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Clever Uses for Useless Spaces

June 23rd, 2021 by tisner


There are a lot of areas around the home that may seem kind of useless or wasted. Partial dividing walls, areas below (or even above) a staircase, or little nooks or alcoves that were created by the house’s unique design are all common examples. You might not think much about these areas, but if you consider them for a moment, you might see how they could be some serious missed opportunities. With a little bit of creativity, though, you can change all of that for the better.

That blank wall around a doorway doesn’t have to stay empty, and the space under the stairs isn’t just for boy wizards anymore. There are a number of ways that you can revamp these empty and otherwise useless spaces and make your home more functional and fun in the process. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Surfaces and Seating

Look around your home at the various nooks and crannies that seem to just be empty space. With a little bit of work, it’s easy to add seating, tables, desks, and more to these areas and make them much more functional. Once you start thinking creatively, a whole wealth of options opens up.

Some of the open space in your foyer could have benches added for you and your family to sit and get your shoes on in the morning, possibly with bins that slide under the benches to keep those shoes in when they’re not being worn. A little alcove could be a great place to install a small desk or computer workstation for homework, bill paying, creative writing, or even grabbing a quick bite to eat. You could even stick a chaise lounge or part of a sectional couch in a largely unused corner to give people a private place to wind down or relax. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Storage and Organization

Some of these seemingly useless places can be a great place to add storage solutions to your home. Shelves and cabinets can instantly transform empty walls, giving you additional storage even in the small spaces around doorways or in closets. Drawers are also great additions, as are sliding cabinet racks that pull out and then slide fully back into the wall. There are even more options available if you really want to get creative.

If your kitchen has a small dividing wall separating it from other rooms, consider adding a built-in wine rack within it to hold a few of your favorite bottles. A pull-out vertical cabinet next to the sink or stove can also be a great area to add a spice rack or store cutting boards. Bookcases are relatively easy to install, and if you have a large unused area, it might even be an ideal place to add a built-in pantry. Not only do details like these really liven up your home, but they can also help reduce clutter in other areas and make everything a bit more organized in general.

A Use for Every Space

You might be surprised at just how much space there is in your home for these types of projects. The options can increase even more if you start looking at the outside of your home or in the garage, too. While some projects might require a bit of work, others are simple modifications that can really go a long way toward improving both the look and functionality of your home.

If you aren’t sure where to start, consider bringing in an interior designer or general contractor to discuss what you want and see what your options are. HomeKeepr can help you find the right pro for the job, too. Sign up for a free account today to get connected with professionals in your area that can help make your renovation dreams come true. They may even be able to offer up suggestions you haven’t even thought of yet.

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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Weekly Market Snapshot 6/10 – 6/16

June 16th, 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

Tips for a Better Credit Score!

June 15th, 2021 by tisner


When you realize that you are ready to afford a home of your own, the first and most important item to consider is your financial situation.  For a lender to see you as a good prospect, the first thing they look at is your credit score.  While there are ve
ry few perfect scores, you can (and should!) take the time to improve it before you start looking at prospective homes. 

  • Begin by requesting a free credit report from all three reporting agencies.   Look for errors and report them to the credit bureau and company that posted them.  Legitimate collections that have been paid will not be removed from your credit history for seven years, although they will be marked as paid. 
  • Late payments hurt your credit score.  Stay current by creating a written budget with due dates for your bills or set up automatic drafts through your bank. 
  • Pay off your credit cards!  This is particularly important, because the more outstanding debt you have, the lower your score.  Begin by paying off the smallest balance. Larger balances can be paid off sooner by increasing your payments or send equal payments twice per month if the creditor allows. 
  • According to FICO™, it is better to pay off a credit card than canceling the account.  Use it as minimally as possible–simply charging a once-a-month take-out meal will keep it active. 
  • Having just one credit account in good standing is better than none for those who have not started establishing credit history. Shop around for a credit card with a good interest rate and apply.  
  • Avoid new credit accounts while you are trying to bring your score up. Pay cash for everything, and if you do not have the cash, unless it is an emergency, do not buy it. 
  • When you cannot see a light at the end of the financial tunnel, contact a reputable credit repair agency that can assist you in getting your bills paid, manage your finances, and increase your chance of becoming a homeowner. 

Plan on spending up to a year to bring your credit score up to a number that will impress lenders, not to mention getting a better interest rate.  Much like taking up exercise and a new diet to get into shape, take it slow, increase your efforts every month, and you will soon be showing off the results–in your new home! 

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: nerdwallet

Weekly Market Snapshot 6/3 – 6/9

June 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

HVAC Hacks for High Ceilings

June 9th, 2021 by tisner


Many people like homes with high ceilings because of the spaciousness they convey and the vertical space they provide for hangings, artwork, and a variety of other items. There are a few drawbacks to high ceilings, though, and one significant one is how difficult they can make heating and cooling your home. If you aren’t careful, those high ceilings that look so nice can result in a significant increase in your heating and cooling costs when compared to similar homes with lower ceilings. This doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to spend a lot on heating and cooling, however; there are a few things that you can do to make your HVAC system more efficient in your home even if you do have high ceilings.

