Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why 35 is the Ideal Age to Buy a House

First Published on PropertyAsia.ph 

Everybody dreams of having their own home. But have you ever wondered about the perfect time to buy a house? Truth is, the perfect time depends on you. Recent studies say the ideal age to invest in a house is 35 though. While buying a house at a younger age is wonderful, doing it at 35 is still encouraged.

Here are the reasons why:

Financial Stability 

Typically, 35 is the average age when people become financially stable. Mostly in your 20’s, you’re still struggling to find a steady and profitable job that can help you save enough money for future investments. Additionally, if you’re in your 20’s, there are many things that divide your attention such as holiday travels, parties, and romantic dates, among others. In this stage, you’re still having fun; investing in something big isn’t on your mind yet.

In your early 30’s, on the other hand, you’re likely to have a stable job; but this stage could only be the beginning of you realizing to save some of your hard earned money and exercise financial wisdom.

When you reach 35, you should be ready to invest in bigger things because you already learned enough from past financial mistakes. This is also the peak time when you would want to achieve something noteworthy for yourself and reap the hard work you’ve done over the years. 

Education 

After college some people are reluctant to find a job right away; some even study further—after all, education is important. However, studying continuously can be a financially tough time. You may be learning a lot, but you’re also spending a lot on education while not earning any income.

If you’re one of those people who prioritizes education, it will be difficult to save money and invest in big things. However, once you’re finished with school, you’ll be able to start earning and saving more for future investments. This usually happens around 35, when you’re already successful in both your scholarly and professional undertakings.

Relationship Status 

Your relationship status can be a factor for buying a house or not. Buying a house while you’re still single may be far from your mind. If you’re single and independent, you can live alone and rent an apartment. However, if you’re in a long-term relationship, you may eventually think about settling down.

People settle down at different ages; however, 35 is the average age when people have met their partners and had their babies. At the age of 35, investing your savings on your dream house can be the perfect gift you can give yourself and your family. 

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Five Ways To Survive An Earthquake

First Published on PropertyAsia.ph

Recently, there has been an alarming rise in seismic activity in the Philippines. In the last month alone, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS) recorded 305 earthquakes, in which two quakes were strong, six were mid-strong, and 441 quakes were weak.

The recent earthquake in Nepal, which killed more than 8,000 and injured more than 23,000 people alarmed not only Filipinos but also everyone else in the world.

Now the question is, “are we prepared for a strong earthquake?” Is the simple “drop, cover, and hold on” enough to keep us safe?

Here are some safety tips to follow before, during, and after an earthquake. 

Know What to Prepare 

Earthquakes are inevitable so you have to prepare yourself before it arrives. In emergency situations, such as earthquakes, you’ll likely need a first aid kit, flashlight, fire extinguisher, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries. Make sure you have all of these life-saving items. 

Stay Calm and Alert 

When inside your home, stay calm and make sure to stay away from the doors and windows. Crawl under the table or stand against a wall. When you’re out, stay away from buildings or from anything that may fall. If you’re in a car, don’t get off. Stay inside until the quake stops. When near the shore, drop, cover, and hold on until the quake stops.

However, if the shaking lasts for more than 20 seconds, get to a high ground.

Drop, Cover and Hold On 

During an earthquake, it’s important to drop, cover, and hold on, which increases your chance for survival. Simply drop onto your hands and knees; cover your neck and head; and hold on to your shelter until the quake stops. By doing this, you will be able to move if necessary to protect you from falling objects.

Things You Shouldn’t Do 

While knowing what you should you in an earthquake, it’s also important to know what to avoid. For one, you shouldn’t run outside or to other rooms while the ground is shaking. Do not move as much as possible. If you’re in a building, don’t use the elevator because it may get stuck. If you’re trapped in a room, don’t use candles, matches, or any flames.

Surviving the Aftershock 

Just because the shaking stops it doesn’t mean you’re already safe. Earthquakes have aftershocks. After an earthquake, check yourself and others for injuries. If there’s anyone injured, provide the person first aid.

Check gas, water, and electric lines for damages. Keep away from damaged buildings and neigborhoods.

Listen to news on the radio.

Lastly, don’t go near the beach because an aftershock could create a tsunami.

