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Protecting Household Surfaces While Cleaning for Orlando, FL

February 28th, 2018 by tisner

protecting household surfaces

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

Flooring 

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

Stainless Surfaces 

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

Countertops/Sinks 

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

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

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: Merry Maids

Windermere Florida Real Estate Market Report for January 2018

February 15th, 2018 by tisner

The Windermere Real Estate Market Trends Report shows the average sales price was $749,291 in January 2018 compared to $668,452 in January 2017. Homes were on the market for an average of 107 days compared to 106 days last year. Homes sold for 97% of the list price.

Windermere FL 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.

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Kissimmee Florida Real Estate Market Report for January 2018

February 15th, 2018 by tisner

The Kissimmee Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34741 shows 37 homes sold in January 2018 up from 28 in January 2017. The average sales price was $184,767 compared to $174,529 in January 2017 and homes were on the market an average of 50 days, up from 39 days in January 2017.

Kissimmee FL 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.

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Celebration Florida Real Estate Market Report for January 2018

February 15th, 2018 by tisner

The Celebration Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34747 shows 100 homes sold in January 2018 compared to 79 in January 2017. The average sales price was $293,495 compared to $309,143 in January 2017 and homes were on the market an average of 111 days, compared to 91 days in January 2017.

 Celebration Real Estate Market Trends 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.

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Convincing Advantages with Standard Deduction

February 9th, 2018 by tisner

The new tax law doubles the standard deduction and it is estimated that over 90% of taxpayers will elect to use it. However, even without considering tax benefits, homeownership has convincing advantages.26694742-250.jpg

Besides the personal and social reasons for owning a home, one of the most compelling is that it is cheaper. Principal reduction and appreciation are powerful dynamics that reduce the effective cost of housing.

Amortized loans apply a specific amount of each payment to the principal amount owed to retire the loan over the term. Some people consider it a forced savings account; when the payment is made, the unpaid balance is reduced.

The price of homes going up over time is appreciation. While there are lots of variables and it is not guaranteed, it is easy to research the history of an area and make predictions based on supply and demand.

Interest rates are still low and can be locked-in for 30 years. Without considering the tax benefits at all, the appreciation and the amortization dramatically affect the “real” cost of owning a home.

Consider a $250,000 home that appreciates at 2% a year for the next seven years instead of paying $2,000 a month in rent. In the example, the payment is less than the rent being paid even including the property tax and insurance.

rent vs own 020518.png

When you factor in the monthly principal reduction and appreciation and consider additional owner expenses like maintenance and possible homeowners association, the net cost of housing is considerably lower than the rent. In this example, reduced cost in the first year alone is more than the down payment required on a FHA loan.

Based on the assumptions stated, the down payment of $8,750 could grow to $73,546 in equity in seven years. Can you name another investment with this kind of potential that also provides you a place to live, enjoy, raise your family and share with your friends?

Use this Rent vs. Own to make projections using your own numbers and price range. We’re available to answer any questions you have and to find out what it will take to own your own home.

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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By and photo credit: PatZaby.com

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.

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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.

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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

Surprise When Renting Your Home

January 5th, 2018 by tisner

Planning to go to the Masters next April 2-9th and don’t have a place to stay. Each year, there are homeowners who rent their home for a big premium during the Masters because hotels are in short supply and demand for private homes is up.47360108-crop.jpg

Homeowners go on vacation and make tax-free income while temporary tenants rent their home. Homeowners can benefit from a little known provision in the tax code that does not require taxpayers to recognize the income derived from renting their home for less than 15 days per year. See Plan Ahead for Tax Time When Renting Out Residential or Vacation Property- special rules.

This situation can particularly benefit homeowners where there are large sporting events nearby like golf and tennis tournaments, championship games or other high attendance venues. The demand for a private residence can be more attractive than staying in a hotel which makes the price go up.

Obviously, there are challenges with personal belongings and damage but getting a premium rental rate and not having to recognize the income could be worth it. You’ll certainly want to discuss this with your tax professional prior to making this decision. You’d probably also want to get some help from an experienced real estate professional.

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!

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66 Riley Road
Celebration, Fl 34747

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