House-Hunting 101: Common House-Hunting Mistakes

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“House hunting is easy. It is the catching it part that is difficult.” –Susan Gale

Buying a home can be an exciting prospect to look forward in your life.

However, it is also true that buying a home can be a very emotional process. However, you should avoid letting these emotions get to the best of you lest you are left with disappointment with your purchase. Indeed, home buying is not an easy endeavor and more often than not, the process is fraught with potential mistakes you might commit—mistakes you should be looking to avoid. No doubt, real estate property will be one of the most significant investments you will ever make, so in this regard, you need to be a little meticulous and discriminating in your house selection.

More importantly, buying a home has many far-reaching implications that range from the location of your property to how you are going to afford the property and still be able to make ends meet. Considering all these, it is inevitable to go through a series of emotions that if left uncheck, can cause us to make irrational decisions. To ensure that this does not happen and to prevent any kind of purchasing regrets, keep these tips in mind regardless of whether you are buying property in One Roxas Triangle or elsewhere:

 

Falling in love with a house you cannot afford

To be sure that you do not fall in love with a house that you cannot afford, it is best that you only check out properties that are within your price range. In this regard, it is pivotal to come up with a realistic budget of what you can afford before you even begin your hunt. Take note: Once you have fallen in love with a particular home, it can be hard to surface from that. And if you tried, it can potentially hurt. You start envisioning what your life would be like in your prospective new home and before you know it, you might start making offers you cannot realistically afford. If your offer has some teeth to it, you could be looking at years upon years of debt and even if you did not make an offer, you would only be breaking your heart at the thought of never owning the property. With this in mind, check properties that are within your price range and never go beyond. Doing so will only invite heartbreak.

Assuming there is nothing better out there

A novice—rookie even—mistake most first-time homebuyers commit is to assume that there is no property better than the one they have found if it so happens that the property in question ticks all of the boxes in their checklist. However, this is a major oversight as you are doing yourself a major disservice by not checking out the other houses in the area which—more often than not—are nearly identical to the one you have found. More importantly, these properties might be at a better price point than the one you have. Regardless of how long your must-have list is, there is always a chance that there are several homes out there that would meet your needs. If there are any snags to the property you like, it is best if you have an alternative option. Be open to keep on looking as this will save you from making any hasty decision which you might regret later.

Being desperate

When you have been looking for a while and getting outbid on the houses that you want or worse, not seeing any properties that you do like, it is understandable to have that pressing need to get that new property now. Unfortunately, there is a very likely chance that you would end up buying a house that you would inevitably hate. If you try to live with it by fashioning it after the dream home you do have in mind, remember that this can cause you exorbitantly—costs that you could have avoided had you not made the rash decision to secure a real estate property right away. If time is on your side, relax—wait until something you like comes a long. So long as your needs and demands are within your budget and realistic as well, you are sure to find property that you can live with.

Overlooking significant flaws

Once you have found a property that checks most of the items in your checklist and meets most of your demands and needs, it can be rather easy to compromise on the things you do not want—such as faulty utilities and fixtures. However, while minor flaws can be easy to repair, remember that this not always the case. Some properties have major problems that would be difficult, expensive or even impossible to repair. Before making an offer or an expensive commitment, consider your options and wait until a better property or offer comes along. If you are insistent on securing the property, at least try to haggle the asking price and make sure that it is reasonable and commensurate to the overall condition of the prospective property you are looking to buy.

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Home Selling Secrets: Five Best-Kept Techniques and Strategies to Attract Home Buyers

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“Buyers decide in their first eight seconds of seeing a home if they are interested in purchasing it. Get out of your car, walk in their shoes and see what they see within the first eight seconds.” –Barbara Corcoran

 

Selling your home is possibly one of the most challenging and trying endeavors you might ever have to encounter in life.

No doubt, attracting the right home buyer at the price point you are offering would be kind of difficult. For this reason, modern home sellers have devised unique strategies in order to entice a prospective home buyer into making an offer. In this regard, strategies such as home staging have cropped up wherein you present your home in such a way that you are almost guaranteed to receive an offer or bid to buy it during open houses and showings. Unfortunately, most home sellers tend to confuse staging with decorating which are two entirely different concepts. While decorating incorporates your expression of personal style, staging is stripping your homes of its characterization. In a sense, it means divesting your homes of everything that makes it uniquely you to make it more appealing to potential home buyers.

