Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top 5 Laundry Tips For Homeowners (Or Practically Everyone)

First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

Most homeowners prefer to take their laundry to local laundromats, especially those who are too busy to wash their clothes at home. Nonetheless the trip to the laundromats, even though convenient, can cost a lot of money. That’s why some still choose to do their laundry at home. Though washing clothes at home can add up to your monthly bills, there are cost-efficient ways to save energy, water, and time.

  • Wash Clothes in Cold Water 

One of the most helpful ways to save energy and water is to use cold water instead of hot water, which takes up more energy, thus increasing your electricity and water bills. For dirty clothes, a 30°C cycle is enough. Additionally, washing clothes in cold water can actually make them last longer.

  • Always Do Full Loads 

When doing the laundry, it’s not practical to wash a few pieces of clothes in one go. Always do full loads to save water and energy. Doing full loads can save you 3,400 gallons of water each year; it also saves time because you don’t have to do your laundry every day. Pile up your used clothes for one week and wash them on weekends.

  • Skip Drying Your Clothes 

Though most washing machines come with a dryer, it’s not always necessary to use it. Apparently, using the dryer is neither energy-efficient nor cost-efficient. It’s better to just dry your clothes outside the house. After all, the scorching heat of the sun can easily get things done.

However, if you’re in a rush and you don’t have any space to hang your clothes outside the house, you may use the washing machine’s high-speed spin cycle. That way, your clothes will be almost dry when they come out of the machine.

  • Save Money On Laundry Supplies 

Using a reasonable amount of laundry detergent is enough to clean your clothes. This will help you save money on buying more detergents.

What’s more, not all laundry supplies are necessary. You can skip using fabric conditioners because the detergent itself is enough to soften your clothes and make them smell good.

  • Lastly, Choose An Energy-Efficient Washing Machine 

If your washing machine is more than 10 years old, it’s most likely to make your energy bills dramatically increase. That’s why you have to buy a new washing machine and make sure it’s energy-efficient; choose a machine with the EC-AG label.

Additionally, modern machines also provide energy-efficient options such as built-in sensors to prevent over-drying as well as weight sensors to ensure accurate full load weight and determine appropriate levels of heat and water.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Must-See Eco-Friendly Condos in the Philippines

First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

The Philippines is now home to many real estate developments, especially high-rise condos. However, the proliferation of tall buildings has negative impact on the environment; that’s why most real estate developers and building contractors have started incorporating eco-friendly structure designs in their projects.

Basically, what makes a building eco-friendly is its energy efficiency and sustainability. According to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), to make a condo environment friendly, it has to maximize the use of natural resources, which promotes minimum waste of water, energy, and other natural resources. It also has to use construction materials that are recyclable and cost-efficient.

Below are three examples of eco-friendly condos in the country:

Paseo Verde, Las Pinas City

Though located along the busy Real Street, Paseo Verde still offers its residents a serene and green environment. Registered with the Philippine Green Building Council, Paseo Verde is considered the first eco-friendly condo in the Philippines. Its amenities include a swimming pool, a clubhouse, and a landscaped site development.

Escalades at 20th Avenue, Quezon City

Escalades at 20th Avenue exudes calmness through its green architecture. Situated in the heart of Cubao, this township project features six cost energy efficient buildings, wide open spaces, a tropical Asian-inspired garden, jogging path, playground, and picnic areas. The buildings’ corridors welcome natural sunlight, which is good for ventilation.

3. Primavera Residences, Cagayan De Oro 

Primavera Residences is the first eco-friendly building in Cagayan De Oro, the capital city of the province of Misamis Oriental in Mindanao. It ensures a more efficient consumption of natural resources, particularly water and energy.

Its rooftops have photovoltaic solar panels, which help produce renewable energy. It also provides natural lighting and ventilation, which protects residents from heat even during the summer. What’s more, it has a green inner courtyard, which makes the building’s indoor air quality even cooler and fresher.

Apart from its green features, Primavera Residences also offers amenities such as a multipurpose hall, swimming pool, jacuzzi, gym, restuarants, shops, and 24/7 security. It also faces the tranquil Macajalar Bay.

