Home Renovation Mistakes That Costs You Money

color swatches and plans for a condo in the philippines

Taking on a home renovation project is a big commitment. Working on a room requires you to think about the design elements you have to place in there. You have to find the right size of furniture, the exact texture or material to place in the room of your two-bedroom Avida Towers Sola. It can be challenging to find these things when you must also keep track of your expenses.

Expenses are always part of transforming a condo in Quezon City into a place that inspires you to live in it. If you’re scared about the fees that you have to face to create the design scheme you wish to have, then you have to read this list. It includes the home renovation mistakes to avoid so you won’t spend a fortune on your project.

Not asking questions

Don’t stay tight-lipped during the renovation. If you have a something in mind, go ahead and ask. Talk to your contractor, architect or interior designer. Be curious about their plans on your home and how they’ll go about it. If you have no ideas what’s going on, you can ask any member of the crew. It’ll help you oversee the project and stay looped in the renovation process.

Making a lot of changes during construction
Your request might be simple, but it may require a lot of work in the back end. Before you ask the workers to change something, you must first consult with your designer or builder.

Working on the project without a timeline
You don’t want to end up choosing type of fixture because of pressure. To avoid repeating a job or buying the same item to replace the former, you must decide on the things you need to have before they are due. Ask your contractor to work with you to create a list of items you need to purchase. Include the deadline of when you must have a final decision for the stuff.

Neglecting the exterior of your home

Condo owners don’t have a lot of problems with their exterior because maintenance is often part of the contract. However, it’s different with house and lot owners. These people must think of foundations, gutters, grading, and roofs. If you’re taking on a home renovation project, begin with the exterior then work your way inside. It’s no use updating your floors and wall paint when the ceiling is leaking.

Leaving interior design out of the equation

Even if no one could see your interiors unless they come in, you shouldn’t leave it out. Having an appealing home decor is the key to an attractive home. It also makes you feel good when you’re in a well-organized space. That said, you should save some dough for hiring an interior decorator. Having a professional would immensely improve your home and help you increase its value in the long run.

Forgetting the importance of quality

Appearance isn’t the only measure of a high-quality home. It’s also about the experience. Choosing to spend a few bucks on the things you touch every day minimizes the need for repairs and exchanges. During your home renovation, pick the best material for door hardware, faucets, and kitchen cabinets. Find the best doors and appliances that can withstand daily use.

Forgetting psychological stressors

Building and fixing your home is yours and your partner’s project. If you’re not sure about your dynamics, you can start working on small things first. A birdhouse or appliance repairs are some things you can do to test your partnership. You might be surprised to find how your styles, ideas, and, approaches are different from each other.

Spending on items you should save

Large items don’t always have to be the most expensive. You save a lot of money when you consider looking at yard sales, thrift stores, and buy/sell/trade sites. Also, you can always make things better by adding a piece of art, small decors, and family heirlooms.

Replacing or moving windows

If your glasses are in half decent shape, you can still do something about them. Installing replacement windows isn’t always the answer to your woes. If you’re unsure of your decision, you may consult a professional about what to do with your windows.

Not knowing exact measurements

When renovating, you must always carry a list containing important measurements. You should have the size of your couches, tables and other things you need to purchase from the store. That way, you’ll know which items to buy especially when the perfect item is in front of you.

Purchasing huge furniture

Don’t buy a piece of furniture that’s bigger than your front door. You should also include the measurement of your entry on the list so you’ll know which pieces can pass through the entrance.

Paying too much attention to technology

Technology is pricey. On top of that, it easily gets outdated. It might seem smart to wire your home with the latest gadgets, but it’s not a great investment. If you sell the house in the future, there’s a chance your prospects won’t be impressed by it.

It’s best to loop the people who live with you in the project from the beginning until the end. Getting everyone involved helps you come up with better decisions and avoid these mistakes to save your wallet. Moreover, you can end up with a better and improved interior when you have other people helping you decide on what to have in your home.


Home Buying Endeavors: Five Overt Signs You Have Found the Right House


“A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” -George Edward Moore


Without a doubt, buying a home is probably one of the biggest and most significant investments an individual can make in his or her lifetime.

In this regard, the selection of a home would often be fraught with a myriad of considerations to ensure that one’s investment would pay off. This is particularly true for first-time home buyers who are scouring the market for an ideal home to settle down. Albeit an exciting prospect, one’s home buying endeavor can be rather daunting and intimidating considering that much of what influences your home buying decision would extend beyond the fetching price of a property. Although your fears are well-placed, know that there is a set of signs you can watch out for that would greatly indicate that you have found the right home for you which can be anywhere from an empire east condo to a house in Pioneer Woodlands.

