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Who’s Who When Buying a Home

March 31st, 2020 by tisner

Unless you’re paying cash for a new home, there will be more than just you, your real estate agent, the seller and their agent involved in the process. Appraisers, lenders, inspectors are just a few of the professionals you’ll come across, and it will relieve some stress on your part if you know ahead of time who they are and what part they’ll play during your house hunt. 

  • Mortgage lenders in order to be adequately prepared to begin looking for a new house, you should be pre-approved. It’s best if you look at a few different lenders in order to find the best loan, so before you go, see what the balance recommends for finding the right mortgage for you. 
  • Real Estate Agents The agent you choose to assist you on your new home search is extremely important, as they will be your resource and constant contact throughout the home-buying process. In most transactions, there will be a listing agent representing the sellers, but it’s unlikely you’ll be meeting them. 
  • Appraiser Your lender wants to be certain that the house you want to buy is worth what the seller is asking and will have a home appraisal done by a qualified person.  Learn more about what’s involved with the appraisal from realtor.com®. 
  • Home Inspector Once your offer has been accepted, it’s in your best interest to hire an inspector to go over your prospective new home.  You don’t want any surprises with structural issues or mold or insect infestation after you have the keys in hand. Call a few before you decide who to hire, and ask these important questions when you contact them. 
  • Homeowners Insurance Agent This agent should be familiar to you, as you already have auto or even renter’s insurance. Most insurance companies offer a discount for having more than one policy with them, and it may be an easy fit to go with your current company. Don’t let that stop you from shopping around for better rates, however. 
  • Real Estate Attorney Many states require you to hire an attorney, as they will go over all the documents, handle funds, and perform the title search, to name a few of their jobs during the home sale process. Find out why it’s always a good idea to have a real estate attorney, whether it’s the law or an option. 
  • Title Insurer  In case there are any questions about the sale of the home being legitimate (no liens, family feuds, etc.), you’ll need title insurance, and in most cases, the lender or attorney will already have that lined up. 
  • Mortgage Servicer Sometimes, a lender will sell your loan to a mortgage servicer, and you will be notified if that happens. Learn the difference between a lender and a servicer at Investopedia.  

Not all of these will be involved in your situation, and you may come across another professional or service during your experience.  Every one of them, however, is important for a smooth transaction, protecting you and your largest investment. 

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

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

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

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Photo credit: www.bls.gov

Social Distancing Tips for You and Your Family

March 24th, 2020 by tisner


Schools are closing for (hopefully) short periods all over the country, businesses are closing temporarily, and more people are staying put at home.  It’s hard not to be anxious during this time of uncertainty but
 staying home shouldn’t be a bad thing! Relieve some of the extra stress with any of these distractions for the kids, and yourself! 

Ideas for the Kids   

  • First and foremost, be certain you have some schoolwork time. Teachers and school administrators across the country are doing their best to keep your children learning, whether through online access or hard-copy work being sent home.  If having a designated area becomes tedious, allow them to make a work area on the floor, in a homemade tent, outside in the backyard–it doesn’t matter where it’s done, so long as they work on their assignments. 
  • If you have a book lover and can’t get to the library, check out these free read-aloud sitesStoryline Online is sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild, and you’ll find the likes of Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog;  Barnes & Noble has nineteen children’s classics; We Are Teachers has author read-aloud and activities for up to middle-school ages. 
  • You don’t have to be stuck inside–teach children the joy of old school games like Mother May I?, Simon Says, Red Light Green Light, hide and seek, and good old tag are all great games to play that you can participate in, and help the kids (and maybe you, too!) release some pent-up energy. Fatherly has some great ideas to play when you must be inside. 
  • Fun science experiments with common household items can be fun for everyone! 
  • When nerves start getting frazzled, the younger kids will like Cosmic Kids Yoga videos on YouTube. 

Tips for the Grown-Ups 

  • According to RescueTime, we are only truly productive for 2.8 hours per day. Taking that into consideration if you’re having to work from home, break up your work and the children’s learning time into two 90-minute periods, or three one-hour periods.   
  • Practicing social distancing simply means you’re not going out to public places, nor are you spending time with friends and family. Need to go for a jog? It’s fine! Need some reading time in the sunshine? Use your backyard or balcony!  
  • Start Spring cleaning, get the garden ready, or get to those little DIY jobs you’ve been putting off! 
  • Have you been wanting to learn a skill, like watercolor, knitting, or something else you can do at home? Look for instructional videos on YouTube and get started–you have no excuse! 
  • Check on your neighbors. If you can call them or text them, do; in the case of an elderly neighbor that lives alone, leave a note in their mailbox or taped to their front door with your phone number, asking them to call if there’s anything they need, even if it’s just to talk. 

