Thursday, November 7, 2013

Choosing Between Investing in a Condo and a House

Whether you are a first time buyer or a repeat investor, choosing between a house and a condo is one of the most important decisions you need to make. There are advantages and disadvantages to each property and you need to weigh them carefully before deciding.
 How to Choose
Whether you are looking to buy a condo for sale in the Philippines or primarily interested in buying homes in the Philippines, make sure you have five major factors researched and factored in before taking the next step of purchasing.

Five Considerations When Choosing Between a Condo and a House
  • Location
  • Privacy
  • Responsibility
  •  Maintenance
  • Budget
Choose a location based on your needs. Do you need to be nearer your workplace or does it need to be near a transport terminal, schools, or malls? Consider your privacy. A condo unit is more private but you need to be more responsible and shell out for maintenance and condo fees. Lastly, make sure your budget is within range. When your desired location has housing units within range – whether it be a condo or a house – that’s where your perfect fit lies.

Choosing a House
  • You won't be sharing walls or hallways with neighbors and other tenants.
  • You can change or improve your property to suit you.
  • You are responsible for the upkeep of your own property. You will shoulder all maintenance and repairs on the property.
  • You are paying for land ownership – which increases value over time.
 Choosing a Condo
  • Buying a condo can turn out to be a lot cheaper.
  • Since a condo is smaller, maintenance and upkeep can be less.
  • If there are any problems concerning maintenance of the property this can be addressed by the condo owner. There is usually a maintenance man employed to take care of any issues should they arise.
  • Most condo buildings have access to shared facilities like shops, gyms and swimming pools. Condos are also usually built within easy walking distance among common malls, schools, transport terminals, etc.
Most single people usually opt to buy and invest on a condo. They have their own space and don’t need to be bothered by maintenance around the house like roofing, plumbing, etc. It is also great for starting families. Bigger families would prefer to go with a house since they have full control on what happens to the house and change it according to the needs of their growing families.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How To Earthquake Proof Your Home

Earthquakes are natural occurrences that not a lot of people get to experience. But for those who do experience it, it is something that they will never forget. Unfortunately, the biggest damages that earthquakes bring are to various structures and properties. 
The recent earthquake in the Philippines damaged many Philippine properties; many of which are old homes, building, decades-old churches. Whether you have experienced an earthquake or not, it is good to be prepared for one because earthquakes will always be part of the hazards of real estate in the Philippines – earthquakes can happen anytime and anywhere. Below are some useful tips to help you earthquake proof your home.
  • Use sill bolts and sill plates. If you have yet to construct your house, be prepared by using sill bolts and sill plates to secure the structure of your house. These are used to help keep your house in its foundation; sill bolts are attached to the concrete foundation every 4 feet. You may also want to use insulated concrete forms that can withstand strong winds and movements.
  • Round off window glass corners. Glass can easily break during an earthquake and you can prepare for this by making sure that the corners of your window glasses are rounded off. This will provide some gaps in the frame that will make it possible for the glass to move easily during an earthquake. Also, rounded corners are less rigid than 90-degree angles.
  • Secure small items inside your house. To prevent any damage to the items inside your house, make sure that they are securely fastened to where they are placed. Use plastic putty and nonslip mats for really small objects such as small vases, picture frames, and other table accessories. Use close hooks for hanging frames and mirrors. Tall furniture pieces need to be secured to their positions using brackets and make sure that heavy objects are stored low. You can put wires and latches on shelves, cabinets, and drawers to prevent them from getting opened and spilling out their contents.
  • Have a secure place to go to. It is important to think ahead of time where you can make yourself safe in your home if an earthquake does occur. It is best to identify an area where there are very few things that can topple down and that the structure looks solid enough. Make sure that this area is always accessible to you and your family members and that everyone is oriented on what to do during an earthquake.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tips For Getting Your House Ready To Sell

