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.

vertis tent, vertis north, abs-cbn, abs-cbn vertis north tent

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.

Vertis-North-Timezone-karaoke

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.

Moving Day 101: Essential Things You Will Need on Move-In Day

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“Sometimes there are things in life that are not meant to stay. Sometimes change may not be what we want. Sometimes change is what we need.” –Author Unknown

No matter how you look at it, packing for a move can be quite the pain.

After all, how do you sort a significant number of years into different boxes and categories? Moreover, how do you ensure that all of it would fit into whatever number of boxes you have bought specifically for it? Regardless of how organized you are or how logical your approach towards packing is, packing will inevitably be infuriating at some point—especially when the time comes to unpack and arrange your things yet again in your new home. With so many things to pack, it can be rather easy to lose track of things and forget which box has what in it. Furthermore, it can get somewhat difficult to determine whether you have already pre-packed a specific item and if you would need it immediately soon. It becomes even more infuriating to realize that there are incredibly vital things that you would need as soon as you settle into your new place. These are the things essential for either facilitating the move or ensuring that it is as seamless and as comfortable as possible.

In other words, these are the things that you would not wish to spend ages digging around for and trying to find. These should be packed separately and easily accessible the moment you park your car in your new garage. Ideally, you should never pack them inside boxes and keep them in a separate bag in the passenger seat. This bag should be easy to find and should be the last (not the first) thing you load into the car to ensure you do not forget about it. Below is a list of these necessary items so that your move would be seamless and stress-free whether you are moving to Ametta Place or elsewhere.

1.) Checks

Whether you are paying the packers or the moving company who facilitated your move, you are inevitably going to need your checks to pay for something. Sure, you might think you have enough cash with you, but there is a likely chance that in the flurry of moving activity, there will be something—a payment reminder that you will likely forget. It might be something you were not told about until later or just something you might have overlooked. In any case, keep your checks handy.

2.) Toilet Paper

This one should be fairly obvious. After all, imagine the horror of needing to take care of stomach business in your new home only to find out that you have not unpacked the toilet paper? Unfortunately, it can be rather easy to forget, so it is best to keep them in a separate bag. Furthermore, there is a likely chance that someone would want to use the bathroom even before you have all finished unpacking, so have at least three rolls of it ready.

3.) Paperwork

If you have any sense, you would know that any type of paperwork should not be something you have to search for. More often than not, your move would involve a series of paperwork or documents which you need to have with you by the time it happens. Make the move a little easier and more convenient for you by speeding along the tedious process and having these at hand whenever needed. Have them at the ready in a convenient location and make sure you can quickly produce them when needed.

4.) Snacks and Water

Packing and unpacking during a move would require a tremendous amount of energy from you and your family members who are helping out on the move as well. You would need something to munch on every now and then to make sure you do not get too exhausted. Similarly, you would need to drink water as much as you can to ensure that you stay hydrated. Sure, you might think that it would be rather easy to take out food at the nearest fast food shop or have it delivered to your new address. But those would involve waiting, and it is a whole lot more convenient if you just had food with you on hand. Make sure your snacks do not require any sort of tableware to eat such as cup noodles, crackers and the like. Lastly, water would be vastly preferred to juices and fizzy drinks as the former can quench your thirst better which is essential when you are unpacking and arranging your belongings.

5.) Soap

Much like how you would inevitably need toilet paper, you will need soap as well. After all, you cannot expect to eat with dirty hands or hands just washed with water. With this in mind, ensure you always have a handy bar of soap with you. Alternatively, you can use wet-wipes, hand sanitizers or the like, just make sure you have a disinfectant of some sort with you—especially since you are going to be making use of your new facilities (which are likely still covered in dust). An excellent way to do this is to pack those free soaps they give at hotels in a separate bag together with your packed toilet paper. They are easy to pack and convenient to carry around, and their diminutive size does not add much to the bulk.

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Exploring Business Locations in the Philippine Property Market

Location is critical to business operations. A great place can attract customers and clients. It perfectly displays products and services. It is accessible to the brand target market, partners, and staff. Considering the hundreds of new developments in the country, it can be a challenge to select a favorable location for an office or a shop.

Settling on the best workplace is imperative. The right business location in a property market adds to the business’ overall growth. Think of the structure of the building and the impact of the area on daily operations. These are the factors to consider when thinking of a business location.