For more examples of eco-friendly condos, visit PropertyAsia.ph.
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Monday, April 06, 2015

3 Ways Real Estate in the Philippines Will Benefit from the ASEAN Integration

First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

In response to the increasing role of Southeast Asian countries in the global community, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders—11 of them, including the Philippines—signed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) blueprint in November 2007 and officially formed the AEC earlier this year, in anticipation of a regional economic integration by year-end.

The main purpose of the ASEAN Integration is to create more jobs and income, and boost investments among member countries by creating a single market with free flow of goods, services, investments, and skilled workers.

With the ASEAN Integration just around the corner, expect a more robust economy and business environment, which can lead the way for an even healthier local real estate market.

The ASEAN Integration anticipates the following:

Increased Infrastructures 

The ASEAN Integration is expected to encourage highly-urbanized cities in the region to build more infrastructures—mostly commercial and residential. The construction of new malls and retail complexes will eventually translate into an even more potent real estate market. It will not only boost the Philippines’ property industry but also its construction industry, thus creating more jobs for Filipinos.

Soaring Foreign Investments 

There will be a higher demand for office and residential spaces from foreign investors. However, the Philippine government may need to attempt to push for a constitutional change anew to amend the prohibition of foreigners to own land in the country.

The potential influx of foreign investments to the Philippines as well as the emergence of new growth areas and economic hotspots in the region will help improve tourist arrivals in the country, which should also make a positive impact in the real estate sector.

Intense Global Competition

To realize the goals of the ASEAN Integration, member countries are expected to intensify real estate and construction activities, thus creating a stiffer competition among them. Essentially, the Philippines has to take on the challenge and do its part to remain a strong industry player. In fact, the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. (CREBA), the largest real estate umbrella organization in the Philippines, has been encouraging its members to pursue more relevant market reforms to stay competitive.

Since the local real estate industry will now be exposed to international markets, major operations should be expanded and properties should be acquired both from inside and outside the Philippines.

Additionally, the ASEAN Integration espouses the elimination of tariff on goods and services, which gives the consumers more money to spend.

For more stories about the ASEAN Integration 2015, visit PropertyAsia.ph.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

California Pizza Kitchen Treats Photo Contest Winner To Sumptuous Dinner For Two

Peng Cruz and Cecil Cruz with California Pizza Kitchen-Shangri-La Plaza's
Store Manager Liezl de Gracia, Abby Pereira, Checile Montevirgen, Raymund
Macairan, and Nelson Cerda (Photo: Oliver Oliveros)
First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

City of Mandaluyong—It seemed like the food was endless when Cecil Cruz, winner of property search portal PropertyAsia.ph’s “Most Romantic Valentine Arrangements at Home” photo contest, together with her elder sister Peng, was recently treated to a delectable selection of authentic Italian pasta and pizza at California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) in Shangri-La Plaza.

Her joining the contest, which had a dinner for two at CPK and a pair of tickets to the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” as prizes, was actually unplanned. Cecil’s photo entry subjects, her recuperating dad, Roberto, 70, who suffered a heart attack at the height of typhoon Glenda last year, and her dad’s loyal, loving, and caring wife, Luisa, 64, posed before the camera after the former surprised the latter with a few plastic rose stems; a borrowed teddy bear; and some branded chocolates from the fridge clumped together impromptu!

Cecil said, “It was my dad’s simple gesture to thank my mom for she was so brave and caring during his recent three-month stay in the hospital.”

On the day the photo was taken in Greenwoods, Pasig, Cecil, a former employee at Jamba Juice and an occasional actor on GMA Network, even recalled her mother saying, “I’m just glad your father is still with us; that’s all I ask for.”

Brimming with love and wide smiles, Roberto and Luisa’s photo together, which garnered nearly 50 shares and 150 likes on the social media platform Facebook, was an instant favorite even prior to officially winning the Valentine-themed contest.

California Pizza Kitchen's baked penne
On hand at the celebratory dinner with Cecil and Peng were CPK-Shangri-La Plaza’s Store Manager Liezl de Gracia, alongside her very hospitable staff Abby Pereira, Checile Montevirgen, Raymund Macairan, and Nelson Cerda, and PropertyAsia.ph’s Social Media and Community Manager Oliver Oliveros.  

