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Seven Easy Home Repairs in Orlando, FL

June 11th, 2018 by tisner

seven easy home repairs in orlando florida

Most homeowners are doing what they can to pinch pennies, and when something goes wrong, the thoughts of calling a repair service can send us into a tailspin for fear of a hefty bill.  Some fixes are simple enough that anyone can DIY them with a little knowledge and supplies; here are seven of them: 

  • Toilet bowl leaks can really add up on your water bill.  There are two common things that cause them:  a leaky flapper, or the fill valve needs replacing.   For less than $20, you can replace either of them.  To get started, check out this information from Today’s Homeowner to test where your leak is and go from there.  The internet is chock full of videos and how-to articles for either fix. 
  • Your beautiful just-refinished wood floors are squeaking, and unless you’re using the noise as a burglar alarm, you can get rid of it with talcum powder.  First, make certain that the squeaking isn’t because of a loose board.  If that’s the case, replace the nails or floor staples.  Still squeaking?  Sprinkle talcum powder over the seams, and rub it in with your fingers or a thin plastic card. Walk over the area, and listen for the noise, and apply more powder if necessary. 
  • It’s laundry day, and you’ve just thrown a load into the dryer, and the drum suddenly stops turning.  The drum belt is easy and inexpensive to replace, thanks to this guide and video from Sears, and no appliance repair service needs to be called!  
  • Replacing light bulbs is easy, right?  What happens if you accidentally break the bulb off at the socket?  Go to the pantry, grab a potato, and cut it in half.  After turning the electricity off at the breaker box, carefully push the sliced side of the potato onto the bulb socket, and once it has a grip, unscrew and remove the broken piece from the fixture.   
  • Your cabinets look great, but you’re having a hard time keeping them closed.  For a few dollars each, you can purchase magnet catches, and install them in no time. 
  • Every now and then, something bumps into the drywall hard enough to create a hole.  No need for a drywall expert to come in for this job.  Lowe’s shows us how to patch the hole, and spend much less than the cost of a repair bill. 
  • Doorknobs take a lot of abuse and eventually need replacing, or maybe you just want to upgrade your door hardware.  Buildipedia offers this how-to video for this simple project–no locksmith required! 

Chances are you take great pride in your home, and want a professional to take care of some things for you.  Sometimes, though, a simple job can be taken care of on your own, so grab your toolbelt, and get to work!  Your wallet will thank 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.

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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.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: South Florida News Service

Warm Weather Water Savers for Orlando, FL

April 30th, 2018 by tisner

warm weather water saving tips

Days of lounging by the pool or in a hammock with a good book while the children play in the sprinkler are on the horizon, and you can’t wait to wash the pollen off the car, not to mention the grime from Winter on the car tires.  Spring and Summer is probably when we use more water than other times of the year, and there are ways we can conserve and avoid a high water bill for the next few months. 

  • We shower more in the Summer, so conserve by shortening your shower time by just two minutes, and save 150 gallons of water per month! 
  • Keeping our landscaping green uses a great deal of water, and if you have a sprinkler system, make sure the timer is set for morning or evening, and that the showers aren’t falling on the driveway.  Pay close attention to the weather, and turn off the timer whenever a good chance of rain is predicted. 
  • Keep a pitcher filled with water inside the fridge for a thirst quencher instead of running the water from the faucet and waiting for it to get cold. 
  • Cut your grass on a higher setting, because the longer blades help shade the turf, and in turn, holds water better, so you’ll have to water it less. 
  • For the garden, landscaping and lawn, use a drip irrigation system instead of sprinklers or hand-watering with the hose.  Water is directed to the roots, where it needs to be. 
  • When the car needs cleaning, take the bucket and sponge to a car wash instead of washing it at home, and save about one hundred gallons of water!  
  • Purchase and set up rain barrels under gutter spouts or areas of the house where water runs off the roof.  You can get some very sophisticated barrels with faucet attachments for gravity-watering with the hose, and covers to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. 
  • Placing a cover on your pool not only helps keep it clean, but it can save the pool water from evaporating.  The Spruce lists several swimming pool water-saving tips. 
  • Instead of washing fresh vegetables from your garden under running water, fill a large bowl with water, and give them a bath.  Once they’re clean, use the leftover water for houseplants or potted plants outside. 
  • Growing native plants will help cut down on water usage, as they are adapted to your local climate.  Contact your local cooperative extension agent to find out how to plant a native plant garden. 
  • Place a five-gallon bucket with small holes in the bottom near plants or a tree that need a drink, and fill it with water.  The holes will allow the water to trickle out at a slow pace, and soak the soil, where the water should be, instead of the leaves. 

