Stress-free Moves: Five Excellent Tips to Protect Your Move

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“Around here, we do not look backwards 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

Moving to a new home is an exciting prospect.

The thrill of being in a new neighborhood, starting a new life and mingling with neighbors that could potentially be your new friends are all excellent likelihoods to look forward to. However, moving can possibly be a complicated process fraught with issues and dilemmas that can put a damper and a pall to what would have otherwise been a seamless journey. Not to worry, however, as this is precisely why there are moving companies—to facilitate a more efficient move. However, you should not just arbitrarily go with the first moving company you come across. You have to be a little bit through and meticulous in your selection of a move as you can never be too careful. Exercise caution and protect yourself from fraud in a myriad of ways. Initially, you can do this by exercising a little diligence in the selection of a moving company.

After all, you cannot entrust a lifetime’s worth of belongings just to anyone. What would happen if your mover decided not to show up? Or worse, what if they ran away with your stuff? Well, to prevent such scenarios from happening, here are some of the tips to keep in mind if you wish to protect your move. So that whether you are moving to a new unit in Avida Settings Cavite or elsewhere, your lifetime’s worth of belongings is adequately protected:

1.) Choose your mover carefully

Much like it was stated above; do not just randomly hire anyone to handle your precious possessions. Your first step after deciding the move should be to look for a reputable and trustworthy moving company. In fact, this might even be considered as a pivotal step when it comes to protecting your moves. Scams and rogue movers can be avoided if you check to see if the moving company you are considering is licensed. Furthermore, it would not hurt to read some reviews as regards the company and get some referrals as well. Ideally, you should obtain at least three different quotes from various moving companies. Choose the one that works best for you and your budget.

2.) Research what valuation coverage covers and does not cover

Before anything else, know that valuation coverage is a lot different from moving insurance. So, before your move, you should already have an idea of what valuation coverage is; what it does and more importantly, what it does not cover. Do not assume that it would cover all of your belongings during a move. To illustrate, valuation coverage might not include those belongings of yours that were damaged by fortuitous events (i.e., natural causes), or it might be a lot more challenging to make a claim against a moving company if you had packed your belongings on your own and in your own boxes.

3.) Consider purchasing additional moving insurance

No matter your mover’s level of liability, you should still consider purchasing additional moving insurance. This cannot be stressed enough as, after all, it is so much better to be safe than sorry. In this regard, the additional protection will help you breathe a little easier knowing that your belongings are adequately covered. Moreover, as valuation coverage is limited and in no case would provide you with full compensation for any item damaged or lost, any type of moving insurance through a third-party insurance company is sure to come in handy. This is especially useful when you are planning to move incredibly precious and valuable items.

4.) Take photos of all of your belongings before moving

With the innumerable stuff and belongings you have, it can be somewhat hard to keep track of what they are all. To ensure you do not miss anything, make an inventory before packing any of it by taking photos of it. Apart from having your belongings itemized, it would also help you make a claim should any of your items be damaged simply by showing a before and after photo of the said item. They make for stronger and more plausible cases and would serve as evidence should you need to hold the movers accountable for their actions.

5.) Pack carefully and strategically

While it might be tempting to leave everything up to your movers, packing is still your responsibility and ensuring that everything is secure for the move should be a priority of yours. One of the ways to protect your move is to have a strategic approach towards packing your items. Sort them into fragile and non-fragile ones and label them accordingly. Furthermore, you can prevent potential damage during transit by ensuring that you pack them as securely as possible. Lastly, using the right boxes, protective materials and packing supplies can go a long way.

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Moving 101: Five Ways to Prepare Your Kids for a Move

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“Moving to a new place is like starting a new life; nobody knows who you are so it is like a new beginning for you. A fresh start.” –Author Unknown

 

Moving can be a double-edged sword—especially for kids who are too young to understand why the transition and why it is necessary.

It can be both an exciting and frustrating prospect for the family. But, it can also be an avenue for understanding by explaining to your kids what the move is about and why you need to do it. Do not be surprised though, the moment you announce your plans, you will inevitably be met with a barrage of questions.

“But what about my friends? What about my bed?”

