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

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“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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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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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.

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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Top 4 Decorating Mistakes Homeowners Are Still Doing This 2017

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Decorating your home is one of the things that excite us the most. Although there are times home decorating can also be challenging and frustrating, but the end results would pay it off. Of course, that if you are doing the right home decorating techniques. However, there are just some homeowners who just didn’t realize that they are repeating the same home decorating mistakes all over again. And mind you, this is not a good habit to start with.

 
Whether you are a tenant in a Makati condo for rent or any other properties in the Philippines, there is no reason for you to commit the same mistakes again. And if you are one of those homeowners who doesn’t have any idea what mistakes they are making, then below are some common decorating mistakes most homeowners are still doing.

1. Having more than one focal point

Having a central point at home is used to feel more inviting and offer a more comfortable place to stay. This feature can be your picture, mirror, or dramatic piece of furniture that catches every person’s eyes. But there’s a caveat though; a good focal point can only do once. If you tend to have more than one focal point at home, this might not be a good idea, since it can make the room feel disjointed and leaves a person’s eye without any rest.

 
For you to be comfortable, you have to choose one focal point that would complement the place. Don’t be overwhelmed with the spaces you have at home and just choose one to make a good and satisfying focal point.

2. No considering your lifestyle

Just because the interior or exterior home design is a trend, that doesn’t mean it is also good for you. Nope, not all! Obviously, you are not going to do some renovations to your home if you don’t even need it, right? But if you still continue to follow the trend without any knowledge on whether or not it fits into your home, then you might regret your decision later on.

3. Too many throw pillows

Throw pillows are one thing that gives beauty to our home. Apparently, it doesn’t just add beauty; it also provides us with the feeling of comfort whenever we want to relax at home. Throw pillows can also give a homey feeling or ambiance on the place. However, having too many throw pillows at home is also not nice to look at. Instead of giving us the comfort that we want, it provides us with the feeling of annoyance since we don’t know where to seat already.

 
When it comes to adding throw pillows on the couch, you have to make sure that there will be a space where you can still seat. Perhaps, 2-3 pillows on a couch are enough.

4. Not testing your paint color

Colors are important. The color of your home doesn’t just add beauty, but it can also create a mood or ambiance at home. And if you are not careful enough when choosing the right color paint for your walls, then you might not like the result of the interior and exterior design. Before anything else, you should not forget to test the color before choosing and buying a particular paint. If you think that the color of the paint is a little bit dry to look at on your walls, then it is better for you to find another paint that would match or complete the design of your home.

 

Moreover, you also have to make sure that the paint is durable enough to last longer than any other paints. Yes, some paints can easily be torn off especially when it rains. So, you have to choose the right color paint for you home.

 

Following the trend when it comes to home design is not a bad thing at all. In fact, it is one of the many things you can upgrade your home design into something new. However, before deciding to follow such design, you also have to think again and again if you need it, or if it is worth it. Think and then decide. With that, you will know what and what not to do when it comes to the design of your home. Of course, this will also prevent you from committing costly mistakes all over again.

 

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Home Inspection 101: Things To Inspect During Your 5 Years of Owning a Home

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Ok, let’s just admit! Not all of us here would like to expect something that isn’t happening yet, right? That is why most of them do panic whenever something they don’t expect. However, if you know that something such happens, then you know what and what’s not to do when it comes to fixing your home. And whether you like it or not, repairs at home is also inevitable whether you are living in Solstice or any other properties in the Philippines.

 
Well, if you are one of those homeowners who are curious about on what to expect, then below are some of the things that might help you get ready especially when it comes to home repairs.

Leaky faucets, running toilets

You might not want to experience repairing such leaky faucets and running toilets, right? And not all of us here know how to fix those damages. I know, fixing these stuff is annoying since you have to deal with dirty and smelly water and all. That is why you already have to know on what and what you should not do when you experience this. Of course, you don’t want to do more damage. Right?

For you to successfully repair such, you have to know the basics. Or if not, you better hire someone or a professional who knows better when it comes to the repairs and all.