Market Overview

chart, progress, office, people, celebrate

The Philippine Property Market is a growing industry. The country’s consistent macroeconomic policies and high levels of consumption make it one of the strongest performers in Asia’s economies. It’s real estate market regarding office retail, residential, and industrial sectors are expanding. According to Rick Santos, Chairman and CEO of Santos-Knight Frank (SKF), the investment inflow of 2017 created a positive ripple effect across the property sector. The market will perform even better once the government infrastructure projects are in full swing to create a conducive business environment.

Despite the optimism, vacancy in Metro Manila increased by 5 percent during the third quarter of the year 2017 due to the large volume of the additional stock. This is good news for startups and business owners looking for a place to settle. They can choose from the establishments and facilities of high-quality developments in the country.

Customer and Talent Proximity

Dwellers and opportunity-seekers of the North can choose from office spaces in Quezon City. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs and passionate muses can venture into leasing a working area in Makati City. Consider these offices below to discover what the Philippine real estate market has to offer when it comes to office spaces.

1. U.P. Ayala Land Technohub

Referred to as ‘Technohub,’ it is in the center of the country’s premier university for bright young minds. The development comes with facilities and amenities required by a firm drabbling in technology or science. It has a Tech Portal and a Retail Plaza.

2. U.P. Town Center Corporate Center

The expanse of the PEZA-certified office facility lies on Katipunan Avenue. It is part of the University Belt and located within Ayala’s shopping mall. It has access to several retail brands, popular restaurants, and services for workers and residents in the community.

3. Vertis North Corporate Center

The Corporate Center is the latest addition to the office centers in Quezon City. It is part of a community with mixed-use residences, hotel, and entertainment areas. Shops at Vertis North are available at near public transportation for the working class of the North.

4. 6750 Ayala Avenue

Those who value elegance, sophistication, and visibility can fit right in the topnotch office location of Makati. The 6750 building is right beside the highly-rated bistros, luxury boutiques, and serviced apartments. It complements the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the city through its serviced and virtual offices and meeting room facilities.

5. McKinley Exchange Corporate Center

The towering office stands in the corner of EDSA and McKinley Road in Makati City. Though not within the vicinity of Makati Central Business District (CBD), it still has direct access to the MRT station, bus stops, jeepney and shuttle terminals. Conducting business in the area makes it visible to thousands of passengers passing Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).

6. Solaris One

The prime property along Dela Rosa Street is BPO-ready. It comes with high-end facilities, centralized chilled water system, high-speed large-capacity elevators, and above- grounds parking lots. It is close to the retail and dining establishments of People Support Center and Convergys One.

These office and retail spaces are in the busy areas of each city. They are close to potential buyers and highly-accessible through different modes of transportation. The hassle-free travel attracts customers and clients to the business. The same goes for promising talents. The short distance and travel time improves their productivity. Employees can provide high-quality work when they have good health and are in the excellent working environment.

Expandability and Equipment

The office space must not only focus on the present. It must also lean into the future. Business will grow and expand in the future. The office must be able to accommodate all the equipment, furniture, and staff it takes in overtime. It is also necessary to have space intended for clients. A room for meeting and transactions makes them comfortable and feel welcomed. At the same time, the location of the business must have ample parking space.

It is a must for a firm to have ample space for their equipment for production and provision of service. Apparatus and machinery must spread out in various rooms to avoid looking cluttered. The working area won’t appear unpleasant when supplies are in their proper places.

Monetary Inclusion

Never invest in office space when you don’t have enough budget for it. Spending beyond financial limits causes financial troubles later on. Ensure lease payments and other expenses fits budget without compromising its quality. There are hundreds to thousands of office spaces available in the Philippines to become the home of a startup or business organization.

The real estate sector of the Philippines continues to exhibit growth as more infrastructure projects are on its way. The demand for mobility, flexibility, and connectivity from freelancers will shape the future office launches in the country. Developers continue to seek opportunity in and out of Manila to supply the need of increasing occupancy rate from various sectors.

 

8 Add-Ons to Upgrade Pre-Installed Kitchen Islands

Hold your thought about kitchen islands.
They aren’t there to occupy most of the kitchen floor space. The island offers extra surface during rigorous food prep, storage for cooking items and utensils, and a block keeping hungry guests at bay. Some homeowners aren’t used to the concept of islands and counters. They prefer the traditional dining set.

