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Finding Your New Home for Rent: Things to Consider Before Closing the Deal

Man unpacking his stuff from the boxFinding a place to call home — whether for a short or a long time — might seem easy. With all the rental places available all over the market at present, choosing one might seem like a walk in the park, thinking you will never run out of choices.

Upon browsing through your options and considering factors such as your budget and specific needs, however, you would realize that it is not really the case. Luckily, there are things you could consider to help make your search easier.

Whether you are looking for a condo for rent in Pasig City or Cebu City, knowing the important factors to consider before jumping to a deal can make a huge difference. If you keep reading, you’ll learn what those are.


Most rental agreements specify the length of your stay. This is a good thing as knowing the contract length will enable you to plan ahead. You will also be able to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate your living arrangements.

As such, it is important to know what you are capable of given your circumstances as well as your short-term and long-term plans. Will you be able to pay your monthly dues on time for a year without sacrificing other aspects of your life? Or are you better off looking for a different place that you can better afford? Keep your budget in mind and make a game plan on sticking to it.


Woman looking at the buildings from the balconyThis is not really a problem as there are a lot of rental units sprouting all over the capital. But you should consider the place’s accessibility to public transportation, malls, schools, hospitals, and your workplace. The more accessible those places are, the more convenient it would be for you.

Also note that choosing a good location is not just about convenience. Many studies have shown that the quality of life if directly affected by how much time one spends on their daily commute. Long commutes to and from work have been linked to mental health as well.

Facilities and amenities

Different places offer different amenities. It is important to know which services and facilities you cannot live without and which ones you can compromise. For instance, asking if they allow pets before looking deeper into the deal is also important, especially if you plan on living with one (or some).

If you have a car, note that not all rental properties offer parking spaces. Usually, this comes as a separate contract. If you regularly work out, consider a place that has a gym and better if you could use it for free as a resident. Make a list of the requirements specific to you, and be realistic about it too.

It is in most instances a taxing task to look for a place to live in, even if there are many rental properties in the city. However, proper research can help you in your decision-making process in finding the right apartment or condo that will suit not only your budget but also your needs and lifestyle.

Another Man’s Treasure: How to Profit Off Of Tax Deeds

Person getting money from a womanReal estate properties can mean different things to different people. More than a place to call home, real estate properties have also become a form of investment for some. Properties can be profitable through owning and renting them out or buying and flipping a property.

If you have experience in some of the forms of real estate investment, you may have also heard of tax deed investing. It’s a niche venture, but one that has the potential to be seriously profitable. Before we dive into the “hows” of the matter, let’s first discuss the basics of tax deed investing.

Tax Talk

On top of mortgage and insurance, you also pay property taxes if you own a house. Every piece of real estate in the U.S. is subject to this. The government uses the funds that it collects from property taxes to build public schools, roads, and for other programs.

If a person misses out on paying for their property tax, the taxing authority will consider their taxes delinquent and charge interest on the amount owed. The tax debt will grow if the owner of the property still cannot pay their dues and eventually, a tax lien will be placed on the property.

If that still isn’t cleared, the tax authorities will put up the property for either a tax lien sale or a tax deed sale where the highest bidder becomes the new owner. Keep in mind, though, that each state has different rules regarding tax liens and deeds. Taxdeedinvestors.com has a helpful list of tax deed states for reference.

Investing in Tax Deeds

Shaking hands after a negotiationNow, here’s how you can profit off of another person’s tax delinquent property.

A county or state is primarily concerned about generating money from property taxes enough to make up for their lost tax revenue. Basically, taxing authorities do not care much about the market value of a property. This is where you can profit off the tax deeds.

Let’s say that a property is valued at $150,000 with delinquent taxes and penalties worth $10,000 at the time of foreclosure. The amount of delinquent taxes—$10,000—will usually be the state’s concern so they’re likely to start the opening bid for the property at this price. If you win the bid at, say $30,000, the $10,000 will go to the state for the owed taxes and the remaining will go to the former owner of the property.