We must keep in mind that “This too, shall pass.” Some days will be harder than others during the next few weeks, but with a good attitude, and that adage in mind, you will get through. Stay connected to friends and family and remind yourself that you’re simply keeping yourself and your family members as safe as you can in uncertain times! 

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

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

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

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Photo credit: crosswalk

Should You Refinance Your Home

March 17th, 2020 by tisner


When interest rates drop, many who are still paying a mortgage start thinking about refinancing their home. Other reasons why they choose to refinance; the desire to change to a fixed rate, debt consolidation, or hoping to lower their monthly payments. Whi
le all of these are good, sound reasons to refinance, they all have pros and cons.  

  • Lowering your interest rate can save money. It will not save much if you’ve already been paying on your home for several years, however, especially if you refinance with a 30-year mortgage. Investopedia says that going for the new rate is a good idea if you can reduce your rate by 2%. 
  • When credit card debt is included in a debt consolidation refinance, homeowners risk losing their home for unsecured debt if they cannot keep up the payments. Credit counseling would be a better step to take first if you are considering debt consolidation to pay off credit cards. 
  • Refinancing to lower your monthly payment sounds great until you realize that a lower payment only comes with a longer pay-back term and paying more interest in the end. 
  • Let’s say you’re making more money and would like to shorten the term of your mortgage by having a higher monthly payment. Nerdwallet suggests that you ask yourself a few questions, then decide if you should refinance or just pay more on your current loan every month. 
  • Has your credit score gone up? If so, find out if you can get a better interest rate as a result. Again, be sure you’ll be saving money in the end before you sign the dotted line. 
  • You can turn your home’s equity into cash with a cash-out refinance, and if the money is needed for some home improvements or investing, it may be a better way to get the cash. The drawback comes in when the return on investment doesn’t work out, and the equity in the home is lost. 

Closely examining your reasons and goals for refinancing will help you make this decision. Don’t forget to factor in closing costs and other refinancing fees. These can add up, just like when the house was first purchased, and may not be much of a savings at all when it’s all said and done. 

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: investopedia

Windermere Florida Real Estate Market Report for February 2020

March 13th, 2020 by tisner

The Windermere Real Estate Market Trends Report shows the average sales price was $601,962 in February 2020 compared to $639,594 in February 2019. Homes were on the market for an average of 66 days, compared to 75 last year. Homes sold for 97% of the list price.

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!

Kissimmee Florida Real Estate Market Report for February 2020

March 13th, 2020 by tisner

The Kissimmee Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34741 shows 47 homes sold in February 2020 up from 46 in February 2019. The average sales price was $213,467 compared to $186,125 in February 2019 and homes were on the market an average of 41 days, compared to 46 days in February 2019.

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!

Celebration Florida Real Estate Market Report for February 2020

March 13th, 2020 by tisner

The Celebration Real Estate Market Trends Report for 34747 shows 131 homes sold in February 2020 compared to 106 in February 2019. The average sales price was $332,821 compared to $327,177 in February 2019 and homes were on the market an average of 74 days, compared to 92 days in February 2019.

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!

Why Your Mortgage Payments Change

March 10th, 2020 by tisner


Your mortgage payment is probably the largest one in your monthly budget, and you assume it will be the same amount for the next 30 years. That may not always be the case, however, and that depends on a few factors. Be prepared for changes, and understand 
those changes: 

  • If you paid less than a 20% down payment, you are required to have Mortgage Insurance with FHA and USDA loans, while Private Mortgage Insurance is required with other lenders. In some cases,, these can be removed, and your mortgage payment will reflect the change. 
  • An Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) has a set interest rate for a certain amount of time, and after that time is up, the interest rate will vary. When the rates change, your payments will, too. Learn more about ARMs from Investopedia. 
  • Changes in escrow are almost unavoidable. What is escrow? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s definition: “An escrow account…is set up by your mortgage lender to pay certain property-related expenses.”  When property taxes or insurance premiums increase, your current payments won’t reflect that change, and that results in an escrow shortage. The shorted amount will be added to your loan payment, plus the new amount for adjusted increases. To avoid paying extra every month for the shortage, pay the amount in full as soon as you receive your annual escrow statement. 
  • What if you don’t have an escrow account on your mortgage, and you don’t pay your property taxes?  Lenders don’t want to foreclose on a home because of delinquent property taxes. To protect their money, they can add the amount to your current loan payment or open an escrow account for your loan. 
  • Homeowners insurance is a requirement when you have a loan on the home. If yours lapses, or you don’t have enough insurance on the house, lenders have the right to purchase a policy, called “forced-place insurance.” They will send you the bill for the premium, which is probably more expensive than your current payment.  

