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

renters-insurance

“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.

 

Image Source

Advertisements

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.

    giphy4

“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.

giphy1

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

– Christian Morgenstern

 

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

    giphy5

“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.

giphy8

“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.

giphy9

“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.

giphy13

“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.

giphy14

“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.

giphy15

“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.

giphy16

“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.

    giphy17

“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

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

volt, resistor, electricity, power source, home

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

water, water source, faucet, wash, fork

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

neighborhood, urban development, neighbors, safety

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.

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

happy condo living

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?

thinking condo living

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

clean condo living

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

tired condo living

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

teddy bear condo living

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!

adventure condo living

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?

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

ofw-investment-758x379
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.

Image Source

Four Common Questions About Philippine Real Estate

 

 

Owning a home is a keystone of wealth… both financial affluence and emotional security. ~Suze Orman

One of the most crucial aspects when it comes to buying real estate in any part of the world is to know your legal rights. This applies true for house and lot buyers Philippines. It makes potential homebuyers more vigilant about their real estate purchases and aware whether the contract they are signing has legal color. Additionally, it would help prospective buyers weed out unscrupulous people such as scammers and unlicensed agents.

However, most Filipinos are lefty unaware of what their rights as a buyer which would render them vulnerable to bad deals and underhanded transactions which is why it would very much benefit them to have a general knowledge of our local laws.

The Philippines has an excellent set of legislation that would protect buyers from bad real estate agreements. Instead of the usual jargon found in real estate law books, this article aims to make it clearer to its readers as regards their legal rights as a homebuyer and a homeowner by elaborating on the most common questions about the Philippine real estate.

1.) Do foreign spouses or family members have the legal capacity to acquire property in the Philippines?

Unless they are renting a place such as in one of the condominium units for rent, the law is explicit when it comes to foreigners owning land and property in the Philippines. It has been stated that only Filipino citizens are allowed to buy real estate property in the Philippines regardless of whether such property is a condo or a home.

The rationale for this law is to keep Philippine lands from transferring ownership to foreigners lest we get overrun by properties owned by foreign nationals. However, foreign nationals can own property through co-ownership with his or her Filipino spouse or if the foreigner owns a corporation or an ownership where sixty percent of it is Filipino owned.

2.) What is a deed of sale and what are my duties as regards this document?

This crucial piece of document is essentially your legal proof of purchase. In essence, it indicates the transfer of property between the seller and buyer and shows that it has legally transpired. As a homebuyer, you should authenticate the document and have it notarized and recorded in the registry of deeds. After which, a homebuyer ould need to pay for transfer tax, registration fees, documentary stamp tax and other fees.

3.) What are my options when dealing with an unlicensed agent?

Before buying any property and dealing with an agent, it is best to check if the agent is registered with the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service. Unfortunately, there is not much recourse in dealing with an unlicensed agent apart from filing a fraud charge in the same manner as you would when you file a crime report.

4.) What are my rights as a buyer?

When it comes to property sales agreement, the rights of a homebuyer are essentially two things which are:

1.) The right to demand the developer to deliver the title of the unit or property upon full payment; and

2.) The right to be reimbursed with the amount you have paid which would include the amortization payments.

In essence, this would mean that it would be illegal for the developer to forfeit any installment payments in favor of the owner or the developer himself. Both laws are reflected in Presidential Decree No. 957- Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree.

Coastal Living 101: Reasons to Live by the Sea

tambulirestaurant_view_from_the_sea

“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.

 

Image Source