Four Ways to Choose Good Tenants

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“Either there are lots of really bad tenants, or the landlord is really aggressive and wants to get people out.” –Jose Lamport

Today, with the housing market prices on a steady incline, more and more individuals are looking to rent houses as an alternative to the long-term commitment of owning property. While this means great news for landlords as this would mean an increased demand for their rental properties, they should be extra meticulous and discerning in the prospective tenants they accept. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that the tenant you choose would take care of your property as much as they would if it was their own. In this way, you would not only be protecting your property but your investments as well. The difference between choosing a good tenant and a bad one means all the difference between a profitable venture and one with large losses or even worse. So, regardless of whether you have a long string of potential clients queuing to see your new property in Avida Towers Centera or wherever, being picky would definitely reward you in the long run.

So, how do you ensure that the tenants you choose are reliable and trustworthy ones? Well, here are a few tips you can follow to make the screening process a breeze.

1.) Take your time

Do not immediately select the first prospective tenant that shows interest in your property. In ensuring that you choose only the best candidates, it is best to avoid rushing yourself as this will lead to incredibly hasty decisions. More often than not, you would even have to compromise before even beginning the process. Plan well in advance and advertise the property or room early. If you have existing tenants, ask them to cooperate by allowing them to give their feedback as well as show the property to prospective new tenants. Give your existing tenants a little nudge of encouragement in helping you with small incentives such as dinner at a local restaurant or some bottles of wine. As a result, they would be more receptive to helping you fill the vacant spaces in no time.

2.) Broaden your search

If you want to broaden your scope of prospective tenants, then you should at least try ever advertising avenue at your disposal. Considering that most people are spending their most of time online, social media platforms would be a premier spot for advertising your rental property. If you have an agent, know what methods they are using and take a gander at the photos and descriptions they are showing. In this regard, it is best to depict your property in the best possible light to entice prospective tenants to come and see it for themselves. Lastly, try writing ads yourself, highlight your property’s best features and consider what a tenant would be looking for.

3.) Be proactive

Do not merely advertise a room or property and wait for the offers to come rolling. Successful landlords become so by working proactively. Look for adverts either online and offline stating that they are looking for rental properties or rooms. Scour your neighborhood or the internet for potential tenants and see if your property meets their criteria.

4.) Trust your gut

While you should not discriminate against someone’s race, gender, religion and sexual orientation, this does not mean you can no longer trust your instinct. Indeed, it might be illegal to discriminate prospective clients on the above-stated grounds; this in no way would mean that you simply have to accept everyone who comes along. If something is off and something just does not feel right, trust your gut.

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4 Self-Care Habits You Can Sneak During Work

Self-care is the most valuable yet the most neglected aspect of adulthood.

Growing up, we are wired to believe that grades, community involvement, and careers are more important than our physical and mental health. Thus, we burn ourselves out because of overstimulation and repetitive tasks in our respective cubicles and workstations in Ayala Land Offices.

Millennials are the most stressed among the current generation. A study by American Psychology Association found that factors that influence financial statuses such as money, jobs, and the economy are sources of stress. The study also identified several symptoms of stress – from irritability to depression – all which can affect work performance.

To retain a sense of self when working under stressful situations, here are simple self-care habits to integrate daily and make you less stressed:

  1. Adopt a new mantra

    inspiration, goodness, great people, new day

The constant thoughts in your head become your reality over time. Is there something in your life that bothers you? Did you adopt a new routine in the past only to be bogged down by the lack of results? The problem may not be with your choice of actions. It may be in the way you think. If you plan to make lasting changes, the key is to change the way you think. Pick out a negative thought in your head and transform it into something positive. Repeat the new statement over and over for a week until you adopt the belief.