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How to Choose the Ideal LED TV for your Home

First Published on PropertyAsia.ph

Slim design. Low power consumption. Adjustable backlighting. These are the basic reasons why most of us replace our outdated conventional TV with a more state-of-art LED TV. Apparently, choosing the best LED TV is not an easy task. With the many features and attributes of LED TVs, there are also numerous things you have to consider when shopping for the perfect TV.

Size 

Before you buy an LED TV, the first thing you should consider is its size. When choosing the right size of an LED TV, it’s always important to take note of the size of the room in which the TV will be placed. You may also want to consider your budget because the larger the size of the TV the more expensive it will be.

Viewing Distance 

The ideal viewing distance has something to do with the size of your TV; the bigger the TV the longer the viewing distance should be. If you have a huge LED TV, you definitely won’t like sitting in the front. To get the ideal viewing distance in inches, divide the screen size by 0.84. For instance, if the TV’s screen size is 40 inches, the ideal viewing distance should be around four feet away from your couch or bed.

Screen Resolution 

Most people choose LED TVs because they want to see better images on screen. Thus, it’s important to check the screen resolution before you buy the TV. Essentially, the screen resolution determines how clear the images will appear on screen. When watching movies on Blu-ray or HD cable channels, higher screen resolution is required. But of course, the higher the screen resolution the more expensive it will be. If you have ample budget, opt for an LED TV with 1080p label; its pixels may be smaller, but it produces more defined images.

Refresh Rate 

The refresh rate, the number of times an image is flashed on the screen per second, is as important as the screen resolution. The refresh rate, whose standard rate is 60 times per second, is measured in Hz (Hertz). The higher the refresh rate the faster the images are redrawn, thus making the motion smoother. Hence, if you want to avoid blurry images on your screen, choose an LED TV with higher refresh rate such as 120 Hz or 240 Hz.

Sound 

Without quality sound, the quality of the images on screen will be nullified. When choosing an LED TV, make sure it has good sound quality so you won’t need to buy additional accessories such as headphones, large speakers, or a soundbar.

Ports 

Ports connect your gadgets such as laptops, cellphones, and tablets to the TV. If multimedia entertainment is your thing, make sure you have enough ports: one for the Blu-ray player; one for the game console; and the other for the soundbar. You can also sync your MP3s and digital photo files to the TV using these ports.

Smart TV 

Buying a Smart TV is a smart choice if you’re looking for a full multimedia entertainment package. SMART TVs offer many perks such as video streaming services Pandora, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. Make sure you choose a SMART TV that has Wi-Fi connection so you can easily upgrade the software.

Life Span

Lastly, consider the LED TV’s life span. The life span of any appliance or gadget will depend on your usage. Make sure not to overuse or misuse your LED TV.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Checklist Before Buying a House or Condo on Pre-Selling Stage

First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

Before putting your money in a house or condo on pre-selling stage, follow this checklist to help you in the buying process.

1. Check first if the house or condo you want to buy is registered with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and has been issued a license to sell by the same agency. The HLURB regulates and monitors all real estate developments such as vertical (condos) and horizontal (house and lots) projects.

2. Conduct a site survey to see if the location of the house or condo is acceptable to you and according to your liking and preference. Pay careful attention to its neighborhood and proximity to commercial, recreational, financial, and educational establishments.

3. Do a background check on the property developer and the people behind the company. Your best bet is the developer’s official website, which has a list of past, current, and future projects.

4. Know the terms of sale such as:
  • Reservation Fee – Know how much and valid for how long? The reservation fee is normally valid for 30 days prior to the down payment (DP) 
  • Down Payment (DP) – Due 30 days after you paid the reservation fee 
  • Balance – Normally required 30 days after paying the DP; can be paid in installments and spread over the repayment period prescribed by the developer
5. Know the construction schedule such as:
  • Date of Groundbreaking – Start of development and construction 
  • Target Completion Date – Turnover to buyers with Certificate of Completion (COC) issued by HLURB.
6. Lastly, know much would the association fees be (for condos) and monthly dues (for house and lots) upon completion and turnover of the property.

