Home Renovation Mistakes That Costs You Money

color swatches and plans for a condo in the philippines

Taking on a home renovation project is a big commitment. Working on a room requires you to think about the design elements you have to place in there. You have to find the right size of furniture, the exact texture or material to place in the room of your two-bedroom Avida Towers Sola. It can be challenging to find these things when you must also keep track of your expenses.

Expenses are always part of transforming a condo in Quezon City into a place that inspires you to live in it. If you’re scared about the fees that you have to face to create the design scheme you wish to have, then you have to read this list. It includes the home renovation mistakes to avoid so you won’t spend a fortune on your project.

Not asking questions

Don’t stay tight-lipped during the renovation. If you have a something in mind, go ahead and ask. Talk to your contractor, architect or interior designer. Be curious about their plans on your home and how they’ll go about it. If you have no ideas what’s going on, you can ask any member of the crew. It’ll help you oversee the project and stay looped in the renovation process.

Making a lot of changes during construction
Your request might be simple, but it may require a lot of work in the back end. Before you ask the workers to change something, you must first consult with your designer or builder.

Working on the project without a timeline
You don’t want to end up choosing type of fixture because of pressure. To avoid repeating a job or buying the same item to replace the former, you must decide on the things you need to have before they are due. Ask your contractor to work with you to create a list of items you need to purchase. Include the deadline of when you must have a final decision for the stuff.

Neglecting the exterior of your home

Condo owners don’t have a lot of problems with their exterior because maintenance is often part of the contract. However, it’s different with house and lot owners. These people must think of foundations, gutters, grading, and roofs. If you’re taking on a home renovation project, begin with the exterior then work your way inside. It’s no use updating your floors and wall paint when the ceiling is leaking.

Leaving interior design out of the equation

Even if no one could see your interiors unless they come in, you shouldn’t leave it out. Having an appealing home decor is the key to an attractive home. It also makes you feel good when you’re in a well-organized space. That said, you should save some dough for hiring an interior decorator. Having a professional would immensely improve your home and help you increase its value in the long run.

Forgetting the importance of quality

Appearance isn’t the only measure of a high-quality home. It’s also about the experience. Choosing to spend a few bucks on the things you touch every day minimizes the need for repairs and exchanges. During your home renovation, pick the best material for door hardware, faucets, and kitchen cabinets. Find the best doors and appliances that can withstand daily use.

Forgetting psychological stressors

Building and fixing your home is yours and your partner’s project. If you’re not sure about your dynamics, you can start working on small things first. A birdhouse or appliance repairs are some things you can do to test your partnership. You might be surprised to find how your styles, ideas, and, approaches are different from each other.

Spending on items you should save

Large items don’t always have to be the most expensive. You save a lot of money when you consider looking at yard sales, thrift stores, and buy/sell/trade sites. Also, you can always make things better by adding a piece of art, small decors, and family heirlooms.

Replacing or moving windows

If your glasses are in half decent shape, you can still do something about them. Installing replacement windows isn’t always the answer to your woes. If you’re unsure of your decision, you may consult a professional about what to do with your windows.

Not knowing exact measurements

When renovating, you must always carry a list containing important measurements. You should have the size of your couches, tables and other things you need to purchase from the store. That way, you’ll know which items to buy especially when the perfect item is in front of you.

Purchasing huge furniture

Don’t buy a piece of furniture that’s bigger than your front door. You should also include the measurement of your entry on the list so you’ll know which pieces can pass through the entrance.

Paying too much attention to technology

Technology is pricey. On top of that, it easily gets outdated. It might seem smart to wire your home with the latest gadgets, but it’s not a great investment. If you sell the house in the future, there’s a chance your prospects won’t be impressed by it.

It’s best to loop the people who live with you in the project from the beginning until the end. Getting everyone involved helps you come up with better decisions and avoid these mistakes to save your wallet. Moreover, you can end up with a better and improved interior when you have other people helping you decide on what to have in your home.


Home Buying Endeavors: Five Overt Signs You Have Found the Right House


“A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” -George Edward Moore


Without a doubt, buying a home is probably one of the biggest and most significant investments an individual can make in his or her lifetime.

