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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Philippines Real Estate: Things You Need to Know About Buying a Condo in the Philippines

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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.”-Theodore Roosevelt

In modern Philippines, you would be hard-pressed not to find a condominium tower in major cities. In fact, it may be argued that you can find one (or one about to be erected) in almost every nook and cranny in its biggest metropolis, Metro Manila. Of course, this rising trend of condominium living is to be attributed to the proliferation of these real estate projects. After all, with a Filipino’s perpetually busy lifestyle, living in a condominium unit would not only be convenient but ideal. With this in consideration, the Philippine condominium market remains as robust as ever and shows no signs of slowing down. After all, with the ever-increasing demand, condominium developers must endeavor to address that exigency.

As Manila is rife with individuals seeking condo units (seeing as it is a premier spot for professional and career growth), it would inevitably be area developers would be so keen to develop. Makati, Fort Bonifacio, and Ortigas are three prime spots where condominium units are the most prevalent. However, with a myriad of options to select from, buying a condo can easily get tricky. How can you ensure that the unit in two serendra is ideal for you? Is there any way of knowing whether the property in question would make a sound investment? While there is no telling for sure, it would be best if you armed yourself with information as regards the property you are looking to buy.

Otherwise, here are a few things you should consider to help you decide where you should put your money:

When in doubt, check the rental yield

Experts in real estate would argue that rental yield is a paramount criterion for real estate investment—and they are right. The Asian average is around 4.2%, but this number is nothing in comparison to those of Metro Manila where rental yields are at an all-time high. Manila is a prime spot for condominium investment as investors can expect a yearly influx of individuals who are looking for condo units to rent—from the students to young professionals.

Consider those places that are near to BPO offices, central business districts, techno-hubs and significant developments as these will be driving factors in raised rental yields.

When looking for condominium units to invest in, consider smaller units

Most individuals looking for a condo unit to rent would hardly be looking for a full-blown condominium complete with three rooms, a suite, and a rather spacious bedroom. Considering as they will mostly be living alone, renting a big condo unit would not only be impractical but unnecessary as well. Save for a few exceptions, it has been determined that the rental demand for one-bedroom and studio type units are higher than two-bedroom units and up—most especially in developments in or in proximity to central business districts.

This is because most potential condominium tenants would likely be looking for only enough space for themselves only making the extra rooms extraneous. So, instead of investing on condos with big spaces and some rooms, choose the single unit ones.

In sum

If you are looking to invest in real estate in the Philippines, breaking ground with condominium units is an excellent way to start. Condominium units are known for their affordability and high rental yields as compared to the Asian average. Select premier areas where the working and student population remains the highest. Furthermore, choose properties in proximity to business districts, schools and BPOs and you are guaranteed a good investment.

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Home Selling 101: Four Ways to Sell a Home Sans The Drama

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“I still think buying a home is the best investment any individual can make.”-John Paulson

Without a doubt, one of the most stressful endeavors one can undertake is selling a home. The logistics itself are complicated—couple that with the frustration of many unsuccessful attempts in finding a buyer and you would inevitably feel worn out and infuriated. Unfortunately, this is very much a reality that can possibly occur when you are trying to sell a home. After all, experiencing an emotional roller coaster is just one of the many consequences you will deal with in your attempt in making a sale. At best, selling a home would make you feel accomplished, proud and relieved when it finally sells at the asking price you wanted. However, at worse it can leave you disappointed at the low ball offers made—that is if any offers are made at all. Regardless of whether the property for sale is located in Bonifacio Global City or is a Makati condo, selling a home is always associated with some kind of drama. But that does not mean that this drama should always occur. Here are ways to sell your home minus the drama:

1.) Figure out and be clear on the reasons why you are selling

There are a lot of reasons that would compel you to sell your home. However, this myriad of reasons may not necessarily resonate with yours. Are you selling because you need to move to a bigger residence? Or do you need to downsize? Are you selling for profit or something else entirely? Figuring out why you are selling your home in the first place would enable you to have a stress-free navigation through the unpredictable seas of the market. Furthermore, it would get you through the days of rather disappointingly low offers. Knowing and focusing on your why are two simple tasks—all it needs from you is a conscious effort to form your own personal vision and values.

2.) Give it the right price

Before putting your house up on the market, it is imperative that you do a thorough check as this is paramount to giving it the right price. In pricing your home, it is important to remember that you look at it from an objective point of view. With this in mind, old sentiments and nostalgic feelings should not be factored in. You may think that your home is worth more than it actually is—only to have the market tell you otherwise. Do not list it too high or your house will stay far longer than necessary on the market.

