Fabulous First Homes: Three Major Must-Haves for Your First Home

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“If you have not found it yet, keep looking. Do not settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know it when you find it.” –Steve Jobs

 

A home is a keystone of financial wealth and stability—so much so that an ordinary Filipino would spend majority of his or her life saving for the first home. Whether this may be a starter home or a condo unit in Bonifacio Global City is up to them, but one thing is for sure: it is one of the most (if not the only) significant investments a Filipino individual will ever make in his or her life. However, more often than not, a potential homebuyer can get too excited about the prospect of finally owning his or her own home that they would often get much too focused on the main goal and pay little attention to the other details and aspects worthy of their attention. Unfortunately, this can be a serious oversight as these prospective homebuyers, in their rush and excitement to finally own a home, would end up buying the first home that first their budget.

Whether this is a good or bad thing largely depends on what the homeowner is looking for. However, as a responsible homebuyer, it is your duty to be a little discerning and meticulous about the features of your first home apart from what it could potentially offer you. In this regard, you should know what constitutes as a good first home as not only will this predict a home’s longevity, it would also dictate its resale value. If you have decided to finally purchase your first home, here are some key elements and features you should be looking for:

An affordable price tag

Unless you have been gifted with an exorbitant trust fund that you can spend on building your first home, an affordable price tag should be the foremost feature you should be paying attention to. First homes should be affordable and with good reason. Remember, you are buying to live not to invest. So, unlike a trade-up buyer, you do not have any equity to roll into the purchase of your next home. In this regard, the financial aspects of buying a first home such as the down payment would be the initial concern of the homebuyer.

A house for the next ten years

Longevity should also be a consideration when it comes to your first home. Remember, you are going to be staying here a lot longer than you might think. Buy a home that would not only accommodate the family you have now, but the one you intend on having for the next ten years. In this regard, it would be best if you and your partner would talk about how many kids you are planning to have so that you can plan how many bedrooms your first home should ideally have.

Ideal location

To you, saying location is key might be long tired. But in your first homes, this should be an elementary feature. After all, you do not want to raise your kids in a bad neighborhood nor would you want to commute for hours to an end just to get to work. Indeed, location is paramount when it comes to choosing your first homes. Look for neighborhoods with well-maintained yards and where you can see a good community. Talk to your potential neighbors and ask about the neighborhood’s pros and cons. Get as much information as you can. After all, choosing where you live is a pivotal decision. So, you might as well choose the best place that is within your budget for you and your family.

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Real Estate Investment: Three Excellent Reasons Why Your First Home Should be an Investment Property

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“I will forever believe that buying a home is a great investment. Why? Because you cannot live in a stock certificate. You cannot live in a mutual fund.” –Oprah Winfrey

Owning a home has been considered as a keystone of wealth and stability—so much so that finally purchasing your own place to live and renovate as you place has been universally recognized as a milestone. If you are on the market for your first home and are relatively young, it might be wise and more financially prudent to consider turning your first home into an investment property. While most prospective homeowners do not think of investing in real estate until they have acquired and purchased their second or third home, it is actually more financially sound if you started much sooner. Sure, in light of the recent economic climate of the Philippines, one might be skeptical of the profitability in real estate investments and might be a little hesitant in this endeavor—especially considering that this is the first home you buy.

However, to allay your fears of being unable to defray the cost of your first home, know that renting it out is an excellent option for paying it. By transforming your home into an investment property, you can effectively leverage your subpar credit and turn your responsibility into an investment. It requires a bit of shrewdness, good business acumen and a whole lot of patience. So, whether your first property is a condo unit in Verdana or elsewhere, here are excellent reasons why your first home should be an investment property:

1.) You are young

Independence can be quite the fickle thing. Sure, you feel nothing but euphoria once you have realized that you are now finally on your own and to top all that, you are still young and able. Living on your own set of rules, living wherever you want and buying whatever you want might seem like a tempting way to spend your early twenties, but it is not exactly financially sound. If you have other goals in mind, living the life can get old pretty quick—especially when you are living in a downtrodden apartment unit when you know you could do better (you just cannot afford it as you are frivolously spending your money). Cut costs and save money so that you can build credit as you will need this to qualify for a mortgage loan. When you are much older, you will have more significant obligations that would not allow you to cut costs as often as you can do so now.

2.) You will have another source of income

You might think that your salary is enough, but the extra money is always welcome right? By purchasing property that you intend on renting out, you are effectively creating another source of funds. With time and good marketing strategy, you would then be able to profit from your investments the moment you find tenants. You can then use the cash you earn in defraying other debts and bills or reinvest it in your property. Indeed, renting out your property creates positive cash flow for you, and it would always serve as a contingency whenever you do need extra funds or would lose your job.

3.) Having tenants is not so bad

Most prospective homeowners balk at the idea of turning their properties into investment ones as they are under the misguided notion that having tenants in your property would equate to stress and disarray. This is not always the case—after all, one isolated case of a nightmare tenant should not cause you to lump them all together as bad renters. You might be surprised how awesome living with a tenant can be most especially if you start establishing a friendship with them. In these cases, tenants are more likely to treat their units with better care and would even help with the maintenance and look after it whenever you are not around.

