How can you fit house-hunting into your busy lifestyle?

MANILA, APRIL 8, 2015: It is no secret that today’s lifestyles are more hectic than ever before – with many people trying to balance work, families, friends and hobbies. Throw house-hunting into the mix and 24 hours just does not seem like enough time.

Finding the perfect property, organizing and attending viewings, and negotiating with sellers can seem overwhelmingly time consuming when you are constantly on the go. Global property portal Lamudi has compiled a list of top tips to help house-hunters to find their dream home on the move.

Get yourself organized

Having a schedule is essential to organized house-hunting. Make sure your electrical organizer is up to date. Sync your computer calendar, such as Google or Outlook, with your mobile phone, to make sure that you have all of your viewing appointments in the palm of your hand. Put aside one full day to see a number of properties,

Download the app

Make sure you have the app for your favorite house-hunting websites downloaded to your smartphone. Instead of bookmarking your preferred sites, create one folder on your phone for all property-related activity, such as maps, to-do lists, and classifieds apps. By using apps, you have all of your favorite houses and apartments in one place, with no fear of losing the details or forgetting the features.

Get ahead of the game

Sign up for email alerts when any new properties meeting your criteria are added to the property website or app. This will save you time having to trawl through the hundreds of new properties added daily, highlighting those most relevant to your search. This way, you can keep up to date quickly and easily, as well as stay aware of the average cost of properties in your desired location with the same features.

Be specific

Using a house-hunting app, you have the option of changing your preferences with the flick of a finger or the click of a button. When searching, use filters to change the features you are looking for, such as specifying your wish for an in-built kitchen or fully-furnished living space to see what is on the market. This will help you to narrow down your search, and reveal options that you may have otherwise overlooked.

Ask an agent

Reach out to a real estate agent to help you with time-consuming logistics, such as organizing viewings and negotiating with sellers. An agent will have the expertise and experience to advise you on suitable properties, whilst sharing knowledge on the best neighborhoods, and most reasonable prices. This will save you hours of research, and clear up any confusion you may have, for example regarding average sales or rental costs.


Real estate fraud - Shutterstock
Top tips for online house-hunters to avoid falling victim to fraud

MANILA, APRIL 1, 2015: The property listing almost looks too good to be true – it is in the perfect location, has beautiful photos and is well below your budget. You send off an inquiry and receive a quick response: the landlord is currently overseas and cannot show you the home. But if you can wire through a deposit as soon as possible, the property is yours.

For many people who have tried to rent a property online, this scenario might sound all too familiar. While new technologies have made it easier than ever before for property seekers to get all the information they need to supercharge their house hunt, the Internet has also made it easier for online fraudsters to target both buyers and renters.

But by being aware of a few tell-tale signs, house-hunters can learn to quickly sort the scammers from the legitimate real estate agents. Global property network Lamudi has compiled a guide to help online property seekers avoid falling victim to a scam.

Always insist on inspecting the property.

Never agree to make any payments upfront or sign a contract without first inspecting the property. Viewing the property and meeting the agent in person are the best ways to guarantee that the listing is legitimate.

Verify the identity of the person you are dealing with.

Take steps to check the agent you are dealing with is a licensed broker or agent. In the first instance, a simple online search can help you detect a scam. Try searching for the property’s address, the name of the agent and their email address.

Avoid listings that have been posted multiple times.

One common scam is for fraudsters to copy an existing (and legitimate) listing of a property for sale and repost it as a rental, with their own contact details attached. Look out for duplicate listings which have different asking prices.

Never give away your personal information or documents.

You should never be asked to provide your bank account details or personal identification documents to someone over the internet. Importantly, never provide your credit card verification code to anyone.

Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

One of the most important rules in real estate is that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Be skeptical about any online listings for attractive properties which are very well priced for the area. Scammers often use these very low prices to lure property seekers.

If you detect a scam, get in touch.

Focus your search on properties listed by well-known real estate agencies and trusted classifieds websites. Once you have detected a possible scam on a real estate search website, notify the platform immediately.

