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

Menu

Syndicate this blog

Most Popular

U.S. Housing Market Collapse? Nowhere in Sight

August 4th, 2022 by tisner


The housing market has taken a few hits, such as a doubling of mortgage rates in 2022, but it remains solid even if legitimate news providers suggest doom and gloom.

NEW YORK – The rock-hard foundation of the U.S. housing market is suffering some cracks, but an outright collapse is nowhere in sight.

Regardless, sensational news headlines are reverberating like seismic tremors around the country. Here are recent inflammatory headlines from legitimate websites:

  • “U.S. home prices are about to tumble as demand for new houses ‘craters,’ an economist warns.” (BusinessInsider)
  • “Homebuilder confidence suffers near-record plunge” (Newsweek)
  • “Scary times: builders are slashing home prices and slowing construction as buyers pull back, survey shows” (MarketWatch)
  • “The housing market is entering the ‘most significant contraction in activity since 2006,’ says Freddie Mac economist” (Fortune)

Gloomy reports like these can be enough to make builders halt building. Or to prompt homebuyers to delay buying. Or to discourage mortgage brokers from lending.

In an unintentional collaboration, depressing news can have a chilling effect on the housing market. They create a negative tone.

In recent years, however, the real estate market has been resilient, through the ups and downs of the U.S. economy, through pandemics. On a national level, home prices soared 40% over the past two years, according to the Case-Shiller Price Index.

These price increases have been even bigger in Northeast Florida. And even more so in trendy places like Amelia Island, where a hearty demand outstrips a limited supply of houses and condominiums and raw land.

A new complication has clouded the housing picture in recent months, however. It’s the almighty Fed.

With its eye on cooling down inflationary prices, the Federal Reserve has embarked on a campaign of interest rate hikes. Therefore, borrowing costs have inevitably increased for homebuyers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is sputtering, bordering on the brink of a mild recession. Inflation rages at the hottest pace in 40 years. However, employment is still healthy – contrary to most recessions. So there are mixed economic signals.

With U.S. stocks dipping into bear market territory, the economic backdrop for real estate has ultimately darkened. Homebuilding stocks have also cratered – a leading indicator of what potentially lies ahead.

“The market is adjusting to a new reality, with much lower sales volumes and far more inventory,” says Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macro. “Prices, therefore, have to adjust to the downside, likely quite substantially.”

With Federal Reserve’s recent moves, mortgage rates have doubled from previous levels. As expected, mortgage applications have dropped off a cliff – to the lowest level since 2000.

The same level of decline has been seen in homebuilder confidence. A measure of this confidence dropped precipitously in July. Consequently, prices of new homes should follow a similar downward path, although the trajectory is the question.

The number of home listings remains low nationally. However, new listings increased at the fastest pace in five years, according to Realtor.com. And listing prices are being reduced in some red-hot markets (Austin, Las Vegas, Nashville).

But all these measures and statistics and sensational headlines must be put into context. Home prices are still near record levels, in most places. Here in Nassau County, prices are still at record levels, especially around Amelia Island.

Cracks in a foundation will usually spread over time. And only time will tell how the housing market endures, through the obstacles and challenges.

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: www.floridarealtors.org and Steve Nicklas

7 Easy and Affordable Home Improvements

August 2nd, 2022 by tisner


It is not necessary to completely overhaul every bathroom in your home, remodel the kitchen, or put down new flooring to give your tired home a boost. Small, affordable improvements can get big results.
 

  • Decluttering every space in your home is probably the first place to start.  Getting organized is one of the best and simplest ways to improve your home’s look. Selling items on social media marketplaces or having a yard sale will also put money in your pockets for an added benefit! 
  • A quick and easy fix-up for your interior is paint! Not only is it inexpensive, but it is also an easy DIY when you tackle one room per weekend. 
  • After painting, why not add some crown molding? Purchase plaster-coated foam molding that can be cut with a handsaw and put into place with joint compound. 
  • Spruce up your mudroom, kitchen, or bathroom floors with self-stick tiles. This type of vinyl flooring comes in many styles and colors, and you can create a pattern for some added style. 
  • Simple kitchen updates can make a big difference:  a countertop makeover, new hardware for cabinets and drawer pulls, peel-and-stick backsplash installation, or new paint on the cabinetry. 
  • While costing a bit more, if your bathroom needs a boost, ready-made sink cabinetry,  prefab tub/shower kits, or tub refinishing kits can be purchased at a local home store or online for thousands less than hiring a pro.  
  • If a total exterior paint job is not in the budget, give the house a thorough pressure-washing and paint the shutters and front door. Brightening the landscaping with fresh mulch and seasonal annuals in containers are other dollar-saving ways to give the outside an update. 

