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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House-Hunting 101: Common House-Hunting Mistakes

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

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

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

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

 

Falling in love with a house you cannot afford

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

Assuming there is nothing better out there

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

Being desperate

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

Overlooking significant flaws

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

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10 Ways To Improve Confidence and Productivity To Gain Income

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Real success is self-improvement. It’s choosing to improve your personality and way of living. Success also covers your ability to serve and relate to others.

If you define success, it is not only your job. It is how you live on Earth. Several people only survive. They do not live to conquer their daily life. Meanwhile, others have a fulfilling life with a job at Nuvali One EvoTech. These people were able to find confidence and become productive to earn their income.

If you want to increase your confidence and become productive, you must read on. You can find useful tips in this guide that will turn and transform your life into an upgraded version.

1. Conquer the pain of getting up early.

Psychologist Ron Friedman says each person has about three hours each day of being in tune with what they are doing. Do not lose this precious time by sleeping in or getting out of bed. The decision to sleep in or catch up on lost snoozing hours robs you of the opportunity to create and do something good for yourself.

2. Begin your day with your priorities.

Set your priorities straight. Be wise and pick the most important activity over what is urgent. It is a wise decision to put the vital and critical stuff first before you can complete your day with fillers. Remember, you can live without fillers, but you cannot miss the crucial decisions in life. Hence, you must be wise in picking and making decisions because things will not take care of themselves once they start falling apart.

3. Do the things you have been avoiding to do.

Everything in your life will suffer if you keep on pushing back the things you must accomplish. Do not avoid what you must finish. Stop procrastinating and neglecting the thing/s you must work on so you can free your time and finally do other stuff in your life.

4. Try and accept a different learning style.

Learning new concepts is always out of the comfort zone. When you open yourself to different experiences and learning styles, you begin to reach the levels out of your comfort zone. You allow your brain to form new connections. You become confident in what you can achieve and start to become a flexible learner. When this happens, you become committed to accomplishing stuff out of your league even if they suck.

5. Answer your “why’s.”

Why do you work? Why do you stay at a crappy job? Why do you eat crappy food? Why do you leave with your parents? Why do you date your current partner?

All of these questions are critical to your existence. These fog your brain and keep you from seeing your dreams, goals, or ambition. When you take time to answer them, you gain clarity. You can use this simple question to examine your goals.

Consequently, ask yourself, “What about ___________ is important to me?” It will help you get to figure out and answer your questions with overcomplicating things. Use the line to question your answers until you are seven questions deep.

6. Become a giver.

People who desperately successful in the aspects of their life where they think they must succeed are takers. They form transactional relationships. They engage in people because they can get something out of the other person. They look forward to the exchanges because they will gain something.

Takers only think of scarcity. They only give an extent because of this thinking. If you want rich and fulfilling relationships, you must learn to give and appreciate what others provide.

7. Choose the quality of your relationships.

Givers who work with other givers enter a transformational relationship. This is the effect of two people coming together to create a something new from the sum of several parts. Meanwhile, a relationship between a giver and a taker is purely transactional. The relationship only lasts until the taker gets what they want or until the giver realizes the situation.

To succeed, you must connect and work with the right people. The right people double the effort and create a whole out of parts. They do not eat the pie until it there is nothing left for both of you. Also, these people stick with you even after conflict. They embrace conflict because it leads to clarity. Clarity improves communication which also affects the quality of the relationship.

8. Avoid sacrificing the quality of your work.

Do not lower your standards for anyone. Do not get things done at the last minute. Try not to sacrifice the quality of the final product as it shows the mark of your character.

If you wish to learn how to improve the quality of your output and pay more attention to details, you must work with craftspeople. These people emphasize the importance of quality in their outcomes. They will teach you how to plan and delegate time. They will show you the ropes on how to exceed expectations. When you learn the way of a craftsman, you become a person who continuously works on raising the quality of your life.

9. Figure out how to get the kind of life you want.

You must remember the kind of life you want does not depend on your paycheck. Money is valuable, but it is merely a tool to purchase and acquire the “things” you need and want. The kind of life you want depends on your dreams and goals. Your answers to your “why” questions will help you realize how you can fit your current lifestyle to your dreams.

Decide how you want to become an asset for yourself and others. It will lead you to the means on how to make things happen.

10. Embrace automation to free up your time.

Unlike money, you cannot generate time. You can get additional time, but you cannot get back the time you lost. Thus, you must use the tools of the 21st century to free up your days. Use technology to finish tasks faster and make your life a breeze.

