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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What You Need to Know When House Hunting

Make things easier with a checklist. Whether you are looking at bungalows in a subdivision in Bulacan or a townhouse in Quezon City, narrowing your options when choosing your next abode will make the selection process easier and quicker.

When house hunting, buyers often focus on the exterior and interior design rather than the functionality of the structure. Others prioritize the price of the house and lot because of the economic and financial aspects. Having a checklist will help balance what’s important and what is necessary.

It’s easy to get swept by the newest trends in architecture and real estate. House agents and brokers can be very persuasive. With a checklist in hand, you can stay right on track. Below are few pointers to guide you in completing the list.

 

Source of electricity

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Electricity and gas should be the first thing on your list. Some important questions to answer are:

  • How many sockets are in each room? Are there conveniently positioned?
  • Do all electrical sockets work?
  • Are there any interferences to electricity sources?
  • What alternative sources can you use in case the main power goes off?

If all of these are answered clearly by the seller or agent then it’s worth to consider the house. But other than the central electricity source, it’s worth noting how gas can be utilized in the space. Where can you store the gas cylinder? Does the house rely on LPG or petroleum to run the central heating? Is the heating system working properly? These things are equally important as they can also save your wallet.

 

Water source and plumbing

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When you are planning to move to an area with a limited supply of water, ask where the water came.

Live in a place that is comfortable, not worry about water rotations and rationing. Do some research and survey the area if their supply is stable. It may not be an issue now, but it can be in the future. Look years ahead before settling in a location.

As soon as you find no interruption with water supply, check the plumbing. Inspect the fixtures and pipes for noises, leaks and weak spots. Rusty pipes and fixtures are more likely to appear in aged houses, so pry the previous homeowner of the house’s history. Consulting a professional plumber for a second opinion is also advisable.

Hot water and bathtubs are additional features in Filipino homes, but newly-built houses often have these. Make sure the water heater still works properly and is connected to all water lines. The bathtub shouldn’t be clogged and the bathroom should be well-ventilated. It better to have a bathroom with a window. If that isn’t the case, choose one with an exhaust fan.

 

Lot and Surrounding Area

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Take into consideration the land area of your property – yard and side gutter included. The house might check everything on the list but if the gutters and drains are clogged, just forget it. It may cost you more because you did not consider the water damages caused by the blocked waterways.

If you’re on the scrimping side, consider the spread of the yard and the garden work. The lot may have a landscape that is high maintenance. The yard may have expensive turf that needs water more than your family does. Do you really need those? Think about it.

When scouring the exteriors, watch out for signs of decay and rot in woodwork.

Consequently, the surrounding area and neighborhood play a huge part in your everyday life. Living close to the places you frequent (school and work place) and facilities like hospitals, banks, and retail stores make life easier.

Communities accessible through different modes of transportation are much ideal than places exclusive for private vehicles. Best of all, choose a location that fits you and your family’s lifestyle.

Remember, a safe community is always a priority.

If you’ve been to a couple of houses visits, take note of the details that fit the details listed above. The next time you view a house, bring the list and compare if they have the potential to be your new home. Buying a property is a decision that should be hastened, so come with an open mind, inspect the structure thoroughly and compare your notes. Do not hesitate to ask questions about the house. Most of all, trust your judgment on deciding the perfect home.

What You Need To Know When Buying a Luxury Property

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Every one of us dreams of living in a luxury home, right? Who wouldn’t like that? When it comes to choosing the right home for us, we would always go to a place where we feel happy, satisfied and be proud of. Of course, whether you are living in Ayala Land Condominium Taguig or any other Philippine properties, you can feel comfortable when you have the right atmosphere in your home.

 
But if you are a kind of person who cares about his/her welfare, then investing in a luxury home would a good idea for you to make. Obviously, we are not talking here about investing in a million or billion worth of property. I’m sure, not all of us can afford. A luxury home is not just about its elegance and value, it also implies who comfortable and satisfied you are with your home. To give you an idea, below are some qualities you should invest to have a luxury home on your own.

Invest in a property from a trusted developer

Never invest in a property where its foundation is not strong enough. Before deciding to have that particular property, make sure you know who the developer is, to make sure that they can be trusted when it comes to the building’s firm foundation. Moreover, you will feel at ease knowing that the place where you live will not easily be destroyed when it comes to earthquakes and any other accidents.

Invest in a property that promises a high rate of long-term returns

Since people living in the Philippines has a high purchasing power, and a growing market for health and wellness traveler, the demand of the luxury properties are also growing, and high demand for luxury properties is increasing. That means the value of each property would also increase each year. And if you are one of those people who would like to invest in a luxury home, this is now the time for you to invest. You don’t know, the value of the properties next year would increase which makes it hard for you to afford such.