Improve Air Circulation

One big thing that you can do is to get the air in your home moving by using ceiling fans or other types of fans. Even though the fans won’t heat or cool the air on their own, they do move the hot or cold air around to provide a more comfortable environment overall. This can be especially important during the hottest parts of summer and the coldest parts of winter, as in both instances fans keep hot air from collecting up high and cool air from staying too low for you to really enjoy.

A whole-house fan can help in this regard as well, especially in the heat of summer. This type of fan will remove the hottest air from your home, which keeps your attic from heating up the rest of the house or trapping warm air. Once the days start cooling down, the fan can then be shut off and insulated to keep warm air from escaping.

Make Use of the System Fan

Most people keep their HVAC system on automatic, which uses the system fan to circulate air while the air conditioning or heater is on and then shuts it off afterward. Just like with ceilings fans, though, the system fan can help to circulate air even when the unit isn’t actively heating or cooling the air. This circulation helps to eliminate stagnant, still air that can seem uncomfortable regardless of the temperature you’re shooting for.

Turning on the system fan can be useful throughout the year, but it’s especially useful during the summer when it’s coolest near the floors. HVAC registers at the floor level will move that cool air higher into your home. The added air circulation also provides some benefit in winter too, helping to get heat out from around the high ceilings and down into the rest of the house. During the milder spring and fall, you can enjoy the added air circulation if you wish or simply switch the fan back to auto.

Consider Your HVAC System

If your HVAC system can’t keep up even with additional air circulation, it may be that your unit is too exposed outdoors or simply isn’t powerful enough to fully heat and cool your home. If possible, your HVAC unit should be in the shade for at least part of the day to keep its components as cool as possible even during the heat of summer. Installing a shade or awning over the unit can be one way to accomplish this, just so long as you don’t use large supports or side pieces that could restrict airflow. If the unit is too small, though, there’s not much that you can do other than installing supplementary air conditioning or heating solutions or upgrading the whole system.

If you’re not sure whether you need an HVAC upgrade, HomeKeepr can help with this. You can connect with HVAC pros in your area who will help you determine whether your unit is the right size for your home and who can provide the maintenance necessary to keep it running smoothly all year long. Best of all, you can sign up with HomeKeepr for free.

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 5/27 – 6/2

June 3rd, 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

Get Your Ducts in a Row!

June 2nd, 2021 by tisner


Do you ever ponder your floor joists? Or give serious considerations to the cladding under your siding? Of course not! There are parts of your home that just work, and you never have to really do anything about them. Although ductwork seems like one of those out of sight, out of mind things, it’s actually one that you should look into now and again.

Dirty Ducts Spew Dirt Cheap
Sure, you change your furnace filter religiously, as you should, but that doesn’t mean that the dust in your house is taken care of. Over time, ductwork collects dirt too, especially when your vents are on the floor. The filter can only catch the dirt that goes into it; it can’t do much for dirt that settles in ductwork through open vents. Over time your ductwork can get pretty dirty, despite your best efforts.

What happens when you get dirty ducts? Well, you have a dirty house. All that free-floating dust, pet hair, loose skin cells, and other bits of tiny debris can and do land inside your vents, which allows them to blow even further into your ducts. Not to mention the trash and other objects that can easily slip through a vent grate to be lost forever. The older your home, the more layers of dirt that can pile up in your ventilation system.

Allergens Hiding in Your Ductwork

Knowing someone else’s dirt is blowing back at you from your vents is bad enough, but did you know that layers of allergens can also take up residence in dirty ducts? Sure, the last owner’s cat is long gone, but his dander may still be inside the ductwork, blowing out every time you kick on the heat or air, along with generations of pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and other potential sources of severe allergic reactions. Ducts seem so harmless until you consider that they’re really receptacles. Air moves through them, but there’s no seal to keep other things from moving back inside. They’re a hidden source of dirt and stress for so many homeowners.

What Can I Do About Dirty Ducts?

You have a few options when it comes to dirty ductwork. The first, and easiest, is to get your ducts cleaned by a professional. They use special tools to agitate the ducts and create negative pressure to suck the dirt right out, never to be seen again. When the cleaning is finished, you’ve got ducts that are almost as good as new, and you can continue to maintain them by frequently vacuuming inside your vents and grates to help reduce the dirt that moves deeper into the ductwork.

Your other option would be to go ductless. Although this is kind of a big job, you could switch your HVAC system over to one that has no ductwork, such as something utilizing electric baseboards or ductless mini-split systems, depending on your local climate. An HVAC expert can guide you through what’s involved in eliminating or redesigning the ductwork in your home if your allergies are particularly problematic or your ducts are creating other issues. You can still have climate control without ducts!

Looking for Help with Your Ducts?

Deciding what comes next for your ductwork can be a complicated decision. Cleaning your ducts is by far a less expensive solution than installing a whole new ductless heating and air conditioning system, but it’s a choice you’ll have to repeat again and again if you want to keep those ducts as clean as possible. If you’re on the fence, your best option is to consult with an HVAC expert before you choose. But where can you find one you can trust? Just look in your HomeKeepr community for a recommendation! The community can steer you in the right direction towards either an HVAC installer or an HVAC expert that does duct cleaning – they’re both just a click away!

