Thursday, May 28, 2015

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

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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 

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

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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.


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.


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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