Home Safety: Signs Your Home is Vulnerable to Robbery (And What to Do about It)

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“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”-Isaiah 32:18

 

Our homes are the highest form of sanctuaries insomuch that it is about the only dwelling on earth most humans will consequently feel secure and safe.

Unfortunately, being safe and secure in our homes do not come perfunctorily simply with the purchase and ownership of one. Today, if you wished your families and children to stay safe and your belongings secure, you need to go the extra mile just to attain it. Gone are the days wherein we can simply leave our doors unlocked and windows open to let in the breeze. It is a dangerous world indeed and if you are not being extra careful and vigilant, your home might be a thief or burglar’s next target. However, burglars and thieves do not just randomly rob the house they see upon sight. Arbitrarily targeting homes is detrimental to their plans of mitigating the possibility of getting caught, so expect these unsavory characters to be a little tactical in their insidious misdeeds. But just what is it that makes a home a prime target for burglary?

Well, for one the vulnerable security might cause would-be robbers to easily compromise it. However, even then some homes would still be preyed upon by robbers. So, what could it be? What is it about these homes that make them prime targets to robbers? And what vulnerabilities do they hold that expose them to robbery and have their securities breached? Well, here are some of the things that make you and your homes a premier target for burglars regardless of whether you are living in a unit in Avida Towers Cebu    or a posh and swanky flat elsewhere:

 

Your social status

It has always been said that you should make friends with your neighbors not only to build a cordial and neighborly relationship with them, but to make them as stewards in protecting your home from potential burglaries as well. Although you can rely on your home security installment all you want, know that the every watchful eye of a nosy neighbor can be just as effective. In this regard, your passing acquaintance might just be your best ally in protecting your homes. While we are at that, it is important to keep your travel plans to yourself. Do not go around town telling everyone when you are headed out of town. This is especially true about posting photos on social media. However, tell a trusty neighbor when you are going to be out of town and let them keep an eye on your property for people they do not recognize.

 

Vacation photos

It is easy to get carried away in posting photographs of your epic vacation on social media. Unfortunately, doing so would leave your home’s security vulnerable. Thieves and burglars are digitally-savvy nowadays and are always on the lookout for properties whose owners are out of town. Keep in mind that although your photo might garner a lot of likes, it would also signify friends and acquaintances that you are not at home thereby making your property a prime target for anyone with ill intentions. If you insist on posting photos then at the very least, adjust the settings of your posts so that they are not public. Or you can wait to post your holiday photographs once you get home.

 

The Front Door

We are under the misconception that burglars would not use the front door. After all, they prefer to be not as obvious and by using the front door, they would not exactly be inconspicuous. Unfortunately, most burglaries happen with robbers entering the front door. This is because some homeowners would inadvertently leave their front doors open. Keep in mind that robberies do not just occur at night. They can occur anytime so keep your doors perpetually locked. After all, you will never know if someone posing as a salesman or a delivery person would just be checking if your door locks and trying to see if your home can be their next target.

 

Your Trash Can

They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In this case, what you throw may not exactly be treasure to thieves—but it could potentially lead them up to it. What you throw out gives robbers and thieves several clues as to what might be inside your home. In this regard, leaving cartons of the brand new television you just bought or the gaming set inside the trash outside would be akin to setting yourself up for robbery. It is like you are basically advertising what the robbers could potentially steal from your home. These boxes and cartons might be refuse items to you but it makes you a very attractive target to them. So, keep your boxes out of sight and break them down into smaller pieces in such a way that their labels cannot be seen.

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Home Selling Success: Four Real Estate Communication Barriers (and How to Deal with Them)

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“Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so attractive that even a mediocre sale gives good results”-Warren Buffet

 

Anyone who has ever had even the slightest brush with selling real estate properties would be well aware of just how difficult and challenging the endeavor can be.

Even for seasoned professionals in the field such as real estate agents, getting through a client and turning the transaction into a successful sale can be quite a challenging feat. After all, while real estate properties are perpetually in demand, you deal with a variety of acreages and homes that come in a range of asking prices. More importantly, you deal with different clients and how well you communicate with them is pivotal to whether you would successfully make sale or not. Every transaction will be different just as how every client is unique and how successful a particular transaction would be hinged on your ability to convey your offers with your client, how well you can establish rapport with them and gain their trust. Remember, to finally close a deal with your prospective homebuyers and potential clients; there are communication gaps and barriers you would need to overcome and hurdle—some of which would form a complex of communication difficulties of which most real estate agents routinely face.