Contemporary house and lot and condo units have kitchen islands. The structure of these homes undertakes the importance of storage units and maximizing the floor layout. However, the style and form of pre-installed kitchen islands don’t overlap with the homeowner’s acquired taste. A condo at Bonifacio High Street requires a modern piece. It may be something unique and grounded to match the city’s energy.

Try not to fret if the kitchen counter doesn’t fit your style. There are several ways to upgrade pre-installed kitchen islands. These items will elevate and bring the kitchen island to life.

1. Bars

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Towel bars offer the best solutions for organization hacks. Kitchen with limited space will benefit from the smart and efficient uses of these thin bars. Install a long bar to hold or store lids when cooking. It also prevents them getting lost in the back of cabinets. It is also perfect for displaying sets of pans and collection of mugs. Other than hand towels, it solves storage problems by providing *an anchor for baskets.

2. Hooks

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Whether its adhesive hooks, anchors or plain old nails, hooks are organizing superstars. They camouflage wires, conceal plastic trash bags, distribute measure cups, hang kitchen wraps and pot lids, and basket for extra storage. Hooks are smaller than bars so they won’t get in the way of work and existing kitchen design.

3. Stools

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Think of height, style, and comfort when finding the right kitchen stool. First, measure the height of island’s surface. There must be 9 to 13 inches between the seat and the counter. Chair stools are 18 inches high from the floor to the seat. It works with surfaces 28 to 30 inches in height. Counter stools are 24 to 26 inches while bar stools are 28 to 30 from floor to the seat. Counter stools go with tables 36 to 39 inches in height while bar stools require 40 to 42 inches.

The space between each stool is critical for comfort and people’s movement. There’s no problem with style as several materials are complementing various kitchen aesthetics. The island can have a backless, casual or swivel seating.

4. Countertop

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Good news! It is possible to swap existing kitchen counter with something luxe or low-maintenance. The right countertop follows the home’s overall decorating scheme. A concrete countertop provides a variety of looks depending on its color pigmentation and the amount of aggregate in the mix. Stainless steel has a reflective quality making it perfect for small spaces. The reflection gives a beautiful and elegant look. Copper is pliable and ideal to produce countertops with interesting edges. Moreover, it gives off a warm glow to any kitchen. Other materials like marble, granite, and zinc are viable options as a countertop surface. Adding a glass top is also a game changer.

5. Knobs and Pull

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Changing cabinet handles is a non-committal way to enhance the look of an area. Having knobs and pulls prevents stains on cabinet surfaces and lengthens its lifespan. Hardware also provides ease of access to drawers. It must fit inside your hand and feel right to the touch. There must be no sharp edges and ridges. It must be comfortable for your fingers. Knobs and pulls are the jewelry of the kitchen. They must blend into the area, coordinate the pieces of furniture in it and enhance the design. Before purchasing for the entire kitchen, test it out to get the perfect fit.

6. Appliances

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Instead of placing the oven, dishwasher or dryer in a different spot, have it built on the kitchen island. It will give you additional floor area for cabinets, cooking ranges, refrigerator, oven, extra seating or the sink. Installing it on the isle conceals wiring and unalluring backside of the appliance. Most of all, the setup saves the item from damage.

7. Shelves

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Open shelves offer freedom to store and take cooking ingredients and utensils anytime you need them. It also prevents accidents and ruckus from bumping into cabinet doors and handles. If aiming for aesthetic, fret not. Open shelving is charming and classy as it displays food stock and baking ingredients in fancy jars and pretty containers. Customizing the stackables on the shelf uplifts repurposed old bookshelves of drilled wood from a previous project. However, beware of low-lying shelves if there are children at home. Place a glass casing to prevent them from grabbing stuff on display.

8. Trim

wood, trim, wood surface, white island, kitchen

Adding trim to the surface of your kitchen island changes the look and vibe of the kitchen. Uniform scallops produce a vintage, laid-back beach house vibe. Irregularly shaped waves transform the room into a modern and playful dining area. Explore different trimming designs before settling on one to find the best fit for the house.

The kitchen is a small and messy area, but it’s no excuse to make it a work of art. The kitchen island can be the star of the room with the right add-on, finishes, and trim. When this happens, family members and guests can have an enjoyable dining experience.