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

Items Every Orlando FL Homeowner Should Have

May 25th, 2021 by tisner

Becoming a homeowner usually means becoming a do-it-yourselfer, even if there are no plans to take on a major renovation. There is almost always a small job to do or an emergency that can be taken care of by having the right things standing by. What basic tools and other items does a homeowner need? 

  • Fire extinguisher Visit the USFA to see what type of extinguisher is needed for the kitchen, workshop, or multipurpose fires. 
  • Portable safe Secure important papers, valuables, and other important items in a portable safe. This could be quite an investment when upgrading to fireproof materials or digital passcodes, but valuables and irreplaceable items need to be protected. 
  • Cleaning items This seems obvious, but a good broom and dustpan, bucket, microfiber cleaning cloths, “shop rags,” and a flat mop are all that is needed to keep a home sparkling. 
  • Simple tools: A hammer, heavy-duty scissors, screwdrivers, hex key tool, measuring tape, handsaw, and more; all of these things will make a homeowner’s life much easier when they need them. 
  • Emergency kit FEMA offers a build-your-own kit list with everything necessary for an emergency. 
  • Heavy-duty extension cord Do not use an indoor-rated cord outdoors. A cord that can handle a large capacity of electricity and bad weather conditions is best. 
  • Wet-dry vacuum Having one of these handy can save clean up time from a dishwasher leak, or spilled nails on the floor.  
  • Ladder A sturdy stepladder or six-foot A-frame is best for smaller jobs. Find out what ladder is best for the job. 
  • Lawn and garden tools Besides a garden hose, mower, and string trimmer, every homeowner with a yard needs a leaf rake, shovel, pruning shears, and a wheelbarrow. 

Not only do homeowners need physical items for upkeep, learning how to do different jobs in the home saves money and builds confidence to handle regular maintenance, which could lead to bigger things! With the right tools on hand and a little know-how, being able to care for a new home is a great satisfaction without a price tag! 

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: nyt

Weekly Market Snapshot 5/13 – 5/19

May 20th, 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

Considering a Yard Pond?

May 19th, 2021 by tisner


Ponds are increasingly popular water features for homeowners. Having a small decorative pond in your yard can help you unwind, provide a unique ecosystem for certain animals, and just generally add some beauty to your property. With that said, it’s important to realize that installing a yard pond is a bigger task than just digging a hole and adding some water. Before diving into a pond project, it’s important that you stop to consider everything that’s involved with the installation, as well as some of the things you’ll need for upkeep once the pond is finished. This isn’t meant to discourage you, just to make you sure that you’re aware of all of this before you get too far into your planning.

Installing a Yard Pond

Yard ponds can range in size between a small 550-gallon pond to one that holds 2,000 gallons or more, so it’s important to take the time to plan exactly how large you want your pond to be. Try outlining your pond with a rope to get an idea of its dimensions, then add an extra 2 feet or so around the entire border to account for transitionary plants, rocks, and other border features. You’ll want to keep an eye on the area once you have it outlined, since most pond plants require at least six hours of sunlight or more per day to thrive.

You’ll also need to have a way to get power to the pond to power any pumps or fountains that you use to circulate water, and a means to add additional water as needed if your local rainfall isn’t sufficient to counter evaporation. Other necessities include a pond liner to keep the water from simply soaking into the ground, any fish or plants that you want to add to the pond once it’s installed, and a pond net or skimmer to keep leaves, seed pods, and similar items from clogging up your pump in the spring and fall. In addition to all of that, you may also need permits or other legal documents before you can break ground, and you will likely have to have a survey to mark underground pipes and wires to avoid potential fines.

Yard Pond Upkeep

Once a pond is installed, there are some things you should keep in mind as part of your ongoing maintenance plan. You’ll need to check your pond every week for leaves, debris, and other things that might gunk up the works and potentially harm fish or plants, though this can be negated with a pond net during the fall or other times when a lot of potential debris is likely. Checking the water level is also important, especially during the summer. If you have cold winters, you may also need a heater or air bubbler to keep everything from freezing as well. In most cases you will only need to spend around 15 to 30 minutes a week checking on these issues, but that can vary depending on where you live.

Another thing you’ll want to consider is insects. While dragonflies and similar insects are often a welcome sight around ponds, water features like this can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes if you aren’t careful. Making sure that the water is sufficiently circulated or adding products that are designed to prevent mosquito growth without harming fish or other animals are good ways to take care of this problem, though some of these treatments may have to be repeated multiple times per year. Certain fish may also help to keep the mosquito population under control.

Ready to Build Your Pond?

A yard pond can be a major undertaking, but it can really pay off once it’s finished. If you’re not sure where to start, it’s a good idea to consult with a landscaper or water feature installer in your area to see what will work best for your property. HomeKeepr can help you connect with the pros you need to make your pond dreams a reality; sign up for a free account today to get started.

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

Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
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Celebration, Fl 34747

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