“What about my school?”

These are the sort of questions you can expect once they see you packing and sorting household items. Indulge their curiosity but be honest in doing so. Whether you are relocating to Ametta Place in order to expand your family or downsizing your home to make up for your finances, make it clear to them why the move is essential. Expectedly, you are going to be met with a lot of protests as well as resistance. After all, when your kids have spent a reasonable chunk of their childhood in your previous home, they are likely to get exponentially attached to it (and its respective memories) over the years.

However, you can always opt to mitigate this occurrence by gently easing your children to the idea of the move. Do not immediately tell them about your moving plans or even the fact that you are transferring houses the moment you decide upon it or else you will have to endure days or even weeks of tears and repetitive questions.
In any case, if you are planning that big move, here are some things you might want to know before telling them about the move:

1.) Have a plan

Before letting your children know about the move, consider having a plan as to how you and your spouse would broach the subject. Explain it to them in terms that they would be able to comprehend. If you are looking to cut down expenses, they would certainly not understand that. Instead, talk about how the move is necessary because you need money for their school, meals and the like. Moreover, tell them that their toys and all your personal belongings can come with you but how the floor, lights, windows, etc., cannot. In the same regard, let them know that your house will have a new family who will love it just the same.

2.) Involve the kids

To ease your kids into the idea of the move, have them help you with the things you need to do prior to the move. Ask them to help you pack and likewise, give them a role when it comes to house hunting. Show them all the potential houses you have considered, let them tag along on viewings and ask them for opinions on the new home. Moreover, it is imperative that you ask them what they like and dislike about the new home. Once you have finally chosen a place to settle in, be sure to have some time to explore the neighborhood with your kids.

3.) Be positive

No matter how sound the move might be (or how strong your resolve about it is), you will inescapably encounter some misgivings that might cause you to think twice about your decision. Of course, after living in your old home for quite a while, you would come to think about the things and aspects you once loved about it. You have put so much into it that it can be rather hard to leave. While these are sentiments you can choose to tell your kids, make sure to end your spiel on a high note. Do not make them feel as if you are unsure about the move and make the overall vibe ooze with positivity and confidence. Remember, if you wavered on your decision and worried about it, your kids will know.

4.) Save memories

Whenever possible, try to take a piece of your old house with you and incorporate this into your new house. This can be in the form of an old door, windows or the like. In this way, your children would feel as if an element of your old home is still present in your new one and would adjust better to your new home. However, if you do not have an actual physical piece that you can save, then at least take a myriad of photos of your old home which you would then collate and turn into a scrapbook. Let your children take their own photos as well. Photos are not limited to the house. It can include anything important from the school, friends, and other places in the neighborhood as well.

5.) Maintain your routine

Routines are important—, especially to your younger kids. It gives them a feeling of familiarity and a semblance of their old life. With this in mind, maintain the typical patterns you once had in your old home and regularly do them (as much as possible) before, during and after the move. This can involve anything from bedtime routines, library day, pancake Sundays to just about anything that would provide familiarity, comfort, and reassurance to your younger kids.

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Home Offices: Five Tips and Techniques for Productivity When Working from Home

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“The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” –Stephen Covey

Today, with more and more freelancing careers and jobs available, more and more individuals have elected to work from home.

While it is true that a home office does not exactly afford you the conveniences of a conventional office, it allows you the unique leverage of being flexible with your own time. Unfortunately, this can be both bane and boon. After all, imagine working in a place where the bedroom is pretty much accessible all the time and where you might potentially get distracted from time to time. As a result, most individuals who work from home have faced the distinctive predicament of balancing their work productivity and their home life. It is precisely this dilemma that prevents some individuals from either, producing quality work or finishing all their tasks on time. With this in consideration, it is best to reconcile your work priorities (in conjunction with fixing your schedule) with your daily routine at home.