Utilize the power of automation and the perks of technology. That way, you do not have to worry about delegating your monthly salary to bills and other financial obligations. Lastly, you will not neglect to save some to build your passive income.

 

These tips will not only improve your confidence and productivity. The tips will also strengthen your relationship with your workmates and yourself. They will enhance the quality of your life and how you see the world. Last but not the least, it will push you to reevaluate your definition of success and the importance of income in your life.

 

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Real Estate Investments: Four Factors and Aspects to Consider in Pricing a Home for Sale

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“The art of selling one house is different than the science of repeating it flawlessly over and over”-Chantel Ray

An excellent sentiment to keep in mind when it comes to selling homes is to price it right. As the maxim goes, if you price it right, it sells overnight. Should your price it wrong, then it stays on too long. With this in mind, giving your properties a fair selling price should be one of the significant considerations you should take into account. Although there is a myriad of factors that go into a buyer’s decision in closing a deal with a home seller such as the location and features of the home, the asking price of the property is of paramount consideration. However, how does one ensure that the home is priced just right? How do you come up with an asking price that would encourage a timely sale? Indeed, this has been a feat that has evaded even the most seasoned of home sellers as well as professional realtors. Considering that the real estate market is perpetually in an erratic state, coming up with an ideal price that would be a fair deal to both home buyer and seller as well as encourage a quick sale is something that would require years upon years of experience complemented with professional expertise—and even then, it does not always guarantee you an opportune sale.

Numerous studies have indicated that should a home remain on the market for quite a long time, there is a likely chance it would not fetch as much money as it would have when it finally does sell. This can be quite the predicament—especially if you have found yourself stuck with a property that would not sell because you priced it exorbitantly. For this reason, pricing a home correctly from the get-go is an imperative factor to consider. However, while accurately pricing your home to the dot is not easily done, it is very much doable. All you would need to do is to have an understanding as to how to go about the pricing process.

If you think you can con your prospective buyers into agreeing on a higher asking price, you may need one to reconsider that. Take note; your prospective buyers have all the access to a considerable amount of information about your home. With this type of information at their disposal, it will be implausible for a buyer to purchase a home at a price that is considered above market value. Unfortunately, quite a lot of sellers are under the impression that pricing a home higher would result in higher sales. Believing this sentiment could potentially be damaging to your revenue as the longer your home sits on the market, the more inclined you will be to reduce its price. In some cases, you might even be constrained to trimming it so that you can sell it. Pricing your homes right should be a vital consideration—regardless of whether you are selling a home or property in One Serendra or elsewhere. To ensure that value your home close to the appropriate asking price as you can, here are some of the factors you should consider:

1.) The condition of the market

Generally, before even thinking of selling a home, the standard practice is to take a long and meticulous look at the housing market. After all, if you do not scrutinize it well, you would not be able to come up with a realistic asking price. For some time, the real estate market has shown signs of improvement. But, do not let this be the sole basis of your asking price as over the years, there have also been several dips that might consequently result in more dips as time goes on. Selling on a slow real estate market climate means having to price your homes competitively—that is if you wish to move the house. Alternatively, you can bide your time and wait for things to improve. However, if the market does not recover, you would be compelled to pricing your home lower than what it would have fetched should you have begun at the outset.

2.) Compare sold properties

One aspect to consider when pricing your home right is to take a look at recently sold properties that are in your area. Apart from that, look for properties similar to yours and come up with a figure that would be both fair to you and your buyer. The population density of your area should be a consideration. If you live in a particularly populated city, your search should only be limited within a mile of your home’s location for recently sold homes.

3.) Consider current inventory

If you wish to have an approximate feel of how competitive the real estate market is, take a gander at the current home inventory in your area. If there are a plethora of houses similar to yours at the moment, you would need to price your home a little more aggressively to attract attention—particularly in a competitive market climate. However, if there are fewer homes for sale, you can price your homes a bit higher if you wish as there would be quite a number of people looking to buy. However, the main driving point for your asking price is to ensure that your home stands out from the other homes on the market. It should be distinctive and should attract attention.

4.) Compare active properties

Apart from taking a look at the overall home inventory in your area, another thing you should consider doing is to analyze other properties that are currently for sale while you, yourself are selling. Homes that are already on the market have already gone through the very same processes you subject your homes go through. With this in mind, the prices of these homes would give you a rough estimation of how much your asking price should be. If you priced your homes higher than comparable homes, you run the risk of the house sitting and not selling. As a result, your home would be less valuable.

