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.

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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.

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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Real Estate 101: A Brief Guide To Make Your Online Listings Get Noticed

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One of the most common ways to sell a home is through listing it online. Agree? Indeed, it is! In fact, it is one of the fastest ways to publicize your property that is put on sale. And it is amazing how the social media help us achieve in finding the right and interesting homebuyer. Of course, it will be a lot easier to search and make a transaction through online.

However, although listing your property online is a convenient way for you to sell your home, remember, there are also thousands of home sellers who are also competing to sell their homes. Whether you plan to invest in High Park or any real estate property, you will succeed in a competitive world of the online listing when you know who it works. Below are some of the real estate advice on how you can make your online listings successfully get clicked and read.

Do not skimp on the details

The information about your property is one of the most important things that you should not forget to include. What kind of property that you have? How many rooms? How about the kitchen? Does it have a second floor? This might be simple information, but these should not be missing on your details. You have to make sure that your potential buyer can already imagine what kind of property that you are selling just by giving them the exact information about it. And with the given information, they will know whether the criteria of your home fit on their lifestyle or not.

Give complete contact details

Usually, aside from the necessary and essential information that you have given to them, there will be other concerns or questions that they want to ask from you. As a home seller, you have to expect a call and follow-up questions from home buyers, especially buyers who are meticulous when it comes to the property that they want to have. You don’t want to let the opportunity slipped away from you, right? That is why you have to make sure to put your complete contact details.

Give them the best photos

Your photos are as important as your information. It doesn’t matter how detailed and convincing you are when it comes to the information that you gave to them, but if you don’t have any pictures to prove what you are talking about, then it is useless. And homebuyers will not be impressed when you don’t have the right and best angle in your photos. If you think that this part your property has an appeal and is unique, then you have to flaunt it by taking pictures of that particular angle. Good pictures are there to tempt them to decide and buy your property. That is why you should have your best shot!

Sell the neighborhood as well

Aside from your property, what interests your potential buyer the most is the neighborhood. Of course, they don’t want to compromise the quality of lifestyle they will be having. They are mostly concern about what kind of surroundings or community your property belongs to? What kind of people are they going to interact if they decide to buy your property? Is it safe for the children to play and roam around? When they know that you have a good and friendly community, there will be higher chances that they will buy your house.

Do not forget about the price

The price of your property found in your details serves as a deciding factor of your potential homebuyer. This is the time where they will decide to buy your property or not. However, if you don’t include the price on the listings or in your information, your potential buyer might think that your property is overpriced. Of course, you don’t want that, right? Also, you should also state whether the price is negotiable or fixed.

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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.

Ways to Stay Friends with Your Roommate

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There will always be fun and exciting feeling when living with a roommate. They are not just there to make friends, but they can also be a great help especially when it comes to dividing all the expenses from the rent down to any repairs of your apartment. But let’s admit! Although there are a lot of advantages we can get from living with a roommate, there are just times that living with them can also be a nightmare.

Whether you like it or not, there are pros and cons when you live with them. And if you are not used to having someone living with you, then this might be a challenge on your part. But fret not! It doesn’t matter if you are living in Davao apartments or any other apartments in the Philippines, you can definitely live a happy life together with them. Here’s how:

Eat dinner together at least once a week

It is understandable that you may not be able to eat together with them considering the busy and different schedules that you have. But at least, take the lead to dining at least once a week with them in your apartment or in any affordable restaurants. Remember that a good food can also give you a good friend.

Cook dinner together

If you both have the spare time, you don’t you plan to make a good food together? Perhaps, you can make your favorite dish. And when it comes to the expenses for the ingredients, then you can both talk about it. You don’t have to worry since the budget you can spend is just affordable enough than eating in a restaurant. At least, give yourself a time to bond with each other by cooking some dinner together.

Go for a walk

Going on a short walk together is one of the many ways you can build a good relationship with them. Perhaps, if you don’t have anything to do in your apartment, then why don’t you go both decide to go for a short work. You can go to places that you want. Or you can also go for a walk in your neighborhood. This is also a good exercise.