  1. Get out of bed before everyone else

    bed, wake up, wake up early, lea michele, excited

Waking up before everyone else is the most wonderful thing in you can do for your mind and body. Being up way ahead of others gives a sense of accomplishment. Moreover, it gives your brain a quiet time to process the thoughts in your sleep. You get extra minutes to handle the information from your subconscious without distraction. Getting ahead also allows you to plan your day and set realistic goals because you had time to digest them.

  1. Sweat the stress out.

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Going out to perform exercises will not only get you into shape, but it also lessens the stress levels in your body. The tension and knots in the body get released because it engages in actions and warms it up. A body in motion is also helpful for the mind. It wakes the nerves in the brain and springs it to move. Stretch out your joints and limbs any time you feel the signs of stress coming out.

  1. List it on paper.

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Writing every number, memo, and reminder on a notebook isn’t a sign of a failing memory. It’s the opposite.

When we jot down facts and other vital details, retrieving the information from the brain and recalling is much more natural. The action aids in memory retrieval and takes less time that exerting the mind to remember a particular fact. Furthermore, placing essential details on paper makes it official. You are more likely to accomplish the task because of the visual reminder.

  1. Catch up with friends and family.

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Extended hours in the office working on the same project and frustrated group of people can drain your energy. It can also be taxing to your wellbeing. Likewise, friendships in the workplace are often out of convenience and not of genuine interest, so people tend to feel lonely.

If you are feeling the blues, take a minute to excuse yourself from the situation and to call up your trusty BFF or your parents and siblings. You can vent your feelings without judgment. They will also appreciate the fact you trusted them to be updated in your life.

The workplace is a serious environment that often forgets human beings run it. Most people neglect their health for their aspirations, so they burn out. You can avoid burn out by placing yourself first. That way, you can continue to provide the same energy and enthusiasm you had on your first day at the office.

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Home Selling 101: Four Costly Mistakes to Avoid Before Selling a Home

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“The investment of staging in your home is far less than a price reduction on your home. “-Barb Schwarz

No matter how much planning we do, the logistics of selling a home are never quite straightforward, and neither are they always guaranteed to be successful. Some techniques might work to a seller’s favor, while the rest might be more advantageous to a buyer’s interest and detrimental to the seller’s potential profit from the sale. Indeed, selling a property can be a stressful and costly affair. It takes a degree of patience, a great deal of your time and an unwavering persistence to be successful in this endeavor. With all these considered, it would be understandable for sellers to wish for the process to work in both favors—theirs and the buyers as well. Unfortunately, much to the dismay of many home sellers, a home can languish for months– or years even without generating any leads. As a result, it can diminish a seller’s chances of getting a high profit.

More often than not, this has less to do with the declining real estate market (albeit that could be a factor too) but is attributed more to the mistakes a seller may be committing before selling their homes. Regardless of whether the property for sale is Avida Asten or elsewhere, if you are making any of the mistakes below, then there is a very likely chance that your property would stagnate. To ensure that this does not happen, it is best to aware what these costly errors are as listed down below:

1.) Withholding information from prospective buyers

If you wish to strike a satisfactory deal with your potential buyers, you need to meet them with open candor and present your property as it is. Hiding facts and intentionally concealing problems from your buyers is never a good idea. During the initial inspection of your homes, your prospective buyers will inevitably uncover these which can be a big turn-off. Never withhold any type of information or misrepresent your property as your potential buyers might think they are being misled. As a result, they may not consider your property any longer.

2.) Over or under pricing your listing

An integral factor in motivating potential buyers to consider your home is the price. Overpricing and underpricing your property have their own corresponding consequences. Overpricing your property would cause most buyers to immediately rule out your home or intimidate them as it is not in their price range. However, underpricing it would also mean you would miss out on potential revenue. Find a middle ground by knowing the ideal market price of your home.

3.) Neglecting to do a pre-sale inspection and assessment

A home appraisal is an integral process you should undertake before you put it up on the market. Having it assessed or appraised would provide you with the fair market value of your home which means you would know what the bank will approve the buyer with. In this regard, you would be assured that there would be no need for you to make up the difference in closing the deal. Furthermore, a pre-sale inspection would help you determine if there are repairs you need to do which would consequently adjust the asking price for your home.