However, before we dive into that, know that finding the right home would be a smoother and easier process if you have a real estate agent who has your best interests at heart (and would not pressure you into buying a property), instinctively know what you are looking for and would not second guess your gut. In any case, here are some of the ways to know that you have found the right house:


1.)  You want to go inside the house

An excellent way to tell whether or not the house is a good fit for you is the way it beckons you to take a closer look. One of the things that make a property hunt so exciting is looking at a myriad of homes and not knowing which one could end up being your next home. Some prospective homeowners are fortunate enough to know which home would be perfect for them upon seeing the curb’s aesthetic appeal while most of us would wish to take a closer look. If the house’s exteriors are already entrancing enough to entice you to take a peek inside, then you might just be looking at your future home.

2.) The house embraces you as soon as you enter

Once you enter the home, it just feels right. It is not only inviting, but comforting and warm to the core as well. You take a look around and can truly envision yourself living here. In fact, you are already mentally arranging the furniture to how you wish it would look once you take up residence. Furthermore, the house encourages you to explore. If the house feels like home to you, then it probably is.

3.) You feel possessive about the house

You take any negative comment said about the house personally–even if the said comment makes a valid point. You see the house’s flaws as quirks and would be rather offended if it is pointed out as something that devalues the home. In fact, to you, these flaws are just a few of the things that would add to the subtle charm of the home and you would defend them. You see beyond the flaws and are starting to fall in love.

4.) You are comfortable in the bathroom

An excellent way to tell whether a home would be a suitable fit for you is to check the bathroom. Walk inside and try to get its feel. Does it make you feel comfortable insomuch that you could see yourself spending significant time in there? Or are you a bit iffy about how you feel? If the bathroom has an inviting feel to it and would make you want to poke around and even compelled to run the bath or open the shower, this might just be your house.

5.) It fits your basic needs

While the house might not meet every single criteria you have in your list, you can see yourself compromising. Sure, the dynamics might not hit every standard you have set but you at least have your basic requirements met. In this regard, you find yourself agreeing to the home’s minor setbacks. It might not have the garage you wanted, but it comes with the number of rooms you want and the area is spacious. You would make certain concessions for the home and might even realize in that moment that the things the house is missing from your list are not really necessary and that you can do without them, In a flash, you might even realize that you can be flexible as to what would have been deal-breakers to you which just so long as you can have the house.

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Happy Neighborhoods: The Four Best Reasons to Cultivate a Relationship with Your Neighbors

“Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder.” –John F. Kennedy
A familiar but wise adage has once said that in the prospect of closing a deal on a residential property you would soon call your own, it is best to ask about the neighbors first before buying the home. After all, you can make all the necessary changes you possibly can in your home. But it would be almost next to impossible to change your neighbors. In this regard, fostering a good relationship with your neighbors should be one of your primary considerations when you move into a neighborhood. Having strong relations with your neighbors cultivates a sense of oneness and bond in the neighborhood and is the initial step towards becoming a better community.

Today, with technological innovations and advancements dominating the world, it can be rather easy to live in our own little bubble and interact with the rest of the world from the screen of your desktops or mobile phones. However, this would be counter intuitive to a strong community wherein the residents interact. Unfortunately, this presents the reality today. You can live a mere feet away from your neighbors for decades only to never learn their name. This is especially prevalent in condominium and apartment complexes where neighbors barely interact with each other at all and would instead go straight to their units from a tiresome day at work.
However, regardless of whether you are living in flats such as in Avida Settings Alviera or an apartment complex, fostering a good relationship with the people living in proximity to you is paramount. Here are the most compelling reasons why:

1.) You can count on them

One of the best reasons why you should develop a friendly relationship with your neighbors has something to do with safety. The deeper the bond you have with them, the more inclined they will be to alert you in any case of emergency of trouble. Should there be an attempted burglary in your homes, a tampering of your car, smoke coming out from your kitchen or even an unidentified person trying to gain entry, you can count on your friendly neighbors to give you a head’s up. Even better, you can rely on them to call the police on your behalf as well.

2.) You can borrow from them

There are times wherein you might need a stick of butter, a cup of sugar, a pair of garden shears or even, an extra pair of hands to help you out. If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, they will be more than happy to oblige your request or even let you borrow whatever it is that you need. In this regard, they would also expect that you would do the same thing for them in their time of need. While you are free to borrow pretty much anything from your neighbor, be sure to return it. However, refrain from borrowing cash—that is one way to immediately sour your relationship with your neighbors should you default on payment.

3.) Help when needed

One of the excellent things about having a good relationship with your neighbors is knowing that you can count on them whenever you do need something. As we cannot plan for every possibility, it would be very much assuring to know that you can always get yourself out of a snag in the community with the help of your neighbors. From home lockouts to dead car batteries, you can always ask for your neighbor’s assistance in giving your car a quick jump or calling the locksmith to provide you with access to your homes.