Homeownership can be expensive, but your desire to make updates do not have to be.  If you are thinking of putting your house on the market soon, even the smallest improvements can make your home “show” better and sell faster.  Add some sweat equity, follow directions exactly, and many jobs can be done on your own.  Either way, you will benefit from the fresh, new look! 

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: HomeDepot

Tips for Shading Your Oasis

July 28th, 2022 by tisner


It sometimes takes a lot of work to get your landscaping just the way that you want it, but it’s worth it when you get to sit down and enjoy your hard work. The only problem is that sometimes it’s just too hot to spend much time out enjoying! This is especially problematic if your landscaping contains a lot of flowers that bloom during the summer months, since the cooler spring and fall won’t give you the same sort of satisfaction in your garden.

There are ways to make the heat more bearable, of course. A little bit of shade and a nice breeze can go a long way toward turning your landscaping or garden into a welcoming oasis for you to relax in. While there are a number of ways you can accomplish this, here are a few ideas if you find yourself unsure of where to start.

Have It Made in the Shade

One of the easiest ways to produce shade in your garden or other outdoor area is to plant trees. Not just any tree will do, though. You’ll want something that grows straight and produces a nice wide canopy, like hybrid poplars, Nuttall oak, paper birch, or red maple. There may be other options available based on your location as well, and your preference will depend on both the look that you’re going for and the size of your yard. Whichever option you pick, though, many of these trees grow fast and produce a significant amount of shade once mature.

Trees aren’t your only option for shade, either. Canopies, archways, and other structures can be adorned with ivy or other vine plants to create shade exactly where you want it. As these plants grow and spread out you can shape them and cover a larger area as needed. Once you’ve achieved the amount of shade that you want, trimming back the vines will keep them healthy and covering the areas you want shaded.

The Wind Can Be Your Friend

Shade isn’t the only thing that you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got an enjoyable outdoor area that’s not overcome by summer heat. Breezes need to be able to move the air within the shade or you’re still going to end up with hot still air. Designing your landscaping to accommodate breezes and not blocking them with lines of trees or other closely grouped plants or structures will go a long way toward keeping things cool. Depending on how you lay things out, your landscaping design can even help to direct breezes into the shade.

Another consideration to keep in mind is fencing around your property. Privacy fences and similar fence structures can be both useful and stylish, but a tall privacy fence also blocks all the wind. If you’ve got solid fences all the way around your property, you’re cutting off any breezes that might cool things down. Make sure that you don’t overdo it with fences or walls to keep air flowing and your outdoors livable.

Optimizing Your Oasis

Whether you’re still planning your outdoor oasis or considering changes, HomeKeepr is here to help you find the landscapers, contractors, and other pros that you need to make it into a dream come true. Want to add some shade plants? There are pros to help with that. Want a fountain to add a bit of water to break up the heat? There are pros to help with that too. You can even find professionals who can help you decide exactly what you need to do to create a shaded oasis if the options seem overwhelming.

Best of all, creating a HomeKeepr account is free. Sign up today to gain access to our app and connect with the pros you need in your area to get the job done without breaking the bank. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor landscaping without having to worry about being overcome by the heat.

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

Short-Term Fixes for Urgent Home Repairs

July 26th, 2022 by tisner


Things happen, and it seems that they usually happen on weekends or after normal working hours. What do you do until a professional makes a service call? Find the temporary solution to many emergency needs here:
 

  • Leaky roof:  Search for the leaking area in the attic while it is raining and call a roofing company or handyman as soon as possible. Cover the area with a heavy-duty tarp, using nails to keep it in place.  
  • Broken window: Wearing work gloves and safety glasses, remove any broken glass pieces. Use heavy-duty plastic and weather-proof tape to cover the hole or cover the window completely, sealing it well to keep out rain or cold. 
  • Leaking water pipe: Turn the water off at your water main. Stop small leaks with epoxy putty. Do not allow pipes to continue to leak or think the putty will hold forever. Have a plumber address the issues. 
  • Water heater leak: The first thing that should be done is to turn off the water heater breaker or gas flow, then turn off the cold-water flow to the heater. Call your plumber immediately, then start cleaning up with towels or a wet/dry vacuum. If water has flooded the room, take photos before cleaning up, and call your insurance company. 
  • Clogged drain: Using a plunger for clogs is better and safer than using store-bought drain cleaners. This video from Ask This Old House shows homeowners the proper way to clear drains. If none of those solutions work, calling a plumber is in order, as a backed-up drain will eventually burst and create a much larger mess. 
  • Gas leak: Whenever you smell sulfur or the “rotten egg” odor, it is usually a gas leak. Get out of your home, turn the gas off outside by turning the valve control to a perpendicular position, and call your utility company immediately. Do not go back into the home until the leak has been checked and repaired. 