CPK’s bestselling menu items: mouthwatering quesadillas, roasted pumpkin soup, and original barbecue chopped salad as appetizers; fresh-from-the-oven mupesa (mushroom, pepperoni, and sausage) pizza and baked penne as main course; a reimagined campfire favorite s’more—a baked pizza crust topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream—as dessert; and free-flowing iced tea were exceedingly a feast for the eyes and tummy.

PropertyAsia.ph extends its heartfelt thanks to Cecil, Peng, Roberto and Luisa, and to CPK’s Liezl de Gracia and General Manager Jem Ramirez.

CPK-Shangri-La Plaza accepts catering services, call 0927-7401136.

For more contests and promos, visit PropertyAsia.ph.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

6 Homeownership Costs You May Not See Coming

First published on PropertyAsia.ph

Purchasing a property comes with inevitable costs. You might not have imagined these things prior to buying your new home, but expect these bills to land on your doorstep soon.

When owning a home, here are some of the additional costs you have to deal with:

Mortgage Fees

You worked hard on financing your home, and now you have to work harder to pay the mortgage fees, e.g. mortgage arrangement fees, indemnity costs, and broker fees. It’s a must to pay these fees on a monthly basis or else the bank or lender will order foreclosure of your property.

Property Insurance 

It’s a must to have a homeowner or hazard insurance that covers basic protection against fire and theft. A building and contents insurance is also important to protect your assets in case of an emergency or a major disaster. So choose only reliable insurance products from the most reputable insurance companies. 


You have to pay property taxes depending on the assessed value of your home. Local tax rates vary, but the average cost can add up to a few thousands of pesos.

Paying taxes is compulsory; you can’t do anything about it.

Homeowners’ Association Fees 

Owning a home is a shared responsibility.

There are areas you share with other homeowners, which are called common areas such as elevators, balconies, parking spaces, and lawns. The homeowners’ association fees are paid by homeowners for the regular upkeep of these common areas.

Maintenance and Redecorating 

When moving to new house, you would need to redecorate it; and in doing so, you will have to spend some extra cash to buy furniture and home d├ęcor.

You also have to maintain your home. Keep some extra money in case an appliance conks out and needs repair.

Monthly Bills

Even though you’re just renting a house, you can never avoid making monthly payments for the consumption of water, electricity, cable TV, broadband Internet, and telephone service, among others. Luckily, you have control of these extra costs; if you want to pay less, use less water and electricity at home.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Are You Ready to Sell Your Home?

First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

Do you want to sell your home, but you’re not quite sure when’s the right time? To help you decide on when’s the best time to sell your home, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Would It Get Sold Right Away? 

If you were to sell your home right now, would it get sold right away? Think twice.

If you’re moving or relocating for a new job, you could try renting out your house first until you’re ready to put it on the market. By doing so, you’ll have enough time to adjust to your new environment and focus on home selling later.


Real estate experts say that the weather or the season may affect your chances of selling your property. Bad weather can prevent most home buyers from searching for new homes. Good weather, on the other hand, can prompt prospective buyers to go out and show up at your open house.

Housing Inventory 

The housing inventory in your market may affect your timing and chance of selling your home.

A real estate agent can help you determine the housing inventory in your market, which changes every year. If the inventory of homes is low, it may be a good idea to sell your home at that time. 

Home Condition 

The physical condition of your property is a very important concern when selling.

Apparently, you can’t sell your property if potential home repair issues are visible. Before you plan to sell your home, you have to make sure it’s in its best condition.

Also, if there are major construction projects in your area and your prospective buyer finds out, expect the buyer to haggle over the price.

In situations like these, we suggest that you postpone selling your house. Wait until your house is ready and the construction works are over.

Current Employment Rate 

In general, people who are looking for properties are financially stable. So if the current employment rate is going downhill, you have a very low chance of selling your house.

However, you can explore tax incentives in your area. Tax rebates can be a strong motivation for home buying.

Market Condition 

Find out the current mortgage interest rates. If they are quite high, that’s good news for you. However, most home buyers purchase a property when the interest rates are low.

In addition, if you’re going to sell your home in a tight market, which is not advisable, the home buyer has more chances of getting your home at a much lower price. 

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