A Guide to Suburban Neighborhood in the South

There’s a sprouting suburb in the South, and you don’t know if moving there is a good move.

Vermosa is a suburban development that features active living. It’s in Cavite, and it perfectly combines residences, retail spots and business hubs in one area, which make it seem like a good place to settle down. But hold your train of thought. Did you consider what you need to know before buying a house? Do you know what kind of neighborhood will be at Vermosa?

Before setting your sights at this new development, read on to find out the standards of what makes a good neighborhood.

There are street walks.

And those streetwalkers are for walking.

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Some residential communities are disorderly, so cyclists pass through pavements instead. A neighborhood with functional road walks prioritizes walking over the use of vehicles. Low-carbon communities have sidewalks wide enough for bicycles and establishments. It gives the cafés liberty to set up tables for outdoor lounging.

A spacious sidewalk also gives room to set up benches – a great feature for relaxation and people watching.

 

There are various transportation modes.

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What a nice feeling to have when travel from work to home is a breeze. Often, an exclusive neighborhood isn’t commute-friendly and is only accessible through private vehicles. An ideal community should be available through different road networks. You can get to Vermosa via Daang Hari Road, SLEX through the MCX exit, and the upcoming Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Road – which are also the routes of public transportation. The proposed LRT 6 will pass through Daang Hari Road which makes Vermosa accessible to the bulk of passengers. The community is also less than an hour away from Makati, Manila, Muntinlupa and Tagaytay.

 

There is a foundation for education.

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De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ), a member of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), is an established educational institution in the South. It will open its second campus in Vermosa to provide quality basic and secondary education. DLSZ is also an establishment that pronounces spiritual and moral maturity through the teachings of Christ.

The DLSZ-Vermosa Campus will implement the Next Generation Blended Learning Program which will include the latest trend and innovation regarding teaching strategies and educational research.

 

There are high-value residences.

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Property value varies greatly from one development to another. A neighborhood with quality housing options allows people with different financial capability to lead a quiet and comfortable life. When there are lots of people are waitlisted, it is a sign that the particular neighboorhood is hot on the market.

Vermosa will have diverse living options with Ayala Land’s urban residential developers – Alveo, Avida, and Ayala Land Premier. Alveo offers upscale residences while Avida is perfect for compact city living.

Since Vermosa is a new community, most of the people in the neighborhood are homeowners. An area with high rate of homeownership is stable. Renters are mobile and flaky, so they don’t add value to the community. Long-time residents have been there all way. They watch out for their neighbors, which makes the area feel safe and secure.

 

There are communal facilities.

 

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Vermosa has a total of 165 hectares of open space for wellness and recreation, training facilities, and retail shops.

There’s Vermosa Sports and Lifestyle Complex which will have an Olympic-sized pool, a 400-meter track oval, and a Sports Science laboratory that caters to all the training needs of endurance athletes. The MX Track and the Bike Skills Park offer a place to fill the need for speed and thrills for bikers.

There’s Vermosa Midtown, a pedestrian-focused, bike-friendly area with a commercial district. The Ayala Malls Vermosa will be within the limits of Midtown and will complement the active life of Vermosa by housing sports themed retail stores.

A contemporary active living is kept alive in Vermosa with its engaging facilities for its residents. Besides these amenities, a balanced community should have a place of worship. It shows the collective and strength of the community.

There should be a hospital, police and fire station.

Safety first.

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The right neighborhood adds value to the entire community, not just to the houses separately. You can check out if the community is fit for you if it has the qualities on this list besides the things that you want. Your new neighborhood should meet your standards and if you’ve found it in Vermosa, then go ahead. Enjoy the fulfilling life of active lifestyle.

