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

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

 

Buying a home is an exciting endeavor.

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

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

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

 

Turn on all five senses

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

Partner up with skilled professionals

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

Do not fall in love

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

Buy a house you can afford today and in the future

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Make sure to have room in your budget for transitional costs

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

Working with a good agent is paramount

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

Determine if the price is right

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

Know the potential

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

Research the neighborhood

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

How they maintain their space

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

Their oddities and pet peeves

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

What their routine is like

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

How they handle money

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

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5 Ways Have A Comfortable Hotel Stay

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

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Photo by Seda Nuvali on Agoda

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

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

1. Don’t rely on photos.

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

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

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

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

2. Use Google Maps.

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

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

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

3. Read advertisements and pamphlets.

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

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

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

4. Check reviews from past guests.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hunt Down These Sports Gear at 4 Local Sporting Stores

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

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

Baseball

Mizuno, Abreeza Mall

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Photo by Nathaniel Yeo on Unsplash

First Baseman’s Mitt

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

Catcher’s Mitt

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

Catcher’s Mask and Chest Protector

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

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

Basketball and Soccer Equipment

Planet Sports, UP Town Center

Shoes

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Photo by Tom Pottiger on Unsplash

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

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

Soccer ball

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Photo by Ian Higbee on Unsplash

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

Golfing Gear

Mizuno, Harbor Point Mall

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Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov from Unsplash

Clubs

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

Golf shoes

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

Decathlon, Festival Mall

Golf gloves

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

Tees

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

Tennis Equipment

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Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

Racquet

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

Tennis shoes

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

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

Neighborhood Living: The Types of Neighbors and How to Deal with Them

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

Neighbors can either be the bane or boon of your existence.

It all boils down to how you deal and interact with them. Every neighborhood has its fair share of zany and quirky neighbors. Moreover, it also has its fair share of the other kind of neighbors. You know? Those neighbors you do cannot seemingly handle that smiling at each other when you do come across them can seem somewhat forced. Back in the day, almost everyone knew their neighbors or at have at least met them once. However, in this contemporary living setup we have today, it seems like most people would rather keep to themselves considering how perpetually busy their daily routine is. In fact, people would not even be surprised if you have lived in your house for about a decade now and have not had the opportunity to meet your neighbors.

In some cases, this can be a good thing—especially if you are surrounded by oddball and unusual neighbors. However, regardless of what kind of neighbors you have, it is inevitable to have a semblance of a community about you. After all, you are forced to coexist in one neighborhood, so you might as well get along as breezily as you can to ensure optimal residential and neighborhood satisfaction. No matter where you live, how you co-exist with your neighbors can make the difference between a yearly litigious battle and a harmonious coexistence. In any case, whether you live in Avida Asten or elsewhere, it is best to have a thorough understanding of the kind of neighbors you have or might have.

In this regard, you will be able to deal with them better.

1.) The Home Devaluers

While these neighbors are relatively harmless and friendly enough, the same thing cannot be said about how they treat their homes. In fact, they have a specific disregard to how they take care of their homes. Their lawns look like a jungle, and their car is probably left to rusting the front yard. From your perspective, this is more of their problem than yours. Unfortunately, if they live next to or right across you, this can be a significant problem when it comes to the resale of your home. To address this dilemma, communicate with the offending neighbor and get to the root of the cause of their neglect.

2.) The Dangerous Neighbor

Some neighbors are not really worth getting to know at all. However, it would bode you well to be aware what their dislikes and boundaries are so you would never cross them. If you see your neighbor ensuring that his or her lawn is painstakingly spruced up, then you would be wise not to cross that well-manicured lawn. You will never know what might set them off, so it might be best if you just kept to yourself and left them to their own devices.

3.) The Richer than Thou Neighbor

Every neighbor has one. Of course, no one can stop these neighbors from being rich, but the least they could do is stop being so ostentatious and showy about it—at least according to you. It seems to everyone in the neighborhood that they are trying to constantly one-up everyone by buying new things such as the latest cars and latest home improvements just so everyone else can feel inferior. Well, the truth is all you can do is just to cope. Remember, what is sparkly on the outside is not always as glittery on the inside. What you have to keep in mind that every family is dysfunctional to some degree and just because your neighbor is bringing in a new car almost every other month does not mean that trouble is not brewing at home. Chances are, their overindulgence and overspending are both probably trying to compensate for something lacking.