Launched in 2013, Lamudi is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets. The fast-growing platform is currently available in 32 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with more than 850,000 real estate listings across its global network. The leading real estate marketplace offers sellers, buyers, landlords and renters a secure and easy-to-use platform to find or list properties online. For more information, please visit

Five Tips for Choosing the Right Tenant

 Simple steps for landlords can follow to avoid problems later on




MANILA, FEBRUARY 26, 2015: For landlords, selecting a bad tenant for your property can be a costly exercise. Leasing your property to the wrong person could result in damage to the home, unpaid rental payments, and even legal action. But by taking the time to search for the right tenant from the outset, landlords can minimise these risks and avoid any additional costs.

From face-to-face interviews to checking a prospective renter’s credit history, global real estate network Lamudi takes a look at five simple tips for selecting the right tenant for your property.

If possible, meet the applicants

If you are managing the property yourself, rather than hiring a real estate agent, the rapport you have with the tenants will be crucial. If time permits, schedule face-to-face meetings with the applicants. If you live out of town, set up a phone call instead. Spending time on this crucial step could save you a lot of problems during the tenancy.

Be thorough with documentation

Require certain documents of all applicants and be thorough in verifying these. As well as a copy of their identity card or passport, proof of income should be provided. This should take the form of both a work contract and copies of their most recent payslips. In order to ensure the tenant can afford to lease the property, the rent should not be more than about a third of their total monthly income. For extra security, homeowners can also require references from previous landlords.

Check their credit history

Perhaps the most important component of the screening process is verifying the prospective tenant’s credit history. This will tell you whether they have any outstanding debt, as well as whether they have a history of paying their bills on time. Brokers who specialize on leasing properties recommend asking for the would-be tenant’s latest billing statements, such as mobile phone subscription. Even if they can afford the rent based on their current salary, they may have accumulated debt and these repayments will need to be factored in to their budget.

Look out for warning signs

When reviewing an application, look closely at the prospective tenant’s rental history. Have they moved around a lot, or do they tend to stay in a property more long term? Most landlords will be looking for a tenant who is stable and willing to stay for a longer period. A patchy rental history where the tenant has moved house frequently could be a sign that there have been issues between the person and their previous landlords.

Listen to your instincts

All the information and documentation the renter has provided checks out, and you are almost ready to select the new tenant. However, there is something holding you back from offering them the contract. Even though everything seems to be in order, you feel uncomfortable renting your property to this particular individual. Always listen to this gut feeling and trust your instincts before making a final decision.

For more information, please visit




Average price of condominiums in Metro Manila’s key cities revealed


Image via IngImage

MANILA, JANUARY 27, 2015: Property-seekers on the hunt for a reasonably-priced condominium should consider buying in Las Piñas, which has emerged as the city with the lowest average condo prices in Metro Manila.

At Php49,849 per square meter, buying a condo in Las Piñas is likely to be cheaper than anywhere else in the metro area, new data from property portal Lamudi Philippines shows. At the opposite end of the scale, Makati is the most expensive, with condos in the area costing an average of Php139,012 per sqm.

Based on an analysis of its 90,000-plus property listings, Lamudi has created a heat map revealing the broad range in condo property prices across Metro Manila. The information mined from the global property portal’s extensive data gives property buyers an in-depth look into the Philippine capital’s condo real estate market, and informs homebuyers and property investors on what to expect if they plan to buy a resale condo property in the coming months.

As expected, Makati tops the metro’s condo property market, boasting an average asking price of Php139,012 per sqm. An average 120-sqm condo in the city may have a selling price of about Php16.68 million. However, although Makati’s property market is quite pricey, the city has a wide range of condo properties available, from a very expensive Php388,888-per-sqm branded residence in Ayala Center, to an affordable Php27,137-per-sqm medium-rise condo in San Antonio Village.

Taguig comes in second, boasting an average asking price of Php126,129 per sqm. Condos in the city’s Bonifacio Global City (BGC) area command the highest prices, with the most expensive boasting an asking price of Php333,333 per sqm. The cheapest condo on the market in Taguig costs Php23,333 per sqm, which is located in the outskirts of BGC.

Pasay and Quezon City have almost identical average condo prices (Php104,685 and Php101,277 per sqm, respectively), but the latter being much larger has more for-sale condo properties.