With all information at hand, you can already sign the reservation agreement and pay the required fees to reserve a house or condo of choice. It’s important to remember that the reservation fee is subject to forfeiture if you suddenly change your mind or if you’re unable to pay the required DP. Upon full payment, the developer then facilitates the Deed of Absolute Sale (DOAS) in favor of the buyer with the title (Transfer Certificate of Title [TCT] for house and lots or Condominium Certificate Title [CCT] for condos) to immediately follow.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

12 Ways to Survive the Hot Summer Without AC

First published on PropertyAsia.ph 

As the scorching summer heat rises, the more we want to get out of the sun and stick inside our homes. Problem is that heat still penetrates the interior of the house, especially when the air conditioning (AC) is turned off. However, did you know you can still keep your homes cool during the summer even without the AC? Here’s how:

  • Before the day heats up, close the windows and other coverings; open them at night for cooler air. 
  • Keep the sunlight out of your home because that can minimize solar heat gain. 
  • Use light-colored curtains to reflect the sun’s heat. 
  • Arrange drapes and furniture so they won’t hamper the airflow. 
  • Inspect, clean, and replace your filters often because dirty filters may restrict the airflow. 
  • Cook, iron, and wash your clothes during the cooler times of the day, i.e. precook rice or meals in the evening. 
  • Turn off the lights in the house when not in use. Take note that lights, especially incandescent lights, give off too much heat. Replace your incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights, light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. 
  • Opt for an attic insulation, which keeps heat from spreading. 
  • Though it may cost you a little, install a solar control window film to reduce heat gain. 
  • If you have reroofing and repainting plans, make sure to use light-colored paint to reflect the sun’s heat. Also use metal roofs to help keep your home cool. 
  • Plant trees and vines because they are good exterior insulators. 
  • If natural cooling isn’t enough, use fans to keep you cool inside your home. The best type of fan to use during the summer is the whole-house fan, which should be turned on early morning or after dusk.
Besides keeping your homes cool during the scorching summer heat, these practical tips will also help you lower your electric bills by not using the AC.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Smart Business: Choosing the Right Office Space


First Published on PropertyAsia.ph

Finding the right office space for your business may seem like a daunting task–there are lots of things to consider before making any decisions.

To help you with this dilemma, we’ve listed some of the things you will need to deal with when choosing the right office space.

Location 

The location of your prospective office will be the first determinant of your employees’ convenience. For a business to grow and become successful, it’s vital that everyone is comfortable at work or else the quality of the work output will suffer.

For instance, an office located in an area where traffic is always slow will affect your staff’s level of comfort. Of course, you don’t want them to arrive at the office late and irritated as you know this will affect their performance and, eventually, your business. To save time and ensure convenience, choose a location where traffic is smooth and has easy access to public transportation.

Also, choose a location near the urban center to attract the best employees and clients. Think carefully about the neighborhood, too, as it will reflect the image of your company. If the neighborhood is crime-prone, don’t expect prospective employees or clients to come knocking on your door. What’s more, make sure the location is near important amenities and entertainment venues such as bars, clubs, and cineplexes. Find out if there are nice hotels in the area in case your clients pay a visit. It will be a big boost to your company if you can provide the needs and wants of your clients.

Building Specifications 

Now that you’ve found the perfect location for your business, the next important thing to do is check the building’s structure and specifications. If the building is old, for example, you’re likely to encounter some repair problems.

Talking to the building manager and staff will help you appreciate their day-to-day operations; if you want to know the quality of their services, you can ask some of the tenants. Additionally, ask about the building’s security services. If your employees have to work at night, you will want to make sure they’re safe inside the building. You may also want to examine the external noise as it may affect the concentration of your staff.

It’s also important to look at the building administration team’s emergency preparedness plans and the building’s drainage system and parking space.

Your Prospective Office Space 

The building may be working fine, but how about the space you want to rent or buy? It’s important to see the office space for yourself to determine possible problems in the future. While inspecting the place, check if the space is just enough for your business. Also, check if the mechanical and electrical equipment are all working properly. Find out if certain services such as airconditioning, plumbing, and waste disposal are shared with the other tenants.

The floor of the office is also an important consideration; if it’s on the lower floors of the building, it may affect your privacy and it could be noisy.

Expenditures 

You should also know how much you have to spend for your new office; you should set a realistic budget to pay for its downpayment and the other costs that come with it: monthly utility bills, business rates, agent fees, personnel fees, new furniture, insurance, and fit out costs.

Work hard on your business to make your property investment worth every cent paid.

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