Indeed, working from home sounds like a dream, but it is not as easy as some think it to be. If you have ever decided on installing a home office—whether that may be in an empire east condo or elsewhere, here are some of the things you ought to keep in mind in staying productive:

1.) Keep your workspace and personal space separate

It has always been a well-regarded fact that you should separate your work life from your personal one. In the same regard, your workspace should not encroach your personal space and vice versa. Doing so will create a vicious cycle wherein you cannot distinguish one from the other which would be counterintuitive to your productivity endeavor. Watching Netflix while you are working is an easy avenue for distraction and your efficiency would suffer as a result. Allocating time to one or the other would be more difficult. With this in mind, ensure that you create an environment that has a boundary (either mentally or physically). Designate it for work and only allow items required for the completion of such to be there. This means you should probably not put a TV in and block all the streaming websites from your computer when it is work hours.

2.) Organize the clutter

Some people have found that they can work better amidst the clutter. In fact, it seems as if they have formed a unique affinity to it that they could not function without a semblance of disarray on their desks. However, even if you do love clutter, you should still consider organizing it. Apart from creating a more conducive work environment, it helps you locate your work essentials better. Purge your desk from all the things you do not need—this includes papers and documents that need recycling. Find homes for your pencils and pens and while we are at that, organize the files in your desktop as well.

3.) Get dressed for success

Even while you are working from home and not entertaining any clients otherwise, it would still be best if you got up and got dressed for success. Why? It puts you in the right mindset. If you persistently work from home wearing the clothes you slept in, then you are definitely doing it wrong. Make it a habit of waking up early and getting dressed as if you were heading to a meeting or working in an office. It helps you get your mind on track and have your gears set and ready for the day. After all, an integral aspect of ensuring that things get done is having the appropriate mindset for it.

4.) Designate working hours

To legitimately feel like you are working, designate working hours and do not just designate them for show, dedicate them to work tasks solely. In the time frame, you allow yourself to work, do not allow yourself to get waylaid by distractions and focus on the task at hand. Much like how an office sets working hours for their employees, so should you for yourself. If you are living with your spouse or children with you, ask them not to disturb you (save for emergencies) during your designated working hours. Lastly, do not cut time—especially if you are not yet done. Only allow yourself an early work dismissal if you are already done with everything you are supposed to do. Until then, work and focus.

5.) Ditch your phone

On designated working hours, put your phone away to minimize distractions. Having your phone with you means you welcome distractions—whether that may be from a call from an old friend or sending a Youtube video to your wife. In this regard, you do not have to work very hard not to be tempted. Moreover, having your phone with you means you can easily access social media websites such as Instagram and Facebook—a counterintuitive measure when it comes to productivity. Sure, you might argue that you can multitask, but you are only deluding yourself. You might be doing a myriad of things at once, but your mind can only ever focus on one thing. Furthermore, if you wish to produce quality work, it is better not to divide your attention and concentration.

Indeed, while working at home is akin to opening yourself up to a myriad of distractions, it is nonetheless possible. You can still be productive even when you are working from a makeshift office. However, it requires a little more commitment, discipline, and determination on your part. After all, as according to Robin S. Sharma, productivity is actually less about what you do with your time. But rather, more about how you run your mind. Integrate the tips above into your daily work routine, and you will see a significant improvement in your productivity. After all, you might just be working from home in a makeshift office, but that does not make the work required (and produced) any less real.

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Smart Investments: Four Things You Should Do Before Buying a Home

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“There is something permanent, and something extremely profound in owning a home.”-Kenny Guinn

 

Owning a home is known as one of the well-regarded milestones in life—so much so that it is in fact, considered a keystone of wealth and stability.

There is much to be said about finally purchasing your own home and the myriad of feelings that come associated with it. Accomplished and successful are just a few of the words described used to accord this momentous milestone, but it cannot be argued that purchasing and owning a home is one of the many dreams of many individuals. Why? Because apart from being the most significant investment you will probably make in your life, owning a home is commonly regarded as a hallmark of a truly financially responsible adult. Moreover, purchasing a home is not something any (or every) average working individual can do. In fact, even just saving for the first down payment itself would be considered a feat by many blue collared workers who would live paycheck to paycheck just to finally attain that dream. With all these considered, it is only inevitable for one to be a bit more thorough and meticulous when it comes to scouring the real estate market for prospective properties. After all, if you are going to be pouring in a significant chunk of your savings into this investment, then it is vital to get not only the right home but the right price with the right financing as well.

