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


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

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

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

1.) Clean your roof

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

2.) Keep your documents sorted

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

3.) Clean out your drawers

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

4.) Service the air conditioner

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

5.) Inspect the fire extinguishers

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

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Four Common Questions About Philippine Real Estate



Owning a home is a keystone of wealth… both financial affluence and emotional security. ~Suze Orman

One of the most crucial aspects when it comes to buying real estate in any part of the world is to know your legal rights. This applies true for house and lot buyers Philippines. It makes potential homebuyers more vigilant about their real estate purchases and aware whether the contract they are signing has legal color. Additionally, it would help prospective buyers weed out unscrupulous people such as scammers and unlicensed agents.

However, most Filipinos are lefty unaware of what their rights as a buyer which would render them vulnerable to bad deals and underhanded transactions which is why it would very much benefit them to have a general knowledge of our local laws.

The Philippines has an excellent set of legislation that would protect buyers from bad real estate agreements. Instead of the usual jargon found in real estate law books, this article aims to make it clearer to its readers as regards their legal rights as a homebuyer and a homeowner by elaborating on the most common questions about the Philippine real estate.

1.) Do foreign spouses or family members have the legal capacity to acquire property in the Philippines?

Unless they are renting a place such as in one of the condominium units for rent, the law is explicit when it comes to foreigners owning land and property in the Philippines. It has been stated that only Filipino citizens are allowed to buy real estate property in the Philippines regardless of whether such property is a condo or a home.

The rationale for this law is to keep Philippine lands from transferring ownership to foreigners lest we get overrun by properties owned by foreign nationals. However, foreign nationals can own property through co-ownership with his or her Filipino spouse or if the foreigner owns a corporation or an ownership where sixty percent of it is Filipino owned.

2.) What is a deed of sale and what are my duties as regards this document?

This crucial piece of document is essentially your legal proof of purchase. In essence, it indicates the transfer of property between the seller and buyer and shows that it has legally transpired. As a homebuyer, you should authenticate the document and have it notarized and recorded in the registry of deeds. After which, a homebuyer ould need to pay for transfer tax, registration fees, documentary stamp tax and other fees.

3.) What are my options when dealing with an unlicensed agent?

Before buying any property and dealing with an agent, it is best to check if the agent is registered with the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service. Unfortunately, there is not much recourse in dealing with an unlicensed agent apart from filing a fraud charge in the same manner as you would when you file a crime report.

4.) What are my rights as a buyer?

When it comes to property sales agreement, the rights of a homebuyer are essentially two things which are:

1.) The right to demand the developer to deliver the title of the unit or property upon full payment; and

2.) The right to be reimbursed with the amount you have paid which would include the amortization payments.

In essence, this would mean that it would be illegal for the developer to forfeit any installment payments in favor of the owner or the developer himself. Both laws are reflected in Presidential Decree No. 957- Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree.

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.


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.


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.

Five House Shopping Tips For Newlyweds

Young happy couple shopping for new home

So, you have said your “I do’s”, went on a Caribbean honeymoon and have envisioned what your life is going to be like for the remainder of your years with your new spouse. Well, apart from finally getting hitched, the next major milestone is buying out a home where you can commence your life as a couple, raise a family, cultivate and foster relationships and nurture your children. The prospect of house shopping together may seem like a thrilling and exciting experience but do keep in mind that this is a major commitment and would require careful consideration. Do not simply decide on the first house you would like. Remember, in most cases, you could not simply and easily discard your hold home in favor of a new one—especially if you are still paying for it.

Regardless of whether it is a Rockwell condo unit in Makati or an apartment in Cebu when it comes to house shopping, it is imperative to invest wisely and have a strategic plan as to exactly how you and your spouse would go about it. To make sure you would not have any regrets with your choice, create a buying strategy that would aid you in choosing a house. Here are fourteen tips that should aid you for this major milestone in life.

1.) Take a look at your financial situation

After spending money for your wedding, it is important to have some left for you to start your life out as a couple. This is because one of the initial steps you would take is to purchase a flat where you and your new spouse would stay. Seeing as it is vital to consider your financial situation before investing in a home, it is imperative to have a price range and a maximum price. Talk it over with your spouse and make an honest assessment of your individual and joint financial situations. From there, create a budget as this will allow you to build a budget for your home immediately and determine the type of house you can afford.

2.) Set a realistic goal

Do not have ambitious housing goals if your financial situation cannot afford it. Manage your expectations and keep it realistic. Have a clear understanding of what you both want and have an idea on how much money you have for your down payment and how much more you would need to save up. Remember, your cash equivalent should be twenty percent of the property’s selling price for deposit to secure a housing loan.

3.) Learn how to prioritize

Learn what you would prioritize as a couple whether it is the size, design, location, etc. You may agree on a lot of shared ideas but find that you would have to compromise in order to have an ideal home—especially if you cannot agree on all the aspects you want in a home. Write these priorities down and keep the high-ranking items on your priority list in mind when you are house hunting.

4.) Save up

This one is pretty straightforward and would need no further elaboration. However, some couples would neglect this very critical step in an attempt to make sure their new home would be as “livable” as it can be by buying a lot of furniture without even stopping to consider the annual payment dues for their home. At whichever point you are in the process of buying a home and regardless whether you are renting or buying or are still deciding, do save up enough money. Apart from spending on the house itself, you would still have the insurance utilities, overall expenses, and taxes to consider as well.

5.) Choose a Community Carefully

This is a vital step as this will determine your overall experience when it comes to living in your home. Remember, safety is of utmost importance so be sure to look into the reported number of crimes in the neighborhood you choose to buy a house in. Consider the location as well, if the neighborhood is in close proximity to schools, offices, churches, malls, etc. or at least has an access for it. Remember, the neighborhood is one of the pivotal factors that would determine how long you would stay in your home. Be very sure it meets your needs not only for the short term, but for the long run as well.


