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Before You Buy, Budget Like a Homeowner

September 8th, 2020 by tisner

If you are a renter, you know that rent costs are on the rise, and it may be getting more difficult for you to stop thinking that a home purchase cannot be easier on your wallet. Starting on buying a home can come a year in advance of your first house hunt and creating a homeowner budget is the first step.   

  • Write a list of needs and wants for your future home, beginning with size, the number of rooms, type of neighborhood, size of the yard, garage, or no garage, etc. Be realistic, as there is only so much house you can afford. Set a price range, and stick to it. 
  • Create an income/expenses list, or use this handy budget calculator so you may see exactly where your money is going.  If there is little left of your paycheck at the end of the equation, it is time to begin eliminating unnecessary purchases so you can start saving. 
  • Start paying off any debt you currently have credit cards, car loans, or personal loans. Eliminating these balances will reduce your debt-to-income ratio, and will show lenders you’re serious about paying for a home. 
  • Once you start paying off debt, start depositing the amount of those payments into a savings account. Not only do you need to save towards the payment, but you’ll also have other costs for buying a home: appraisal, home inspections, and other fees may or may not be added to the closing costs. 
  • Some people that live on low incomes may feel like homeownership is a pipe dream, but that is not true. Many government-backed agencies will assist those with limited incomes buy a home: 
  • Federal Housing Administration offers loans with low down payments (3.5%). 
  • USDA  helps low-income families in rural areas with purchasing a home with no down payment. 
  • VA loans assist veterans with home-buying, as well as home repair. 

No matter your income, homeownership is within reach if your credit report and score is within an acceptable range and may differ according to the lender.  Learning how to budget your income, paying your bills on time, and saving money are all possible, and it may take discipline on your part. The result, however–a home of your own–is worth all the time and effort it took to prepare for it! 

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

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

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

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

How Does Rent to Own Housing Work?

August 13th, 2020 by tisner


Buying a home is a big deal, especially for those who have had credit problems in the past. The most common way to buy a home is with a mortgage loan, which requires both a credit score that the lender finds acceptable and enough cash on hand for a down payment (and usually some other costs). For some, this can be a barrier to home ownership because they either have previous credit problems or are unable to get the cash together to cover down payments and other costs. Fortunately, there are some alternatives available.

One option that can put home ownership within reach is rent to own housing. As the name implies, this provides an option where the would-be homeowner can actually take possession of the house as a renter before the purchase is finalized. While this may not be available as an option for everyone, here are some details about rent to own housing in case you’re considering a rent to own purchase.

The Basics

The basic idea behind rent to own housing may seem pretty simple. Instead of having to buy a house outright, you rent the home from the current owner instead, in much the same way that you would if you were only acting as a renter. The rental payments that you make typically cover both the cost of rental and pay a portion toward the asking price of the home itself. After a specified period of time has passed, you will either have paid off the balance of the property or (as is more common) will have a final lump-sum payment to make that finalizes the purchase of the house.

The Rental Contract

The lease that you sign when entering into a rent to own agreement is a bit different than your standard rental agreement. In most cases, you will agree to stay at the home for a longer period of time than your standard lease, and you may have an initial up-front payment to make that goes toward the cost of the house as well. The contract will detail exactly how much the owner wants for the home, what percentage of your rent will go toward that amount, and will also provide information about how you’re actually buying the house when the lease ends.

Option to Buy

In most cases, a rent to own contract features what’s known as an “option to buy” which gives you the option to pay any remaining cost to finalize your home purchase when the lease ends. Depending on the wording of the contract, you may also have the option to pay off that balance early and finalize the purchase even if the lease isn’t yet set to expire. You do need to be careful and read and pay attention to the details of this, however. While a “lease-option” contract like this gives you the option (but not the requirement) to buy at the end of the lease, some contracts actually contain what’s known as a “lease-purchase” clause, under which you have a legal obligation to buy regardless of whether you can actually afford it.

Maintenance Requirements

When you rent a home, maintenance and other upkeep is generally the responsibility of the landlord. In a rent to own situation, however, the lease will sometimes specify that the would-be homeowner is responsible for some or possibly all of the upkeep and maintenance instead. You may even encounter sellers who gradually shift the responsibility to you the longer you stay in the property, though this is less common than some other setups. Still, it’s important to know from the start who is going to be responsible for things that come up before the lease expires.

Getting Your Rent to Own in Shape

Depending on the terms of your rent to own contract, you may end up with some things around the house that you’ll need to fix yourself. HomeKeepr can come in very handy here. Sign up for a free account today and connect with contractors, electricians and other pros who can get your home in tip-top shape.