4.) Accepting or negotiating offers with a buyer who is not pre-approved

Before considering any negotiation proposed by a potential buyer, be sure they can furnish you with a pre-approval letter or at least a proof of purchase if they wish to pay in cash. After all, you would not want to start making compromises or have things repaired when they cannot even afford to buy the property from you.

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Homeowners’ Guide: How to Recover Financially After Spending Too Much on Vacation

expensive family vacationNow and then, we need time off. We need to get away from office workload, toxic relationships, and unmeaningful activities. There are also days we just want to remove ourselves from stressful situations.

That’s why the idea of taking a vacation is highly enticing. We think that a weekend getaway in Nuvali Laguna will magically solve the issues we have. Moreover, we like unwinding with family and friends so we end up spending more than we should.  The act justifies our happiness to provide to others. It also serves as a reward for our hard work.

Going on a vacation should not be a hindrance for living a satisfying and hassle-free lifestyle. Of course, it is possible to bounce from a fallback if you know how to budget your money effectively.

However, if you are one of those homeowners struggling on this matter, then you might want to try the tips below.

1) Cover more ground.

Using your leftover fund or disposable income, give more than your dues when it comes to payables. It will be a sticky situation at the beginning because you have to operate on a smaller budget.

Once you are used to it, you learn to appreciate the fact that you increased your payments. You will be happier when you get to remove your credit dues in a short time.

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2) Keep credit cards out of sight.

It’s easy to charge everything on plastic especially after blowing all your cash on gourmet meals. Credit cards can give the impression of stored money that you use each time you make a purchase.

Unfortunately, other people forget their obligations at the end of each transaction. When the costs of shopping and impulse buy come together, it can be too much to handle. The interest from unpaid or delayed balances can cripple your money flow.

Moreover, relying on credit will exacerbate your already bloated expenses. Refrain from using the plastic as much as you can. Hold off making unnecessary purchases until the next payday when income and expenses balance out.

3) Build a cushion fund.

A cushion fund is necessary. First, it’s different from an emergency fund. An emergency fund is the saved money you can withdraw in case of a rainy day.

A cushion fund isn’t the same thing. These funds stay on your checking account regardless of the situation. The fund is useful in case you need a fallback on your financial transactions. The moment you used a portion of your cushion fund, you have to replace it immediately.

The ideal amount for a cushion fund is the same as your three months living expenses. An emergency fund needs to cover three to six months of your expenses.

4) Sacrifice your splurging habits.

It will be a challenge especially if you have shopaholic tendencies. If you don’t make changes to your splurging after an extended vacation, you will end up with more headaches. It will be difficult to hold off looking at catalogs, planning shopping trips and ordering overpriced drinks but it will be worth it.

Stay out of places that encourage spending. If you want to recover from the pocket –burning vacation, you must instill discipline and train yourself. Getting more out of life without spending a fortune is possible.

The next time you have an itch to go on a vacation, don’t forget the most important thing – plan. Prepare the itinerary, accommodations, and the budget.

Planning is a sure-fire way to avoid maxing out during an out-of-town trip. That way you won’t regret any decisions and dread coming back. Most of all, you get to enjoy your trip without falling off your finances.

 

Cry – Inducing Filipino Movies to Watch on a Rainy Day

August is the National Language Month. It also happens to be the month of monsoons, strong winds, and typhoons.

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(Translation: Work and school suspensions abound)

Everyone is encouraged to stay at home as much as possible to protect themselves from harm and sickness. Unfortunately, people on a fast-paced life are quickly bored at home. Boredom becomes a problem especially when home means a house and lot – Cavitehouse and lot – Cavite, Laguna or other communities far from the city.

Make the most of a rainy day by catching up on needed zzz’s or better yet, why not binge watch some movies. Here are some Filipino movies heavy on the storyline and the drama that will make your tear drop on a guitar.

