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Choosing the Correct Fencing for Your Home

July 14th, 2020 by tisner


Are you looking for backyard privacy or need to provide a safe space for children to play or for pets to exercise? Deciding to install fencing on your property takes a few major decisions.  With so many types available, the purchase process can be confusin
g. Here, we will look at different types of fencing material to help you make your decision. 

  • The most common types of fencing are wood, vinyl, and metal.  
  • The type of wood you choose depends on your budget. Pine is inexpensive and treated to resist rot and insects. Different types of cedar and Douglas fir, on the other hand, is naturally resistant to moisture and pests and will cost more upfront. 
  • Wood composites are made of sawdust and recycled plastic. It looks like wood and comes in many styles, finishes, and colors. Most manufacturers of composites offer a warranty on their products, making it a more expensive choice, but a long-lasting one. 
  • Vinyl fencing is almost maintenance-free and comes in many styles. Costs are high initially, but its durability and little upkeep pay for themselves in the end. 
  • Wrought iron, aluminum, and chain link fencing are all long-lasting choices. Chain link is likely the easiest for DIY, but the others would be best installed by a pro. Maintenance for wrought iron mostly consists of painting and keeping an eye out for rust.  
  • If cost is not an option but security and durability are your concerns, there is the option to have steel fencing installed.  
  • Hiring a fencing contractor is a smart move because they are knowledgeable about materials and styles that perform well in your area.  Installing fences is what they do; their expertise can save you money and time in the long run. 

Consider a living fence, grown from such plants as privet or another evergreen, but that will require some patience as the plants fill in. Remember to check with your local municipality or homeowner’s association for permits and regulations regarding your plans. 

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: Rustic Fence Company

Green Indoor Gardening

July 7th, 2020 by tisner


Fresh produce, right in your own home, using what you have? Yes, it is possible! 
Gardening is just one way to boost your mental health, and when you are using what you have as planters, and even food scraps to get your plants, it is a win-win!  

So many of our food containers get tossed into the recycle bin these days, so why not use them for planting? Plastic is the easiest material to plant in because you will need to drill holes in the bottom for drainage. Add small gravel or shredded newspaper to the bottom to help the water drain away, and fill with potting soil made for indoor plants. Ideas are not limited to these types of containers: 

  • Coffee containers 
  • Milk jugs 
  • Laundry detergent/bleach jugs 
  • Disinfectant or baby wipe containers 
  • Soft drink bottles 
  • Cat litter jugs 

Metal cans and tins would work well, too, especially for plants with shallow roots. Add sturdy tape (like electrical tape) around the top edge, use a hammer and large nail to put in drainage holes, and you can have an indoor herb garden on your windowsill! Another–and surprising–idea is using cardboard boxes to grow a variety of plants, depending on the depth of the soil in the box. Why not give this unique approach to container gardening? Birds & Blooms tested out a few different methods and found the right way to use boxes.  

Plants that will grow well indoors: 

  • Root vegetables like carrots, onions, beets 
  • Most herbs:  basil, parsley, sage, dill, rosemary, chives 
  • Tomatoes can be grown inside, but that job is best for Winter, as a sunny window can get too hot inside. 
  • Houseplants do not have to be only green in color! Add a burst of color to your interior with African violets, begonias, kalanchoe, jasmine, and geraniums. 

Another way to save waste–specifically food waste–is to regenerate food scraps instead of throwing them out or composting them! 

  • Leafy veggies like lettuce, celery, or bok choy will sprout new plants from the base. Placed cut-side up in a dish with about ½” of water in a sunny window will soon produce new leaves, and eventually, a full-grown plant ready for the table! 
  • Try the other side of root vegetables, the greens, by placing the cut-off top of a beet, turnip, or other root vegetable into a dish of water. Leaves can be sautéed or used in a salad. 
  • Many have seen how to grow a pineapple plant from scraps, but other fruits may need more care and patience.   
  • Seeds from peppers will produce plants, just be sure to use seeds from the red fruit; the green peppers, though delicious, are not ripe, and neither is the seeds inside. 
  • Planting seed from fruits like apples and even citruses can be fun to watch grow into a small tree, but all take years before producing any yield. Avocado trees, for instance, can take up to thirteen years before producing. 

If you plan on creating a growing space inside, make sure the amount of sun, the temperature and humidity levels are right, and you can have a small garden at your fingertips. Not to mention that gardening is good for the soul, and we all can use some of that 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.