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Healthy Workspaces: How To Determine an Eco-Friendly Workplace

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A healthy lifestyle doesn’t only stem from daily intake of food and alternating activities to sitting and moving around. The environment you frequent also has a lot to do with what goes on with your body.

Adults spend most of their day in an office space. Thus, the environment of the workplace influences their stress levels including their mental and physical states. A serviced office Makati isn’t spared from a toxic or ecologically inefficient workplace. To determine if the development is an advocate of the green movement, refer to the SPACE test.

The SPACE test is useful when gauging real estate properties. You can also refer to it when estimating the value of the office space.

S – Savings

Though eco-friendly workspaces come with pricey details such as panel insulations LED lights with dimming light fixtures and other energy-efficient systems, an environment-friendly office space must encourage you to save. Having an office floor equipped with workstations minimizes the need for furnishing and equipment. Most of all, the area must have maintenance services.

Some features of energy-efficient places include the use of stairs. It also features open spaces and overlooking greeneries to encourage air circulation and cool the area. These features minimize the use of central air-conditioning as well as elevators and escalators.

Since office spaces are available on lease, it’s important to negotiate the upfront costs to save money on monthly fees.

P – Productivity

Working environment significantly impacts well-being. Placing a bunch of plants and incorporating natural light results to fewer sickness-related absences. It also increases employee’s concentration levels as the air becomes cleaner and purified by the plants. Moreover, employees are likely to converge and engage in well-lit and comfortable spaces. Natural light encourages dopamine production, a hormone that regulates the mood. Thus, people will associate the area with happiness.

Besides the highlights of the area, a productive space encourages shared workstations and locations. Flexible office regulations that allow telecommunication from home reduces overhead costs due to minimal floor area per employee.

A – Address

Ideal workplaces are short distances from prospects and clients to reduce their carbon footprint. Most office addresses are located in cities and neighborhoods of Makati CBD, Ortigas, and burgeoning other towns. These prestigious addresses come with a cost.

A highly efficient workplace settle in cheaper settlements with a sense of prestige. The ambiance of the neighborhood and its proximity to social and security services is more important than the label of the address.

C – Clauses

Office rentals come with stipulations. It’s best to read the details of the print before signing the contract. Be sure to understand the aspects of the clause to avoid unexpected fees along the way.

The leasing contract of the office space entails the rent due, limitations of use, and maintenance obligations. At the same time, it relays when the location of the office comes with an advantage. PEZA zones or Philippine Economic Zone Authority areas, for instance, are subject to tax exemptions. Moreover, some areas include environmental tax or fees depending on the nature of service of the company.

E – Expansion

Make sure to choose areas with provisions for expansion in case the business or company wishes to expand the office space. If you want to downsize, the office rental management must allow sub-leasing or sharing of extra spaces with others.

The SPACE method is highly efficient in considering the economic aspects of a workplace. Lots of spaces are available. All of them have the potential to house a growing business with a sizeable number of employees. Unfortunately, not all of them have the salient details of an environmentally conscious working space.

9 Home Decorating Finds To Score This 2018

Shopping for home decoration is similar to buying clothing.

You must take note of the measurements, quality, color, and material among other things. A lot goes on with interior decoration. Visiting the right store on top of scouring the pieces you wish to include in your home proves to be a source of a headache when you are at a loss for ideas.

A new condo for sale in Makati is in dire need of decorating. Luckily, luxury malls like Glorietta and Greenbelt are just around the corner to provide you with your decorating needs. If you plan to go for a haul or just redecorate, you must add these ten items on your list to score during your shopping trip.

1. Contrasting palettes

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Fusing bright and unexpected colors such as oranges and blues or purples with earth tones complement audacious personalities. These color combinations can work on small items and trinkets as well as pieces of furniture. Ashley Home Store at Glorietta 3 has signature home furniture, accessories, and mattresses.

2. Dark paint

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Rooms with enough light from windows can take on a dark color. Midnight blue, charcoal or terracotta are some hues you can try for a bold interior. True Value at Glorietta 1 offers a wide selection of paint colors

3. Decorated fireplace

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A standard feature on top of chimneys is the mantel-piece design. It makes the area feel outdated. Covering the outer walls of the fireplace with wallpaper or paint is more tasteful.