Magnifico

Director: Maryo J. de los Reyes
Screenwriter: Michiko Yamamoto
Producer: Violeta Sevilla

Magnifico was young Jiro Manio’s claim to fame. The movies center on a boy named Magnifico and his family’s poor living state in a rural area in Laguna. His name means ‘magnificent,’ which gives him a burden of living up to the word. His mom, portrayed by Lorna Tolentino, always talks about their lack of finances. Both his parents don’t think highly of him. He has a brother who’s away for college and a sister with cerebral palsy, but these things don’t bring him down. He does little things to help ease the family’s burden like building a coffin from scratch for his cancer-ridden grandmother. Unfortunately, the touching tale of the young boy comes to a tragic end. You have to see the ending for yourself.

Magnifico is one of the best Filipino drama film of all time.

Anak

Director: Rory B. Quintos
Screenwriter: Ricardo Lee, Raymond Lee
Producer: Trina N. Dayrit

Few movies showed the struggle of Overseas Filipino Workers in the early years, yet Anak managed to capture the reality of leaving the family in exchange for abuse and poor working conditions abroad.

The movie tells the story of a mother, played by Vilma Santos, who left for Hong Kong and worked as a kasambahay to Chinese families. Her employer would not let her take vacations, locked her up and took her passport. She became bound to her employer when they took an extended vacation so didn’t receive the letters from her children stating their father was gone.

When she had the chance to return home, she tries her best to keep her family together. However, the resentment and hatred from her children get in the way of rebuilding their family ties.

Anak is a classic. It may not represent most of the OFW stories, but one way or the other each family with a member far from home would relate to the story.

Mila

Director: Joel Lamangan
Screenwriter: Ricardo Lee
Producer: Charo Santos – Concio

Another touching movie written by Ricardo Lee, Mila tells the true story of Anita Pamintuan.

The film centers on Mila Cabangon, a public school teacher, portrayed by Maricel Soriano. Mila genuinely cares for her students. She is also generous and benevolent. Most of all, she is approachable and has a good heart. She is a friend to everyone.

A story wouldn’t be complete without struggles, and she definitely has a lot. She was strong and managed to overcome her strife from childhood. She lost her teaching position because of the strike and discovered her lover was an addict who tried to extort their possessions to finance his vice. She wandered the street of Ermita upon losing her job.

She didn’t know why she was there, but she enjoyed teaching the children as well as the prostitutes. She gave and offered help even when she had nothing left. Eventually, poverty took its toll on her. Her body gave up, and she died in the streets.

Mila shows the hardship faced by teachers against the government. Their passion for sharing knowledge reigns even in the face of adversity.

Tanging Yaman

Director: Laurice Guillen
Screenwriter: Shaira Mella Salvador, Laurice Guillen
Producer: Elma Madua

Tanging Yaman tells the story of a family divided because of an inheritance left by their deceased patriarch. Three siblings, now with their families, visit their nurturing and self-giving but ailing and feeble mother whose love is the only thing that binds the siblings and grandchildren together.

The movie successfully displayed the contrast of provincial values and urban traits present in the second and third generation members of the family. Distance and time placed a strain on each relationship, and the characters showed how does family get along in spite of the instances. Tanging Yaman teaches the power of love, faith, acceptance of one’s self,  the effects of controlling others’ lives as well as feelings of jealousy and insecurity.

Caregiver

Director:  Chito S. Roño
Screenwriter: Jewel Castro, Chris Martinez
Producer: Elma Madua, Eduardo Mangahas

Caregiver is another movie that shows the struggles of an OFW. Set in 2008, a grade school English teacher flies to the United KIngdom to support her husband. Sarah Gonzales, played by Sharon Cuneta, becomes a caregiver in a retirement home. The distance from her son, pressure from the job and the conflicts that arise from the couple opened Sarah’s eyes. Her self-discovery made her an empowered woman.

