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Winter Decor Ideas

January 8th, 2018 by tisner

The Christmas decorations come down, and everything looks so stark and plain, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Try some of these ideas to brighten up your home during the long winter days.

  • Change your light bulbs to those that give off a blue hue to mimic sunlight. For dark mornings, invest in a sunrise light that comes on and brightens over a period of time to simulate the sun rising.
  • Force the flower bulbs you were given as gifts. Their bright colors will bring Springtime early—indoors, anyway.
  • Use light, bright colors everywhere you can—cozy throws, pillows, slipcovers, and accent rug—the light colors reflect what natural light we have coming through the windows and help boost our mood.
  • Using natural items isn’t just for Christmas. A basket of pine cones with battery operated LED lights woven through them, or a simple wreath of twigs can double as decor for January.
  • Use snowflakes, no matter where you live, to brighten up your interior. Get the kids to cut out paper snowflakes, or make these popsicle stick snowflakes. Hang either on clear monofilament and make a mobile or garland and hang them in a window.
  • Cut the arms off of old sweaters and use them to wrap around candle holders and vases for a fun, cozy appearance.
  • Clip small branches and twigs, spray them with white spray paint, (or leave them natural), and display them in vases with artificial snow, small pine cones, or whole nuts as a filler.
  • Hang a mirror, or several, in a dark spot in your home. It will reflect light and brighten the space.
  • Winter greens joined with a child’s sled, vintage ice skates, or a harness of jingle bells make great front door adornment.
  • Use unused scarves wrapped around a foam wreath core for a fun and unique decoration. Hang a pair of mittens in place of a bow.
  • Do you or any friends have flowering trees? If so, ask them for a few snipped branches, and force-bloom them with these tips from Fine Gardening. The Springtime buds will brighten any room.

Decorating for the colder months doesn’t have to scream Santa. Light colors, natural things and cozy pieces are perfect for brightening the long nights, and making your home as inviting as it was during the holidays.

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: Country Living Magazine 

Surprise When Renting Your Home

January 5th, 2018 by tisner

Planning to go to the Masters next April 2-9th and don’t have a place to stay. Each year, there are homeowners who rent their home for a big premium during the Masters because hotels are in short supply and demand for private homes is up.47360108-crop.jpg

Homeowners go on vacation and make tax-free income while temporary tenants rent their home. Homeowners can benefit from a little known provision in the tax code that does not require taxpayers to recognize the income derived from renting their home for less than 15 days per year. See Plan Ahead for Tax Time When Renting Out Residential or Vacation Property- special rules.

This situation can particularly benefit homeowners where there are large sporting events nearby like golf and tennis tournaments, championship games or other high attendance venues. The demand for a private residence can be more attractive than staying in a hotel which makes the price go up.

Obviously, there are challenges with personal belongings and damage but getting a premium rental rate and not having to recognize the income could be worth it. You’ll certainly want to discuss this with your tax professional prior to making this decision. You’d probably also want to get some help from an experienced real estate professional.

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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Stay Healthy This Winter!

January 3rd, 2018 by tisner

Winter is a great time to binge-watch our favorite streaming series, read books we haven’t had time to read, gather with friends for dinner and game night, but it’s also a great time for letting our health regimine go by the wayside.  This opens the door for illness, and no one has time for that.  Keep yourself feeling and doing your best with this guideline!

You and Your Home

  • If you didn’t get exercise equipment or a gym membership over the holidays, it doesn’t give you an excuse not to exercise. Walking is really an easy yet important way to burn off those holiday calories.  The cooler temps help you burn more because it takes more energy to stay warm, even while hitting the sidewalk.  A win-win exercise!
  • We may not be doing a lot of perspiring, but water is still essential to our good health. Eight 8 ounce glasses a day will keep you hydrated, and your skin will thank you, too, as water helps battle the dry, itchy skin we get in Winter.
  • Keep surfaces in your home wiped down with all-purpose cleaner and warm water. This is better than using disinfectants, as viruses and bacteria can become resistant to these ingredients, as noted with the FDA banning triclosan, a popular antibacterial additive in hand soaps.
  • If you do get sick–stay home and rest! The more you are out and about not only makes you feel worse and lengthens your recovery, the more you spread what you have!