Home staging, in a nutshell, would mean the de-characterization of all your home spaces that you bring it down to its most neutral state so that your prospective buyers can freely imagine themselves living in your home. Regardless of what their personal tastes and preferences are, home staging does work as it encourages potential buyers to envision what kind of life they might have in a property you once called your own. Be that as it may, home staging is still an incredibly daunting process as it essentially means having your homes downgraded to its most basic form. More importantly, it can be rather difficult to determine which home staging strategies do the trick and which ones do not. In any case, here are some of the fundamental tips to keep in mind whether you are selling a unit in Avida Towers Cebu or a flat elsewhere:

 

Put in mirrors in narrow areas

To give your homes the illusion of space, strategically place mirrors in narrow areas to make the property seem larger. If there is one thing that might potentially put off a prospective home buyer, it is cramped and small spaces which can feel rather stifling. Regardless of whether your space is big or small, integrate a mirror or two in narrow areas to ensure that the reflection of light will add space as well as brightness in the space.

Make sure your home is warm and cozy

Give your homes and spaces a more welcoming feel by ensuring enough sunlight filters in. If you live in particularly cold regions, it is best to invest in a heater. Before your potential buyers arrive, turn it on for several minutes or at least an hour. Cold homes are generally a turn-off for many prospective buyers and are not very welcome. More importantly, the chill sends the wrong kind of vibe to your buyers from an emotional standpoint.

Start marketing your home early

Once you have formed the plan to sell your home, pencil down the plan to market it as early as possible as well. Most home sellers are under the impression that prematurely marketing their homes is useless and would only take unnecessary time and effort. However, it has been shown that putting your homes up for sale early actually has its benefits. For one, it will help you sell quickly and if the real estate market is thriving, your property might even fetch a better price. In this regard, be sure to market your homes in every medium and channel possible to have a wider reach of prospective home buyers.

Add some flair and beauty to the garden

If your property comes with a porch or garden, be sure to beautify it to add flair and drama to the area. Give your outdoors a special touch and ensure that your gardens are well pruned, weeded out and healthy. If you have any dead plants, uproot and dispose of them. Tidy your borders and lawns make it look as nice and inviting as possible and if your budget permits, plant more flowers. Before you take any photos of your property, make sure the flowers are blooming to give your homes an aesthetic feel to it.

Hire the right real estate agent

Regardless of whether you possess experience in selling real estate property or not, it still pays to hire the services of a professional real estate agent. Apart from having the necessary expertise, real estate agents are more knowledgeable about the market trends in your area and are likely to sell your home quicker and at a better price than you would have been able to do by yourself. However, keep in mind to be a little discerning as to who you hire. Remember, not all real estate agents are created equal, be sure to hire the one with excellent and legitimate credentials. More importantly, talk to their previous clients and ask about their experiences with the agent or read up on reviews. Take note: Knowing who you are dealing with goes a long way and would mitigate the chances of you getting scammed. Should a particular agent raise any red flags, think twice before proceeding or better yet, look for another one.

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New Beginnings: Four Lessons Prospective Home Buyers Should Learn Before Buying a New Home

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“There is something permanent and something extremely profound in owning a home.”-Kenny Guinn

 

Buying a home is an exciting endeavor.

There are only a few things in this life that would make you feel more financially capable, mature and responsible than investing in your first real estate property. After all, real estate properties are significant investments insomuch that it gives you a sense of satisfaction and a feeling of achievement like nothing else in this world. Indeed, buying real estate is one of the most significant investments you are probably going to make in your life—not to mention one of the most important. This is especially true with first-time homebuyers who have probably saved up a significant amount of their earnings just to be able to afford their first real estate property.

In this regard, it is best to be a little discerning about where a significant portion of your life’s savings would go. Apart from ensuring that you are making a wise investment, being a smart homebuyer also means that the chances of having real estate purchase regrets in the future are mitigated. With this in mind, it is best to be aware of the vital lessons one must know before even attempting to push through with this buying endeavor. Take note: Buying a home is more like buying a used car than it is renting an apartment. It requires you to ask questions, look at what is underneath the hood and possibly take it for a spin. Similarly, in a new home, you would need to turn on all the faucets, flush the toilets and just generally check the overall condition.

