Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How Does RENT-TO-OWN Work?

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While purchasing a home is a great investment, sometimes, it takes time before you’re financially ready for it. That’s why some people prefer to wait, save more money before finally buying a house. 

However, you can still own a home even if you don’t have the means now through rent-to-own.

But what exactly is rent-to-own?

To learn more about this housing opportunity, here are some basic facts about rent-to-own; how it works; its benefits; and some considerations you need to take into account.

How It Works 

Basically, rent-to-own is the process in which the potential buyer rents a home and after a certain period of time, the owner gives the buyer the opportunity to purchase the house. Typically, the length of agreement between the owner and buyer lasts one to three years. The buyer pays the rent, an option fee, and a rent premium, which can later minimize the downpayment for the house.

In some ways, rent-to-own works like a car lease: you give a downpayment; use the car; then own the car after completing the required monthly payments. However, in rent-to-own, you have the prerogative not to buy the house at the end of the agreement.

Benefits to Buyer 

If you’re the buyer, the main benefit of the rent-to-own option is to give you more time to save money for the house while you live in it temporarily.

Though most owners will require you to pay rent at a price that’s slightly above the market, you’re not likely to lose much whether you decide to buy the house or not. If at the end of the agreement, you decide to buy the house, the owner will credit part of the rent back to you, which is usually more than the portion of rent that was above the market rate. On the other hand, if you decide to not buy the house, you will only lose the rent you paid.

Also, by living in the house you’re renting, you’ll be able to have a deep perception of the house; you’ll be able to determine current and future maintenance problems, for instance, that may affect your buying decision in the future.

Benefits to Owner/Seller

Rent-to-own also has some benefits for the owner/seller. For one, when the market is sluggish, the seller can lease the house to someone. The seller can also improve his credit because the cost of the rent is usually above the market rate.

If at the end of the agreement, the potential buyer decides not to buy the house, the seller has nothing to lose; apart from gaining income from the rent, the seller earns another chance to sell the house at a much higher price depending on market conditions. On the other hand, if the potential buyer decides to buy the house, the only thing the seller will lose is the part of the rent that’s credited to the buyer. At the end of the deal, the seller will gain income; improve his credit; and sell his home even in a slow-moving market.

Things to Consider 

The potential buyer and owner should be represented by their own real estate agents before entering into any agreement because the rent-to-own process requires contracts and other legal documents. Please take note that not all places in the metro allow lease options, especially on a residential property.

Inevitably, the house can appreciate or depreciate during the rental period or after the agreement. If the home’s selling price is incorporated in the contract and the home appreciates, the owner would somehow regret not selling it at a much higher price. On the other hand, when the home depreciates, the buyer would also somehow regret by paying the rent at a cost that was above the market rate.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top 5 Laundry Tips For Homeowners (Or Practically Everyone)

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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

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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.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

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

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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.

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