4. Disco ball

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Adding a disco ball in the living room or entertainment area makes an instant party place. The ball doesn’t provide illumination, but it’s an excellent reflector. Contemporary home stores like Dimensione may have one lying around their showroom.

5. Geometric shelving

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Irregularly shaped storages double in form and function. They are highly useful in keeping the space organized while adding design.You can opt for a standee that is a work of art in itself, or you can install some storages on an empty wall. Paint its inner part with bright hue to make the items out. A store like Home Bound has stunning pieces of functional furniture.

5. Lampshades

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An efficient way to change your home without spending too much, you start with the small items. Changing your lamps shades with bolder patterns and brighter colors improve the aura of the room. Try exploring A Touch of Elegance at Glorietta 4 for lighting inspiration.

6. Patterned flooring

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For the bold and loud characters, you can place your focus on the floor. Stencils or printed details like Moroccan-inspired or paisley patterns effortlessly brightens the area. Paint splats over solid colors is a simple way to include design while giving life in the space. Handyman has every decorator’s needs in store.

7. Oversized pendant lights

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Pendant lights or enormous chandelier changes the ambiance of the room. The oversized item dictates the personality of the area. To keep the balance of the room, ensure that the size of the light pendant is within the size of the table underneath it. Decor, a lighting boutique at Glorietta 4 has a variety of overhead lighting options.

8. Upholstery

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Another way to include patterns in your home is by installing brightly printed fabric on your chairs. If covering the whole things seems overboard, keep one side in a solid hue. The remaining side works with loud prints or patterns. The pieces at Victoria Mondiale combines comfort and aesthetic.

9. Unpredictable side table

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You can try a different surface instead of the usual four corners. A table with unexpected features – wooden vine-like legs or animal-shaped body – are ideal conversation pieces. Some surfaces can stand alone while others need support like a glass topper. Muebles Italiano has furniture pieces inspired by generations of culture and artistry.

Indeed, the malls of Makati CBD solves decorating woes. Glorietta guarantees to fill your condo unit with class and style. Most of all, it will amplify the color your life has to offer. These pieces will make you look forward to your time at home.

Home Selling 101: Three Telltale Signs You Should Sell Your Home

“Our homes should inspire us to go out into the world to do great things and then welcome us back for refreshment.” –Melissa Michaels

There comes a time wherein you would feel you have overextended your stay in your current home or perhaps have overstayed your welcome in a rental. Regardless of whatever it may be, there will always come a time wherein you will feel that selling your home would be necessary and inevitable. While some people live in their first or second home forever, there is also quite a fraction of people who cannot make that sort of commitment. Unfortunately, while your motivation for selling the house might be there, knowing the appropriate time to have it listed on the market can be quite challenging.

Moreover, apart from having difficulty in determining when the time is prime for selling is, the entire process can be fraught with complications such as emotional attachment. After all, if you have lived in your home for a significant amount of time, listing it on the market can feel similar to breaking up with a longtime lover. Furthermore, your feelings of attachment would be further aggravated by the nostalgia you would inevitably feel.
However, this should not deter you, and although you may not exactly want to sell at the moment, some things would compel you to do so. Changes in life would sometimes make it necessary to move, and you should be leaving no room for self-doubt—especially if you think you can no longer fit your growing family in a two bedroom flat.

In any case, whether you intend to move your residence in Avida Cebu or elsewhere, here are some surefire signs that you have outgrown your home:

1.) You feel cramped, and you can no longer add rooms

One of the primary motivators for making a move is the fact that some families no longer fit into their current homes. However, even if your family is not growing it does not automatically mean that your current lifestyle would still fit with the house that you have. An example of such is if you have started working from home and might need a personal space that you would serve as your makeshift office. Similarly, you might have always wanted to pursue your passion for sewing and would need a room designated for that purpose. Unfortunately, your home is too small. If this is the case, then it might be time to sell your home.

2.) You have way too much space

Of course, there is such a thing as having too much space. While some homeowners are under the impression that bigger means better, it is not always necessarily so– especially true if you feel overwhelmed by the sheer size of your homes and are constantly bothered by the pronounced silence. You might have once had a big family whose children now have homes and families of their own. If it does not make sense for you to stay in a big house, it might be best to move into a smaller one and sell your existing home.