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

Photo credit: Chicago Sun Times 

Closet Clean-Out!

June 30th, 2020 by tisner

Do you open your closets with dread, knowing it’s going to take several minutes to find that certain pair of shoes, or for fear that something will fall off the top shelf onto your head? As dreaded as it can be, now is a great time to get said closets cleaned out and better organized! The longer you dread it, the more it will be piled up, so let’s get to work now! 

Clothes First 

  • Have an empty box or laundry basket handy and take everything on the handing rod off so that you must look at everything as you’re cleaning. 
  • If it hasn’t been worn in six months, doesn’t fit, or you simply don’t like it anymore, get rid of it.  
  • Try on anything that you’re not sure about. If you still love it, and it fits, keep it. Otherwise, send it to the declutter box. 
  • Business attire can be donated to charities that assist those on limited incomes with their wardrobe for job-hunting.  Women’s clothing can be donated through dressforsuccess.org, and men’s clothing is accepted through careergear.org. Be sure to check with any organizations for their policies for donations. 
  • Once you’ve gone through everything, re-hang your items by color or season so you won’t be spending a lot of time hunting them down. 

Shoes, Accessories, etc. 

  • Same as with clothing, get rid of any shoes or accessories you haven’t worn in a long time, no matter the reason.  
  • Organizing shoes can be a pain with or without their original boxes. Purchase clear plastic shoe boxes in bulk at a discount store and use them to store lesser-worn shoes. 
  • Place hangers on the back of the closet door or other little-used space, and hang hats, ties, scarves or even jewelry.  Keep your most-used items at eye-level. 
  • Storing sweaters on a hanger isn’t the best thing for the sweater–they’ll end up misshapen. Fold them and place them in a plastic storage container lined with fabric softener sheets or sachets. A hanging shoe organizer would be another great way to keep them in shape--just roll them up and put them in the pockets. 

General Closet Organization 

  • Add a second rod to your hanging space, which can be a DIY for one day, or purchase a kit that makes this one a cinch to add more storage. 
  • For closets with limited space, use wall-mount towel rods and shower curtain hangers to hang handbags or other odds and ends. 
  • Use laundry baskets for storing odd items on the top shelf. 

Don’t forget to wipe the closet down when you remove everything for sorting. Wipe down the walls and shelving with a mild cleanser and warm water. Once everything is clean and organized, set aside an hour at every season’s change to keep it that way. 

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: vibe

Smart Homes and Mesh Networks

June 25th, 2020 by tisner


Smart homes and smart home tech are becoming increasingly popular these days. Various smart home devices, sensors and more can add new functions to a home, automating some tasks and even increasing your home’s security. Unfortunately, some homeowners run into problems with smart home devices that have to be on the same home network to interact. Traditional WiFi extenders sometimes create separate but overlapping networks, meaning that devices outside of the range of your wireless router might not work correctly.

There are ways to get around this, however. One option is to set up a mesh network within your home. Unlike traditional WiFi extenders, mesh network extenders create a single wireless network that all your devices can attach to. If you’re considering adding smart home devices and have signal problems within your home, a mesh network setup is definitely worth considering.

What Exactly Is a Mesh Network?

With a standard WiFi network, your router or other access point typically serves as a hub for network connectivity and any extenders or other network components connect directly to it. Mesh networks are set up a bit differently, however. In a mesh network, each device connects not only to that central hub but also to each other. This creates a “mesh” of paths throughout the network, allowing signals to route through the network in multiple ways to ensure even coverage. This helps to prevent dead spots or weak signals, eliminating the need for overlapping wireless networks.

Do You NEED a Mesh Network?

Mesh networks can be useful, especially if you’re trying to keep smart home devices on the same network so that they can interact with each other. Depending on your home and where your wireless access point is located, though, they may not be entirely necessary. If your router is centrally located, or has a strong enough signal to provide good coverage throughout your home, your smart home devices should be able to communicate even without a mesh network.

With that said, mesh networks can be very useful if some parts of your home have weaker signals than others or if you plan on adding devices outside of your home and aren’t sure how well your network will be able to handle it. Even if your network seems adequate for your needs, you may consider a mesh option to create more uniform coverage.