So, whether you are pitching a deal to your client who is looking for a 1br condo for rent in Makati or elsewhere, you need to be at least aware of what the potential difficulties and impediments you would likely face. This is to ensure that you would be able to address them better. In any case, here is a compilation of typical scenarios and tips that can be helpful in ensuring you bridge the communication gap between you and your client:

 

Lacking interest in the client’s needs

When it comes to a transaction with a client, keep in mind that their needs are paramount. As a real estate agent, it is your responsibility to take time to understand their needs and just how exactly you can give them a deal that would address that. Focusing on making a sale would only drive your client away—especially if you are doing a hard sell. Instead of being so fixated on making a sale, sit down with your client and ask them why they would need to buy a unit first to determine what exactly it is they are looking for. In this way, you prevent the possibility of turning them off on your initial meeting.

 

Lacking knowledge about the projects you are offering

Some may call this a novice mistake, but it is rather surprising how so many real estate agents do not even have the slightest clue about the industry they are or even the projects they are offering. As a real estate agent, you act as the median between your client and the property developer insomuch that you should have sufficient knowledge about what you are trying to sell. When a client asks you questions, you should be able to answer them to their satisfaction. An agent who is unable to address these queries would come off as unprepared and unprofessional and would result in a client losing their trust in them. To ensure that this does not happen, research your product and study as much as much about your industry as you can. Remember, as a real estate agent; you are expected to be somewhat of an expert about what you are selling. So, live up to that expectation by always coming to client meetings prepared.

 

Using real estate jargon

While you are expected to use real estate jargon in your sales spiel, it should only be to a reasonable extent. Keep in mind that your clients have absolutely no idea about what these words probably mean or if they do, they are not fully aware of its connotation. It is only very rare that you can encounter a prospective client who would have an excellent handle on the real estate jargon you would be spewing and would consequently be able to comprehend your spiel. In this regard, you should be able to convey your offer explicitly to the client in such a way that they would be able to understand it completely. Similarly, do not plow through your meeting without stopping every now and then to address your client’s questions. Do not make your spiel sound too over-complicated by peppering it with unfamiliar and technical terms. You may think like you sound professional, but you are not getting anywhere near that sale. To ensure that there is no misunderstanding between you and your clients, take a moment to translate real estate jargons in your spiel. Alternatively, you can offer your spiel as simply as you possibly can. Remember, a client rarely every buys something that they cannot understand. So, remedy that by keeping your pitch straightforward and simple.

 

Failing to focus on what the client is saying

Understandably, you would be handling more than just one client in a single day. In fact, you might have a full schedule filled with client meet-ups daily, and that is reasonable. However, as a real estate agent, you should not let your full schedule distract you from your client meetings insomuch that you would be unable to focus on what a potential homebuyer is trying to tell you in a meeting. Multi-tasking might be something you can expertly execute, but this should be avoided whenever you are with a homebuyer. Concentrate on them and look for tacit and explicit cues in order to give them a better deal. Remember, the client gave you their time, be respectful when they are with you. Stow your phones away and keep it silent. Listen attentively and answer pertinent questions appropriately. By doing so, you would be able to furnish a perfect property deal for your client who would not only appreciate the effort but will likely close the deal with you.

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Home Buying: Five Reasons You Should Opt to Buy Small Homes

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“Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate. Where you eat and sleep so close together, you cannot help but communicate. If we had more room between us, think of all we would miss. Love grows best in houses just like this.” –Author Unknown

 

In a world wherein size is almost always important and would matter a lot, people would seldom find themselves preferring tiny things when these same things have bigger counterparts. The same sentiment can be applied in choosing homes—how often do you see homeowners going for a smaller home when the bigger one is within their budget scale? In fact, homeowners with families would even consider expanding their homes to have more spacious rooms and living areas insomuch that it would be a wonder why some prospective homeowners would go for diminutive homes to begin with. However, bigger is not always better and you should not be quick to dismiss the subtle charm of small homes. After all, small does not always have to mean lacking but rather enough while big does not always mean spacious, it can be more than what is necessary.

