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Summertime Water-Saving Tips

June 29th, 2021 by tisner

Thoughts of lounging by the pool are on the horizon, and it is time to wash winter grime off the car, and clean winter linens and clothing for storage. While all of those are important things to do, conserving water is important this time of year, and there are lots of ways to save! 

  • When the car needs cleaning, take the bucket and sponge to a car wash instead of washing it at home. This could save one hundred gallons of water per wash. 
  • If you have a sprinkler system, set the timer for morning or evening. Pay close attention to the weather and turn off the timer whenever a good chance of rain is predicted. 
  • Use a drip irrigation system instead of sprinklers or hand-watering with the hose for your veggie garden and landscaping. This allows water to soak directly in near the roots. 
  • Growing native plants and grasses will help cut down on water usage, as they are adapted to your local climate.  Contact your local cooperative extension agent to find out how to plant a native plant garden. 
  • Trees and large shrubs can be hydrated efficiently by placing a five-gallon bucket with small holes drilled in the bottom nearby and filling the bucket with water. The holes will allow the water to trickle slowly, soaking the ground and roots–not the leaves. 
  • Use a pool cover on the pool to help keep the water from evaporating. There are plenty of ways you can conserve while enjoying your pool. 
  • Shortening your shower time by just two minutes per day saves 150 gallons of water per month! 
  • Bathe fresh veggies in a bowl filled with water instead of under running water.  Once they are clean, use the leftover water for houseplants or potted plants outside. 
  • Keep a pitcher filled with water inside the fridge for a thirst quencher instead of running water from the faucet and waiting for it to get cool. 

Not only will your bank account appreciate some water conservation, the environment benefits as well. If you are interested in learning more about using less water year-round, check out the Water Calculator website to get an idea of your water footprint, and learn how to use it more efficiently. 

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: mansfield landscaping

New Homeowners: Wait Before You Renovate

April 13th, 2021 by tisner

Your new home charmed you as soon as you walked into the entryway, despite rooms with dark paneling, a pink tile bathroom, or a small galley kitchen. You knew you wanted to make some changes when you bought it, but is it worth the added stress, not to mention the stress on your new budget?  

  • The home-buying process and moving are no small feats and undertaking a renovation can take another toll.  Give yourself a break before starting something new. 
  • Getting used to living where you are could cause you to rethink your plans. For instance, you wanted a bay window to replace the two smaller windows in the dining area, but after feeling the hot afternoon sun shining in, you change your mind.  Little things like this are not noticeable from a few walkthroughs and virtual tours. 
  • Many fixups are inexpensive and can tide you over until you make your final decision on whether to renovate or not: painting, fixing up the floors, or purchasing new furniture are all ways you can satisfy that itch and make the new house feel like your own. 
  • Living in your home as it is for a while could show you that a major renovation is not needed at all! One room could simply need better lighting, or a closet you wanted to enlarge simply needs a few organizational pieces. 
  • Continue the savings habits you adopted while saving for your down payment and other costs associated with your home purchase, and you can pay for your redo in cash, one step at a time! 
  • Go ahead with your planned decorating! It is possible that you will find those renovations unnecessary once you have new furniture, draperies, and wall color. 
  • Some renos cannot wait and are best completed before moving in structural work, full kitchen or bathroom re-do, large room addition, or changes to the layout.   

Patience is a virtue, and in today’s instant world, it is hard to wait for something you have looked forward to for months. Holding back on the revamping of your new home will not only teach patience, but it could save money and headaches for you! Architectural Digest covers other aspects of home renovation to consider 

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: Trusted Choice

Stop Renting and Become a Homeowner!

March 30th, 2021 by tisner


Rising rent prices and low interest rates make purchasing your first home sound like a great boost to your monthly budget!  There is much to consider: from down payments to paint, many factors of homeownership are different than when you are a tenant in so
meone else’s home, so you need to prepare now for a new home later.   