Essentially, you’ll end up having an equity profit of $120,000. Since the deed is now yours, you’re free to use the property as you please. You can rent it out or sell it at its market price. Either way, you’re going to be gaining a huge profit off a property you bought for only $30,000.

Where to Bid

You may be wondering where to find properties you can snag that are up for foreclosure due to delinquent taxes. Many municipalities across the country still hold live, onsite auctions to sell tax deeds. Larger markets, though, have turned to online auctions. Contact the municipal or county office in the area you’re interested.

The Most Popular Suburbs Near Melbourne for First-Time Homebuyers

Key inserted in the keyholeOwning a house is everybody’s ultimate dream. The joy that comes with this accomplishment cannot be matched. Whether you are living alone or starting to build a family with your partner, getting a comfortable home is among the first things you should do.

If you are planning to buy a house or a piece of land in Australia, choosing the right location is of utmost importance. It is ideal to live in a place that is near the most important establishments, such as schools, hospitals, shopping centres and entertainment hubs. Your family’s comfort, enjoyment, peace of mind and future depend on the environment you will be living in. Make sure you get the location right at the onset.

Ideal Locations for First-Time Homebuyers

First-time homebuyers who are looking for alternative places near Melbourne acquired properties around Donnybrook, where the house and land packages are likely cheaper than those in the capital city. This is good news for those who are just starting out or have a limited budget. Suburbs are likewise more attractive to first-time homebuyers, as these provide a quiet and fresh environment.

Most developers incorporate nature into the design of their master-planned communities in the outskirts of the cities. This allows for the creation of an environment that is conducive to a simple and peaceful way of life.

Based on data from the Victorian government, the 3064 postal code ranked as the most popular for first-time buyers during the three-month period, from July to September. The postcode covers the Craigieburn, Donnybrook and Mickleham areas. Peppercorn Hill shares some insights on this home buying trend.

Market Drivers

Homeowners calculating their paymentStamp duty exemptions and concessions for first-time homebuyers served as the main factor for the increase in transactions, which helped 8,205 people with their purchases. As prices in Melbourne remain high, around 25 per cent of these aspiring homeowners flocked to the city’s outskirts to look for more affordable options.

The concessions exempted buyers from stamp duty payments if they bought a house below $600,000, whilst those who acquired a property below $750,000 only paid a discounted rate. Other top suburbs near Melbourne included the 3029 postcode comprising Truganina and Tarneit, where there were 320 concessions, and 280 concessions in the 3030 postcode from Werribee to Point Cook.

Property Investment

An expected decline in Melbourne home prices serves as another reason to avoid buying a house in the city as an investment. By 2020, the median price of houses may fall as much as 20 per cent because of stricter lending standards and a bigger supply of properties, according to AMP chief economist Shane Oliver.

The situation could likewise apply to Sydney’s housing market whilst prices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, and Hobart may buck the trend in the next two years. National property prices may continue to drop in 2019, so think carefully where you plan to buy your first house.

Some property developments near Melbourne offer land only or house and land packages for buyers, which provide you with an option to save money. You should decide soon, however, since the popularity of these suburbs could mean tougher competition from other buyers.

The Big Shift: How to Get Children Ready to Move to a New Home

Family packing their thingsAs exciting as it is, moving homes can be a little overwhelming, especially for the children. In fact, some Filipino psychologists believe that relocation can be so jarring for young kids and teens that it can cause anxiety and depression. The key to avoiding this is good preparation. Follow these tips to get your children ready for the big move:

Start the Talk Early

Real estate experts at Lancaster Cavite say that an early discussion about relocation would help the children ease into the idea of moving. Thus, even as you are contemplating about getting a new home, try to keep the kids already in the loop. You have to make them understand as well why you’re planning to do this. Is it to be near your workplace? Is it because of a security issue in your present neighborhood? Keep explanations clear and simple. Anticipate that there are going to be a lot of questions. Most of these questions come from a place of uncertainty: What happens to their friends? Do they have to transfer to a new school? What if they don’t get along with their new neighbors? Be ready for such questions and reassure them that you and your spouse will be there to support them in this transition.

