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Brian Teach's Blog

By Brian Teach, Realtor- CDPE | Agent in Orlando, FL
  • Quick Tip: Move Heavy Appliances with Windex

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Orlando, How To... in Orlando, Moving in Orlando  |  August 19, 2011 5:18 AM  |  2,724 views  |  3 comments
    Are you a chatter? I am. Give me 10 minutes with a total stranger and we'll be best friends. It doesn't matter who it is. The kid that comes to sell me popcorn on my doorstep, a neighbor from down the street or even repairmen that come into my home. The best part about the latter is the more friendly they are, the more helpful tips they share.

    Here is a quick Tip I just learned: Did you know you can use Windex to move heavy, cumbersome appliances across the floor — true story.


    If you or someone you know would like more information about the greater Orlando marketplace or a particular home in your neighborhood, please give me a call at 407-923-9313.

  • Setting the Thermostat at 78 Degrees

    Posted Under: General Area in Orlando, Quality of Life in Orlando, In My Neighborhood in Orlando  |  May 10, 2011 12:28 PM  |  2,295 views  |  No comments

    If you're not home, leave the air conditioning off

    Air conditioning is designed for your comfort, but what good does that comfort do you if you aren't home for it? Granted, coming home to a cold home in winter or a hot house in summer can feel miserable, but the unpleasantness is temporary as turning on the air conditioning improves the temperature within a few minutes.

    Throw it on once you get home, if you need it, and it shouldn't take long for the home's temp to normalize. People who work during the day in hot locales benefit most from this approach.

    Set the thermostat at 78 degrees in the summer

    The normal comfort zone temperature sits around 72-73 degrees, but an air conditioner isn't a highly scientific machine. In hot weather, air conditioners only blast cooling freon with air into the room until its internal thermometer reaches the indicated temperature, then stops until it goes a couple degrees above, then starts again until it returns to that temperature, and back and forth it goes.

    The difference in where you set the thermostat only affects how much cold air it blows into the room. The lower temperature at which you set the thermostat in summer, the more air it blows in.

    Setting the thermostat at 78 degrees typically keeps enough cool air in the room for comfort. Unless you developed a keen temperature sensitivity, you won't likely notice the difference between 73 degrees and 78 degrees. But your electric bill will certainly show it, as your A/C will not run as frequently, and as long. And if you spend the day outside in the heat, coming inside to 78 degree indoor air feels a lot better anyway.

    While by no means a comprehensive guide, these starting suggestions should help you save electricity and, ultimately, money on your electric bill. If you or someone you know would like more information about the greater Orlando marketplace or a particular home in your neighborhood, please give me a call at 407-923-9313.

  • Five Reasons to Not Buy a Home

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Orlando, Home Buying in Orlando, Rent vs Buy in Orlando  |  April 19, 2011 5:30 AM  |  1,352 views  |  No comments

    Below are red flags that you may want to ponder before plunging into buying a home. Any one of them can stand alone as a reason not to buy a home. It might still make sense to buy a home if one of these situations applies, but more than one should definitely raise a caution flag.

    #1 Reason to Not Buy a Home: Little Job Security

    If you have reason to believe that your job may be in jeopardy, now is not a good time to buy a home. Many home owners who go into foreclosure end up in that position because they have lost their jobs. Unemployed individuals often place priorities on buying groceries and putting gas in the car over making a mortgage payment, hoping they can make up the mortgage payments later. Instead, they tend to go deeper into debt.

    #2 Reason to Not Buy a Home: Tend to Move Every Year

    Buying a home is generally a long-term commitment. If you love the excitement of new digs, which makes you want to constantly change your environment, you may find that it's impossible to sell your new home in a relatively short period of time without absorbing a big loss. The reason many people buy a home is to build equity, and it's very difficult to build equity if you're buying and selling at the drop of a hat, especially in areas where appreciation is little or none.

    #3 Reason to Not Buy a Home: Unstable Relationships

    Although many single people buy a home, often a home buying purchase is made with a partner or spouse. If your relationship with that person is unstable, what will you do if you're relying on that person's income and support to make the mortgage payment, and that person vanishes? At that point you could be facing a short sale or, at the very least, a loan modification, both of which affect credit.

    #4 Reason to Not Buy a Home: Constant Traveling

    Let's be serious here. If you travel all the time, why would you want to buy a home? Condos are a good choice for people on the go; it's called a lock-and-go lifestyle and other owners in the condo community can watch over your space, unlike a home.  

    #5 Reason to Not Buy a Home: Everybody Else is Doing It

    It's a fact that in seller's markets, buyers often end up in multiple offer situations. That's because in those markets, inventory is tight and demand is high. When you buy a home in a seller's market, you have little negotiating power and often will pay more than list price. You'd be much better off buying a home in a buyer's market, when there are fewer buyers competing for larger amounts of inventory. You don't always have to follow the crowd to make a wise financial decision.

    If you or someone you know would like more information about the greater Orlando marketplace or a particular home in your neighborhood, please give me a call at 407-923-9313.

  • Six Things to Check Yourself Before a Home Inspection

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Orlando, Home Buying in Orlando, How To... in Orlando  |  April 2, 2011 11:51 AM  |  975 views  |  1 comment
    1) The structure. From a reasonably distant vantage point, look at the house. Do the walls appear to be plumb and flat? From inside, are any walls bowed or not square at corners? When you jump in the middle of the living room floor, does it flex or feel solid?

    2) Water control. Does the ground slope away from the base of the house? Will gutters, downspouts, and drainage pipes carry excess water away from the house...or into the basement? Is there any evidence of water damage?

    3) The roof. Is the roof new and in good shape? Does it look neat and properly applied?

