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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Home Living: Four Reasons You Need Homeowners Insurance

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“It is a privilege to wake up in this house that existed before us, and will exist after us.”-Tim Cuppett (homeowner)

Without a doubt, our homes are bastions against outward elements—a place we can call our sanctuary, if you may. It is universally considered as a protective shelter and more often than not, it is symbolic of all the years of hard work we have done in order to erect such a place. Moreover, it also happens to be one of the most significant investments we would probably make in our lives. In this regard, it would only make sense to protect it adequately and ensure that should anything untoward occur, you and your family would not be left without a roof over your head. And the best way to sufficiently protect your homes is to have it insured with homeowner’s insurance.

Yes, you might have thought that this is another recurring expense on top of the exorbitant amount you have already paid for the home itself. But the truth of the matter is, if you cannot afford home insurance then you cannot afford a home. You could never tell what might happen, and if a fire razes your homes, you would be left without a shelter and without your belongings which are a scenario rendering you close to destitute. Your home is precious, and for that reason alone you should protect it. Any damage done could leave lasting financial and emotional consequences—let home insurance mitigate it. In any case, if you have been hoping to buy a condo in Avida Towers Centera or elsewhere, it is best to review the reasons why you should insure your home:

1.) Natural disasters are a dangerous reality

Just four years ago, Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, particularly in the Visayas area. The aftermath of the hurricane left many Filipinos homeless, and as such, most of them were not able to rebuild their homes until much later. We would never know when a natural disaster could occur—whether that may be an earthquake, fire, typhoon or anything similar. Should this be the case, we should ensure that our homes are protected so as not to leave ourselves and our families homeless.

2.) Man-made risks can cause a lot of damage

Much like natural disasters, manmade risks are fortuitous events. Although you may have armed your homes to the teeth with security cameras, surveillance systems and the like, manmade risks such as thefts, terrorism, riots, arson, etc. still pose a threat to the security and protection of your home. Home insurance, albeit only some of them, provides you with the assurance that reparation would be provided should any of manmade untoward events occur. However, should your insurer not provide this benefit, you can always add an additional fee for this benefit.

3.) Everything has value

Depending on your insurer, home insurance usually provides coverage for two things: the construction of the home itself and the contents within. Unfortunately, some items might not fall into the category of essential items that would need to be insured. Many of us would have items that have sentimental value, jewelry or maybe even some art installations and paintings that might have had cost us a fortune. To ensure you have everything you wish covered, read your policy and coverage and opt for a rider or two.

4.) It gives you peace of mind

Last, but certainly not the least having insurance gives you peace of mind. In this regard, you would be able to sleep well at night knowing that should any unforeseen circumstance occur that might cause you to lose your home, you and your family will be able to ride the tide with insurance. Remember, peace of mind is priceless, and so is your home. You should regard it as more than a structure of four walls and selected paint—it is a sanctuary that cultivates relationships and offers its inhabitants utmost protection.

 

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Buying a Condo? Here are Five Things to Consider

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“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth.”

Condominium living has been somewhat of a trend in the Philippines wherein you can find one in almost every nook and cranny of the major cities. Indeed, there are a lot of merits to living in condominiums—especially for perpetually busy Filipinos who long for a more convenient lifestyle. After all, it is a well-known fact that condominium projects and developments pride themselves upon the expedient living they offer to their residents. Living in condos has been associated with an ease of access to most establishments, offices, and entertainment hubs. However, what encourages a prospective condominium buyer to close a deal apart from the practical lifestyle it affords? Well, for most condominium unit buyers, the price would either be a driving factor or a major concern. Unfortunately, if buying a condo unit is in your plans, this should not be the sole consideration you have to make.

A condo unit’s price, albeit a paramount consideration to most condominium buyers, should not be the only consideration. Focusing on this aspect alone might lead you to make bad investments that you would regret soon after. In any case, if you have been eyeing a condominium unit in Avida Asten or wherever, here are some of the other things you should consider:

1.) Location

What good would a condominium unit be if it is located smack dab in the middle of nowhere? If this is the case, it would likely defeat its purpose of being an alternate residency considering living on the outskirts of the city does not offer many conveniences. Apart from that, you should also consider the general safety of the area where your condo is located. Moreover, the location of your condo unit significantly affects the potential price appreciation. So, if you are looking to sell your condo anytime in the future, the location would be a pivotal aspect.