After all, you would not want to be that homebuyer who would belatedly have a devastating epiphany that you could have averted a bad investment had you been astute enough to check the property thoroughly. In any case, whether this is your first time or nth time in buying real estate property and regardless of whether you are purchasing a home at The Alcoves or elsewhere, here are some of the lessons you should keep in mind:

 

Turn on all five senses

Admittedly, when it comes to checking a prospective real estate property, most homeowners would only utilize their eyes. After all, visual appeal plays a pivotal role in influencing a sale. However, while regarding the potential home’s surroundings and observing them closely are two important things you should do, be sure that you would not disregard your other senses. In this regard, be on the lookout for odd and off-putting smells. Similarly, it is a good idea to ask the home seller to turn off any music playing so as to have a better assessment of what the noise level is in the area. After all, this might just be a clever ploy to drown out any background noise that might turn off potential homebuyers.

Partner up with skilled professionals

Most homebuyers tend not to hire the services of a professional under the guise that they are cutting costs. However, while you might pay extra for the expertise of a professional, know that what you pay actually goes a long way. Regardless of how experienced you think you might be, you do not possess the necessary skills and expertise a real estate professional does. As a result, you might make crucial mistakes that could have been very much avoidable had you involved a skilled professional. You need someone to advise you lest you commit errors not only in judgment but purchasing as well. Remember, a realtor has your best interest at heart so he or she will be more likely to advise you against proceeding with a deal that is potentially underhanded. After all, you cannot really rely on the integrity of your prospective home seller. More importantly, you would not really know whether or not a property is worth its asking price or not. For all that, you would need a professional and expert opinion.

Do not fall in love

Never make the mistake of falling in love with a home—especially if the property’s price point falls beyond your budget. Keep in mind that you should leave your heart at the door when you are shopping for a new home. More importantly, keep a rational mind and do not get sidetracked by features you do not necessarily need. Shop with your mind and be keen about what you are able to afford. Be guided by your monthly budget and stick to properties that fall within it. To prevent yourself from being disappointed, steer clear from checking out homes and properties beyond what you can realistically afford.

Buy a house you can afford today and in the future

Sure, you might be able to afford the house today but what about years from now? Beyond the asking price as well as the monthly rate you are going to pay, you would still have to fork over cash to defray maintenance payments as well as bills. Before you even think of making an offer, think of where you are in life right now and where you might be…say five years from now. By then, would you still be able to afford the home? Or would it prove to be financially cumbersome in the future? Know what kind of expenses you might have down the road and see how well the home would fit into that. Your mortgage or monthly payment should be able to give you enough breathing room to take on new expenses whenever necessary.

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Home Living: Four Reasons Why You SHOULD NOT Live Together Before Marriage

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“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 a relationship.”-Emily Yoffe

 

Today, most modern couples are shacking up together and have started living their lives under one roof.

After all, there is no point in living separately when rental fees or real estate is priced at a premium. However, it is also highly likely that we have been told that we should never try living under one roof with our significant other without the benefit of marriage. Coming from a deeply religious family, shacking up before I have tied the knot was always something my own mother warned me about. The usual story goes that I would be living in sin and that the longer I live with someone, the less likely they are going to marry me.

After all, as the saying goes: why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? However, antiquated and rather archaic beliefs aside, there are a few reasons why you should not jump into the idea of living with your significant other just yet. Sure, the idea might seem romantic—exciting even as who would not love waking up and sleeping next to their partners day after day? However, before you start building on the idea and scouring for properties in One Roxas Triangle or elsewhere, it is best to be aware of what you are getting into.

So, before testing the strength of your relationship or the enduring resilience of your love by moving in together, here are some of the things you ought to know about and why you should decide against the idea:

 

Solitude should be embraced

When you are on your own, you have your own space. You have a designated room where you can be as you are. However, all these are pretty much extinguished when you are living with a significant other. Once you are sharing a room, the both of you would be compromising on the color of the duvets or what kind of pillows you should use. Furthermore, you might be constrained to sacrifice some of your belongings. After all, space would be limited and you cannot realistically expect to stuff your shared room with all of your belongings. Compromising would be something the both of you would be doing quite often. So, enjoy your solitude while you still have it.

It gives you a way out should you need it

More often than not, couples live under one roof in order to mitigate rental costs and other expenses. However, this is not a good idea until both of you have already had all the difficult and rather unpleasant conversations. This includes what your plans in life for together, if and when you would get married and the like. With this in mind, you should not share a residential property with someone you are not even legally tied to—lest it would cost problems. Admittedly, breaking a rental contract would be a lot easier than getting a divorce or annulment, but you should still think twice about getting into a rental contract with someone if you do not even see yourself with them for the long haul.