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Home Decorating 101: Five Fail-safe Tips and Techniques to Picking Paint Colors

“I found that I could say things with color and shapes that I could not say any other way—things I had no words for.”-Georgia O’Keefe

It has been said that we should paint our lives with the colors of the rainbow. If we apply the same sentiment to how we decorate our houses, then our homes should not only possess interesting furniture and décor but appropriate paint colors as well. However, choosing the best color can be a bit of a challenge to most of us considering that there is a myriad of lighter and darker tones for a singular hue—and that is not to mention that the color palette itself is already a multitude of various colors. So, how do we reconcile our inability to select an excellent paint color and decorating our homes with fresh hues? How do we ensure that the colors we do choose do not clash with our furniture? Well, whether you are billeted in a condo such as Avida Towers Centera or elsewhere, here are the fail-safe techniques and tricks you can use to choosing the right paint color:

1.) Do not pick your paint color first

It may seem counterintuitive considering that it is only natural to get the biggest things done first. However, picking your paint color should be the last thing you do. Observe the surroundings of your home and have a rough picture of how you want it to look like when it is all done. With this in mind, choosing your furniture and interior decorations is paramount to selecting the right color. After you have selected your furniture, you will have a much easier time in picking the right paint color.

2.) Start small

It is pretty often that big projects such as painting a home can be a bit overwhelming and undoubtedly, some of us will have little to no idea where to start. If you are unsure of where to begin, then start with the small rooms first such as the bathroom or hallways between rooms. Should you be undertaking this paint project yourself, paint the area that is quickest for you to accomplish so that you can see the results as soon as possible. This would then make it easier for you to change should you not like the results.

3.) Consider the lighting

Before selecting a color, it is imperative that you consider the lighting of your homes. Paint stores have light boxes installed in their shops so that you can accurately test paint chips in various light settings. If you wish to see the truest color, natural daylight will reflect it; incandescent lighting brings out the yellows and warm tones while fluorescent lights tend to cast sharp blue tones. With this in consideration, choose the colors most appropriate for the type of lighting you have in your room. Intense colors would appear bright and overpowering when used next to a big window or exclusively on walls. However, it would look stunning when used as an accent wall with indirect light.

4.) Test paint colors against fabrics and furniture

The paint colors you choose should complement the furniture and fabrics within a room to ensure that they do not clash. To check if a particular color would look appropriate with your furniture, paint a piece of paper or poster board and hold it up against various pieces of furniture and fabrics contained in the room to see if it goes well together. You do not necessarily have to match colors, but be sure that the undertones work well together.

5.) Have a color theme

This does not necessarily mean you have to paint your homes in a singular color, but you have to consider how the results will look like once you are done painting the entire home. In essence, this would mean that you consider how rooms will look like when standing in another—especially if these rooms open into one another. If you wish to go with one color exclusively, then play with contrasts and paint some rooms a few shades darker or lighter.

 

A Guide to Suburban Neighborhood in the South

There’s a sprouting suburb in the South, and you don’t know if moving there is a good move.

Vermosa is a suburban development that features active living. It’s in Cavite, and it perfectly combines residences, retail spots and business hubs in one area, which make it seem like a good place to settle down. But hold your train of thought. Did you consider what you need to know before buying a house? Do you know what kind of neighborhood will be at Vermosa?

Before setting your sights on this new development, read on to find out the standards of what makes a good neighborhood.

There are street walks.

And those streetwalkers are for walking.

Some residential communities are disorderly, so cyclists pass through pavements instead. A neighborhood with functional road walks prioritizes walking over the use of vehicles. Low-carbon communities have sidewalks wide enough for bicycles and establishments. It gives the cafés liberty to set up tables for outdoor lounging.

A spacious sidewalk also gives room to set up benches – a great feature for relaxation and people watching.

 

There are various transportation modes.

