Real Estate 101: The Top Five Red Flags for Homebuyers

Business handshake at work

 

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” –John Ed Pearce

 

The real estate market has never experienced a rising increase in demand as much as it did today.

While it may experience sporadic periods of highs and lows, the fact remains that more and more people are buying real estate in this decade than any other decade in history. Unfortunately, the resultant effects of this phenomenon can have positive and negative takeaways. For one, the robust real estate market would mean a healthy economy, on the other, however, it could open up the possibility of individuals who would try to leverage the market trend into their favor in the worse ways possible. As it is, the rise in demand for real estate properties would also mean a significant increase in home sellers who would try to sell their properties. However, with the real estate market rife with competition, how do these sellers ensure that their homes would potentially be the one you would select? How do they drive the deal home?

While some would just double their efforts in their endeavor to sell their home, some sellers would resort to less than favorable means in selling their homes. This does not mean that they would outright lie to you, but they would not tell you the entire truth about their homes or it might ruin their chances of striking a deal with you. Sellers who are eager to sell properties in challenging and even difficult communities would not always disclose everything to potential buyers. Unfortunately, getting a professional inspection of every house you tour is not exactly feasible or practical for your finances. Not to worry though, you just have to keep an eye out and be a little more thorough during the house tour. Be meticulous about the houses you inspect and narrow down your choices by doing your own pre-inspection.

Whether the houses you are looking to inspect are located in a lush neighborhood such as Garden Towers or somewhere a little more unassuming, here are some of the red flags you ought to look out for:

 

A major exodus from the neighborhood

Sure, one of the things that a home seller must highlight would be the curb appeal of their homes in order to attract prospective buyers. However, as a buyer, you should not let the visual appeal of the home’s exteriors keep you from examining what is down the street. If you notice that there are several other homes for sale or if nearby businesses have been vandalized or have closed down, electing to live there might not be such a good idea. Talk to your neighbors and ask them about the community. If everyone is looking to leave, you might want to take that as a signal that the home would potentially be a bad investment.

Bad maintenance

Another thing you should look out for is whether or not the home seller took care of their homes and took the necessary measures to ensure its proper upkeep and maintenance while they were still living there. If they horribly failed in this aspect, you might not want to push through with the deal with them. After all, if you can see the gutters with plants growing in them and grime on the home times, it would beg the question: What else did these homeowners neglect and overlook?

Bad smells

A home reeking with fetid smells is a home that has been neglected for far too long. Regardless of whether the smell is outside or inside, it would make you think what sort of surprises there would be in store for you on account of the grody smells. In any case, bad smells should be a huge red flag. However, you should also take into account if the homeowner took the extra measure of spraying their homes in huge amounts of Febreeze or by covering it in potpourri. If the house smells too fragrant and would border on cloying, the home seller is probably trying to mask the more noxious smells.

Fresh paint on only one wall

While it is recommended (at times, even necessary) for home sellers to paint their walls in neutral hues before selling them, there would be something terribly suspect if only one wall is covered and painted. Sure, fresh paint can really bring out the potential of drab walls and boring homes. However, they can also be used as a medium to conceal problems such as water damage, mold or mildew. If the room has strange smells or there are any visible stains in the ceilings or walls, you might want to refer to an inspector who can identify molds and leaks.

Faulty or old wiring

Sure, you are not exactly an electrician but it is best to ensure that the electrical wiring, as well as all the switches, are all in good working order. After all, you would not want to subject yourself to busted circuits, flickering lights, and outlets that do not power anything. If outlets are either warm or hot, there might be an underlying wiring problem which you might want a professional electrician to check.

 

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What To Do at Vertis North: A Guide

Vertis North is the latest hangout in the North.
If you want variety from the shopping choices at Trinoma or the lively crowds at SM North EDSA, you can recharge in the refreshing urban setting of Vertis. The area has a mall, green walkways, corporate buildings, and its own Seda Hotel.

Vertis North is unlike any establishments in the area. Its exclusivity and proximity to comfort make it an exciting hangout spot in the city. The citizens of Quezon City and the hip and chill people who wish to hang out can visit the whole block.

Here are seven things to do while at North EDSA.