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Subletting Alternatives: Four Reasons You Should Rent Out Your Units to AirBnb for the Long-Term

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“Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate.”-Andre Carnegie

Today, the logistics and avenues for real estate investment are continuously evolving in such a way that it caters to almost, every consumer’s demand and convenience. Back then, we saw our rental properties as profit generators and expect our prospective clients to ride us through the tide for at least six months or more. People who are in the vicinity for a short period, however, would have to rely on lodges, bed and baths and hotels. Fortunately, through technology and the influence of the Internet, Airbnb was created. This app allows people to sublet their rental properties for shorter terms while tenants get the satisfaction of living in a place akin to home sans the exorbitant accommodation bill. As a result, a symbiotic relationship is created between the host and tenant in such a way that the host gets short-term profits every time the property is rented out while the tenant has a place to stay for a few days.

However, instead of renting it out for a few days or weeks, you should start considering having it rented out for the long term. Well, if you have an empty unit in Avida towers Cebu, you might want to consider expanding your Airbnb offering. Here are the reasons why:

1.) You live in the right neighborhood

Not all communities are created the same. There are some neighborhoods that are ideal for cultivating familial relationships while there are those that are ideal for young professionals looking to find their place in the world. If your property is any of two, there is a likely chance that a lot of individuals would be seeking it out. Airbnb provides families and individuals alike a unique avenue to look for a neighborhood that suits their lifestyle should they ever relocate to an unknown city. If you happen to be in the right neighborhood, your listing is a premier pick for long-term lease.

2.) You wish to have more time on your hands

Managing an Airbnb property that has people walking in and out almost every single day can be time-consuming, and if you have a day job, this can sometimes be impossible to pull-off. If such is the case, then you might want to reconsider your short-term listing and offer it for long-term as you would only need to find tenants and that is it—you are done with work. Finding long-term tenants dispenses of the need to update your listing and calendar every day. Needless to say, you would not need to clean and prepare your property every single time a tenant leaves giving you more time to yourself.

3.) You have a second empty home

In lieu of having your second property unoccupied and empty, why not open it up for a long-term rental on Airbnb? It might not occur to you yet, but it could potentially be a profit generator—so, in this regard, do not simply have it empty and sitting ducks. If you do not wish to have various strangers in and out of your home, consider having it rented for the long-term. Not only will this ensure you have a steady income for months at a time, but you would worry less knowing that you do not have different people coming in and out of your property.

4.) You want to be paid on time

An excellent advantage of listing in Airbnb is payments and getting paid on time. Airbnb requires tenants to pay using their credit card which means that rent will be given on time via the service you listed. This is a significant advantage for landlords as it ensures they would not have to worry about clients defaulting on their rental payments.

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Home Decorating 101: Five Fail-safe Tips and Techniques to Picking Paint Colors

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“I found that I could say things with color and shapes that I could not say any other way—things I had no words for.”-Georgia O’Keefe

It has been said that we should paint our lives with the colors of the rainbow. If we apply the same sentiment to how we decorate our houses, then our homes should not only possess interesting furniture and décor but appropriate paint colors as well. However, choosing the best color can be a bit of a challenge to most of us considering that there is a myriad of lighter and darker tones for a singular hue—and that is not to mention that the color palette itself is already a multitude of various colors. So, how do we reconcile our inability to select an excellent paint color and decorating our homes with fresh hues? How do we ensure that the colors we do choose do not clash with our furniture? Well, whether you are billeted in a condo such as Avida Towers Centera or elsewhere, here are the fail-safe techniques and tricks you can use to choosing the right paint color:

1.) Do not pick your paint color first

It may seem counterintuitive considering that it is only natural to get the biggest things done first. However, picking your paint color should be the last thing you do. Observe the surroundings of your home and have a rough picture of how you want it to look like when it is all done. With this in mind, choosing your furniture and interior decorations is paramount to selecting the right color. After you have selected your furniture, you will have a much easier time in picking the right paint color.

2.) Start small

It is pretty often that big projects such as painting a home can be a bit overwhelming and undoubtedly, some of us will have little to no idea where to start. If you are unsure of where to begin, then start with the small rooms first such as the bathroom or hallways between rooms. Should you be undertaking this paint project yourself, paint the area that is quickest for you to accomplish so that you can see the results as soon as possible. This would then make it easier for you to change should you not like the results.