Jammed disposal

It is a must in your community or even as a homeowner that disposal of your garbage should be in a proper way or method. Of course, this is to prevent any troubles when it comes to your wastes. Moreover, most communities are strict in that particular policy since they know that if garbage is not properly disposed of, it is not good for the environment and the community.

However, if the disposal of your garbage is jammed or clogged, you might be fixing it on your own or call some help to the people who knows better. Or even hire a professional for you to fix it. Again, don’t do things on your own if you don’t know anything about it at all, it will only cost you. Better save it and hire someone. With that, it makes the work easier and faster.

Peeling cracked paint and siding

Of course, this, if you are not keen about what paint you used when you first paint your home, you also have to expect a peeling, cracked paint and siding. Well, if you notice that the paint of your home is already peeling, then you better find quality paint. Make sure that you apply the paint correctly for as not to have some peelings on your walls.

If you don’t know anything about how to paint properly, then you better find or hire a professional to do the work to make sure that you will have a good and satisfying outcome. Do not do things on your own especially if you don’t know anything about it at all. It will only cost you a lot more.

Concrete cracks

Cracks on walls are dangerous especially when there are earthquakes. A little shake on your home might cause more damages to your home if not taken care of immediately. Of course, if you want to be safe while living, then don’t wait for the cracks to widen. You should always think safe at all times.

Nail pops

This is dangerous if you don’t notice it on your home. This can be the reason of your injuries or a serious wound. Before you let your kids roam around the house, make sure that there will be no nail pops around the corner. It is dangerous. When you find one, make sure to get it or simply punch to drive the nail deeper. With that, it will be safe for you kids.

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For Homeowners: Things To Avoid When Decorating Their Living Room

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Living room is one of the important areas we have at home. Of course, it is in the living where we usually gather and have good moments together with our family and friends, and it is also where we spend our spare time to entertain ourselves. Well, it doesn’t matter where you live. Whether you live in condo Cebu or any other condo units in the Philippines, you can still have your living room.

Well, if you are one of those homeowners who don’t have any idea at all when it comes to the arrangements of their furniture, then you better stop and read these tips below for you to know what makes your living room look bad. Of course, avoid these things.

Following trends

There is actually no wrong if you follow home décor trends. But there will also be danger when you tend to follow different trends – it might not look good on your living room. Just because it is a trend, it doesn’t mean it also good for the living room. No, not all. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to know your living room and the kind of ambiance your home has by heart. With that, it is easier for you to determine what design would you like to have for your living room. Give some personal touch to it, not just simply following the trend. This is also one of the many ways to give your home a homey feeling.

The wrong paint color

This is one of the most common mistakes a homeowner can do. They Paint their home with the wrong choice of color. Remember, the color of your home plays a big role when it comes to beautifications. When you have the wrong color, you will most likely have a hard time finding the right furniture or interior design that would match the color that you choose. Moreover, you might not want that particular color which leads to not having the enthusiast to make some decorations at all in your home.

Bulky overhead lighting

For some homes, having a bulky overhead lighting might not be a good idea for them. Unless you want your home to look heavy and your ceilings to appear lower than they really are, then going big might not be for you. Moreover, if you want to have a sense of light and roominess, you better not choose the heavy fixtures for your room – it doesn’t look good. Well, you better look and choose light fixtures with open designs, slim lines, and try something with crystals on it if you want to go stylish and to reflect some light on it.

Uncomfortable furniture

One of the most common misconceptions of most homeowners is that, whenever they see something that looks great, they include it in the arrangements. Just because they look good it doesn’t mean that it is also fine to include it in your living room. Remember, the things found in your living room are mostly useful. And if you think that that particular thing is not useful at all, then you better find other furniture that can be of use. It is better to find another one than filling your living room with useless things.

Some of us here don’t realize that they have been arranging their furniture in a way where it ruins the style and beauty of their living room. Yes, not all of the arrangements are stylish and good enough for the area. Of course, before you decide what you should do with the furniture you have for the living room, you also have think about whether or not the things you want to include would fit perfectly with the other furniture.

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