Archive for May 2015

Be Sure You’re Ready when You find You’re Perfect Home

Terry Riffe | May 29, 2015

Buying a home in 2015

Making the decision to buy a home is usually a very happy time in anyone’s life. To ensure your dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare, here are a few tips to keep in mind…

~Check your Credit Report(s)

The very first thing you should do is check your Credit Report. Make sure that everything listed on your Credit Report is accurate and up to date. If you find any discrepancies, it could take upwards of six months to straighten them out. The sooner you check your Credit Report, the better.

~Get ‘pre-approved’

Meet with a Lender before you start your home search. You’ll go over your credit, income, debts and other finances to determine what type of mortgage you qualify for and how much of a mortgage will be available to you. Your Lender will then furnish you with a letter stating that you are pre-approved, with the dollar amount. This letter is a very powerful tool to have when you find a home.

~Understand what you want in a home

Make a list of what are absolute needs/wants in a home for you. Also, make a list of what are absolute deal breakers. Knowing, understanding and recognizing these will save you a lot of time when you begin your search.

~Choose a REALTOR®

Working with a professional who understands financing, inspections, current market conditions, negotiating and everything else associated with buying a home, is a must! Meet with and interview multiple REALTORS® , be sure you find one you get along with and trust.

Buying a home is a process. The more prepared you are at the beginning of this process, the less stress and more enjoyable it will be for you. If you would like more information on steps you should take before you purchase a home or is you are ready to start looking, email me or give me a call at 1(407)800-0888.

Would You like to Sell your Home? Be sure it’s ‘Ready’!

Terry Riffe | May 28, 2015


home preparationsSo, you’ve decided you’re ready to sell your home. Now is the time to get your home ‘ready’! There are a few easy steps that you can take to ensure that your home is ready and more accommodating to a wider range of potential buyers. The staging of your home is a very important step in selling it.

~Get rid of the dirt and clutter

Deep clean your home and rid it of any and all excess clutter. If you are not interested in cleaning or you just don’t have the time, hire a professional to come in and clean for you. A dirty house can be very distracting for potential buyers. Just as important as getting rid of the dirt, is getting rid of the clutter. Remember that you will have people walking through your home and inspecting every nook and cranny. Buyers will want to see in your cabinets and in your closets. No matter how well you think you may be ‘hiding’ your junk, buyers will see it. Clutter will certainly be a distraction for buyers, and can even be a deal breaker.

~Finish any key renovations

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impression. If there are small repairs or updates that need to made to the home, now is the time to do it. Spending a few extra dollars in the beginning can make a large difference when it comes to the bottom line of what potential buyers see the home is worth. If you see that the kitchen cabinets could use new hardware, or the appliances are outdated, take care of it. Same goes for painting or light fixtures, if walls need refreshed or the light fixtures need updated, spending the money up front to take care of these issues could make a big difference in the end.

~Create curb appeal

If you need to, paint your house. Stick to light colors such as whites, beiges or light greys – light colors actually make it appear bigger. Be sure to keep your lawn mowed, bushes trimmed and remove any weeds. Don’t forget about the gutters! The curb appeal is very important, and can either pull potential buyers in or make them pass altogether. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and neither does you home.

For more information on making sure your home is ready for showing, email me at or give me a call, 1-407-800-0888. I look forward to hearing from you!


Beautiful Silver Creek Home for Sale

Terry Riffe | May 22, 2015

Silver Creek vacation home for saleSilver Creek is a beautiful, peaceful community tucked back in an area of Clermont that is surrounded by conservation areas, ponds and lakes. Whether you are in the market for a spacious home for your family or a perfectly located vacation home,check out this fully furnished spacious 2 story home.  This home features 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, 2 master suites and large living room, it accommodates 8 adults comfortably. Perfect as a vacation home or as a residential home, it is only minutes to shopping, restaurants and the Disney theme parks. End your day relaxing in the private pool and spa that overlook conservation areas.

Contact me today for more information or to schedule your private showing; email or call (407)800-0888.

Prestigious Calabay Parc Vacation Home for Sale

Terry Riffe |

Calabay Parc vacation home for salePrestigious Calabay Parc Vacation Home for Sale, A relaxing getaway, only minutes from Disney and close to many other major attractions including championship golf courses and outstanding beaches, this is the perfect place to brush up on your tan after a long day at the Theme Parks. This lovely 4 Bedroom 3 Bathroom pool home is situated within the prestigious Calabay Parc Community. The large pool deck with spa and covered lanai are accessed from either the kitchen, living room or master bedroom.  Fully furnished 7 flat screen TV’s, TV by the pool and hot tub, upgraded stainless steel appliances, washer & dryer, full game room with Pool table poker table flat screen TV. This home is loaded and has always booked very well, has an established clientele and bookings will transfer if buyers stay with same management.

