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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!

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

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

Buying an Older Home

February 19th, 2019 by tisner

Buying an Older Home

Many people dream of living in an older home, whether it be a 100-year old farmhouse, or a vintage ranch from the 50’s.  There are certain things that should be taken into consideration, good and bad, when that dream starts to become a reality, and you’re on the hunt for an old new home.  

  • If the house was built before 1978, make sure the home inspector looks for lead paint and asbestos, as both can be health hazards. 
  • Have the foundation thoroughly checked if it is original to the house.  Even the most solidly-built houses can have settling, water damage or corrosion. 
  • Not only are older mechanical systems likely to fail since they’re at the end of their lifespan, they are less energy-efficient.   
  • Plumbing and electrical systems can be old enough that they need to be replaced; old pipes can affect water quality and worn out wiring can be a fire hazard. 
  • Unsafe features that may be charming may not be up to current code.  Check for steep stairs, non-working fireplaces, and laundry chutes, especially if you have younger children. 

While all those things are expensive solutions, there are some things that you can’t get with a newer home: 

  • Older homes are usually in established locations, and are in good school districts, as well as being close to shopping and restaurants. 
  • Houses built before the 1970’s are generally sturdier, simply because the lumber used to build them was made from old growth hardwoods, something that isn’t available today. 
  • The lots in areas where you find older homes are usually larger, and that may mean more maintenance, but it also means more room for playing, pet exercise, and outdoor entertaining. 
  • You just don’t get the charm and character in new construction like you do in an older home, even if the styles are similar. 
  • Prices of older homes are usually lower, unless there is historical significance to the house itself or to the area. 

Do your research, list the pros and cons as they pertain to your life.  No matter what age house you finally decide to buy, the choice should be made because it’s what is best for you and your family.

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: southernfriedmagazine.com

Is it okay for a buyer to move in before closing?

December 19th, 2018 by tisner

Average homeowner gained $12K in equity in 3Q
Dec. 3, 2018 – Buyers often anxiously await closing so they can enter their new home. In some cases, however, they ask if they can move a few things in early so they can hit the ground running. In other cases, the buyers may have a time gap between closing on an old home and moving into their new one.

As a result, it’s not uncommon for a buyer to ask a seller if they can move a few things in early, either possessions or themselves.

Nice sellers often try to accommodate nice buyers, but there are dangers to allowing someone to move in early. According to Cara Ameer, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, who writes for Inman News, there are six good reasons for a seller to say, “No, I’m sorry you can’t,” when a buyer asks for early access to a home.

1. Who broke it?
A buyer moves in early, and the sink plumbing springs a leak. Will the buyer now fix it – should the buyer fix it? What if the buyer somehow thought the sink could support a grown adult and sat on it? Who pays?

2. Liability
If the buyer and seller have not signed any kind of pre-occupancy or lease agreement, what happens if something worse than leaky plumbing occurs, such as a major injury? The seller may be liable. In addition, what happens if wooden floors get scratched as movers drag new furniture across a room? What if a hurricane destroys everything the buyers stored in the garage?

Even with proof that the buyer caused damage, it could become a new negotiating point the buyers use to request further concessions from the seller.

3. “I didn’t notice this before …”
Most houses have a small chipped something or temperamental item. If buyers move in early, it’s like a “never-ending walkthrough,” Ameer writes. Buyers could discover minor problems and try to “renegotiate issues that were never raised as a result of inspections or repairs.”

4. Early repairs
Buyers who move into a new home often feel as if they own it, even if money has not yet switched hands, and start to think: “Why wait another week to start tearing out the kitchen cabinets?”

Ameer says the “list of what-if scenarios is endless.” Paint can spill, contractors can fall and lawn people can break sprinkler heads. Overall, there’s a great chance that the seller – or his insurance company – will be responsible for any pre-closing damages to both people and properties.

5. Buyer’s remorse
During a showing, a house can be the American Dream, but that feeling can fade once buyers realize it’s also a lot of work. Or perhaps the buyers continue to look at new homes that come onto the market, and one is a bit dreamier than the American Dream they’re preparing to buy.

If a situation arises where the seller can also lose a deposit, they’ve lost time and money pulling their home off the market while waiting for the buyers to change their mind.

6. A loan falls through

Perhaps a buyer, once inside “their” new home, buys furniture and dings their credit score – or maybe something else happens, including things like wire fraud that sends the buyers’ mortgage money to a criminal organization in Siberia.

Sellers want to get their home on the market quickly if a deal falls through, but this creates a whole set of other possible problems, especially if the buyer has no immediate place to go. In addition, a ready-to-show home that has been lived in for three weeks might need to be cleaned again.

While there may be a good reason to allow buyers access to a listing before closing, good-hearted sellers who say, “Sure, go ahead,” as soon as their buyer asks for early access should at least take a few minutes first to consider all the possibilities.