    4) Details. Do you see distinct signs of quality workmanship in the finishing details, such as moldings, tile work, hardware, and paint?

    5) Kitchen & bath fixtures. Are sinks, toilets, and tubs quality fixtures? Do they work properly? Is the water pressure good when you turn on the faucets and flush the toilet?

    6) Electrical system. Are the number and locations of receptacles adequate to the needs of the house? Is the main circuit breaker marked at least "100 amps?"

    If you or someone you know would like more information about the greater Orlando marketplace or a particular home in your neighborhood, please give me a call at 407-923-9313.

    Brian Teach

  • Small Gestures Generate Great Loyalty

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Orlando, Shopping & Local Amenities in Orlando, How To... in Orlando  |  March 31, 2011 9:07 AM  |  1,284 views  |  No comments
    I sent my Title Company an email like I do once or twice a week, letting them know about a new file to be picked up. Within minutes, I received a response back from them confirming the pickup, but what really caught my eye was how they closed the email with "have a great week." To some, those four words could seem meaningless. To me, I started wondering if they simply put this in their email signature so that they'd finish every email with "have a great week." So I pulled up all of the emails I've received from them and realized that they actually types something different in every email. Why does this stand out to me, you ask? Because it makes me feel like they actually wants me to have a great day, week, weekend, or whatever well-wishes they're sending. It feels sincere. They've made me a raving fan.

    You can try techniques that don't take a lot of time, effort, or money. Perhaps it's a little thoughtfulness, and that's free. Simple, small gestures, can make a world of difference. And more importantly for business owners, you've made raving fans who would jump at the chance to send you referrals and for most of you reading this, referrals are likely the lifeblood of your business. Take the extra 5 seconds to show someone you care, because people don't care about what you did or said, as much as they care about how you made them feel.
     
    If you or someone you know would like more information about the greater Orlando marketplace or a particular home in your neighborhood, please give me a call at 407-923-9313.

    Brian Teach
    Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate


  • Sears Catalog Homes History

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Orlando, Shopping & Local Amenities in Orlando, Design & Decor in Orlando  |  March 25, 2011 1:06 AM  |  1,823 views  |  1 comment
    The "Sears Catalog Home" was an owner-built "kit" house that was sold by the Sears, Roebuck and Co. corporation via catalog orders from 1906 to 1940.  Sears Catalog Home, sold as Sears Modern Homes were ready-to-assemble houses sold through mail order by Sears Roebuck and Company, an American retailer. Over 70,000 of these were sold in North America between 1908 and 1940. Shipped via railroad boxcar, these kits included all the materials needed to build a house. Many were assembled by the new homeowner and friends, relatives, and neighbors, in a fashion similar to the traditional barn-raisings farming families.

    As an add-on, Sears offered the latest technology available to house buyers in the early part of the twentieth century. Central heating, indoor plumbing, and electricity were all new developments in house design that "Modern Homes" incorporated, although not all of the houses were designed with these conveniences. Central heating, for example, not only improved the livability of houses with little insulation but also improved fire safety, a worry in an era when open flames threatened houses and even entire cities, as in the Great Chicago Fire (1871).

    As demand decreased, Sears expanded the product line to feature houses that varied in expense to meet the budgets of various buyers. Sears began offering financing plans in 1916. However, the company experienced steadily rising payment defaults throughout the Great Depression, resulting in increasing strain for the catalog house program. More than 370 designs of Sears Homes were offered during the program's 32-year history. The mortgage portion of the program was discontinued in 1934 after Sears was forced to liquidate $11 million in defaulted debt. Sears closed their Modern Homes department in 1940. A few years later, all sales records were destroyed during a corporate house cleaning. The only way to find these houses today is literally one by one.

    Today, some communities across the United States feature clusters of the houses as unofficial historical sites. Elgin, Illinois (a Chicago suburb) has the largest known collection of Sears Homes, with more than 200 Sears Homes (and few kit homes from other companies as well). A culture of Sears Modern Home seekers has emerged in recent years, as individual buildings have been identified.

    If you or someone you know would like more information about the greater Orlando marketplace or a particular home in your neighborhood, please give me a call at 407-923-9313.

    Brian Teach


  • New House. New Keys.

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Orlando, Home Buying in Orlando, How To... in Orlando  |  March 24, 2011 8:38 AM  |  825 views  |  No comments
    I bought a home several years back and called the locksmith to change all the locks. The neighbor seeing the locksmith’s van parked in front of my home comes over, introduces himself and then extends a hand with a couple of keys. “I guess, these won't be any good now. Susan (the previous owner) had given us a copy one weekend he went out of town and wanted the cats fed.” I had not even met this neighbor until this moment.

    For most, moving into their “new” home is a wonderful and exciting experience. You've saved your dollars, looked all around, and then made a huge commitment to your future and your lifestyle. All the little details that are wrapped up in moving can be overwhelming. Many times, the details of changing the locks are overlooked.

    Don't trust that simply because the key says “do not duplicate” that is has not been copied. Your neighbors may become great friends over time, but until you decide that, don't let the previous owner’s relationships dictate your home’s security.  I don't want to imply that we need to be paranoid about our neighbors but choosing who should have access to the home should be made by the home owner. The new home owner.

    Also, even though your home may be a new development and no one else has lived there, you can not be sure how many copies of keys have been made for the home and how many contractors have access.

    Welcome to your new home. One of the first steps to making it yours is obtaining control over who has access to the front door. Changing locks is not difficult. Also, don't forget the garage door code... especially if it has a key pad entry code.

    If you or someone you know would like more information about the greater Orlando marketplace or a particular home in your neighborhood, please give me a call at 407-923-9313.

    Brian Teach
    Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

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