4.) Stand-in babysitter

Do you have a date night planned with your partner? Well, all is well and good so long as you can find someone who can watch the kids while you and your spouse are out. Unfortunately, competent and trustworthy babysitters are somewhat hard to come by nowadays. However, if you trust your neighbors and have developed a bond with them, they would be very much happy to watch the kids for you while you are gone. If they have teenagers who are in need of extra cash, you might find that you would not even need to call a professional babysitting service at all and just employ them to watch your kids. Be sure to compensate them for their time, however—regardless of how happy they are to help. Your neighbors should not feel like they are taken advantage of and one way of ensuring that does not happen is giving them pecuniary compensation for their time and efforts.


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Home Living: What Every Couple Should Ask Before Buying a Home


“I am not a big advocate of living together before marriage. It can be the right thing, but it can also leave two people stuck together who have not figured out what they really want out of the relationship” –Emily Yoffe


You are in love and you suppose that you are ready to take your relationship to the next level. Why not move in together, right?

Sure, moving in and living under the same roof might sound like just the start of a blissful journey. But it can easily go south for the both of you. On the plus side, it might mean lesser outlays as you would have to jointly spend on any expenses you might have. Furthermore, it basically means waking up next to your significant other for the rest of your mornings. Based on all that, it could only be a great thing, right? Well, not necessarily so. Living under one roof with your significant other without the benefit of marriage could be a double-edged sword. It might potentially open you up to issues you might never have had before, cause undue stress on your relationship which might cause your eventual breakup. The truth is, living together is still a huge responsibility for the both of you that requires a lot of forethought. It is not something you decide on a whim, but something that demands contemplation.

After all, buying a home (albeit an exciting milestone in a couple’s life) is unquestionably one of the pivotal events that would significantly change the course of a relationship. Take note: It is not always butterflies and breakfast in bed in the morning. It means disclosing credit scores, committing to mortgage payments, splitting up household payments—not exactly the best scenarios for romance, right? In any case, if you are convinced about taking this plunge with your partner, here are some of the vital things you ought to discuss before making that move. So that whether you are moving to a condo in Cebu City or elsewhere, you would both know what your responsibilities are and where you stand so as to avoid potential conflicts in the future:



What are we willing to sacrifice to make this happen?

Regardless of what your viewpoint is, living together connotes a huge sacrifice on both of your parts. Unless you are absolutely loaded, then there is a likely chance that the both of you would need to make certain concessions to turn your dream home into a reality. Would this mean staying in during Saturday nights? Foregoing new movies in favor of saving up? Whatever your compromises you might make, be sure you are willing to discuss them with your partner. Furthermore, ensure that they are on board with it as well.

What are our non-negotiables?

Take note: Your home is a joint investment. In this regard, it is best to be on the same page about what you want and what you do not with your partner. To avoid potential conflicts, establish what each of you cannot live without and then start compromising on what you want. Decide what you will never compromise on and what would be major red flags.

Are we having kids?

Sure, a single bedroom studio condo unit sounds just about right for the time being. But what if you wish to expand your family? Where are your going to put your little tot to sleep? Sure, for the first twelve months, your child can share the room with you. But what happens when you need your own privacy as well? Have an honest conversation about how you see your family growing and consequently, how much space you would eventually need for the growth.

Are we willing to do renovation work?

Apart from creating the home of your dreams now, you need to have a clear understanding of each other’s vision for your new home. Know where you want to take it in the future and what your plans would be. In this way, you would be able to alleviate future stress and mitigate the expenses—especially if you possess the foresight of where you wish to take your plans for your home in the future. Sure, a fixer-upper home might look great for your wallet right now, but would you be willing to put up with that kind of lengthy work? Moreover, do you have the patience for it? Decide what you are comfortable with and make sure your partner is okay with that as well.

What if things do not work out?

While this is a prospect no one would want to discuss, it needs to be addressed. After all, it is best to be prepared should the unthinkable ever happen—no matter how much of a downer this topic can be. In any case, if things do not work out between the two of you, what would your plan be for the home? Should you see it and split the value? Would there be a buyout agreement? While having a prenuptial agreement might not exactly be the most romantic of things to discuss, it is nevertheless a smart move. Talk to a lawyer and consider adding clauses to a prenup or post-nup so that if things get rocky in the future, both of you would hold your end of the bargain.

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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.


“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.


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

– Christian Morgenstern


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


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.


“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.

What You Need To Know When Buying a Luxury Property


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

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

Invest in a property from a trusted developer

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

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

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

Invest in a property that you will like and enjoy.

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

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

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

The property should come with a solid investment plan

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

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