Smart Home Devices on the Mesh

There are a wide range of smart home devices that could benefit from being connected to a mesh network. Devices such as cameras and intrusion sensors should stay online and connected, regardless of whether they’re inside or outside the home. Likewise, safety sensors such as smart smoke detectors need to be able to communicate, as do heat sensors and even leak sensors, to ensure that your home is well covered without the need for multiple devices or apps to help them stay connected. Even devices such as smart door locks and a smart thermostat can benefit from being on the same network to make automatic temperature adjustments more intuitive depending on whether the doors are locked or not. The more you’re able to connect your devices to a single network, the more likely you are to come up with innovative ways for your various smart home devices to work together.

The Smart Home of Your Dreams

Whether you want just a couple of smart home devices or a fully automated house, picking the right components to make your home a little smarter can sometimes be a daunting task. This is especially true if the devices you want actually need to be installed as opposed to simply plugging them in. Fortunately, HomeKeepr can help you get the smart home you want. Sign up for a free account today to connect with electricians and other specialists who can help you pick the devices you need and get them installed at a price you can afford.

By: Homekeepr

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!

Six Home Items You Should Inspect Now

June 23rd, 2020 by tisner


Home ownership is a big responsibility! Sure, you have the financial responsibilities, but what about maintenance? Letting your house just sit and be a shelter for you is not
 going to work, even if you live in a newly constructed home. It is up to you to keep it in tip-top shape! Take a day to go over these items to make certain all is well at your house: 

  • Roof:  Your roof is probably your home’s most important part of its structure, so inspect it well:  take binoculars or use your phone’s camera to zoom in on the roof and look at every aspect. Check for damaged, missing, or curling shingles. For a tile roof, look for cracks or missing tiles, and metal roofs should be gone over for loose screws or damage to the metal. On a rainy day, go into the attic and check for leaks. Have any issues repaired as soon as you possibly can. 
  • Foundation:  The other important side of your home is its foundation. Check for cracks in the bricks, look at the grading around the outside (making sure water is running away from your home), and check for gaps in the outdoor walls and windows. On the inside, look for sagging floors or bowing walls, doors that do not want to close or windows that do not want to open. These are all signs of possible foundation issues. 
  • Siding:  Look for peeling, blistering, or fading paint, as these may be signs that you need new siding. Check for rot and warping on the soffits and any fascia boards. Visible mold can be a sign of a major moisture issue and should be investigated by a pro. 
  • Plumbing:  Grab a flashlight and go under your sinks and look for any signs of leaking. Toilets can leak “silently,” and you can figure out where the leak is coming from with a little food coloring and time.  Inspect around the water heater for any signs of leaks as well. 
  • Smoke/CO Detectors:  If you have battery-operated detectors, checking the batteries is fine, but you need to be sure they are working as well. CO detector kits are available at most home stores and testing a smoke alarm is as simple as blowing out a candle and allowing the stream of smoke drift towards the smoke alarm. Be sure to let everyone in the house know you are “crisis testing” the alarms! 
  • Gutters:  On a rainy day, or using the water hose, check to be sure gutters and downspouts are running freely (no clogs), and have no leaks around the seams. 

Taking the time to look carefully at possible problems in your house can save you time and money down the road, especially if you plan on reselling the house in the future. You are protecting your investment and protecting your family as well. 

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: StormGuard

Explaining the Air Conditioning Freon Ban to Buyers & Sellers

June 17th, 2020 by tisner

On January 1, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on Freon® went into full effect. This ban forbids the production or import of Freon (also called R-22) throughout the United States. Since many air conditioning units manufactured before 2010 use Freon, your Buyers and Sellers might wonder what the ban means for them. Here are some common questions you can help your Buyers and Sellers answer about the Freon ban.

Does the Freon ban require homeowners to have new air conditioning installations?

No, the ban does not require homeowners to have new air conditioning installations. If a homeowner’s current air conditioner uses Freon, they can still use that air conditioner. In fact, they can still have an air conditioning contractor recharge it with Freon.

However, finding an air conditioning contractor who works with Freon will be much more challenging. While the ban does not force HVAC technicians to stop using Freon altogether, it does make it much harder and more expensive to source. If they can find an existing supply, they can use it to recharge air conditioners. But once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. And some air conditioning contractors refuse to carry Freon anymore, either due to cost or because of negative environmental impacts.

If homeowners have Freon, can they get still get an air conditioning repair?