3.) Consider the lighting

Before selecting a color, it is imperative that you consider the lighting of your homes. Paint stores have light boxes installed in their shops so that you can accurately test paint chips in various light settings. If you wish to see the truest color, natural daylight will reflect it; incandescent lighting brings out the yellows and warm tones while fluorescent lights tend to cast sharp blue tones. With this in consideration, choose the colors most appropriate for the type of lighting you have in your room. Intense colors would appear bright and overpowering when used next to a big window or exclusively on walls. However, it would look stunning when used as an accent wall with indirect light.

4.) Test paint colors against fabrics and furniture

The paint colors you choose should complement the furniture and fabrics within a room to ensure that they do not clash. To check if a particular color would look appropriate with your furniture, paint a piece of paper or poster board and hold it up against various pieces of furniture and fabrics contained in the room to see if it goes well together. You do not necessarily have to match colors, but be sure that the undertones work well together.

5.) Have a color theme

This does not necessarily mean you have to paint your homes in a singular color, but you have to consider how the results will look like once you are done painting the entire home. In essence, this would mean that you consider how rooms will look like when standing in another—especially if these rooms open into one another. If you wish to go with one color exclusively, then play with contrasts and paint some rooms a few shades darker or lighter.

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Mind Your ‘Apartment Manners’

Being on your own doesn’t mean you can go around the area and trash the place. You need to build a good reputation. A good reputation will help you get along with your neighbors. It makes the landlord proud of you. Most of all, you learn to live accordingly.

You need to cultivate manners. Being a twenty-something at the Lerato for rent is classy, but nothing beats a tenant with manners. Nowadays, renters and homeowners are much focused on traveling. They forget to provide a sense of community because they are not bent on settling. Still, people with class would rather have apartment decorum before expensive upholstery.

Manners are easy to learn if you give time to it. Here are five civilities you can practice:

Sending warm greetings to neighbors

It feels nice to receive a “good morning” with a smile.

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Why don’t you try doing the same to the people next door?

Offer a smile and nod to acknowledge their presence when you encounter anyone from the building.  That way, they can warm up to you. Bid them a good day and remember to say please or thank you every time something comes up. A sincere greeting now and then is the easiest way for people to like you. Plus, they will remember you for your pleasant attitude and friendly demeanor.

 

Spending time with family and friends

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It may not be your neighbors’ business, but having no one come to your home may send warning bells. Neighbors can get suspicious of you.

It’s unusual to have no family or friends come over, even just once.

To avoid suspicion, invite your relatives and friends over the weekend.  You may not have the luxury to meet them in your hometown or at the usual hangout joint, but your apartment is free. Bring the festivities at indoors. Host a dinner or slumber party. You can also offer your place as a chill out spot for the barkada. You can suggest a potluck on food and drinks if you’re not the type to cook.

 

Keeping your apartment tidy.

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Consider other people in the vicinity, especially if you live in Lerato. If you are not aware, your home extends to the other areas of the complex like the fitness area, pool, gardens and parking lot.

 

Practicing neatness and order doesn’t stop at your unit.

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Try not act like a privileged neighbor who has an au pair which follows your every move. If you have to dispose of your trash, properly segregate and wrap it. Take note of collection dates and don’t leave a week’s worth of junk at your door. Don’t expect others to dump it for you. Stocking the junk will leave an unpleasant smell. Neighbors will come knocking at your door.

At the same time, don’t be a slob behind closed doors. While no one can see the state of your rental on days you are in a rush, the stress of having a messy space can affect you. What’s worse, you never know when maintenance will visit. Better keep the place clean at all times.

When people come over, remind them of the rules in the building. It’s best they follow them to avoid penalties. It’s hard to get branded as misfits.

Organizing and making the space personal.

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Space is limited in a rental. It doesn’t have the comforts of a house, especially when hanging clothes. Have a space for hanging delicates in the kitchen or corner space instead of the balcony. Place these pieces of clothing out of the way.