2.) Track record and reputation of the developer

Today, most condominium developers offer their condos at the pre-selling stage in order to sufficiently finance the completion of the project. If you have thought of buying a condo at its pre-selling stage, it would be best if you took a look at the reputation of the developer. This will ensure whether the finished property would be of good quality and if it would be turned over as scheduled.

3.) Parking

Contrary to what most condo buyers believe, parking lots do not come with the unit. You buy them separately, and they can be quite expensive. Condo units by themselves are already expensive, and if you added the price of a parking space with that, it could easily set you back by at least 500K pesos more. If you require parking space, then this should be a primary concern. Furthermore, parking lots appreciate in value and should you not be using them; they can be used to generate extra income.

4.) Population density and amenities sharing

One of the features a condominium has that would entice buyers to close a deal with them is their array of amenities. The more amenities a condo has, the pricier it would be. Basic amenities would include a swimming pool, function rooms, children’s playground, and the gym among others. Before deciding on which condominium to buy, you should assess whether the number of amenities offered corresponds to the price you would pay. Apart from this, you should consider if you would be able to take advantage of the facilities adequately while having to share it with a significant number of neighbors.

5.) Rules and Regulations

Not all condos have the same set of rules. For example, one condominium development might be rigidly strict about having no pets allowed in the units while there are some that can be a bit more flexible. Apart from this, some condos impose strict regulations on what you can modify and alter inside your unit. These are all things you have to consider especially if you intend on making the unit your primary residence as you have to ensure the rules imposed would sit well with you.

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Planning to Sell a Condo? Here are Three Things You Need to Know

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“Real estate investment is certainly a vote of confidence on a future activity” -Fiona Sigalla

 

The Philippines has seen a recent boom in the real estate market over the past decade—particularly in the condominium industry. It is no question that one can readily see condominium developments and properties being erected in almost every nook and cranny in most major cities. In fact, business districts such as Ortigas, Taguig, and Makati are premier spots for condominium developments seeing as this is where demand remains the highest. Seeing as condominiums are rife and are growing rapidly in the city, it is almost perfunctory that having a condominium unit to sell makes for a marketable and profitable venture. However, the logistics in the sale condo unit is not like selling a home. There are certain rules you have to consider before you can do so such as consulting the condo management and board for salient information potential buyers might want to see. Furthermore, there are things such as rules for pets, acceptable noise levels and alterations to the unit’s space and appearance may play a crucial role in affecting a potential buyer’s decisions.

So, if you have a BGC condo for sale or any other condominium property to sell elsewhere, here are some things you should consider:

 

1.) Best time to sell your condo

Before you can appropriately select a prime time for selling your condo, it is essential that you have a thorough understanding of how the property cycles move. Knowing so would help you have an idea or at least a rough estimate of how far along the property clock would yield a better profit. Although property cycles are largely erratic, there would be a series of events in which you would see prices rice, fall and eventually stabilize. Apparently, the best time to sell your condo would be during the boom phase or when the prices rise—a market peak that usually lasts up to six months.

2.) Open House strategy

While selling your condo is unlike selling your home, you would still have to stage it well to attract prospective buyers. Take note, a condo that shows well will sell much faster and would yield a better profit. Invest on small cosmetic touch-ups as even these can already make a significant difference. Additionally, if anything should be repaired then get on that immediately. Remember, an open house is an excellent strategy to make an impression—make sure you make a good one and make sure it lasts.

3.) Accentuate Premier features

Not all condominium units are the same; there are some features a unit possesses which others lack and makes it for a salable unit. These are the features you need to emphasize and accentuate to your prospective buyers. More often than not, one of the premier features that make a condo unit so salable is the ease of access that comes with it to everyday life—such is the case of having it in proximity to offices, entertainment hubs, and most offices. Similarly, unique attributes such as the amenities offered—may that be a hot tub by the pool, a fitness center, concierge services and the like should also be considered. Remember, if a prospective buyer is looking to buy a condo, he or she is probably looking for a living experience that is hassle-free and one that they cannot find in a residential house. So, exploit your unit’s best features. In a sense, explain to them what makes it worth it to be living there.

