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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.

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Photo credit: bankrate.com

The Difference an Hour Makes in Real Estate

November 3rd, 2017 by tisner

Every Hour in the US Housing Market: 

  • 624 Homes Sell
  • 347 Homes Regain Positive Equity
  • Median Home Values Go Up $1.13

By: KCM Crew

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

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

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

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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.

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How to Have a Pet-Friendly Home!

November 1st, 2017 by tisner

The addition of a pet to a home is one of the biggest and best decisions a family can make.  Is your home ready for the task? Follow these tips for making your home pet-friendly. 

Outside 

  • A safe environment is as important for a pet as it is for children.  The first step in keeping them safe is a fence.  Not only does it keep your pets in, it keeps others’ animals out. 
  • Have an ID tag on your pet’s collar, with your name and contact information just in case they do get out.  Having them microchipped is an excellent option for identification purposes. 
  • When house-training, encourage your pet to use a specific area of the yard for easy clean-up, keeping the smell away from the house.  Welcomepup.com blog has a potty-area diy: http://www.welcomepup.com/blog/how-to-build-an-outdoor-dog-potty-are/ 
  • A pathway to the door of gravel, cement, or other materials that aren’t plant-based will help knock off any debris that catch on paws before they come in. 
  • If your animals have to stay outside when you are away for a short time, make sure they have shelter, food and, most importantly, water. 
  • A play area in your yard would be great for dogs, especially, but make sure you have paths they can walk and run on, and nothing hazardous to them if they get too excited in their play. 
  • Incorporating a water feature that doubles as a pet-friendly cooling-off spot is perfect for Summer outdoor play for your pets. 
  • Consider the plants in your landscaping, and make sure you have nothing that can make your pet ill if they ingest it.  A great list of poisonous-to-animals plant list: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants  
  • Make sure window screens are secure when you open them, in case Kitty wants to enjoy a nap in the open area–you don’t want her falling out of the window. Investing in a “cat condo” would be ideal for indoor cats to enjoy the outdoors safely. 

Inside Your Home 

  • When looking for safety hazards, you should have an animal’s eye view.  Have someone get onto the floor and look for wires, window treatment cords, and anything else that is hidden from a human’s view, but could be attractive and harmful for a pet. 
  • It would be ideal to have a pet-washing area in the mudroom, but if that isn’t possible, think about shelving or a storage cabinet near the door for towels, leashes and outdoor toys. 
  • A cat’s litter box should be in a quiet area away from food.  It would be optimal to have one more box than cats. 
  • Keep garbage in a container with child-proof lid, as dogs and cats both can figure out how to get into the trash and make a mess, and maybe eat something harmful. 
  • Area rugs should be machine-washable and inexpensive, in case you need to throw them away after multiple washing, or too much dirt. 
  • Crate-training is best for dogs, but most animals need a space of their own.  Provide a comfy pet bed, toys and food and water in a quiet area of the house. 
  • Keeping pets brushed, toenails trimmed, and bedding changed and washed regularly is essential in keeping you from doing a lot of extra cleaning and floor repairs.  A hard surface, scratch-resistant floor is perfect for homes with pets. 
  • Smaller pets that require their own habitat have specialized needs: safety from larger pets, child-proof habitat covers, a room with certain temperature and humidity setting. 
  • Check with your local municipality to see if you need permits for exotic pets. 

Having a pet of any kind is a big responsibility.  As they become part of the family, make sure you provide the best home, the same as you would for a relative.  When your pets are happy, it just adds to the sweetness that pets bring to life. 

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: Pinterest

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 

2017 Halloween Trends!

October 30th, 2017 by tisner

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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Things To Do Orlando: Pumpkins & Munchkins at Shady Park

October 30th, 2017 by tisner

The Parks & Recreation Department of the City of Winter Park will present the 7th Annual Pumpkins & Munchkins in Shady Park on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.,  adjacent to the Winter Park Community Center at 721 W. New England Ave.

Munchkins of all ages are invited to attend this FREE family-friendly event. Fun-filled activities will include games, bounce houses, a costume contest, Trick-or-Treat Trail and safe Halloween fun for everyone. If inclement weather tries to dampen the evening, the event will be cancelled.

For more information regarding Pumpkins & Munchkins in Shady Park, please call 407-599-3275.