Keep in mind that these are temporary repairs! Neglecting to make repairs can cause extensive and costly damage to your home. The plumber’s bill for a leaking water pipe is much less expensive than replacing rotting floors. Taking care of emergencies as quickly as possible protects your investment and saves money in the end. 

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: Simpson Windows and Doors 

Orlando State of the Market June 2022

July 21st, 2022 by tisner

Orlando Area Residential Real Estate Snapshot for June 2022

State of the Market

  • Inventory increased by 41.2% from May 2022 to June 2022, with 1,586 more homes on the market in June compared to May. This is the second month in a row with a surge in inventory, following May’s increase of 44.2%.
  • Inventory increased by 75.5% from June 2021 to June 2022, jumping from 3,098 homes in June 2021 to 5,437 in June 2022.
  • June’s median home price was recorded at $387,000, an increase of 1.9% compared to May 2022; this sets a record high for the fifth month in a row. This is a 22.9% increase from June 2021 to June 2022, when the median home price was recorded at $315,000 in June 2021.
  • Interest rates increased from 5.3% in May 2022 to 5.5% in June 2022. This is the highest interest rates in the Orlando area have been since November 2008.
  • Overall sales in June 2022 decreased by 3.9%, with a total of 3,793 sales compared to 3,946 sales in May 2022. This is a 14.1% decrease compared to June 2021 when overall sales were recorded at 4,414.
  • Homes spent an average of 20 days on the market in June, down slightly from May 2022 when the average was 21 days.
  • New listings increased by 11.3% from May 2022 to June 2022, with a total of 5,367 new homes on the market in June.
  • “A balanced housing market has a six-month supply of homes,” said Tansey Soderstrom, Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association President. “In June, with rising interest rates and surging inventory, we had over a one-month supply of homes for sale for the first time since February 2021. While it’s still a sellers’ market, we’re continuing to see signs that the market is starting to level out, which is good news for buyers.”

Market Snapshot

  • Interest rates continue to increase as the average interest rate for June 2022 was recorded at 5.5%. This is an 87.5% increase from June 2021 when interest rates were at 2.9%.
  • Pending sales decreased by 8.9% from May 2022 to June 2022 for a total of 4,231 pending sales.
  • 23 distressed homes (bank-owned properties and short sales) accounted for 0.6% of all home sales in June 2022. That represents a 4.2% decrease from May 2022, when 24 distressed homes sold.

Inventory

  • Orlando area inventory increased by 41.2% from May 2022 to June 2022 from 3,851 homes to 5,437 homes. Inventory in June 2022 was 75.5% higher than in June 2021.
  • The supply of homes increased to 1.43 months in June 2022. This is the first time the supply has been over one month since February 2021. A balanced market is six months of supply.
  • The number of new listings increased in June 2022 from May 2022 by 11.3% to 5,367 homes.

 

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!

 

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association and the Stellar Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor StellarMLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or by StellarMLS does not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Due to late closings, an adjustment is necessary to record those closings posted after our reporting date.

ORRA REALTOR® sales represent sales involving Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association members, who are primarily – but not exclusively – located in Orange and Seminole counties. Note that statistics released each month of be revised in the future as new data is received.

Orlando MSA numbers reflect sales of homes located in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties by members of any REALTOR® association, not just members of ORRA.

5 Things to Consider in a New Neighborhood

July 19th, 2022 by tisner


In most home buying situations, you are not only purchasing a house, but you are also buying the neighborhood. There are many factors you cannot control, but to avoid regrets, consider these five things while house-hunting:
 

  • Affordability: The mortgage payment is an important part of your budget, but keep in mind that property tax is normally added to your monthly loan payment. Property tax is based on the assessment value of the property. The assessment value depends on different factors, and the home’s location is number one. Ask your Realtor® for past tax information, but the house may be reassessed after closing.  
  • How you live: Satisfaction with your home’s location will depend on the general area. Are you a pet lover with four dogs? You need a pet-friendly community. Is your family a large one with lots of noisy backyard activities? Look for active families in the neighborhood. Do you need close access to theaters, restaurants, or shopping? Your new home does not need to be a long commute to things you love.  
  • Schools: Communities in a high-rated school district normally have homes with higher price tags. As a parent, buying a home in a good school district is an investment in your child’s future, and if you do not have children, it is a wise financial investment as your home should at least keep its value as time goes by. 
  • Safety: Everyone wants to feel safe in their home. Several websites offer crime stats, but it may be best to contact local law enforcement for current information about the area. 
  • Utilities: Is high-speed internet or natural gas available in the neighborhood? Does your water come from the municipal water supply or a well? Your agent should have all of this information for you but asking the homeowner if they are willing to share how much they pay in monthly utilities will help you plan your monthly budget. 