Let them Envision the New Life

Child holding new house keysIf you’ve settled already on a house, allow them to see it weeks prior to the move. Spend an extended time in their would-be room and let them imagine how you’re going to decorate the space. Ask them for paint colors or wallpapers they want. Drive up to nearby parks, playgrounds, schools, and restaurants, and tell them that the people they meet will likely be their future neighbors. If you’re still in the process of finding homes, show them pictures of the properties you’re eyeing. Allow them to come with you to open houses. For your teen children, you may assign tasks to them, like snapping photos of the properties you visit or comparing model prices. You can also encourage them to check out model units online, like the Lancaster Alexandra model house, and ask them which they liked most. Letting them be part of the home-buying process allows them envision this new chapter in their lives.

Plan a Fun Goodbye (see-you-soon) Ceremony

This will help them further accept the reality of the move. It doesn’t have to be a sad going-away event. Organize a pajama party or a nice, simple backyard dinner with their friends and classmates. You may want to encourage your children to leave some valuable items with their peers. It can be as simple as a handkerchief or a stuffed toy that would serve as a symbol of their friendship. Or you could also give a speech, encouraging the children that their relationship doesn’t have to be severed because of distance. They could still see each other on social networking sites or visit every now and then. Reassure the kids that there really is no goodbye here, but just a see-you-soon.

Again, moving can be a little too stressful for kids. Make the relocation easier for them by following these tips.

The Search for Your Future Senior-Friendly Residence

smiling elderly man

Now that you are nearing your senior years, you should probably already start looking into your residential options. Preferably, your choices should be able to offer features you could benefit from and can cater to your wishes while making sure that you’re comfortable during your advanced years.

Just how do you know which features you should prioritize over others, though? Sometimes, even after retirement, you still can’t have it all. So, your best recourse is just make the best out of the situation. Luckily, Rockwell Corporate cites some of the factors you need to look out for during your search.

Proximity to Medical Facilities

Since you will eventually require elderly health services, you need to find a place that’s in close proximity to clinics, hospitals and other medical facilities. In fact, this feature should be on the top of your list, especially if you are living alone or are living far from family or relatives.

Also, it would help if your new place also has amenities that can be beneficial to your fitness wellbeing, such as a gym, walking areas with greenery and personnel that can look after your safety. These features are typically offered by a number of Metro Manila condos that are up for sale.

Travel Options

It’s true you would want a bit of privacy and solitude in your old age, but you wouldn’t want to be in a place where traveling to and fro is difficult, even if you have your own vehicle. Besides, your family might find it problematic to schedule a visit because of your inaccessible location.

Worse, you might even put off your doctor’s appointments because of your new home’s distance. With that said, you might also want to consider a property that offers private transit options.

It might be tempting to live in a remote area, far from civilization — if you’re into that sort of lifestyle — but it wouldn’t be ideal given your special needs as a senior.

Recreational Areas

Senior couple having a bike ride

Life can get dull if you’re retired. After all, you are no longer following a daily routine, or trying to achieve “adult milestones”. You have lots of free time on your hands. So, take note of the entertainment and recreational spots near the residence that you’re eyeing.

Places such as parks, restaurants, shopping centers, and malls should be easily accessible. Find hobbies you never tried when you were younger. You might even end up surprising yourself. It’s never too late.

After all, being up and about can do wonders for both your physical and mental health whatever your age is. Regular exercise will prevent diseases and mental health issues associated with old age, lengthen your life and improve its quality as well.

Once you’ve made your choice, acquire the property so you can rent it out before you finally retire. Just remember, you’d want to live out the rest of your days in comfort and happiness so choose well. Therefore, it would be best to visit your finalists personally before you make your decision.