You get to live on your own schedule (and terms)

Living with someone means that both of you would have to adapt to each other’s habits. And like stated above, the both of you would need to do a lot of compromising. Living alone means that you can come and go as you please. You have your own schedule without bothering anyone and can work late into the night without the compelling need to stay quiet so as not to disturb others. This is not the case when you are living together as you need to be flexible with each other’s schedules. When it is just you, it would be far easier.

Convenience is not romance

Rental, regardless of where you choose to live which is why most couples would attribute shacking up together to the high rental cost. Living together saves them a significant amount of money and would allow them to split the monthly rental cost. However, if you put it that way, is it romantic at all? Remember, deciding to move in together is a big step and is a rather huge deal. In one way or another, it is one step closer to getting married. So, if you have decided to live together for practical reasons, would it not effectively extinguish the romance and excitement in asking you to take your relationship to the next level? Much like a marriage proposal, most individuals would want it to come from a place of sincere and genuine love instead of lackluster convenience. Take note: this is a decision that would affect the both of you. Incidentally, it would also bind the both of you together. So, if your reason is simply to save some money, would it not defeat the romance in your relationship?

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Home Selling 101: Three Indispensable Tips in Writing Compelling Real Estate Facebook Ads

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“If you are selling real estate and you are awake, you are doing well.”-Brad Inman

 

It is a known fact that most individuals are on Facebook nowadays, as a real estate agent, you should know how to capitalize on that phenomenon.

As a real estate agent, you should be aware that success is not only hinged on selling properties. Know that to be an effective realtor, you need to develop other key areas in your job description such as the ability to generate leads and create captivating marketing campaigns. In fact, it has been shown that riveting and catchy marketing campaigns are paramount when it comes to a successful sale—particularly in a competitive industry such as real estate. After all, how can you reasonably sell a house if you cannot generate a lead to sell it to?

With the internet giving everyone the ease of access to perhaps everything under the sun, know that it would be a very much heavily-relied tool in generating leads. Decades ago, real estate agents had virtually nothing like the internet and had to rely on networking around the town and posting ads wherever possible to generate a lead. Today, this strategy is rendered obsolete and ineffective. With social networking juggernauts in the equation, this kind of strategy does not just quite make the cut. After all, most people would be glued to their phones 24/7, do you really expect them to notice the print ads you would be posting all over town?

In any case, if you want to capture leads in this technologically fixated and advanced world, you need to adapt. How do you do this? Take your business to social media, of course! Of the social media trifecta, Facebook is the most versatile and the most widely used which means that you might be able to generate better leads using this medium. However, you cannot just rely on peppering your followers’ news feeds with ads, you need to create ads that tick, captivate and create interest. As Facebook is primarily a visual tool, your targeting options are rather linear insomuch that it would allow you to delineate the kind of market you want to reach—whether that may be prospective homebuyers looking for a 1br condo for rent in Makati to a unit in Avida Towers Centera. Now that we have illustrated all that, how do you create an attractive Facebook ad? Read on below to find out

 

Use Targeting Option

It is an established fact that among all social networks, Facebook remains to be the most popular. But apart from its widespread use, Facebook is the perfect adverting medium as it allows you to get extremely detailed in targeting your audience. If you have already delineated the goals of your campaign, you can then use Facebook’s targeting options to refine your audience. Be precise about your targeting so that you are guaranteed to show your ads to the appropriate audience.

Utilize Video

With the unparalleled prowess of technology nowadays, you can even stage a home tour without requiring your target audience to be in your property for the showing. Simply use a video recorder and give a guided tour of your house. Taking videos of your property is definitely an excellent way to get the upper hand in the real estate game considering that this technique is rather underutilized. Moreover, most prospective homebuyers would be more receptive to ads with videos as pictures are known to be deceiving. In this regard, you ought to start catching up as well and utilize videos in your ads.

Be transparent

An effective real estate agent, as well as a successful one, knows that they should capitalize on building trust. In this regard, you ought to be transparent with your leads and potential clients. Remember, people who are making a potentially huge financial decision (as well as a personal one) would want to transact business only with a trustworthy individual. While trust can be rather difficult to establish nowadays, know that you can make a good start by being transparent with your ads. In this regard, your potential homebuyers would know that what they see is what they would get and they would never feel like they are being deceived. In the creation of a Facebook ad, be realistic about the imagery and direct in your ad copy. Let the prospective buyer know what they would be getting into and exactly what is included in the deal. Be detailed about your listing and include pertinent information from the price down to the number of bedrooms.