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

Title Insurance: What It Is, Why You Need It

July 30th, 2020 by tisner


Buying a home is fraught with all kinds of peril, from home inspections that go terribly awry to negotiations that seem to go on forever and hinge on every little detail. But once you’re through all of that, you’re basically in the clear, right? For some buyers and sellers, maybe not, but title insurance can smooth out the rest of the bumps.

What Is Title Insurance?

There are two types of title insurance: the kind designed for lenders and the kind designed for owners. If you’re buying a home with a mortgage, you’ll automatically have to pay for lender’s title insurance. It protects the bank if things go really haywire. Owner’s title insurance is often optional, but it’ll protect you as a buyer or seller should a title problem appear.

Title insurance starts with a title search, which is performed by an expert in examining titles and other real estate related documents. They comb through the historical records, looking at every transaction for clues that there might be a risk that someone could claim ownership of your current or future property. Usually titles are clean, meaning there’s no significant risk that you’ll be going to court to buy or sell the property, but once in a while there’s a title cloud.

Title clouds can include things like mechanics liens, improperly executed wills and estranged spouses who haven’t signed off on a sale at some point. The point of a title search, basically, is to uncover anyone who might be able to sue for ownership.

How Does Title Insurance Help?

Owner’s title insurance helps in a couple of ways. First, the thorough title search required by the underwriters ensures you absolutely can legally buy and sell the property without any hitches. That’s really important in securing your financial future. Second, the insurance itself helps make the title right if a cloud is discovered later by a different title search.

A few examples of how title insurance can fix a clouded title include:

  • Arranging the purchase of land to make the property whole. In areas where there are lots of older homes and structures that may have been built overlapping adjoining property, it’s not uncommon to see a clouded title involving a small strip of land the owner of the property long believed to be theirs. In these situations, the title insurance can help with the cost associated with suing for title to that strip of land, or buying it from a neighbor, to make the property whole.
  • Covering the expense of collecting the proper signatures and recording documents abandoning ownership rights. Sometimes heirs (or additional owners) are uncovered for properties that have long been thought to be done and dusted. It’s not an everyday thing, but when it happens, it can be very difficult to fix without a lot of help. For example, there might be an estranged spouse who still happens to be legally bound to the property, or a family member who had no idea they inherited part of an estate that was settled without their input.
  • Settling unpaid taxes, liens and other surprise debt. Title clouds aren’t that common, but they do happen, and when they do, unpaid debts are often the problem. That might be a mechanic’s lien that was forgotten about, back taxes that someone who inherited a property weren’t aware of or other sorts of assessments that no one has documentation on. When this happens, the situation will dictate whether the seller of the property has to pay the debt, but it’s the title insurance underwriters’ jobs to make sure that there’s no debt outstanding when a home is bought or sold.

Should You Get Title Insurance?

As with anything in the real estate market, you should consult with your real estate agent, mortgage lender and closing company or attorney before you refuse title insurance, but it can be your decision to reject it in many cases. For a small one-time fee, though, knowing that you’ll be covered should something unexpected crop up during your ownership is a great relief. Create a HomeKeepr account today to find all the home pros you could possibly need to help navigate difficult homeownership obstacles like title insurance with confidence!

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

Virtual Home Buying

May 5th, 2020 by tisner


For obvious reasons, you won’t be seeing any Open House ads or signs at new homes for sale nearby, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll be going to any showings with your buyer agent. Remote home-buying is nothing new, however, and for this time of staying safe at home, we can learn a few tricks of this type of home purchase, so you don’t have to put that on hold!

  • Get pre-approved now! Current interest rates are just one incentive for buying a new home.
  • With social distancing being the norm, for now, be prepared for a lot of phone conversations, emails, and texts between yourself and your real estate agent.
  • Call a few agents and request an over-the-phone interview to find the one that’s right for you. Be sure they are comfortable and knowledgeable about a virtual house-hunt.
  • You are probably already house-hunting online and saving your favorites. Don’t forget to look at those that may not catch your interest quickly–there are sometimes diamonds in the rough!
  • Type up a list of what you’ll need for a home, as well as extras you’d like to see, and have it ready to email to your agent so they can get to work on looking for houses you might be interested in. Share your online wish list of homes with them as well.
  • Once your Realtor® has a list of homes for you to see, take a 3D or video tour or each, comb through the photos, and ask questions. Ask your agent if they can do a live video tour of the houses that you like the most so you can get a better feel of what the house is actually like.
  • With the exception of places where going to a property for a showing is barred, your agent will be certain that they take proper measures to protect you as well as themselves. Follow all CDC guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19.
  • On that note, be sure to understand if a homeowner refuses to show their home if they are still living there. In case they’re allowing showings, don’t be offended by personal questions about your health. We all have to have some extra understanding and patience these days.