Hunt Down These Sports Gear at 4 Local Sporting Stores

Players require appropriate sporting gear to deliver the best performance. Besides optimal performance, some sports need equipment to play them. Others require protective gear to minimize the impact of a collision and prevent injuries.

If you wish to try a new sport or release your adrenaline, you must purchase the necessary items below. It’s best to arm yourself before heading to the playing field.

Baseball

Mizuno, Abreeza Mall

baseball, catcher, game, hitter, bat

Photo by Nathaniel Yeo on Unsplash

First Baseman’s Mitt

First basemen receive throws from infielders and catch attempts from pitchers. Thus, their gloves are different from the rest of the players in the field. First basemen and catchers are the only ones to wear mitts. The leather mitt has a deep pocket to withstand several catches. It has open style-webbing to scoop throws or stop ground balls without bringing amounts of dirt. The robust curved edged design and large size make it easy for infielders to spot the player.

Catcher’s Mitt

A catcher’s mitt is smaller than the first baseman’s. It has a closed webbing for quick moving balls and conceals pitch calls. If you want a better view of incoming balls, you may consider open webbing. You can have padding on your mitt for protection, but it will come with a smaller pocket. Using mitt an inch bigger to provide the full pocket you need. Catcher’s mitt uses the measure of the player’s circumference.

Catcher’s Mask and Chest Protector

Often, expensive gear is lighter and absorbs more energy than cheap gear. Some equipment uses an advanced material with less weight even if it offers the same protection as its alternatives. Bulky equipment slows down as the player when running or throwing to bases. Protective gear must have the right fit so it won’t move and expose the body from injury.

There are two types of helmet you can choose – traditional mask or hockey style. The traditional style is earless and worn from the backside. This feature offers players vision of the field and makes it easy to toss it after a play. The hockey style is the most comfortable and has the most protection. Both helmets are adjustable to fit the shape of the wearer’s head.

Basketball and Soccer Equipment

Planet Sports, UP Town Center

Shoes

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Photo by Tom Pottiger on Unsplash

An all-around basket player needs footwear with a perfect fit for running in a straight line or quickly shift direction. The shoe must keep your heel in place, offer ankle support and have enough cushion to make you comfortable during the game.

Your feet will be in contact with the force when playing soccer so you must know its parts. That way, you can select the shoes which complement your performance during the game. The material of the insole, midsole, outsole, vamp, and cleats all affect the construction of footwear aimed at specific playing surfaces.

Soccer ball

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Photo by Ian Higbee on Unsplash

Soccer balls may have a casing made of PVC (polyvinyl carbonate), PU (polyurethane), a combination of PVC/PU, or synthetic leather. PVC balls are cheap, and PU balls are softer to touch than PVC ones. Synthetic leather balls are the easiest to control. The ball comes in five sizes, so it’s best to check with a coach on restrictions before buying one. It also varies depending on the type of game and playing field.

Golfing Gear

Mizuno, Harbor Point Mall

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Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov from Unsplash

Clubs

A primary set must include the putter, pitching wedge, sand wedge, three, five, seven and nine irons; the three wood; the driver. A beginner set of clubs is ideal in case you plan to quit, but a full set of clubs is a must after a year of playing. You will have an additional three pitching wedge irons, yet you must select a separate putter. A blade type putter is great for starters. You can choose between graphite and steel shafts. If you are a committed golfer, you can customize your golf clubs to fit your size and swing.

Golf shoes

Since your feet will carry most of your weight, you must select a comfortable pair. Modern pairs vary in appearance. There are dress-style shoes, athletic style, and golf sandals. Comfortable pairs of shoes come in different price ranges so you must think of your price requirements before settling on footwear. Also, don’t forget to try it for a walk and a few swings if possible. It gives you an idea how it feels when using it.

Decathlon, Festival Mall

Golf gloves

Find out the material you prefer to use. Leather gloves turn soft when you use them frequently. Still, it lasts longer than gloves made of other materials. Meanwhile, synthetic gloves offer better grip during hot and wet weather conditions. The glove must fit each finger and slide smoothly in the palm of your hand. You must use the Velcro closure or attach the snap to secure it in place. There should be enough material between the ends of each finger. Too much indicates you have the wrong size of glove.