“In the event you have sellers willing to allow buyers in early, you should recommend, in writing, that the parties get a pre-occupancy agreement – preferably one drafted by an attorney – in place before moving forward,” recommends Meredith Caruso, Florida Realtors’ manager of member legal communications.

Source: Inman News, Cara Ameer, broker associate with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

© 2018 Florida Realtors®

https://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?id=374444

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!

When Not to Spend the Money

November 27th, 2018 by tisner

home-buying tips

Bigger is better almost all of the time, except when it comes to the amount you’re spending on a new home.  There are certain things that we should look for in a new house, but also things we shouldn’t.  If this is your first time buying a home, and you know the budget will be tight, plan well enough, and you’ll better manage the expense of being a homeowner.   

  • Decide before you start house hunting how much you can spend.  We can’t say it enough:  plan a budget and stick to it. 
  • Just because you are approved for a certain loan amount, it doesn’t have to be spent. If you can find a house that you love for less than the approval limit, then go with it.   
  • If you do find a house at a “great price,” find out why it’s priced to sell.  Talk to neighbors, do some internet sleuthing, and make sure you’re making the right decision to buy it when everyone says it’s a “steal.”   
  • Getting a house in a great school district is wonderful, but if you don’t have children, or will likely move once you do, don’t spend the extra to move into an area that is probably higher priced because of the quality of local education. 
  • When it comes to the kids, do they really need a play or media room?  If your children are involved in after-school activities and spending a lot of time at practices, rehearsals and lessons, then the extra space won’t be used often.  The extra cost in the purchase price–not to mention the utilities to heat and cool the rooms–will be money wasted. 
  • That same thinking goes hand-in-hand with living in a bigger house, period.  Larger houses will cost more in insurance, taxes, and utilities.  Even if your mortgage payments will likely be cheaper than your current rent, the extra costs can hurt your wallet once you move. 
  • If you’re not the type that likes to do yard work, or if you don’t want to spend your time off work mowing, raking, weeding and trimming, then a large beautiful yard isn’t worth the money.   
  • A house that needs simple cosmetic updates is great for those who have the time and money to perform these jobs themselves, but if you buy a house that’s within your budget with the intent to do extensive work, it may cost you much more in the end. 

The wisest thing to do during the home-buying process is take your time and think practically.  Have your needs at the top of your house-hunting list, and your wants further down. Falling in love with an amazing house can cloud our home-buying decision.  You don’t want to spend your days in an amazing house worrying about how you’ll pay for it.  Buy what you can afford, and what you’ll truly live in and enjoy.

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: daveramsey.com

Buyer Mistakes to Avoid

September 26th, 2018 by tisner

Buyer Mistakes to Avoid in Orlando FL

In today’s instant gratification society, finding out just how much time the home-buying process can take surprises some first-time home buyers.  Patience is a virtue when it comes to buying a home, and mistakes can be made, slowing the process down.  These tips should help you avoid common errors a home buyer can make: 

  • It may sound like it should be worn out by now, but make sure your credit is in good standing. 
  • Don’t overestimate how much you can afford.  If you’re just able to scrape the rent payment together every month, don’t look at homes where your loan payment will be equal to or more than the rent. 
  • Be certain you have enough for your down payment saved, as well as other up-front costs.   
  • Get pre-approved, not pre-qualified, for a home loan.  Talk to different lenders to line up the best deal for you. 
  • Speaking of loans, there are plenty of programs to assist first-time home buyers in paying a lower than 20% down payment, as well as those with credit issues, and lower income.  Go to realtor.comⓇ for a list of the different programs. 
  • Once you’ve applied for a mortgage, don’t apply for any other credit:  applying for a loan for a new car, credit cards, or even new furniture to go in your new home can hurt your credit score in the mortgage process. 
  • Don’t underestimate open houses in the area you’re wanting to relocate to.  It can give you a good idea of what’s available, get a look at different neighborhoods, as well as the home prices.  You may even find your new home! 
  • Look at more than one house, unless it’s a family home, or other special situation.  Upon visiting each house, keep a record of the ones you like, and a list of the pros and cons of each one.   
  • Think ahead; if you have children leaving home soon, or if your parents will need to move in with you, look for a home with what room you’ll need then, not just for now. 

One of the most important things you can do is get your own buyer’s agent.  They have knowledge you don’t have about the market, and what’s available.  Ask your RealtorⓇ for a copy of the current market information, so you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the home-buying process, and so there won’t be any surprises.

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: ActiveRain

Buying New Construction in Orlando, FL

March 14th, 2018 by tisner

Buying New Construction Homes

The thought of a brand-new, up-to-date home appeals to many, and if you’re considering buying a new construction, there are few things you should know. Following these guidelines can make your venture a little easier.

