Real Estate 101: The Top Five Red Flags for Homebuyers

Business handshake at work

 

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” –John Ed Pearce

 

The real estate market has never experienced a rising increase in demand as much as it did today.

While it may experience sporadic periods of highs and lows, the fact remains that more and more people are buying real estate in this decade than any other decade in history. Unfortunately, the resultant effects of this phenomenon can have positive and negative takeaways. For one, the robust real estate market would mean a healthy economy, on the other, however, it could open up the possibility of individuals who would try to leverage the market trend into their favor in the worse ways possible. As it is, the rise in demand for real estate properties would also mean a significant increase in home sellers who would try to sell their properties. However, with the real estate market rife with competition, how do these sellers ensure that their homes would potentially be the one you would select? How do they drive the deal home?

While some would just double their efforts in their endeavor to sell their home, some sellers would resort to less than favorable means in selling their homes. This does not mean that they would outright lie to you, but they would not tell you the entire truth about their homes or it might ruin their chances of striking a deal with you. Sellers who are eager to sell properties in challenging and even difficult communities would not always disclose everything to potential buyers. Unfortunately, getting a professional inspection of every house you tour is not exactly feasible or practical for your finances. Not to worry though, you just have to keep an eye out and be a little more thorough during the house tour. Be meticulous about the houses you inspect and narrow down your choices by doing your own pre-inspection.

Whether the houses you are looking to inspect are located in a lush neighborhood such as Garden Towers or somewhere a little more unassuming, here are some of the red flags you ought to look out for:

 

A major exodus from the neighborhood

Sure, one of the things that a home seller must highlight would be the curb appeal of their homes in order to attract prospective buyers. However, as a buyer, you should not let the visual appeal of the home’s exteriors keep you from examining what is down the street. If you notice that there are several other homes for sale or if nearby businesses have been vandalized or have closed down, electing to live there might not be such a good idea. Talk to your neighbors and ask them about the community. If everyone is looking to leave, you might want to take that as a signal that the home would potentially be a bad investment.

Bad maintenance

Another thing you should look out for is whether or not the home seller took care of their homes and took the necessary measures to ensure its proper upkeep and maintenance while they were still living there. If they horribly failed in this aspect, you might not want to push through with the deal with them. After all, if you can see the gutters with plants growing in them and grime on the home times, it would beg the question: What else did these homeowners neglect and overlook?

Bad smells

A home reeking with fetid smells is a home that has been neglected for far too long. Regardless of whether the smell is outside or inside, it would make you think what sort of surprises there would be in store for you on account of the grody smells. In any case, bad smells should be a huge red flag. However, you should also take into account if the homeowner took the extra measure of spraying their homes in huge amounts of Febreeze or by covering it in potpourri. If the house smells too fragrant and would border on cloying, the home seller is probably trying to mask the more noxious smells.

Fresh paint on only one wall

While it is recommended (at times, even necessary) for home sellers to paint their walls in neutral hues before selling them, there would be something terribly suspect if only one wall is covered and painted. Sure, fresh paint can really bring out the potential of drab walls and boring homes. However, they can also be used as a medium to conceal problems such as water damage, mold or mildew. If the room has strange smells or there are any visible stains in the ceilings or walls, you might want to refer to an inspector who can identify molds and leaks.

Faulty or old wiring

Sure, you are not exactly an electrician but it is best to ensure that the electrical wiring, as well as all the switches, are all in good working order. After all, you would not want to subject yourself to busted circuits, flickering lights, and outlets that do not power anything. If outlets are either warm or hot, there might be an underlying wiring problem which you might want a professional electrician to check.

 

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5 Ways Have A Comfortable Hotel Stay

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

seda hotel, nuvali, pool, seda nuvali, luxury hotel, suites

Photo by Seda Nuvali on Agoda

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

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

1. Don’t rely on photos.

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

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

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

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

2. Use Google Maps.

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

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

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

3. Read advertisements and pamphlets.

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

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

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

4. Check reviews from past guests.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exploring Business Locations in the Philippine Property Market

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

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

Market Overview

chart, progress, office, people, celebrate

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

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

Customer and Talent Proximity

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

1. U.P. Ayala Land Technohub

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

2. U.P. Town Center Corporate Center

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

3. Vertis North Corporate Center

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

4. 6750 Ayala Avenue

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

5. McKinley Exchange Corporate Center

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

6. Solaris One

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

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

Expandability and Equipment

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

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

Monetary Inclusion

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

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

 

Send Me Your Location: Retail Spaces

neon sign, restaurant sign, restaurant

Commercial real estate varies from residential. The type and size of a business is a factor when looking into a potential commercial space. A small enterprise with limited inventory could settle in kiosks. Meanwhile, other firms may require spots in shopping malls or a free-standing structure.