Tees

You must purchase the right tee to regulate the height of your swing. Typical lengths of golf tees come in three sizes – 2.75, 3.25 and 4 inches. If you tee off with wood, hybrid club or iron, you must use the smallest tees. Those who wish to use tees above the grass can use 1 1/2 or 2 1/8 inches while players with large hands can opt for 3.25 and 4-inch tees.

Tennis Equipment

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Racquet

Power or game improvement racquets are for players with shorter and slower swings. They are lightweight and feature an oversized to super-oversized heads. ‘Tweener racquets are head-light to head-heavy and extended in length. On the other hand, control or player racquets are heavy with small heads. The weight of the head is symmetrical with its body.

Tennis shoes

A pair of playing shoes is flat with a pattern on its soles. The designs depend on the terrain of the playing court. A durable sole is necessary for baseline players due to their constant lateral motion. Serve-and-volley players need a shoe with a durable toecap and medial on the arch to support their back foot. Foot type also plays a role when selecting proper tennis footwear. Overpronators need stabilizing tennis shoes while under pronators are better off with flexible kinds of shoes to alleviate shock issues during swift lateral movements.

Protective gear, playing equipment and accessories are a must when playing a team or individual sports. Finding the right fit and material is essential to improve your game.

Leisure Living: The Five Main Perks of Living by the Sea “

 

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“Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.”-Hermann Broch

Have you ever wondered what a perpetual holiday or vacation would look like?
Well, for starters, it is a home by the sea and waking up to the glorious sunrise basking over the gentle and serene ocean ripples. It is having your early morning cup of joe by the sea and inhaling the salty sea breeze and the scent of summer. It is going to sleep at night with the sound of cascading waves to keep you company. Furthermore, it is being at peace with the fact that you are to wake up to this scenario every single day of your life.

It sounds like an idyllic plan, is it not? Unfortunately, while living by the sea affords you the kind of leisure and relaxation that most traditional homeowners live without, most developers offering seaside living would offer their properties at an exorbitant premium. However, while you might be paying quite a pricey down payment for these kinds of properties, know that you are not only paying for the piece of land and house you will be residing in. In one way or another, you are also paying for a life that would seldom need a vacation. After all, with the ocean just a few meters away from your property, do you really need to go elsewhere just for a breather? Once you have decided on settling by the sea, you would no sooner than expect that you would never be missing the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolitan. With palm and coconut trees surrounding you, sand on your feet and the smell of salty air, you would find yourself not missing the tall skyscrapers, traffic onslaughts and pollutions of a progressive city.

If seaside living has been something you have been contemplating about, consider Anvaya Cove Bataan. In any case, below is a list of the generous perks seaside living would afford you:

1.) It allows you to be healthy

Mental benefits aside, it has been shown that seaside living can positively impact an individual’s overall health. Sunlight, of which the beach gets significant dosages of, is incredibly beneficial to our skin. This is because sunlight has Vitamin D which helps your body absorb calcium and by extension, strengthens your bones. Furthermore, the sea helps you better with its negatively charged ions. Resultantly, you are less stressed and are generally in a better mood.

2.) It gives you a myriad of things to do

Life by the sea offers you a variety of activities to do at the weekend while living in the city constrains you to a life of monotony. Metropolitan living limits your entire week to going to work, eating and maybe going to the mall to relax and breathe. It is incredibly rare (and only when time permits) for you to ever have a chance to get away from the city and have a vacation. And when you do, it usually involves a long drive or a plane ticket. When you live by the sea, it is like being on holiday every single day of your life. Moreover, it offers you a diverse plethora of recreational activities to do such as swimming, surfing, beach volleyball, sunbathing and the like.

3.) It is great for your well-being

Living in a place that allows you to wake up to the sight of the sun, sea and lush waves every single day tends to make you appreciate the small things in life. Compared to being cloistered and stifled in an apartment unit smack dab in the middle of the city, seaside living is not only a place for relaxation and serenity but an avenue for self-exploration. It allows you to contemplate and reflect. Moreover, it has been found that the sound of crashing waves inspires creativity. So living by the sea might be a good opportunity for you to discover your hidden talents and skills.

4.) It allows you to disconnect

In a way, seaside living allows you to connect more to yourself and your surroundings simply by giving you the chance to disconnect. Living in a busy cosmopolitan tends to make us inadvertently glue ourselves to our cellphone or computer screens—so much so that we are perpetually connected online and missing the small things in life. This habit has been known to increase stress levels and is potentially harmful to the body. Living by the sea, however, allows you to meditate. Even a few minutes spent just looking at the horizon and listening to the wave would be enough to rejuvenate your well-being.