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Home Buying: Five Things to Know As a First Time Homebuyer

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“The ache for a home lives in all of us, the safe place where we go as we are and not be questioned.”-Maya Angelou

 

The prospect of buying your first home can be rather exciting, albeit a little daunting.

However, this endeavor is often fraught with difficulties if you are unaware of what it entails and what you should prepare for. Undoubtedly, the process will likely be overwhelming, however, when done right, you would not only be putting your money down on an excellent investment but you would also end up with a home you will be happy to live in for quite a long while. Furthermore, knowing what you want mitigates the likelihood of buyer’s remorse which is why it is always wise to review your options before pushing through with a deal.

In any case, if you are prepared to find the home of your dreams—whether that may be a unit in the East Gallery Place or a residential place elsewhere, here are some of the things you ought to know to minimize the likelihood of surprises when you do finally affix your signature on that contract:

 

Make sure to have room in your budget for transitional costs

Before you even shop around for homes, it is recommended that you set a budget of how much you are willing to pay for in a home. However, apart from budgeting for the property itself, you would also need to prepare for the transitional costs it entails. Remember, you still have expenses to cover on top of your mortgage so you need to adequately budget for that as well. Set a budget for the unexpected and have a plan for the allocation of the same. The earlier you plan, the less likely you will have any financial snags on top of your big investment so if you are already planning on shopping for homes, start creating your budget plan today.

Working with a good agent is paramount

Many homeowners think that home buying is an endeavor they can pull off by themselves. While they are right, going on about the house hunt and deal by yourself tends to slow down your pace and would take you a lot longer to find a place of your own at the price you can afford. Working with an agent who would be able to assist and guide you throughout the entire process would ensure that not only would you find the property you want but at the right price as well. In this time and age, the internet is at your disposal so use it to your advantage and find an agent who you think can work best to fit your needs. However, do not just arbitrarily go with anyone. Do not risk it and only select the best agent who has the expertise and comes highly recommended as well.

Determine if the price is right

More often than not, the prospect of living in our dream homes can cloud our judgment insomuch that we are willing to go beyond our budget because we are very much taken by a beautiful home. However, take the sparkles off of your eyes and check if your finances are in order before making an offer. Calculate your debt to income ratio and make sure that is manageable and is within rich. At the time, you might feel like you can make it work and that buying a home out of your budget would ultimately pay off. But, remember, paying a mortgage that is too high might end up being a financial encumbrance and would ruin your overall satisfaction and happiness in your investment. After all, just because you can borrow a certain amount to buy a more expensive home does not mean that you should.

Know the potential

First-time home buyers tend to go into the endeavor without managing their expectations which means they would likely disqualify homes that do not tick off all the boxes in their needs and wants list. However, these unrealistic expectations can deter you in the long run as demanding too much of your first home would often mean missing out on the subtle charms it already has as well as its hidden potential. For the littlest and tiniest imperfections, look for ways on how you can improve it instead of dismissing it right away.

Research the neighborhood

More often than not, a home’s location is so much more important than the home itself. In this regard, you ought to find a home that is located in a safe neighborhood that is in proximity to educational institutions as well as commercial establishments and shopping centers. Do not zero your focus on the home alone and look for one that is located in a great neighborhood as well. Choose a neighborhood with a strong sense of community and is safe and secure.

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Smart Home Buying: Negotiating Tips and Techniques Every Homebuyer Must Know

 

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“In business as in life—you do not get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate” –Chester L. Karrass

 

It has never been any question whether real estate is a good investment, it has long been considered a given.

However, considering that real estate property might be one of the biggest investments you would probably make in life, it is imperative that you go approach the endeavor with much contemplation and shrewdness. In this regard, selecting a property is in by no means a task you should treat arbitrarily—you need to weight your options insomuch that you can find a property that is not only suitable to your lifestyle but comes at the best price and terms as well. After all, an old adage in real estate is that everything is negotiable. But, just how much is your prospective willing to compromise? Furthermore, do you possess the necessary skills to bring the agreement equally in your and the seller’s favor?

Buying a home does not only mean scoring the best property available, but it also means getting it at the best price possible as well. However, negotiating is a rather tricky skill that is refined over years of experience. Furthermore, it requires a great deal of knowing when to start the negotiations, how to push for more and when you should stop. In conjunction with all those, you would need to possess a shrewd skill in researching the real estate market plus a commitment to being familiar with your prospective property’s neighborhood. Take note: The more properties there are than people who want them, the better your chances in a successful negotiation are. And in this case, homebuyers have more leverage over the home prices which would then create an excellent avenue for negotiation on some homes.

