6 Factors to Consider Before You Pick a Real Estate Agent

Real estate involves buying and selling of houses. It’s a process full of excitement for everyone. However, choosing a good real estate agent who understands the market in and out will ensure you buy or sell your property at a worthy price. The following are factors to consider before you pick the best real estate agent:

  1. Go for experience

You should consider the years the agent has been in the real estate industry. You are likely to get the best services from agents who have been in the business for many years. This is due to the vast knowledge they possess about the market trends. Check their records to ensure that they have been offering good services and that they got a high reputation.

  1. Pick an agent from the locality

The real estate agent office you choose should be located within the property you are interested in. This is because they understand the neighborhood well. They also have a lot of information about the property and prices. That’s knowledge will help him secure the best transaction for your property.

iii. Avoid working with relatives as your agent

Picking a friend or a relative is not the best idea. This is because the business involves a life decision that might make your life or destroy it. Hiring a relative may put you into a compromise situation. You might need to fire them if the buying and selling process is not making a good profit. You will agree with me that it is hard to fire them because they are your relatives.

  1. Make a referral from experienced homeowners

Seeking a referral agent is a good decision for your real estate business. Ask experienced homeowners to recommend you a knowledgeable agent. The referral agent should be located within the property you want to sell or buy. The recommended agents are normally highly experienced and have a good reputation with the clients.

  1. Look for a trustworthy agent

The real estate involves a transaction of a huge amount of cash. You, therefore, need an agent who you can trust with your properties. They should put your best interest at heart. This means that they should not work for you to benefit themselves. They should also have a known office where you can meet them often.

  1. Go for agents with good track records

You need to find agents who offer quality services to clients. Consider checking the number of transactions they have done in their careers. You should also know the experiences of former clients they have worked with. These will help you in making an informed judgment.

In conclusion, don’t rush in picking a real estate agent without putting into consideration the above-stated factors. The agent can make or break your life. Go for the best agent.

Ways to Avoid 20% Downpayment for Home Purchase

When a person is looking to purchase a home they were told that they need to save so they can put down 20 percent of the total price as a down payment. This is no longer the case. With the prices of homes being so high this can be a lot of money to save up and most people do not have that amount of cash to work with. There are other options for people looking to purchase a home that does not have 20 percent of the price for a down payment.

The FHA loan only requires that a person put down 3.5 percent of the total price of the home. They need to have a decent credit score of only 580. If a person has a credit score of 500 they will need a 10 percent down payment. A person will need to have extra free mortgage insurance. There are some restrictions based on the price of the home but it is good for those first time home buyers.

If a person has served in the military they can get Veterans Affairs Loans where they will not have to put any money down. No mortgage insurance is needed. A person will need to show that they have served 90 consecutive days in the military during a time of way or 181 days during a time of peace. People that were in the National Guard or the reserves they had to serve for at least 6 years. If a person was wounded during service they qualify for this loan regardless of how long they served. If a person is a window of a military member that died on duty they can be approved for this loan.

The United States Department of Agriculture offers 0 percent down payments for people that have lower or moderate incomes. A person must be purchasing a home in a rural area. Almost  97 percent of the United States is covered by this type of loan. A person can also go online and check the USDA website to see if the home is in a qualifying area.

If a person belongs to a credit union they may be able to get a mortgage with little to no down payment. A person may also be able to get a lower interest rate. A person may have to meet some income requirements and have decent credit. Some credit unions require that a person have a credit score of at least 750 to get this loan. A person can get 100 percent financing so if they have good credit it may be worth looking into.

These are some ways that a person can get a mortgage for a home without having to put down a 20 percent down payment. The down payment can be preventing many people from owning their home. With these other programs, a person can enjoy homeownership without having to put down tens of thousands of dollars.

Best Furniture Design for Children

Do you know that designing furniture for kids is an art? Besides capturing the imagination of the children, it should fit them. What are the key elements in finding the proper fitting furniture design? It is all about balance, scale and proportion. All the kids’ designs should be combined with consistent and practical elements of daily life. With that in mind, there is a need for innovation, durability and imagination when designing furniture.

Nowadays, children furniture are being designed for different actions and activities. What is the essence of having well-designed furniture? Your children will have a great chance to grow up and know their abilities. Presence of safe elements in their furniture will help them wiggle and climb. It is good to keep in mind that furniture should not be disposable. Durable and reliable furniture is manufactured from strong and high-quality materials.

You should consider the size of the furniture when designing children’s rooms. In fact, the best children spaces are where your kids feel safe. Here are the best attributes of well-designed children furniture.