For more information regarding the City of Winter Park, please visit the city’s official website at cityofwinterpark.org. Like, follow and watch us on Facebook®, Twitter®, Instagram®, Vimeo®, and YouTube®.

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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Debt Relief May Trigger Tax

October 27th, 2017 by tisner

The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, originally passed in 2007, was extended three times to protect homeowners from paying income tax on debt that was relieved due to foreclosure, short sales or deed in lieu of foreclosure.  Mortgage Debt Relief example 2017.png

The law expired on December 31, 2016 and unless it is extended again, homeowners with debt relief in 2017 may be subject to tax.

A homeowner might feel a sense of relief without the obligation of a delinquent mortgage but just because the payments are no longer due doesn’t mean that there isn’t another obligation that replaces it. If a lender cancels or forgives debt, a taxpayer must include the cancelled amount in their income for tax purposes depending on the circumstances. The tax significance could be serious.

This previously allowed relief only applied to a taxpayers’ acquisition indebtedness of their principal residence which did not include second homes and investment property. The maximum amount was limited to $2 million of mortgage debt forgiveness or $1 million if filing separately.

Due to the serious consequences involved in short sales and foreclosures, it is advised that homeowners faced with this possibility should seek expert advice from their legal and tax professionals.

By: PatZaby.com

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

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

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

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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

Rock Painting Fun!

October 23rd, 2017 by tisner

Have you been walking in your community, and found a pretty hand-painted rock with a motivating message? The Kindness Rocks Project trend can lead to adventure for you and the kids, and can be a fun neighborhood project.  All you need is a few supplies, time and imagination! 

Supplies 

  • Smooth rocks of any size.  You can look for these laying around outside, or purchase them from a craft store or home center. If you’re finding them in a natural setting, make sure you have permission! 
  • Any of these decorating mediums: acrylic paint, non-toxic paint markers, colored Sharpies, inspirational phrases printed and cut out, Mod Podge Outdoor or clear acrylic sealer spray, paint brushes of varied sizes, a paint palette or tray to hold paint, newspaper, and soap and water for clean-up. 

How To 

  • Clean the rocks thoroughly, using a brush and clean water.  Scrub the whole surface, and rinse completely, then let dry. 
  • Lay newspaper down to protect your surfaces, and get supplies ready while the rocks dry. 
  • If you are using paint markers only, seal the rock with Mod Podge, or, using adult supervision, clear acrylic spray. 
  • Paint any design or brief inspirational message on the rock surface, and allow to dry.  Make sure to wipe the brush after each dip so paint doesn’t run on the rock.  Younger children may need some help with this from the older kids. If you need some inspiration or design ideas, you’ll find some here. 
  • Add your local rock-finding group hashtag to the back of your rock, a hashtag unique to your family, or use #TheKindnessRocksProject so when your work of art is found, you can keep a trace on it, and others can see it as well, through social media. 
  • Another way to add inspirational messages is to use quotes pre-printed on paper.  Adhere the paper to the rock with Mod Podge.  Once it’s dry, paint or draw your design on the rock.  Seal the paint and paper with a few coats of Mod Podge, and the paper will be protected from the elements. 
  • Once your work of art is complete, seal it with a few coats of Mod Podge or clear acrylic sealer spray, once again, using adult supervision. 

Hide and Seek 

  • Place your rock in a hiding spot, but make sure it can be seen–you want other rock hunters to find your rock. Public places are great for leaving your rocks, just not in National Parks.  
  • When you find someone else’s stone, give it a new hiding place after taking a photo and posting it along with the hashtag on social media.  Most local rock-finding groups have Facebook pages–search for them by your town or community name so you can share the fun! 
  • Keep a basket of finished rocks in the car, and if you see a space that needs some inspiration, leave a rock for others to enjoy (ask first, just in case!). 
  • Ask your local children’s hospital if you can contribute rocks so kids who aren’t able to go outside can rock hunt inside. On the same token, get permission from a nursing home or assisted living center to leave rocks for seniors to find. 

Rock painting and hiding is a trend that will hopefully continue.  Leave the rocks to inspire, as well as to bring joy. You never know whose day you may be brightening, just like Megan Murphy of Massachusetts, who was inspired to start The Kindness Rocks Project.  Now, get painting, have fun, and inspire someone today! 

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://modpodgerocksblog.com/2017/08/rock-painting-ideas.html

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

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