Unfortunately, most homebuyers are unaware of their haggling options. Consequently, opportunities for negotiations are left unexplored when they should have been capitalized. To ensure you get the best deal possible for the prospective homes you are considering—whether that may be a condo for sale in Quezon City or elsewhere—take a gander at your options for negotiating. In any case, here are some of the techniques and tips you should never miss as a homebuyer:

 

Get an agent

As a buyer, you may have a little breathing room when it comes to the purchase of real estate property. But, that does not automatically mean that you are in the driver’s seat and can dictate the terms of how the sale would go. Unfortunately, with property listings available online, many homebuyers fall into a false sense of security and would think that real estate agents are unnecessary. Sure, you might find a house online but that does not guarantee you can actually get that offer to close.

Put your finances in order

Your offer would be so much more persuasive if it holds more weight. In this regard, you should get yourself pre-approved for a home loan. To highlight its importance, take note that some home sellers would not even consider prospective buyers who do not have a mortgage preapproval making it a paramount requirement not only in negotiations but in buying homes as well.

Do the math before getting hung up on small price differences

More often than not, homebuyers—especially first-time homebuyers—tend to be a little myopic about their prospective real estate property insomuch that they would only look at the price without considering other factors. Sometimes, you need to consider every aspect of the deal before you even consider closing on it or overlooking it. There might be instances wherein small differences would actually mean you get a better property or a more flexible payment rate. In any case, you should do the math and consider the deal from all angles before accepting or rejecting an offer.

Base your offer on the home value and not the list price

Before pitching an offer for a prospective property, take a look at the recent sales in the neighborhood first. From there, you would get the necessary information to arm you in your negotiation endeavor. Keep in mind that homes priced at or below the market value are highly unlikely to budge on their asking price whereas those priced at above market value and have been in the market for a while would be more receptive to lower offers. However, do not immediately jump the gun on the negotiations and accompany your negotiation pitch with a market analysis first.

Be prepared to move fast

Most properties that go in the market tend to disappear as soon as they hit the listings—especially if they are in ideal neighborhoods and are priced reasonably. In a competitive market, keep in mind that your first offer SHOULD BE your best offer. You might never get another chance, so ensure what you offer would not only be persuasive but enticing enough as well.

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Four Things You Should Know About Your Partner before Moving in Together

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“Marriage is a framework to preserve friendship. It is valuable because it gives much more room to develop than just living together. It provides a base from which a person can work at understanding himself and another person.” –Robertson Davies

 

Moving in together is a relationship milestone only second to marriage.

With this in mind, it would be no wonder why so many long-term couples would quickly adapt to the idea and start living together under one roof. After all, sleeping and waking up next to your partner would certainly present a myriad of romantic possibilities. However, quixotic fantasies aside, living together would also solve a myriad of pecuniary difficulties through the unified defrayment of mortgage, rent and utility bills. Unfortunately, just because living together presents fantastic opportunities for the both of you (both practical and idealistic) does not mean that you should.

Arguably, you can view living together as a trial run for what your life would be like when you do become a married couple and see what your long-term partner is really like. But you also have to consider the possibility that moving in together might strain your relationship and cause it to progressively deteriorate. After all, there is much truth to the maxim that says “familiarity breeds contempt”. This is not to say that you should never live together before marriage, but it does encourage you to weigh your options and give your decision a little forethought. Do not go into this possibility without exploring all the outcomes and possibilities. Contemplate and consult with your partner and see if this is the right move for you. Furthermore, try to find out if you and your partner are in sync and if your lifestyles match as this would be a paramount consideration when it comes to deciding whether or not you should live together. Ask yourself if you truly know your partner and if you can see yourself living with them for the long haul as sharing an address is a significant decision to make.

So, before you start scouring for condominium units in the East Gallery Place or elsewhere, here are some of the things you should definitely know about your partner before moving in with them:

 

 

How they maintain their space

More often than not, the primary cause of outbursts and domestic arguments would stem from one partner’s refusal to clean up after himself or herself. While you were still living separately, these might seem like a fun quirk about them. However, if you have to deal with it daily, your partner’s inability to clean up after themselves would quickly escalate into an infuriating trait insomuch that you might find yourselves rubbing each other the wrong way. It might be that your partner has an affinity for clutter while you wish for the place to be as immaculate and pristine as possible. In any case, your lifestyles should match and you would need to iron out any deal-breakers before you decide to move in with them.