  • Begin practicing a budget now if you do not already.  There are more expenses involved with homeownership than there are as a tenant and you need to be able to manage your money properly. 
  • Check your credit score and correct any mistakes, if any, and do what is necessary to improve the numbers if your score is not going to be attractive to lenders. 
  • Learn about the different types of loans available to first-time home buyers. This will help you figure out how you will finance your mortgage as well as how much you need to save for a down payment. 
  • Once you go through the pre-approval process, you will know how much house you can afford, making house-hunting easier.  
  • Do you love your rental? If so, let your landlord know that you are interested in purchasing the property! They may not be interested, but once they become aware that you will be moving, the thought of preparing and looking for a new renter may encourage them to agree to a sale. All you can do is ask!  
  • Browse properties besides houses–many townhomes and condominiums are affordable and convenient and would make the perfect first home! 
  • Purchasing a newer house can save money in the long run, because of less up-front maintenance costs and newer houses are more energy efficient. 
  • Think about your community options–do you want to live in a managed community (HOA), a rural area, new construction in a planned community, or an older suburban neighborhood?  Each can affect how much you pay in fees, taxes, or maintenance costs. 
  • If you have renter’s insurance, and you should, you will note that a homeowner’s policy costs more, because it covers much more than just your belongings.  Most mortgages will include homeowner’s insurance in the monthly payment. If your current agent can find a cheaper rate, go for it! 

Think about the freedom to paint your living room firehouse red if you like or being able to have a noisy family dance party because there are no neighbor’s downstairs to disturb!  As soon as you are ready, your next step is contacting a Realtor® to be your guide during the whole home-buying process.   

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: The Balance

Keeping Cool Without Turning Down the AC

August 27th, 2019 by tisner


Let’s face it:  Summer heat waves can drain the energy from our bodies, but it can also 
drain the money right out of our bank accounts when the energy bill comes due.  Turning the thermostat down seems logical, but not always the best thing to do to cool the house off.  Here are some practical things we can do to help our AC keep the home comfortable: 

  • Keeping shades drawn in rooms where the sun comes streaming in is a great first defense on staying cool inside.  Doing this simple thing can lower the inside temps 30%! 
  • When you’re away, program the thermostat to 80°, and then down to 75° once you are home.  No need to cool an unoccupied house, and leaving it off completely causes not only heat, but humidity, to build up. If those settings seem warm, give it a week, and you’ll find that your body acclimates to the warmer temperatures! 
  • Utilizing fans is an inexpensive way to help stay cool; your ceiling fan should be turning counterclockwise (find the direction toggle switch near the fan speed chain), and floor fans should blow towards you at a comfortable speed.   
  • Planting large shrubbery and plants with heavy foliage on the sunny sides of the house not only makes the landscaping attractive, the plants help block the heat, making the outside cooler, thus, the inside will stay cooler. 
  • Permanent awnings and shutters are easy ways to block sun, as are retractable curtain awnings.   
  • Allowing all interior doors to stay open will help the air circulate fully and helps keep hot spots from forming.  Leave air registers open, even in unoccupied rooms, to avoid putting a strain on ductwork over time. 
  • Using a dehumidifier will, obviously, reduce the moisture in the air, making the house feel cooler. 
  • Time your clothes-drying and dishwashing for nighttime hours and keep the house cooler in the daytime and save on your electric bill. Most energy companies have off-peak consumption hours at night and early mornings. 
  • Cooking will heat up the kitchen, so learn how to cook plan your cooking early or later in the day and make use of a toaster oven creates less heat than turning the oven on. 

One of the best things you can do to help your unit running well and keeping things cool is maintenance!  Have a pro come and service it, change filters when they are visibly dirty, make sure the evaporator drain can run freely, and keep the air flowing nicely around the unit.   

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: youtube

Preventing and Getting Rid of Mold

January 15th, 2019 by tisner

Preventing and Getting Rid of Mold
Mold is a subject that strikes fear in many people.  Though the toxic form of black mold is rare, there are plenty of other types that invade our bathrooms, basements and other places in our homes. Let’s look at the best ways to get control over any mold problem anywhere we find it. 

The bathroom is the most common place for mold, because it has all the right conditions for mold growth:  moisture, a place to grow, and food. 

  • Use the exhaust fan every time you shower, and if your bathroom isn’t equipped with one, crack the window to allow the steam to escape. 
  • Wipe down the shower walls and door when you’re finished, leaving the door open until everything is completely dry. 
  • If you use a shower curtain, use an anti-mold spray, commercial or homemade, to spray the curtain down, and pull the curtain to its fullest length to dry. 
  • Any leaks should be repaired immediately and inspect under the sink every few weeks to make sure everything is dry in the cabinets. 
  • If you have a tile bath, give the grout a waterproof seal once a year. 
  • When you do find mold on hard surfaces, the CDC recommends mixing a solution of no more than 1 cup of household bleach in a gallon of water.  Provide good ventilation, spray on affected areas, leave for five minutes, rinse, and allow to dry. 