1. Catch a fan meet at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent.

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Photo by ABS-CBN Social Media Newsroom

Is there an idol you’ve been dying to meet? Worry no more a there’s safe and accessible place to see your favorite artist up close. You can purchase tickets for a fan meet where you can have an autograph signed and catch a few performances from your favorite person in the world.

Come prepared with a few questions or small token to give to your idol. The event usually lasts for an hour or two depending on the number of artists and their prepared program. Most of all, it depends on their fans. Vertis Tent can hold almost 2000 people.

 

2. Shop homegrown brands.

the craft central, store, craft store

Photo by The Craft Central

If you are looking for craft supplies for calligraphy and artwork, you can head to The Craft Central. The store has calligraphy pens, watercolor products, and several workshop materials. It also has different journal covers and fillers, notebooks, and famous art supply brands.

Vertis North has Apartment 8 Atelier and features the best formal and casual wear of the brand. It’s minimal style, soft colors, and artistic cut makes the brand a go-to for ladies who dress up for a special occasion.

Some shops at Vertis North are Straightforward and Retail Lab x Fifth Rack. Straightforward is a local brand featuring men’s casual clothing from sweaters to board shorts. Meanwhile, Fifth Rack and Retail Lab are concept stores. They house different local brands so shoppers can find them in one place.

 

3. Watch the latest flick at the movie theaters.

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Photo by Gadget Addict

Vertis North Cinemas currently has ongoing Monday Madness promo series. Co-workers can show their IDs to avail the buy one take one ticket sale. Bond with your movie mate with the showing of the action-packed The Incredibles II or the empowering women of Ocean’s 8.

 

4. Belt out tunes at the Time Zone Karaoke Hubs.

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Photo by Lifestyle Bucket

If you’re fresh from a breakup, head to Time Zone and sing your heart out in their deluxe karaoke rooms. The screens have electronic songbooks besides the old-fashioned flip and enter. The K-Town part of the mall will also have a karaoke hub soon so watch out for that.

If singing isn’t in your alley, you can play air hockey, arcade games, Guitar Hero and other innovative sources of entertainment that will make you sweat.

 

5. Meet a furry friend during the weekend.

paws cafe karaoke

Photo by Vertis North

Drop by the PAWS Pet Cafe open Fridays to Sundays from 1-9 PM until July 29. The cafe is at the Level 1 Atrium. The cafe is available to everyone as long as you pick from any of these ways:

  • Order a minimum or food an/or drink from the available menu outside the cafe registration booth.
  • Purchase a minimum amount of P200 of any Pet Discount Inc. products at the booth.
  • Pay P200 as your registration fee.

All transactions must be at the registration booth. After payment, sign up for a scheduled timeslot. Each customer can stay for a maximum of 45 minutes inside the PAWS Pet Cafe.

 

6. Dine with the family.

papermon mille cake

Photo by PaperMoon Cafe

If you want an all-day breakfast meal, you can head to Pancake House and avail their exclusive offers. There’s also the new additions to the menu of Pepper Lunch. You can try their Cheese Rollers and Beef Aglio Olio.

There is also authentic Japanese cuisine. Watch out for the Oppa Chicken in the K-Town section of the mall. The area will soon have several samgyeopsal restaurants to satisfy your palate.

To wash off the flavors, you can have coffee at the Zoo Cafe or taste the heavenly desserts at PaperMoon Cafe. PaperMoon has tarts, specialty cakes, and Mille crepes. These desserts will make you come back for more.

 

7. Have a grand stay at Seda Hotel.

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Photo by Staycation Philippines

A staycation in the city? What more can you ask?

Seda Vertis North is a prime location for a family or couple staycation. It has an e-lounge, a chef’s table, and connecting suites.

If the room is your primary concern, don’t fret. It has a spacious bedroom designed for relaxation and comfort. It the conveniences of modern home- work life, from WiFi to HDMI connections.

A family bathroom has a bathtub and separate showers. It also has signature toiletries. Most of all, it has a walk-in closet and an ironing board.

It has everything you need to have the most comfortable stay in the city.

Vertis North brings life to the heart of Quezon City. It blends urban living, leisure, and comfort in one area. When in Vertis North, everything is within your reach.