3.) You dislike the community and neighborhood

Perhaps some of the community rules no longer sit well with you, or you feel like you have not really made a connection with your neighbors. Whatever it may be, it is a reality that neighborhood dynamics can significantly influence one’s decision in selling a home. After all, if you can no longer live with the rules imposed, why would you stay? Sometimes, it is not the neighborhood that changes but you. Maybe you can no longer make the lengthy commute to work every day, or perhaps, your kids are getting a bit older and would need to associate themselves with other children their own age—which your neighborhood severely lacks. Whatever the case may be, if you feel like you are in the neighborhood, it might be time to make the move.

Three Must-Visit Malls in BGC

Bonifacio Global City is the central business district of Taguig. Though some parts of it are still under construction, it became a popular urban destination for the young and vibrant population. The street art, business opportunities, and weekend revelry attract people from all walks of life.

Still, the one thing that draws people to a place is a shopping mall. BGC will not grow without one. Here are three malls in the district worth the drop by:

SM Aura

SM Aura is home to cultural and social events because of Samsung Hall. Besides the numerous activities that fill social calendars, it is popular with diverse crowd due to its tasteful, contemporary stores.

The mall has Crate+Barrel, Gourdo’s and Kultura to fill your bare condo. It has a two-level Forever 21 and a branch of Bershka, Ever New, Stradivarius, and Zara to fill empty closets. It also has a Cyberzone on the top floor along with an avant-garde food court.

You can spot the contemporary setting of the food court from a mile away. It serves comfort food faves such as crepes, Frankie’s buffalo wings, beef pound burgers, and paella. There’s also Pepper Lunch, Sbarro and a stall that sells organic food. What sets the food court apart from other SM malls is its floor layout. The tables and chairs are enough to accommodate lunch groups from corporate offices in the block. The place is also kept fresh and clean by the housekeepers religiously walking in the hall.

Uptown Mall

Uptown Mall is the latest addition to the upscale developments of Megaworld centered on lifestyle. You can find the multi-level retail and dining haven at the posh 9th Avenue.

The mall still has empty spaces since it is relatively new, but it has boutiques for fashion fanatics, travel, and sports enthusiast. Fast fashion stores like H&M and Uniqlo established their branches on the lower levels. You can also find Topshop, Topman, Nine West and Aldo. Moreover, you can spot items from Instagram shops on Mercer Street, a concept store on the second floor. Nike, Adidas, and other sports-related establishments are on the top levels.

There are bars, bistros, gastropubs and various dining options around the area. Homegrown restaurants such as Livestock, Hook, Sweet Ecstasy are worth visiting. You can enjoy Asian cuisines and Western breakfast menu al fresco on the mall’s veranda.

You can spot the organized and well-kept staff maintaining the pristine floors and comfortable rooms.

Venice Grand Canal Mall

The mall is a small rendition of the romantic city in Italy. The buildings in the area are pastel-themed, and architecture is patterned to European structures. The mall has an artificial lake where visitors can rent and ride the gondolas. You can also place love locks like those in Paris! The whole place is indeed a picture-perfect paradise.

Venice Grand Canal Mall is notable for the restaurants in and out the complex. The mall is lined with establishments that offer international street food and local gourmet palate. There are casual dining restaurants such as Mati’s Meat and Bread, Comfort Tuesdays, Rice & Dough which serves deep-fried favorites such as wings, potatoes, and pizzas. If you want to immerse to a different palate, you can head to Café del Mar, The Meatball Revolution, and Toni & Sergio.

The Grand Canal also has fine-dining spots. Ponte Rialto and Gran Caffe’ Lavena brings authentic Italian cuisine without consuming air miles. Last but not the least, you can have a feast of local flavors in Cuesina Garden Bistro and Alab by Chef Tatung.

The mall is spacious, luxurious and airy. It celebrates life and keeps the romance alive through the ambiance, amenities, and food.

Venice Grand Canal Mall, Uptown Mall, and SM Aura are the malls you must visit the next time you chance upon BGC. These malls are highly-recommended for a reason. They do not only offer brands of retails and dining, but they also make sure to provide an unforgettable shopping experience.

Sustainability in Urban Design

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

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

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

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

Urban Development

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

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

Organization and Open Spaces

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

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

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

Economic Vibrancy

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

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

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

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

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

The Big Sell: Experts Share Pitching Advice

Monday.

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

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

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

John Rood of Next Step Test Preparation

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

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

Phil Chen of Systems Watch

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

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

Brian Honigman of BrianHonigman.com

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

Kenny Nguyen of Big Fish Presentations

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

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

Jyot Singh of RTS Labs

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

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

Adam Stillman of SparkReel

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

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

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