Try to personalize your living area.

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Add decorations that will bring out your personality. A cozy interior provides a breather from the pressures of work and daily life. Inspirational pieces will break the monotony of the space and motivate you in the walls of your home.

 

Prioritizing your health.

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Spreading virus and bacteria especially in confined spaces is possible. The elevator, function rooms and communal are possible breeding grounds for harmful diseases.

Be a good neighbor by taking care of your health so you won’t be the one to start an epidemic in the area. Stay active and make use of fitness amenities in the complex. The moment you find yourself with signs of any sickness, take some rest. If it doesn’t go away, visit your doctor.

If you start practicing these five manners, neighbors will start being cordial to you. Ditch the habit of being a flighty millennial and embrace the warmth of belonging in a community. Attend to your manners and your apartment’s building will be the oasis you crave.

Sustainability in Urban Design

It is not enough for a place to be habitable. It also needs to be sustainable.

Urban design is the process, design, and organization of public space, transportation systems, and open space. With half of the Earth’s population crowding in cities, urban design needs to take a hard look at its mechanisms. Each city must commit and choose sustainable development. Philippines, in terms of population and the economy, exponentially grows each year. But, the land areas of its cities remain the same. The same rings true in other cities across the globe. Three (almost four) billion people stay in these urban areas. Therefore, the role of urban design has a significant impact in today’s contemporary way of life.

According to a United Nations’ (UN) report, 60% of the Earth’s population will crowd cities by 2030. This is not good news for various reasons.

Millenials are slow to pick up the traces of needing change concerning their way of living. Thus, it is better for the current millennia to have the collective movement of individuals, industries, and countries to commit to change. The foundation of inhabitation – the Earth, is ruined and its cries are getting louder. The natural structure of planet is sacrificed to have the luxurious comfort of the modern life. The towering skyscrapers, concrete housing units, and asphalt plazas are chosen over the lush greeneries and the natural wonders of the world.

Urban Development

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Urban development is a perennial threat to nature. Fortunately, developers like Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), considers the site’s ecosystem in their planning and design. Bobby Dy coins the term “eco-efficient.” It is a simple yet effective word that summarizes the purpose of their city districts. Natural resources or the natural state of the land area should not be sacrificed because of urban design and development. ALI patterns their design to the area’s original state.

The best example of eco-efficiency is their dynamic suburb in the South, Nuvali. Nuvali has a long stretch of green grass park and open spaces. The structure mixes modern suburban living with green zones and forestry. It also encourages recreation and outdoor activities which are refreshing for the modern dwellers.

Organization and Open Spaces

Although aesthetic plays a major role in urban setting, it is important for a developer to consider general public interest and not be biased towards age and way of living. When the city or structure is open to everyone, the need to have access to additional public infrastructure is removed. The environment becomes inclusive and inclined to only one goal – providing for the years to come.

Ayala Land is best known for their wholesome urban design. The company follows its focus areas as a guide during planning – resilience, pedestrian and transit connectivity, eco-efficiency and local economic development.

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Their latest land developments incorporate wide spaces and parks. Having these spaces encourages time off the digital world and physical activity. It also lessens the dependence on vehicles as these places are conducive to walking. Most importantly, it discourages cul-de-sacs which can be rampant in urban areas. The design also creates low-carbon cities because they become walkable and mass transit-oriented. This is much more sustainable and healthier for the people. It also gives a high quality of life to residents.

Economic Vibrancy

A thing, structure or endeavor that is sustainable is said to solve today’s problems while also providing for the problems of the future. Generations to come should meet their own needs using these structures and environment-friendly solutions. Thus, it should be an enabling environment.

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Rapid urbanization puts pressure on resources. Densely-packed cities can lack sources of fresh water supply and strain the living environment and public health. During planning, local and small-scale businesses are heavily considered. The shops and stores should be strategically placed so they may contribute to poverty reduction. There should also be designated spaces for public utility and health services.