Your Mother Was Right!

  • Wash your hands! Using plain soap for forty-five seconds and a warm water rinse is all you need to fight germs.
  • Cover sneezes and coughs preferrable with a disposable tissue, and if that isn’t available, cover your mouth and nose in the crook of your arm.
  • Avoid shaking hands, especially if someone is sick or has been around someone who is sick.
  • Take your vitamins! A daily multivitamin at mealtime is a great way to keep you healthy and getting the nutrients you need, especially vitamin D, which goes lacking somewhat in the colder months when we aren’t spending as much time in the sunshine.
  • Go to bed! Rest is so important to your overall health, and with the longer nighttime hours, it may be easier for you to get a full 7-8 hours a night. Your immune system works better when you’re rested up.
  • Eat your vegatables–this is a no-brainer, anyway, but leafy greens, beans, and citrus are the best for the antioxidants you need to keep your immune system strong.

Even in Winter, our fast-paced lives can keep us from being diligent about staying healthy when it’s more important than the warm months. The get-togethers in close quarters, die-hards that come to work with a cold, and viruses our kids bring home from school are all standards of germ-sharing this time of year.  Taking care of yourself and your family may take a little extra effort, but you’ll be healthier and happier in the long run.

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: Meld Magazine 

Things To Do Orlando: Orlando Museum of Art’s 1st Thursday: The Art of The Selfie

January 2nd, 2018 by tisner

January 4, 2018

Orlando Museum of Art
2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Admission: $15

Phone: 407-896-4231

Buy Tickets

With the rise of expression with handheld cameras and devices, the “selfie” has emerfed as the main component in photography.  Explore how to interpret selfies in the modern-day world and how they relate to past art masterpieces.  All media encouraged, including photography, camera photography, painting, sculpture, etc.

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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Prevent False Home Security Alarms

December 29th, 2017 by tisner

Some police departments report as high as 98% of calls are false alarms. Not only is this an incredible waste of police resources that could be available for legitimate emergencies, it annoys neighbors, startles pets and results in expensive false alarm fees.36192772-250.jpg

Know your codes – entering an incorrect keypad code is a common mistake leading to false alarms. The solution is to create codes that are easy for all members of the family to remember without them being obvious to potential burglars like your street number. Let everyone know when you change your code.

Secure windows and doors – be sure that all windows and doors are closed before activating your alarm. Disarm your system before opening a window or door.

House guests – tell visitors that you have an alarm system and when you normally arm it. Housekeepers, baby sitters, outside family and close friends also need to be aware of your procedures and possibly give them a code to disarm the system if it is accidentally activated.

Batteries – most systems have battery backup in case the power goes out. Know how often you need to replace the batteries; some last considerably longer than others.

Motion detectors – pets can trigger a motion detector and then, the alarm. There are sensors made for households with pets providing an alternative to turning them off. Other things that could activate motion detectors are helium balloons or curtains and plant leaves being blown in front of a sensor.

Home alarm systems are valuable to homeowners by increasing security, providing peace of mind and lowering insurance premiums. Some municipalities require a license fee for any home with an alarm. Use your alarm wisely.

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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Things To Do Orlando: New Years Eve at Orlando Theme Parks

December 28th, 2017 by tisner

Kick off 2018 in style at one of Orlando’s theme parks!
This year Orlando ranks fifth on WalletHub’s Best Winter Holiday Destinations, included for its wonderfully warm weather, low travel costs and hassles and world-famous attractions. This tip of the cap for Orlando comes just a year after the destination was named the No. 1 most fun and affordable city to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the nation by WalletHub, a financial news, services and information site.

Universal Orlando: Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios are open 8 am New Year’s Eve till 1 am, with festivities including party zones, DJs, character appearances and fireworks at midnight.

EVE at Universal CityWalk: At Universal’s free outdoor entertainment complex, enjoy six unique party zones, each with signature drinks, along with awesome clubs with live music and unlimited gourmet cuisine. You won’t want to miss Orlando’s largest dance floor as well as appearances by celebrities, top fashion designers and prominent corporate brands.