3.) Be on the lookout for qualified buyers on the web

If you want your home to sell faster, then you need to permeate every single avenue for listing advertisings. This means you should not limit showing your ads only to traditional and typical mediums such as newspapers and the like. Instead, broaden your scope and include websites as a listing opportunity—from social media platforms to house market listings. Take note: the online community is rife with individuals looking for a good deal on houses, and there is a likely chance you would find a potential buyer there.

4.) Be flexible and creative as regards structuring a deal

As said before, it is important to know why you want or need to sell your home. Apart from that, you also need to have a rough idea on how you should go about the process of selling it. However, this is no way means that you should rigidly stick to the process you set your mind on. If you want buyers to consider your offer, you might need to be flexible and open to alternative ways in selling your home. Remember, you get more prospective buyers knocking on your door if you are flexible.

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Four Common Household Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

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Without a doubt, one of the most infuriating things a homeowner has to deal with in their home is having it invaded by any type of creepy crawlies. These unwelcome critters would be a homeowner’s nightmare as they bring with them a myriad of health complications and diseases should they not be immediately exterminated and eliminated. Fortunately, there are a lot of effective methods to get rid of your uninvited guests when they have started an infestation in their homes. Furthermore, there are also ways which would prevent and discourage them from seeing your home as a potential hosting site or at least avoid the worsening of it. Although none of these methods involve spraying them with toxic chemicals, they are nonetheless efficient in getting rid of them. Apart from that, these alternative methods are proven to be better as artificial pest repellants, sprays, baits, and poisons can be potentially dangerous or even lethal if they are accidentally touched or ingested.

If you have been looking for safe alternative methods to getting rid of the pests or an effective prevention method from a pest invasion (whether that may be a condo in Manila or a flat elsewhere), here are some of the environmentally-friendly and healthy ways to be rid of them (depending on what kind of pest they are):

1.) Ants

Ants are common pests in homes—especially when you have food lying around anywhere. Their dwelling is mostly constrained to soil next to or under buildings, along sidewalks or near various trees and plants. But they also love warm and damp locations, so be sure there are none of these in your home. To be rid of them, simply store your food right away and immediately clean up any spills—and make sure that no crumbs are left. To further deter ants from entering your homes, sprinkle natural ant repellents such as coffee grinds, paprika, chili pepper or pure cinnamon at entrances where ants make their entry.

2.) Bed Bugs

They are kind of like fleas—only that they are on your bed and can be incredibly annoying when you are trying to sleep. As their moniker suggests, these critters love to call beds their homes as it allows their flat bodies to easily hide in between seams of the mattresses, headboards, behind wallpaper, bed frames and the like. While bed bugs are not exactly considered as a public health hazard, they can be a nuisance as they prevent you from getting enough sleep at night as caused by the itching. In severe cases, they can even trigger an allergic reaction. To get rid of them, wash and soak potential dwelling areas (sheets, pillows, etc.) in hot water. Have it dried in the hottest possible setting for at least thirty minutes. Then thoroughly clean the mattress by scrubbing and vacuuming it. Lastly, cover your mattress with a bed bug cover. However, if the infestation is beyond your control, it might be time to get rid of it.

3.) Rats and mice

Rodents may look cute, but they are anything but. Among the pests identified in this list, rats and mice are considered the most dangerous as they bring with them some potential diseases such as Leptospirosis for example. Typically, people who do not dispose of their garbage properly are the ones usually plagued with rats and mice, but these pests would also thrive in sheltered indoor and outdoor locations such as basements, tool sheds, and attics. To get rid of them, you must control your environment Do this by sealing holes between the outdoors and your indoors. Practice proper garbage disposal and seal food in tight containers.

4.) Cockroaches

Cockroaches love warm, humid areas such as heating pipes and drains, but bathrooms and kitchens are also fair game to them. These critters must immediately be exterminated as they can transmit bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli which can cause a myriad of diseases. Prevent an infestation from happening in your home by making sure your counters are spotless (wipe them with white vinegar), drain your sinks regularly and store food properly.

 

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Redecorating 101: Give Your Houses A Fresh Look Without Spending a Peso!

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After spending a considerable time in our own home, we would start to grow weary and bored with the tedious draperies, the usual furniture, and the normal arrangements but moving to another home is not exactly in our best interest, so we opt to redecorate in order to give our houses a fresh new spin instead. However, more often than not, these redecorations would be rather costly and at other times, they are rather exorbitant leaving us to shake our heads in dismay at our wallets. Fortunately for us, there are several and various ways to give our homes a fresh look—and these ways do not require you to spend a single peso.

So, if you are looking to spice up your old condominium unit in the east gallery place, or are just hoping to have an updated look in your surroundings without hurting your pockets, try these failsafe ways to redecorate your abodes.