A lot of Philippine property owners come to a point when they want to sell their properties for one reason or another. Some of the possible reasons for reselling properties are relocation, profit, or a desire to buy another property. If you are one of those who are planning to sell their house, you will have to prepare your property to make it easy to sell. With the number of Philippine homes that are for sale in the market, your property might be facing some tough competition.
Below are some tips to help you give your house the edge that will make it easy to sell.
  • De-clutter. The first thing you will have to do is to de-clutter your house. A clutter-free but average-looking house will have better chances of being sold than a clutter-full but well-designed house. No matter how well-built, well-designed, and beautiful your house is, it will be difficult to see and notice if a lot of clutter is in the way. Put all the stuff that you are not using in storage containers and put them away in a storage room. Make sure that only the important stuff that you always use are the ones that are not in storage.
  • Retouch. Check everything in your house and list down minor retouches that you can make such as repaints, repairs, and replacements. Check the roof for any damage and leaks and make repairs as needed. You may want to apply a fresh coat of paint to the walls to make it look brighter and cleaner. Repair or retouch any cracks, holes, and leaks. Make sure that most of the pipes and electric lines are in excellent condition.
  • Clean. Give your house a good thorough cleaning and you will appreciate how it will look whether you are selling it or not. You can choose to do it yourself or you may want to hire professional cleaners to do the regular cleaning until you found someone who will buy your house. Do not just limit the cleaning to the structure of the house itself. Include all your big appliances as well as furniture. This will help make your whole house look shiny and new.
  • Deodorize. Although the visual appeal of a house is one of the main considerations for many buyers, the smell can greatly affect how a potential buyer can feel about your house. Hence, make sure that your whole house smells good at all times.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

First-Time Homebuyers: Three (3) Things Every First-Time Homebuyers Should Know

Acquiring your first home is a big responsibility. The most fundamental step is to educate yourself so there would be no room for regrets later on. After all, purchasing a property is not as simple as shopping for clothes, shoes or gadgets. There are a lot at stake here hence you should be careful when you start the process. Below is a short checklist for first-time homebuyers. Be aware of the basics so you will not be overwhelmed with the technical aspects that go along with it.
Here are three (3) basic things to guide you.

1.       Market Prices. Learn that there are a lot of factors that affect pricing – size, condition, neighborhood and amenities. For instance, a Makati condo may be more expensive than a condo in Manila. On the same note, a 400-square-meter two-storey house in Liliw, Laguna may be cheaper than a 100-square-meter flat in Quezon City. Understand too that they tend to go up and down. Its value may fluctuate over time. This means that your future residence could be worth less than what you pay for it now, given two-to-three-years-time. The bottom line therefore is – just because the offer is good doesn’t mean that you have to grab it right there and then. Weigh your options and do a thorough research first.

2.        Proof of income and assets. One of the documents you need to prepare is the evidence that you are capable to pay for the real estate that you’re eyeing to buy. This mainly comprises your annual income summary and investment portfolio statements. Others include pay stubs, bank and asset records. These items are necessary when you meet your banker or mortgage broker. Getting them ready might take some time because you need to ensure that they would pass their critical eyes. In this regard, do not apply for credit before buying.

3.       Basic Rates and Expenses. The cost of owning a home is always more than the purchase price. There’s the mortgage payment, the regular fees paid monthly such as insurance and property taxes not to mention what you’ll spend for utilities and maintenance. Thus, one of the best practices is to reserve enough cash for home improvements. In terms of down payment, know that they are normally within 20%. The percentage you pay for mortgage differs depending on the area where the land is located. Check the locality’s rate table to avoid being overpriced.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

NUVALI Short Film Competition

Open to all Filipino students and amateur film makers.

Registration period - July 20 to August 30, 2013

For the application forms and full mechanics visit

The Top 15 Film entries will be premiered on a gala at the NUVALI Night Sky Cinema on October 26, 2013

The Top 5 winning film entries will be given a one 1-year scholarship grant from the Asia Pacific Film Institute and also featured in selected Ayala cinemas.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Securing a Property in the Philippines

Are you looking for houses for sale in the Philippines? Many houses in the Philippines are available for purchase, depending on the locations and areas that you wish.

If you're looking for properties in the Philippines but don't have a budget yet, you can take a housing loan at a bank or financial institution near you. Here are a number of ways that you can take a housing loan to purchase a house for sale in the Philippines.