Cloverfield, an ALI development in the North, is an example of a well-planned community that employs living, retail, and health. The development has a residential tower, shopping mall, park and a hospital – all within walking distance.

Well-planned public spaces commune communities and people together. Physical and cultural activities, recreation and play, are also encouraged. The spaces restore a sense of place, identity, and pride in an area, and play a significant part in attracting businesses and jobs. Thus, poverty is reduced.

Technology has picked up speed on constructing mega cities, but it has not made low-carbon cities. Local and international urban development still have a long way to go. Choosing to be sustainable goes back to planning, where all the aspect of the building is considered. When the vision for the future is clear, urban design will manifest through eco-efficient development.

The Big Sell: Experts Share Pitching Advice

Monday.

Another day at UP Ayala Technohub, slaving for 8 hours. You have an idea brewing in your head. You also have a plan to improve your group’s communication system and project management style. But these powerful ideas or well-kept backup plans are just in your head, and won’t matter unless you share it with the group; most importantly, to your superior. Until then, it will just be a plan or idea that won’t be making the changes you envision for the company.

The aim is to have their approval. To hear that sweet sounding yes is a melody to the ears, which makes you fly high in the sky even if it means being buried in paperwork. Before that, you have to face your boss, the management or who ever it is you have to talk with to settle the proposal. Sometimes, it only takes one chance for the person or committees to decide your faith, so it’s better to ace it on the first try.

Few experts had a say on how to successfully present a pitch to a challenging audience. To show off your ideas without a hinge, read on to find what the experts had to say to amp your presentation.

John Rood of Next Step Test Preparation

John Rood suggests to lay out how managements should judge the project’s success quickly. What are the indicators that the project will be a success? Having a specific goal will help you set measures of success or key performance indicators (KPIs) early on. Step-wise goals or buildable goals are easier to digest than having a long-term goal. It also suggests that fewer risks are involved. Thus management is more accepting of the idea.

To reduce the risk of rejection, form alliances with those in the upper levels of the company who will approve the pitch. Test out the waters, talk with them to see what clicks and what doesn’t.  It will also help you improve and expand your idea. There will be instances when they will see the details you may have overlooked. The more feedbacks you get for your pitch, the better you can prepare for the actual and formal meeting.

Phil Chen of Systems Watch

It’s not enough to just have the proposal ready; it’s also important to prove you can handle it. They want to see a work ethic that can sustain the onset of the project throughout its growth. You have to show redeeming qualities – agility, thoughtfulness, and efficiency.

Remember that you still have current task and projects. Phil Chen advises preparing an outline that illustrates the order of your priorities. It will show you still have the time and resources to lead a new project. The outline is especially useful if you haven’t proven your leadership potential.

Brian Honigman of BrianHonigman.com

Brian Honigman shares a piece of advice that isn’t often followed. Composing a polished plan shows the time a thought invested in it. It also shows you’ve reviewed potential problems along the way. It suggests you can take charge and lead the project which will help convince the management of the proposal.

Kenny Nguyen of Big Fish Presentations

As much enthusiasm you show when presenting the project, prepare to defend your idea when objections arise. Being able to justify your proposal is particularly useful when negotiating with investors. You should not be swayed with counter-arguments no matter how logical they may seem. Withstand the onslaught of questions and prepare a counter-attack.

Thus, when answering the management or investors’ queries, pay attention to the current inquiry only. Give a simple and straightforward answer. Avoid getting thrown off your train of thought by overthinking the panel’s questions.

Jyot Singh of RTS Labs

The benefits of the pitch should be clear – how will it add value to the company. Jyot Singh says the presentation should be directed to those benefits and the ways how it will be utilized by the audience of your presentation.

A presentation that states the advantages of the projects creates a positive mindset over the project proposal. With that, keep your winning statement simple.

Adam Stillman of SparkReel

Of course, create visual aids. Adam Stillman knows the importance of visual aids. Visuals are powerful; they help make the plan seem real and relatable. Visual aids also hold power regarding communication as the information comes much faster and lingers in the form of memory.

