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Renovations and Your Homeowners Insurance

June 11th, 2019 by tisner


Making the decision to renovate any room in your home comes after a lot of thought and planning, but don’t forget that changes in your home can create changes in your homeowner’s
 insurance.  Whether the renovations lower or increase the payment depends on the job, so we’re going to look at how a remodel can affect your wallet: 

  • Additions:  Whenever you add square footage to your home, your policy will need to be upgraded, likely increasing your premium. 
  • Converted Space:  Turning your garage into a home theater or creating a master suite from your attic space may not require changes to the policy if the square footage is already covered, but as replacement value has changed, you will want to increase your coverage. 
  • Home System Upgrades: Improving electrical and plumbing systems can lower your premiums, as upgrading them can make your home safer from incidents relating to fire and leaky pipes. 
  • Pools:  Installing a pool or hot tub in your backyard will add to the replacement value of your home, and you’ll need to increase liability coverage to protect yourself in case of any accidents, 
  • Roofing:  A new roof can lower your premium, especially if you upgrade it to the latest standards of protecting your home from natural disasters. 
  • Security Systems:  According to Safewise, adding a home security system could lower your homeowners premium by 20%.   
  • Solar Panels:  You will want to talk to your insurance agent before installing solar panels to your home.  They may require a separate policy, depending on how they are mounted, which would add to your budget.  
  • Upgrades:  Whether you use top-quality building materials for your renovation, upgrade the finishes in your home, or install state-of-the-art appliances in the kitchen, you’ll need to change your policy to reflect the replacement value. 

Making changes to your home improve your quality of life in many ways, but it may come at a cost.  Protecting your investment is worth it in the end, but you want to be prepared for anything that will add to your monthly budget. Schedule a meeting with your insurance agent before beginning any major changes in your home so you won’t be surprised when your payment increases. 

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: contractorconnection.com

Home Projects by Season

April 30th, 2019 by tisner


Thinking about doing some home improvements?  Whether it’s a kitchen or bathroom remodel, a whole-house painting, or floor refinishing, there’s a time of year when these jobs are easier to get completed, mainly because of how the weather affects not only c
onstruction, but the quality of the finished product as well.  Find the project you’re considering, and see when it’ll be the right time to get to work:  

Additions, because of needing a new foundation, could be started in late Winter/early Spring when the ground is still cold and more compact.  It makes for better digging and concrete pouring and setup. 

Exterior door replacement would be convenient any time except Winter, just in case there are any issues and the doors aren’t a quick switch. 

Exterior painting, for many reasons, is a better idea in early to late Summer, when temperatures are above fifty degrees. 

HVAC work, in non-emergency situations, should be done in the off seasons–new heater in warm months, air conditioning before it’s sweltering outside. 

Interior remodeling like kitchen and bathroom redo’s, can be done practically any time.  The main thing to keep in mind here is warm months are busier for contractors, and that can mean a job done in a hurry, or higher prices. 

Outdoor projects, even though a popular time for construction is the warmer months, should be started in late Winter, simply because you want to be able to spend your Summer enjoying your new outdoor space! 

Refinishing hardwoods is probably best completed during the times of year when humidity is low for the best finish, and so windows can be opened to allow air circulation to help get rid of any associated odors. 

Roofing, believe it or not, may get better results in hot months of the year, as the most common materials used will need warm temps for the best performance. 

Window repair/replacement is managed well during warm months or when frequent rain isn’t a factor. 

Keep in mind that Spring and Summer are busiest time for contractors.  If you are hiring your job out, the process should be started long enough in advance that you don’t have to be put on a wait list.  On that same note, during slower months, a contractor may give you a deal on the work, because there aren’t other jobs to be done, and you get their full attention!  Planning is key for a smooth finish on any project, any time of year. 

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: RISmedia

Sprucing Up Your Small Bathroom

March 26th, 2019 by tisner

Sprucing Up Your Small Bathroom
The poor, lowly bathroom.  Many of us don’t really know how to decorate it short of hanging a pretty shower curtain, because there’s very little room for improvement. Or so we believe. Let’s look at some ideas to make a small necessary room a more attracti
ve place to visit: 