Yes. Homeowners who have air conditioners that use Freon can still get air conditioning repairs. The problem they might face is related to the refrigerant itself, rather than the entire unit.

For example, if a homeowner’s air conditioner fan burns out from routine wear, the fact that it uses Freon shouldn’t affect the air conditioning repair process. But if that air conditioner develops a refrigerant leak and uses Freon, the air conditioning repair process may get a little more complex. If the air conditioning contractor carries Freon, they may be able to fix it as usual. But they may also recommend either replacing the unit or retrofitting it.

Replacing the air conditioner is fairly straightforward. It can also be extremely expensive. With a home warranty from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW), it’s possible to get an air conditioner replaced for a much smaller Service Fee. This can be invaluable coverage for Sellers, since a broken down air conditioner can hurt their chances of a sale and cost a fortune replace out of pocket. But a home warranty would only cover a replacement if repairs weren’t possible and the problem was caused by routine wear and tear.

The other option a homeowner has is retrofitting their air conditioner to accept alternative refrigerants. This is a much easier and less expensive option than replacing the entire system. For more information about the process of retrofitting an air conditioner, you can read our guide to retrofitting.

Can homeowners recharge with a similar refrigerant instead of getting a retrofit?

No they can’t. Knowingly mixing refrigerants is illegal. When someone mixes refrigerants, it’s impossible to recycle and properly dispose of the mixed refrigerants. The goal of the Freon ban in air conditioners is to better protect the ozone layer (Freon damages the ozone layer). Mixing refrigerants defeats the purpose and can get homeowners in trouble, too.

Additionally, mixing refrigerants can damage the air conditioner. Alternative refrigerants require different parts to move through the air conditioner properly. But a quality air conditioning contractor can install these parts in a matter of days, not weeks or months.

Do alternative refrigerants work as well as Freon?

Yes! There are many alternative refrigerants to choose from, and they work just as well as Freon. These alternative refrigerants do the same thing Freon does but without the detrimental effects of Freon. Though the government ban will make Freon more difficult and expensive to source, alternative refrigerants are a great solution.

For example, a common alternative refrigerant is MO99. MO99 uses the same kind of oil as Freon, which makes retrofitting for MO99 easy for air conditioning contractors. Another alternative refrigerant, R-410A (Puron), is common in many air conditioners manufactured after 2013. You can get a full rundown of common alternative refrigerants using our guide.

Does a home warranty help address the Freon ban?

A 2-10 HBW home warranty can help address the Freon ban in several ways. Our Buyer and Seller coverage both come with unlimited refrigerant. No matter how many refills a Buyer or Seller needs under 2-10 HBW coverage, they can get it for the simple cost of a Service Fee. This can save Buyers and Sellers tons of time and money if their air conditioner leaks refrigerant.

(Please note that Sellers who want A/C and heat pump coverage as a part of their Seller coverage need to pay a one-time $50 fee. Also note that Seller coverage is $60 in Florida.)

In some cases, a home warranty can reduce the cost of an air conditioning retrofit itself. Though a home warranty doesn’t cover retrofits for units that haven’t broken down from routine wear and tear, it can lower repair costs.

Say a Seller has Seller coverage (including A/C coverage) and their air conditioner develops a refrigerant leak due to normal wear and tear during listing. They pay a small Service Fee for an air conditioning contractor to diagnose the issue. The contractor determines that to repair it, the only option is a retrofit. In that case, 2-10 HBW would pay the repair cost, which is a retrofit. This can save Sellers time and money while making the home more attractive to Buyers, since retrofitted units are easier to fix and maintain.

Whether a Buyer or Seller uses Freon or not, encourage them to keep maintaining their air conditioner! Proper maintenance is important to extending this expensive system’s life span. And before that inevitable day when the A/C breaks down, consider recommending a home warranty from 2-10 HBW. A home warranty protects expensive systems from unexpected breakdowns caused by routine wear and tear, making protecting a home simple and affordable.