Other common places for molds to grow, especially this time of year when we have the heat on, are closets, window sills, basements, and floors around entryways. 

  • Use washable mats and throw-rugs with waterproof backing at doorways. 
  • Keep your home’s humidity below 40%.  Using a humidifier is a necessity in Winter, and you may need to use a hygrometer to help you keep moisture levels in check. 
  • Occasionally inspect your fridge’s drip pan for excessive moisture, and clean according to manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Attics can be the first-place mold can start in case of a leaky roof, so get the roof repaired immediately, and clean the mold as soon as you discover it.  Be sure there are no leaves or other obstructions blocking the attic’s vents. 
  • Having the crawl space of your home encapsulated can be expensive, but it is the only solution to keeping moisture from coming up from the ground and can help you see standing water in case of plumbing leaks. 
  • The EPA has some tips for mold cleanup, as well as information on when to call in a pro for removal.  

There are many products available to help keep moisture in your home at bay.  Desiccant bags containing silica gel are great for hanging in small places such as closets.  Small non-electric dehumidifiers are also available for larger areas, and whole-house dehumidifiers are another option, just more expensive.  While not all molds are toxic, they are allergens, and prevention and action are keys to a healthier, mold-free home.

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: goodhousekeeping.com

Get These Fall Jobs Done

November 13th, 2018 by tisner

fall home maintenance tips

The weather is cooler, but the days are still long enough to get some regular Fall maintenance done.  Get your home prepped for cooler weather now so it won’t be a problem later.   

  • Clean gutters before the leaves fall so they won’t get clogged.  Consider installing some gutter protectors so the coming leaf drop won’t cause further problems. 
  • Raking leaves is a job many don’t care for, but if you do, and plan on burning them, check with your local government offices or HOA guidelines to make certain it’s allowed.  If not, it’s best to bag them for curbside pick-up, or find a gardening neighbor that would appreciate the extra composting material. 
  • After you’ve mowed and raked one last time, fertilize the lawn.  The roots are still active, and the extra nutrients will help the grass overwinter safely. 
  • Speaking of using the lawnmower one last time, drain the fuel and oil from gas-powered equipment, and clean them well.  This Old House offers some excellent tips on putting up the lawn mower for Winter. 
  • Give the roof a good look and replace broken or missing shingles. 
  • Check windows and doors–inside and out–for drafts and apply weather-stripping or caulking where it’s needed.  Today’s Homeowner has a video that shows us how to apply caulk around our windows. 
  • Call your HVAC serviceperson, and have the heater checked and serviced, if necessary.  Go ahead and make sure your filters are new–buying them in bulk keeps you from having to remember to get one every couple of months and saves you money. 
  • If you use wood for heating, hopefully it’s already cut and seasoned.  Store it at least 30 feet from the house, covered, unless you bring it in a few days before you burn it. 
  • Turn off your sprinkler system timer, shut water off at the main, and drain the system. If you’re not able to drain it yourself, it may be worth the money to hire a pro to blow the pipes out and drain the sprinkler heads. 

It may take a couple of weekends to get all of these done, but all are important to do, and hopefully save you from a headache and spending a lot of money later in the Winter.  Some of these chores could be done by a teenager looking to earn a few extra dollars, and they can learn something in the process. You’re never too young to learn about taking care of your home.

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: ourmidland.com

National Fire Prevention Month

October 30th, 2018 by tisner

Image result for fire prevention

It’s the time of year to check not only your battery-operated smoke alarm, but anything you have in your home that could start a fire if not properly used and maintained.  This is also the time to talk with your family about your emergency plan in case of a fire.  These tips will get you started: 