Don’t allow this period of flattening the curve discourage you from buying a new home. In some cases, it may take a little longer, and if there’s an urgent situation that you need to move quickly, share your concerns with your agent, and they’ll be with you every step of that way, even if the home-buying venture is a virtual one.

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: epconfranchising.com

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.

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

Photo credit: www.bls.gov

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.

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

By: Aura Mogosanu, STORAGECafé, storagecafe.com

Five Reasons You Need a Buyer Agent

January 21st, 2020 by tisner


When it’s time to start house-hunting, you know that going to an Open House is one way to get a good look at some homes on your own time. But when you’re ready to search for just what you need, the choices can be 
overwhelming, not to mention the thoughts of negotiating an offer, inspections, the closing–it’s not as simple as you may think. Do you need a buyer agent? 

  • You know what you want in a new home because you know what kind of lifestyle your family lives.  A buyer agent will listen and learn about your needs, wants and don’t-wants, take that information, and you don’t have to do another thing but wait for them to find prospects for you to see! How easy is that?! 
  • Hiring a buyer agent opens a whole world of real estate options of which you are likely unaware. REALTORS® not only have a network of other agents, but the tools and expertise that can connect you with the right house sooner than you can find on your own. 
  • The experts a real estate agent has at the click of a mouse or tap on their smartphone will all work together to ensure your home-buying process goes smoothly! Real estate attorneys, tax experts, and inspectors are just a few of the people you may need during the home-buying process. 
  • If problems arise, your buyer agent isn’t always a miracle worker, but they will use all their means to see that the issue is resolved.  They want your transaction to go as smoothly as you do. 
  • In most cases, you will owe a buyer agent nothing when you buy your house. Fees are normally paid by the seller, so you’re getting an exclusive, personalized service free! 

 It’s also important that your buyer agent be part of the National Association of REALTORS® or the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. Ask friends and family for referrals, create a list of your needs, and then write down some questions for the agents you plan on meeting.  Interviewing more than two will help you find the best fit, and carefully read over any contracts before you sign. You won’t be sorry you chose to hire a buyer agent! 

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: Realtor.com

Tips for Buying a House in a Hurry!

December 30th, 2019 by tisner


Sometimes your circumstances change, and you find yourself needing to buy a home ASAP!  In the past, you’ve looked at houses for a month online before you start actively looking, taking your time to find an agent.  Now, however, your new job needs you as soon as you can get there, but how quickly can you buy a new house?  Faster than you think if you follow these tips!
 

  • Find a buyers agent that has a reputation for handling sales efficiently.  You want someone who understands your need to buy quickly, but who will also make sure you’re not making huge mistakes in the process. 
  • Make sure your credit score is in good standing, and gather all paperwork necessary for the lender:  tax returns from past years, current pay stubs, bank statements, documentation for rent payments if you’re a renter, gift letter if someone is gifting part of the down payment, and proof of any assets you may have. 
  • Don’t just get pre-qualified for a mortgage–get pre-approved.  This way, you’ll know exactly what you can afford, and when you make an offer, the seller will be certain you are serious about buying the house. 
  • You might have to forgo the perfect house dreams, but don’t sacrifice your must-haves.  That said, not being extremely picky with what you want in a house will see your success a few steps closer.   
  • When you talk to your agent, ask them to look for homes that have been on the market for a while.  This may give you some leeway in the offer process because the seller is likely somewhat anxious to sell. 
  • If you have any equity in the home you will be moving from, and you don’t want to lease or rent it, selling as quickly as you are able will give you a head start on the purchase of a new home.   
  • Be prepared to put your belongings in storage if you do sell before you buy, and talk to friends or relatives about staying with them temporarily. 
  • You’ll want a transaction without a lot of contingencies so there isn’t a lot of time-consuming negotiating, but be careful about what you are willing to let go to buy the property.   
  • Don’t go AWOL during the process–sure you’ll be busy getting packed up and prepping for a move, but you need to be available to your agent so no time is wasted.   

The best tip is to get started as soon as you know you have to move–the more time you have to take care of buying a new home, the better the outcome will be, saving you time, money, and future headaches.   

