Archive for June 2015

If you can afford a down payment, Buying is better than Renting

Terry Riffe | June 30, 2015

NOW TIME TO BUYWhile renting can be a solid choice while saving for a down payment, recent findings show that homeownership is still the better deal. The cost of renting is rising faster than any other time in the last six years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while rental inventory stands at a 20 year low.

While rising rents and lack of inventory might nudge renters into buying a home, National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun points out that tight credit standards, student debt, and the growth of multigenerational households are contributing to the lowest number of first-time home buyers in decades (as shown in the 2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers). Additionally, rising rents mean less money to put away for that down payment. Even with these difficulties, Yun projects first-time home buyers will be more active in this years’ housing market, freeing up some of that rental inventory.

I would be happy to discuss the current Orlando Investment/Vacation Home market with you. Or, if you are looking to list or purchase an Investment/Vacation Home, call me 1 (407) 800-0888 or send me an email

Listing your Home? Remember, some times are busier than others

Terry Riffe | June 25, 2015

An Flamand, Orlando Vacation RealtyWhen looking at listing your home for sale, owners usually learn that certain seasons are busier than others in real estate, and more people tend to be more active in their house hunting during the spring and summer months. A new study from the National Association of REALTORS® looks at which days are more popular than others for both listings and closings, and found that Fridays are often quite productive.

In 2014, all of the top 10 most popular listing dates occurred in the spring and early summer and nine were during the end of the week (a Thursday or Friday). While many REALTORS® work weekends for their clients, sellers rarely list their homes on Saturdays or Sundays. when it comes to the most popular closing dates, Fridays took several spots on the top 10 list.

I have found that in the Orlando area market, this isn’t necessarily the case since such a large portion of our clientele is overseas. If you have questions about listing your home, or in the market to purchase, I’d be happy to assist you. Email me directly anytime or give me a call 1(407) 800-0888.

Staging: Attract Buyers and add Value to your Home

Terry Riffe | June 23, 2015

Staging your home can attract new buyersSellers can get creative when trying to attract prospective buyers to their homes – filling them with warm scents, providing the perfect lighting or playing up fun and interesting features. Another popular option is home staging, which involves arranging and decorating the home in a way that appeals to a wide range of buyers. In the National Association of REALTORS® new 2015 Profile of Home Staging, 96 percent of REALTORS® assisting buyers thought that staging had an impact on buyers at least some of the time (49 percent reported staging had an impact on buyers most of the time while 47 percent believe staging impacts buyers some of the time). While staging can help attract prospective buyers, REALTORS® say it can also bring in more money. The report also found that REALTORS® believe increases a buyer’s perceived value of a home from 1 to 5 percent (according to 37 percent of REALTORS® representing sellers and 32 percent of REALTORS® representing buyers).

In the Investment/Vacation home market, I have found that our percentages are higher than the national average in the impact that staging has on the value to your home. If you would like advice on how to stage your home to add value and attract the most potential buyers, email me an@orlandovacationrealty or call 1(407)800-0888.

Find the right REALTOR for You

Terry Riffe | June 17, 2015

An Flamand REALTORWhen searching for a real estate professional, or REALTOR,  it’s helpful to start your search by meeting with agents that have assisted family or friends that you know and trust. During your meeting, ask if he or she is a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, and a professional who holds themselves to a higher ethical standard.

You can also look up REALTOR®’s licensing information; state regulatory boards are happy to assist you in your search and will let you know of any disciplinary action or complaints. However, NAR research shows that nearly nine out of ten recent buyers were satisfied with their REALTORS® honesty and integrity, knowledge of the purchase process, and knowledge of the real estate market.

Another way to find a REALTOR® is to look at their current listings. The presentation of a REALTOR®’s listings and how fast properties sell can give you an indication of a REALTOR®’s selling skills. Be sure to read reviews on each REALTOR® that you consider. There are many sights that allow you to see a particular REALTOR®’s listings and reviews together, such as Zillow  or trulia .

If you are ready to purchase a home or to sell your existing home, email me or give me a call 1 (407) 800-0888. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Only have a small downpayment for your home? You’re not alone

Terry Riffe | June 16, 2015 Rental ManagementOnly have a small downpayment for your home? You’re not alone. Many first time home buyers are overwhelmed by all the questions to ask before jumping into homeownership. People often wonder, “Am I ready? Is this a good investment for me? Can I afford it? Will I live here long enough to warrant buying a place instead of renting?” Perhaps the biggest concern is how to pay for such a big purchase. Oftentimes, first-time buyers cannot afford a large downpayment. According to data from the National Association of REALTORS® Confidence Index, in the months of December 2014 through February 2015, about two-thirds of first-time home buyers made a down payment between 0-6 percent. And while the number of small down payments is lower than it was in 2009 (when 77 percent of down payments were in the 0-6 percent range), it is higher than this time last year (when 61 percent of down payments for first-time buyers fit in that range).

While lenders are accepting lower down payments, it is wise to keep in mind that these lower down payments come at a price. If you purchase a home with less that 20 percent down, you’ll probably have to buy some form of mortgage insurance. Though paid for by the borrower, mortgage insurance protects the lender’s interest in the loan in case the borrower defaults.