When creating visuals, concentrate on the essentials. If it allows you to explain the project, return on investment and growth strategy for five minutes, then you’re good to go.

These experts know what they’re talking about, and you should too. When proposing an idea to top level management, remember to account for risks. The less risk involves, the higher the chance to get their approval. A clear-cut and carefully constructed plan will cover the basics. No matter how polished the proposal is, there will be details which aren’t acceptable to the audience. Hence, prepare to defend your ideas during the presentation. It means you can handle it the pressure and sustain the project.

Home Selling: Four Ingenious Home Selling Tactics You Should Try

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“I still think buying a home is the best investment any individual can make.” -John Paulson

 

In today’s present and competitive real estate market, where the demand remains erratic, and there are sporadic changes in housing prices, it would take more than just an affordable price to attract prospective buyers. Back in the day, it seems like all it would take to land a potential buyer is to have enough refreshments for them and to spruce up the house to make an excellent first impression. Unfortunately, modern buyers are unfazed by these, and although appreciated, these gestures would not be enough for them to negotiate a deal with you. As a result, more and more home sellers would resort to rather unusual, and at times, unorthodox methods in order to have their homes noticed and potentially sold. There is no guarantee that the same set of tactics would work for you, but there are innumerable cases where they have been tremendously effective. The key here is to find out what sticks and what makes your house get noticed. It matters not whether you have a condo for sale in Fort Bonifacio Global City or elsewhere, if you wish to sell your homes faster and easier, you might as well try these ingenious techniques.

From the clever and creative tips to the downright bizarre ones, here are four of the most uncommon ways to get your house noticed:

1.) Take home staging to the extreme

Back in the day, home staging used to be an optional task home sellers would take in order to attract prospective buyers. Today, however, not only is it recommended, but it is necessary if you want your home to sell faster. However, instead of simply beautifying some certain areas and aspects of your home, take it up a notch by utilizing the ancient art of Chinese philosophy. Use Feng shui to your advantage and rearrange the elements of your home to enhance its chi. As a result, your home will have a more receptive feel to visitors and potential buyers would feel more at ease and welcome.

2.) Hold an open house party

What’s an excellent way to drive more prospective buyers into attending your open house? Well, host a party in lieu of just a simple open house. Offer refreshments and if the budget fits, have some catered food and live music for your guests. It might not necessarily find you, buyers, right away, but it would generate enough buzz to make your home memorable. Furthermore, your guests will no doubt regale their friends with their experience at your open house, and you might just find your prospective buyer from there.

3.) Get Web Savvy

If you are relying on obsolete and outdated methods such as having your home selling ads printed on newspaper, then you might find yourself losing to your competition. In the era of social media, more and more users would be logging into their profiles every single day. As a result, there is an untapped market in social media platforms which you can exploit. Selling your home through the Internet and social media are excellent avenues for getting it noticed. This alternative method would not only get the attention of many potential buyers, but it would cost relatively cheaper as well.

4.) Let buyers sleep on it

If you already have prospective buyers, do not pressure them as to when they will make an offer—especially when they are on the fence as to whether they will buy your home or not. Do not immediately pester them as if they have already made their minds. Instead, try this alternate route of letting them sleep on it—literally and figuratively. Let them spend the night in your home in order to give them an idea of what it would be like to truly live in there. You might not know it, but it might exactly be what they are missing to finally convince them to make you an offer.

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Home Is Where The Heart Is: Five Ways to Make Your Home More Inviting

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“The greatest investment and greatest fair deal and enterprise is family, cozy homes. A cozy home is based on cozy people. Cozy people are not brought and imported; they are made from the time of birth to the time of infinity.” -Harbhajan Singh Yogi

 

Home is where the heart is.

This is a familiar adage that sagely proclaims that our homes should be a form of sanctuary—a haven if you might, where we are called not only to rest our bones and weary bodies but somewhere we can feel safe and comfortable. Our homes should not only be structures made of bricks and stones but that place where every single one of us can look forward to going after a long and tiring day. As it is, the best memories are forged in a home that cultivates a cozy and inviting atmosphere—one that beckons visitors to come in, have guests linger for a little while longer and make family members never want to leave. Indeed, a place such as this would give you the fondest memories and a relaxed lifestyle.