NBC Sports Grill & Brew: Cheer on your favorite college football teams in the playoffs as they compete on nearly 100 HD TV screens throughout this unique sports-dining experience at Universal. The full dinner menu is served until 1:30 am, New Year’s Day.

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom: Enjoy two nights of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks on Dec. 30 and 31 over Cinderella’s Castle.

Epcot: Celebrate all night long at Epcot with DJs and live music pumping beats from around the globe. Two showings of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks spectacular light up the sky, followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the new year.

Hollywood Studios: Rock ‘n’ roll into the new year with a brilliant fireworks spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort: Swing in the new year at Atlantic Dance Hall with the sounds of a live big band. Party hats and horns, a viewing of the Epcot fireworks at midnight and a champagne toast included.

Raglan Road at Disney Springs: This lively Irish pub is popular year-round at Disney Springs and especially on New Year’s Eve. Come for dinner and the late-night, Irish menu and stay for the live entertainment on both stages. Guests enjoy complimentary champagne toasts when it’s midnight in Ireland (7 pm ET) and again at midnight.

SeaWorld Orlando: Celebrate your connection to the sea, sea life and the world with special music and fireworks at SeaWorld.

Legoland Florida – Kid’s New Year’s Eve: Spend New Year’s Eve with the family at Legoland Florida, where the giant Lego brick drops at a very kid-friendly 7 pm, followed by fireworks and a dance party DJ.

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!

Merry Christmas!

December 22nd, 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.

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

ATM Safety Tips

December 21st, 2017 by tisner

During the holidays as throughout the year, getting cash from an ATM is normal for many people. ATM’s are available 24 hours a day and they’re located in bank branches, convenience stores, grocery stores, malls, airports, sports venues and on street corners.46024154-250.jpg

Unfortunately, the convenience aspect can compromise personal safety especially if you are distracted or not paying attention. Planning for an ATM withdrawal and applying common sense can help you avoid trouble.

  • Be aware of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction like people sitting in a nearby parked car or someone offering to help you.
  • Safeguard your PIN. Don’t share it with anyone. Don’t write it down. Don’t use your birthdate, last four digits of your phone number or other obvious numbers.
  • If there are other people at the ATM to make a withdrawal, shield the keypad when entering your PIN number.
  • Keep your car doors locked and windows raised, except for your driver’s window, when using a drive-up ATM.
  • Minimize the time spent at the ATM by being prepared with your card ready, what you plan to do and do not count your money until you are in a safe place away from the ATM.
  • Take your receipt with you and destroy it if you decide to discard it.
  • Be aware that some thieves use skimming devices to steal account and PIN numbers. If something doesn’t look “just right”, consider finding another machine to use.
  • Especially at night, pay attention to locations with adequate lighting and being visible from the street. Don’t compromise your safety just because it is convenient.
  • After you have your money, pay attention to see if someone might be following you. If you are concerned, go to a nearby police or fire station or well-trafficked business and call the police.
  • If you feel uneasy during a transaction, cancel it, remove your card and LEAVE.

There may be a time in the not too distant future when we don’t have a need for cash anymore. Until that time, paying attention to simple safety precautions can help protect us during the holidays and throughout the year.

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!

Saving Money for a New Home Down Payment

December 20th, 2017 by tisner

With the new year approaching, many people start thinking about resolutions.  If you’re seriously considering buying a new home, you’ll definitely need to be thinking about having your down payment ready when you find the perfect house.  Follow these ideas for saving as much as you possibly can.