 

While selling a condo might present an avenue for a profitable real estate venture, it would be best if you considered the things above first to be successful in your endeavor. Apart from that, it is imperative to remember that if you want to sell your condo, you must be patient enough to worth through a lot of negotiations before you can successfully close a deal. This means you would spend a lot of time waiting around. However, you will soon find that your patience will reward you once you finally close an excellent deal.

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Where to Settle and Retire in the Philippines

As young as you are, you’ve been already interested in where to settle and retire – if it’s abroad or here in the Philippines. Like what others usually say, life is short, so you got to prepare yet enjoy all the things happening around you. Given that idea, of course, you would want to retire in a place where you are not just “resting” but also have an excellent time.

Here are our top three picks on where to settle and retire (and enjoy life) in the Philippines:

Cebu City

Cebu, dubbed as the “Queen City of the South” ranked fourth as the best place to retire in the country in a survey done last 2016. You can effortlessly find real estate in Cebu for sale and rent as Cebu has a booming economy and a welcoming environment for new inhabitants and investors too. This province is in the Visayas region and comprised of three big islands – Camotes, Bantayan, and Mactan. You’d get the mix of urban and rural vibes in Cebu as there are mountains, hills, and beaches surrounding the City.

The native language is Cebuano, and most locals are also fluent in English. You’d often hear Cebuanos mix their mother tongue with English, not with Filipino words. So if you are a foreigner or more comfortable in the English language, I guess you won’t be having a hard time with the language.

Batanes City

This is an unpopular choice, but if you are looking for a peaceful and scenic place to settle for the long run, you should go for Batanes City. Another well-known tourist destination, Batanes is rich in history and culture as well. The ancestors of the Ivatans, the natives of Batanes, came from Austronesians who migrated to the archipelago 4,000 years ago. Their ancestors are seafarers, boat-builders, and farmers too. Until now, about 75% of Ivatans are farmers and fisherfolks.

The province is vast in hills and mountains, given such beautiful landscape, prolonged flooding is most likely not going to happen. Given its incredible landscape, there has been a study which confirms the need for a national park in the province to keep safe and nurture Batanes’ protected landscapes and seascapes, proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The proposal was submitted on August 15, 1993 and they are eyeing to declare the whole province as a Heritage Site by the end of 2020.

The people there are accommodating and very honest. You’d actually spot some honesty stores where there are no sales person or tindera to take your payment, and you just get what you want to buy and leave your money there. The primary languages are Ivatan, spoken in the islands of Batan and Sabtang, Itbayaten on the island of Itbayat, and Ilocano. You’d probably need to make some adjustments with the language, but it would surely be worth it.

Baguio City

The world-renowned summer capital of the Philippines or “The City of Pines” is another place to consider for retirement. Baguio is located within Benguet but has been administered independently from the province and known as a separate entity. As of 2015, the population of Baguio is 345, 366. You’d see a lot of local and foreign tourists visiting and residing for good, in the City.

Aside from the cold climate, you would also have healthier food options as the province’s environment is suitable for cultivating vegetables and fruits. Living there might be similar to getting used to a field trip in a great region like Baguio. About the transportation, jeepneys are also widely present as well as taxis. Cabs are way cheaper in Baguio, and the drivers always give you the change, and they don’t ask you for “extra” payment because of “traffic” and “place is hard to find” (the things we usually here in the Metro Manila!). Indeed, another people-friendly city to consider.

Things You Can Do at Home That Help Reduce Electricity Bills

 

 

 

Most of us, if not all, paying our monthly electricity bills is just so frustrating, especially when our budget is on tight. We sometimes even have a hard time looking for money just to pay the said bills. Well of course, wherever you live—may it be in a condo Philippines, Makati area or not, you still have the need to pay your monthly electricity bills.

There are many things you can do to lessen the consumption of your electricity bills. Well, you do not need to totally cut off your appliances for you to have no electricity bills to pay. However, you can still use it in a moderate way.

Now, here are some simple and common things found in our house that can add up to your electricity consumptions when you don’t know what to do with these things.

Aircon

We all want to use aircon, especially when we feel that no wind can reduce the heat of our room. Using of aircon is our first thing in mind when we need to cool ourselves down. We even use aircon in our house, even if it is still in the afternoon. We can’t help it, right? We just need to use it.