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: realtor.com

Townhouse vs. Condo vs. Duplex

December 23rd, 2019 by tisner


When you make the decision to buy a new home, and don’t have time or the ability to take care of maintenance for a large house and yard, you can always opt for a condominium, townhouse or duplex.  But what is the difference in these types of homes?  Read o
n to find out and find which is right for you! 

Condominium (Condo) 

  • As defined by the Business Dictionary, a condominium is a “Single, individually-owned housing unit in a multi-unit building.” In some cases, a condo is in a co-op, which is much different than owning a single unit. 
  • Architecture of the buildings varies, but the exteriors and common areas are owned by the Homeowners Association (HOA). 
  • Most condo HOA’s offer community perks, such as a pool, community center, playground, tennis courts, or workout gym. Landscaping is taken care of, and many condo complexes offer gated security. 
  • Homeowners insurance premiums are normally lower, as the owners only insure the unit’s interior. 
  • Perks come with a fee, and that will vary from HOA to HOA. House hunters are given this information up front so they can be sure they can handle the added fees in their budget. 

Townhouse 

  • “Two or three storied single-family housing unit, often connected other such units via party walls.” —Business Dictionary 
  • Unlike condos, townhouse buyers own the exterior of the unit as well as the interior. 
  • Architecturally-speaking, the exterior of townhouses in a neighborhood are generally the same style.  
  • Owning the exterior of a townhouse means you have control of its appearance.  While those communities that have an HOA means you may be limited to certain paint colors, etc., owners otherwise have free rein for upgrades. 
  • Not every townhouse community is part of an HOA, but either way, the owner is responsible for the upkeep of the landscaping. Some non-HOA neighborhoods still have a few perks, but upkeep for these amenities isn’t a given.

Duplex 

  • Moneycrashers.com defines a duplex as “…a house or building with separate entrances for two families. The units can either be on separate floors (i.e. two-story house) or side by side.” 
  • Purchasing a duplex usually means you will be purchasing both units–one whole building, though you will find some municipalities that allow half-unit sales. The owner is solely responsible for upkeep of interior, exterior and landscaping. 
  • For ‘sandwich’ families, a duplex meets important needs: aging parents can live close by their families but have the privacy of their own home. 
  • Perfect for someone who is interested in a starter investment, renting out the other unit will help with the mortgage, taxes and utilities if the unit shares those meters. 

Multi-unit housing is a great choice and many times, the final decision boils down to location and how much a part of the community you care to be involved in, as well as your budget.  Do your research carefully and talk to your REALTOR®, so you can make the best decision about whether you go with multi-unit housing, or a single-family 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.

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What to Ignore While House Hunting

December 10th, 2019 by tisner


You’ve given your agent all
 the must-haves for your future home, and they’ve combed through listings, and have found some houses for you to tour. You’ve got your hopes up as you walk through every door, but you need to keep in mind that not every house on the list will be move-in ready.  Don’t turn your back on them, though.  Read on to see what’s best ignored while on the hunt for a new home. 

  • Age of the house isn’t a factor if the house is structurally sound.  Just be certain to ask about updates or add-ons, and any other factors that could be problems with an older home. 
  • Poorly maintained curb appeal can be a turn-off as soon as you drive up, but if the house is great, the landscaping can be taken care of with a little hard work, new front door and mailbox, and a few pots of plants. 
  • Unattractive Paint/Wallpaper -Walking into some can be like walking into a time capsule when you see a mauve living room, or a bathroom with swans adorning the wallpaper. A gallon of paint can take care of the ugly.  Focus on the structure of the walls, and check for cracks or holes.   
  • Dirty carpets can be a negotiating point when you make an offer on the house.  Sometimes the seller is willing to give credit for replacing the carpet or may change it out themselves.  Do, however, lift the corners of the carpet to see if it’s covering hardwood. 
  • Smells like cigarette smoke and animal odors can be a turn off but remember that a thorough cleaning and airing-out is what it takes to freshen up a house.  Moldy smells shouldn’t be ignored, however. 
  • Remember that many people that have an extra bedroom set it up as an office or use what’s listed as a dining room for a sitting area.  Don’t let that keep you from imagining a sleek new dining room suite for entertaining, or the much-needed third bedroom for your growing family. 
  • The current owner’s decor may not be your style at all, but you’re not buying their furniture!  Simply take note of the general layout and size of each room to determine if the house will work for your needs. 

You will probably be surprised when you walk into some houses that haven’t been redecorated in thirty years, or that have a guest room functioning as a museum for their snow globe collection!  Have faith in the houses your agent finds, as they understand your needs, and know that some homes only need your touch to make it yours! 

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: curbly.com

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

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