In this regard, the selection of a home would often be fraught with a myriad of considerations to ensure that one’s investment would pay off. This is particularly true for first-time home buyers who are scouring the market for an ideal home to settle down. Albeit an exciting prospect, one’s home buying endeavor can be rather daunting and intimidating considering that much of what influences your home buying decision would extend beyond the fetching price of a property. Although your fears are well-placed, know that there is a set of signs you can watch out for that would greatly indicate that you have found the right home for you which can be anywhere from an empire east condo to a house in Pioneer Woodlands.

However, before we dive into that, know that finding the right home would be a smoother and easier process if you have a real estate agent who has your best interests at heart (and would not pressure you into buying a property), instinctively know what you are looking for and would not second guess your gut. In any case, here are some of the ways to know that you have found the right house:


1.)  You want to go inside the house

An excellent way to tell whether or not the house is a good fit for you is the way it beckons you to take a closer look. One of the things that make a property hunt so exciting is looking at a myriad of homes and not knowing which one could end up being your next home. Some prospective homeowners are fortunate enough to know which home would be perfect for them upon seeing the curb’s aesthetic appeal while most of us would wish to take a closer look. If the house’s exteriors are already entrancing enough to entice you to take a peek inside, then you might just be looking at your future home.

2.) The house embraces you as soon as you enter

Once you enter the home, it just feels right. It is not only inviting, but comforting and warm to the core as well. You take a look around and can truly envision yourself living here. In fact, you are already mentally arranging the furniture to how you wish it would look once you take up residence. Furthermore, the house encourages you to explore. If the house feels like home to you, then it probably is.

3.) You feel possessive about the house

You take any negative comment said about the house personally–even if the said comment makes a valid point. You see the house’s flaws as quirks and would be rather offended if it is pointed out as something that devalues the home. In fact, to you, these flaws are just a few of the things that would add to the subtle charm of the home and you would defend them. You see beyond the flaws and are starting to fall in love.

4.) You are comfortable in the bathroom

An excellent way to tell whether a home would be a suitable fit for you is to check the bathroom. Walk inside and try to get its feel. Does it make you feel comfortable insomuch that you could see yourself spending significant time in there? Or are you a bit iffy about how you feel? If the bathroom has an inviting feel to it and would make you want to poke around and even compelled to run the bath or open the shower, this might just be your house.

5.) It fits your basic needs

While the house might not meet every single criteria you have in your list, you can see yourself compromising. Sure, the dynamics might not hit every standard you have set but you at least have your basic requirements met. In this regard, you find yourself agreeing to the home’s minor setbacks. It might not have the garage you wanted, but it comes with the number of rooms you want and the area is spacious. You would make certain concessions for the home and might even realize in that moment that the things the house is missing from your list are not really necessary and that you can do without them, In a flash, you might even realize that you can be flexible as to what would have been deal-breakers to you which just so long as you can have the house.

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Happy Neighborhoods: The Four Best Reasons to Cultivate a Relationship with Your Neighbors

“Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder.” –John F. Kennedy
A familiar but wise adage has once said that in the prospect of closing a deal on a residential property you would soon call your own, it is best to ask about the neighbors first before buying the home. After all, you can make all the necessary changes you possibly can in your home. But it would be almost next to impossible to change your neighbors. In this regard, fostering a good relationship with your neighbors should be one of your primary considerations when you move into a neighborhood. Having strong relations with your neighbors cultivates a sense of oneness and bond in the neighborhood and is the initial step towards becoming a better community.

Today, with technological innovations and advancements dominating the world, it can be rather easy to live in our own little bubble and interact with the rest of the world from the screen of your desktops or mobile phones. However, this would be counter intuitive to a strong community wherein the residents interact. Unfortunately, this presents the reality today. You can live a mere feet away from your neighbors for decades only to never learn their name. This is especially prevalent in condominium and apartment complexes where neighbors barely interact with each other at all and would instead go straight to their units from a tiresome day at work.
However, regardless of whether you are living in flats such as in Avida Settings Alviera or an apartment complex, fostering a good relationship with the people living in proximity to you is paramount. Here are the most compelling reasons why:

1.) You can count on them

One of the best reasons why you should develop a friendly relationship with your neighbors has something to do with safety. The deeper the bond you have with them, the more inclined they will be to alert you in any case of emergency of trouble. Should there be an attempted burglary in your homes, a tampering of your car, smoke coming out from your kitchen or even an unidentified person trying to gain entry, you can count on your friendly neighbors to give you a head’s up. Even better, you can rely on them to call the police on your behalf as well.