However, how does one create an inviting home? How do you ensure you can cloak it with an inviting aura that entices people to stay? Whether you have a condo in Manila or a flat elsewhere, here are some of the creative ways you can create that inviting atmosphere:

1.) Let your front door and entryway set the inviting tone

An excellent way to establish an atmosphere that beguiles is to set the tone first. In doing so, you will not only be making a good first impression, but you would create enough interest for your guests to discover more about your home. Elevate your curb appeal and never underestimate the inviting power of a front door and entryway. Install a welcome mat and a few potted plants by your front door. Furthermore, you should make sure that this area is clean and devoid of any clutter.

2.) Use color and other design tricks to pull eyes through your space

In designing an inviting space, consider your guests’ perspectives. With this in mind, you should pay close attention to utilizing a creative design at the farthest point of view. An excellent example of this is to install a painting on the far wall just across from your front door. Emphasize this design piece by adding more fun art and lighting beside it. This design aspect alone will intrigue your guests and would pull them through your home all the while inviting them to explore your space.

3.) Have as many leafy, long, trailing and green plants

Incorporate natural elements into your home and make it seem eco-friendlier by strategically placing green, long and trailing plants all over the place. Potted plants not only make your home seem au-naturale, but they also enliven the space by bringing life to it. Additionally, the abundance of plants promotes a relaxing and calming ambiance that would be ideal for individuals looking to have a little relaxing space after a long and busy day.

4.) Personalize at least one furniture piece

One way to make your home more inviting and a lot more unique is to have at least one personalized furniture piece. This furniture piece can be anything—from a reupholstered furniture designed in a fun fabric or artwork you made yourself—let this be the distinctive feature of your home that sets it apart from the others (and keep it from looking like the inside of a catalog). Furthermore, personalized furniture pieces or design pieces make for excellent conversation starters as well.

5.) Have good smell linger in your home

One great way to make a significant impact on your guests is not only to stimulate their visual senses but their olfactory sense as well. Rid your house of any bad smell and have a signature scent you can have lingering in your home. If you want to take the natural route, place a vase full of fragrant flowers and it will do the trick. Alternatively, you can use potpourri as well. If you have a sensitive nose and are adverse to fragrances, then at the very least make sure your home does not have any bad smells lingering about.

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Five Important Things to Know When Living Alone

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“True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what is right.” -Brigham Young

So, you have graduated college, established a career and are now prepared to embark on your life’s next milestone. You have saved enough money to finally live on your own and away from your family to discover new heights and reach your fullest potential. Indeed, living alone can be quite a thrill. The freedom and independence that come along with it are nothing short of exhilarating. However, while living alone means no one can prevent you from doing anything and everything you like, it does not mean that it comes without a set of responsibilities. Before you start scouring the metropolis for prospective Manila properties you can live in, know that living alone means having to fend for yourself. After all, you only have yourself to rely on so it would be understandable to expect a degree of answerability to yourself as a consequence.

For some, the responsibilities that do entail in living independently may be too cumbersome to handle, while others may flourish in their solitude. Regardless, if you have even given living alone some consideration, here are things you should know and expect:

1.) There will be unplanned expenses

No matter how meticulously you partitioned your monthly salary for utility bills, groceries and the like, know that there will be unplanned yet inevitable expenses. No, these are no the things you buy on a whim or an impulse. There are likely events that would cost you to fork some cash in order to maintain a semblance of livability in your home. An example of this is an appliance breaking down on you or some plumbing repairs that would need to be immediately taken care of. These are things that cannot wait until the next month for repairs if you want to live comfortably.