Buying or Selling a Home? Important Terms You Should Know

Terry Riffe | May 18, 2015

Whether you are buying or selling a home, there are some very important terms you should know.

~ Acceleration clause…A provision in a mortgage that gives the lender the right to demand payment of the entire principal balance if a monthly payment is missed.

~ Acceptance…an offeree’s consent to enter into a contact and be bound by the terms of the offer.

~ Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)…A mortgage that permits the lender to adjust its interest rate periodically on the basis of changes in a specified index.

~ Amortization schedule…A timetable for payment of a mortgage loan. An amortization schedule shows the amount of each payment applied to interest and principal and shows the remaining balance after each payment is made.

~ Application…A form used to apply for a mortgage loan and to record pertinent information concerning a prospective mortgagor and the proposed security.

~ Appraisal…A written analysis of the estimated value of a property prepared by a qualified appraiser. Typically this is done once an offer has been written an accepted by the seller. Most are arranged through the bank where the financing is obtained.

~ Appraised value…An opinion of a property’s fair market value, based on an appraiser’s knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property.

~ Appreciation…An increase in the vale of a property due to changes in the market conditions or other causes. The opposite of depreciation.

~ Assessed value…The valuation placed on property by a public tax assessor for purposes of taxation.

~ Bill of sale…A written document that transfers title to personal property.

~ Broker…A person who, for a commission or a fee, brings parties together and assists in negotiating contracts between them.

~ Building code…Local regulations that control design, construction, and materials used in construction. Building codes are based on safety and health standards.

~ Certificate of title…A statement provided by an abstract company, title company, or attorney stating that the title to real estate is legally held by the current owner.

~ Clear title…A title that is free of liens or legal questions as to ownership of the property.

~ Closing…A meeting at which a sale of property is finalized by the buyer signing the mortgage documents and paying closing costs. Also called “settlement”.

~ Closing costs…Expensed (over and above the price of the property) incurred by buyers and sellers in transferring ownership of a property. Closing costs normally include an origination fee, an attorney’s fee, taxes, an amount placed in escrow, and charges for obtaining title insurance and a survey. Closing costs percentage will vary according to the area of the country; lenders or REALTORS® often provide estimates of closing costs to prospective homebuyers.

~ Commission…The fee charged by a broker or agent for negotiating a real estate or loan transaction. A commission is generally a percentage of the price of the property or loan.

~ Commitment letter…A formal offer by a lender stating the terms which it agrees to lend money to a home buyer. Also known as a “loan commitment”.

~ Comparables…An abbreviation for “comparable properties”; used for comparative purposes in the appraisal process. Comparables are properties like the property under consideration; they have reasonable the same size, location, and amenities and have recently been sold. Comparables help the appraiser determine the approximate fair market value of the subject property.

~ Contingency…A condition which must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector.

~ Covenant…A clause in a mortgage that obligates or restricts the borrower and that, if violated, can result in foreclosure.

~ Deed…The legal document conveying title to a property.

~ Depreciation…A decline in value of property; the opposite of appreciation.

~Earnest money deposit…A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house.

~ Encumbrance…Anything that affects or limits the title to a property, such as mortgages, leases, easements or restrictions.

~ Equity…A homeowner’s financial interest in a property. Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and amount still owed on it’s mortgage.

~ Escrow…An item of value, money or documentations deposited with a third party to be delivered upon fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they become due.

~ Exclusive listing…A written contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the exclusive right to sell a property for a specified time, but reserving the owner’s rights to sell the property alone without the payment of a commission.

~ Foreclosure…the legal process by which a borrower, in default under a mortgage, is deprived of his or her interest in the mortgaged property. This usually involves a forced sale of the property at public auction with the proceeds of the sale being applied to the mortgage debt.

~ Home inspection…A thorough inspection that evaluates the structural and mechanical condition of a property. A satisfactory home inspection is often included as a contingency by the purchaser.

~ Homeowner’s association…A nonprofit association that manages the common areas of a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium project. In a condominium project, it has no ownership interest in the common elements.  In a PUD project, it holds title to the common elements.

~HUD-1 statement…A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that are payable at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate commissions, loan fees, points, and initial escrow amounts. Each item on the statement is represented by a separate number within a standardized numbering system. the totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement define the seller’s net proceeds and the buyer’s net payment at closing. The HUD-1 statement is also known as the “closing statement” or “settlement sheet”.

~ Insurance…A contract that provides compensation for specific losses in exchange for a periodic payment. An individual contract is known as an insurance policy, and the periodic payment is known as an insurance premium.

~ Lien…A claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold.