Invest in a property that you will like and enjoy.

Don’t ever decide to invest in a property for the sake of having one. Of course, you don’t want to regret the choice you made, right? That is why, before anything else, you have to make sure that you know what you want when it comes to the features of the property you would like to have. Moreover, investing in a property of your choice is one of the many ways you can feel happy and fulfilled. Of course, investing in a property can also be one of your successes in life.

The property should have the capability to earn even while you sleep

Some of us here would like to invest in a particular property to make some extra income. Well, talking about renting it out. Of course, this is also one of the many ways you can take advantage of the property that you have. As an investor, you also have to make sure that it is not just about you, liking the place. Make sure that any people who would like to rent your unit can also feel happy and satisfied with the quality of service and facilities available around. With that, tenants would love to stay longer in your place.

The property should come with a solid investment plan

Always remember that owning a home is an investment. That means, you have to make sure that you are what you will not go to waste. Yes, if you are not careful enough in choosing the right property, there are tendencies that the management is not that capable in giving their clients the best facilities and services they have. As a result, you definitely might not like living in such place.

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For OFWs: Top 4 Crucial Things to Learn When Buying a Home in the Philippines

“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, U.S president

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Whether you realize it or not, the rapid growth of OFW homebuyers is increasing. Of course, investing in their own home is one of the things they want to do to make sure that they have a secure and nice future. Sad to say, not all OFW knows about home buying process in the Philippines. As a result, they regret investing in a real estate.
Well, if you are one of those OFWs who wish to have their own home, then you should know at the least the basics of real estate. Whether you plan to invest in a pre-selling condo in Manila or any real estate in the Philippines, you should know what to do to make sure that you will get the right home for you. And to avoid such unfortunate scenarios, below are some of the things you should know to achieve the desired outcome of your home buying process.

Research, research, research

Do not ever decide to choose and buy a particular property if you don’t know anything about it at all. Of course, before you can choose one, you should also know what kind of property that you are going to invest. If you think that you are still not satisfied with the quality of property that you have found online, then you should do your research more. With that, you will eventually find a good and suitable place for you. You just have to be patient in searching.

Return home or work with a trusted representative

There are a lot of OFWs who invest in a home even if they are not around in the country. With that, there might be unwanted situations that may arise. To avoid such, there is a need for you to return home or work with a trusted representative. Of course, you have to since it will definitely be difficult to transact real estate investments when you are out of the country. However, if you think that you still can’t go back home, then the best way to ensure that the investment is in good hands is to work or hire a broker. With that, it will be easier for you to achieve your desired home.

Value for money

As an OFW, even if you have the budget intended for your home, you should also consider other expenses. That means you need to choose a property which you can afford to have. Moreover, even if you can afford such property, there might be other add-ons that you don’t know. That is why you also have to make sure that you know every single detail of the transaction process. That is also for you to know what is already going on with your investments.

Find a reliable and reputable developer

There are a lot of real estate developers in the Philippines; you might not recognize some of them. Making sure of your investments also means making sure who you trust. Placing your trust to a developer who you don’t know anything at all, then this might jeopardize your real estate investments. When you choose a designer who is well-known with a good reputation, then you will definitely have a brighter side of your future.

 
If you are one of those OFWs, when you know the basic of real estate process, you will eventually realize that investing such is not as hard as you think it is. Of course, making sure that everything is going smoothly is a must for you to do.

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Moving 101: How to Make Moving Easier For Your Kids

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“I know well the delectable thrill of moving into a new house somewhere altogether else, in somebody else’s country, where the climate is different, the food is different, the light is different, where the mundane preoccupations of life at home do not seem to apply and it is even fun to go shopping.” –Jan Morris

 

So you are thrilled about the new place you have found. Almost everything is in proximity to it—the school, the offices and even the major shopping malls. You have made the decision to move months ago and though you know moving can be quite stressful for everyone; the transition would hit the kids the hardest.

Undoubtedly, kids like consistency and thought they are not exactly resistant to a change in scenery, they are much more accustomed to familiarity. This is especially hard for grown up kids who have already established friendships and relationships in your existing neighborhood and unsurprisingly, they would throw tantrums the moment you make an announcement and for a while, may even resent you. This is a typical reaction; however, you may want to find ways to make the move less of a stress and less of a shock to your children. Regardless of whether you are moving into a condo unit east gallery place of a residential one, appease them with the simple ways below.