Sarah’s journey is relatable to Filipinos who recently left the country to give their family a better life. The movie also shows a Filipino kid raised in London whose attitude can be considered problematic but only wants love and affection from his parents.

These five movies are top-notch and guaranteed to form pools under your eyes. Don’t be surprised if your vision blurs in the middle of the film screening. Just make sure to have a box of tissue at arm’s reach.

Listen Up People, The East Struggles Too

As a citizen from the East (Rizal to be exact), I totally feel the struggles of the North and South. My social sphere is quite diverse as I attended college in Manila, volunteer in Quezon City and occasionally hang out with my fam in Paraňaque. It gets hard to jump from each place.

With an air of desperation, I decided to look for a condo for rent in Makati or BGC, which is close to home. But my work life, personal relationships, and activities can’t fit in my schedule because most of my time is spent commuting.

With that in mind, I’ve rounded up some of the struggles the East peeps kept under wraps. They are worth the Twitter-war trend, too!

 

It doesn’t matter if it’s to the North or South, it takes the same amount of time and traffic.

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Ortigas Ave. and the Extension is supposedly the fastest way to EDSA, and everyone thinks the same thing, so it’s ALWAYS traffic. Julia Vargas is also brimming with the cars of Ortigas CBD’s workforce. It takes an hour just to reach Pasig and another hour to drive along EDSA. Even if we’re in a rush, we won’t take a cab because the meter will be running on forever. Working in Fort and Makati is the dream but having to leave at 6 p.m. and go home at 9 p.m. (if we’re lucky) every day is a bit much. Don’t get us started with Alabang. We’ll be there, but we’d much rather be there on a weekend when being late doesn’t count.

Another way to get access EDSA is through Marcos Highway, but then, we have to pass through a bunch of boundaries before arriving at our destination. Until then, we have to brave the small towns and clogged streets to get anywhere.

 

My halfway is different from your halfway.

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Honestly, we’re already in the halfway, or close to it at least. You have to make it clear whose halfway are you referring. “Halfway” could mean a lot of things – Cubao from the North and Pasig, Ortigas, and Mandaluyong from the South. We’re flexible when it comes to meet ups. Still, we plan our driving and commute routes accordingly so spare us the stress and clarify whose “halfway” is it. It will save us more time and gas (and carbon footprint) if you’ve just made it clear in the first place.

 

Rush hour can be heaven or hell – there’s no in between.

There are days when everything is a breeze. The streets aren’t packed, and all modes of transportation are waiting for our beck and call. Then there are hellish days when traffic enforcers who try to ease the traffic only to make it worse. There are days we wish for our cars, and there are days we wish we could just ride anything as long as it gets us there in time.

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Let’s not forget the construction of the main roads for the rainy season. It rarely ends before the actual season, so it takes half of the street and causes major traffic. Flooding isn’t a problem unless we need to pass by flood-prone areas like Marikina and low-lying towns of Rizal.

 

Non-commuter areas

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We people of the East are humble homebodies who love to get out of our comfort zones now and then. Nevertheless, we don’t have to bring our car all the time since all the commuting options are available at hand – LRT, MRT, UV, buses, and jeeps – thus, don’t make us go to exclusive places like Katipunan, BF, and Filinvest. Going to these locations require cutting trips. It’s also super hard to catch a jeep during rush hour. It doesn’t help that Grab and Uber rates are in surge because everyone decided to book their trips at the same time.

 

“Why are all the cool places so far away?”

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The food parks in Maginhawa, street art in Marikina, parties Makati and the Fort are all in traffic prone areas (Translation: WE WANT TO AVOID THEM). We already spend half of our life waiting in vain for the traffic. We certainly don’t want to spend our weekend in there too. Plus, we have to leave waaaaay ahead of time, so we’ll be on time for the party or whatever it is we’re going to. We are the gateway to both sides after all.