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Moving 101: Five Easy Steps for a Speedy and Safe Long Distance Move

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“Around here, we do not look backward for very long…we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we are curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” –Walt Disney

It is no question that the moving process can be a tad bit stressful. However, while it might be a challenging task, the prospect of integrating yourself into a new neighborhood, acclimating well to your environment and meeting neighbors can be somewhat exhilarating. This new chapter in your life marks progress yet somehow; you cannot get rid of that nagging feeling that you are venturing towards the unknown. However, if you have weighed your options and decided the move is probably a good thing then go for it, pack up and drive.

Do note however that if you are moving a to a location of significant distance whether it is from Lipa, Batangas to a condo unit in Avida Towers Centera or elsewhere, you might want to brush up on tips to expedite the trip and make it easier.

1.) Calculate the amount of cash you are going to need

If you are going to make a move yourself (and not hire a moving company to facilitate your move), you are inevitably going to need cash—lots of it. Moreover, you need to make sure that you secure more than enough of it so that you can pay not only for the gas you would need but for the food as well. Furthermore, you also need to be prepared for emergencies, so it would be best if you had extra cash as well.

2.) Have a Road-Side Assistance plan

Whenever you are attempting a long drive, it is always a good idea to have a road-side assistance contingency plan in case something untoward happens. After all, in the middle of a move, you cannot afford to have your car dying on you. Fluid leaks, busted tires, faulty engines—these are things you need to have checked before attempting that long move. However, as you cannot always prepare for every situation, it is best if you had a road-side assistance plan. It would at least put your mind at ease that you would be in safe hands if your car breaks down on the road.

3.) Download a navigating app on your phone

In this time and age, whether you are traveling a short distance or not, it is always handy to have a navigation app installed on your phone. In small distances, you would even use a navigation app to outsmart traffic, what more when you are traveling a significant distance? To ensure you do not get lost as well as take the shortest route possible, download a navigation app on your phone for good measure.

4.) Schedule a tune-up and oil change before leaving

One integral consideration you should make before your long distance move is to ensure that your car does not break down on you on the way there. In this regard, your car should be in top shape. Before going on that trip, schedule a car tune-up and oil change and have the mechanics change and check every aspect of the car from the vehicle lights down to the battery.

5.) Clean your car

You will be inevitably packing a lot of stuff for the move, so it is wise to get rid of your car’s clutter and throw anything unnecessary you might have. You need to make room for things to get rid of all the junk such as empty water bottles, drive-thru bags and the like. Finish it up by having the car washed, serviced and vacuumed at your nearest car wash shop.

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Home Maintenance: Five General Home Upkeep Tasks You Should Do Once a Year

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“A marriage is like home maintenance. When the smoke detector starts and keeps beeping without fire, you fix it. You do not buy a new house”-Author Unknown

To start the brand new year right, you might as well get started on that list of resolutions you have committed to doing all-year round. If one of the items included in your list entails doing a better job in the maintenance of your home, there is no better time to begin this task than at the start of the year. In doing so, you would be coming home to a fresh, organized and functional home all-year round. Moreover, it is that time of the year where you can expect to have an influx of clutter. After all, if you had decorated for the holiday season, there is a likely chance that you have purchased and accumulated more décor items. Furthermore, this is the time of the year where you will be entertaining fewer guests seeing as the holiday season just ended.

So, whether you are billeted in a Makati condo or elsewhere, commit to doing these home maintenance tasks once a year (preferably at the start of the year) and give yourselves and your home a fresh start for 2018:

1.) Clean your roof

A great start to having a fresh home that feels just like new is to get your roof clean. Apart from being the first observable thing your neighbors would notice, it is also one of the things your visitors will take note of when they are visiting. In this regard, you certainly would not want an unattractive roof. As cleaning the roof would not exactly be the easiest task, it is best if you took care of it at the beginning of the year. Check your roofs for algae or for any signs of disrepair and if the damage is beyond what you can manage, it is best to call in the professionals.

2.) Keep your documents sorted

If you have important files (such as deeds and titles), it is best to store them in a safe place and in an organized matter. Moreover, sensitive and personal documents such as passports, credit card statements and the like should be kept in order as well. If you have them cluttered in your study, then commit to having them organized. In this way, should you need them, you would be able to easily find them. Discard those that you do not need immediately.

3.) Clean out your drawers

Organize every drawer and shelf you have in your homes and clean every single one of them. Get rid of the unnecessary clutter and organize the things in them. If you have not gotten around to sorting the items out, it is best if you start now. Remember not to lump all kinds of items together and ensure that every shelf or drawer has a designated purpose.

4.) Service the air conditioner

There is a good and likely chance that after a year of running, your air-conditioning’s filter would probably need cleaning. If your unit is particularly old, it would be a good idea to have it fixed at least every season. Ask for the assistance of a service crew and have it cleaned and if you are quite adept at it, you may choose to clean the filters yourself. Be sure to check the drainage for any clogging and have the coils cleaning if you have the unit serviced.

5.) Inspect the fire extinguishers

If your home does not have a fire extinguisher, then it is high time that you buy one now. However, if you do already possess one, ensure that you check the fire extinguishers routinely. Check for the expiry date and if it has any war on it. Ensure that it is placed in an area that is easily accessible so that it is within reach should there be an emergency. Always remember to have your fire extinguisher checked as the last thing you would want in the event of a fire would be a faulty one.

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