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Keeping Your Packages Safe

December 4th, 2018 by tisner

Keeping Your Packages Safe

With online shopping having become so popular, this time of year brings stories on the news about package thieves, as well as new gadgets to help deter someone from walking away with packages delivered while someone isn’t home.  There are several options we have that can help keep our deliveries secure, as well as help from online retailers.   

  • Talk to neighbors that may be home during the days you’re expecting a package, and ask them to be on the lookout for a delivery to your home so they can hold it for you or stash it somewhere out of sight. 
  • There are simple ways to hide an unattended package: have a large plant to hide boxes behind, or use a lockbox at your doorstep, with key instructions for the carrier in your delivery details. 
  • Most large retailers will give you a “ship to store” option, and all you have to do is pick it up at the Customer Service desk.   
  • If your package is coming via USPS, there are several ways to divert package delivery, as well as ask a carrier to leave it somewhere out of sight. 
  • When you place your order, if you know you’re going to be at work, make sure your boss doesn’t mind if you have your items delivered to your workplace, and use that address for shipping. 
  • Your local pack-and-ship store will receive deliveries for you for a fee.  
  • Installing a visible security camera at your front door can deter some thieves, and some cameras come with motion-sensor options to set off a siren or other alert if someone gets too close to your front door. 
  • Amazon is offering several delivery options:  Amazon LockerKey Smart Lock KitKey In-Car Delivery, and Hub by Amazon. 
  • UPS offers My Choice to customize your deliveries. For FedEx deliveries, go to their Delivery Manager, create and account, and manage your deliveries. 

The best way to prevent “package Grinches” from stealing your deliveries is to be proactive.  Use text message and email alerts, as well as specific delivery company smartphone apps to notify you when a package is left at your door.

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: FedEX

When Not to Spend the Money

November 27th, 2018 by tisner

home-buying tips

Bigger is better almost all of the time, except when it comes to the amount you’re spending on a new home.  There are certain things that we should look for in a new house, but also things we shouldn’t.  If this is your first time buying a home, and you know the budget will be tight, plan well enough, and you’ll better manage the expense of being a homeowner.   

  • Decide before you start house hunting how much you can spend.  We can’t say it enough:  plan a budget and stick to it. 
  • Just because you are approved for a certain loan amount, it doesn’t have to be spent. If you can find a house that you love for less than the approval limit, then go with it.   
  • If you do find a house at a “great price,” find out why it’s priced to sell.  Talk to neighbors, do some internet sleuthing, and make sure you’re making the right decision to buy it when everyone says it’s a “steal.”   
  • Getting a house in a great school district is wonderful, but if you don’t have children, or will likely move once you do, don’t spend the extra to move into an area that is probably higher priced because of the quality of local education. 
  • When it comes to the kids, do they really need a play or media room?  If your children are involved in after-school activities and spending a lot of time at practices, rehearsals and lessons, then the extra space won’t be used often.  The extra cost in the purchase price–not to mention the utilities to heat and cool the rooms–will be money wasted. 
  • That same thinking goes hand-in-hand with living in a bigger house, period.  Larger houses will cost more in insurance, taxes, and utilities.  Even if your mortgage payments will likely be cheaper than your current rent, the extra costs can hurt your wallet once you move. 
  • If you’re not the type that likes to do yard work, or if you don’t want to spend your time off work mowing, raking, weeding and trimming, then a large beautiful yard isn’t worth the money.   
  • A house that needs simple cosmetic updates is great for those who have the time and money to perform these jobs themselves, but if you buy a house that’s within your budget with the intent to do extensive work, it may cost you much more in the end. 

The wisest thing to do during the home-buying process is take your time and think practically.  Have your needs at the top of your house-hunting list, and your wants further down. Falling in love with an amazing house can cloud our home-buying decision.  You don’t want to spend your days in an amazing house worrying about how you’ll pay for it.  Buy what you can afford, and what you’ll truly live in and enjoy.