More importantly, while big homes afford homeowners more in terms of space, they become somewhat of a challenge to decorate and furnish whereas you can opt for a straightforward styling and home decorating approach in smaller homes. Moreover, while mansions are generally looked upon with awe, they tend to keep the dwellers apart insomuch that they might never even see each other in a day unless they deliberately wanted to. Homes of modest sizes would not only encourage but compel family members to interact by bumping into each other. In this regard, it can be inferred that love grows best and relationships are cultivated better in small homes. So, if you have been contemplating whether to move into a sprawling stone mansion or to downsize your homes by going for a unit in Avida Towers Centera or elsewhere, here are some of the reasons why you might want to go for the latter:

 

To spend less time on general maintenance

Bigger homes often need quite a lot of upkeep and cleaning and the more features they have, the more expensive the maintenance would be. If your homes come equipped with a pond, pool or any other facility that require maintenance then that would mean another monthly expense to consider if you wish to keep it in functioning order. Your homes need to be spruced up regularly and without a host of professionals and service people to attend to these cleaning tasks; it can be quite taxing for you to do them all. More importantly, it can demand a lot of time from you which begs the question: Is it really worth the effort?

 

To accumulate fewer things

Homes—regardless of size—will always be a magnet for clutter. Unfortunately, bigger homes tend to attract them so much more than their smaller counterparts. As a result, bigger homes would prove to be more of a challenge to organize than small homes. In fact, de-cluttering can be a potential headache for homeowners with big homes (just think of all the things you have accumulated over the years with a space so big!). Sure, you might dedicate time to organizing your household belongings and everything will look orderly for a while. But over time, you would find yourself organizing everything again; it is a vicious cycle and an endless loop unless you had a limit to what you accumulate. With smaller homes, you are constrained to put a cap on the number of things you can accumulate which means less worries about having too much stuff and cluttered rooms.

 

To live within your means

More often than not, people tend to think that their lifestyle needs an upgrade the moment their salary increases. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior can lead people spiraling down to a spending frenzy that might cause them to live beyond their means. To ensure that you do not go broke trying to upgrade our lifestyles; we should fight the belief that the moment we get an increase, our lifestyle has to move ranks as well. Being content without having to validate it with the appropriate lifestyle for our income would make us fare better. Besides, elevating your lifestyle will not necessarily guarantee your happiness and it pressures you to keep up which can be incredibly stressful. Opting for a smaller home is part of being content as there is less of a need to keep up or fill in the perceived deficit in social prestige with household stuff and personal belongings we do not really need.

 

More purchase satisfaction

Contemplating what house to buy is already somewhat of a challenge itself. Choosing to buy a more expensive home connotes a weighty and more grueling decision to purchase it—regardless of how much you have sitting in the bank. Purchasing a home that meets what you need is pretty much straightforward whereas buying a home that is more than what you initially need would constrain you to make the necessary changes into transforming that property into your ideal home. Spacious areas demand higher investment and more customization which can often lead to disappointment if your expectations remain unmet.

 

Use every room in your house

Large homes have more rooms than average homes. These rooms will rarely get used unless you are hosting a number of guests but other than that spare rooms in big houses remain unoccupied. Small homes ensure that each room is being used to its fullest extent which in part, means you are using resources wisely as well.

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Home Ownership 101: Overt Signs You Are Ready for Your Own Home

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“Owning your own home is one of the best feelings ever. It cannot be described in words, it cannot be quantified in money. Home ownership is a feeling that makes life’s daily grind worth facing. It reassures you that after all the ups and downs, you have a place to go to…a place that will never judge you and will always invite you with open arms”-Author Unknown

For a while, you have noticed yourself perusing real estate listings such as fliers for 1br condos for rent in bgc or elsewhere. At times, you have noticed yourself looking for the latest real estate deals and observing the noticeable changes in real estate market trends. In fact, for some time now, you have contemplated of owning your very own piece of real estate—a property to your name if you may. However, you are quite unsure whether you are ready for the enormity of this responsibility or not.