The Lamudi data also revealed that average condo prices in Manila, Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Pasig are at Php95,134, Php88,174, Php87,294, and Php80,329 per sqm, respectively, whereas those in Parañaque, Muntinlupa, and Las Piñas cost Php64,276, Php60,804, and Php49,849 per sqm, respectively.

No data was generated for Marikina, Valenzuela, Pateros, Malabon, Caloocan, and Navotas due to lack of condo listings in these cities.


Jacqueline van den Ende, Managing Director of Lamudi Philippines, said the analysis was designed to inform Filipinos on property prices and to give them a clear picture of how the real estate market was behaving. At the moment property buyers can only rely on unorganized and incomplete data churned out by different organizations.

“The Philippine real estate market is rapidly growing and what the market needs is hard data to inform Filipinos’ buying decisions,” said van den Ende.

One of the highlights of the analysis, according to van den Ende, is that although Makati still boasts the priciest pieces of real estate in Metro Manila, Taguig is quickly catching up and may even overtake Makati over the next few years if current growth trends continue.

“In the future, our property price analysis will also include not only of condos but also prices of houses, commercial and office spaces, and industrial properties from across the Philippines,” she said.


Launched in 2013, Lamudi is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets. The fast-growing platform is currently available in 32 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with more than 800,000 real estate listings across its global network. The leading real estate marketplace offers sellers, buyers, landlords and renters a secure and easy-to-use platform to find or list properties online. For more information, please visit



Outlook for Real Estate 2014, What to Expect



I’ve just passed the 2014 Real Estate Broker’s Exam and very much excited to have my license already. And, I must say that I learned a lot from Engineer Enrico Cruz, who is our mentor in Urban Institute of Real Estate. If you are planning to take the board exam next year and you are looking for a review center, definitely would recommend Urban Institute (Home of the topnotchers).

Now that I will have a license, a start up network, several listings, what now? one thing I learned from Engineer Cruz is to start humble. Start as an agent and experience the art of selling. Residential or Commercial properties? Project selling or re-sale brokerage? Lease or Sale? Brand new or foreclosed properties? Project Selling for developers, most often residential condo sales – is it still something I want to spend time on, knowing that most sellers are here already? Or will I take the path less traveled by? These are some of the overwhelming questions I ask myself.

This is not an easy task especially for someone like me who has an established profession in the IT industry, trying something in an entirely new industry, but I am up for the challenge. Armed with my skills and experience in IT, especially web development and search engine rankings, I can apply them into selling to be globally competitive. Knowing that the BPO industry, the industry that I’m at for almost 13 years now, is one of the driving force of our healthy real estate market, is one advantage I can leverage as well.

Saying that, I only know one thing – I am determined to succeed. Let’s see where this road takes us. To my group mates and batch mates at Urban, Good Luck to us! See you around :-)



How to Plan a Christmas Party


Advise # 2 @ 69 days before christmas – How to Plan a Christmas Party.

Christmas is one of the most festive season of the year. Parties here and there and planning can be a daunting task to be honest but if executed well, it’s nothing short of fulfilling. If you find yourself tasked to host or plan a christmas party, here are a few planning tips, based on my own experience.

  1. Determine the budget.
    It all start’s with a budget, it defines you the scope of your party, whether you can afford to have it on a lavish venue or whether you should keep it simple – it’s a question of how much the budget should be.
  2. Form a committee – although some might say that they can do it alone, I’d say the more help you will have, the better it can get. Having a committee saves you a lot of time and effort because you can delegate some areas to other people, such as who will be in charge of the budget, the venue, the program, etc.
  3. Think of a theme. This is optional but it would be nice if you have a specific theme for the party because it will help in formulating ideas for the program and games. Here are some ideas: Moulin Rouge, Red and Black, Korean inspired fashion, hollywood inspired, or anything – be creative.
  4. Scout for a venue, as early as 2 to 3 months before, yes – that early! If you scout for a venue weeks before the party, you will have a hard time booking the place that you’d exactly love. To help you save time, here are some of the places we have considered a few years back. Piece of advise – look for a venue that comes with a packaged or consumable set meals.
    photo from:

    Venue Budget / Rates Comments Contact Number
    Wack   wack golf and country club 18,000 Php for 25 pax with   consumable food. Their accredited caterer is Via Mare Place and Food is great. They   have function rooms as large as it can accommodate 150pax and as small as 25   pax  (632) 723-0665 locals 303-304
    MannHann,   Little Baguio San Juan 15,000 Php for 25 pax with   consumable food This branch has a function room   on its 2nd floor that can accommodate up to 50 pax (02) 723-2917 to 18
    #7   Scout Dr. Lazcano Street, QC 15,000 Php for the venue rental.   Doesn’t include food This is a big house being rented   for parties and events, it’s 400sqm property. Very ideal for large crowds   parties on a budget 0917-8403357
  5. Raffle Prizes! the selling point of your party. No party is complete without raffle prizes. Categorize your raffle prizes to major and minor. Here are some ideas for raffle prizes.
    • Digital Gadgets – mobile phones, tablets, itouch, USB, external HD, Digital Cameras, PSP. We often buy digital gadgets from Gilmore Ave. QC, Cyberzone Megamall, and
    • Starbucks Planner
    • Sleepcare Pillows
    • Appliances – griller, blender, flat screen TV,
    • Groceries
    • Wines
    • Vouchers – SM Vouchers, Rustan’s Vouchers, Vouchers from or
    • Branded Bags – Lacoste, coach, ninewest
  6. Organize, Organize, Organize! – keep a budget tracker, set a target date for each tasks that you need to accomplish.
  7. Organize your program.

For planning a family reunion this Christmas you may refer to this post.

I hope these suggestions will help you on organize your Christmas party this holiday season. Cheerio!


Where to Spend Your Christmas Family Reunion


All year round, we spend our busy lives working, taking care of our business, taking care of our kids, going to school, travelling. Each of us has his/her own day to day routine.

photo credits:

Christmas is our time-out from the monotonous lives most of us have, and this is a great opportunity to spend our most meaningful time of the year with our family. Planning a family reunion is a must for this season. I, personally, enjoy big family reunions because it is the only time of the year that I get to talk with my relatives and re-connect with them again. Some of us will prefer to be adventurous, some will prefer to be intimate, some will want to relax. While there may be different preferences, there’s only one reason why we do it – we mend the gap caused by dealing with our own lives. We make it count!

As early as now, plan your reunion and here are my recommended places, locally, where you can spend your holidays with the most special people in your lives.

Tali Beach Batangas


Tali Beach is a private residential community located in Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines. It is a 2 to 3 hour drive from Manila. It has several beaches perfect for water sports and other outdoor activities. This place is truly refreshing, you will enjoy the cool breeze of the christmas season. There is even a beautiful fireworks display every New Year’s eve hosted by Fidel Ramos’ family which happens to be a resident owner on the place. The best house that you can rent in the place is the house I featured on this post. It is the only house with the biggest swimming pool. Perfect for mid to big families as it can accomodate up to 30 persons. You can see the rental details on this page.

Acuatico Resort

Acuatico Resort in Batangas is one of my favorites as well. First class accomodation.

Punta De Fabian

If you are talking about a BIG reunion,where you can rent a whole resort, punta de fabian is a perfect fit. Located in Baras, Rizal. See details on their website:

Balai Isabel

Balai Isabel is a secluded resort in the province of Cavite. If bed and breakfast is your drama for this holiday season, Balai Isabel is the place. Website below:

For more ideas on places you may visit some of the travel sites:

In planning a reunion, the venue always comes first, that is why you need to plan ahead. check the bookings on the vacation homes/ resorts I recommended. Make your holidays worthwhile.

Enjoy your happy christmas planning! And stay tuned for more advise.

Important Factors When Buying a Condo in the Philippines

Everywhere you look in the metro these days, there’s a high-rise residential tower being constructed and promising to open soon. If you are a buyer, you could be overwhelmed by these options, hence, no matter what, you should always consider the following.

1. Location The three most important factors when choosing real estate, as they say, is location, location, location. This is even truer for residential condos since that is their true unique value proposition. It’s more expensive and the space is tighter, but you’re just a short walk or commute away from work and play.

You may limit your search for Metro Manila based properties as most condominium developments is located here. There are condos that are recently ready for occupancy (RFo), under construction, and pre-selling.