Moving into the Ideal Neighborhood

Suburban neighborhood with cars parked in frontThese days, when it comes to moving to a new home, there are a variety of options to consider. For instance, it is essential to check on your new neighbors to establish camaraderie with them. Aside from this, children moving to a new neighborhood need help in adjusting to their new school. People are encouraged to be “tourists” in the new neighborhood. This means that you should take time to walk around and familiarize yourself with each part of the community you’ve moved into. Here is a closer look at what you need to:

Check if the Community Has Trustworthy Schools

Real estate developers like GoBE Real Estate usually have clients looking for schools that can accommodate their children. It is vital to be determined. You should not risk trusting the wrong kind of school. A school that can guide your child properly should have proficient teachers, modern teaching facilities, adequate security, and more.

It Is a Plus if There Are Parks in the Vicinity

For families who love going on picnics in parks or walking their pets there, the said park should then be a priority when looking for a new home. Aside from offering views of greenery and spaces for relaxation, parks might also provide venues for recreation and sports. For instance, it will be a plus if the park has a skating rink for skateboarders, a well-maintained path for joggers, and more.

There Should Be Local Businesses in the Area

Women buying at a local marketFor parents or breadwinners looking to find work after moving to the neighborhood, it is a must to have local businesses operating in the area. This should provide opportunities for both professionals looking for employment or entrepreneurs planning to open a shop. Having multiple companies functioning in the area can be a good sign that the community is growing.

Medical Services Should Be Available

Another factor to consider is medical services, especially for families with children or seniors. This is crucial, as the Center for American Progress reports how community health centers help keep businesses running. Having medical centers in these communities provides a place for the sick to get well again, thereby making them fit for work sooner and putting sick leaves to a minimum.

Determine the Supermarket Locations

There should also be grocery stores in the vicinity. After all, these shops provide daily needs like food, cleaning products, and hygiene supplies to every household. It is not enough to have grocery shops; the said establishments should be qualified to sell clean and fresh produce, meat, and beverages. It is also a plus if the grocery has eco-friendly efforts, such as placing bans on plastic bags and using paper ones instead.

To sum things up, there are things that you can do to ensure that your neighborhood is the ideal one. The area should have trustworthy schools for your children, medical services for emergencies, parks that can accommodate family activities, and more. By determining this, you will be confident that you are investing in the right home.

4 Facts About Investing in a Condominium for the First time

Condominium photo shot from the bottomAs Metro Manila — and the Philippines as a whole — continues to do well economically, the demand for jobs continues to increase. In fact, it is more evident in particular cities because even people who live in the province (nearby or not) are moving in, with the hopes to look for a higher paying job in the capital.

That demand, along with the fact that condominiums have started to sprout like mushrooms in different parts of the metro, has made it a lot easier to find and invest in real estate. All you need is to get yourself a unit, advertise it to people who might be interested (families, young professionals, or bachelors/bachelorettes), rent it for a specific time (in a six-month or one year contract), and earn money.

If you want some passive income, it could be a wise move to invest in a condo. However, despite the variety of choices, it pays to be prepared when you make your first investment. Before signing a deal and securing that condo, Quezon City real estate experts noted that it is best to make sure that you have these fully understood and prepared:

1. Purpose

People buy a house and lot for different reasons, and buying a condo is no different. Knowing your purpose can help you decide which type of condo to buy (studio, 1BR, or 2BR) and where to buy (near your home so you can tend to your future tenant’s needs immediately or within a popular neighborhood).

Having a purpose can help you better understand the direction of your investment. In this case, it is you, wanting some passive income. The question is, “For what?”

2. Budget and Financing

Set aside a reasonable budget for your purchase. It is important to stick to it and know in what ways you can finance them (i.e. loans). Having the numbers straightened out before you actually sign the deal can help you achieve a more stable financial standing. You would not want to pursue that purchase if you know that you will just be buried in debt. Besides, if you are getting a mortgage for it, your lender would know if you are eligible enough to pay back the money you are planning to borrow every month.

