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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.

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Photo credit: Decker Home Services

House Hunting Homework

February 6th, 2018 by tisner

There is plenty to do to prepare for buying your new home, and once you’re actively touring homes or stopping into an open house, you can draw a blank when it comes time to ask specifics.  Have some questions ready to prepare yourself so you won’t forget! 

Open House and Walkthrough 

  • How long has the house been on the market, and are there any current offers? The length of time it’s been for sale can mean savings for you, or you may not want to bother if there are already multiple offers. 
  • Why is the current owner selling?  This may seem like prying, and you may not get the exact answer, but it can add flexibility to price negotiations if the owner is ready for a fast sale. 
  • Ask for a seller’s disclosure before you think about making an offer. Check this list for your state’s info about what the seller must tell you before buying the house. 
  • How old is the roof? An older roof that has issues can either cost in the long run, or give you a discount on the sale price if it need replacing. 
  • If it isn’t obvious, ask when the house was last updated.  With people living longer, some could have lived in the same home for fifty years and done nothing else besides redecorating. 
  • Condition of the home’s systems are important, so inquire about the age of the water heater, electric, plumbing, security and climate control systems. 
  • How is the home heated and insulated, including the attic?  You need to have a good idea of what your utilities will cost, and heating can be expensive, whether it’s propane, electric, or geothermal if the insulation needs improving. 
  • Has the house been treated for pests on a regular basis?  This can keep a lot of headaches at bay in the long run. 
  • What is included in the sale price, and are any warranties still active?  You don’t want to be surprised when you start moving in and find out you have to buy all new appliances. 
  • You may be moving in the same general area, but a different city or county.  Property taxes vary per location, so make sure you know how much you will be paying if you eventually purchase the home. 
  • If your prospective new home is in a historic district or homeowner’s association, there will be restrictions on how you renovate or build an addition, and fees for HOA.  Ask your realtor for these details. 

Pay Attention 

  • While you’re on your walkthrough, pay attention to traffic and nearby surroundings.  Spend several minutes outside in the front and back yards and listen for any traffic noise, or a noisy possible neighbor. 
  • Is your prospective new home on a busy shortcut street in the mornings and evenings?  Make time to discover for yourself and drive through on your way to or from work. 
  • Look closely at fresh paint jobs for cracks or possible mold.  Sometimes, that new paint is covering up a problem. 
  • Check your mobile phone for signal strength.  Different areas can be dead zones. 
  • Drive through the area one evening after most people are home from work.  Is there plenty of parking available? 

Using these opportunities to find all the information you can about a potential new home is imperative when you know you’ll be looking at many different homes on the market.  Do your homework–keep a list of questions on your mobile phone’s notepad app so you won’t forget anything, or use a clipboard if you’re looking at multiple houses, keeping this information better organized. Since buying a home will most likely be your biggest investment, you want to be certain your money will be spent wisely. 

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: ashwinarchitects.com

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

Indecision is Not a Decision

October 20th, 2017 by tisner

There could be some legitimate reasons for not buying a home but indecision is not one of them. Indecision is rooted in not having enough information to move forward to own a home or continue renting.18443593-250.jpg

If you keep renting, at the end of the year, you have had a place to live and a pile of receipts that helped the landlord pay for his house. Deciding to buy a home will give you a place to live that is yours and all the things that come with that.

When you consider principal reduction, appreciation and tax savings, your monthly cost of housing could be much less than the rent you’re paying. The principal reduction included in each payment is like a forced savings account that increases as your mortgage balance decreases. Your equity in the property will also grow due to appreciation as the home goes up in value. The equity is part of your net worth and an investment in your family’s future.

The income tax savings can be an additional financial consideration if the combined interest and property taxes are greater than the allowable standard deduction.

Trends are showing that both tenants and homeowners are staying in their homes longer. It’s been said that whether you rent or own, you’re paying for the home. Do you really want to buy the home for your landlord? Check out your numbers on a Rent vs. Own and then, call us to help make it happen.

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!

Risk Rate Relationship

October 13th, 2017 by tisner

Regardless of what a lender quotes on mortgage rates, the actual rate a borrower pays is based on a number of variables. Lenders determine whether to loan money and at what rate based on the risk involved with the transaction.Sorry not available.png

Factors that increase the risk that the loan will be repaid will proportionately increase the interest rate charged to the borrower. If the risk becomes too high, the loan will not be approved.