After all, there are only a few things in this world that is more expensive than a house. Fact is you might probably just be spending for one home in your lifetime.  To successfully find the right home for you, a lot of preparation is required. The logistics in doing so is not something you can accomplish within a month. In fact, it makes the most sense to start years before you are actually ready to buy that home. However, for practical reasons, most individuals would not plan nor think that too far ahead. However, whether you are looking to buy a lot for sale in Angeles City in the next two years or sooner, here are some of the things you can do to ensure that the process goes as effortlessly as possible:

Start Saving

Whether you are planning to buy a home three or five years from now, so long as it is a definite plan of yours, you should definitely start saving for that home now. Sure, there might be a myriad of programs designed for first-time homebuyers to afford low down payments and with flexible payment schemes. However, even if these offers seem enticing, it is always best if you came up with a down payment. In that regard, at least you can show your future lenders that you are a financially responsible individual. Try to aim for at least 10% of the total purchase cost (aiming for more is better). Take note: The more money you put in for down payment, the bigger your breathing room in terms of payments would be.

Be aggressive

It does not matter whether this is your first or sixth house, if you have quite a lot of money to invest, the odds of getting what you want are significantly increased. The moment you have finalized your decision to buy a home, make sure you have a tough stance as regards your budget. No one is asking you to lead a parsimonious life, but cut all the needless and wanton spending. Make small sacrifices such as refusing to dine out on weekends or giving up on your occasional splurges. These may seem like insignificant expenses, but if you stacked them altogether, you would see how your expenses would easily accumulate.

Know your budget

After you start saving, it would make sense for you to come up with a budget—a realistic one that allows you to still live your life as comfortably as you can. Remember, when it comes to buying a home, you would not only be paying for the land and the structure itself. Things such as taxes, mortgage, and monthly payments are also things you have to consider in drafting your budget. Another thing worth mentioning is that most lenders would want your mortgage payments to be no more than 28% of your monthly pay. With this in mind, you can set the upper end of your budget utilizing that same number. However, if you think this is a bit too much (especially if it wipes your savings entirely), come up with a feasible number that allows you to still live comfortably. It is imperative to come up with a number as this will ensure you would know what houses would be worth looking at and which ones you can pass over.

Be reasonable with what you want

Most people would love to live in spacious mansions but are not financially capable of affording it. In this regard, you should be realistic with what you want and reconcile that with your needs. If you have a realtor, it is important that you communicate what your wants are to them. These are the things that you can compromise on later should they be unavailable. On the other hand, you also have to make certain concessions for the things and aspects that you do not want—especially if these can be easily changed. To make this step easier, furnish your realtor with a needs and wants list. In conjunction to that, provide them with a dream house list. However, keep in mind that when a house fits in and checks all of the categories you have in mind, you have to be open to negotiating and making a few compromises here and there. Keep in mind: No one really gets their absolute dream house unless they build it from scratch. So again, be realistic, practical and flexible. Do not reject a house outward just on the basis of a  single perceived flaw. Make room for and be open to adjustments as well.

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Practical Living: Three Ways to Make Money off Your Homes

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“Successful people make money. It is not that people who make money become successful, but that successful people attract money. They bring success to what they do.”-Wayne Dyer

If you have been looking for a creative way to defray your monthly mortgage or utility bills, the answer might just be right in front of you. While you might have never thought of your home as a possible income earner, the world has come up with a multitude of ways you could actually earn by the side simply by taking advantage of what you already have.

