Archive for April 2015

Dreaming of a Home in 2015? Focus on Saving

Terry Riffe | April 29, 2015

Buying a home in 2015Even though most people start their New Year’s resolutions on January 1, some people add resolutions as the year progresses.Dreaming of a Home in 2015? Focus on Saving. For some, that goal is realizing the dream of homeownership. Beginning the process of buying a home can be daunting, buy it is easy enough to begin working on the first step -saving for a down payment. According to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 65 percent of home buyers utilize their savings account for a downpayment; however, buyers find many other ways to finance a down payment, including selling stocks or bonds, relying on gifts from their friends or relatives, retirement funds or using the proceeds from another home sale.

Beginning to build savings should be a priority for potential buyers because it can take some time. According to NAR’s report, it took half of buyers a year or less to save for a down payment, while another 19 percent said it took between one and two years to build their savings account. Additionally, 29 percent said they needed more than two years to save.

In speaking with a local home buyer, Terry Riffe, she explains why her family plans on using money from a savings account as opposed to cashing in stocks or retirement funds, ” With more than enough money in our savings account for our downpayment, it just makes sense to us to use those funds. We have been planning our retirement for many years and feel more comfortable in leaving those funds for that purpose”.

Regardless of which option you plan to utilize for your downpayment, focusing on securing those funds is the first step in purchasing your new home. For all of your home buying needs or questions, call me at (407) 800-0888 or send me an email

Geoff & Trish Knowles

Terry Riffe | April 28, 2015

CONGRATSWhen we decided it was time to sell our vacation home in Kissimmee our CPA advised us to talk to An.

It was without doubt the best advice we could have been given.

When you are several thousand miles away you look for an approachable, hard working, honest and highly motivated realtor who will keep you informed of all developments and make the whole process easy for you, and that is exactly what we got with An. She looked after us every step of the way and made us feel as though we were her only clients, we could not have asked for more.
An came highly recommended to us and we would happily pass on that same high recommendation to any one who is looking to buy, sell or invest in property in the Orlando area.
An is quite definitely a person who you can rely on to do her best for you.

James & Christine Coyne

Terry Riffe |

Sold house“Thank you for all your help and support with the sale of our house, the quality of the maintenance whilst looking after our house over the years, and for the champagne and chocolates received after the sale.

We will miss our house, but are happy in the knowledge that we have a great contact in Florida if we wish to visit in the future.

Once again, many thanks.”

James and Christine

The Parry’s

Terry Riffe | April 27, 2015

Sold HomeI have owned a property for 15 years in Orlando & for the last 4/5 years An’s company USA Vacation Homes have managed & maintained my home. During that time An has been very supportive & become a friend but has always been professional in her work & very good with solving problems & providing a first class service. An was an automatic choice to be the Realtor when I decided to sell in October 2014. The process was very well managed & brought to a successful sale by the professional way that An works. It was a very easy & stress free procedure all thanks to An’s hard work. I would not hesitate to recommend An to either provide a service while owning a home in Florida or in the sale of a property.

Orlando Vacation Realty Earns BBB Accreditation

Terry Riffe | April 22, 2015

Orlando Vacation Realty earns BBB accreditation Orlando Vacation Realty is Committed to BBB’s Standards of Trust

This week, Orlando vacation Realty announced its recent accreditation by BBB serving Central Florida. As a BBB Accredited Business, Orlando Vacation Realty is dedicated  to promoting trust in the marketplace.

According to BBB reports by Princeton Research, seven in ten consumers say they are more likely to buy from a company designated as a BBB Accredited Business. BBB is a resource for the public, providing objective, unbiased information about businesses.

“We are pleased to be a BBB Accredited because we value building trust with our clients,” said An Flamand, Broker/Owner of Orlando Vacation Realty. “Our BBB Accreditation gives our clients confidence in our commitment to maintaining high ethical standards of conduct.”

