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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Your social status

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

 

Vacation photos

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

 

The Front Door

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

 

Your Trash Can

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Lacking interest in the client’s needs

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

 

Lacking knowledge about the projects you are offering

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

 

Using real estate jargon

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

 

Failing to focus on what the client is saying

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

To spend less time on general maintenance

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

 

To accumulate fewer things

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

 

To live within your means

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

 

More purchase satisfaction

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

 

Use every room in your house

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

You wish to have better leverage over your own place

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

 

Job Security

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

 

You need more room

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

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House-Hunting 101: Common House-Hunting Mistakes

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

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

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

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

 

Falling in love with a house you cannot afford

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

Assuming there is nothing better out there

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

Being desperate

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

Overlooking significant flaws

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

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Home Selling Secrets: Five Best-Kept Techniques and Strategies to Attract Home Buyers

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“Buyers decide in their first eight seconds of seeing a home if they are interested in purchasing it. Get out of your car, walk in their shoes and see what they see within the first eight seconds.” –Barbara Corcoran

 

Selling your home is possibly one of the most challenging and trying endeavors you might ever have to encounter in life.

No doubt, attracting the right home buyer at the price point you are offering would be kind of difficult. For this reason, modern home sellers have devised unique strategies in order to entice a prospective home buyer into making an offer. In this regard, strategies such as home staging have cropped up wherein you present your home in such a way that you are almost guaranteed to receive an offer or bid to buy it during open houses and showings. Unfortunately, most home sellers tend to confuse staging with decorating which are two entirely different concepts. While decorating incorporates your expression of personal style, staging is stripping your homes of its characterization. In a sense, it means divesting your homes of everything that makes it uniquely you to make it more appealing to potential home buyers.

Home staging, in a nutshell, would mean the de-characterization of all your home spaces that you bring it down to its most neutral state so that your prospective buyers can freely imagine themselves living in your home. Regardless of what their personal tastes and preferences are, home staging does work as it encourages potential buyers to envision what kind of life they might have in a property you once called your own. Be that as it may, home staging is still an incredibly daunting process as it essentially means having your homes downgraded to its most basic form. More importantly, it can be rather difficult to determine which home staging strategies do the trick and which ones do not. In any case, here are some of the fundamental tips to keep in mind whether you are selling a unit in Avida Towers Cebu or a flat elsewhere:

 

Put in mirrors in narrow areas

To give your homes the illusion of space, strategically place mirrors in narrow areas to make the property seem larger. If there is one thing that might potentially put off a prospective home buyer, it is cramped and small spaces which can feel rather stifling. Regardless of whether your space is big or small, integrate a mirror or two in narrow areas to ensure that the reflection of light will add space as well as brightness in the space.

Make sure your home is warm and cozy

Give your homes and spaces a more welcoming feel by ensuring enough sunlight filters in. If you live in particularly cold regions, it is best to invest in a heater. Before your potential buyers arrive, turn it on for several minutes or at least an hour. Cold homes are generally a turn-off for many prospective buyers and are not very welcome. More importantly, the chill sends the wrong kind of vibe to your buyers from an emotional standpoint.

Start marketing your home early

Once you have formed the plan to sell your home, pencil down the plan to market it as early as possible as well. Most home sellers are under the impression that prematurely marketing their homes is useless and would only take unnecessary time and effort. However, it has been shown that putting your homes up for sale early actually has its benefits. For one, it will help you sell quickly and if the real estate market is thriving, your property might even fetch a better price. In this regard, be sure to market your homes in every medium and channel possible to have a wider reach of prospective home buyers.

Add some flair and beauty to the garden

If your property comes with a porch or garden, be sure to beautify it to add flair and drama to the area. Give your outdoors a special touch and ensure that your gardens are well pruned, weeded out and healthy. If you have any dead plants, uproot and dispose of them. Tidy your borders and lawns make it look as nice and inviting as possible and if your budget permits, plant more flowers. Before you take any photos of your property, make sure the flowers are blooming to give your homes an aesthetic feel to it.

Hire the right real estate agent

Regardless of whether you possess experience in selling real estate property or not, it still pays to hire the services of a professional real estate agent. Apart from having the necessary expertise, real estate agents are more knowledgeable about the market trends in your area and are likely to sell your home quicker and at a better price than you would have been able to do by yourself. However, keep in mind to be a little discerning as to who you hire. Remember, not all real estate agents are created equal, be sure to hire the one with excellent and legitimate credentials. More importantly, talk to their previous clients and ask about their experiences with the agent or read up on reviews. Take note: Knowing who you are dealing with goes a long way and would mitigate the chances of you getting scammed. Should a particular agent raise any red flags, think twice before proceeding or better yet, look for another one.