Performing some “home” work is probably the best way to learn more about a community. Drive through at different times during the day or take a walk and pay attention to the sights, sounds, and–yes–smells of the neighborhood. You will be spending a lot of time there and being content in your new home is the most important location factor of all! 

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: beautyharmonylife.com

What Is a SEER Rating?

July 14th, 2022 by tisner

With the cost of heating and cooling a home throughout the year, homeowners want to have the most efficient HVAC units in their home that they can afford. Asking for recommendations for a specific unit can bring about a wide range of different answers, though. Those who are in the market for a new HVAC unit need a way to tell just how efficient different units are beyond all of the hype. That’s where SEER ratings come in.

An HVAC unit’s SEER rating should be one of the most important factors you consider when trying to decide on a model. Unfortunately, if you don’t really know what a SEER rating is or how it’s used, the rating can be kind of confusing. To help, here’s a basic rundown of what SEER ratings are, how they’re used, and where you can turn to get more information.

SEER Ratings Explained

First things first: SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” and is one of the details provided on those big yellow “EnergyGuide” stickers that you’ll see on things like air conditioners, heaters, and HVAC units. It’s a ratio that compares the output of the unit over the course of an average season divided by the average energy used during that same season. This provides you with an idea of how cost-effective using the unit will be since the ratio sums up how much energy it will take to keep your home comfortable for an entire season.

It’s important to keep in mind that the rating represents the unit’s maximum potential efficiency; your actual experience may be (and likely will be) at least somewhat less than that potential based on weather conditions and other factors such as routine maintenance. Even with that in mind, the SEER rating provides a starting point for comparing different options and finding the best solution for your home.

Using a SEER Rating

When it comes to SEER ratings, you want to find HVAC units that have high numbers. This means that a relatively small amount of energy was used to create the output that the unit achieved, which translates to a significant reduction in cost for you. If you’re upgrading from a unit that is maybe 10 to 15 years old, there’s a good chance that you could save as much as 20 to 40 percent on your energy bill due to the higher efficiency of modern units. Using the SEER rating as a guide and comparing new units to the SEER rating of your current one will help you to maximize that savings.

Similarly, SEER ratings can be used to compare models from different manufacturers to find the one that provides the best bang for your buck. A unit that’s more expensive up front may still save you money in the long run if it has a notably higher SEER rating than cheaper models. While there’s obviously limits to how much your budget can spare, using the SEER rating as a comparison point can help you to find the most efficient option from among multiple models that otherwise seem very similar.

Choosing the Right HVAC Unit

If you still aren’t sure exactly which HVAC unit you need, don’t be afraid to talk to a professional. Get in touch with pros that specialize in HVAC sales and installation, as they’ll not only know how to find the most efficient unit within your budget, but will also help you take factors such as your region, the local climate, and the size of your home into consideration. Best of all, they’ll be able to deliver and install the unit for you to make sure that everything is done correctly.

HomeKeepr can help you find the HVAC pros you need for the job. Our app can match you with these and other pros in your area, and best of all creating an account is free. If you’re ready to take control of your home’s temperatures throughout the year without breaking the bank, sign up for your free HomeKeepr account 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!

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Using Your Credit Card Wisely

July 12th, 2022 by tisner


There are a multitude of enticements when it comes to choosing and using a credit card. Companies advertise rewards points, cashback on purchases, and airline miles, to name a few. Having a credit card can also have drawbacks if you are not responsible with that piece of plastic. Keep yourself in check with these tips:
 

  • Add extra to your minimum payment each month if you cannot pay the entire balance off each time. Compounding interest will increase the remaining balance as well having a negative impact on your credit.  
  • Make payments by the due date, because late fees plus interest on the balance will max the credit card limit, and it could take decades to pay it off. Set up an auto-pay plan or mail your payment one week before the due date. 
  • Rewards seem like a great reward, but in the end, interest costs add up to more than any rewards points earned. 
  • Interest on a cash advance begins as soon as the money is in your hand. Cash advances are loans and treated as such. Beware of “convenience” checks your card company offers, as they are cash advances in disguise. 
  • Protect your credit rating and your wallet by staying within your credit card spending limit. Maxing out the card or over-spending just a little will cost a hefty over-balance fee, as well as affect the credit utilization ratio. 
  • Keep your contact information current with the company, and check all correspondence from them, whether it be via snail mail or electronic communication. You do not want to miss important announcements, fraudulent activity alerts, or changes in your minimum payment due.  
  • If you are paying for everyday purchases with a credit card, it is time to get your finances under control. Using your credit card at the grocery store or to pay utility bills will help in an urgent situation, but only if you can pay the full balance at the end of the month.  