  • Every kitchen should have an easily-accessed fire extinguisher.  If you don’t have one, purchase one, and if your old one hasn’t been serviced recently, call an official inspector to make sure yours is in good working order. 
  • Smoke alarms are a must!  Older smoke detectors can be sensitive and go off while someone is cooking, and we inadvertently disconnect the battery to stop that, and forget to reconnect them.  More recently-produced types have a sensitivity button that can reduce that problem for a set period of time and return to normal after the time is up. 
  • Homes with more than one story should have an escape ladder close to an easily-accessed window on the upper floor.  Safewise.com has a list of their best-rated ladders, and offers tips for choosing the right ladder for your home. 
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets, and use extension cords only on a temporary basis.  If you need more outlets, call an electrician to install them.  The cost of this greatly outweighs the cost of a fire. 
  • A visit from an electrician is also warranted if you have outlets that spark when you use them, lights that flicker, or a circuit breaker that trips regularly. 
  • Clean your dryer’s lint screen after each load, and keep the vent and back of the dryer clean from lint build-up. 
  • Have chimneys and furnaces checked out before you use them to make sure they’re clean and in good working order.  If you use a wood fireplace, make sure the screen protector has no holes, and use only a flame-retardant rug in front of the hearth. 
  • While cooking, don’t leave the kitchen, and even though your children may like to help, have their station set up far from any hot items. Keep towels and paper products away from anything hot, and don’t leave cooking oil unattended. 
  • Although it isn’t very common, lightning can cause a house fire.  Lightning rods may seem like an outdated tool, but they are not only helpful for redirecting lightning and prohibiting a fire, they can save your electronics from lightning damage.  Lovetoknow.com describes several different types of home lightning protection styles, and how they all work. 

Most importantly, you need a family fire plan, and everyone should be familiar with this plan.  For tips and a guideline to setting up your own fire escape plan, consult this page from the National Fire Protection Association, where you can find free printable tools to make your planning process go smoothly.  No amount of time taken to put a plan into place and practice is too much when it comes to protecting your home and family from a fire.

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: Army

Lower Your Expenses without PMI

February 2nd, 2018 by tisner

Mortgage loans for more than 80% loan-to-value typically require private mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance reimburses the lender if a borrower defaults on a loan. PMI is expensive, and homeowners should be aware of how to remove it when certain conditions have been met.31001236-250.jpg

A borrower can request in writing for the lender to cancel the PMI when the mortgage balance has reached 80% of the home’s original appraised value. However, they are required to eliminate it when the balance reaches 78%. It is a good idea to monitor this, especially if additional principal contributions are being made to pay off the loan early.

Other methods to eliminate PMI sooner than through normal amortization include the following:

  • If the value of the home has increased, the owner may consider refinancing with a loan that does not require PMI. There will be refinancing charges involved but you can determine how long it will take to recapture those costs from the monthly savings.
  • Some lenders will consider using a new appraisal to verify that the home’s mortgage is below the 80% requirement. Find out in advance from your lender if they will accept this procedure and get the names of approved appraisers they will recognize. The cost of an appraisal could range between $450 to $600.
  • Another strategy is to make additional principal contributions on a regular basis to reduce your mortgage balance to 78-80% level that would allow the lender to eliminate the PMI.

Mortgage insurance is not required on VA loans regardless of the loan-to-value. FHA mortgages made after June 3, 2013 are required to have Mortgage Insurance Premium for the life of the loan. For FHA loans made prior to that date, the MIP should automatically cancel when the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78% and has been in effect for a minimum of five years.

To obtain additional information specific to cancelling your mortgage insurance, contact info can usually be found on the annual statement provided by your mortgage servicer.

By: PatZaby.com

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!

Things To Do Orlando: Andrea Bocelli Valentine’s Concert

February 6th, 2017 by tisner

Andrea Bocelli Valentine’s Concert

Andrea Bocelli Valentine’s Concert

When: February 11, 2017, 8:00 pm

Where: Amway Center
400 W Church Street #200
Orlando, FL 32801

The legendary tenor Andrea Bocelli returns to the U.S. for a weekend appearance. Bocelli will delight his fans with a unique holiday repertoire combining the most beloved arias, crossover hits, world’s most famous love songs and new music off of his latest album, “Cinema.”

Event Website

Buy Tickets

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!

Things To Do Orlando: Popcorn Flicks in the Park: Aladdin

November 7th, 2016 by tisner

This film is a part of our Popcorn Flicks series, which takes place in Central Park, Winter Park once a month and it’s FREE and open to the public!

Aladdin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When: Thu., Nov. 10, 7 p.m.

Price: free

When street rat Aladdin frees a genie from a lamp, he finds his wishes granted. However, he soon finds that the evil has other plans for the lamp.

 

North Park Avenue and West Morse Boulevard Winter Park Area

 

Click on link for details:   Aladdin – Enzian Theater

Popcorn Flicks in the Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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

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