~ Loan-to-value (LTV) percentage…the relationship between the principal balance of the mortgage and the appraised value (or sales price if it is lower) of the property.

~ Point…A one-time charge by the lender for originating a lone. A point is 1% of the amount of the mortgage.

~ Qualifying ratios…Calculations that are used in determining whether a borrower can qualify for a mortgage. They consist of two separate calculations: a housing expense as a percent of income ratio and total debt obligations as a percent of income ratio.

~ Quitclaim deed…A deed that transfers without warranty whatever interest or title or grantor may have at the time the conveyance is made.

~ Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)…A consumer protection law that requires lenders to give borrowers advance notice of closing costs.

~ Title…A legal document evidencing a person’s right to or ownership of a property.

~ Title insurance…Insurance that protects the lender (lender’s policy) and a buyer (owner’s policy) against loss arising from disputes over ownership of a property.

~ Title search…A check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding.

~ Transfer tax…State or local tax payable when title passes from one owner to another.

While this list covers a number of terms you will be using during any real estate transaction, this is only a portion. When buying or selling a home, be sure to use a licensed REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® will assist you in every step of your real estate transaction from beginning to end, ensuring that you understand every part of the process. If you have any questions regarding any of these terms, or it I can be of any further assistance, contact me at (407)800-0888 or email .



Understanding Real Estate ‘Lingo’

Terry Riffe | May 12, 2015

Understanding Real Estate 'Lingo'If you are not familiar with real estate ‘lingo’, searching through listings may seem as though you are reading greek. Most real estate agents use abbreviations in describing their properties. Once you understand these abbreviations, you will be reading through them with confidence. There are many abbreviations but the following list includes the more common ones in use.

~ac, a/c – air conditioning
~aek -all electric kitchen
~appls – appliances
~ba – bathroom
~br – bedroom
~ca, cac – central air conditioning
~cath ceil – cathedral ceiling
~c-d-s – cul de sac
~c/h – central heat
~c/vac – central vacuum
~cp – carport
~d/d – dishwasher and a garbage disposal
~dk – deck
~det – detached garage
~dr/fdr – dining room or a formal dining room
~fag – forced air gas
~f/fin bsmt – fully finished basement
~fp, fplc or frplc – fireplace
~fsbo – for sale by owner
~gar – garage
~gard – garden
~grmet kit – gourmet kitchen
~grt rm – great room
~hdw, hwf, hdwd – hardwood floors
~hi ceils – high ceilings
~kit – kitchen
~la – living area
~lr – living room
~ofc – office
~osp – off street parking is available
~pl, sp or s/p – swimming pool
~pvt – private
~pwdr rm – powder room or half bath
~q pos – quick possession
~smart – this means a computer controls some electronic devices like heating and cooling, alarms and lights
~spac – spacious
~upr – upper floor
~vw, vws, vu, vus – view or views
~wd, w/d – washer and dryer
~wic – walk in closet

For Buyers, there are a few abbreviations or catch phrases that may stand for something you do not want. Following is a list that you may want to pay special attention to.

~close to or convenient to – things are too close
~compact, cottage or modest – very small
~DIY or fixer upper – needs a lot of work
~efficiency kitchen – barely room for one person
~intimate – very small
~interesting, unique or retro – this could mean big bucks to remodel or at least repaint unless you like shag carpet or avocado green appliances
~mature garden – it’s never been pruned or weeded
~manageable yard – owners didn’t spend much time on it

Okay, so that last part may have been a little ‘tongue in cheek’, but it probably got your attention. It is important that you understand what is being listed in real estate ads you are viewing. This will save you a lot of time and aggravation. If you have any questions, or if I can be of any further assistance – please feel free to phone me at (407) 800-0888 or email


Buying or Selling a Home? Use a Professional REALTOR®

Terry Riffe | May 6, 2015


An Flamand REALTOR®Anyone who has bought or sold a home understands how complicated it can be. In a maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, having a professional who understands the navigation is priceless. This is why it is important to find a trusted REALTOR® that specializes in your area and market.

Choosing a REALTOR® that’s right for you

What ever community you may be in, you’ll find plenty to choose from. Because of this, local REALTORs® must work hard to succeed. This competition gives you, as the buyer or seller, a great opportunity. You can begin your search online, checking websites, referrals and recommendations in the area that you are interested in.

Once you have narrowed down your list, it is important to conduct interviews to ensure the one you choose someone that will fit your needs and expectations.

Now that you have chosen a REALTOR® that is fits all your needs, you will want to establish a proper business relationship. Your REALTOR® will provide you with information regarding current market conditions, financing options and negotiating issues that might apply to any given situation.

An Flamand REALTOR®, I am here for all of your real estate needs. For more information, please contact me at (407) 800-0888 or email me