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: daveramsey.com

Removing Carpet

November 20th, 2018 by tisner

home flooring options

Homeowners of houses built in the wall-to-wall carpet phase may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is hardwood flooring beneath rug.  If you’ve pulled up a corner of the carpeting and found just that, or simply want to remove the old carpet before new is installed, DIY’ing this job is a good idea, but be ready–here are a few tips for removing wall-to-wall carpeting: 

  • You’ll need a few things–heavy duty trash bags, protective gloves, sharp utility knife, dust mask, and a crowbar, and for removing padding glue or staples, a flat floor scraper or padding adhesive remover. 
  • Remove all the furniture from the room, as well as floor vents, and any under shoe molding.  Vacuum very well to remove as much dirt and dust as possible. 
  • If there is a room door that swings inward, take the door off the hinges to keep it out of the way. 
  • Suit up with the dust mask and the work gloves, and start in a corner, pulling a section back with the crowbar, taking care to be mindful of the tack strips that can be holding down the carpet around the perimeter of the room. 
  • Once you’ve pulled the carpet back, fold it over, and, using the utility knife, cut a section of carpet from the back side for easier going. (Cutting the large rug into sections makes it much more manageable than rolling up the whole piece.)  
  • Remove the tack strips with the crowbar if you have hardwood floors under the padding that you plan on refinishing.  Start in the middle of the strip, loosening the nails, and work towards the ends. 
  • After the tack strips are out, tackle the padding.  Pull it up, cutting into sections the same way the carpet was cut. 
  • Some padding is installed with adhesive, and some is stapled to the floor.  If there is glue remaining on the floor, follow the instructions on the carpet padding adhesive remover to get the glue off the flooring. The staples can be removed with the floor scraper. 
  • Remember that if you’re planning on recarpeting the floor, leave the tack strips in place, and remove the padding anyway, as most installers require new padding to be put down. 

Call your local municipality to find out how they would like for you to dispose of the old carpet, because the large amount may not be able to be picked up by the regular truck.  Don’t hesitate to ask about recycling programs that are available, as virtually all carpeting can be recycled.

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: plushardwoodflooring.com

Windermere Florida Real Estate Market Report for October 2018

November 15th, 2018 by tisner

The Windermere Real Estate Market Trends Report shows the average sales price was $557,315 in October 2018 compared to $691,795 in October 2017. Homes were on the market for an average of 74 days, down from 82 days last year. Homes sold for 97% of the list price.

Windermere Florida Real Estate Market Report for October 2018

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!

Kissimmee Florida Real Estate Market Report for October 2018

November 15th, 2018 by tisner

The Kissimmee Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34741 shows 46 homes sold in October 2018 up from 45 in October 2017. The average sales price was $192,568 compared to $174,158 in October 2017 and homes were on the market an average of 47 days, equal to 47 days in October 2017.

Kissimmee Florida Real Estate Market Report for October 2018

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!

Celebration Florida Real Estate Market Report for October 2018

November 15th, 2018 by tisner

The Celebration Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34747 shows 127 homes sold in October 2018 compared to 99 in October 2017. The average sales price was $317,000 compared to $261,345 in October 2017 and homes were on the market an average of 83 days, compared to 102 days in October 2017.

Celebration Florida Real Estate Market Report for October 2018

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!

Get These Fall Jobs Done

November 13th, 2018 by tisner

fall home maintenance tips

The weather is cooler, but the days are still long enough to get some regular Fall maintenance done.  Get your home prepped for cooler weather now so it won’t be a problem later.   

  • Clean gutters before the leaves fall so they won’t get clogged.  Consider installing some gutter protectors so the coming leaf drop won’t cause further problems. 
  • Raking leaves is a job many don’t care for, but if you do, and plan on burning them, check with your local government offices or HOA guidelines to make certain it’s allowed.  If not, it’s best to bag them for curbside pick-up, or find a gardening neighbor that would appreciate the extra composting material. 
  • After you’ve mowed and raked one last time, fertilize the lawn.  The roots are still active, and the extra nutrients will help the grass overwinter safely. 
  • Speaking of using the lawnmower one last time, drain the fuel and oil from gas-powered equipment, and clean them well.  This Old House offers some excellent tips on putting up the lawn mower for Winter. 
  • Give the roof a good look and replace broken or missing shingles. 
  • Check windows and doors–inside and out–for drafts and apply weather-stripping or caulking where it’s needed.  Today’s Homeowner has a video that shows us how to apply caulk around our windows. 
  • Call your HVAC serviceperson, and have the heater checked and serviced, if necessary.  Go ahead and make sure your filters are new–buying them in bulk keeps you from having to remember to get one every couple of months and saves you money. 
  • If you use wood for heating, hopefully it’s already cut and seasoned.  Store it at least 30 feet from the house, covered, unless you bring it in a few days before you burn it. 
  • Turn off your sprinkler system timer, shut water off at the main, and drain the system. If you’re not able to drain it yourself, it may be worth the money to hire a pro to blow the pipes out and drain the sprinkler heads. 