1.) HAVE AN OUTSIDERS PERSPECTIVE

Take a gander at your existing furniture and surroundings at home, but instead of looking at them with a pair of eyes that have been accustomed to them, try gaining a fresher and better perspective by looking at them from the eyes of an outsider. Before tossing everything in the trash, try to look back and think what made you buy a certain piece of furniture and accessory in the first place? What made it attractive? Would this ottoman look better in your living area than your bedroom? After reconsidering some options, try rearranging the furniture and see if it makes any difference. The initial step is to take it all in, appreciate what you love and what you have and why.

2.) REPAIR

In your assessment of your current furniture, you may have noticed some items that are already in a state of disrepair which would make it hard for you to appreciate it. Rather than dispensing of these items, try to find ways of repairing it. Inspect your existing furniture and see if you can repair it as this will save you a lot more money than purchasing a new one altogether.

3.) REPURPOSE FURNITURE BEYOND REPAIR

Maybe no amount of repair can help some of your furniture, but that does not mean you should toss them out. They may no longer work as pretty dining room chairs as they creak, but why not use them to create something else instead? Like a French Style Bench? Be creative in repurposing these types of furniture or the materials they are made from. They may no longer serve their original purpose, but they can certainly be used for something else if you used your imagination. Who knew that nondescript home décors could be so versatile?

4.) RECYCLE HOUSEHOLD ITEMS

Another quite innovative way in sprucing up your home décor is to make use of recycled materials that you may have thought of discarding. Have a look at your used mason jars and see if you can turn it into a cool and hanging lampshade? Be creative with the recycling and see if there are any nifty materials you can use to turn into an interesting décor.

5.) SWAP UNWANTED ITEMS

If there are pieces of furniture you no longer love and can no longer appreciate, invite your friends to come to your place and ask them if you can swap it out with any of theirs. This is a neat way to discover other eclectic and interesting furniture or home décor without even heading to the shop. Invite more friends to make dilute your choices and make it more diverse.
When it comes to redecorating homes or condominium units, there is no absolute need to spend some money just for a quick update. If you are creative and rather keen on going green and helping Mother Nature, then the list above can be of some use to you.

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FOUR SELLING FAUX PAS OWNERS COMMIT IN SELLING THEIR HOMES

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People who prefer to get the full profit of their home’s worth would rather sell their homes by themselves rather than entrust it through a broker and have to deal with pay cuts. And since shopping through the Internet has become a rather trendy thing where you can find even the rarest finds online, homeowners wishing to sell their homes have exploited this technological advancement to its maximum advantage. This remains to be a stiff reality even with the downturn in the real estate market, and more and more people think that they can do a better job of selling their homes than the pundits who have been in the industry for years and who have had far more experience than they do.

While selling your homes on your own is not exactly an impossible feat, you may find yourself disappointed with the slow pace or sale you may be getting owing to your inexperience and ineptness. Considering that most of you are novices when it comes to selling homes on your own, it can be easy to commit several faux pas when it comes to pricing our homes, but it is nonetheless, it is a mistake that can easily be rectified. However, before you go on selling your home on your own, it would be great to have an idea of which mistakes to avoid so that whether you are selling your Makati condo or your swanky apartment from uptown, you would be doing it right.

So if you are planning to sell your homes anytime soon, here are the common faux pas you should be avoiding:

1.) EMOTIONAL PRICING

One of the mistakes a homeowner commits in pricing his homes is emotional pricing where he prices his home based on nostalgia and sentiment rather than its real value. This is not necessarily a bad thing but if you are listing it at an exorbitant price for which the buyer will not be getting much value at, you will be disappointed with your lack of potential buyers. Homeowners have this propensity of viewing their property with emotional attachment and because of this, inflation in price –when experiences as a child are considered—will ensue. Do remember that although your memories may mean a lot to you and may mean something of value (may it be through your various decorative touches throughout the home), this is not necessarily true for your potential buyer, and they may not share the same sentiment. Price your home as if you are looking at it from a broker’s standpoint and not an owner’s.

2.) INSISTENCE IN NOT GETTING HELP

You may be selling your home on your own, but that does not mean you are selling your home entirely on your own. At the most, it means that you will do some or all of the work involved in finding a buyer, complete the transaction in the hopes of saving all of or part of an agent’s commission. But this does not mean you will disregard any sort of assistance that could potentially help you. Remember, in this age of technology sources of information and support are available almost immediately and at the click of a finger. If you do not take advantage of this, you will be putting yourself at a disadvantage. To be a savvy seller, you should know when to seek help when you need it.

3.) IMPROPER STAGING

Buyers can be very discerning and discriminating when it comes to buying homes considering that they have a plethora of houses to choose from. So with this in mind, you have to stage your home correctly in order to entice a potential buyer to buy from you. Impressing a buyer does not always take much as simple things such as paint, good flooring condition, cleanliness, uncluttered walls and well-lit rooms are already a few nondescript but imperative things that would impress a buyer. If you are unsure of the best way to stage your home for viewing perhaps hiring a professional would be best so that they can advise you on the changes you can make to not only attract buyers but keep them interested enough to make an offer.