There’s no need to rush when deciding on retail space. It’s much better to build a solid conclusion than a half-hearted decision. Below are pointers that can help one decide which is the best retail space for the business.

1. The space covers the business’s wants and needs.

Setting up a restaurant requires a huge floor area as it has a kitchen and a place for diners. A clothing store or fashion house at Solaris One may expect less than a restaurant. Meanwhile, a repair shop can do well with specific square footage especially when it doesn’t make stock items for sale. The size of the retail space will impact its price. It’s essential to note these details, especially when considering a budget.

Other than sticking to a budget, the potential of the business to expand is s factor to consider. The brand may attract customers that will boost sales and require an additional stock of merchandise, seating or service. The space must be enough to cover current needs, but it must also be flexible to allow expansion.

Lastly, the space must share the brand’s story. It must be customizable and ready for changes and renovations for owners and companies to convey their message to customers.

2. Customers and talents are within the area.

Knowing the brand’s target market provides an idea of the geographical location of potential buyers. If the space is in a place accessible to the target market, it gives them the convenience to avail the product or service. At the same time, consider the climate of the business community in the area. A community of supportive and growth-based entrepreneurs helps micro and small businesses thrive. Meanwhile, a competitive landscape is unhealthy for growing companies.

Future employees and staff must also be in mind when scouting for retail spaces. The ease of travel improves productivity at work. A workplace far from home results to tired and haggard talents. Their fresh energy gets worn out during the commute. When the retail space is near the skilled workers, the business gets the best out of its human capital.

3. The price of the property fits the budget.

Going for a retail space that is over the budget is overspending. It cancels the purpose of setting up a business – generate income to earn a profit. An area beyond financial limit causes troubles later on. Still, the space must be a high-quality retail space that suits the brand and enterprise.

4. Public transport and infrastructure are available.

The main concern when considering clients and staff is their convenience of travel. It’s a plus when the retail space is near different modes of transportation and government institutions vital to your operations. Moreover, it is also an advantage when Internet and telecommunication providers cover the business location. Since most transactions are online, the Internet connection will benefit operations by having a more extensive customer reach and streamlining business process.

5. There is space allocated for parking.

Most business owners forget to consider the need for parking spaces. Ample parking space is valuable for clients and people who are part of the company to prefer to reach the area through their vehicles. How hard is it for them to suitable parking space especially in a busy area such as a central business district. These people may choose a competitor with similar products or service because of the lack of space. Be it in front, back or beside the retail space, and the parking space must be accessible to clients.

6. The space must not have strings attached to it.

The full cost of the space comprises the rent, utilities, construction costs, moving expenses, and a list of other expenses that may not be obvious in the beginning. There may be costs associated with the move such as the restoration or remodeling of the space.

7. The lease terms and rental rates must be secure.

To get the best out of a lease contract, it must be subject to renewal. Any increase in rental rates must be subject to review by the landlord and the lessee. Furthermore, survey the rental price if it is the gross or net. Most figures are net. It only shows the base or the payable amount.

8. Furniture, fixture, and equipment is a must for business.

Their retail space must include furniture, fixture, and equipment since they produce products and offer services. Stocking these items in a corner contributes to an unpleasant environment. The retail space must be roomy for the bulky items. That is a property where rooms are not scarce is a keeper.

Retail Spaces Need the Time and Place to Come Through

The needs of the business entity as well as its customers and staff make up the factors to use as a guide when choosing a retail space. Besides these factors, the basics of deciding on real estate decisions such as lease terms, property price, additional expenses, as well as proximity to modes of transportation and infrastructure, affect the attractiveness of the space.

Note: This article was first published on May 5, 2016, as “Where Should You Locate Your Business?” It was revised and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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

eco friendly workplace

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

pantone 2018 ultra violet
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

Gray
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

wallpaper fireplace
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

silver disco ball
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

wood triangle shelf
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

lamp shade
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

floor pattern
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

chandelier soft light
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

plush armchair
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

peacock side table
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.

Rental Investments: Five Excellent Tips to Prepare for A Rental

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

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

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

1.) Start the process at least six weeks out

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

2.) Spruce it up

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

3.) Change your insurance

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

4.) Do not overlook legal technicalities

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

5.) Decide if you will accept pets

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

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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.

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.