Like what you have been reading here? Subscribe now and receive email updates of our articles.

Menu

Syndicate this blog

Most Popular

Home Modifications for the Aging-in-Place

November 23rd, 2021 by tisner

When your elderly father has decided that he would like to live in his home as long as possible, or it is time to make the mother-in-law’s home a little safer, a few changes in the house need to take place.  While every family is unique, most needs of our aging parents are the same.  How can we make small improvements with a big impact on their safety and comfort? The following tips are a great place to begin: 

  • For the wheelchair-bound person or one who needs to use a walker, add an accessibility ramp to their most-used entry.  Contractors who specialize in ADA-compliant improvements can assist with design and added features.  
  • Outdoor lighting is essential for everyone’s safety, but there are many options for adding low-voltage lights to posts along ramps and atop porch rails, as well as pathway lighting along walkways. 
  • Wherever there are steps, handrails are a must, as well as anti-skid treads to minimize slipping. 
  • Change all doorknobs to lever-type handles for ease of opening for those with arthritis or other motor skill issues. 
  • Widening doorways is something that may be necessary if wheelchair use is a possibility in the future. Enlarging them to 36” is the general width for ease of use. 
  • The type of flooring in the home can impact whether it’s a fall risk for someone who has trouble getting around.  Low-pile carpeting or secure low-pile area rugs with double-sided carpet tape or non-slip rug padding is best. 
  • A walk-in or wheelchair-accessible shower with a “curbless” entry is a safe choice when remodeling a bathroom. A built-in shower seat and adjustable showerhead are other useful items that can be added to make bathing safer. 
  • If a total bathroom remodel is not affordable, simply installing grab-bars to the shower, bath, and toilet area walls will offer security for moving around in the bathroom. 
  • Changing faucets in the kitchen and bath to a single lever handle or installing motion-sensor or touch-activated units are perfect for ease of use. 
  • Electrical issues to consider:  light switches that can be pressed for turning off and on, electrical outlets placed higher than the standard height and adding more interior lighting. 

Download this handy publication from AARP for other ideas to assist with setting up your loved one with independent living.  Hopefully you and your much-loved senior will look at this stage of life not as a challenge, but rather as a way to keep a distant but watchful eye over them while they maintain their sense of independence and quality of 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.

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

Photo credit: ASA Generations 

Holiday Saving Apps!

November 18th, 2021 by tisner


Photo credit: Cio.com

It’s easy to get carried away with spending during the most wonderful time of the year — AKA holiday shopping season — but that doesn’t mean you should!

Frugal, savvy spenders will want to check out this list of apps to help you compare prices and find the best deals for all the gifts on your list!

ScanLife

ScanLife will download to your mobile device giving you instant access to the world’s most versatile and integrated barcode scanner app. Enjoy the most universal, multi-functional QR Code and barcode reader on the market, connecting you to a wealth of relevant information.

ShopSavvy

Check the price at over 70,000 retailers instantly, so you get the best deal every time! Works automatically when you visit product pages at any retailer. Prices and availability are checked automatically, in real time. Coupon codes and deals are shown as well, so you can save *even more* on top of already finding the cheapest price! Enter a postal code in Options to see prices at nearby “brick and mortar” stores, including if they have the item in stock right now.

Price.com

Let the Price.com app search through billions of products across thousands of stores in seconds. See all your new, used, local, rental, refurbished, and more shopping options in the product comparison engine. Use Price.com to search photos, scan barcodes, and compare prices while you browse your favorite online stores.

Holiday shopping might look a bit different this year, so it’s best to get started sooner than later and let these apps help you find everything on your list!

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

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!

Source: moneycrashers.com

Weekly Market Snapshot 11/11 – 11/17

November 18th, 2021 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!

Stats courtesy of StellarMLS

Furnace Maintenance for Beginners

November 16th, 2021 by tisner


Getting ready for winter in advance is important to make sure that you don’t run into major problems once cold weather hits. There are a lot of places in the home that will likely need some maintenance or upkeep as part of your winterization process. Of these, your furnace is one of the most important; falling behind on furnace maintenance can result in problems at the worst time, and getting them fixed in the cold of winter can be both difficult and expensive.

Fortunately, a lot of furnace maintenance is fairly easy to do even for complete beginners. There are several things that you can do if you want to make sure that your furnace is ready for winter. While the specifics may vary depending on your actual home heating setup and the type of furnace you have, here are some of the basics of furnace maintenance that you should keep in mind both for winter and throughout the year.

Furnace System Cleaning

There are several cleaning tasks that you should do every two to three months throughout the year, but that are especially important heading into cold weather after your heating system has been off for the summer. Replace your air filter and clean your system’s humidifier if it has one. If your system has a burner, you should also clean it to remove any dust, lint, or other debris that could affect functionality. Take the time to open up your vents and vacuum out the registers and ductwork as well, as there was likely a lot of dust and other buildup that occurred during the summer.

You should also take a little time to clean and test various sensors around your home to ensure that they are working properly. This includes things like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, as they’ll be very important in case there’s some problem with your heating system. If you use gas heat, having a functional gas detector is also important. So if you don’t have one already, you should install one. If you do, make sure it is clean and working so that you’ll be alerted of any potential gas leaks before they can become dangerous.