Their oddities and pet peeves

Everyone has their own fair share of idiosyncrasies and your partner will likely have them too. In this regard, you should know what their pet peeves are as they should with yours. Cohabitation means that you would be living in proximity to each other for most of the time and they might have little peculiarities that send you into a blind rage. Having your partner know what they are would enable them to manage their behavior in the same way you would do yours. Settle it before you move in together so that pet peeves would not become a cause for arguments in the future.

What their routine is like

Most individuals have a daily morning routine without even realizing it. Being a night owl or a morning person contributes to how you go about your day. In this regard, know how your partner generally behaves in the morning before you even consider living under one room. Know what their sleeping habits are and what their daily morning routine is. They might expect you to adapt to your schedule or they might choose to adapt to yours. In any case, this should be discussed so that you can have a lifestyle that would match.

How they handle money

Money is a sensitive issue that calls for difficult discussions when it comes to relationships. How your partner handles his or her finances would ultimately contribute to how well they would settle monthly bills. When you move in together, you would likely share your finances which is why it would be a wise move to know whether your partner has a blasé attitude as regards their finances or not. Furthermore, while it might be awkward, it is vital to have a heart-to-heart talk about how you intend to share the living and household expenses and how you can save for the future. Remember, these are pivotal things that need to be discussed in order to avoid snarky arguments about money in the long haul.

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Shopping in the City: How to Take Advantage of Weekend Markets in Manila

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You’ll discover a lot of things when you visit different organic, outdoors in Manila. From homegrown vegetables to grass-fed meat and a selection of food kiosks for the health conscious, you’ll find that it’s not difficult to stay healthy. All you need is to find a place to shop.

Some people find it a challenge to shop in other places besides the grocery store. Unfortunately, supermarkets don’t have the things you can see at a weekend market Manila. For instance, some groceries don’t have fresh fruits and vegetables. Most of their stock is outsourced from other regions and states. Supermarkets also have limited options of fresh produce. Some groceries only offer a specific type of meat or fish. Lastly, shoppers won’t get to experience the art of bargaining.

With all of these in mind, it might be better for you to take advantage of what farmers markets offer. If it’s your first time to visit one, here’s how you can make the most of your experience.

1. Get the vegetables as they are

Some produce especially root vegetables come with their greens or some roots. If you have the option to pick what to get, always those that are in their natural form. For one, they last longer when they’re not trimmed. Next, you get to have free food. You can use the greens to make pesto or cook the radish and beets the same way you prepare chard or kale.

2. Consider what’s in season

Most weekend markets only offer fruits and vegetables that are in season. Once you decide on a date to visit a market, you should first research what farmers grow during that time of the year. That way, you can avoid apples that lack texture or bland oranges. It’ll also help you look for substitutes and avoid having your expectation thrown out of the window.

3. Think of the market’s location

Besides what’s in season, the market’s location can also influence what’s on the stores. Some weekend markets only have fresh produce while others have food stalls or sellers that feature locally sourced clothing, accessories, and other items. Markets that are near plantations and backyard farms are likely to have fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat while those near the seaside have a greater chance of selling seafood.

4. Be an early bird

Since weekend markets are sparse in Manila, the stock quickly runs out. Most people want to get their hands on the best products, so they get their early. If you don’t want to get the scraps, then you should be an early bird. You have a chance to pick the best items in the stalls when you make time for your shopping. If you’re after perishables such as meat and seafood, then you should visit the market in the morning.

5. Know how to pick your produce

Fruits and vegetables can look odd or feature a different shape, but that doesn’t mean they won’t taste great. Before you shop for greens and colorful crops, you must first know how to pick the best tasting ones from those that aren’t. You can always ask the farmer or the seller to pick them for you, but it’s much better to know you got the things you need by yourself.

6. Pick your purchases

An organic market is not always the best place to get your goods. You can get bread at a local bakery or jams and sauces at the grocery store near your home. Of course, you’ll be helping farmers when you choose their stuff over commercially produced ones. If you are already a patron of a brand or a store, then you shouldn’t trade your favorite over what you saw at the market. Pick your purchases and only choose those that interest you and those you need.

7. Look around

Don’t stick to the same store to get everything off your shopping list. Remember, several stalls are selling the same item. However, their goods can have different quality and prices. You should look around before getting your stuff. Try their samples, look at the prices and talk with the farmers. Learn how they grow their produce or what are the ingredients they use for their creations. You’ll end up with more options than when you first came to the market in choosing your goods.

