one change, or several, make a budget, stick to it, and stretch the makeover out over a few months so you don’t overspend.  For potential buyers to come in and see a clean, new-looking kitchen, or simply having your family and friends spend more time in the refurbished space, a simple update can make a big impact. 

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: bankrate.com

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