After all, owning your very first piece of real estate might seem like a glamorous dream realized but it is still first and foremost a financial responsibility and if you do not happen to be financially mature and independent yet, maybe this is not the best time for home ownership just yet. However, if buying real estate property is something you really want to do, then check out these common signs below to see if you are ready and capable of having your very own property:

 

You are ready to stay in one place for a few years

If an impermanent lifestyle no longer appeals to you then you might just be ready to settle down and buy your own piece of real estate property. More importantly, if the allure of having a place to go home to outweighs your wanderlust and urge for discovering new places, then it might be the right time for home ownership. Sure, leading a nomadic lifestyle might sound fun and whimsical. But once you age, you would realize that you need to have a sense of permanence in one place. Trying out different neighborhoods might be fun at the time until such time you can your calling but eventually, you would realize that this is not a sustainable way to live—especially if you intend to have a family.

 

You wish to have better leverage over your own place

Renting means you are subjected to the rules and regulations of your landlord. You would be constrained to follow only pre-approved modifications by the owner insomuch that your unit can feel largely generic. If you wish to make significant changes that do not limit your creative potential, then home ownership might be a good idea to try it out. However, remember that when you are striking out on your own, you would already be responsible for everything—from paying the utility bills down to making the necessary repairs.)

 

Job Security

First and foremost, you need to be secure in your job and what you earn before you can let the allure of having your very own piece of property entice you into pushing through with a real estate deal. Remember, mortgage loan approvals would require a steady regular income. In this regard, you should realistically ask yourself if you have a secure enough employment that would allow you to commit to buying a home? Remember, once you purchase a home, you still have other expenses to think about such as the utility bills and other necessities you might need. More importantly, you need to have a secure employment. Having no work and stable income would already be bad enough but being out of work with a mortgage above your head would be so much worse.

 

You need more room

This one is pretty much understandable (and inevitable) for individuals with growing families. However, single individuals with kids would eventually need to think about moving into bigger spaces—especially when their kids reach an age wherein they would need their own rooms. Sure, you might think that a two-bedroom apartment would be sufficient enough for you but eventually, this space would hardly even feel spacious. There is a myriad of factors that would motivate one to opt for a bigger home or their own piece of real estate property—from the number of kids to an expanding business. Regardless of what your reasons might be, if you are in need of more space, you might want to invest in your own property instead of looking for a rental flat that is bigger and would accommodate all of you. In this way, you are technically investing in a property that is really yours instead of defraying someone else’s mortgage through their monthly  rental fees.

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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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New Beginnings: Four Things to Do for Individuals Moving Out for the First Time

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“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you are not going to stay where you are.” –Author Unknown

One of the most daunting prospects you will probably face in your life is to move out especially if this is your first time. After all, if you have spent a significant number of years in one home, the idea of finding another one and venturing out of your comfort zone might be a little unsettling. However, change is inevitable and at times, necessary. And if you endeavor to pursue a life independent from your parents and make your mark in the world away from the family nest, you would need to do it on your own and
not in the confines of your childhood bedroom. Sure, envisioning life without having to rely on your parents can be somewhat intimidating. But you will soon find that a lifestyle unimpeded by your parents’ house rules is an excellent avenue to establish your independence. Furthermore, it fosters liberty and autonomy which would consequently allow you to explore your capabilities beyond your comfort zone. Indeed, it can be very rewarding but only if you take that initial step of deciding to move out. At a certain point, we would need to move out and although we might not be able to evade it, there are ways to make sure that the experience would be as smooth-sailing as possible.

One of the ways to ensure a headache on moving day will be mitigated is to plan way before you are scheduled to move. In any case, whether your prospect of moving is to a 1br condo for rent in Makati or elsewhere, here are some of the ways to ensure stress is alleviated or altogether eliminated:

1.) Get your finances in order

Living with your parents guarantees that you can always rely on them whenever you are in a pecuniary bind. In a sense, having them around meant you had a financial safety net. However, when you are striking out on your own, you cannot realistically expect to continuously ask them for monetary help if you ever need it. Your parents are not at your financial behest after all. In this regard, it would be best if you had an idea how to budget. Assess how much you take home each month and tally that against your average expenses. Evaluate what expenses are non- negotiable payments and come up with a total of how much you can afford for monthly rent.