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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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12 Life Tips to Help You Fake It Till You Make It

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It’s not fun to be broke. Hell, no one wants the feeling of being broke. No one relishes in the fact that they don’t have money. No one wants to admit they can’t afford to go clubbing every Friday night, go shop for designer clothes at the 30th Mall or grab some bite at the fancy organic restaurant that opened last week. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. Not everyone has a six-figure paycheck or something like that.

These people are regular people. They are the hard-workers in the office who don’t get as much as they’d hope to have. They might have manicured lawns, by they don’t have anything on their savings account. These people are the kind of people who need to save up to celebrate the holidays.

If you are one of those people, there’s no shame in admitting it. Most of the population belong to this economic bracket. In reality, they fake it. They fake it until they make it. You can do the same too, and this is how to do it.

1. Don’t quit your job

If you don’t have a backup plan, you shouldn’t pass a resignation letter. You shouldn’t leave your job when you don’t have a fallback. It’s risky. There isn’t any assurance you’ll get a source of income as soon as you leave your company.

2. Become productive

Don’t spend your time on trivial things. Spend it on things that help you grow as a person and thrive as a professional. Take online classes. Most of them are free and readily available. Learn a new skill. You can find a lot of tutorials and instructions on the Internet. Find something to do that helps you earn money.

3. Don’t be a time waster

Don’t ever waste someone’s time. Time is a valuable resource. It’s also something no one can ever take back. If you’re running late, give them a call or leave a message. If there’s a conflict of interest, you should inform them ahead of time.

4. Be honest about your finances

It pays to be truthful to yourself and those around you. Don’t keep secrets to your partner. Don’t cover up your spending habits or mistakes. Most couples end up in divorce because they choose to keep things to themselves. Open up about the thing you do to build trust.

5. Save up for rainy days

You never know when you’ll run into emergencies. Eventually, someone gets sick. Other times, it’s your home that needs repairs. You should always be prepared for the things that might come your way.

6. Don’t waste water and electricity

If you’re low on budget, then you must consider how you consume these two. Remember, you have control over how you use these two things. Don’t leave the tap running. Limit turning on the water heater. You should also think about using surge protectors. You can save a lot of money when you become cautious about how you use water and electricity.

7. Limit expenses

Try not to undertake new financial responsibilities especially when you can’t handle them anymore. It only attracts problems in the household. It also places additional pressure on you.

8. Walk

Use your feet. Don’t drive the car when you can walk towards the place you need to be. It helps you save money on gas. Moreover, it reduces traffic and pollution. Last but not least, you get fresh air and exercise.

9. Don’t go on expensive dates

There are plenty of cheap date ideas you should try. Instead of ordering a salad and a steak, you should try visiting the library or the local museum. You can also set up tables and tents in each other’s backyard instead of going to the movies and consuming overpriced popcorn. Being picky about your activities doesn’t mean you’re a cheapskate. It only shows you’re being smart about your choices.

10. Do the cleaning yourself

Don’t be lazy. Don’t hire a housekeeper to wash the dishes or scrub your bathroom tiles. Teach yourself to do them. It can some work, but you’ll manage as long as you have patience. You should also try cleaning the car and tending the grass yourself. You’ll learn to take better care of your things when you tidy up by yourself.

11. Don’t shop for expensive gifts

Holidays, birthdays and special occasions often call for gifts. But, it doesn’t mean you have to purchase the most expensive ones on the shelf. Before you go shopping, you should put your budget to mind. You shouldn’t get things that go beyond your limit.

12. Don’t take frequent trips to the salon and spa

It feels nice to pamper yourself, but you don’t need someone else to do it for you. You do your nails at home or try DIY facial treatments without heading to the spa. Frequent pampering sessions are a must, but they bloat your expenses.

Faking it doesn’t mean you’re trying to be someone else. It just means you’re doing your best to get by when your income isn’t enough to cover your needs. These are the things that can help you do it. Practice them until they become part of your routine. That way, it feels natural and fits your life like a glove.

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What To Do at Vertis North: A Guide

Vertis North is the latest hangout in the North.
If you want variety from the shopping choices at Trinoma or the lively crowds at SM North EDSA, you can recharge in the refreshing urban setting of Vertis. The area has a mall, green walkways, corporate buildings, and its own Seda Hotel.

Vertis North is unlike any establishments in the area. Its exclusivity and proximity to comfort make it an exciting hangout spot in the city. The citizens of Quezon City and the hip and chill people who wish to hang out can visit the whole block.