5.) Delicious seafood

Seafood is hard to come by in the city, and when you do find them, they would be incredibly overpriced. This is because the logistics of getting seafood into the city can be a bit complicated and overly long—especially when the city is nowhere near any ports or even seas. However, when you are living by the sea, you are not only given access to cheap seafood but the freshest ones as well. No doubt, you can expect seafood restaurants to be cropping up here and there ensuring that you always get the fresh catch of the day.

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Solitude 101: Six Excellent Reasons to Live Alone

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“I am not saying that there is anything better than mated bliss at its best, but I am saying that living alone is as good in its own way. But we have not quite given ourselves the permission to recognize that.” –Barbara Feldon

 

Humans are so conditioned to having companionship that they find the idea of living in solitude detestable.

The fact is, most individuals find the idea of living alone unimaginable and…depressing. Humans, social creatures that we are, crave for social interaction—even more so at the end of a long day.

However, it is not for the lack of experience that warrants such sentiment, but rather the lack of the will to do so. Being able to live alone is bliss and being at peace with it is even more satisfying. After all, where else could you afford an avenue for peace of mind apart from the comforts of your home? Moreover, you do not have to worry about a companion’s mess or perhaps their share of the rent as the responsibility lies solely in you. Resultantly, living alone would encourage you to mature in more ways than one. And while you might not realize the merits of it today, it helps you develop independence. While living without a companion is a lonely prospect to most, just think of advantages it would offer you. Total liberty and the freedom to do as you please to name a few, but there is quite a myriad more.

As according to the words of Marilyn vos Savant, you should be able to live alone, even if you do not want to and think you will never find it necessary. In this regard, if you have ever found an opportunity to live by yourself and are financially stable enough to do so, go ahead and check out that unit in Avida Towers in San Lorenzo.

Listed below are just some of the advantages of living alone:

 

1.) You can leave the dishes for as long (or as short) as you wish it

One of the most hated house chores we can all collectively agree on would probably be doing the dishes. Living alone means no one would perpetually nag you to clean them up or ask you to keep them. More often than not, only a visiting parent or a date coming over would prompt you to start loading them in the dishwasher. However, be wary as leaving dirty dishes out for too long can breed bacteria and harmful illnesses.

2.) No one would see your emotional breakdowns

Living with a roommate or other people tends to make us stifle our emotions and keep it in check—even when we are about to burst deep inside. However, living alone allows you to be at home and comfortable with your emotional breakdowns without having anyone to judge you for them. So, if you are having a bad day, you can lash out or cry it all out without fear of being mocked or judged.

3.) Your food is yours alone

You do not have to worry about roommates stealing your food or sharing your home cooked meals with anyone. Your food is solely yours. Furthermore, you can buy food without being judged by your choices. You can eat as much Chinese takeout as you wish without anyone giving you the side eye for your choices.

4.) You can indulge in weird bathroom habits

As you do not have to share the bathroom with anyone else, you can choose to be as weird as you can in there while having your bath or while using the toilet. You do not even need to fear being caught as no one else is with you which means you are afforded maximum privacy. If you so wish, you can even do whatever you wish to do with the door wide open and you still would not run the risk of being walked into.

5.) You can clean at your leisure

As you are not really affecting anyone with your mess and clutter spread around, you are free to clean up whenever you wish. So, if you have had a long day at work and just wish to relax, you can do so. Similarly, if you wish to dedicate your weekends to relaxing and sleeping then you can put off any cleaning chores until you are ready to do them. There is absolutely no pressure on you or anyone nagging you to get a move on and do the laundry already.

6.) You have a lot of personal space and time for self-discovery

Living alone is an avenue for self-discovery—so much so that you will learn so much about yourself during the time you spend on your own. Sure, it can be quite the challenge to adjust at first (especially if you are used to co-dependence or living with companions), but the resultant skills would be all very much worth it. Emotional and personal situations would be a lot easier for you to handle and you will find yourself growing in your independence.