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: 2-10.com

Tips for Disinfecting Your Home

June 16th, 2020 by tisner


We are thinking about cleaning more than ever right now, and there is a right way to do it if you’re trying to get things as germ-free as possible. Improper use of cleaners and cleaning tools won’t do your efforts any good. Follow these tips for a truly cl
ean home: 

Different Cleaners for Different Uses 

  • “Cleaning” a surface simply means you are removing dirt, dust, and contaminants.  All-purpose cleaners are just that–they can clean a myriad of things. If you’re planning on disinfecting those surfaces, be sure that it is labeled on the bottle. 
  • Sanitizing cleaners will significantly reduce the number of bacteria but will not affect fungi or viruses.  Use a sanitizer for low-risk areas such as floors and read the label to make sure you’re using it correctly. 
  • Disinfectants are meant to kill contaminants, and different ingredients work for different pathogens. Check your bottle’s label for more information on those pathogens and follow directions to the letter. 
  • Antibacterial cleaners and wipes kill only bacteria, not viruses. 
  • Aerosol disinfectants are as effective as you make them; most labels tell you to spray long enough to wet the surface for at least three minutes, air dry, and afterward, wipe any food surfaces or children’s toys with clean water.

Use of Cleaning Tools 

  • Disinfectant wipes are perfect for hard surfaces and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s label for directions as well as the pathogens it will eliminate. If a wipe becomes dry during use, toss it and continue with a fresh wipe.  
  • You should be using a clean dishwashing cloth every day and use it only for dishes and wiping down cooking surfaces. Rinse them in cool water once the dishes are finished, wring out and air dry between laundry days.  
  • Paper towels are perfect for cleaning or disinfecting, as they are tossed in the trash after each use.  Microfiber cloths or other types of washable cloths should be washed and dried in the dryer as soon after cleaning as possible. If not, spray with a disinfectant and allow it to air dry until it can be put in the washer. 
  • When you are cleaning, be sure to wear gloves, because it protects your hands from contaminants and is better for your skin.  Wash your hands after cleaning, whether you wear gloves or not.

The Centers for Disease Control shares tips for thorough cleaning and disinfecting, and what products are best used on what surfaces. When commercial cleaners aren’t available, household items will do, and Consumer Reports offers a guide to what should and should not be used for best results. Take care to wash your hands with warm soapy water after cleaning, and don’t forget your car! Wipe down those surfaces with disinfectant wipes. 

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: top down cleaning service

Liven Up Your Backyard!

June 9th, 2020 by tisner


Even though we feel like we’re “stuck” inside, that shouldn’t keep us from utilizing our backyard to get out, and take a break from technology or inside chores and enjoy the sun and warm temps. Make your family
want to get out there with these ideas: 

  • Spruce up your patio furniture with new pillows or make some no-sew covers with what you have on hand! 
  • Adding lights is an inexpensive way to make the time last longer: add strings of LED’s to ground cover, wrap tree trunks with string lights, and no outdoor structure, no problem with this DIY on creating easy lamp posts to define a seating area! 
  • Pools are great and make the backyard irresistible for the whole family! Affordable options like easy set up pool kits can get you swimming in just a day!  
  • Speaking of water, did you know that backyard splash pads are catching on? If your municipality allows them, DIY or have a permanent play area installed! Inflatable or portable splash pads can be bought at most discount stores or online. 
  • Who says swings are just for porches? Hang a porch swing from a sturdy tree branch or add a platform swing (store-bought or DIY).  
  • Everyone loves a treehouse! It can be as simple as a deck/platform built in the branches or a full-out house with walls and a roof. The Family Handyman has some great ideas and tips for building a tree structure. 
  • Make an outdoor exercise spot or place to practice your yoga 
  • Get outside with the dogs, especially if you create a playground for your dogs. Playing with them outside is good for both of you. When they want to be on their own, Cesar’s Way has a few suggestions for making your backyard more fun for your furry friends. 

Lastly, do not just grill outside! Take those delicious meals and eat al fresco, and make it a relaxing affair, just hanging out after eating, or playing a fun game after dinner is over. Your backyard has plenty of potential for outdoor fun or de-stressing, you just have to help it along!  