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FOMO is real when concerts are in MoA Arena or Filinvest Concert Grounds.

 

Cancelled plans

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We can be the Hufflepuffs of the Metro but we have our limits too. Just because I’m closer to whichever place we happen to meet up doesn’t mean you can cancel it on the spot. Navigating the streets of Quezon City is grueling. Also, just because my place is the nearest among us and I brought my car doesn’t mean you can stuff all the leftover supplies from our past projects. It’s much better if we shared the load and divide it among ourselves.

Overall, people from the East are more understanding and flexible than those of the North and South. We get their cavalry, but we have our own too. Our counterparts from both ends are more privileged to certain conveniences in terms of commuting, entertainment, and accessibility. Thus, we learned to adapt and make use of what we have while searching for the greener pastures from opposite directions. We’re trained for the buwis buhay commute of the North and the laid back elegance of the South.

Cover Photo was taken from Photo ni Ompong

Five Micro-Stressors Every Senior Goes Through

Senior year is hella stressful. There are college applications – manually filling out forms, requesting for the requirements, compiling them and then taking the entrance tests which takes a lot of time. It doesn’t help that most of the best college institutions are in Manila. College doesn’t start until next year, but the effort of trying to make it into the dream school sometimes make us want to have a condo in Manila sooner.

Given these struggles, there are other things that damper a senior’s confidence and mood. They are adults, but not quite. They are young and naive, but they are independent as they start learning the ropes of the world. They deserve a bit of understanding from adults. Still, here are lesser known things that put additional stress on senior students.

Pressuring them to take a course they don’t like

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They haven’t graduated let alone stepped out of the halls of their high school, and they are already subjected to a path of misery and doom because their parents have a say on what degree they should get. Those who want to pursue the path are lucky, but those who want to branch out to another aren’t. There are also students who qualify for college scholarships but are limited to specific courses. Thus, the lack of freedom throws them off the curve and makes them less enthusiastic of college.

Unsupportive parents

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These parents often don’t know what’s best for their senior student. They hinder the student to get close to opportunities. They don’t listen to their child, and they don’t care. Some parents only want what they didn’t achieve when they were younger, and they shovel them to their kids.

Senior year is the time for the student to explore with the help of their training wheels. It’s the time for them to make mistakes and ask for forgiveness once they’ve realized it. But parents don’t understand this, and they choose to strangle their kids with nagging, criticism and gaslighting rather than support and guide them in their endeavors.

Piled up projects

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Whether it’s a self-development project or a school requirement, unfinished projects add to the pile of stress on their shoulders. Supplies are strewn in the bedroom or the study hall. There are looming deadlines, and the meetings come one after the other. There’s a huge chance to leave a major piece of the project behind, and they (and their group mates) will hate them for it. There’s also the fact that commuting while bringing a huge board (ONE WHOLE illustration board) is such a hassle.

Unfriendly community

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We may not be aware, but students fall in and out of friendships throughout their high school years as adults do. Falling out of a year long friendship at the last year of high school is heartbreaking. Senior year is the year of raging hormones and significant changes – the year of the unknown. Being surrounded by unsupportive peers, self-centered student leaders and belittling teachers are hard for the student. Extended periods of isolation may lead to depression.

Facing traffic

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Unless the house is a few steps from the school, then say hello to the population of people who rely on vehicles to get anywhere. Traffic is a nuisance which makes a 9 a.m. class to a 6 a.m. affair because it takes an hour to get ready and two to get to school.

It’s much stressful when it’s time to get home. The students spend 8 hours on average at school, and they still have to travel home. Exhausted and weary, the only thing to do is sleep, but they have to stay up lest they get robbed or miss their stop.

These five aren’t complaints but are micro-stressors that can pile up and blow in various proportions. As adults who have “been there, done that,” it is our responsibility to give compassion to the young ones. Seniors, no matter their size, are still part of the awkward stage. They deserve every bit of help and understanding from the people around them, especially their family.