2.) You need a decent amount of money

Suppose you have gone through leaflets and scoured the web for the ideal home and found one. To your surprise, it is just within your budget. Unfortunately, it might not be as simple as you think. Apart from the money you pay for rental dues, there might be a security deposit you would need to defray as well. Depending on where you live, your landlord might even request a consigner for the least. To top all that, if you are going to live in an unfurnished flat, you would also need to have your own furniture to fill it up with. With all this in mind, it is important to have a decent amount of savings before deciding on living alone.

3.) Read your contract

If you are planning on renting out a flat, take note that you need to read your lease contract thoroughly. This is because the contents within are legally binding and if you neglect to read it, you may be inadvertently agreeing to something you actually do not. It might be tempting to skim over a lot of pages instead of poring over them then sign it at once, but you will be glad you did not do that if you find something you are not amenable to. Remember, should you break your lease, you are bound to pay up.

4.) You cannot take everything

You might want to pack every single thing you have in your parents’ house that you own, but know that this might not be possible. For one, the space you have might be limited and another thing, you will have more work to do and would have to expend more effort. Additionally, you might end up just filling your new flat with a lot of clutter as well.

5.) You need to spruce up

Living alone means cleaning up for yourself unless you want to live in a hovel. Everything you own would inevitably get dirty and the longer you put them for cleaning later, the more grime they accumulate. Apart from your dishes, you are responsible for your laundry and the general cleanup of your flat. So, if you want to live comfortably (and healthily I might add), it is best if you clean up regularly.

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Hassle-free Move: Four Tips and Tricks to Make Moving Day Stress-Free

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It is no doubt that moving day can be one of the stressful days you will ever experience in your life. Of course, collecting, stashing away and moving your entire household is no easy feat, so you are inevitably going to encounter a lot of stressors along the way. After all, in the years that you have lived through your old home, stripping it down of your possessions and packing them away can seem like a herculean task—especially if you have spent a significant number of years accumulating your belongings. However, there are ways of ensuring that your moving day goes on without a snag and without ruffling any of your family members’ feathers. Your moving venture might be a huge endeavor, but with a solid strategy and good planning, you can be assured that it would go smoothly for the most part.

So, whether your change of address is to a condo in Manila or elsewhere, here are some tips that will help you make your moving day easy and stress-free:

1.) Start weeks or even months in advance

If you live in a relatively small home with a meager number of possessions, you can start packing weeks before your moving day. However, if you live in a sprawling home with too many valuables to count, you might as well start as early as you can—even months prior to your moving date. Although your moving date may seem rather far, it is best to make some progress in your packing than be overwhelmed with the sheer number of things you have to do come moving day. True, it might be tempting to leave packing at the last minute—especially if you dislike living among boxes or have to use some things inside them. But you will be glad to have packed earlier than you should have. Just remember to pack the things you are not regularly using first and leave your daily essentials for last.

2.) Be organized

Being organized is key during your move as it aids you in staying on top of things. To make sure you stay organized during the move, have a list of all the tasks that you need to do and divide them in weeks. This would give you ample time to complete whatever is written on a particular week’s list. A typical organized moving day list would consist of eight weeks of their own respective tasks.

3.) Clean out the clutter

Clutter can not only induce headaches, but they are eyesores as well that would do nothing to prove visual aesthetics. If you have a lot of clutter lying around at home, it would be a good idea to start getting rid of them before you even start packing. In this way, you would feel a lot more organized. Additionally, getting rid of the clutter would prevent you from packing things you would not necessarily need in your new home—saving you from all of the frustration in getting rid of them once you unpack and get settled into your new place.

4.) Label your boxes and bags

To know where items to be packed should go and to easily identify which is which, you should label all of your boxes and bags. Apart from categorizing them and knowing what the contents inside are, this would also help you determine which boxes and bags are to be opened and unpacked first. Typically, this is best done if the box is labeled according to where its contents will be placed (labeled per room). However, it would also be ideal if you also wrote and included the contents in its label. Boxes that contain important and sensitive documents such as birth certificates, insurances, passports and the like should be placed in a secure folder and should have a different marking than the rest. Ideally, this folder should be in your person at all times.

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