1.)    Break it to them gently and get them ready

 

Give your kids at least a month to get used to the prospect of moving by letting them know about the move at least a month in advance. This will give them adequate time to process the information and think about what sort of changes would happen. Additionally, to help make the move easier, give them a tour of their new home and show them the things that they might potentially like such as the playground, the park and some of the things that you think they might love. This will enable them to be a bit more receptive and even excited for the big move.

 

2.)    Be patient

 

Even preparing them for the move adequately would not be sufficient to make them fall in love with their new home overnight. You would need to give them ample time to let the reality of the move sink in. Experts believe that children could take at least six months to get used to new routines and surroundings. In this period, be prepared for tantrums and sadness. If they are separated from people who have been with them in your old homes, help them adjust by regularly letting them call those people they left behind.

 

3.)    Stick to beloved routines

 

The transition that comes with your new move might affect some of your old routines, but that does not mean that you should forget all of them entirely. Make the move easier by continuing habits such as game nights, family dinners, storytelling sessions, etc. would be reassuring to them that things have stayed the same despite moving away.

 

4.)    Give them a voice

 

Your kids are part of the family, and they would like to think that their opinions matter as well. Give them the opportunity to voice out their concerns about the move or their opinions as regards this. Make them feel like they are part of the decision-making process by letting them choose the color of their bedroom, the kind of family pet the family should have, etc.

 

5.)    Create opportunities for your kids to meet new friends

 

A definite way to make your kids more open, more receptive or even excited about the move is to create opportunities for them to make friends. Every time you do an ocular visit to oversee the progress made into your new homes, take them to meet some of your neighbors who might have kids in the same age group. Introduce them to each other and allow them to play together. Alternatively, you can also sign them up for recreational activities where they can find kids who share the same interests thereby boosting their confidence and making you worry less.

 

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Coastal Living 101: Reasons to Live by the Sea

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“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau

With 7101 islands in this archipelago, you are guaranteed to find the perfect coastal spot as there are many beaches in the Philippines. And a day by the beach is always the perfect remedy for anything at any time.

In fact, Isak Dinesen has been quoted to say that the cure for anything is salt water—sweat, tears, or the sea. This profound maxim is proof enough that the beach does wonders for anyone who visits it. However, most people see the beach as a destination for vacation—a retreat more than a place of billeted everyday residence. Owing to the exorbitant rates these beach lots are priced, it may seem like an impractical reason to perpetually station your living quarters in coastal living. But have you ever considered that living by the beach grants you an avenue for a day to day retreat? Instead of looking forward to hot and scorching summers for a chance to visit the beach, you can just walk out to your front yard and instead of admiring your lawn; you would be surveying the ripples and waves instead?

All of these sound like a whimsical dream, but these are only a fraction of what you can truly experience with coastal living. Here are more reasons why living by the sea is actually great for you.

1.) An avenue for embracing the outdoors

Living in a congested city makes us neglect to wake up and smell the roses. In essence, the perpetually busy urban lifestyle that we have deflects us from appreciating what nature has to offer. Incidentally, because some of us cannot stand metropolitan traffic, we tend to stay indoors most of the time. By the sea, there is no traffic and an added bonus is that it is away from the city’s chaos and pollution. Living by the sea is a healthier alternative because it encourages you to go out and get some sun which would help you absorb calcium for the bones and fight against hypertension.

2.) Be in shape

Swimming by the sea allows your body to burn nearly two hundred calories, a beach volleyball eliminates about three hundred and walking on the sand requires you to exert more mechanical effort than walking on a flat surface at the same speed. Living by the beach makes having a gym membership superfluous as there are so many opportunities for working out just outside your door.

3.) Relax and unplug

Coastal living alleviates stress levels as it enables you to unplug and be in tune with nature and yourself. If you are truly committed to doing some unplugging and to immerse yourself in the beach’s tranquility then store all of your gadgets. Go for a leisurely walk or a quick dip on the beach to allow yourself to release some stress.

4.) Have better sleep

Living by the beach or even just coming from the beach allows you to sleep well because of the sea air. This sea air is teeming with robust negative ions that would enable your body to speed up the absorption of oxygen. These same ions would also stabilize your levels of serotonin (transmitted that regulates mood and stress) making you feel more relaxed.

5.) Fresh seafood

Looking for something sumptuous for dinner? Well, maybe grilled fish fresh from the ocean would be perfect. Coastal living gives you the advantage of finding affordable seafood in your vicinity as opposed to buying them from the groceries in the metropolis. Apart from that, you can always be assured that your food is fresh. Seafood from the coast is more delectable and is full of essential nutrients.

 

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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.