Construction worker surveying the site

3. Developer

They sprout like mushrooms. But, like mushrooms, there are good condos and bad ones. Make sure you are working with reputable developers. In the Philippines, there are many of them like Rockwell Land Corporation, which you might need to do a little researching first to be sure that buying from them would be worth it.

After all, the last thing you would want is an unfinished building (with your unit among them) due to internal problems or lack of funding in the part of the developer.

4. Insurance

Accidents can happen anytime to anyone, even in the most secured condominiums. Therefore, it is important to invest in one that has insurance for theft, fire, and natural disasters. It is your right as an owner to be covered.

Once you fully understand the reality of owning a condo and accept the responsibility of having one, then it is time for you to finally make that purchase.

3 Reasons Your Business Should Have a Physical Office

modern office

Renting an office these days has become an expense that everyone wants to avoid. In fact, Rockwell Corporate notes that many people are shifting to the modern way of officing — from meeting clients in restaurants or hotel lobbies to doing much of their business activities from the comfort of their homes.

Still, nothing beats having a physical office where you and the people you work with can share a space and get things done together. There’s a reason it’s been the standard working condition for decades on end. Having a physical office space comes with a plethora of benefits. Below, see some of them.

Promotes Accountability

Besides the dreams you and your team share in the name of your business, some of these people do have personal hobbies, talents, and goals to pursue. What makes them happy is to see that they accomplish their desires at the end of the day.

The more they focus on their interests, the more your business gets affected. If they all come to perform their work from a physical office, every one of your employees has no choice but to focus their skills to your business, or at least for the time they are physically there.

Whatever they do outside the office is theirs, but while you provide them with resources to work with you, you expect them to work with you.

Encourages Team Building

employees working together in the office

By considering an office space for rent in the Philippines, it becomes easier for you to integrate different departments into one team that focuses on common organizational goals. Although having remotes teams has its benefits, the ease of having your teammates in one place will get you closer to your business goals faster.

The fact that your team works for a single business unit simply means their skills, experience, and talents are targeted on your enterprise. However, if everyone works from home and only meet through an online platform, the bond and rapport cannot be strong enough to bring them together.

Establishes Brand Awareness

Most of the clients these days want to be sure that they are dealing with a legitimate organization. Part of the things they will ask is the location of your business. Without an office space, you won’t have a spot to identify your business with.

A physical office doesn’t just win clients’ trust, but also creates brand awareness. When people have a place to associate your business with, your brand becomes even more real in their minds. You create a tangible image of you in your customers’ eyes.

Creating business success and growth isn’t limited to finding ways to cut overhead costs and growing profits. It involves marketing efforts and working on a positive brand image. The biggest, most successful companies invest a lot of resources into this because they know its importance.

Building a good and lasting reputation for your business is part of the long-term goals that you also need to have. Unfortunately, you cannot achieve good brand reputation with an enterprise that does its activities out of space. You need an office where you can identify yourself from.

People Person: 3 Easy Ways to Get to Know Your Condo Neighbors

high-rise condo unit

One of the most common misconceptions about condo living is you will never find friends, as everyone has their own little worlds boxed in their cold and stiff units. The truth is, however, condo communities today are some of the most vibrant neighborhoods — and that you can very well make friends in these settings, even without trying so hard.

Here are some of the easiest ways to get to know your condo neighbors. Who knows, your personalities might jive and you may find a friend who is interested in the same things.

Help someone

The “Bayanihan” spirit in Filipinos isn’t lost just because there are no bahay kubo’s to lift. There are other ways to show that wonderful spirit as long as you care for the people around you. Even in condo settings, you can channel such a noble trait. The simple act of holding the elevator for someone, especially those who have children with them or those who are carrying heavy items like groceries, can help you connect with a neighbor. Even if you just exchanged a few words — like “Going up.” or “Thank you.” — at least you did not ignore their presence. In fact, that short conversation made you look at them instead of being busy with your smartphone.