Water conservation isn’t just good for your wallet, it’s good for the environment. If you’re interested in learning more about using less water year round, check out the Water Calculator website to calculate your water footprint, and what you can do to use water more efficiently. 

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: plumbinghelptoday.com

Getting Ready For Outdoor Time in Orlando, FL

April 16th, 2018 by tisner

Getting Outside Ready for Summer Orlando FL

Warmer days are on the way, and when the weather cooperates, home owners are outside preparing their yards, gardens and pools for the coming Summer. But is your patio looking a little sad?  Do you want to utilize your front porch more this season?  Your outdoor spaces only need a little TLC and elbow grease! 

  • Sweep patios to remove loose debris.  Use a pressure washer on concrete, or a long-handled stiff brush and warm water mixed with bleach–a 10:1 mixture is strong enough to clean the area well.   
  • For porches, sweep the flooring, as well as ceilings and posts, and a shower of water from the garden hose should remove the dust and cobwebs.  If something needs more attention, use a soft bristled brush or flat mop dipped in a mixture of warm water and mild dish detergent. 
  • Wood decks may only need a simple sweeping and washing down with a hose and soft scrub brush. If you’re thinking about staining or painting the woodwork, a pressure washer would be the best tool to prep it for its makeover.  
  • Screening should be checked for holes and rips that can be eventually be big problems, and is easy to replace for little cost. 
  • Check for any cracks in cement patios.  Fill them with caulking or even quick-drying concrete.  Many easy and affordable repair kits are in local home stores. If the problem goes deeper than just a crack, call a contractor to come and make sure the problem isn’t structural. 
  • Bricks and pavers can become loose over time, and filling the spaces between them with sand is one way to sturdy them.  According to Neave Masonry, after filling in between the pavers with sand, use a broom to distribute it evenly, wet the pavers, and once it’s settled, add more sand and repeat.  Continue to add sand until the spaces are filled with sand. 
  • Keeping outdoor furniture covered when not in use is great, but it still would be a good idea to give it a good cleaning since you’ll be using it soon.  Today’s Homeowner Danny Lipford has great tips for cleaning your pieces, from wrought iron to plastic. 
  • Get your planters ready for flowers by removing soil from them and clean with a spray from the water hose.  Soak them in a mixture of 9 parts water to one-part household bleach to get rid of any bacteria that could’ve grown in the Winter, and rinse well. 
  • Outdoor pillows can take a beating, so if yours are looking grim, you can purchase new covers more inexpensively than completely replacing the pillows.  If they have been in outdoor storage, wash them, hang them outside to air dry, and add the new covers. 
  • Spruce up the seating area with fragrant plants, an outdoor area rug, hang pretty sheets or shower curtains on tension rods to add some drama, and some DIY lighting–check out these ideas from BuzzFeed.   

Don’t wait until it gets steaming hot or two hours before your cookout guests arrive to get your yard and outdoor seating area in order.  Doing it now will encourage you and yours to spend more time in the outdoors to dine al fresco, relax with a good book, or spend time winding down after a long day at work.

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: Pinterest

Overlooked Spring Cleaning Jobs

April 2nd, 2018 by tisner

Overlooked Spring Cleaning Jobs

Spring cleaning is a time-honored, worldwide tradition of sorts.  For centuries, humans have been opening their windows and doors when the warm weather returns, allowing the long daylight hours inside, and cleaning everything in sight.  Thankfully, we don’t have to wipe through a Winter’s worth of soot-covered furniture and windows, but for many, deep cleaning is a must this time of year.  Some cleaning jobs are obvious, but there may be a few things to add to your list. 