2.) You can borrow from them

There are times wherein you might need a stick of butter, a cup of sugar, a pair of garden shears or even, an extra pair of hands to help you out. If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, they will be more than happy to oblige your request or even let you borrow whatever it is that you need. In this regard, they would also expect that you would do the same thing for them in their time of need. While you are free to borrow pretty much anything from your neighbor, be sure to return it. However, refrain from borrowing cash—that is one way to immediately sour your relationship with your neighbors should you default on payment.

3.) Help when needed

One of the excellent things about having a good relationship with your neighbors is knowing that you can count on them whenever you do need something. As we cannot plan for every possibility, it would be very much assuring to know that you can always get yourself out of a snag in the community with the help of your neighbors. From home lockouts to dead car batteries, you can always ask for your neighbor’s assistance in giving your car a quick jump or calling the locksmith to provide you with access to your homes.

4.) Stand-in babysitter

Do you have a date night planned with your partner? Well, all is well and good so long as you can find someone who can watch the kids while you and your spouse are out. Unfortunately, competent and trustworthy babysitters are somewhat hard to come by nowadays. However, if you trust your neighbors and have developed a bond with them, they would be very much happy to watch the kids for you while you are gone. If they have teenagers who are in need of extra cash, you might find that you would not even need to call a professional babysitting service at all and just employ them to watch your kids. Be sure to compensate them for their time, however—regardless of how happy they are to help. Your neighbors should not feel like they are taken advantage of and one way of ensuring that does not happen is giving them pecuniary compensation for their time and efforts.


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Home Living: What Every Couple Should Ask Before Buying a Home


“I am not a big advocate of living together before marriage. It can be the right thing, but it can also leave two people stuck together who have not figured out what they really want out of the relationship” –Emily Yoffe


You are in love and you suppose that you are ready to take your relationship to the next level. Why not move in together, right?

Sure, moving in and living under the same roof might sound like just the start of a blissful journey. But it can easily go south for the both of you. On the plus side, it might mean lesser outlays as you would have to jointly spend on any expenses you might have. Furthermore, it basically means waking up next to your significant other for the rest of your mornings. Based on all that, it could only be a great thing, right? Well, not necessarily so. Living under one roof with your significant other without the benefit of marriage could be a double-edged sword. It might potentially open you up to issues you might never have had before, cause undue stress on your relationship which might cause your eventual breakup. The truth is, living together is still a huge responsibility for the both of you that requires a lot of forethought. It is not something you decide on a whim, but something that demands contemplation.

After all, buying a home (albeit an exciting milestone in a couple’s life) is unquestionably one of the pivotal events that would significantly change the course of a relationship. Take note: It is not always butterflies and breakfast in bed in the morning. It means disclosing credit scores, committing to mortgage payments, splitting up household payments—not exactly the best scenarios for romance, right? In any case, if you are convinced about taking this plunge with your partner, here are some of the vital things you ought to discuss before making that move. So that whether you are moving to a condo in Cebu City or elsewhere, you would both know what your responsibilities are and where you stand so as to avoid potential conflicts in the future:



What are we willing to sacrifice to make this happen?

Regardless of what your viewpoint is, living together connotes a huge sacrifice on both of your parts. Unless you are absolutely loaded, then there is a likely chance that the both of you would need to make certain concessions to turn your dream home into a reality. Would this mean staying in during Saturday nights? Foregoing new movies in favor of saving up? Whatever your compromises you might make, be sure you are willing to discuss them with your partner. Furthermore, ensure that they are on board with it as well.

What are our non-negotiables?

Take note: Your home is a joint investment. In this regard, it is best to be on the same page about what you want and what you do not with your partner. To avoid potential conflicts, establish what each of you cannot live without and then start compromising on what you want. Decide what you will never compromise on and what would be major red flags.

Are we having kids?

Sure, a single bedroom studio condo unit sounds just about right for the time being. But what if you wish to expand your family? Where are your going to put your little tot to sleep? Sure, for the first twelve months, your child can share the room with you. But what happens when you need your own privacy as well? Have an honest conversation about how you see your family growing and consequently, how much space you would eventually need for the growth.

Are we willing to do renovation work?