While escrow accounts aren’t always a requirement, it would benefit your budget to request one when you are applying for the mortgage. Keep an eye on your insurance information as well as your property taxes so you won’t be surprised when your monthly payment increases. Having an emergency savings account can help ease any of these burdens.   

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: taxact blog

High State-to-State Migration Boosts Orange County and Orlando Real Estate

March 9th, 2020 by tisner

Florida sees the highest levels of interstate migration across the US. And, of the Sunshine State’s most populous counties, Orange County received the highest number of such newcomers as a proportion of the population there. The county seat, Orlando, has flourishing industries and strong job market, and surely benefits from this influx of people and skills.

A recent study by STORAGECafe, a website that provides storage unit listings across the country, investigated the moving patterns of Americans who give up their home in one state for a new life in another. The data used was taken from the US Census. Additional data about the cost of interstate moving was obtained from United Van Lines, the largest full-service moving company in the US.

Florida’s Interstate Moving Trends

It’s hardly news that Florida, with its great weather and entertainment options, is a popular place to move to. The study found that in 2018 around 587,000 people moved there from elsewhere in the contiguous US—that’s a rate of 11 people every 10 minutes. The state that provided the most newcomers was New York, with 63,033, which is 11% of all the total incoming migrants. Next on the list were other regions to the north: Georgia (35,350), Virginia (31,798), Pennsylvania (31,712) and New Jersey (30,105). The study calculated that a New Yorker would need to pay between $3,900 and $4,300 to move the contents of an average 2-bedroom home to Florida.

Outbound migration, the number of people who left the Sunshine State for another one, was almost 471,000 during the same timeframe, significantly less than inbound migration. Floridians had little desire to set up home in New York State, with only 24,084 making that journey—about a third of those moving in the opposite direction. The states receiving the highest numbers of Floridians were Georgia (51,020), North Carolina (37,585), Texas (37,262) and Tennessee (26,724). The cost of moving to the first two of these states was calculated to be $3,400-$3,800 in both cases.

Orlando and Orange County Trends

Although in 2012 Orange County was only the fifth-most populous in Florida, with 1,169,107 people, in terms of inbound interstate migration it ranked third between 2013-2017 with 36,645 newcomers, behind Hillsborough (38,040) and Palm Beach (36,732) counties. When inbound interstate migration is calculated as a percentage of population, it can be seen that Orange County also scores highly relative to its size during this timeframe, growing by 3.13%. These figures can be seen in the table below.

Here’s a reminder of the many outstanding reasons why people might come and live in The City Beautiful! The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s non-seasonally-adjusted figures for December 2019 reveal that the unemployment rates for Orange County and the Orlando Metro area were low at 2.4% and 2.5% respectively, not higher than the Florida average of 2.5% and well below the national average of 3.4%. The fact that Orlando is classified as one of the state’s most hurricane-safe cities may be another factor that encourages people to move here.

Impact on Local Real Estate Markets

The positive impact of state-to-state migration on Orlando and can be seen in the buoyancy of the local real estate markets there. Yardi Matrix data reveals that the city is performing well compared both to Florida as a whole and to other metropolitan areas in the state.

In 2018 and 2019, 54 multifamily properties of 50 or more units were constructed in Orlando, with a total of 16,362 dwellings. No Florida city matched this activity: Miami built 52 properties with 14,217 units, while in the Tampa–St Petersburg–Clearwater metro area 35 properties were constructed with 8,507 units. At the beginning of 2020, Orlando residential rents averaged about $1,370, compared to $1,707 in Miami and $1,394 statewide in Florida.

In the self-storage sector, 36 properties were built in 2018 and 2019, with a total of 3,414,401 sq. ft. This compares very favorably with the rest of Florida, where only Tampa–St Petersburg–Clearwater saw great activity—45 properties with 3,925,182 sq. ft. At the start of this year, the average rent for a non-climate controlled 10×10 unit in Orlando was $100, whereas it was somewhat higher both in Florida as a whole and nationwide, $106 and $114 respectively.