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5 Hacks to Visually Enlarge Your Small Space

Hands up if you are one of those people who live in small spaces! Have you ever feel that your walls are already closing in on you? Like you don’t have any space available for you to freely roam around your home? Well, fret not! You are not alone! Yes, there are actually a lot of homeowners who share the same sentiments as you do.

However, just because you have a small home, you can’t do anything about it anymore. Generally, it doesn’t matter if you live in house and lot for sale Philippines (Cavite specifically) visually enlarging your small space is within your reach.

Thinking about what and what not to do when it comes to improving the interior design of your home can sometimes be daunting and challenging. Of course, you need to think about the things you need to do for you to achieve a desirable outcome of your home. And to give you some ideas, below are the top five hacks to visually enlarge your small spaces at home.

No worries! These tips or hacks are easy for you to use in your own home.

1. Lighten up

Choosing the right color for your home is one of the most important things you must consider. Of course, the color of walls can help visually expand your space. Well, you can go for a white color for your walls. Although some of you here might think that white is just a plain color, but never underestimate it since it can do wonders when it comes to expanding your space. But you can also go for pastel colors if not for white.

2. Use vertical stripe patterns

Just like wearing vertical stripes clothing, you can also go for vertical stripe patterns for your walls, or even with the floors. You can trick the eye into making an object appear taller or longer. Of course, this is also one way you can maximize the effect in your home. well, before deciding to use vertical stripes pattern, just make sure that you get a permission from your landlord. With this, you don’t have to worry about putting some vertical designs for your home.

3. Use mirrors strategically

Mirrors are not just for your own purposes. You can also use mirrors to trick that you have a bigger space at home. Moreover, mirrors can also help maximize the effect by placing a big mirror directly across the room from the window. With this, it will create an illusion of an endless space. However, you should also be careful when it comes to the installation of it. Make sure to avoid placing mirrors to reflect objects that are not easy on the eyes, since it can create an illusion of a cluttered home.

4. Utilize the vertical space on your walls

Aside from using vertical stripes pattern for your walls, you can also use the vertical spaces available at home. Well, you can place some bookshelves in an empty space. Or you can also buy rails to hang pots, pans, and spices, especially when you have a vertical space in your kitchen. And yes, it does not just give you an illusion of having a bigger space; this will also help draws the eyes upwards making your small space larger.

5. Buy proportioned furniture that does double duty

One of the many reasons why your home feels like there is no space available is because you have so many things that are cluttered inside your home. And in order for you to avoid such, why don’t you buy proportioned furniture that does double duty? With this, you will not be worried about what and where you should put your furniture since you have already some space or storage available for it.

See? Having an illusion that you have a bigger space at home is not that hard as you think it is. Of course, you just have to make sure that you are doing the right thing when it comes to what and what not to do when decorating your home.

How to Maintain a Good Relationship with your Helper

Regardless of his/her background, your helper is still a person who deserves respect. However, there are just times that we tend to forget to show the right attitude towards our helper. Of course, I know that not all of us have this kind of character, but needless to say, treating your domestic helper with respect is still a must for you to do, even if you are his/her boss. And that is, whether you like it or not.

First and foremost, you should not hire a helper when you don’t know how to treat them nicely. Don’t you know that you can get a lot of benefits when you treat them well? You can have your helper as your friend. You can make a good and satisfying day with your household help, especially when you feel bored. They can also be one of your lifesavers when something’s not right. Second, changing your helper frequently means you are not a good person to deal with. And I’m sure you don’t want that labeled on you, right?

Yes, treating your helper nicely seems easy to do on our part, but there are also some guidelines that we need to know, for us to maintain a long lasting relationship between our helper. With these guidelines, we would know our limitations as to how we should approach our helper.

Set reasonable expectations

One of the reasons why we usually feel dismayed on our helper is that we tend to set high expectations on them. And sometimes, we even have high standards on what kind of house staff that you want to have. Remember, your helpers are there to help you with the chores at home where you are living in a small condo unit or a big house and lot in Cavite. As their boss, you have to know that your helpers are not your slaves where you can let them do the things beyond their capability. You have to expect that they also have their own limits. Of course, we are all humans. Don’t put your hopes too high on them.

Proper training

Even if knowing what to do when it comes to household chores, there is still a need for you to properly train them on the things you particular want them to do. Tell your helpers the things that you like and don’t like when it comes to the arrangements of your stuff, and/or if you have anything in particular where there should be a special care when handling or cleaning. You have to make sure that you have explained it to them properly, for them to know and understand as to why there should be a proper care.

Set terms and conditions

Yes, we want to have a good relationship with our helper. But there are also certain rules that they need to abide. If you don’t want them to enter your room, for example, you have to tell them that it is beyond their boundaries and they should not enter without your permission. And if there is a particular thing that you don’t want them to touch, tell them in advance for them to know what and why.

Set a working schedule

When it comes to working, your helper must also work. Of course, you also have to make sure that they have enough sleep for them to work efficiently. Also, give them time to rest, and a good food to keep him/her fit and healthy. Setting a working schedule can help your helper have enough energy to do a better performance on the tasks you have assigned to them.


Proper communication is one of the important things you should do with your helper. Without this, it is impossible for you to understand your helper, and for your helper to obey you. If you want your relationship to work out, you both should have a two-way communication to do and have a better outcome.

In sum, building a good relationship with your helper is not as bad and hard thing as you think. You just have to make sure that you possess the right approach towards them. Know his/her limitations and strength. With that, you will know as to where they excel in the household chores.