It may take a couple of weekends to get all of these done, but all are important to do, and hopefully save you from a headache and spending a lot of money later in the Winter.  Some of these chores could be done by a teenager looking to earn a few extra dollars, and they can learn something in the process. You’re never too young to learn about taking care of your home.

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: ourmidland.com

Brighten the Dark

November 6th, 2018 by tisner

home lighting options

Daylight is becoming noticeably shorter this time of year, and now that Daylight Savings Time has ended, most people will be coming home from work in the dark.  Options for lighting have come so far, you can customize your lighting inside and outside for safety, convenience and aesthetics.   

  • Motion-sensor lighting has come a long way, and many have bright, long-lasting LED’s, timers, and motion sensitivity settings.  Battery-operated lights are the easiest to install and can be placed virtually anywhere.  Use them where you park when you come home, near walkways, as well as the entryway.  Stylish motion sensor lamp posts are perfect for integrating into the landscaping, as they look great besides offering some security. 
  • For your garage entry, install wall sconces on either side of the door, or one light over the door, shining downwards.  Motion sensors or smart lighting that come on when you drive up are best. 
  • Solar stake lights are perfect for your landscaping or walkway, but instead of a straight line of lights, place them in various places among plantings to add some interest.  When it’s dark, the low wattage of the solar lights will provide enough light for you to see well. 
  • Install step or stair lights for the amazing look, as well as safety.  Add them along the sides to the railing, or on the risers.   
  • If your entryway is covered with a porch, place a lamppost near the steps or install lighting on the porch posts closest to the steps, or consider adding an overhead fixture to the porch ceiling to light up the entire area. 
  • Depending on the placement of your light fixtures, make certain the types you choose are going to be able to take the elements.  A light with a UL damp rating is best under a covered area, and one with the UL wet rating can handle harsh weather conditions like direct sunlight, rain and even saltwater spray. 
  • As noted above, some lighting needs to be motion-sensored, but others can be managed by timers, while solar lighting usually has sensors to come on when it’s dark and turn off at daylight.   
  • The type of bulb you use is a personal choice, but keep in mind that if you’re going to be using the lights all night, LED’s use far less energy, and last much longer than other types, saving you money and time.  Don’t let the memory of the harsh glare LED’s gave off when they were first produced; their technology has come a long way and the industry has taken great strides to give consumers softer, more pleasing light. 

Before adding bright security lighting that can affect the homes next door, talk with your neighbors, as they’ll appreciate you consulting with them.  You need to make certain you won’t be disturbing their rest or have your lights shining into their windows.  Not only do you want to have lighting outside for security, but for the ambience as well.  A nicely-lit home looks inviting and adds to the style of your home.

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: Youtube

National Fire Prevention Month

October 30th, 2018 by tisner

Image result for fire prevention

It’s the time of year to check not only your battery-operated smoke alarm, but anything you have in your home that could start a fire if not properly used and maintained.  This is also the time to talk with your family about your emergency plan in case of a fire.  These tips will get you started: 