Interestingly, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig has the m ost number of condos in development. Not far behind are Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, and Quezon City. There are also a good number of properties in Alabang in Muntinlupa, Ortigas Center in Pasig, and Paranaque City.


2. Cost per square meter What exactly is a “mid-priced” condo? Experts place the range between P2.5million to P5million. Perhads on an absolute selling price basis, that makes sense. But we can use a different basis.

Property consultants like Colliers International Philippines peg the average land capital value now at Bonifacio Global City, like the Makati CBD, stands at PHP103, 000 to PHP120,000 per sq. m., and is expected to increase between 3% and 4% after a year as of end of 2011.

So PHP103, 000 is the floor for a luxury condo. Mid-price condos there have to sell for less than PHP103, 000 per sqm. For their biggest unit. Anything beyond that is already luxury.

Which location you choose, of course, depends on where you work. The closer you are to the Makati central business district, the more expensive it gets. So Makati and Bonifacio Global City condos, in general, are handsdown the priciest. If you want more affordable digs, try Pasig, Mandaluyong, Alabang, Manila, Paranaque, and Quezon City.


3. Floor Area Space is often a trade-off for location when it comes to condo living, but we still believe the sacrifice shouldn’t be that great. Living in 24sqm unit may be fine for a young single professional, but for a couple or, worse, a family, we think a floor area of at least 80sqm should be a requirement. Anything less than that, regardless of the number of bedrooms and selling price, is too tight for our taste. So you can set as another criterion when choosing a condo a 80sqm and above as the available floor area to be considered a best value condo.

The number of bedrooms is a secondary factor, since you can have a three-bedroom unit and be packed like sardines. We think floor area is a more critical concern. But you can use the number of bedrooms when comparing apples to apples. How much space do youget and for how much for a 2bedroom condo ? One property may have bigger space but a higher selling price. Another may seem cheap but is a lot tighter. The bargains are, of course, the spacious area with a reasonable price.


4. Availability We like to know when a condo property is ready for occupancy (the jargon is RFO). A lot of people got burned after the Asian financial crisis in the late 90′s when pre-selling condos ended up unfinished (some even up to today). and they were left holding an empty bag.

Properties already or soon to be RFO are most likely sold out. That means you can no longer buy a unit. Sure, there is the secondaly market, but you’ll be paying higher prices. You don’t want that.

You want to buy at pre-selling prices, since they are lower. You also want to take advantage of rising property values by buying early. If you’re getting a unit as an investment, you can sell with a fatter profit later on, since you’re working on a lower purchase price. If you plan to rent it out, you also get a lower mortgage and are able to cover more of your monthly amortization from rent. You also build equity faster since your’e starting at a lower cost.

Sure, there’s always a risk with buying during pre-selling. The economy nowadays is slowing, and we don’t know how things will turn out with the impending recessions worldwide and our national elections next year. But that’s why we have another criterion.


5. Developer There are fly-by-night property developers or this with a track record that we wouldn’t consider yet to be impressive or reliable. But there are those with a reputation that is impeccable. They’ve been through boom and bust real estate cycles and they’re not just standing, they’re flourishing.

You may also consider a few relatively new comers if only because of the people behind them, whose busines acumen has been proven.


please check out the list of avida units on

Happy Condo Hunting!

Ways to Decorate your Condo

When you are challenged with a limited space, here are some useful tips on how you can decorate a small space like a condo.

1. Use Dual Function Furtnitures.

These dual function furnitures give you the best of both worlds. Simplifying your life and saving you the space


2. Use Your Walls

Take advantage of your walls by hanging floating shelves. You can put any decor on your floating shelves to adapt to the ambience of your room.

floating shelves

3. Hang Long Curtains.

Hang long curtains close to the ceiling to give the illusion of tall windows – this will make the room look larger.


4. Paint Your Furniture.

A creative solution to bring color into your condo if you can’t paint your walls is to paint your some of your furnitures.


5. Use Rugs.

Use rugs to add some style to your place.


6. Finally, Hang Mirrors.

Create the illusion of a larger place by hanging mirrors.

use mirrors

These tips will surely inspire you to decorate your small space.