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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.

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Photo credit: thenubiannews.com

Windermere Real Estate Market Report for November 2017

December 14th, 2017 by tisner

The Windermere Real Estate Market Trends Report shows the average sales price was $510,876 in November 2017 compared to $605,913 in November 2016. Homes were on the market for an average of 67 days compared to 96 days last year. Homes sold for 97% of the list price.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently. You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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Kissimmee Real Estate Market Report for November 2017

December 14th, 2017 by tisner

The Kissimmee Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34741 shows 41 homes sold in November 2017 up from 36 in November 2016. The average sales price was $205,841 compared to $150,900 in November 2016 and homes were on the market an average of 42 days, down from 61 days in November 2016.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently. You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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How To Make Your Living Spaces Appear Larger!

December 11th, 2017 by tisner

If the furniture in your living space looks like it’s just stuffed in the room, there are ways to make your space seem larger.  Check out these tips to create more space in your home: 

  • Use mirrors to fool the eye, because they reflect light and images. Hang one larger mirror on the main wall, several small ones, (gallery style), or even an oversized mirror leaned against the wall.   
  • Painting walls a light color automatically opens up the space to the eye, because it reflects light.  Going all one color is a great way to make the room appear larger, too. 
  • Get rid of clutter.  The more you have sitting around–mail, books, work, kids’ school things–the fuller your space looks.  Baskets, files or paper organizing gadgets, decorative storage containers, or furniture pieces that double as storage are the best way to hide necessary things.  Get rid of, (in other words, throw away or recycle), junk mail and unnecessary paper as soon as you look at it. 
  • Draw an imaginary diagonal line across your room and place your furniture at an angle.  You even get a bonus storage area behind anything that covers a corner! 
  • Pieces that are the same color as the walls blend in, making the room appear larger. 
  • Either skip window coverings, or use sheer drapery or curtains and blinds that are the same color as your walls.  If you have to use drapes, hang them either at ceiling height, or just inside the window so the framework is visible. 
  • If you want bookshelves, consider a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling unit.  Draw the eyes horizontally and vertically. 
  • Speaking of bookshelves, the less you have on these open spaces, the roomier it looks.  Cramming every collection, book, or “trinket” just fills up the space in a similar way that clutter does. If you must display sentimental pieces, display a few at the time.  Switching them out on occasion will also give new appreciation for them. 
  • Choose sofas and chairs with exposed legs to allow to light to pass through underneath them.  The more light in your room, the better. 
  • On that note, light is your friend.  If you can’t get more natural light into the space, use a few lamps instead of an overhead light, as it draws the eye to look around the room. 
  • Keep patterns small.  Use a punch or two of larger patterns on pillows or throws, but not too many–remember–less is more. 
  • If you need an area rug, don’t settle for a small rug under the coffee table.  Purchase a rug that extends out from the furniture, as it will draw the eye out. 
  • Create a focal point with framed pieces on one wall, especially behind a sofa, and extend the arrangement to the ceiling, and it will make the space appear taller.  It will also add pop and take away from the room’s size.  
  • Drop-leaf tables or dining tables with the extra leaf removed work best in small areas, and if you need more tabletop space for guests or for workspace, simply add the leaf. 

Small spaces can still mean big living–we just have to make a few adjustments to maximize the space and create a few illusions for our minds to think big.  Better Homes and Gardens has multiple ideas for small spaces, from apartments to living areas, as well as those awkward spaces. 

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: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

DIY Home Staging

November 20th, 2017 by tisner

You’ve taken the plunge, and put your home on the market.  How do you stage it for potential buyers, and keep it looking great while living your day-to-day? Follow this guide for some practical ideas. 