4.) INSUFFICIENT PHOTOS

One thing you must remember when you are selling your home is that you are trying to attract potential buyers and hopefully have them make an offer. Considering this to be the case, you should be sure to put up adequate photos online that buyers seeking for homes to buy online would be able to do a virtual tour of your home—one that would eventually get them to see your property in person. Showcase your home at its best and choose the best photos to upload.

Debunking Misguided Beliefs and Notions Regarding Condominium Ownership

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Quite a number of potential homebuyers are rather uncertain when it comes to investing in a condo Philippines whether it is located in BGC, Mandaluyong or Quezon City. They may either be having second thoughts over the ownership of a condominium unit than a residential home or find investing a condominium hedging in comparison to having their residential lot. Whatever reservations they may have, the final decision of purchase is left up to them.

However, it becomes rather disappointing and discouraging when potential homebuyers would forgo buying a condo unit all together because they may be possibly misled and would solely take some misguided notions and beliefs as verifiable facts.

The propagation of such misinformation limits potential homebuyers from truly seeing the advantages of condominium ownership and would otherwise relinquish what could be a beneficial investment for them.

Albeit, a bit tight on the space, condo spaces are relatively cheaper compared to owning a house and lot that are built on land are easily sustainable compared to residential homes. Much of the concern and ambivalence in purchasing a unit is attached to the idea that these condominium towers and buildings are only good for about fifty years—after which, they would be demolished completely. Apart from that concern is also directed as to the ownership set up of units between homeowners and condominium developers.

These two concerns would cause much trepidation and doubt among potential purchasers as to whether obtaining a condo unit would be a wise investment or not. To address this issue, this article gathered some of the core and usual concerns when it comes to condominium investment, so you would be making an informed choice.

MISGUIDED NOTION: Condominium buildings are only good for fifty years.

This is a fallacy.

No provision in the law would state that condominium units are strictly good for fifty years only. In context, the law says that aside from being more than fifty years old, condominiums must be uneconomical and obsolete complemented with the majority of unit owners who are against its repair and restoration. There is nothing stated or otherwise implied in Republic Act 4726 or the Condominium Act of the Philippines that would allude to the fifty-year lifespan of condominium towers.

Many would argue that it may be implied from a provision under Section 8C. It states in verbatim “That project has been in existence more than 50 years; that it is obsolete and uneconomical, and that condominium owners holding in aggregate more than 50 percent interest in the common areas are opposed to repair or restoration or remodeling or modernizing of the project.”

However, a thorough and intelligent reading of the law would tell us that three factors or elements must be present to deem a condominium building uninhabitable. This would mean that the building has been 1.) in existence over fifty years; 2.) obsolete and uneconomical and that 3.) owners holding in aggregate more than fifty percent interest in the common areas are opposed to repairing or restoration or remodeling or modernizing the project. Succinctly said, if any of these three factors is missing then a condominium building or tower would not necessarily be declared uninhabitable immediately.

MISGUIDED NOTION: Condominium ownership terminates after fifty years.

Again, this is a fallacy.

A careful reading of the law would tell us that what it refers to in the fifty-year rule is the lifespan of a corporation that essentially is the same to unit owners who make up the condominium project. But, it must be taken into consideration that the condominium corporations can be renewed for another fifty years so the ownership would not necessarily end.

Additionally, this is based on the past practice of real estate developers leasing land to condominium developers where they would build their condo structures. The leasing period is limited to fifty years, but nowadays, developers no longer do this and would buy the land where the leasing rule would no longer apply.

MISGUIDED NOTION: Condominiums are not a worthy investment

Though it has been argued that although some condos might outlast fifty years, nothing beats investing in your house and lot that would be more advantageous for investment. But before disregarding the purchase of a condominium, one should carefully examine the various factors that would aid in potential purchaser in arriving at a decision.

Firstly, financial capability is of utmost importance—owning a condominium unit is so much more attainable if you earn less compared to waiting years and years just to save up for the purchase of a house and lot. Additionally, the property taxes on a condo unit are cheaper compared to residential homes.

Secondly, owning a home would have to mean forking out cash when it comes to renovations. For instance, the structure is still exposed to various elements. And if you think about it the funds and time you could save are rather substantial considering that it would not be necessary for you to travel and commute far every day as your residential area is in proximity to your workplace. This is because most condominium towers are strategically positioned around business districts.

So, now that we have enlisted a few of the common misguided beliefs and notions regarding the purchase of condominium units weigh your options well and consider the pros and cons of condo living and see for yourself if it fits your lifestyle as well as your family’s. With all this considered, you can now get started in making a more informed choice when it comes to a condominium or residential home investment.