  • Loan amounts – conventional mortgages above conforming limits as set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are considered jumbo loans and generally have a higher interest rate.
  • FICO score – the lowest interest rate is reserved for the highest score; the lower the score, the higher the rate the borrower will pay.
  • Occupancy – borrowers occupying a home as their principal residence are considered a better loan risk than second homes and investment properties.
  • Loan purpose – purchase transactions generally have the lowest interest rate with refinancing for better rates and terms being priced slightly higher. An even higher rate might be charged for refinancing and taking cash out of the property.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio – a borrower’s monthly liabilities divided by their gross monthly income develops a ratio that helps lenders to assess the borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage.
  • Property Type – some types of property are considered higher risk than others which could adversely affect the rate.
  • Loan-to-value – the lower the percentage of the loan to the appraised value of the property will generally lower the interest rate.

Any combination of these factors could limit a borrower’s ability to secure a mortgage at the rate initially quoted. Pre-approval by a trusted mortgage professional can be the best way to know what rate you can expect to pay. Please call for a recommendation of a trusted mortgage professional.

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!

Home Buying/Selling Psychology

July 26th, 2017 by tisner

Buying or selling a home is scary, happy, sad, exciting and the list goes on.  The emotions we all go through can be from one end of the spectrum to the other.  Homes tend to be our castles, our places to get away from the rest of the world, to just be us with no questions asked and nothing expected.  For this reason buying or selling your home is a pretty big deal.  Perhaps one of the biggest you may be involved with in your lifetime.    Let’s take a look at a bit of home buying/selling psychology to see what all might be involved and how to get through it all.

  1.  Sometimes people get their mind set on that particular house, without giving much thought as to just how many hours they may have to work to keep it.  Think about your priorities when you are planning to buy a new home, then figure out which is more important to you….the house being exactly as you have planned in your mind or the amount of quality time you will be able to spend there with your family.
  2. If you want to purchase a large home, you may have to come up with a pretty big down payment.  Think about whether or not you will have enough cash left over to decorate your place to fit your vision.  Perhaps buying a smaller home with a smaller down payment might work better for you desire a larger decorating budget.
  3. When selling your place, consider if you really want to give up all the wonderful things you have done while there.  For instance if you have built a nice grill area in the backyard or a water feature or even put in a pool, spend some time thinking about if you really want to leave all of that behind.
  4. Keep in mind that your children may have become quite fond of their home and may or may not be so easy to uproot from the place they have known all their life.  Is it worth it to move out from under the roof that sheltered precious memories?

There are many different emotions that you may experience whether you plan to sell your home or buy another one.  Now that you have become more aware of a few of them you may be better able to cope with what may come your 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!

Home Buying Myths Slayed

July 14th, 2017 by tisner

Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates are still below historic numbers.
  • 88% of property managers raised their rent in the last 12 months!
  • The credit score requirements for mortgage approval continue to fall.

By: KCM Crew

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!

The Pros and Cons of Building Vs Buying a Home

June 19th, 2017 by tisner

If you are in the market for a new home, you may have already begun to ponder whether you should build your new home or buy your new home.  There are many good reasons to go either way.  Below is a list of pros and cons of building vs. buying a home for your consideration.

  1.  One pro of building a home instead of buying is that you can customize the home to be exactly what you are looking for.  There will be no need to go in and change things once you move in because the home will already be build to your liking.  A con of building a home to get everything you wish for is that the price may be out of your comfort zone.
  1. A con to building your home instead of buying your home   is that picking every little thing out can quickly become a daunting task.  When you build your own home you will be picking out things you never thought much about such as door knobs and ceiling fans.  If you like to pick things out and you don’t mind spending time doing so then this may not be a problem for you.
  1. If you want things done quickly and you like instant gratification then buying a home may be better for you than building one.  Typically when you set out to build a home you have a time frame you plan to finish it in that doesn’t work out quite like you planned.  If you are an impatient person you may want to just buy a home and fix it to your liking or better yet just buy a home that is everything you’re looking for.
  1. A con to buying a home can sometimes be location.  If you love the home but you don’t like the neighborhood then buying may not be right for you.  When you build you will be able to build on land that you purchase and love.