Two more things to keep in mind when using a credit card: the balance should be less than 30% of the credit limit, and monthly payments should be manageable for you. Credit cards should not be utilized as an extension of your income, but as tools to help build credit or keep your score in good standing.  

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: First Citizens Bank

Protecting Smart Home Devices

July 8th, 2022 by tisner


Having a smart home is becoming more affordable every year, and using automated devices is so convenient! However, many homeowners simply plug everything in and connect it to the home network, but this can be a mistake. Security should be a priority when buying anything for a smart home. Keep your smart devices secure with these tips:

  • Expert Michael Horowitz suggests purchasing your modem/wireless router instead of leasing it from your internet provider. Ownership of the equipment allows more freedom to change settings and passwords and update the firmware.
  • If leased equipment is already in place, use the router’s IP address, (most are found on a label on the router itself), and change the name of the router, the wifi connection, and create new passwords for both.
  • Two- or multi-factor authentication is the next important step. Use a password keeper to create strong passwords and keep those passwords safe but accessible to you.
  • Setting up a home network on your own can be intimidating, so hire a pro or ask a friend who has the know-how to help you. Having a home network will keep your “internet of things” connected separately, thus, less vulnerable to hacking or spying. Another benefit is if one device becomes infected with a virus, home computers and other devices that us a different network will not “catch” anything and remain safe from irreparable damage.
  • Changing the router’s firewall settings is one way to add security from hacking, but purchasing a separate firewall is almost like having a double wall between your home’s network security and the bad guys!
  • Privacy is a must: configure all “listening” devices to limit the data they record and share.
  • Enable automatic updates on all devices during setup. If that is not an option, set a reminder to check for firmware updates at least once per week.

Finally, when you upgrade to any new devices, reset the setting of the old ones to factory default. Thus, if you sell or give away any of those items, your custom settings are not available to the new owners. You hold the keys to the security of your home’s smart devices and going through the process of good security setup may take some time, but the effort is worth 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!

Photo credit: PCMag

Travel Safely This Summer

July 5th, 2022 by tisner


A summertime getaway is just what many need to visit faraway family, spend time learning about other places, or simply to relax and have fun. Keep these tips in mind to make your trip as safe as possible:
 

  • Before hitting the road in the family vehicle, schedule a check-up–for the car! Have a reputable mechanic to check the engine and parts thoroughly, including all fluids, belts, and the battery, and make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated.   
  • Pack items that you will need for emergencies where they can be easily accessed. Purchase one of the many emergency car kits that suits your needs or make your own kit and keep them in a storage tote. A small first-aid kit should be kept in the glove compartment, especially when the kids are traveling, too.  
  • Check the forecast for all of your travel days. Summer heat means afternoon thunderstorms, and you will need to know where you can safely pull over if rain and wind become too heavy for driving. 
  • When using electronic navigation, be sure that the destination address is correct, and that the map is routed correctly. Print or purchase a paper map to consult in case you pass through areas where there is a poor signal is a must.  
  • Air travel means added time to your day. Once at the airport, distribute the kids between the adults and go to different security screening lines, and your wait will be shorter. 
  • Before getting comfortable on the plane, using alcohol-based disinfectant cloths, wipe everything down, giving extra attention to the food tray and the back of the seat pocket area. 
  • If possible, leave your cell phone at home and opt for a prepaid cell phone to stay in touch. 
  • When you are not using Wi-Fi, disable it on your device, as well as the Bluetooth signal. Public connections can give hackers easy access to your stored personal data. 
  • Upon arrival at your hotel or rental home, ask for the official Wi-Fi router name and password, and see if there are other networks available throughout the property. Fake wireless connections can be created by hackers, leaving your personal information at risk of being breached.   
  • If paying for something online is your only option, disable your cell’s Wi-Fi connection and use your cellular data as a security measure. 

While you are looking forward to some fun in the sun, it is important to keep yourself, your family, and your digital presence safe. Some mishaps are unavoidable, but when you are prepared, it makes your time away from home more fun and less stressful! 

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: NY Metro Parents 

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