  • Before you make that first visit to the model home, find a real estate agent to accompany you, and keep them involved in every aspect. If you wait until after you’ve talked to the builder’s agent, you lose the benefit of having buyer’s representation.
  • Hiring your own real estate professional is wise, because you’ll have someone with your interests at heart.
  • Shop around for the best loan in advance. If the builder’s lender has incentives and discounts, consider this if it will benefit you in the end.

Some questions to ask the builder’s agent on that first meeting:

  • Ask for info about how many lots and homes have been sold.
  • You need to know about each home site’s size, and how close each house is to each other.
  • What is the investors ratio allowed in the community? This will tell you the rental the number of homes that are possibly rentals.
  • What is the projected completion date for the new construction site?
  • If the completion date isn’t met after we have signed a contract, is there a deposit refund or a cancellation clause?
  • How long is the home’s warranty, and what does it cover?
  • Is a garage or deck standard or an extra cost?
  • Is smart technology wiring included in the basic home package, and is wiring to all bedrooms an extra expense?
  • How much input do I have on paint colors, flooring, kitchen cabinets and bathroom finishes?
  • What appliances are included?
  • Is there a builder’s upgrade credit?
  • Find out the what the builder’s policy is if they run short of materials. Most builders have the right to substitute, and you don’t want to be surprised to see mosaic tile where you thought subway tile would be in your finished home.
  • Keep in mind that the model home you are shown has all the upgrades. Don’t assume you’re getting everything in your home that the model has. For instance, shelves and the latest organizational features are in the walk-in at the model home, but all of those could be upgrades. Ask about these features and write everything down as you get answers.
  • Talk to residents who are already living in the community, and ask them about any concerns they have, and what they love about their new home.
  • Don’t skip getting a home inspection just because it’s new construction. Humans make mistakes, and it’s better to pay extra for a home inspection to find out everything is fine than deal with something that will cost a lot in the long run. Be sure your purchase contract allows you to hire an inspector outside the building company.
  • If the model home is one of the last homes left in the neighborhood, ask about buying it! You may not get every finish just as you’d like, but you can paint a room or change the flooring if the cost of the house with all the bells and whistles is comparable to one that’s just been finished.

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: Decker Home Services

House Hunting Homework

February 6th, 2018 by tisner

There is plenty to do to prepare for buying your new home, and once you’re actively touring homes or stopping into an open house, you can draw a blank when it comes time to ask specifics.  Have some questions ready to prepare yourself so you won’t forget! 

Open House and Walkthrough 

  • How long has the house been on the market, and are there any current offers? The length of time it’s been for sale can mean savings for you, or you may not want to bother if there are already multiple offers. 
  • Why is the current owner selling?  This may seem like prying, and you may not get the exact answer, but it can add flexibility to price negotiations if the owner is ready for a fast sale. 
  • Ask for a seller’s disclosure before you think about making an offer. Check this list for your state’s info about what the seller must tell you before buying the house. 
  • How old is the roof? An older roof that has issues can either cost in the long run, or give you a discount on the sale price if it need replacing. 
  • If it isn’t obvious, ask when the house was last updated.  With people living longer, some could have lived in the same home for fifty years and done nothing else besides redecorating. 
  • Condition of the home’s systems are important, so inquire about the age of the water heater, electric, plumbing, security and climate control systems. 
  • How is the home heated and insulated, including the attic?  You need to have a good idea of what your utilities will cost, and heating can be expensive, whether it’s propane, electric, or geothermal if the insulation needs improving. 
  • Has the house been treated for pests on a regular basis?  This can keep a lot of headaches at bay in the long run. 
  • What is included in the sale price, and are any warranties still active?  You don’t want to be surprised when you start moving in and find out you have to buy all new appliances. 
  • You may be moving in the same general area, but a different city or county.  Property taxes vary per location, so make sure you know how much you will be paying if you eventually purchase the home. 
  • If your prospective new home is in a historic district or homeowner’s association, there will be restrictions on how you renovate or build an addition, and fees for HOA.  Ask your realtor for these details. 

Pay Attention 

  • While you’re on your walkthrough, pay attention to traffic and nearby surroundings.  Spend several minutes outside in the front and back yards and listen for any traffic noise, or a noisy possible neighbor. 
  • Is your prospective new home on a busy shortcut street in the mornings and evenings?  Make time to discover for yourself and drive through on your way to or from work. 
  • Look closely at fresh paint jobs for cracks or possible mold.  Sometimes, that new paint is covering up a problem. 
  • Check your mobile phone for signal strength.  Different areas can be dead zones. 
  • Drive through the area one evening after most people are home from work.  Is there plenty of parking available? 

Using these opportunities to find all the information you can about a potential new home is imperative when you know you’ll be looking at many different homes on the market.  Do your homework–keep a list of questions on your mobile phone’s notepad app so you won’t forget anything, or use a clipboard if you’re looking at multiple houses, keeping this information better organized. Since buying a home will most likely be your biggest investment, you want to be certain your money will be spent wisely. 

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: ashwinarchitects.com

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

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