  • Look at your front entry closely. Paint porch rails and columns, and your front door, if necessary. Replace the door, if necessary.  
  • Landscaping is extremely important for first impressions–clean out the flowerbeds, put down some new mulch and fresh plants, if the time of year is right. 
  • Get rid of clutter and anything that isn’t necessary.  Go ahead and pack these things for your potential move so you’ll have one less thing to do when the time comes. 
  • Clean out closets, and throw away, give away or store anything that you’re not using or haven’t used in six months. Buyers will look in closets and cabinets to see how much storage is available. 
  • Clean, clean, clean.  Your home needs to be spotless, but once it’s done, it’s easy to keep clean for realtor showings.  If you don’t have time, consider hiring a cleaning agency. 
  • Using decorative containers to store things that you need while living in your staged home is a great way to hide extra clutter. Totes, benches with storage, and inexpensive shelving with baskets are great ways to hide your can’t-live-without things. 
  • Rearranging furniture to make rooms appear larger is a huge plus–even taking out lesser-used pieces makes a big difference in how open your rooms will look.  If you’re unsure of this step, ask your realtor for the name of a decorator who specializes in rearrangement and using what you have to improve the space. 
  • If your decor is bold and bright, go ahead and give the walls a fresh coat of neutral paint colors.   
  • You don’t need to purchase new furniture once you’ve toned down the wall paint–slipcovers are an inexpensive way to make your pieces look like new. 
  • Remove personal artwork/photos from your walls and replace with mirrors, inexpensive prints of landscapes or animals.  

Once you’re ready for your realtor to schedule showings, give everyone in the house a responsibility schedule, and stick to it.  Be diligent about keeping furniture dusted, floors vacuumed, countertops wiped off, and dishes stashed in the dishwasher. If you just take out an extra twenty minutes every evening or morning, your home will impress your potential buyers. 

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.com

Holiday Travels

November 16th, 2017 by tisner

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

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

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

By: PatZaby.com

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently. You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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

 

Simple Kitchen Fixes

November 6th, 2017 by tisner

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

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

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

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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

Photo credit: bankrate.com

Up-front Points to Lower the Rate

November 3rd, 2017 by tisner

When loans are quoted by lenders, most buyers pay attention to the interest rate but not so much to the points that may be charged along with the rate.19269905-250.jpg

A point is one-percent of the mortgage amount and considered pre-paid interest that affects the yield on the loan. Buyers or sellers can pay points but there can be limits based on underwriting guidelines for different types of loans.

A lower note-rate would obviously make the payments less. However, with a little analysis, you can determine how much points paid up-front can save a borrower or whether you’ll recapture the additional costs in the anticipated time in the home.

In the example below, two choices are compared; a 4.25% loan with no points vs. a 4.00% loan with one point. If the buyer stays in the home at least 69 months, he will recover the $2,700 cost for the point on the lower interest rate.

If the purchaser stays ten years, he’ll save two thousand dollars over the cost of the point. A less obvious advantage will be realized because the unpaid balance on the lower interest rate loan will results in an additional $1,780 savings.

buy-down example.jpg

This is an example of a permanent buy-down but temporary buy-downs are also available.  A trusted mortgage advisor can help you determine alternatives.

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!

Energy (and Money) Savers for Winter

October 31st, 2017 by tisner

With energy costs on the rise, it is essential for a homeowner to stay on top of all they can in order reduce their heating and utility bills during the cold Winter months. Here are some things consumers can do on their own at little or no cost to keep money in their pockets every month.  