BBB Accredited Businesses must adhere to BBB’s “Standards of Trust,” a comprehensive set of policies, procedures and best practices representing trustworthiness in the marketplace. The standards call for building trust, embodying integrity, advertising honestly and telling the truth, being transparent, honouring promises, being responsive and safeguarding privacy.

About Orlando Vacation Realty

An Flamand, Broker/Owner of Orlando Vacation Realty, specializes in luxurious Vacation, Investment and Residential homes in the Greater Orlando and surrounding areas. Having founded her company with the dedication to make Orlando Vacation Realty a true “Full-Service” Realty firm, An is personally involved in all aspects of her clients Real Estate needs.

About BBB

BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on business and charities.


Sellers: Be sure to Prepare your Home for Showings

Terry Riffe | April 16, 2015

Sellers: prepare your home before showingsSellers: Be sure to ‘prepare’ your home before showings.  Take note of these ‘turn-offs’ for potential buyers:

1. Clutter, clutter, clutter

It’s not always easy to see the forest for the trees, and the same goes for your home. While you may thoroughly enjoy filling every available space with your life’s memories, when you decide to sell your home – it’s time to put these things away. A buyer wants to see your home and be able to picture it as their own. The more ‘generic’ you make your home, the easier it will be for buyers to see themselves in it and the more prepared you’ll be.

2. ‘Repurposing’ a bedroom or garage

When a potential buyer begins shopping for a home, the most common first requirement is the number of bedrooms. For example, let’s say you decided to turn one of the bedrooms into a full-fledged gym. While the idea of pulling up all the carpets to be able to put down gym mats for all of your equipment and covering all of the walls with mirrors may be perfect for you, potential buyers probably won’t see it that way.  By the same token, if a potential buyer is in the market for a home with a garage and you have sealed up the garage door and turned it into a games room or office, these buyers will probably pass your home up. When you are ready to put your home on the market, be sure it will show as it is described.

3. Over the top ‘interior design’

This is very similar to #1. Let’s face it, searching for that perfect home is exhausting. Add onto that the thought of packing up and moving, and a potential buyer is tired before they truly get started. When looking a t home, if all they can see is even more work for themselves – they’ll probably pass. So, if you are serious about wanting to sell your home, get your home ready. I know, your children love Disney and you have put tons of energy covering every available wall space with that wonderful mouse. But, now is the time to cover those walls with a nice neutral tone. Potential buyers will see a clean slate as opposed to tons of work in their future. This is truly one of the best ways to be prepared.

4. Dismal curb appeal

More often than not, a potential buyer is going to do a ‘drive-by’ before actually making an appointment to see the inside. If the outside of your home gives the buyer the impression that you are not taking care of your property, chances are they will assume the same for the inside. Keep your lawn, shrubs, driveway and porches clean and tidy.

5. Dirty dishes, messy bathrooms/bedrooms

When potential buyers are going to be seeing the home, be sure that you have your home prepared. Be sure that there is a place for everything and everything in its place. Place all dirty dishes in the dish washer, or better yet be sure they are cleaned and properly put away. The same goes for your laundry. In regards to the bathrooms, be sure that everything is put away and all fixtures (including the toilet) are sparkling. If your home is not clean and presentable, chances are any potential buyers will be in hurry to just get through it instead of being able to look around to see all it has to offer.

I would be more than happy to assist you with preparing your home to put it on the market. Please contact me at 1(407)800-0888 or email me at .

Luxurious Home for Sale in the Gated Community of Mission Park

Terry Riffe | April 14, 2015

15633 Markham Dr, Clermont, FLLocated in the highly sought after Disney area of Central Florida, is the beautiful gated community Mission Park.  While Mission Park is a fully equipped Resort community, there are many that live there full time. The whole family will enjoy the community amenities including community swimming pool, basketball courts and playgrounds.  Mission Park is just minutes from the new Publix shopping plaza, a variety of dining options, I-4 is easily accessible and of course Disney is less than a 15 minute drive.