If cooking or baking is your hobby, you can be that Good Samaritan who shares food with everyone — except that in this setting, you have more to feed. Of course, your priority would be those who live on the same floor. Let them try your adobo or sinigang or the cupcakes you baked. Moreover, don’t forget to smile. Don’t underestimate the power of a smile, as it might just be the help that someone needs after a long day.

Go to association meetings

It’s your right and responsibility to know what’s happening in your community. Aside from being informed, go to association meetings to meet your neighbors. Participate actively in the discussions and express respect for differing opinions. When people see that you’re genuinely concerned about certain matters, they’d engage in conversations with you even after the meeting. This could be an opportunity to invite them to dinner at your place or ask them about what they do for a living. Seize the social opportunities in gatherings.

Walk your dog

Happy young woman walking with her beagle dog

Most property developments today have sprawling green outdoor spaces where you can take your dog for a walk. Such areas will help you meet other pet owners. As you have a common interest, it will be more natural for you to strike a conversation. Plus, dogs naturally gravitate towards other dogs to play, so you can seize that opportunity for a small talk.

Ask for permission if you want to pet their dog and try to keep it brief, as you wouldn’t want to cause inconvenience to the owner. This condo near Ortigas suggests checking condominiums that Pasig offers, especially those that feature open, green areas perfect for your furry friends.

Connecting with condo neighbors shouldn’t be hard. You just have to be proactive about it. Take it easy and have fun meeting your would-be friends.


Three Mistakes People Make When Visiting the Philippines

a horse-drawn carriage in the Philippines

Visiting a country for the first time can be very exciting. You get to learn more about a new culture, meet new people, and see places that you’ve only seen online. The Philippines, one of the top destinations in Southeast Asia, is an excellent choice for travel. The country is known for its pristine white beaches, multicultural history, and the friendliness of the locals. If you’re headed to the Philippines and want to have a safe and wonderful time, you should avoid making these mistakes:

Taking Things Too Fast

When you’ve only arrived in a new country, the best thing to do is take some time to relax. After a long flight, it’s best to nurse the jet lag at a comfortable spot, maybe a condo in Manila or Makati or a hotel of your choice. Many tourists make the mistake of hopping on the next flight to an island with no cell reception right after their long-haul flight. Not only does this put an immense toll on your body; you’re also setting yourself up for disappointment as you find that you’ll be too tired to enjoy anything.

The Philippines is one of the most laid-back countries in Southeast Asia. The locals like taking their time, whether it’s for work or relaxation. Take your time and enjoy the sights. You will have a better time for your vacation.

Only Staying in the Tourist Zones

rice fields in the philippines

Many tourists make the mistake of wedging themselves into every tight space flooded with other tourists. While tourist attractions and destinations surely are worth seeing, it is a disservice to yourself to only stay in these touristy areas. Eating food at typical restaurants and getting tours around the most popular haunts can give you a half-decent experience. You might experience lackluster service if you only stay in tourist zones, as the business owners want to serve as many people as possible, compromising the quality of the service.

There are many places tourists will find interesting that are not in a tour guide’s list. If you have friends in the area, ask them about these areas so you could see them for yourself and experience the true Philippines.

Being Carefree About Safety

The Philippines is a great country but not without fault. You can be scammed and robbed like in every other country. To avoid being victimized, be alert and aware at all times. Keep your valuables hidden and in a place where it can’t be quickly taken. It is always best to keep your valuables in check. Keep them in a hotel safe, especially passports, cards and traveler’s checks. Make sure that you do not wear jewelry that would attract attention, and always carry local currency. Follow these standard safety practices, and you will have a great time.

These are just some things that you need to avoid when you visit the Philippines. It’s a beautiful country with a lot to offer, so make sure that you make the most out of your trip. Bon voyage!