  • Government institutions. The Philippine government offers a number of loaning options for individuals looking for properties in the Philippines. You may apply a housing loan through the Social Security System or Government Service Insurance System. The localized Pag-ibig Fund, a government organization that offers home loans for low- and middle-income families, is the most utilized service that Filipinos have.
If you're thinking of getting a Pag-ibig loan to acquire a house for sale in the Philippines, you must be a qualified member of Pag-ibig. Some of their requirements include:
     twenty-four consecutive contributions to Pag-ibig
     be of legal age, but not older than 65 years old
     no existing loans from the Pag-ibig Fund
  • Banks. Most banking institutions offer housing loans at reasonable rates. Make sure to avail of one that has a lower interest rate, to ensure that paying it off won't be a challenging bill for you to pay. It's best to do your research by consulting different reputable banks and asking others who have previously applied for a housing loan. Do your research carefully; it would also help to read through banking and finance paraphernalia to ensure that you're getting the best deal within your budget.
No matter which option you choose, it always helps to look around and consider multiple options before you narrow down on your financing option. It also helps to ask your real estate agent to help you go through your different options. Good luck!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Catch CircuitFest 2013

The first International Music & Skate Festival in the Country! Happening on May 25, 2013 at the Globe Circuit Event Grounds.

Featuring 9 International Bands, Skateboard Pros Willy Santos and Riley Hawk (son of legendary skater Tony Hawk), hosted by Glee Star, Mark Salling.

Bring your friends and family.

Buy your tickets now and enjoy an Early Bird Discount!

Log on to for more details.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Popular Choices For Condo Window Coverings

Condominium buildings have grown to be popular residential options for a lot of people especially those who need to be near their workplaces. There are many benefits to living in a condominium which is why it is also quite popular even among those who only wish to rent. If a Makati condo for rent is sought after by many office employees in Makati, a for rent Atayala condominiums in Manila  is quite popular among college students in Manila.
One common characteristic of most condo units everywhere in Metro Manila is the presence of at least one window. Whether the view is spectacular or average, a window can have a huge effect on how you decorate your condo unit. No matter how you decorate and style the interiors of your condo unit or the view that you have outside your window, you will need some window coverings for security and privacy. Below are some of the most popular choices for window coverings in condo units.

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  • Fabric curtains. The most common form of window covering, fabric curtains have been used since people started covering their windows. You can easily have fabric curtains custom-made according to the shape and size of your windows. You can easily put two layers of fabric curtains – one made of heavy fabric and another made of sheer fabric – so that you can easily control the amount of light that goes through your window.

  • Venetian blinds. Although initially made popular for office use, venetian blinds have long transitioned towards residential use. Nowadays, you can choose from a wide variety of textures, color, styles, and features when buying venetian blinds. Venetian blinds became popular because they are inexpensive yet durable. Because these are easier to clean, they are good options if your kitchen has a window.
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  • Roman shades. Also known as roll-up shades, these window coverings can be made of fabric, synthetic leather, vinyl, and other materials. These are simple and economical while providing the same coverage as fabric curtains. They are also good space savers because they are rolled up instead of bunched on the sides like fabric curtains.
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  • Solar screens. Designed to control the sunlight and UV rays that come through the window, these are often made of dense mesh and also used for improving the room’s energy efficiency.  Although solar screens can come in the form of panels or blinds, they are also commonly fixed and mounted on the windows.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ten (10) Ways to De-stress in the Office

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Stress is part of life. You are not a normal person if you didn’t experience stress at least once in your life. Stress in the workplace can’t be helped. There are several factors that contribute to work stress – heavy workload may be one, you may be doing more than what you have bargained for. Work setting is another. Your environment may be so crowded and noisy that you wish you’re somewhere else, somewhere cool and relaxing, like Bahamas, rather than stuck in an office space in the Philippines. Below are some ways to cope up with stress at work.