  • First and foremost, know your house-purchasing budget, and estimate needing 20% of that budget.
  • Set up a hands-off down payment high-yield savings or money market account.
  • Start cutting out expenses, or find ways to make extra money. Every little bit counts.
  • If you plan on getting an end-of-year bonus or income tax refund, set aside that money to begin your new nest’s egg.
  • Sign up with your employer to deposit a portion of your pay into a down payment savings account if you’re not great at putting money into savings. Most of the time, if you don’t see it, you don’t miss it.
  • Receiving gifts from family members towards your down payment require documentation so your lender, as well as the IRS, knows where the money is coming from, and that the money doesn’t require re-payment.  More information about down payment gifts are here from The Mortgage Reports website.
  • Start paying off your credit card debt by paying more than the minimum payment. Lowering and/or eliminating your card balance also lowers your interest rates, so you can start taking what you’d normally pay on credit cards and depositing it towards your down payment fund.
  • If you have investments in stocks or bonds, plan on liquidating those assets when it’s time to purchase your house. Make sure you document these sales.
  • A pay raise at work is great, but if you happen to get one, stay on your old budget, and have the extra pay direct deposited into your down payment account.
  • You can always borrow from your 401k or IRA, but make sure you’re not having to pay penalties. Talk with your account holder before you make any withdrawals.

A down payment, especially at twenty percent, can look daunting.  If it just looks impossible, do your research.  There are many first-time buyer programs available, as well as lower down payment options through the USDA, the VA and state-specific programs.  Zillow has a terrific guide on low down payment guidelines and opportunities. Planning ahead and keeping your eye on your goal will get you well on the way to home ownership.

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: northeastfunding.com

Being Prepared for Unexpected Guests

December 19th, 2017 by tisner

It’s the holiday season, and there are almost always unplanned visits from friends or family. Don’t get caught with a messy house or without a few snacks to serve guests–follow these guidelines to make a last-minute get-together almost effortless.

Quick Housekeeping
● Keep your focus only on the rooms you’ll be using while guests are there.
● Grab a basket and stash anything that is considered clutter, and place them in the basket, tucking it away in a bedroom. This is a fun activity you can get the kids involved in, calling it a Ten-Minute Tidy.
● Have disinfectant wipes in the bathroom cabinet, and give everything a quick swipe, put a fresh roll of paper on the dispenser, hang a clean hand towel, and add a seasonal air freshener.
● If you have dirty dishes in the sink and don’t have time to wash them before your unexpected guests arrive, stash them in the oven (not while it’s on!), or the dishwasher. Wipe sinks and counters down with disinfectant wipes, and your kitchen will sparkle.
● Have extra hangers in a closet or spare room available to stash guests’ coats and cold weather apparel.
● Place a waterproof mat set beside the door to leave wet or snowy boots and shoes.
● Plump up sofa and chair cushions and pillows. Add a cozy throw to a chair arm, and give the middle of the carpet a quick go-over with the vacuum.

Feed Them
● Keep coffee, cocoa mix and tea on hand so you’re not stuck without a nice warm beverage to serve to your drop-ins. It only takes a few minutes to heat water or brew a few cups of coffee. Apple cider can be refrigerated and heated in small amounts, adding some Raven’s Original Instant Mulling Spice, making your guests think you’ve slaved away making hot spiced cider.
● Splurge on a few expensive hors d’oeuvres or cookies for that extra-special feel food like this can bring even to an unexpected visit.
● For a homey touch, have refrigerated cookie dough in the fridge or freezer and pop some in the oven for a nice snack. If your guests have children with them who are old enough, have them decorate cookies with holiday-themed sprinkles or colored sugar.
● Make a cheese tray, add bite-sized smoked sausages, sliced pepperoni or salami from the deli, and cut veggies, and store in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. Remove the plastic, add some fancy crackers, and you have an instant party.
● Snack mixes, spiced pecans, gourmet popcorn and other seasonal savory snacks are great to have in the pantry for quick holiday fare.
● If guests are stopping in around dinnertime, a simple meal of pasta with jarred prepared sauce is easy to prepare quickly. Add homemade garlic bread, and you’ll have a great company meal everyone loves.
● Frozen pies and cakes or even appetizers can be heated or thawed quickly, and are usually on sale this time of year, so dessert is an affordable luxury splurge.
● Good Housekeeping offers some quick tips for foods and snacks that’ll look like you’ve just been waiting to serve guests!

Unexpected guests can get us all in a tizzy, but if we have a plan in place, it can be a breeze to pull off. This time of year is all about gathering together, and even though you aren’t expecting certain guests, be ready for them. Add some holiday music in the background–Pandora has excellent playlists for all genres–sit back, and enjoy your drop-in company.

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: newsok.com

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