In the Kitchen 

  • Refrigerator coils can gather lots of dust and pet hair, along with spills from the fridge.  Getting the coils cleaned as much as possible can make a difference in how well your refrigerator motor runs.  Check with your appliance’s manufacturer website for the best way to perform this task. 
  • The dishwasher doesn’t get dirty, because it’s a washer, right? While they clean, dishwashers can have greasy build up. With vinegar, baking soda, and a bit of elbow grease, Wikihow shows us how to get the dishwasher itself to help us get it sparkling clean and smelling sweet. 
  • Herbs and spices are often overlooked while cleaning pantry shelves.  McCormickⓇ reports that whole spices last 3-4 years, 2-3 years for ground spices, and herbs have a shorter life of 1-3 years.  Check the freshness date on the container, and if it’s within that time frame, keep it.  If not, throw it away and restock your spice rack. 
  • Don’t neglect the freezer compartment when you’re wiping down the fridge.  A mixture of equal parts of hot water and white vinegar to wipe down the door, seal and inside will take care of the grime, and help with any lingering food odors.  Before you refill the freezer with food, go through it and toss anything that looks freezer burnt. 

The Bathroom 

  • Give your toothbrushes a good clean.  Pour about an inch of antibacterial mouthwash into a cup and soak the bristles in the mouthwash for about five minutes, and rinse. If you use a toothbrush holder, wash it in warm soapy water and allow to air dry before returning the toothbrushes. 
  • Bathroom exhaust fans can collect dust like ceiling fans, and the buildup affects how well it exhausts the humidity warm showers cause.  Danny Lipford of Today’s Homeowner has step-by-step instructions for getting your fan clean and running efficiently. 
  • Many of us don’t think of cleaning hair and makeup brushes.  Remove loose hair from hairbrushes and combs, allow them to soak in warm water with some shampoo mixed in, and use an old toothbrush to scrub hairspray build up and body oils and rinse.  Makeup brushes should be soaked, given a lather, then rinsed in cool water.  Air-dry everything on a hand towel. 

The Rest of the House 

  • Light fixtures get grimy and dusty, so covers should be removed after turning off the circuit breaker and washed in warm soapy water then air dried on a thick towel.   
  • Remove mattresses, vacuuming both sides, and if possible, prop them in the sunlight for a few hours.  The sun’s rays freshen and can kill some germs. When you replace them on the beds, make sure the mattress is flipped and rotated from its original position.   
  • HVAC registers should be vacuumed, using the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner.   
  • Curtains and blinds collect a lot of dust, but are usually washable, so check the manufacturer’s information before you toss them in the washer or clean them.   
  • Once your deep clean is complete, take care to wash or clean brooms, mop heads and dusters, as this simple move will help your home stay fresher as you do your regular cleaning.

Hopefully, the season of Earth coming back to life will encourage you to get everything in your home spic and span.  Spread it out over a few days or weekends, making lists to stay organized and on task, so the job won’t overwhelm you.  Don’t forget to get the family involved!  Once everything is gleaming, you can enjoy the coming months more, knowing your home is clean, and the job is done for another year. 

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: 180066ducts.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

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.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: Merry Maids

Dos and Don’ts for New Homeowners

January 31st, 2018 by tisner

The closing date has been set, you are boxing up your belongings and a move is about to happen! It’s an exciting time, but some practical things should be addressed before you move in. Find out what you need to do and what you don’t need to do in your new home. 

Do’s 

  • Paint–doing this before having to work around furniture and boxes makes the job go faster. 
  • Clean everything, including carpets if you plan on keeping them. 
  • Add storage to closets or utility rooms. 
  • If you’re planning on upgrading the floors, do it before you get everything in the house. 
  • Check the attic to make sure it’s adequately insulated.   
  • Change the locks!  Every door should get a new lock, including the garage door. 
  • Clean the ductwork and vents of the heating and cooling system.  If you’d like a deep clean, call a pro who specializes in cleaning HVAC ductwork. 
  • If there’s a fireplace, have it inspected to be sure it’s safe and that the chimney is clean. 
  • Find the circuit breaker box, and familiarize yourself with the switches.  If you can’t read the labels, turn each switch off and on to see what areas they control, and label them.  This is also a good time to locate your water main shut-off, so you’ll know where that is. 