These are a few pros and cons to building vs. buying a home that can get you starting thinking a little bit deeper about what you want to do.   Buying or building  a home is a big decision no matter which you choose, so be sure to think about every possibility before you begin.

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!

Home Buying Made Easy

April 24th, 2017 by tisner

If you are currently in the market for buying a house, then you are likely already aware of just how difficult it can sometimes be.  There are many stressors throughout the process that can make the home buying process seem anything but easy.  Below are a few ways that home buying can be made a bit easier if you do your part to put them into action.

  1.  The first and most important thing you need to do before looking for a home to buy is to find an agent.  The reason this part is the most important is because buying a home is a huge financial obligation and you want to choose the right person to help you with such a big decision in your life.  A good way to find an excellent Realtor is to talk with your friends and family members that you trust to see whom they have used in the past.  Once they give you a few suggestions, you can meet each one and see which one best matches your personality wishes.  You will be spending quite a bit of time with this person so you want to make sure that you get along beautifully with them.
  2. The next step in home buying made easy  is to find a lender.  Many times you can find out from your Realtor about what lenders they tend to use or who they think can be the best match for you and your particular situation.  If your Realtor doesn’t lead you to the best match, again you can talk to your friends and family for suggestions.
  3. You then need to make sure your credit is as clean as it can possibly be.  Lenders can many times give you a bit of guidance in this area so that you can get approved for a loan.
  4. It is important that you get pre approved for a loan before you go out searching for the home of your dreams.  The lender that you choose will help you to know exactly how much of a house you can comfortably afford before you get your heart set on one.
  5. Lastly, figure out exactly what you are looking for in a house.  Make a list of your wants and desires in order of their importance.  This will help to guide you in your home buying  adventure and will help avoid wasting precious time.

These are just a few ideas on how to make the home buying process a bit easier.  Once you do your part to put all of these in motion you will be well on your way to finding the home of your dreams.

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!

Tax Return Depressing? Owning a Home Could Help

April 21st, 2017 by tisner

Tax Return Depressing? Owning a Home Could Help | Keeping Current Matters

Many Americans got some depressing news last week; either their tax return was not as large as they had hoped or, in some cases, they were told they owed additional money to either the Federal or State government or both. One way to save on taxes is to own your own home.

According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen’s guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” – there are several tax advantages to homeownership.

Here are four items, and a quote on each, from the Briefing Book:

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction

“Homeowners who itemize deductions may reduce their taxable income by deducting any interest paid on a home mortgage. The deduction is limited to interest paid on up to $1 million of debt incurred to purchase or substantially rehabilitate a home. Homeowners also may deduct interest paid on up to $100,000 of home equity debt, regardless of how they use the borrowed funds. Taxpayers who do not own their home have no comparable ability to deduct interest paid on debt incurred to purchase goods and services.”

2. Property Tax Deduction

“Homeowners who itemize deductions may also reduce their taxable income by deducting property taxes they pay on their homes.”

3. Imputed Rent

“Buying a home is an investment, part of the returns from which is the opportunity to live in the home rent-free. Unlike returns from other investments, the return on homeownership—what economists call “imputed rent”—is excluded from taxable income. In contrast, landlords must count as income the rent they receive, and renters may not deduct the rent they pay. A homeowner is effectively both landlord and renter, but the tax code treats homeowners the same as renters while ignoring their simultaneous role as their own landlords.”

4. Profits from Home Sales

“Taxpayers who sell assets must generally pay capital gains tax on any profits made on the sale. But homeowners may exclude from taxable income up to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) of capital gains on the sale of their home if they satisfy certain criteria: they must have maintained the home as their principal residence in two out of the preceding five years, and they generally may not have claimed the capital gains exclusion for the sale of another home during the previous two years.”

Bottom Line

We are not suggesting that you purchase a house just to save on your taxes. However, if you have been on the fence as to whether 2017 is the year you should become a homeowner, this information might help with that decision.

Disclaimer: Always check with your accountant to find out what tax advantages apply to you in your area. 

by

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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