  • Every kitchen should have an easily-accessed fire extinguisher.  If you don’t have one, purchase one, and if your old one hasn’t been serviced recently, call an official inspector to make sure yours is in good working order. 
  • Smoke alarms are a must!  Older smoke detectors can be sensitive and go off while someone is cooking, and we inadvertently disconnect the battery to stop that, and forget to reconnect them.  More recently-produced types have a sensitivity button that can reduce that problem for a set period of time and return to normal after the time is up. 
  • Homes with more than one story should have an escape ladder close to an easily-accessed window on the upper floor.  Safewise.com has a list of their best-rated ladders, and offers tips for choosing the right ladder for your home. 
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets, and use extension cords only on a temporary basis.  If you need more outlets, call an electrician to install them.  The cost of this greatly outweighs the cost of a fire. 
  • A visit from an electrician is also warranted if you have outlets that spark when you use them, lights that flicker, or a circuit breaker that trips regularly. 
  • Clean your dryer’s lint screen after each load, and keep the vent and back of the dryer clean from lint build-up. 
  • Have chimneys and furnaces checked out before you use them to make sure they’re clean and in good working order.  If you use a wood fireplace, make sure the screen protector has no holes, and use only a flame-retardant rug in front of the hearth. 
  • While cooking, don’t leave the kitchen, and even though your children may like to help, have their station set up far from any hot items. Keep towels and paper products away from anything hot, and don’t leave cooking oil unattended. 
  • Although it isn’t very common, lightning can cause a house fire.  Lightning rods may seem like an outdated tool, but they are not only helpful for redirecting lightning and prohibiting a fire, they can save your electronics from lightning damage.  Lovetoknow.com describes several different types of home lightning protection styles, and how they all work. 

Most importantly, you need a family fire plan, and everyone should be familiar with this plan.  For tips and a guideline to setting up your own fire escape plan, consult this page from the National Fire Protection Association, where you can find free printable tools to make your planning process go smoothly.  No amount of time taken to put a plan into place and practice is too much when it comes to protecting your home and family from a fire.

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: Army

Appraisal Prep

October 23rd, 2018 by tisner

mortgage-lending process

The mortgage-lending process has several steps, and one of them is the appraisal.  Lenders require an unbiased valuation of the home that’s being sold, and the appraiser will not only look at sales of similar homes in the area, they’ll look at the property itself. Here are several things sellers can do to get ready for the process, and maybe even improve the appraisal value of the property. 

Outside 

  • Start your once-over outside, and make sure your front and back yards are neat and clean of debris.  Check fencing for any damaged places and repair them.   
  • Small improvements are best for the look of your landscaping:  fresh mulch, some new plants, and a recent mow and trim work. 
  • The siding of the house should look great:  no peeling paint, no broken or missing vinyl siding, no rotting wood.  
  • Check condition walkways and steps, making sure nothing is in disrepair or needs replacing. 
  • Make certain windows are in good working order, with no rotting sills, cracked glass or peeling paint. 
  • Decking and porches should be in safe condition. 
  • Check the roofing for missing shingles or bad spots. If your roof has had any recent repairs, have that information ready for the appraiser to take note of.   

Inside 

  • Walls should look great–no permanent marks or cracks.  If you see a problem that needs repair, have the work done, or you’ll need to allow the buyer to have a credit to make the repair. 
  • Flooring that’s worn, soft, cracked, scratched or stained won’t make a good impression.  Clean the carpets, and make repairs to any hardwood, tile or linoleum. 
  • Bathroom fixtures should be clean and in good working order. 
  • In the kitchen, that sagging cabinet door needs to be set right, and faucets and plumbing should be in good shape. 
  • Odors can signify a problem:  pet odor can be taken care of with some elbow grease and deodorizing cleaners, and if mold is an issue, have that erased by a mold-cleaning specialist.  If it’s just general bathroom mold, there are plenty of household cleaners to remedy that. 
  • Ceiling stains can be a sign of a leak.  If you’ve had that repaired, have that information available for the appraiser, and paint the ceiling. 

The appraiser will be looking at general things, but if something costs $500 or less to repair, take the chance that it will improve the value of the property.  Don’t go replacing a working 10-year-old HVAC unit that you’ve kept maintained, as that won’t necessarily add to the appraisal value.  Have other major repair paperwork ready for the appraisal appointment and allow the expert to walk around and do their assessment.  The buyer already likes your house well enough to make an offer, and you’ve likely already done the work to make your home sell.  Maintain your house during the showing process, and it will benefit you come appraisal time.

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: qualityscarpeitshoppy.com

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