Do Not’s 

  • Making major changes too soon isn’t a good idea, unless necessary.  Live in your new home for a while and get a feel for what you love and what you don’t love. Waiting to remodel will allow your finances recover from the down payment and closing costs, as well. 
  • You need to know everything that your homeowner’s insurance will cover, and what it won’t.  Make an appointment with your insurance agent to go over your information with them. 
  • Taking a large tree down isn’t a good DIY project; this should be left to a professional, so call an arborist or neighborhood committee member to find out what you need to do if the tree is diseased or is a safety hazard. 
  • Drilling or nailing into the walls of your new home is better done with a stud finder and make sure there isn’t any old wiring lurking behind the sheetrock.  There should be a setting on the stud finder for electric wires. 
  • If your home is brand new, maintaining it is key.  But if you live in an older home, don’t neglect a monthly walk-around and make sure everything is okay.  You don’t want a small fix to turn into a major repair. 
  • Saving money shouldn’t stop once you’ve bought your home!  Do your best to cut corners where you can, and continue the saving habits you got into while stocking away that down payment.   
  • Throwing away receipts, new appliance user guides and paper work is a mistake.  Keep everything together in a folder labeled “Home Receipts,” so you can find them when you need them. 
  • Don’t be a stranger!  Meet your neighbors before you move in; once you’re there permanently, it will be easier to invite them over for a casual get-together. 

Better Home and Gardens offers an extensive maintenance checklist for everything the new homeowner should know and keep track of. There are many resources for new homeowners available online, and ask your realtor for any ideas they may have to help get your new beginning off to a great start! 

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.localrecordsoffices.net

Getting Organized on a Budget

January 30th, 2018 by tisner

Your dream closet comes complete with drawers, shoe shelves, a complete vanity and a hefty price tag. Other organizational organizing gadgets and pieces can cost quite a bit as well, but there are a multitude of ways to get organized without spending a lot.  

Closets 

  • A chain plant hanger is perfect for hanging shirts and blouses to save valuable room.  Chains also come in a variety of sizes and finishes, and is available year-round at most hardware stores. 
  • Mount a short curtain rod on the inside of the closet door to hang scarves, and use clip-style curtain rings to hang hats and gloves in the Winter. 
  • Tension rods placed at top and bottom of your closet can extend your hanging space for lighter items, like blouses and shirts. Or add shower curtain hooks to keep purses, scarves or ties handy.  
  • This use of tension rods for shoe storage is awesome and easy! 
  • A large piece of sturdy wire mesh from a hardware or farm supply store, and even pegboard cut to fit any spare wall space in your closet can be installed virtually flat. S-hooks make perfect hangers awkward-shaped items, and ties and scarves can be stored flat. 
  • Closet space can vary, and if you’ve already utilized every inch, consider a wardrobe.  Scan online yard sale groups, flea markets and auctions for inexpensive pieces, add some paint to compliment your decor, and you have a custom wardrobe! 

In the Kitchen 

  • A clean egg carton or small muffin tin is perfect for keeping things organized in the catch-all drawer. 
  • If your cabinets make it hard to find pots and pans that you need, consider hanging them! Pot racks can be made from many things, and if you’re feeling a project coming on, here’s a great DIY pallet rack to try! 
  • Use inexpensive dollar store baskets in your pantry for pull-out organization of cans, spices and baking items.  The baskets keep them neat, and easy to get to. 
  • An unused cookie jar is perfect for keeping cooking utensils handy and out of a junky drawer. 
  • A wall file-holder attached to the inside of a cabinet door is transformed into a plastic container lid holder. 
  • Mount a long piece of magnetic tape to your backsplash to hold knives and other often-used utensils for easy access. (Make sure the kids can’t reach them, though!) 

Bedrooms 

  • Use a bookshelf as a headboard to create space for books, (obviously), remotes, glasses, morning medicines or display items. 
  • Under-the-bed storage is essential for seasonal clothes, shoes, toys, old photos–anything you don’t use daily.  Suitcases, old dresser drawers (with adhesive felt or wheels on the bottom), inexpensive plastic storage containers, and vacuum-sealed storage bags make the most of this space. 
  • Is your makeup kept in a jumbled drawer or cosmetic bag? This DIY magnetic makeup board is a great way to keep it handy and easy to find. 
  • The kids’ toys can stay better organized by using baskets in bookshelves, open shelving on their level, and benches with storage.  

Getting organized is on many New Year resolution lists, and if you’re serious about it, start by decluttering, and using what you can afford or DIY to make it happen.  Putting the home in order can be pretty, practical, and even cheap! 

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: https://articles.bplans.com

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

Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
1170 Celebration Blvd
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Celebration, Fl 34747

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