Of course, even if we are reducing the consumption of the electricity bills, we can also contribute to reducing and or minimize the consumption by lessening the use of it. Like what you did for the fridge, you can also do it with your aircon. When you feel like you are already cool down or the room or the place is already cold enough, then you can turn the aircon off. In that way, you can the use of aircon is minimized since you had it turned off when you think that you are already satisfied with the coldness of the place.

Of course, as much a possible, try not to leave the aircon on when there is no one around in the room or the place.

Clothes dryer

Did you know that the clothes dryer is also one of the things that can add up to the consumption of the electricity bills? When you do laundry, if you feel like the heat can dry up your clothes, then as much a possible, try using the natural heat of the sun in drying your clothes. Also, make sure that you do laundry in the morning, or in the early afternoon for you to be able to use the heat of the sun still.

And as much as possible, use only the clothes dryer when you are in a hurry, and you need to wear or pack the clothes that you just washed. In that way, saving electricity bills can never be this convenient.

Refrigerator

We all have refrigerators, right?! Especially when we feel thirsty and we have the need to drink cold water to satisfy our thirst, our refrigerator helps us a lot when it comes to it. Of course, not just for storing cold water, we can also store some foods and other things that need to be refrigerated.

But to lessen the consumption of your refrigerator, if you think that your fridge is already too cold, which makes the food be frozen, you have to turn it off. And if you believe that there is a need to turn it again, then you have to do it. Also, if you think that there is a need to defrost, then you have to defrost it. With that, you can reduce the consumption of your electricity through minimizing the use of the fridge.

Four Survival Tips for House Hunting

 

 

House hunting is easy. It is the catching it part that is difficult. ~Susan Gale

One of the major milestones you encounter in life whether you are a newlywed couple, a couple with kids, or an individual seeking to be more independent is finding the perfect home to live in and begin a new life.

And this milestone in life entails a very exciting and fun activity known as house hunting. The prospect of looking at new beautiful places whether it is a condo in Cebu City or a house and lot in Davao and envisioning what it would be like to finally live in them can be enthralling, and for a while, it can be.

But then again, this is before reality creeps in on you. This is before you realize that you would want to move out of your current residence right away. And you might have the reasons (overbearing in-laws, a new job that requires your move immediately, etc.) for doing so. It seems like the budget you have is not adequate enough for the kind of wish list you have for your home.

When you do find a house that is at the right price, a lot of logistics seem to be involved such as the mountain of paperwork and as it is this kind of pressure can really stress you out. To make sure you do not let the stress of house hunting get to you, here are tips on how to survive it.

1.) Know the difference between your needs and desires

If you are buying a house from a bottomless cash coffer, then your home can come equipped with all the necessities and all the features you would want in a house. However, if you are scouting for homes on a budget, then certain compromises must be made. Know the distinction between your wants and needs and ask yourself some questions when you are doing so. Is it absolutely necessary to have a backyard pool? Or can you use the community’s pool instead? Though location may be a crucial factor in making your final decision, certain extraneous features can be compromised. Do not get too caught up checking off every item on your wish list or you would end up disappointed.

2.) Do not let aesthetics get in the way

The hackneyed phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is not only right for individuals, but for choosing homes as well. Remember to look beyond the visual aspect of your home. Although everyone may want a beautiful home, it is equally important to consider the location and structure as well are far more important if you can get the house at the right price.

3.) Brace yourself for anything unexpected

No matter how meticulously you have planned your house hunting strategy, the reality is there are certain things that you can never plan for. An example of this is perhaps when you are buying a foreclosure. Just as you are about to seal the deal, you would find out that there is another existing mortgage on the house with a second bank causing it to decline on your offer.

Maybe you will discover your new condo is peppered with termites. Should the worst occur, stay calm and collected. Be ready for anything to come up and just welcome that as an opportunity to look for a better home.

4.) Prioritize

Know that the most important step when it comes to house hunting is to set priorities. Determine what is essential to you and know which aspects you can try to compromise on. In the same vein, this is where you distinguish your wants from your needs and come up with a list that would help you look for houses with a realistic mindset.

House hunting can be a fun and thrilling experience, but as it is, it could be stressful to potential home buyers as well. So, when you are browsing homes in, keep these tips in mind to make your experience in finding that one perfect home truly rewarding.