The STORAGECafe study concluded that quality of living, business climate, taxes and the weather are major factors in deciding whether people choose to migrate to another state. (The state receiving the second-highest number of people moving interstate was Texas, which also has low taxes and plenty of sunshine, and California took third place.) While migrating across the country for jobs and better living conditions has slowly decreased over the last few decades, Orlando demonstrates that a vibrant city with plenty of employment and entertainment opportunities is still going to be a much-favored destination. There is clearly confidence in Orlando’s self-storage and property rental sectors, and yet prices are not as high there as in some nearby places—it can be concluded that The City Beautiful is a great place to move to right now.

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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By: Aura Mogosanu, STORAGECafé, storagecafe.com

Staging Your Home Inexpensively

March 3rd, 2020 by tisner


If you’ve made the decision to put your home on the market, your Realtor
® has probably told you that staging plays an important part in the sales process.  You have a little painting you’d like to do, as well as do some work in the kitchen, but a full house staging just isn’t in your budget. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of having to fork out a lot of money to make your house looks perfect–there are inexpensive ways to stage your house, and here are just a few: 

  • Discount department stores are full of inexpensive home decor: faux plants, decorative pillows, framed art and mirrors.  
  • Sheer window panels cost less than half the cost of new curtains, allowing natural light to shine through, which is a huge plus, as a dark house isn’t on very many house hunters’ lists. 
  • After cleaning carpets or even refinishing hardwood floors, an area rug or runner to brighten and protect them may be necessary.  
  • The bathrooms can be given a fresh look with new shower curtains and a set of fluffy white linens in each room. 
  • Big box stores are the source for inexpensive cabinetry hardware, light fixtures, as well as faucets that you may choose to replace. 
  • A vase of fresh flowers brightens any room!  Discount bouquets or even single blossoms can be purchased in department store produce sections or flower markets and can last a week or more if cared for properly. 
  • If you’re planning on placing a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter, purchase oranges or apples instead of lemons. They can be eaten by the family, which saves money, as they won’t be tossed out! 
  • On the outside, inexpensive mulch can transform the flowerbeds.  Pots with annuals planted in them are all you need for a splash of color on the front steps. 

If you must use what you have, like many homeowners, ask your agent if they can recommend a stylist that specializes in redecorating with what is available. The cost would be much less than using an interior decorator, not to mention less stress for you.   

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: guaranteed rate

Invest Your Tax Refund in Your Home

February 25th, 2020 by tisner


A recent survey by 
Credit Karma shows that “46% of respondents expect to get refunds of more than $1,000 in 2020 (for their 2019 taxes)…” Now, we won’t get into the financial sense of tax refunds, but if you are one of that 46%, and you’re planning on doing some homework with your refund, here are a few suggestions on how best to spend that money! 

$1,000 or Less 

  • Add or improve your front walkway.  Whether you plan on putting your home on the market soon or not, a new walkway will improve the curb appeal.  
  • Replacing the front door is an expensive job, but you can create a whole new look for the front exterior of your home just by having a new front entranceway. 
  • Install new light fixtures, especially if you’re tired of the builders-grade fixtures. If you shop smart, you can get stylish new flush-mount lights for every room. 
  • Do a minor bathroom renovation:  replace the toilet, faucets, and lights, and give the tub/shower a makeover with a refinishing kit. 
  • Paint the kitchen cabinets, replace the hardware, and add a tile backsplash. You won’t believe what a difference those three minor renos will make! 
  • Upgrade one appliance kitchen appliance.  

$1,000-$2,000 

  • Any repairs that you’ve put off because of cost should be done before any improvements to renovating is done. Protecting your investment is more important than new bathroom tile. 
  • If your front lawn is a black canvas, hire a landscape designer to create some improvements.  
  • Have your “popcorn” ceilings removed by a pro and add new crown molding.  
  • Tankless water heaters, whether you choose whole-house or single-point, are worth the investment as you’ll see a difference in your electric bills. 
  • If you’re handy, you can take on a DIY job and save money: paint your home’s exterior, install new flooring, add wainscoting, or install kitchen countertops. 

As much as you’d like to see something physical after spending your tax refund, paying any accumulated debt down or investing it will pay you back in the long run. Check out these ideas from Investopedia,  and take off some of that financial load you may be bearing! 

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: berkshirehillsfinancial.com

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Celebration, Fl 34747

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