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: midwest living 

Low-Maintenance Landscaping

June 2nd, 2020 by tisner


Are the seed catalogs and plant nurseries calling your name? Unless you’re truly committed to gardening and the work and time involved, you probably need to consider using plants and grasses that don’t need a lot of TLC, as well as ways to get around certain time-consuming aspects of keeping everything alive. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Growing a lawn is labor intensive:  keeping it green requires large amounts of water and regular mowing. Gardening Know How has a guide for creating a meadow, growing ground cover, or ornamental grasses, all perfect solutions for going lawn-free. 
  • Faux grass–it’s not just for indoor sports arenas anymore. The industry has come a long way in the production of synthetic grass, and it could be the perfect solution for those in drought-prone regions, or for someone who simply doesn’t want to mow their lawn every weekend.  Depending on the size of your property, it can be expensive, but HouseLogic just might change your mind about installing fake turf! 
  • Drought-tolerant plants will thrive without a lot of water, obviously. You can find twenty-one plants listed here, with their USDA hardiness zone included. 
  • Every yard has its problem areas:  rocky soil, drainage issues, shady areas–these can all be planted with a little effort, and don’t normally need a lot of care afterward.   
  • Mulch is a landscaper’s friend!  One tip from the Love Your Plants website is to add at least two inches of mulch for it to be effective. Check their website for more information about using mulch to benefit your plants and cut back on keeping up the flowerbeds.  
  • If you’ve ever seen a hedge of hydrangeas in full bloom, you know how beautiful shrubs can be!  Hydrangeas are one shrub that doesn’t require a lot from you, and This Old House lists many more according to plant zone to encourage you to plant a low-maintenance hedge. 
  • A traditional flower bed filled with annuals isn’t necessarily maintenance-free, but using drip irrigation or soaker hoses under the mulch will certainly cut back the amount of time it takes for you to water them yourself, and use the water more wisely than using sprinklers or hose attachments. 

Probably the most common type of low-maintenance landscaping is xeriscaping.  If you’re in a water-restricted area, a very hot climate or simply want to garden using as few resources as possible, xeriscaping is the way to go. With so many ideas to choose from, having beautiful landscaping without all the work is an easily attainable goal. 

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: Pinterest

Get Ready for Grilling!

May 26th, 2020 by tisner


Ready for cooking and dining al fresco? If so, it’s time to make sure your grill is ready to cook up some tasty food!
 

Charcoal Grills 

  • dirty grate needs to be deep-cleaned:  burning off the caked-up food/grease is your first step.  Start a fire in the grill, wrap the grates in foil, put them in place, and close the lid.  Once the fire is out and the grates are cool to the touch, rub off the burnt stuff with the balled-up foil or a wire brush. 
  • Once the worst is off the racks, use a baking soda/water paste and a strong scrubbing pad or brush to remove as much of what’s left. Wash with warm water and good dish soap, and rinse well. 
  • Rub the grate down with a towel soaked in vegetable oil to start the seasoning process for non-stick cooking. 
  • Inspect the outside of the grill for over-wintered insects, debris and rust. If you find rust, wipe away as much as you can w/ a surface-appropriate cloth, and use a cloth dampened with a half-water, half-vinegar solution to remove the rest of it. Keep the grill covered to avoid moisture and more rust. 
  • Any baked-on grease or carbon flakes on the lid or bottom of the grill should be removed with a wire brush. This build-up can cause uneven heating, and as a result, uneven cooking. Wash the lid and bottom of the grill with warm soapy water, and allow to air dry, but wipe any pooling water off with dry paper towels. 

Gas Grills 

  • Before you get started on cleaning, check your propane line for leaks.  Learn how to do this simple test from this video from Weber. 
  • The grates on gas grills are normally made of cast iron and can take a steaming to clean them:  heat up the grill, and when the grates get hot, turn off the heat. Wearing a grill glove or mitt, use a wet grill brush to scrub and steam off any cooked-on build up. 
  • Grill burners can be unclogged with the straightened end of a paper clip, scrubbed with a wire brush, then wiped down with soapy water. 
  • Scrape the grease pan clean, and if it’s removable, wash it in hot, soapy water; if the pan is stationary, clean it as best you can using dry paper towels to remove as much grease as possible, then follow with hot, soapy water. 
  • Once the pan and burners are clean, wipe out the interior with a damp cloth, or scrub pad. Replace the burner covers and grease pan. 
  • Get the grates ready for future cooking by seasoning them.  Turn the grill on high heat for about ten minutes, and after turning off the heat, rub the grates down with paper towels or a grill towel soaked with vegetable oil. Doing this before and after every grill session will keep them clean and virtually non-stick. 

Cooking on the grill should be not only tasty, but safe! Use the right tools, and follow the guidelines in the owner’s manual.   Once the grill is cleaned up, it’s ready to help you create great Summer meals and memories! 

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: taste of home

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

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