Three Things You Wish You Knew Before Getting Your Own Rental Apartment

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“Being able to own yourself is a blessing. When dependent on other beings for survival your chances to breathe slims, own yourself.”-Author Unknown

If you have lived by yourself for a significant amount of time, there are lessons and realizations you will inevitably develop. More often than not, it is these very same insights that would make you a little warier the next time you choose a rental apartment. From predicaments with your bills to unreasonable landlords and neighbors, living in a rental unit by itself is already a host for a myriad of problems that can potentially catch you unaware. However, while there is no certain way for you to be prepared for every possible dilemma that might arise, there are a few things you might wish to know before signing your very first rental or lease contract.

Although the prospect of living by yourself for the very first time—away from family and friends can be incredibly thrilling, this rush of euphoria would not last very long—especially when you become overwhelmed by obligations and responsibilities. As the last vestiges of newfound ecstasy fade, you would soon come to heavy burden that is entailed with living alone. However, this is not to deter you—but rather to prepare you of what life is like when you are on your own. So, whether you are looking forward to being billeted in a swanky address such as Avida Asten or elsewhere, as long as you are going to be living alone here are some things you should keep in mind:

1.) You cannot pick your landlord

Regardless of what anyone says, when it comes to rental units, the most important relationship you develop is the one with your landlord. This means that you can get into a really tight snag if you have a landlord that is quite difficult to deal with. Unfortunately for you, while you might be able to select the apartment you wish to rent, the same cannot be said for the owner who is renting it to you. Should you decide to move in, you will inevitably have to deal with them. Choose wisely and carefully. Know that whatever apartment you choose, the landlord comes with it too.

2.) You cannot pick your neighbors

Much like you cannot pick your landlord, it is virtually impossible for you to be selective with your neighbors either. Regardless of whether you scout the place thoroughly and select an apartment based on the neighbors you are going to be rubbing shoulders with, you can never be meticulous enough with who they are. After all, it is not up to you who rents out the apartment but the landlord. So, if you only have a wall separating you from your neighbor, you will inevitably be subjected to the caprices of your neighbors—and the noise would be the least of your worries.

3.) Pretend you are buying a home

Apartment renters often overlook even the most significant stuff in a rental unit in their jubilation of finally finding one that caters to their need. Unfortunately, this creates a myriad of problems that the renter could have prevented just by asking in the first place. A majority of apartment renters do not even think of asking whether the water heater was replaced in the last 6-8 years if there any mold problems or when the building was re-roofed and the like. Although this queries sound like they are best asked by potential home buyers, it would not hurt to ask these things—especially if you intend on renting for a significant amount of time. If you want a unit that is in good condition, it is best if you asked questions.

 

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Home Living: How to Split Finances with Your Significant Other

Couples follow a pattern of living. They look for the cheapest house and lot for sale in Philippines, save for the expensive and luxurious buys and plan out their family.

However, discussing finance or expenses can be taboo. It often causes arguments and disagreements between the partners. Unfortunately, failing to plan or discuss finances of the household can provide damages in the long run.

If you and your significant other are not open to the idea of tackling your income, you can talk about your spending and expenses as a household. Here are some tips on how to split you and your s.o. can divide your monthly bills.

Money rules for couples

Communicate money matters

Having a partner means being comfortable to share everything, even the most embarrassing moments of your life. It also means you have to share what how much goes in and out of your wallet. Finance can be a sensitive topic, but if you don’t trust your partner with information regarding your spending habits and financial status then splitting the bills won’t work.

When talking about financial matters, you don’t have to break down what you spend each day. Giving your partner an idea of how you delegate funds each payday will help him or her get a sense of how responsible you are. At the same time, it gives your significant other an idea how to work with your existing funds and habits to reach your long-term goals as a couple.

Schedule dates

There are lots of advantages to plotting dates on the calendar. First, it allows you to make plans considering the budget you set for the day. You also get to see the pattern of your dates if they are monotonous or not. Next, it makes you look forward to the moment.

Steady couples often focus too much on their careers and forget to go out and treat each other to a day out or a fancy dinner. If you are part of the population that has the same experience, a scheduled date will undoubtedly improve your relationship with your s.o.

Scheduled dates also allow you to assign who pays for it. You can take turns on who shells out for the current rendezvous. The other can spend for the next date. Moreover, pre-planned night outs and brunches will give you a chance to have unexpected dates because you both saved extra cash.

Use the 50/50 rule

Most couples the payments for dues and expenses by half. Most of the time, live-in partners are the ones who follow this rule. The total amount of utility bills and living costs are equally divided to two. That way, both parties are liable for the expenses.

However, the 50/50 rule may not be ideal for a couple who have a discrepancy in income. At the same time, there are cases when a partner contributes a larger portion of the expenses than the other. If that is the case, they may try using percentages to compute their share of payment.

The person with a greater net income may have a higher percentage share, but if the same person consumes fewer resources at home, there needs to be a compromise.

Have separate savings

Just because you are open to each other doesn’t mean you don’t save some for yourself. Financially speaking, it’s best for each to have separate funds when saving for personal wants and needs then have a mutual savings account for the future.

Saving is a continuous process. You should not only save money to attain pricey material things, but you should also save for rainy days. Emergencies are unexpected and often cost a lot of money. Thus, having spare money for such instances is important. You can use the stored money in the mutual savings account when the incident occurs.