15633 Markham Drive, Clermont, FL is a luxurious, fully furnished private pool home with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. This home has everything; Beautifully decorated, all appliances, family games room including pool table, foosball, air hockey and darts! Not only that, but all of the bedrooms and bathrooms include an abundance of luxurious linens in every one.

This home is truly perfect for a family residence or vacation home investment, which means it will not last long! To schedule your appointment to see this home, or any home in the Four Corners area, call me @ (407)800-0888 or email

Helpful Tips to Reduce the Stress of Buying a Home

Terry Riffe | April 13, 2015

REDUCE STRESS WHEN BUYING YOUR HOMELet’s face it, buying a home can bring on some stress. Stress, in this situation, is usually brought on because your needs are not met to your expectations. There are two very different kinds of needs that people have while planning on your buying a home; transactional needs and emotional needs. Transactional needs consist of finding the home that is just right for you, finding a seller who is realistic, negotiating the price, filling out the paperwork, handling the buying process, and arranging for the move. Then we have emotional needs that are involved when moving, and this is where the biggest stress comes in. Any competent agent will handle the transactional needs for you, but if your emotional needs are unfulfilled, you’ll be frustrated and may not act in your own best interests. The ideal real estate agent is one, who is competent with paperwork & numbers, but can also guide, direct and counsel you through the emotional ups and downs of moving.

Keep the final outcome in mind.

~Have an ultimate scenario of where you’re trying to be. What will life be like when you get there? How will it be better than where you are now?

~Dwell on that picture and write it out, fill up at least a page about how it feels in the new place. This is imperative. Having the goal in front of you at all times energizes you to achieve it, in spite of setbacks and frustrations.

~Emotions will run high and you need an anchor. You too must focus on that future goal when anxiety threatens to get the better of you.

Be flexible.

~In your monetary calculations, overestimate by a thousand dollars. In this market, anything can happen between contract acceptance and closing. It could be the inspections reveal areas of concern that the seller is unwilling to fix or the repair costs are higher than the amount limited in the contract. Or the interest rate changes which affects the necessary down payment and closing costs you will need to pay.

~As your real estate agent, I will strive to tie up loose ends as quickly as possible, but remember there is no perfect world. Most buyers feel a bit overwhelmed when taking on a new mortgage and the responsibilities of a new home. We have seen many buyers get angry when it seems like the cost just keeps going up. Anger is caused when reality doesn’t match up with the expectations you had in your mind. So if you anticipate this happening in advance, you won’t get angry.

Trust in the process.

~There’s just so much to do, it’s easy to panic. You wonder if it will ever work out.

~You think you’re taking a big chance, but the truth is you’re giving yourself a big chance. Even though you can’t see every step of the way, as you move towards your goals, the way opens up.

~Trust that I know the way to get you there.

Get knowledge.

~One thing you’ll probably feel during this transition time is being out of control. It feels like everyone else has taken over your life. The seller, your lender, the appraiser, the inspectors, they all have the power to say yes or no to your moving plans.

~We will try our best to let you know ahead of time what your expenses will be, and what the unknowns are. We will tie down the loose ends as soon as possible.

~We will try to get your loan approved within a reasonable time frame and educate you as best I can and let you in “behind the scenes” so you won’t ever feel out of control.

What are your options?

~When things don’t go as smoothly as you had hoped, don’t let emotions take over. Always ask yourself “What is my option?” because there are always options.

~Each case is unique, but when setbacks occur we’ve found that asking yourself this question helps to defuse the situation and restore clear headed thinking.

Seek entertainment. 

~When there’s nothing you can do about the situation, take your mind off of it altogether.

~Maybe you expected loan approval on Friday, but now it won’t come until Monday. You hate being in limbo and feeling powerless. So do something else entirely, maybe something where you aren’t powerless.

~Take a hike, play tennis, get out of town for the day, watch a movie, pray, or pour yourself into your work. Whatever diversion works best for you, now would be a good time to engage in it.