Apart from creating the home of your dreams now, you need to have a clear understanding of each other’s vision for your new home. Know where you want to take it in the future and what your plans would be. In this way, you would be able to alleviate future stress and mitigate the expenses—especially if you possess the foresight of where you wish to take your plans for your home in the future. Sure, a fixer-upper home might look great for your wallet right now, but would you be willing to put up with that kind of lengthy work? Moreover, do you have the patience for it? Decide what you are comfortable with and make sure your partner is okay with that as well.

What if things do not work out?

While this is a prospect no one would want to discuss, it needs to be addressed. After all, it is best to be prepared should the unthinkable ever happen—no matter how much of a downer this topic can be. In any case, if things do not work out between the two of you, what would your plan be for the home? Should you see it and split the value? Would there be a buyout agreement? While having a prenuptial agreement might not exactly be the most romantic of things to discuss, it is nevertheless a smart move. Talk to a lawyer and consider adding clauses to a prenup or post-nup so that if things get rocky in the future, both of you would hold your end of the bargain.

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House Hunting: Four Red Flags to Watch Out For When Buying a Home

Purchase agreement for house

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


Buying real estate property can be a little daunting considering that there are a lot of aspects for you to ruminate over before you arrive at a decision.

Furthermore, it can be rather easy to get distracted and drawn in by a home’s visual aesthetics—so much so that you would overlook the glaring flaws in favor of these visually appealing knick-knacks. However, you should not let any of those allow you to deviate from your true purpose which is to find a home that affords maximum comfort, provides optimal functionality and is a great value for your money. Remember, granite countertops, contemporary furnishings, fresh paints and modern kitchens albeit beautiful and certainly impressive, might function as smoke and mirrors. Unless you dig deeper into your home inspection, you might not realize that you have fallen victim to a bad deal. All these because you favored visually appealing home aspects that were meant to conceal underlying home defects. In any case, you should always be vigilant when you are out house hunting lest you regret purchasing the home or make a bad deal.

Learn to distinguish whether a home that truly wishes to deliver the best deal to its prospective buyers from one that is simply overcompensating to cleverly mask its existing defects. Remember, some of these aesthetic additions might sound too good to be true and if that is the case, they usually are. They are meant to sweeten the deal so as to hasten the negotiation process. As a home buyer, you should be responsible enough to be meticulous about your potential purchases. Whether you are inspecting a townhouse for sale in Quezon City or elsewhere, here are some of the red flags you should definitely not gloss over:



Plenty of “For Sale” Signs

Apart from checking out the home itself, it would be a wise idea to survey the potential neighborhood you are going to be living in. Take a gander at the other properties; do you notice other people living in there? Or do you see a lot of boarded-up businesses and for sale signs? If the neighborhood is located in an urban area, businesses around it should be thriving or at least, open for business. If the neighborhood is suddenly experiencing a mass exodus of residents, there is a likely chance that you might not want to live in there either.

Over-packed Closet

When you are serious about a property in particular, storage should be a paramount interest of yours. In this regard, you should take note of the number of available storage spaces in the home. Open cupboards and closets and see how many of the seller’s stuff can fit inside of them. If you notice anything falling out when you open the door, then the obvious conclusion would be that the home is severely lacking in storage. However, this does not necessarily disqualify the home immediately. Try to have an accurate picture of how much stuff you actually have and compare that to the existing number of storage spaces. Determine whether it is enough before you decide on whether the home would qualify in your list.

Too many rugs

While there is nothing particularly sinister about rugs, if they are placed in unusual and unnatural places or are put in place for seemingly no reason at all, they might be hiding damaged floors. Sure, the current owners might just want something plush to step their feet onto, but it would still be a good idea to see what is underneath them. Cracked tiles, stains of the carpets and wood damaged by water are all no-nos. Sure, they are not exactly deal breakers, but it would be best if you know the exact condition of the home you are buying. Furthermore, flaws such as these would help you leverage the negotiation and ask for a cheaper asking price.

Neglected Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods should be properly maintained if they want to maintain a semblance of sustainability and livability. While a child’s toy here and there or a bike by the lawn would be understandable, properties with overgrown lawns or garbage bins overflowing with garbage are clear signs of total neglect. This means that your neighbors do not care enough about the neighborhood and that the community itself does not practice proper maintenance. This is a major red flag as the neighborhood might not be the kind of place you had initially expected. After all, it does not seem like the very best place for raising a family nor does it have that welcoming ambiance that you are seeking for.

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


“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

Playing with boxes

“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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