  • Music. Nothing is more effective than a balm to a tired soul. Breathe in and out. Feel the music.
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  • Think of something funny. Laughter is the best medicine.
  • Take a break. You’ll be amazed what a five (5) minute break can do to your system. Go to the canteen or pantry. Eat fruits.
  •   Use your lunch hour wisely. Be away from your desk. A change of environment can do wonders to you.
  • Spend your coffee break by doing any of the following. Take a nap. If your job gives you access to the web, look for funny Youtube videos. You could check out Facebook pages that will hilariously entertain you. Replace coffee, drink water instead.
  • Talk to your colleagues. This could be the right time to discuss their ideas. Spend more time with optimistic people. You’ll surely catch their aura afterwards.
  • Relax. Find a reason to smile!
  • Go for a walk. If you work in a commercial space, in Makati for example that won’t allow you to do this, try going up and down the stairs. Exercise has been proven to miraculously reduce stress levels.

walk, walk in stairs, walking, walking in stairs,

  • Rearrange the items on your desktop. You could also change the lighting or temperature around your work station. You never know, this may help as well.
  • Plan something rewarding after a stressful day. Leave at exactly 6pm and go shopping. Think of a hot tub and wine waiting for you at home. Treat yourself.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Houses and Benefits in the Philippines

There are many popular types of housings in the Philippines today, such as condominiums, townhouses, and apartment buildings. However, other than these types of housings, there are also other popular types of housings in the country today that can offer benefits fit to be recognized as modern types of housings, and one of those is the popular house and lot for sale Philippines.

New Houses and Benefits in the Philippines
There are different popular types of housings in the country today, and one of those are the typical types of houses found in residential districts. So what made these basic types of housings popular in the country?

One advantage that made houses popular in the Philippines, even in today’s modern trends, is because of its affordability. Compared to most modern types of housings in the country, such as condominiums and townhouses, houses are far more affordable (though houses in Manila are usually very expensive).

The disadvantage of these houses, however, is its location, which is usually found far from business and commercial districts, which is why its popularity had significantly dropped in the market. But there are a number of new houses in the Philippines today that can offer new modern benefits for its residents. And most of these new houses are found around the outskirts of Metro Manila.

Most new house and lot for sale Philippines today are found in exclusive housing communities around the outskirts of Metro Manila. Although not as advantageous in terms of location compared to houses found in residential districts, these new houses are known to offer different modern benefits to its residents. Here are some of those:

Family-Oriented Environment
Due to its exclusivity as well as its location, these new houses are known to offer the perfect environment for a growing Filipino family. Its safety and its serene, wide-open, spaces are what a growing child needed to grow. However, other than its exclusivity and peaceful environment, these new housing communities are also known to offer other advantages to its residents, which include its own collection of amenities.

Luxurious Amenities
Other than condominiums and condominium complexes, these new housing communities are also known offer their own collection of luxurious amenities such as its own swimming pool, sports complex, as well as its own recreational park and playground that condominium complexes are popular with.

According to many real estate experts, it was because of these that made houses a very popular type of housing in the country today.

New Term of Payment
But other than its collection of amenities, these new houses had also gained a lot of popularity because of its affordability due to its new term of payment. According to many real estate experts, most of these new houses can now be bought and paid in installment.



The Decorative Magic of Throw Pillows

Well, if you think that you pretty much know the purpose of having Throw Pillows at home, think again. Do not underestimate the beauty and purpose of this boxy and colorful ornament at home. The truth is, the purpose of Throw Pillow at homes can be limitless. You just have to make sure you are imaginative and creative.
  • Make boring bed interesting. By adding a couple of colorful and printed Throw Pillow on your bed, you zest and add life to a boring plain, white bed (sample picture attached)
  • Spice up dull corners of your house by adding Throw Pillow. Not only do they add depth, they also provide additional seats to your guest in case you are hosting for a big group.
  • Make comfortable chair even more comfortable by placing Throw Pillow on them. Again, they add character to your household item without exerting much effort. Another inspirational piece is also attached.
  • The purpose of Throw Pillow is not limited to home décor (at least that is what I think and believe). I love watches and I make sure they are kept well and protected. As storage, what I do is place Throw Pillows inside by room cabinet and carefully place my metallic watches on top of the pillow. It serves as a cushion and display tray for my watches.Here's a sample photo.
I hope I have inspired you to be creative with your usual decorative items. In home décor, most items are not what they seem. Be creative. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. In home décor, the only mistake you may probably commit is not being creative.