Support your roommate’s interest

As we all know, we all have a different interest in life. Your interest may not be your interest and vice-versa. However, even if you both don’t have the same interest, at least you show them how supportive you are when it comes to their likes. Of course, don’t encourage them to continue doing such interest. However, if you feel that there is something wrong, then you can also support them by giving them good advice when it comes to that matter.

Spend time with your roommate’s family and friends

When you become friends with your roommate, there will be possibilities that they will invite you to their family’s or friend’s gatherings. As a good roommate and friend, you should also spend some time with them. Again, show some respect especially when it means so much to your roommate.

Hang out together

This is one of the simple yet effective ways to bond together. If you have the time to spend, then why don’t you hang out together? Perhaps, you can go for a good window shopping, watch a movie, or go for swimming at the beach or pool, or go to your favorite band who are having a concert. You don’t just enjoy the things you do, you also have the chance to free yourself from any stress you have at work or in school. Have fun and enjoy!

Talk

There is nothing like a good talk with your roommate. It doesn’t matter what kind of topic you want to talk about for as long as you both are having a good time listening to each other’s stories than it is definitely good to have. Moreover, this is also one the many ways you can build trust with each other. Who knows? Your roommate has some personal problem and he/she just want someone to talk to. Of course, you can be that person. Of course, you also have to be a good sport when it comes to that. Perhaps, you can give some good advice to him/her that they may be enlightened somehow.

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Having Unexpected Guests? Here’s How to Fake a Clean House

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Ok, let’s admit! Cleaning can sometimes be a hassle on our part. Especially when you are too busy with your work or in your school, cleaning is one of the least tasks you want to do. But what if an old friend would pay you a surprise visit? What will you do? Perhaps, all you think about faking a clean home, right? In just 5-20 minutes, you can give an illusion to your visitor that your home is clean. Well, that may be the perks of being smart when it comes to home cleaning hacks, right?

While other people would prefer a deep clean, but for some people who don’t have the luxury of time to clean their home, you can refer to these simple tips below. And whether you are living in 1016 residences or any other properties, you can definitely achieve a clean home. Here’s how:

Entry way

As we all know, the first thing that our guest will see or notice is our entry way. That means, you should take necessary measure when it comes to cleaning it. Remove any clutter and make sure that the place is not dusty and dirty.

Odor control

Bad odor is definitely a no-no! This doesn’t just turn your visitors off, but it will also reflect of you who and what you are. Perhaps, that foul smell came from the waste of your pet, a spoiled food from your fridge, or dishes that are not immediately washed that lingers in your house. why don’t you spray some of your favorite air freshener to remove any unpleasant smell? You can turn on the fan and open your windows to let the smell go away. This is also one way to get the stale air moving.

Clutter control

It is undeniable that we may have things that are scattered anywhere in our house. Perhaps, you hung your clothes on the chair yesterday and you forget to put it back on your closet. And mind you, there’s nothing messier than clutter. Well, just grab a laundry basket, a sack or any other storage available at home and begin to gather your things. Don’t worry about where you should put that particular thing. Just let your things out of sight until after your guests leave.

Living room

One of the important things you should consider to clean is your living room. It is where you will be sitting and visiting the most. And since you’re done making the place good and you’ve already removed the clutter, the next thing you can do is to focus on tidying the surfaces. If there are anything that needs to put away, then you better have it right after decluttering the living room. Or perhaps, you can think about what you can put to make it more attractive to look at.

Bathroom

Your bathroom should always be ready to use whenever your guest needs to use it. And in order for you to achieve such, you should clean your bathroom with a disinfecting wipe or a cleaning cloth and all-purpose spray. Quickly remove all the clutter, change the trash and wipe the down the mirror. Moreover, you should not forget about the hand soap, a hand towel and toilet paper always in ready for use.

Freshen yourself

It is a normal thing to do to freshen up yourself whenever you have visitors coming to your house. Yes, your guests will generally examine how clean your house is. But they will most likely spend more time looking at you than at your house. That is why, you have to make sure that you are presentable enough whenever you meet them. Of course, this goes without saying.

 

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