What a nice feeling to have when travel from work to home is a breeze. Often, an exclusive neighborhood isn’t commute-friendly and is only accessible through private vehicles. An ideal community should be available through different road networks. You can get to Vermosa via Daang Hari Road, SLEX through the MCX exit, and the upcoming Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Road – which are also the routes of public transportation. The proposed LRT 6 will pass through Daang Hari Road which makes Vermosa accessible to the bulk of passengers. The community is also less than an hour away from Makati, Manila, Muntinlupa, and Tagaytay.

 

There is a foundation for education.

De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ), a member of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), is an established educational institution in the South. It will open its second campus in Vermosa to provide quality basic and secondary education. DLSZ is also an establishment that pronounces spiritual and moral maturity through the teachings of Christ.

The DLSZ-Vermosa Campus will implement the Next Generation Blended Learning Program which will include the latest trend and innovation regarding teaching strategies and educational research.

 

There are high-value residences.

Property value varies greatly from one development to another. A neighborhood with quality housing options allows people with the different financial capability to lead a quiet and comfortable life. When there are lots of people are waitlisted, it is a sign that the particular neighboorhood is hot on the market.

Vermosa will have diverse living options with Ayala Land’s urban residential developers – Alveo, Avida, and Ayala Land Premier. Alveo offers upscale residences while Avida is perfect for compact city living.

Since Vermosa is a new community, most of the people in the neighborhood are homeowners. An area with high rate of homeownership is stable. Renters are mobile and flaky, so they don’t add value to the community. Long-time residents have been there all way. They watch out for their neighbors, which makes the area feel safe and secure.

 

There are communal facilities.

 

Vermosa has a total of 165 hectares of open space for wellness and recreation, training facilities, and retail shops.

There’s Vermosa Sports and Lifestyle Complex which will have an Olympic-sized pool, a 400-meter track oval, and a Sports Science laboratory that caters to all the training needs of endurance athletes. The MX Track and the Bike Skills Park offer a place to fill the need for speed and thrills for bikers.

There’s Vermosa Midtown, a pedestrian-focused, bike-friendly area with a commercial district. The Ayala Malls Vermosa will be within the limits of Midtown and will complement the active life of Vermosa by housing sports-themed retail stores.

A contemporary active living is kept alive in Vermosa with its engaging facilities for its residents. Besides these amenities, a balanced community should have a place of worship. It shows the collective and strength of the community.

There should be a hospital, police and fire station.

Safety first.

The right neighborhood adds value to the entire community, not just to the houses separately. You can check out if the community is fit for you if it has the qualities on this list besides the things that you want. Your new neighborhood should meet your standards and if you’ve found it in Vermosa, then go ahead. Enjoy the fulfilling life of active lifestyle.

Five Important Things to Know When Living Alone

“True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what is right.” -Brigham Young

So, you have graduated college, established a career and are now prepared to embark on your life’s next milestone. You have saved enough money to finally live on your own and away from your family to discover new heights and reach your fullest potential. Indeed, living alone can be quite a thrill. The freedom and independence that come along with it are nothing short of exhilarating. However, while living alone means no one can prevent you from doing anything and everything you like, it does not mean that it comes without a set of responsibilities. Before you start scouring the metropolis for prospective Manila properties you can live in, know that living alone means having to fend for yourself. After all, you only have yourself to rely on so it would be understandable to expect a degree of answerability to yourself as a consequence.

For some, the responsibilities that do entail in living independently may be too cumbersome to handle, while others may flourish in their solitude. Regardless, if you have even given living alone some consideration, here are things you should know and expect:

1.) There will be unplanned expenses

No matter how meticulously you partitioned your monthly salary for utility bills, groceries and the like, know that there will be unplanned yet inevitable expenses. No, these are no the things you buy on a whim or an impulse. There are likely events that would cost you to fork some cash to maintain a semblance of livability in your home. An example of this is an appliance breaking down on you or some plumbing repairs that would need to be immediately taken care of. These are things that cannot wait until the next month for repairs if you want to live comfortably.