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Spot the Scam: The Five Most Common Real Estate Scams in the Philippines

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“Winners are not afraid of losing. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.”-Robert Kiyosaki

 

Scams are rife regardless of whatever industry it might be. In the world of real estate, it is so much more pronounced and prevalent—so much so, that even in this digital age wherein information is conveniently and readily accessed online, quite a lot of people still fall prey to it. After all, as technology advances so does the means of conning people.

When it comes to deals, a good rule of thumb to always keep in mind is if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sounds easy, right? However, if it were so easy, why are people still falling victim to these illicit and dishonest schemes and ploys nowadays? Well, probably because owning a home is not only considered as a keystone of wealth and stability, it is almost every Filipinos dream—a fact that is being capitalized on and exploited by charlatans and deceitful schemers. In this regard, prospective homebuyers should be a little bit more meticulous and thorough when it comes to choosing who they deal with—whether that may be property managers, real estate companies or real estate agents. The burden of responsibility in double-checking their prospective transactions and the legitimacy of such individuals is then, therefore, borne by the buyer. After all, no one can really be conned if every prospective homebuyer exercises his or her right to exhaustively check what they are getting into in real estate deals.

To prevent yourself from being robbed and conned out of your hard-earned money, it is best if you are made aware of the most common scams utilized by these fraudulent individuals here in the Philippines. Moreover, your protection against these scammers is buttressed by the research and validation you make. So, before closing a deal, be very sure you know who you are dealing with. If you are looking to buy a condo for sale in Makati or elsewhere, make sure you are not falling for any of the scams below:

 

Pre-Selling Scam

A common and rather widespread real estate scam in the Philippines is the pre-selling scam. Today, with condominium properties being a ubiquitous presence in the country, it would only be inevitable for scammers to see this as a real estate investment scam. Over the last decade, the real estate experienced a boom in the condominium property industry and as a result, we can see condominium properties in almost every nook and cranny in major cities. Pre-selling scams occur when developers do not follow the mandated rules as regards requisite permits. Alternatively, they may choose to attain these through illegitimate and dishonest means. To lure prospective buyers, developers would pre-sell their units at incredibly low rates with the promise of timely turnover dates. To sweeten the deal, they would even provide excellent incentives. Unfortunately, the scam occurs when the expected turnover day nears, the development is still not done. An extension is then repeatedly done until such time that the homebuyer would give up on it.

 

Double Sale of Property

As gleaned from the title, this scan occurs when a property in question is bought by two different buyers. It commonly occurs when the first buyer neglects or fails to register and transfer the title to their name to which the crooked owner would then sell it again. In effect, two buyers would now have the same title under their own names.

 

Bait-and-Switch Scheme

This scheme is a little more insidious and deceptive as prospective buyers are unaware of what they are really getting into until it is far too late. This scam is put into effect when real estate agents advertise real estate properties that they are not authorized to sell. Either the properties are handled by a different agent or are not really for sale. To entice buyers, these properties would be given incredibly low price tags which in effect, are considered baits. However, upon further inquiry, unscrupulous agents would then claim that the property is no longer for sale or has been sold. In this regard, agents would then offer their very own listings which are either pricier or less attractive than their previous offer (designated as the switch).

 

Insufficient disclosure

Such scam happens when a real estate developer or agent willingly, intentionally and knowingly withholds crucial information about the property from their prospective buyers. This information can range from anything an unclean title to the property being pending in litigation. In any case, the information withheld is vital enough as it would leverage a prospective homebuyer’s decision on buying the property. Should this information be disclosed, potential clients may think twice before buying. Some properties may come across as attractive and promising, but upon contract signing, you would be surprised to know information about the property you did not know then. Tax delinquencies, encumbrances, hidden charges, structural facts such as poor property foundation and the like are among of the less than desirable things you might find.

 

Individuals posing as real agent artists

Regardless of what industry you are in, you will always come across your fair share of con artists. The real estate industry is no exception—especially considering that a successful venture in it can be incredibly lucrative. Another common scam related to real estate in the Philippines is for an individual to pose as a real estate agent—a con artist if you may. It is because of these agents that the country experiences so many real estate frauds. In fact, they are to be blamed for most of the frauds related to real estate in the country. To give themselves the veneer of legitimacy and authenticity, they would exert efforts in creating professional-looking websites and put up listings that they have seen online and copied. Unfortunately, after they have successfully conned you into paying a security deposit or an initial payment, they will be gone before you know it.

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