General Maintenance

There are other basic maintenance tasks that you should perform in the lead-up to winter as well. Test your thermostat to make sure that your furnace is turning on and off automatically at the set temperatures. Check to make sure that blower fans can turn freely as well, and add a small amount of lubricant if needed to keep them spinning without grinding or hanging. Visually inspect the components of your furnace for signs of wear, rust, or damage; even small cracks can result in leaks or more significant damage once the furnace is in full operation.

Check out the function of your registers to make sure that they open and close as expected; this will help to ensure that the heat your furnace produces is going exactly where you want it to go and isn’t being blocked by a register that’s stuck closed. You should also turn on the furnace and let it run briefly to make sure that it is actually blowing warm air, since a heating problem is definitely something that you want to fix before winter comes. If you use a house fan as part of your summer cooling solution, make sure that it is turned off and closed for the winter so that you aren’t losing heat from your furnace as a result.

Getting a Pre-Winter Inspection

Depending on your furnace setup, there may be a lot of components that need to be checked to make sure that everything works properly. This can be a big job for beginners, which is why many HVAC companies offer pre-winter inspections that identify and fix potential issues before they can become major problems. HomeKeepr can help you find a company in your area offering this sort of inspection; sign up for a free account today to connect with HVAC pros and inquire about their pre-winter specials. Your furnace will be glad that you did.

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!

By: Homekeepr, David Weinstein

Weekly Market Snapshot 11/4 – 11/10

November 10th, 2021 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!

Stats courtesy of StellarMLS

Budgeting for Major Construction Projects

November 9th, 2021 by tisner


Maybe you’re adding an expansion onto your home, constructing a standalone storage building in the back yard, or undertaking some other major construction project. Whatever it is that you’re building, you likely already know that big construction jobs can carry big costs. If you haven’t budgeted for the job correctly, though, you might end up surprised at how big some of these costs can be.

Sticker shock for construction projects can be a problem, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of thought and planning you can make sure that you’ve got all your expenses covered in your budget before the job begins. While some of the costs involved will be very specific to the details of your construction project and where you live, these budgeting tips will help you to keep an eye out for things that can drive the price tag up, so you can account for everything.

Major Expenses

Some of the costs of major construction projects are obvious: You’re going to need money to cover things like lumber, siding, wiring, and other materials. You’re also going to have to pay your contractors and laborers for the work that they put into actually doing the construction. If you aren’t paying attention, however, these costs can get away from you and leave you with a bit of a surprise when the bills come due.

Many material costs fluctuate based on supply and other factors and may be affected by things like transportation costs as well. Lumber prices in particular are prone to fluctuation and can increase significantly if supplies are disrupted. If possible, get in a purchase order or otherwise get some sort of pricing guarantee before work starts so that you can lock in a price and protect yourself from price shifts down the road.

Easily Overlooked Costs

While changes to your material costs can be an issue, one problem many people have when budgeting for construction is that they forget to account for all of the smaller costs associated with this sort of project. Some of these costs (like getting a construction permit) may seem obvious, but they can be easy to overlook when looking at the significant costs of materials and other aspects of the job. These costs can also be significantly higher for large projects than they are for the sorts of projects you’ve tackled in the past, so keep that in mind.

A few aspects of the job that you might not consider which can significantly increase your expenses include things like putting down a slab or foundation, installing a roof on a finished building or expansion, renting a dumpster for the construction crew, and interior materials such as fixtures and appliances once the project is done. Even landscaping costs and a bit of extra funding to cover incidentals or unexpected situations should be considered. The last thing you want to do is to budget things precisely and then realize that a portion of your yard has to be dug up to replace some pipes or some of your existing wiring will have to be ripped out to get everything up to code.

Managing Your Project

There are a lot of moving pieces in any major construction project, and hiring a project manager can go a long way toward managing all of them. In some cases your general contractor may act as a project manager as well, but many times they’re there to do the job they’re hired for and the rest of the details are squarely on your shoulders. Consider bringing in a project manager or ensuring that you’ve picked a contractor who will manage the project as well will help with budgeting and cost tracking, while also making sure that you don’t forget some important part of the project that might otherwise come back to haunt you.

HomeKeepr can help you find the project manager or contractor who will keep everything in order. Just sign up for a free account today and start connecting with pros in your area. Once you find the right connection to help keep your project in line, you’ll find that everything else gets a lot easier moving forward.

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!

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Weekly Market Snapshot 10/28 – 11/3

November 4th, 2021 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!

Stats courtesy of StellarMLS

FAQ for First-Time Home Buyers

November 2nd, 2021 by tisner


When you read and hear that now is the time to buy a home, but are simply unsure of the process, it may keep you sitting right there in your rental! Let these Frequently Asked Questions help get you moving–to a home of your own!
 