~Just forget the situation and refuse to listen to those irritating thoughts when they come into your head. Think about something else instead and just take it one day at a time.

Call us 1-407-800-0888 or email  for more details or with any questions


The Campbell family

An Flamand | April 2, 2015

From the Campbell family – “An Flamand with Orlando Vacation Realty has gone above and beyond to help us find our dream vacation home it truly feels like a home away from home. They know the area and were very patient in working with us to find the perfect home for our family. We truly feel like they are part of the family now. Thank you An, Dean and the USA Vacation Homes team for finding our perfect home that we can share with others to vacation in too.”


Thank you,

The Campbell family

Understanding ‘1031 Exchange’ for Investment Buyers & Sellers

Terry Riffe |

Understanding 1031 exchange

1031 Exchange for Investment Buyers & Sellers

What is a 1031 Exchange?

Normally when you sell property, you realize a gain or loss in that transaction. Section §1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code provides an exception to that general rule, which states that: “No gain . . . shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in trade or business or for investment if such property is exchanged solely for property of like kind . . .” The concept is simple: In a 1031 exchange, you exchange Property “A” for Property “B”. The sale proceeds from “A” are used to pay for the purchase of “B”. By using a “Qualified Intermediary” to transfer both properties and funds, rather than you doing so directly, your tax liability is deferred.

What are the benefits of a 1031 Exchange?

Instead of selling a property, paying taxes on it, and then using the reduced after-tax proceeds to buy other real estate, IRC §1031 allows you to defer the capital gains tax owed. This enables full reinvestment of your sale proceeds. The amount not paid in capital gains tax to federal and state governments creates increased equity in your investment. Tax deferment increases the availability of your money which can be invested into better property(s) of greater value. Tax deferment is leverage, and leverage creates wealth. In effect, you receive an interest-free loan from the government, in the amount you would have paid in taxes.

What are the Basic Requirements for a Successful Exchange?

There must be at least 2 properties in an exchange: One (or more) that you are selling, and one (or more) that you are replacing it with. The properties being exchanged must “qualify” – They must be held for use in trade or business or for investment.
The properties that you are exchanging do not have to be identical, so you can exchange land for warehouse, office for rental home, etc. Property that you own for personal use does not qualify for a 1031 exchange.

To defer ALL of your Capital Gains:

The purchase price of your replacement property(s) must be equal to or greater than the sales price of your relinquished (sold) property(s). All of your sale equity (cash) must be reinvested in the replacement property(s). You MUST use a “Qualified Intermediary” (Accommodator). The IRS will not allow you to receive cash proceeds or take “constructive receipt” of the funds in any way, or else you will be taxed.

What are the timing requirements?

From the day of closing on your first sale, you have up to 45 days to identify potential acquisition candidates and 180 days to close on the purchase of your replacement property.

So if I’ve contracted to sell a property but not yet closed, it is still OK to do an exchange?

You are still OK. But, again, once you have closed on your sale, it is too late. You cannot close and then re-open it to do an exchange. Therefore, if you selling and want to do a 1031 exchange call the accommodator immediately.

What if I have closed on the first sale, but I haven’t touched the money?

Sorry, too late! You are responsible for the tax on the capital gain.

I know I have a maximum of 45 days from the day of closing on the sale escrow in which to identify my replacement property. How do I do this?

Identification must be written, specific, timely, and delivered to a qualified, unrelated third party. There are three distinct rules for identification:

~“3-Property Rule”: up to 3 potential properties, no matter what their value (the most popular choice by far), or
~“200% Rule”: any number of properties, but the total value cannot exceed twice the value of the relinquished property, or
~“95% Rule”: any number of properties, but you must close on 95% of the aggregate value of those identified properties (very rarely used).

How can I receive more information on the 1031 exchange?

We have the experience to assist you with your 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange. Just remember that the investment properties must be “Like Kind” and the time frames are very important.  Email ,  or call us at 1-407-800-0888.