Here are seven things to do while at North EDSA.

1. Catch a fan meet at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent.

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Photo by ABS-CBN Social Media Newsroom

Is there an idol you’ve been dying to meet? Worry no more a there’s safe and accessible place to see your favorite artist up close. You can purchase tickets for a fan meet where you can have an autograph signed and catch a few performances from your favorite person in the world.

Come prepared with a few questions or small token to give to your idol. The event usually lasts for an hour or two depending on the number of artists and their prepared program. Most of all, it depends on their fans. Vertis Tent can hold almost 2000 people.

 

2. Shop homegrown brands.

the craft central, store, craft store

Photo by The Craft Central

If you are looking for craft supplies for calligraphy and artwork, you can head to The Craft Central. The store has calligraphy pens, watercolor products, and several workshop materials. It also has different journal covers and fillers, notebooks, and famous art supply brands.

Vertis North has Apartment 8 Atelier and features the best formal and casual wear of the brand. It’s minimal style, soft colors, and artistic cut makes the brand a go-to for ladies who dress up for a special occasion.

Some shops at Vertis North are Straightforward and Retail Lab x Fifth Rack. Straightforward is a local brand featuring men’s casual clothing from sweaters to board shorts. Meanwhile, Fifth Rack and Retail Lab are concept stores. They house different local brands so shoppers can find them in one place.

 

3. Watch the latest flick at the movie theaters.

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Photo by Gadget Addict

Vertis North Cinemas currently has ongoing Monday Madness promo series. Co-workers can show their IDs to avail the buy one take one ticket sale. Bond with your movie mate with the showing of the action-packed The Incredibles II or the empowering women of Ocean’s 8.

 

4. Belt out tunes at the Time Zone Karaoke Hubs.

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Photo by Lifestyle Bucket

If you’re fresh from a breakup, head to Time Zone and sing your heart out in their deluxe karaoke rooms. The screens have electronic songbooks besides the old-fashioned flip and enter. The K-Town part of the mall will also have a karaoke hub soon so watch out for that.

If singing isn’t in your alley, you can play air hockey, arcade games, Guitar Hero and other innovative sources of entertainment that will make you sweat.

 

5. Meet a furry friend during the weekend.

paws cafe karaoke

Photo by Vertis North

Drop by the PAWS Pet Cafe open Fridays to Sundays from 1-9 PM until July 29. The cafe is at the Level 1 Atrium. The cafe is available to everyone as long as you pick from any of these ways:

  • Order a minimum or food an/or drink from the available menu outside the cafe registration booth.
  • Purchase a minimum amount of P200 of any Pet Discount Inc. products at the booth.
  • Pay P200 as your registration fee.

All transactions must be at the registration booth. After payment, sign up for a scheduled timeslot. Each customer can stay for a maximum of 45 minutes inside the PAWS Pet Cafe.

 

6. Dine with the family.

papermon mille cake

Photo by PaperMoon Cafe

If you want an all-day breakfast meal, you can head to Pancake House and avail their exclusive offers. There’s also the new additions to the menu of Pepper Lunch. You can try their Cheese Rollers and Beef Aglio Olio.

There is also authentic Japanese cuisine. Watch out for the Oppa Chicken in the K-Town section of the mall. The area will soon have several samgyeopsal restaurants to satisfy your palate.

To wash off the flavors, you can have coffee at the Zoo Cafe or taste the heavenly desserts at PaperMoon Cafe. PaperMoon has tarts, specialty cakes, and Mille crepes. These desserts will make you come back for more.

 

7. Have a grand stay at Seda Hotel.

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Photo by Staycation Philippines

A staycation in the city? What more can you ask?

Seda Vertis North is a prime location for a family or couple staycation. It has an e-lounge, a chef’s table, and connecting suites.

If the room is your primary concern, don’t fret. It has a spacious bedroom designed for relaxation and comfort. It the conveniences of modern home- work life, from WiFi to HDMI connections.

A family bathroom has a bathtub and separate showers. It also has signature toiletries. Most of all, it has a walk-in closet and an ironing board.

It has everything you need to have the most comfortable stay in the city.

Vertis North brings life to the heart of Quezon City. It blends urban living, leisure, and comfort in one area. When in Vertis North, everything is within your reach.

Solitude 101: Six Excellent Reasons to Live Alone

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

2.) No one would see your emotional breakdowns

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

3.) Your food is yours alone

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

4.) You can indulge in weird bathroom habits

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

5.) You can clean at your leisure

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

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

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

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