There are many options for any first-time home buyer to take. this is one of the many reasons it is important that you choose a professional REALTOR® to guide you through the process. I would be happy to help you with any of your home buying or selling needs. Call me 1 (407) 800-0888 or send me an email

Vacation Homes – Not just for the Wealthy

Terry Riffe | June 15, 2015

vacation homeWhen people dream of vacation homes, oftentimes they cut themselves off quickly, thinking they would never be able to afford one. However, new research by the National Association of REALTORS® shows that is probably not the case. while vacation homes are obviously a big investment, they aren’t out of reach for those under the six-figure salary mark. According to NAR’s 2015 Investment and Vacation Home Buyer Survey, the median household income for those who own their primary residence ($79,650). And if you thought buyers needed cash to buy it, think again – 70 percent of vacation homes purchased last year were financed with a mortgage. 

In the Orlando/Disney World area, there is such a wide range of vacation homes available to suit most any budget. Are you looking for a vacation home to enjoy yourself, or an investment property that you would like to rent out short term? I would be happy to assist you with all of your vacation hoe/investment home questions. Call me 1 (407) 800-0888 or send me an email I look forward to going over all the possibilities with you.

Luxurious Orlando vacation home for sale in Sunrise Lakes

Terry Riffe | June 10, 2015

16844 rising starIf you have been waiting for the opportunity to find a fully furnished, luxurious Orlando vacation home for sale in the Sunrise Lakes community – now is the time for you!

This beautiful home features large living areas, games room and private pool and spa overlooking a serene conservation area. Located just walking distance from shopping and dining and just a few minutes’ drive to the Disney theme parks and world class golf, this is a dream vacation location.

Fully equipped kitchen, fine linens and immaculately furnished rooms await you in this turn-key vacation home. The only thing missing is you!

If you are interested in this home and would like to schedule your private showing, give me a call 1(407)800-0888 or email

Owning your Own Home

Terry Riffe | June 9, 2015

Buying a home in 2015A home is where we make memories, build our futures and feel comfortable and secure. Homeownership is also one of the best ways for individuals and families to build financial security over the long term. While the decision to own a home is a personal one, for people with good jobs and strong credit, today’s low mortgage interest rates and affordability make now a good time to buy a home

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions of your life, and it’s easy to get swept up in the emotion of it.  I can provide valuable counsel, discuss listings, show you homes in person, negotiate on your behalf and help you stay focused on the emotional and financial issues that are important.

For example, before beginning the home search process, you should determine what you can afford. Today’s tight credit restrictions are preventing some qualified buyers from becoming homeowners, so you should carefully evaluate your income, savings and credit reports and collect documentation of income and cash available to prepare for the mortgage process.

There are simple ways to make yourself more creditworthy to lenders, such as not closing any credit accounts within six to 12 months before applying for a loan, keeping older accounts open even if they are not being used, since they can factor into your credit score. A lender will evaluate your income, savings and credit history to qualify and approve you for a loan amount. But, don’t forget to calculate the cost of things like taxes, insurance and utilities into your budget.

Once you have all of your financials in order, you need to consider what you want and need in a home. Determining the size, location and amenities that are important to you is the first step in your house hunting journey.

Finally, remember that all real estate is local, so it’s important to work with a REALTOR® that is familiar with your desired community.

For more information on finding the right REALTOR®, or if you are ready to begin your home buying journey in the Four Corners area – call me 1(407)800-0888 or send me an email .

Need a Realtor? Talk to Friends, Family and check Reviews

Terry Riffe | June 4, 2015

Orlando Vacation Realty earns BBB accreditation

There can be a lot of anxiety in finding your Realtor, the right person to help you buy or sell a home. After all, buyers will be spending a lot of time with them throughout the process and agents are helping them through arguably one of the biggest decisions of their life. How could anyone possibly find the right one? According to the National Association of REALTOR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, potential buyers should talk to friends, family and check reviews to get their agent suggestions. In fact, 40 percent of buyers found their agent through a referral of a friend, family member, or neighbor (while another 12 percent used an agent they had worked with before). On the seller side, 38 percent found their Realtor through referrals and 22 percent went with an agent they had previously used.

While the Investment/Vacation home market can be somewhat different than the Residential market, surprisingly enough, my referral numbers closely coincide with those of the National Association of REALTORS®. Approximately 30 percent of buyers that came to me did so as a referral of a friend or family member while upwards of 55 percent found me through online reviews from past clients.

However you decide on the Realtor you will be working with on your next home purchase or sale, be sure to conduct a thorough interview yourself. This truly is one of the largest financial decisions most families make in their lifetime. If you would like more information on choosing your REALTOR®, or you need assistance with any other home purchasing or selling questions, call me 1(407)800-0888 or send me an email

New Times lead to New Reasons for Selling a Home

Terry Riffe | June 3, 2015

An Flamand, Broker Orlando Vacation RealtyNew Times lead to New Reasons for Selling a Home. Decades ago, it was not uncommon for people to work at the same job for the entirety of their professional career. Similarly, many people kept the same home their whole lives. Those trends, however, have shifted. Today most homeowners buy and sell several homes throughout their lifetime. The reasons to sell one’s home have changed over time – changes in family situations, neighborhood transformations, financial changes, and many others. However, the most popular reason sellers decided to leave their home for another remains the same – outgrowing their homes. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 15 percent of sellers sold their previous home because the place was too small. That number was much higher (30 percent) among first-time sellers. Additionally, another 15 percent sold their last home due to job relocation.

For most home buyers, the purchase of real estate is one of the largest financial transactions they will make. Buyers purchase a home not only for the desire to own a home of their own, buy also because of changes in jobs, family situations, and the need for a smaller or larger living area.

If you are in the market for a new home or are looking to sell your existing home, I would be happy to assist you. You can email me or give me a call 1(407)800-0888.