2.) You need a decent amount of money

Suppose you have gone through leaflets and scoured the web for the ideal home and found one. To your surprise, it is just within your budget. Unfortunately, it might not be as simple as you think. Apart from the money you pay for rental dues, there might be a security deposit you would need to defrag as well. Depending on where you live, your landlord might even request a consigner for the least. To top all that, if you are going to live in an unfurnished flat, you would also need to have your own furniture to fill it up with. With all this in mind, it is important to have a decent amount of savings before deciding on living alone.

3.) Read your contract

If you are planning on renting out a flat, take note that you need to read your lease contract thoroughly. This is because the contents within are legally binding and if you neglect to read it, you may be inadvertently agreeing to something you actually do not. It might be tempting to skim over a lot of pages instead of poring over them then sign it at once, but you will be glad you did not do that if you find something you are not amenable to. Remember, should you break your lease, you are bound to pay up.

4.) You cannot take everything

You might want to pack every single thing you have in your parents’ house that you own, but know that this might not be possible. For one, the space you have might be limited and another thing, you will have more work to do and would have to expend more effort. Additionally, you might end up just filling your new flat with a lot of clutter as well.

5.) You need to spruce up

Living alone means cleaning up for yourself unless you want to live in a hovel. Everything you own would inevitably get dirty and the longer you put them for cleaning later, the more grime they accumulate. Apart from your dishes, you are responsible for your laundry and the general cleanup of your flat. So, if you want to live comfortably (and healthily I might add), it is best if you clean up regularly.

Hassle-free Move: Four Tips and Tricks to Make Moving Day Stress-Free

It is no doubt that moving day can be one of the stressful days you will ever experience in your life. Of course, collecting, stashing away and moving your entire household is no easy feat, so you are inevitably going to encounter a lot of stressors along the way. After all, in the years that you have lived through your old home, stripping it down of your possessions and packing them away can seem like a herculean task—especially if you have spent a significant number of years accumulating your belongings. However, there are ways of ensuring that your moving day goes on without a snag and without ruffling any of your family members’ feathers. Your moving venture might be a huge endeavor, but with a solid strategy and good planning, you can be assured that it would go smoothly for the most part.

So, whether your change of address is to a condo in Manila or elsewhere, here are some tips that will help you make your moving day easy and stress-free:

1.) Start weeks or even months in advance

If you live in a relatively small home with a meager number of possessions, you can start packing weeks before your moving day. However, if you live in a sprawling home with too many valuables to count, you might as well start as early as you can—even months prior to your moving date. Although your moving date may seem rather far, it is best to make some progress in your packing than be overwhelmed with the sheer number of things you have to do come moving day. True, it might be tempting to leave packing at the last minute—especially if you dislike living among boxes or have to use some things inside them. But you will be glad to have packed earlier than you should have. Just remember to pack the things you are not regularly using first and leave your daily essentials for last.

2.) Be organized

Being organized is key during your move as it aids you in staying on top of things. To make sure you stay organized during the move, have a list of all the tasks that you need to do and divide them in weeks. This would give you ample time to complete whatever is written on a particular week’s list. A typical organized moving day list would consist of eight weeks of their own respective tasks.

3.) Clean out the clutter

Clutter can not only induce headaches, but they are eyesores as well that would do nothing to prove visual aesthetics. If you have a lot of clutter lying around at home, it would be a good idea to start getting rid of them before you even start packing. In this way, you would feel a lot more organized. Additionally, getting rid of the clutter would prevent you from packing things you would not necessarily need in your new home—saving you from all of the frustration in getting rid of them once you unpack and get settled into your new place.

4.) Label your boxes and bags

To know where items to be packed should go and to easily identify which is which, you should label all of your boxes and bags. Apart from categorizing them and knowing what the contents inside are, this would also help you determine which boxes and bags are to be opened and unpacked first. Typically, this is best done if the box is labeled according to where its contents will be placed (labeled per room). However, it would also be ideal if you also wrote and included the contents of its label. Boxes that contain important and sensitive documents such as birth certificates, insurances, passports and the like should be placed in a secure folder and should have a different marking than the rest. Ideally, this folder should be in your person at all times.