2.) Look for a stable job

Your epic journey towards the real world will commence the moment you nail down a steady job. Apart from ensuring you would have enough money to finance your daily living, it can teach you a lot about being an adult. Start small and work your way to the top and by then, you would be earning fat paychecks. Showcase your skills and creativity and plan strategically. Resultantly, you will be on your way to success. Just keep in mind that the job you choose should be enough to cover your rent as well as your monthly expenses.

3.) Scour for a suitable place to live

Looking for a suitable place to live might take you a bit of time, but it is best if you do not rush it. With this in mind, it would definitely pay off if you took your time to find a rental property that would accommodate all of your needs as well as fall within your monthly budget. Do not immediately go for the cheapest rental property you find online. Remember, you have a wealth of options online, so take some time to explore them. Start with social media pages as today; they function as ads as well with several of your friends posting their respective listings online. Furthermore, take this time to determine whether or not you wish to have a roommate and split the monthly rent. Lastly, look for an ideal and safe location that is in proximity to your office. In this way, you can walk to and from your office which would effectively cut back on your monthly commute expense.

4.) Hire a moving company

While you can rely on mom and dad to give you a lift when you move out, it is best to hire a professional moving company to take care of all the hassle and stress of moving. You already have a lot on your plate, so at the very least, you can delegate this to them. Get a quote in advance and factor that into your budget way before you are scheduled to move.

 

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Tenancy 101: Five Things to Know Before Renting Residential Properties

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“If you have not found it yet, keep looking. Do not settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know it when you find it.” -Steve Jobs

Owning a home has long been considered the pinnacle of your financial goals. After all, a home is considered as a keystone of wealth and stability insomuch that owning one would pretty much settle you for life. However, while owning real estate is regarded as one of the best investments in the world, it does not mean that you should jump right onto it. At this point in your life — –whether financially, emotionally or physically–it might make more sense to rent a flat out instead of buying it. However, just because you are renting does not mean you do not have to be the least meticulous about the prospective properties you are looking to rent out.

One of the pivotal aspects of renting a residential property is looking for one that befits your lifestyle and is strategically located such as a 1br condo for rent in BGC. Some other things that may contribute to your decision-making process would be the monthly lease and the size. In any case, before you rent out property, it is imperative to have a list of considerations and see if the potential properties you are checking out will meet your criteria. If you do not know where to start, take a gander at the list below to have an idea of what you should be looking for when you are looking for a residential property to rent:

1.) Research the area

Before moving in, it is best to have a general idea about where you will be billeting yourself. Sure, it might be just a few blocks away from where you work, but is it near a hospital? If you have kids, is the location in proximity to any good schools? Is it located just right across a noisy club? Before signing the lease contract, you need to be a hundred percent sure that you are okay with the surroundings. You might be paying an affordable rent only to discover that you can barely sleep at night owing to the noise right across the street.

2.) Know if pets are allowed

If you have any furry friends with you, then know if they are as welcome as you are in your prospective rental flat. Ask the landlord what his or her policy on pets are. Just because you love your little pooch does not mean that your landlord would automatically love them as well. Discuss it early on so that you can either reach a compromise or look elsewhere if little scruffy is not allowed in the area.

3.) Check the appliances

Ideally, it is best to live in a rental flat that comes with all the basic amenities such as kitchen and laundry appliances. If the prospective rental property you are checking out has them, be sure to thoroughly inspect them and report any defects or signs of disrepair. Generally, if appliances are included in the inventory on the agreement, the landlord is obligated to deliver them in working order to the tenant and to confirm in writing that they are all working accordingly. Should there be any defective items, clarify with your landlord in writing as well as to whether the landlord would agree to repair or replace said items.

4.) Inspect every nook and cranny

It is imperative that you do a thorough inspection of the prospective property you are hoping to rent. In this regard, check for any leaks and run taps on the shower and see if the shower works accordingly. Any problems found can be reported and addressed early on by the landlord. Doing a comprehensive sweep of the property before signing the lease contract is important so that these are all resolved even before moving in. Overlooking them now might place you in a difficult situation wherein you would not be able to settle them later.

5.) Know how much money you need to pay in advance

Having an idea of how much you need to pay in advance would help you determine how much you need to save in order to afford moving in. A month’s worth of rent is generally what most landlords would ask for, although it would purely depend on what the landlord will stipulate. Moreover, deposits are usually within the scope of a landlord’s discretion, but you can negotiate that amount as well. Just be sure to be on the same page as your landlord is so that you would not get yourself into a legal snarl.