  • Just because the room is small doesn’t mean the walls have to be white.  Paint in a color you love, bold or pastel, or wallpaper that makes a statement is as appropriate for a small room as a large one. 
  • A small bathroom means smaller-sized fixtures and splurging on a nice cabinet or sink won’t hurt the pocketbook as much, while adding style. 
  • Contrasting shower tile is a great way to add color to a bath and gives you a reason to keep the curtain pulled back, opening up the space, and showing off your colorful shower! 
  • If your small bath or powder room doesn’t have a window, use decorative lighting for your focal point, and add wall sconces on the wall over the toilet, and on either side of the mirror. 
  • Floor covers, and adhesive tile is simple to install, is available in endless designs and colors, and can be the feature for your small bathroom.   
  • When new tile, paint, or wallpaper isn’t in the budget, add color through your accessories. Brightly colored curtain or shade, rug, and artwork can make the room. 
  • Since most small bathrooms don’t have a lot of storage, you have to be creative and practical, or use functional decor.  Check out these bathroom storage ideas from Good Housekeeping. 
  • Weekend warriors or those who are confident enough in their skill level can create recessed shelving with this how-to from DIY Network.  If you like the idea but lack the skills, call a reputable carpenter to handle this small job. 
  • Large mirrors aren’t just for large bathrooms; using them in your small bathroom helps bring in the light, making the room appear larger. 
  • Keep the less-is-more attitude when adding things to a small bathroom; a small plant, soap, and hand towel are all you need on the counter. 

Not only can you make your little bathroom stylish, you can cut down on clutter and keep it organized for smoother mornings or guest use.  Don’t think of this project as a challenge, look for inspiration, and it may end up becoming your favorite retreat! 

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: Pinterest

Un-Wall Papering

February 12th, 2019 by tisner

Un-Wall Papering

You’ve just bought the perfect home, it needs a little cosmetic work, and you’re ready to tackle the job.  When you think about removing the dated wallpaper in the dining room, and you put it off, for fear that it’s going to take forever.  It may be a messy and time-consuming job, but it’s not going to be as hard as you think if you follow these tips: 

  • Tools you will need:  plastic sheeting, wide masking tape, rags and old towels, bucket, spray bottles or garden sprayer, three- or four-inch wide scrapers, paper scoring tool, large tile sponge; if the wallpaper is old, you may need to purchase an enzyme-based remover at a home store. 
  • Before you begin, remove furniture from the room, or put it all in the center, and cover with plastic.  Using the masking tape, tape the plastic sheeting over the baseboards, and spread the rest of the plastic onto the floor. Don’t forget to cover electrical outlets! 
  • Using the scrolling perforator tool, gently score the paper in every direction so your solution (next step) can penetrate the paper and adhesive for easier removal. 
  • Now, mix up one gallon of hot tap water with one cup of white vinegar, add to your spray bottle or garden sprayer, and apply the solution to the scored paper, one section at the time.  Allow to sit for ten minutes. 
  • Beginning in a top corner, lift the paper with the scraper, and gently tug.  If it comes off easily, continue to remove as much paper as possible, carefully using the scraper on the more resistant parts. If that first piece isn’t budging after a tug, allow the vinegar solution to sit for a few more minutes, then test again. 
  • Once you have the bulk of the paper off one section, continue spraying and removing one area of the wall at the time.   
  • Use care when you get to a section where the glue can be especially sturdy:  give the area shot of the vinegar solution, and gently scrape in the direction you’re pulling the paper.  You don’t want to damage the drywall or plaster. 
  • Once the paper is off, you’ll still have some of the backing stuck to the walls.  Using a large sponge dampened with the vinegar solution and your scraper, rub over the backing, scraping gently as you go. 
  • After the walls are clear of paper and adhesive, fill your bucket with clean warm water, and wipe the walls down with the tile sponge.  Allow to dry. 
  • Paper will likely remain under any switch plates and outlet covers.  Turn off electricity to the room, and remove the wall plates with a screwdriver, peeling the paper off carefully. 

If the paper has been hung over other layers of wallpaper, obviously, the job will take more time, but try to only remove one layer at a time, using the above steps for every layer.  Sometimes you get lucky, and more than one layer comes off at a time.  Set aside a weekend for this job and grab some help to make the job go faster.  Take your helper out to eat once the job is complete!

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: HGTV.com

Decluttering the Hard Stuff

January 29th, 2019 by tisner

Decluttering the Hard Stuff
When the holidays roll around, we usually come across a couple of boxes of decor we haven’t used in a few years, the kids find that they have no room for their new things, and we simply realize it is time for a throwing out party!  Use these tips to have a decluttering and start the new year off clutter-free! 