  • Check windows and doors for drafts. Seal spaces with caulk or weather stripping.  
  • Look at all of the utility-entry places around the outside of your home, and fill around pipes with insulation or cement, if practical.  
  • Close the foundation/crawlspace vents as soon as temps get colder than 40°. This helps protect water pipes from freezing as well.  
  • Go into the attic and inspect your insulation, or consider adding insulation if you haven’t taken that step. This can cut your energy costs and pay for itself in a few years. 
  • Check ductwork for places where it may have come apart and repair—this job may be better for a service person to undertake. 
  • The sun can be used to help keep the house warm by simply keeping curtains on the south side of your home open during the day. 
  • Hanging thicker panels or thermal curtains can help insulate around windows as well.  If you don’t want to change curtains, easy-to-install cellular shades allow light to shine through while insulating your windows.   
  • Plastic sheeting is inexpensive and easy to install on drafty windows or unused patio doors, and just as easy to remove when Spring arrives. Kits are available at hardware and home improvement stores. 
  • Have your furnace serviced before it’s time to use it, and replace your filters once a month.  
  • Close the damper in the fireplace when you’re not using it.  
  • Install a programmable thermostat–if heating with a heat pump, make sure the thermostat is the type specifically for heat pumps.  Program the thermostat for the lowest temperature setting that your family is comfortable while at home, preferably in the 60° range. Turning it down 10°-15° at night and using an extra blanket will calculate to big savings on your energy use and costs.  
  • Using a humidifier is not only healthier, it can cut down on heating costs. The more moisture there is in the air, the warmer you feel.  
  • If you use ceiling fans, make sure they’re turning clockwise on low speed to pull up cool air, and circulate the warm air that collects near the ceiling.  
  • Thinking about changing your home’s heat source? Do it before the cold weather sets in.  Check out the many different products available to help you make this decision. 

The Department of Energy states that simply turning down the thermostat is the number one money-saver. For every degree it’s lowered, consumers save approximately 3% on heating costs.  Lowering the temperature may mean wearing a sweater and socks inside, but the money you can save outweighs the bulky clothes.  

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: BMS Electrical 

Advantages of a Homeowner’s Association

October 25th, 2017 by tisner

There are many positive aspects of living in a neighborhood that is governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Finding the right one for you and your family may take some research, but if you’re looking for a managed area, it could save some headache in the end. 

What is an HOA? 

  • And HOA is an organization that creates and enforces rules in a subdivision or condominium. When you purchase a home in an HOA community, you are, by default, a member of that HOA, and must pay fees and follow their bylaws. 
  • Most HOA’s now have their information, some complete with neighborhood photo galleries, available online, making it easy to start your research. 
  • Fees and their due dates vary by neighborhood, depending on amenities.  
  • Research the amenities that a neighborhood’s HOA focuses on.  Whether it’s community beautification, a neighborhood gathering place, or a neighborhood walking path and gym, there are many options available. 
  • After you look at the qualities of an HOA and narrow down which ones you like best, find out what the fees are and how they’re paid.  HOA fees can be high, but in comparison with what amenities they offer, it could save you money in the end. 
  • Most HOA’s have rules and regulations that go beyond your local municipality.  These bylaws are in place to protect your property value, and maintain a certain quality of life for the homeowners.  

HOA Benefits 

  • The amenities that some HOA communities offer can save a member money in the end.  A community center means a gathering place for members, saving rental fees for party venues. A walking track or swimming pool can save residents from joining private gyms and health clubs. 
  • HOA neighborhoods in general are more appealing aesthetically, because member fees go towards keeping the common areas clean and landscaped.  
  • Some HOA organizations provide security, trash pick-up, pest control, as well as street sweeping and snow removal. Your property is your responsibility, but the shared areas are taken care of.  
  • If you choose to live in a condominium community, the organization usually handles all landscape maintenance, as well as exterior home maintenance: for instance, if a shutter blows off the building, it’s taken care of.  All the homeowner needs to do is notify someone on the property management board, and they handle the rest. 
  • The community organization board members live in the neighborhood, so they are aware of needs specific to the area, and can better handle solutions to any problems. 
  • Homes in HOA neighborhoods protect your investment in a fluctuating market because of their home-maintenance regulations.  

Don’t let bad press shy you away from considering a home in an HOA.  If a house you absolutely love is in an organized community, do careful research, talk to residents in the community, then make your decision.  There are many different aspects to different organizations, and finding the right one for you and your family just takes a little research and thought. 

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: https://texasenergyexperts.com

Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
66 Riley Road
Celebration, Fl 34747

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