After all, when it comes to making money, it is always best to squeeze cash out of things that you already do or already own. Presently, our home is considered one of the most underutilized pecuniary resource. Most individuals would not even regard it as a potential cash cow but rather one that needs constant spending. However, our houses do not merely have to be places of shelter where we live in; it can potentially generate cash and revenue. However, a word of warning though as apart from being creative, you also need to compromise for a bit. After all, earning a little money on the side would also require the appropriate sacrifice from you. So, whether you are living in an Avida Asten unit or elsewhere, here are some of the excellent ways you can take advantage and make money off your homes:

1.) Host a foreign exchange student

If you have a spare bedroom in your house, put it to good use by renting it out to foreign exchange students. Apart from getting a paycheck by the end of each month, you would also be hosting interesting house guests who would potentially become your friends. You can even jack up the price a bit if you are willing to provide them meals, do their laundry, give them rides and a private bathroom. As arrangements are normally short term, you do not have to worry about giving up the spare bedroom in your homes for far too long. However, if this is the type of commitment you cannot see yourself doing, you might as well give it a test drive by listing your homes for short-term rentals such as in Airbnb and host travelers while they are visiting your country.

2.) Board pets

If you have a natural affinity for our four-footed friends, then you can put that bit of extra space in your homes to good use. Consider boarding pets in your home when their owners have somewhere else to be during the day. In turn, you would look after them until such time that their owners would come back. Simply build a traditional kennel in your backyard and have a list of the services you wish to offer. Your fees can depend on the type of pet you have to sit for. Think of it as an animal day care where if you get enough reviews, you can even expand it to grooming and pet walking.

3.) Rent out your shed

It does not necessarily have to be your shed. It can be your attic, your garage or even your basement so long as the available space is inhabitable and unoccupied. This can serve as your primary motivation in cleaning out the clutter you have accumulated over the years as well. Not only would this space be cleaner and clutter-free, but someone would also be willing to pay you just to live in it. You can even convert all that extra junk you have cleaned up into cash by hosting a yard sale. After you have spruced up, measure the space, install some necessary furnishings, snap some photos and then list it online. You can designate it either as a storage rental space or bedroom spacer—whichever you prefer.

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Smart Investments: Questions to Ask Yourself When Asking Whether You Should Buy a House or a Car First

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“I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.” –Warren Buffet

 

Now that you have graduated from college, you have your whole life ahead of you. With this in mind, you have quite a lot of plans as to what you should do with your life.

So right off the bat, you have landed a good and stable job that pays you quite well every month. In this regard, you have saved quite enough and think you are ready for your first investment. Considering that you have been saving some money for quite a while, you think you have sufficient money for your first significant investment which can only be one of two things: A car or a home. Most individuals in their early or mid-twenties would probably invest in a car seeing as majority of them still live with their parents. Moreover, having your own car gives you certain bragging rights by showing it off wherever you go—which is what young individuals aare aiming for: temporary satisfaction.

However, there are also some individuals who wish to become a homeowner and live a life separate from their parents. By now, they have probably scoured every possible property they can afford—from the units of Avida Towers Centera to the ones in Avida Asten. However, where should your money go? To a new house or a new car? Well, this is no easy question to answer and it all really boils down to what sort of pecuniary circumstance you are in as well as what your needs are.

There is no doubt that quite a lot of people would advise you to invest in a home first seeing as it would only appreciate over time whereas a car would not. While this sentiment is credible and would hold true in the long term, most working professionals would end up buying both a home and a car. So, what is the real difference if you simply bought one now as in the end, you will probably have enough money for both? In this regard, we can say that it is not really a question of which is best for long term investment but rather which should be purchased first. If you are on the hedge, the questions below might help you arrive at a decision:

How long will your current car last?

If you decision to buy a new car is solely based on your current car’s life expectancy then have a competitive mechanic take a look at it and give you a rough estimate. If it does not last you for more than five years, ask if there are any cheap repairs you can do to increase it. Moreover, are these repairs worth the money based on the car’s overall worth?

 

Will your overall living expenses be cheaper before or after you purchase a house?

If you wish to live independently, pay your own bills and have a life away from your familial home then no doubt, you should purchase your own flat. However, if you had been renting prior to this purchase, weigh your options first. Will the overall cost be significantly cheaper? Remember, you may effectively be getting rid of paying rent but in its place you would have to pay insurance, mortgage, utilities as well as homeowner’s taxes.

 

If you bought a house now, how long would it take you to save enough cash to purchase a car? (Vice Versa)

Both the car and the home are inevitable purchases in life. What you need to do is ask yourself how much money you can comfortably afford to set aside each month in order to buy one of the two.

 

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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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