  • You could make some extra holiday cash if you’d get rid of those not-so-stylish Christmas sweaters you have stored away.  Sell them in social media website marketplaces or give them to a charity to sell. 
  • Non-sentimental decorations that haven’t been used in a few years should be given the same thought as clothes you haven’t worn lately:  get rid of them. 
  • Many schools and other charities hold warm clothing drives this time of year.  If you have coats, gloves and other cozy gear in good condition that haven’t been worn in a year or two, even adult sizes, have them cleaned and donate them. 
  • Books are items that are very difficult for readers to declutter, but you can stop the growth of your book pile.  Go to the local library, sign up for a card, and check out books! If you love them, then buy a copy.  That way, you won’t have books you’ll likely not read again stored or crowding your home. 
  • Your children can help with the room-cleaning and let them decide what they want to give away.  If they can’t remember the last time, they played with something, and if it’s not extra-special to them, put it in a giveaway bag.  Call local non-profit daycares and homeless/domestic violence shelters to see if they can use them. 
  • Take time over the holidays to clean up your computer.  Look for old documents and downloads that you’re no longer using and remove programs that you nor the computer need.  It will free up memory and may even help the speed of your computer. 
  • Old blankets and other bedding that isn’t being used would be a great donation for animal shelters! Gather everything in a bag and give your local pound or shelter a call. 
  • In the bathroom closet and medicine cabinets, you may find a lot of lotions/creams/soaps that have never been used.  Donate these to assisted living centers or homeless shelters. 

It can be difficult to let things go, because we hold on to things because we just know we’ll need them as soon as they’re gone.  It’s best to set a few things to get rid of, or amount of time to spend on the cleaning, or just a date to start our throwing-out party and stick to 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!

Photo credit: flickr.com

Removing Carpet

November 20th, 2018 by tisner

home flooring options

Homeowners of houses built in the wall-to-wall carpet phase may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is hardwood flooring beneath rug.  If you’ve pulled up a corner of the carpeting and found just that, or simply want to remove the old carpet before new is installed, DIY’ing this job is a good idea, but be ready–here are a few tips for removing wall-to-wall carpeting: 

  • You’ll need a few things–heavy duty trash bags, protective gloves, sharp utility knife, dust mask, and a crowbar, and for removing padding glue or staples, a flat floor scraper or padding adhesive remover. 
  • Remove all the furniture from the room, as well as floor vents, and any under shoe molding.  Vacuum very well to remove as much dirt and dust as possible. 
  • If there is a room door that swings inward, take the door off the hinges to keep it out of the way. 
  • Suit up with the dust mask and the work gloves, and start in a corner, pulling a section back with the crowbar, taking care to be mindful of the tack strips that can be holding down the carpet around the perimeter of the room. 
  • Once you’ve pulled the carpet back, fold it over, and, using the utility knife, cut a section of carpet from the back side for easier going. (Cutting the large rug into sections makes it much more manageable than rolling up the whole piece.)  
  • Remove the tack strips with the crowbar if you have hardwood floors under the padding that you plan on refinishing.  Start in the middle of the strip, loosening the nails, and work towards the ends. 
  • After the tack strips are out, tackle the padding.  Pull it up, cutting into sections the same way the carpet was cut. 
  • Some padding is installed with adhesive, and some is stapled to the floor.  If there is glue remaining on the floor, follow the instructions on the carpet padding adhesive remover to get the glue off the flooring. The staples can be removed with the floor scraper. 
  • Remember that if you’re planning on recarpeting the floor, leave the tack strips in place, and remove the padding anyway, as most installers require new padding to be put down. 

Call your local municipality to find out how they would like for you to dispose of the old carpet, because the large amount may not be able to be picked up by the regular truck.  Don’t hesitate to ask about recycling programs that are available, as virtually all carpeting can be recycled.

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: plushardwoodflooring.com

Overlooked Recordkeeping

May 4th, 2018 by tisner

Homeowners are familiar that they can deduct the interest and property taxes from their income tax returns. They also understand that there is a substantial capital gains exclusion for qualified sales of up to $250,000 if single and $500,000 for married filing jointly. However, ongoing recordkeeping tends to be overlooked.38285944-250.jpg

New homeowners should get in the habit of keeping all receipts and paperwork for any improvements or repairs to the home. Existing homeowners need to be reminded as well, in case they have become lax in doing so.

These expenditures won’t necessarily benefit in the annual tax filing but may become valuable when it is time to sell the home because it raises the basis or cost of the home.

For instance, let’s say a single person buys a $350,000 home that appreciates at 6% a year. Twelve years from now, the home will be worth $700,000. $250,000 of the gain will be exempt with no taxes due but the other $100,000 will be taxed at long-term capital gains rate. At 15%, that would be $15,000 in taxes due.

Assume during the time the home was owned that a variety of improvements totaling $100,000 had been made. The adjusted basis in the home would be $450,000 and the gain would only be $250,000. No capital gains tax would be due.

Some repairs may not qualify as improvements but if the homeowner has receipts for all the money spent on the home, the tax preparer can decide at the time of sale. Small dollar items can really add up to substantial amounts over many years of homeownership.

You can download a Homeowner’s Tax Worksheet that can help you with this recordkeeping. The important thing is to establish a habit of putting receipts for home expenditures in an envelope, so you’ll have it when you are ready to sell.

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!

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