  • Does my credit need to be perfect?  Not necessarily, but the higher your credit score, the better the loan’s interest rate will be. Lower credit scores could cost thousands over time in higher interest rates. FICO has some tips for improving your credit score. 
  • I am not sure how much house I can afford.  Lenders will look at your debt-to-income ratio when deciding to grant a home loan.  Get an idea for yourself by using this handy DTI calculator. 
  • How much money do I need for a down payment?  That depends! Most lenders require 5-20% for a down payment. USDA and FHA offer no- or low-down-payment home loans. Veterans and servicemembers have the benefit of applying for a no-down-payment VA Home Loan through the Veterans Administration as well. 
  • What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and will I have to pay? For most lenders, PMI is a requirement for homebuyers that do not pay a 20% down payment. The cost is normally included in the mortgage payment. 
  • I am pre-approved for a mortgage. Can I make an offer on a house that I love?  Sellers will likely reject an offer that has no lender back-up. Return to the bank and go through the pre-qualification process so you will know just how much you will have to offer on a property. 
  • Are there any tax advantages to owning a home?  While there are many costs associated with homeownership that renters do not have, there are tax credits for some of the taxes you pay, as well as for those who use points to get a lower interest rate. And with rent prices rising, your monthly mortgage payment could be lower than rent! 
  • How long does the whole process take?  A smooth home-buying transaction takes approximately 30-45 days. The time varies as there are so many aspects to the process, and once in a while, there are hurdles to get through.   
  • Who pays closing costs–the seller or the buyer?  In most cases, the buyer pays the closing costs, an expense that can run 3-6% of the cost of the home.  In some instances, however, the seller will offer to help with these costs as an incentive to buy the home. 

If all of your questions are not answered here, call a Realtor® before you begin your home search or mortgage approval. Their experience in helping you find a lender–not to mention your new home–is invaluable. The best thing about getting assistance from a real estate professional is that their services, in almost all cases, are free to the buyer! Now, what are you waiting for? 

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: www.dca.ga.gov

Weekly Market Snapshot 10/21 – 10/27

October 28th, 2021 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!

Stats courtesy of StellarMLS

Cleaning Your Toughest Patio and Deck Stains

October 27th, 2021 by tisner


After a long summer, it’s time to clean up around your home and get everything in good shape before the winter comes. Not only does this sort of fall cleaning help your home look nice after the rain and heat of summer, but it can also aid you in finding issues or damage that you might want to take care of as you winterize your home. Some areas that often needs particular attention during these cleanup periods are patios and decks.

Part of the reason for this is that many people use their patios and decks more during the summer than any other time of the year. Various spills, dripping grease and oils from grilling, and assorted other messes can end up on the wood, while changes in weather over the course of the summer can encourage the growth of things like algae and mildew. Knowing how to effectively clean up all of these stains and other issues will not only make your deck or patio look better, but can also result in them lasting significantly longer without needing repairs.

Deck Stain Removal

Effectively cleaning up the various stains that occur on your deck or patio becomes a lot easier if you know the source of the stain. Grease stains, sauces, and similar spills can usually be cleaned with dish soap and a stiff-bristled brush, followed by washing the area thoroughly before it has a chance to start drying again. Dish soap can also be used to remove stains from decomposing leaves; allow it to sit and penetrate for 10 or 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing the stains away.

Other types of staining may require different solutions, however. Rust stains may need to soak in a mix of water and white vinegar or specialized acid cleaners to remove the discoloration. Tree sap can also be stubborn and difficult to remove, often needing dedicated deck or patio cleaners or cleaning solutions such as liquid oil soap cleaners. Some stone patios may require specific cleaners that won’t damage the type of brick or stone that’s used as well.

Dealing with Algae, Moss, and Mildew

Discolorations caused by algae, moss, mildew, and mold are usually a bigger problem than other stains, even though the other stains may be more common. The problem with algae, mold, and similar growths is that they actually cause damage to the wood or stone of your patio or deck and need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Some growths like moss can be removed with soap, water, and a stiff-bristled brush, but things like algae and mold typically require a bit more.

Because these grow into the wood or stone and thrive in moist environments, you’ll need a cleaner that can actually kill them and prevent them from coming back. In some cases, a bleach/water mixture will do the trick, combined with some scrubbing and general cleaning afterward. Special deck and patio washes are also available that are formulated to kill mildew, mold, algae, and similar growths, helping to ensure that you take care of the problem without having to try out different DIY mixtures.

Professional Cleaning

If you haven’t had much luck getting your deck or patio clean or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to the cleanup, there are professional services available that can get the job done for you. They typically use cleaners that are designed for the types of cleanup you need, and may employ tools such as a power wash sprayer to really get into all of the places that are hard to reach with a brush or a broom. Depending on the service, they may apply new sealants or other protectants after your deck or patio is clean as well to help you weather the winter unscathed. If you’re looking for a patio or deck cleaning service, HomeKeepr can help. Simply sign up for a free HomeKeepr account to connect to pros in your area that can get the job done the way you need it.

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!

By: Homekeepr, David Weinstein

Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
1170 Celebration Blvd
Suite 200
Celebration, Fl 34747

This site is proudly sponsored by Orlando FL Real Estate Kissimmee and Celebration
Copyright © 2008 Orlando FL Real Estate Kissimmee and Celebration | All Rights Reserved. Sitemap