Avoid IOUs

No matter how smooth sailing your relationship is, some people still have boundaries. The line more often than not is drawn when it comes to financing.

Some partners are not flexible when it comes to money. They expect you to be a responsible adult, the same way they do. Thus, borrowing money to purchase useless things is a no-no. It can be the spark that strains your relationship. Refrain from borrowing money especially if you are unable to pay it back on time.

If you need extra cash, you can use the balance of your savings to withdraw.

Open communication is the best solution for tackling money matters. Starting the habit on the dating stage until co-habitation will make splitting expenses easier.

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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10 Quotes on a Twenty-Somethings’ Journey to Finding Home

Home can mean different things. It can be a Lerato for rent condo, a suite in Holiday Inn, or a villa in Quezon City.

Whatever it is, different things make us feel that we are homeSometimes, we feel that home is where we spent our childhood. It can also be where we found our partner or where we forged friendships. But because of time and the winds of change, we are forced to leave the place we love and a new one.

If you’ve been away from home for some time and you don’t know where it is anymore, here are some quotes that describe how it feels to leave home in your twenties and come back again.

 

  1. The moment you left your humble home for a rental.

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“After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up.” 

– Lemony Snicket

 

 

  1. When you’re denying you aren’t lonely but deep down want to come back.

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“Home is not where you live but where they understand you.” 

– Christian Morgenstern

 

  1. The inner-battle of self-sacrifice and freedom.

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“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss.”

― Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

 

  1. When you decided to not return to the place where you don’t have to pay rent and mortgage because you found “home” in your significant other’s arms.

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“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”

― Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

 

  1. But your relationship didn’t last long, and going home feels like the only way to ease your heartache.

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“The desire to go home is the desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.”

― Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics

 

  1. Fortunately, it’s perfectly fine to come back.

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“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

― Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

 

  1. Besides the hardships of being a twenty-something from career, dating to finances, don’t lose hope.

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“Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.”

― Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie

 

  1. You still have your parents, relatives and supportive friends. Chin up and live in the moment. You still have a lot of time ahead of you.

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“Well, sometimes home is a person.”

― Beth Revis, A Million Suns

 

  1. The right person will come to sweep you off your feet and accept you for who you are. This person will make a home out of nothing and will make it seem that every place, as long as you are together, is home.

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“Home is the nicest word there is.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

  1. He or she will tame your rebel heart and make you see you and your family’s worth in your life. It will make you understand what home really is.

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“I don’t care if we have our house, or a cliff ledge, or a cardboard box. Home is wherever we all are, together,”

― James Patterson

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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Independent Living Starter Pack

Finally, you’ve been able to move into your newly acclaimed affordable condo in Mandaluyong City. It surely feels great to say that you are free finally. Hooray! But we all know that independent living is not just all about the happiness and perks of living alone. If you are that person, or someone who is planning to live away from parents, relatives or guardians, for fun, here is your solo living starter pack:

I am so glad that I MADE this happen

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Other people have that luxury or blessing to be given a new house or condo unit for his or her use (yes, you are super lucky!). And it’s a different wonderful story for those who had struggled for we-do-not-know-how-many-years before they were able to get their place finally. Since from renting to owning and paying his or her dues are difficult, the return of glee and happiness is priceless. So yes, you are so glad that you made that happen!

You will remember all the hardships you’ve been through to be able to see yourself in your dream home and thinking of all the possible countless things you can do since you are now alone. Yay, excited!

Wait… am I really ready for this?

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So here comes self-doubt and anxiousness creeping in. From being so joyful and ecstatic about imagining yourself living independently, the thoughts of how will you be able to pay everything, have the time and energy to clean and cook, study and work at the same time, and much more kicks into you. This doubting stage is not just for a one moment, but it will get it into you a couple of times; possibly after a bad day, when you are sick, too exhausted or whatnot.

No worries, dear. This thought will not haunt you forever if you claim it yourself that you are really ready and your decision of living independently is nothing but correct.

Got to make my place clean and presentable

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I don’t know if it’s just me or whenever we have something new. We want to make and keep it clean as much as possible. Moreover, you want to see your belongings beautiful and in pristine condition, because you know how precious it is for you and how hard it was before you finally get it into your hands. Same as with your new house, you do countless hours of cleaning and keeping it nice. Yes, hardworking!

Then that day of laziness

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It’s not every day that you will choose to pick up the broom and sweep the floor, if it is, good for you and your home. But for those who struggle to get up and cook for themselves, there are times you would rather go lazy than tired. We all deserve a break and pamper ourselves in whatever way we are used to – not cleaning the house, ordering food instead of cooking, lay down and have a movie marathon – yes, whatever!

Your old things are still there

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Your favorite stuffed toy and lovely pillow are still in your bedroom. Your good-old cabinet also moved in with you. Of course, for practicality, you don’t need to have everything brand new. There are things you can leave with your previous home but decided to take it with you. Why? Because you need that sense of comfort, belongingness and companion to a “whole new world” in which you don’t know anyone but your old things. These materials will also give you the vibes of the home of your “faraway previous home” in your “new home.” Nostalgia and tears are coming right up!

And of course, a lot of adventures!

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No explanations needed. It’s for you to discover yourself.

 

So we hope that you were able to see yourself in this basic independent living starter pack. What’s in yours?

Where to Settle and Retire in the Philippines

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

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

Cebu City

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

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

Batanes City

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

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

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

Baguio City

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

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