What’s Your Protection

December 17th, 2014

a5.jpgApartment communities often pick up the phone and call a leasing office or an on-call security staff to report excessive noise. With condominium owners they don’t have such facility unless it is included in their amenities. Condo owners are sometimes faced with this dilemma of going downstairs, upstairs or next door.

Kitchen magic.

December 10th, 2014


As we all know, dark colors tend to make the room look smaller. If you have light colored wallpapers or white paint on your walls, then congratulations, you just made your condo look bigger. However, when look at your unit, there seems to be something wrong. Oh, those kitchen counters! If you have counters with black granite tops, better call your contractor now and have those removed. Even if you have a large kitchen, the black tops tend to make your kitchen look smaller than its real size. Try to go for a lighter shade of granite if you really want granite for your countertops. Also, you can have Maple wood finishing for your countertops. This light colored wood can surely make your kitchen look bigger.

Photo taken from http://www.mapleblock.com

Coming Up With Your Downpayment

December 3rd, 2014

Image Source: kindnessofstrangerstravel.com

One of the factors that lending institutions look at is how much downpayment can a buyer make. A downpayment is a borrower’s “goodwill money” and a sign of his intent to make good on a loan and a lender’s assurance to lessen the risk in case the borrower defaults on his monthly payments. The bigger the downpayment, the bigger the chances of getting a higher loan amount or a lower monthly amortization. Generally, borrowers do not have big amounts of cash on hand to be given as downpayment. However, they do have other sources of funds aside from their own savings. It could be from family, friends, relatives, money from sales of stocks or bonds or a qualified co-maker.

To accomodate buyers with a limited downpayment, lending institutions and other mortgage companies have come up with innovative solutions:

  • Zero downpayment loans. As the name implies, this loan does not require a downpayment. This is usually offered to first time buyers who can make the monthly amortizations but have no family , friends or relatives who can lend them the downpayment.
    The downside however is that the interest rates or the monthly amortizations are usually higher.
  • Rent to own loans. A buyer starts off as a renter with the option to buy the property any time during the term of the lease, at a price acceptable to the owner. In most cases, the rent amount you paid will be fully or partially applied as downpayment.

Subsidy programs are sometimes even offered by cities that are hoping to expand their communities.

The Cost of Condo Living

November 26th, 2014

If you’ve just bought a condo, or are planning to buy one, you might have overlooked the cost of your monthly dues. These, in addition to your mortgage, are major costs you cannot afford to miscalculate. Monthly dues can vary according to the amenities and services a condominium has. It’s usually calculated per square foot or meter. Think of these as fees as membership fees you need to pay to use the amenities your building has. After all, you have a pool, gym, jogging track, tennis courts, etc, amenities you would usually need to pay a country club for. Also, these fees will go toward building security, maintenance, disposal, gardening & landscaping, etc., all services you would normally have to do in a regular home, but is now being handled by a property manager. You’ll need to consider this part of your monthly expenses, remember too that these dues can’t be taken off, even if you’re not using the condo or it’s amenities.

Cooperative Housing Project

November 19th, 2014

2.jpgA cooperative housing project is another type of ownership for a multi-family dwelling. Situated mostly  in huge municipal areas, the owners of a co-op are in a larger group of ownership, instead of owning the individual units themselves. The standard monthly evaluation is like a condo as well. As a rule, the condo fee pays only for the building maintenance, such as pool upkeep, garbage removal, water and other utilities. In many cooperative housing projects, it may also include replacement of appliances and systems. For example, if a refrigerator, or air conditioner and/or other major appliance goes out, you would simply build in for a new one without having to buy it yourself.

Doing the double.

November 12th, 2014


If you really wish to have more storage in your condo you can install high rise cabinets or wall mounted cabinets so that you can put things in there. But if you do not wish to drill the walls or occupy some floor spaces in your condo (maybe you have other things to put in there), maybe you can settle for an ottoman.

An ottoman is a sofa type (without a backrest) wherein you could put things inside. The lid of the sofa can be opened, so you can stack things inside. The ottoman can serve as sofa for entertaining guests and a storage room for your stuff! Talk about double purpose!

Photo taken from http://www.artefac.com

Monarch on the Merrimack

November 5th, 2014


Monarch on the Merrimack spells ecoluxury in the Victorian riverside city of Lawrence in New England. The development transforms the huge Wood Mill into 600 eco-friendly residences. Using geothermal heating and cooling, Monarch saves energy for what was once the largest building of its kind in the world. The historic mill was converted into modern lofts with 16-foot ceilings and oversized windows. Units come in studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and mezzanine lofts, or garden lofts and terraced penthouses that can be combined to make spacious residences. A number of unique residences, including duplexes and triplexes, are also available.

Apartment Therapy

October 29th, 2014

If you don’t quite know what you’re looking for in urban dwellings, here’s one tip. One site that is a great run-to for designer hacks is apartmenttherapy.com, centered on New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. Their house tours bring you to the living spaces of interesting people, where you can sense the resident’s personality.

This is one great way to pick up ideas for your condo if you’re on the hunt for urban property to acquire. The shopping guide splits up services and stores to a hundred categories so you know where exactly to find items, materials and styles in your neighborhood. Talk about variety!

The glorious link list opens the (browser) window to more inspiration elsewhere. I don’t think we mentioned that this healing process is not good for your financial health.

Living In Comfort

October 22nd, 2014

5.jpgLiving and dining in a luxury place at the heart of the city is the trend these days. Standing at the window of a condominium unit is a fascinated scenery. That’s why the higher the unit floor, the cost is much expensive. Also, homeowners are now particular how well decorated the unit is. Some are even hiring interior decorator to transform the unit into a magical place. More than anything else, living in a condominium is more of a comfort rather than a lifestyle. The fact that you live in nearby establishments, you don’t need to worry about time and other things.

Moroccan Inspired Condo

October 15th, 2014

If you are lucky enough to have been to Morocco, then you would have possibly been taken by the beautiful interior of the homes, hotels and restaurants around. There is a certain rich and sensual appeal to Moroccan decors. If you want the same in your own home, it is possible. Do not worry, it is easy. Here are the instructions on how to transform a regular unit to a Moroccan inspired room!

1. Paint the walls in Jewel tones. This will make a big contrast to the rich colors that will fill your room.

2. Shop for colorful saris. This is easily done either online or thrifts stores of the closest India town in your area.

3. Make use of these saris as curtains, pillow covers or seat covers. Don’t be afraid to go crazy on colors. Moroccan rooms are all about that! Use a lot of pillows! They love big stuffy pillows. It can also be used as a seat.

4. Morocco is a warm country, therefore, try to give off a vibe of warmth by playing with your lights. Make use of  low wattage sconces and lanterns rather than harsh overhead lighting.

5. To finish, add a beautiful chandelier in the middle of the room.