8. Try the unusual

An organic market is a great place to find items that aren’t on the shelves of grocery stores. You can find irregular shapes vegetables, exotic fruits, and other homemade creations. Don’t be afraid to try all of them. If you’re not sure how to use them for your recipes, you can ask the farmer or seller for ideas. You can also search the Internet on how to prepare them or come up with unique meals for your family.

Each market has a specific structure. Knowing how the market works and its different characteristics can help you prepare accordingly. But, you don’t have to worry so much. These tips can back you up and help you have a great time shopping. With these tips, you won’t have a problem navigating a weekend market.

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12 Life Tips to Help You Fake It Till You Make It

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It’s not fun to be broke. Hell, no one wants the feeling of being broke. No one relishes in the fact that they don’t have money. No one wants to admit they can’t afford to go clubbing every Friday night, go shop for designer clothes at the 30th Mall or grab some bite at the fancy organic restaurant that opened last week. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. Not everyone has a six-figure paycheck or something like that.

These people are regular people. They are the hard-workers in the office who don’t get as much as they’d hope to have. They might have manicured lawns, by they don’t have anything on their savings account. These people are the kind of people who need to save up to celebrate the holidays.

If you are one of those people, there’s no shame in admitting it. Most of the population belong to this economic bracket. In reality, they fake it. They fake it until they make it. You can do the same too, and this is how to do it.

1. Don’t quit your job

If you don’t have a backup plan, you shouldn’t pass a resignation letter. You shouldn’t leave your job when you don’t have a fallback. It’s risky. There isn’t any assurance you’ll get a source of income as soon as you leave your company.

2. Become productive

Don’t spend your time on trivial things. Spend it on things that help you grow as a person and thrive as a professional. Take online classes. Most of them are free and readily available. Learn a new skill. You can find a lot of tutorials and instructions on the Internet. Find something to do that helps you earn money.

3. Don’t be a time waster

Don’t ever waste someone’s time. Time is a valuable resource. It’s also something no one can ever take back. If you’re running late, give them a call or leave a message. If there’s a conflict of interest, you should inform them ahead of time.

4. Be honest about your finances

It pays to be truthful to yourself and those around you. Don’t keep secrets to your partner. Don’t cover up your spending habits or mistakes. Most couples end up in divorce because they choose to keep things to themselves. Open up about the thing you do to build trust.

5. Save up for rainy days

You never know when you’ll run into emergencies. Eventually, someone gets sick. Other times, it’s your home that needs repairs. You should always be prepared for the things that might come your way.

6. Don’t waste water and electricity

If you’re low on budget, then you must consider how you consume these two. Remember, you have control over how you use these two things. Don’t leave the tap running. Limit turning on the water heater. You should also think about using surge protectors. You can save a lot of money when you become cautious about how you use water and electricity.

7. Limit expenses

Try not to undertake new financial responsibilities especially when you can’t handle them anymore. It only attracts problems in the household. It also places additional pressure on you.

8. Walk

Use your feet. Don’t drive the car when you can walk towards the place you need to be. It helps you save money on gas. Moreover, it reduces traffic and pollution. Last but not least, you get fresh air and exercise.

9. Don’t go on expensive dates

There are plenty of cheap date ideas you should try. Instead of ordering a salad and a steak, you should try visiting the library or the local museum. You can also set up tables and tents in each other’s backyard instead of going to the movies and consuming overpriced popcorn. Being picky about your activities doesn’t mean you’re a cheapskate. It only shows you’re being smart about your choices.

10. Do the cleaning yourself

Don’t be lazy. Don’t hire a housekeeper to wash the dishes or scrub your bathroom tiles. Teach yourself to do them. It can some work, but you’ll manage as long as you have patience. You should also try cleaning the car and tending the grass yourself. You’ll learn to take better care of your things when you tidy up by yourself.

11. Don’t shop for expensive gifts

Holidays, birthdays and special occasions often call for gifts. But, it doesn’t mean you have to purchase the most expensive ones on the shelf. Before you go shopping, you should put your budget to mind. You shouldn’t get things that go beyond your limit.

12. Don’t take frequent trips to the salon and spa

It feels nice to pamper yourself, but you don’t need someone else to do it for you. You do your nails at home or try DIY facial treatments without heading to the spa. Frequent pampering sessions are a must, but they bloat your expenses.

Faking it doesn’t mean you’re trying to be someone else. It just means you’re doing your best to get by when your income isn’t enough to cover your needs. These are the things that can help you do it. Practice them until they become part of your routine. That way, it feels natural and fits your life like a glove.

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