 

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Better Communities: Five Secrets to Befriending Your Neighbors

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“And good neighbors make a huge difference in the quality of life, I agree.” –Robert Fulghum

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was once quoted to say that you can change friends, but not neighbors. And we all know how the type of neighbors you have can significantly influence the quality of home life you will have. While you can do as many renovations and changes as you wish on your homes, the truth of the matter is that you will always return home to the same street, to the same area and to the same distance from your next door neighbor. At some point in your lives, you are inevitably going to interact with your neighbor. Sure, you can live like a hermit for as long as possible and refuse to engage in any friendly interaction with your neighbors, but should an emergency arise or should you need assistance in one way or another, that would be the time that you would realize the true worth of cultivating a good relationship with your neighbors. So, as early as moving day, it is imperative to start cultivating your friendship with your neighbors as you are going to be living with the same set of people for a while. After all, much like the adage goes, you do not only buy the house but your buy the neighborhood that goes with it as well.

So, before finally settling into your new home in Avida BGC or elsewhere, here are some of the things you can keep in mind to ensure you are off to a great start with your neighbors:

1.) Say hello on the first day

You might be a little exhausted from all the activities involved in moving day, but it would not hurt to make small talk with your neighbor. If you see your neighbor walking towards their own unit or if they are watering their garden outside, say a friendly greeting and give them a smile. Initiate the conversation by introducing yourself and telling them you are just getting settled in. However, if you are in the middle of a task, at least give them a friendly smile or wave. You might not know it, but they might even offer to help you move your belongings.

2.) Set aside some time to explore your community

If you are a health buff, going for a run around the neighborhood might be something you are inclined to include in your morning exercise regime. Apart from being a health benefit, this is also an excellent avenue for you to meet your neighbors and make new friends. Survey the neighborhood and explore the town and say a brief greeting to neighbors who might be out and about. If you have a flair for making baked goods, then go ahead and give them a sample of your home-baked goods as a way to break the ice.

3.) Compliment their homes

A compliment goes a long way. However, be sure that it is sincere and natural. Do not make it seem forced or you are definitely going to start on the wrong foot in befriending your neighbor. Compliment the things that you do like such as their perfectly manicured lawn or their beautiful garden. From there, you can now segue into an entirely new topic that would ultimately end up to the both of you making small friendly talk.

4.) Exchange emergency phone numbers

Once you and your neighbor are friendly enough with each other, you might want to consider exchanging phone numbers for emergency purposes. This is not only beneficial to you but to them as well. Furthermore, it shows them that they can count on you should the need arise and would likely reciprocate the sentiment. In this regard, you can count on your neighbors to call the police or fire department should there be an emergency in their homes. Likewise, they can expect the same from you as well.

5.) Make future plans

If you find that you and a particular neighbor of yours just click and have common interests, do not hesitate to make future plans. Do not be shy in telling them that maybe you should have coffee sometime or go for a run together soon if they are available. In fact, do not be afraid to hand them an invitation for a housewarming BBQ or casual together at your place. You will never know, but this could be that initial action that would likely get you invited to community parties and gatherings as well.

 

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Rental Investments: Five Excellent Tips to Prepare for A Rental

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“To stand out, you just need to do a few things others are not willing to do.” –Michael Hyatt

There has been no question that renting out one of your unused properties is an excellent avenue for real estate investment. However, with a myriad of rental properties in almost every nook and cranny in the city (from condo units in Avida Towers Centera to apartment units elsewhere), how do you ensure that your rental property makes the cut and gets selected? Remember, every single day that you have a vacancy at your rental property is considered a loss of potential profits. However, while tenancy is mostly a hit or miss thing and has more to do with your luck in finding tenants than anything else, there are ways of ensuring that your rental properties would entice tenants to rent it out.

Apart from being situated in proximity to schools, offices and entertainment hubs, it pays to prepare your rental properties for occupancy by tenants. So, if you have been thinking of renting out any of your properties, here are some tips that would not only help you navigate through the process but make it a bit easier as well.