5 Ways Have A Comfortable Hotel Stay

Vacationers often don’t know what to look for in a hotel room.
When a booking a place to stay, it’s best to look into it and find the best alternative in case something you aren’t satisfied with the hotel’s service. Nothing is more annoying and uncomfortable than looking into vacant rooms during the busy season.

seda hotel, nuvali, pool, seda nuvali, luxury hotel, suites

Photo by Seda Nuvali on Agoda

You can research on factors to consider when choosing a hotel. It helps you filter the available accommodations in your selected vacation spots. Places in the city like hotels in Taguig is close to bistros, clubs, and shopping malls. They are perfect substitutes if you want a break from sceneries and landscapes.

A comfortable hotel stay is all about research. Here are some factors to think about when choosing a hotel.

1. Don’t rely on photos.

Many hotels use the photos of nearby attractions and surrounding areas to cover the lack of hotel’s photos. There aren’t enough to show the contents of the room, hotel facilities as well as breakfast served.

The focus of the hotel’s site and listing must be its room and maintenance. Though it’s nice to have information regarding the area of the hotel, it should not be the primary focus. It sways customers to make informed decisions on their accommodations.

Some websites feature the same photos because they use the images of others. Hotel staff and management didn’t take these photos. Instead, they trick customers by capturing their rooms using fisheye cameras. These cameras make a tiny room appear larger than it is.

It’s important to check the full details of a room to understand its dimensions and inclusions. Once you find a hotel to check in, look at rating websites showing the photographs taken by hotel guests. These are realistic and unedited unlike the photos from the hotel.

2. Use Google Maps.

Before booking a hotel, navigate the area using Google Maps. It provides a complete picture of the place even if you’ve never been in the area. Enter the street name of the hotel to get a glimpse of the area.

Google Maps has two dynamic features – the Street View Photosphere and Directions. The street view shows you how the neighborhood looks like while directions button gives several transportation methods to reach your destination.

Google Maps provides an idea of the neighborhood you select. You may end up in the busy part of Mumbai, Brooklyn, or near the pubs of Amsterdam. Planning helps you look for options and relocate even if you already have the best and most comfortable accommodation in the city.

3. Read advertisements and pamphlets.

If management hands you a paper to sign, read everything before marking it. You never know how much the hotel charges on cancellation, additional guests, and other staff.

Read the fine print before swiping your credit card. Check the hotel cancellation policy to avoid incurring headaches once your credit card bill comes. What about your breakfast meals? Are they part of the price of the room or do you need to settle additional fees for it?

Most of all, think of the taxes. States and nations have different tax laws. Some cities collect taxes because it isn’t part of the room rate. Some hotel booking sites also don’t include the value-added tax on their listings.

4. Check reviews from past guests.

Reviews from real people tell you what to look for when booking a hotel. People write about the hotel’s level of cleanliness, quality of food, service, and its surroundings. Most of all, they write about their experience to attract people to read their reviews.

These content help you figure the advantages and disadvantages from through several perspectives. Combine them to come up with your analysis if it’s worth staying in the place or not.

Besides checking reviews, online testimonials on the hotel’s official website gives you an idea of how they treat their customers. The customized packages, shuttle service, and other offers show how they value their customers.

5. Upgrade to a better room in a cheaper hotel.

Don’t sacrifice your comfort for exclusivity. It’s no use to have your family fitting in a small space. Why not settle for a less exclusive hotel giving a cheaper upgrade?

You can settle in a larger room without overspending or going over your budget. Upgraded rooms are preferable than standard rooms. Still, you must pay attention to the size of the room, offers, and signs of renovation.

To choose the right hotel, think about your budget. Each one has a standard room and a presidential suite. Pay attention to their prices on the website as they show the lowest price for the standard rooms.

The bathroom and the windows affect your convenience and influence the price of the room. Room rates are higher when you have a view of the pool or the sea. Before settling into one, note that sites will show the same images for these rooms. Some photos are the same even when suites are different.

Don’t be fooled by pretty pictures. Consider these tips and check other sites before booking your family’s room.

A comfortable hotel stay doesn’t depend on the pillows, sheets, and mattress type. If you want to enjoy your vacation, you must be smart about hotel booking. Don’t believe all the photos you see on the site. Explore cheaper hotels to get a better deal on bigger rooms. Read reviews from guests and customers. Most of all, don’t sign or pay anything unless you are clear about their conditions.

Learn more about the neighborhood to get a feel for the hotel’s location and its locals. All of these tips help you enjoy your staycation.