1.) Start the process at least six weeks out

Of course, if you are getting ready for tenancy, a little work goes a long way to ensure that the home is ready for occupants. Apart from ensuring that the home is rental-ready, you would also want to present it at its best before you even start giving your prospective tenants a tour of the home. Take note; most tenants start scouring the neighborhood for potential homes at least a month prior to their move. So, start at the earliest possible time.

2.) Spruce it up

Of course, part of beautifying your rental properties as well as making an excellent first impression on your prospective tenants is to make sure that the unit you are presenting to them is clean. Apart from cleanliness, you should also invest a little in giving it a little touch-up. Spend some time and money in applying a fresh coat of paint on the walls, incorporate fresh flowers into the home, get rid of the clutter and organize. Remember, tenants, are more inclined to rent a unit that is not only well-prepared but clean as well.

3.) Change your insurance

Whatever existing policy you have might not be sufficient enough to cover you should you become a landlord. So, before signing a lease, it is best if you find time to down with your insurance agent and discuss what available coverage options you have. Ask them about their landlord’s policy which is also known as a dwelling policy and update your existing coverage.

4.) Do not overlook legal technicalities

Before drafting your lease contract, research the existing laws of your area first. Chances are you would be required to obtain licenses and permits. Furthermore, you would also need to undergo an inspection. In most areas, tenancy is considered a business which would inevitably require a license from you—regardless of whether it is only for a single property or a series of properties. Learn the requirements of being a landlord and tenancy before renting out your home to mitigate the risk of getting into legal snarls.

5.) Decide if you will accept pets

Know that even though you will have more prospective clients should you accept their furry friends as well, there will also be some tenants who would not be so receptive to sharing a roof with four-footed creatures. However, ensure that you and your tenant are on the same page when it comes to pet policies. It would not hurt to make sure that he or she is a responsible pet owner as well. Your pet policies should be in place in order to prevent costly damage, noise and other pet-related problems. Moreover, you can then decide whether you will charge pet rent or fees.

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Home Buying 101: Five Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying a Home

“Twenty years from now on, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

 

Buying a home, regardless of where it might be, is a keystone of wealth. As it is considered a universally fundamental need by all of us, it is understandable that a lot of meticulous thought goes into buying one—particularly if it is your first flat. Furthermore, as your home would probably be one of your life’s most significant and expensive investments, it would only make sense to ensure you get the very best for what you can afford. In any case, whether you are planning on buying a condo in Avida Towers Cebu or elsewhere, here are some questions you should be asking:

Do you offer discounts

As most developers are looking to close the deal with prospective clients and homeowners, many of them are more than willing to shell out discounts. However, you do need to have a flair for negotiation. Do not hesitate to ask for this or you might just miss out. Alternatively, while there is no discount, there might be other offers and incentives such as pre-selling promotions. In some cases, your unit might come with free furnishings depending on where it is.

Is the reservation fee refundable

If you do not wish to incur penalties or other incidentals, ask your developer whether the reservation fee is refundable. After all, you would not want to waste money should you decide not to push through with the sale. Elect to have it in writing so that you have a written proof. Incidentally, knowing whether a reservation fee is refundable or not will tend to affect your final decision in choosing a home as well.

What are the standard finishes included?

While your developer is going to inevitably show you model houses and units, you cannot reasonably expect that your finished home would look precisely like them. They are just a preview of what your homes might look like once it is finished. To ensure that you and your developer are on the same page, it is best to know what is included in the property you are buying. This means taking note of the finishes you might often overlook such as the kitchen accessories, window types, type of floor tiling, door design and the like.

Can I customize my unit?

Everyone wants to give their homes a bit of character and personality, but this is not exactly possible all the time. Ask your developer if it is possible to incorporate some changes into the design of your unit and if you can change some of the layout. If you have bought the property during the pre-selling stage, there is a likely chance that it would be accommodated during the construction, but it usually comes at an additional cost.

When will the building be fully completed?

While the date of completion is not a certain date, you should have an idea of when your developer expects to complete his project. In this regard, you would be able to adequately plan your move-in and expedite the process as well. Furthermore, if you move in without the entire building being finished just yet, there is a likely chance that you would be dealing with the noise and distraction of the construction work going on outside. Apart from knowing when your unit would be finished, it is also a good idea to ask when your developer reasonably expects to finish the building as well.

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