Are you sure that imaginative play is one of the most important parts of successful child development? Usually, imagination helps children understand and interpret reality. It is only through imagination and plays where kids will gain nuanced social skills. Also, they will be in a good position to learn about their neighbors. Imagination has been helping many children for the last couple of years to explore and know numerous personalities.

Your kids will be able to fill their spaces with creative elements. This will make their brains stimulated simply because they are engaging their imaginative thinking. Away from that, when a piece of furniture incorporates play and imagination, children will experience social and emotional development. It has proved to be a great way that helps them adapt and embellish a child space beyond simple needs. The most essential design of any room is knowing that there is a fundamental structure from which imagination can be expressed.

It is advisable to design children space from different actions and relevant activities. The most important actions in that case include learning, living and playing with their friends. It is good to keep in mind that functionality is paramount in such instances. For example, the trotter can be used by kids to transport their toys while at the same time being used to move them around your house. Such wheelbarrows can be manufactured from steel and high-quality polypropylene.

The concept of envelopment is used in this attribute. You can agree with me that a well-designed space should be injected with safe elements that can allow their bodies to grow. The room should be flexible. What is the reason behind this? This will allow maturing. You should always consider age when thinking about safety and movement. In addition, you should remember to keep items that require supervision out of reach. This will create the need for careful storage.

9 Ideas on How to Revamp Your Home Office

Do you work from home full time or occasionally? If yes, here are several decorating tips that you can use to increase productivity and office space use:
1. Float your shelves – floating shelves helps you declutter your office and use all the available space well. You can add decorative elements to make the office welcoming while sticking to light colors to maintain the theme.
2. Buy a desk pad – if you don’t have a desk pad, you should have one because it helps you define the working area in your desk (you cannot declutter it). You should buy a large desk pad to get enough room to move your arms freely and complete your tasks with ease.
3. Buy a laptop – in this era, you should have a desktop or a laptop in your home office. A laptop is easy to move around with, work with and use thus it is a good choice especially if you stay within your budget.
4. Provide refreshments – if you love refreshments, you should have them with you in your office to save time and energy because you will not have to move around. You can have a beverage cut, coffee maker and a mini-fridge with refreshments near your desk or in your home office.
5. Incorporate pattern & color – certain color and patterns keep you stimulated and active. Therefore, try to incorporate colors or patterns that will have a positive effect on how you feel. For instance, have energetic colors at the sides and subtle/subdued colors on or near your working desk to avoid distractions.
6. Hang artwork – do you love art? You should consider hanging art 6 – 9 inches above your desk for easy viewing while sitting down. Alternatively, you can lean an art piece on your desk or near the wall for a better view.
7. Have a board – you need to have a board where you pin reminders, to-do lists, samples, and bills. You should also pin inspirational messages and positive photos to have a different perspective every time you look at it. Also, although you can have a digital vision board on your phone or computer, you can have a different board that has your visions and goals you wish to attain in life.
8. Buy office supplies – you should have everything you need within reach to save time. Make sure your office is well stocked with all the office supplies you need including pens, mark pens, ink, charts, notebooks, pencils, etc.
9. Invest in practical lamps – the type of lighting you use can determine your productivity. Bad light can affect your moods, eyes and even your health. Therefore, investing in practical lightings like background illumination or a decorative table lamp is a good idea. If you are looking to save space, replacing a desk lamp with a wall-mounted or floor lamp a great idea.
Finally, even though these are great ideas to revamp your home office, you will have to research a little more to make the right choice because there are numerous products to choose from in the market.

The Best and Worst Ways to Use Home Equity

What is home equity? This is simply the difference between your property and the current value of that particular property. To many homeowners, home equity has been one of the most important financial tools. There is a right way and the wrong way before you start funneling funds out of your home. Here are the best and worst ways that you can use to leverage home equity.

There have emerged numerous ways that homeowners can use to get into their home equity. A home equity loan is arguably one of the most reliable ways. People often confuse this loan with a traditional mortgage. Actually, that is the main reason why this type of loan is referred to as the second mortgage. Usually, they are installment loans. What does this mean? Funds are disbursed in one lump sum and later paid back in equal payments. Also, they can be backed by your home equity.

In most cases, home equity has a fixed rate. The rate is a bit higher than the initial mortgage. Line of credit is another popular way that has been used over the years. What is the main difference between a line of credit and equity loan? With a line of credit, you have the full freedom to borrow money any time of the year.

Away from that, you are allowed to pay off your balance the same way as a credit card. Although it is not often, you will be required to disburse a certain amount of money. The best thing about the home equity line of credit is that you are not required to pay extra money. In addition, they provide debit cards to their dedicated customers.

You might have come across cash-out refinance in the past. Cash-out refinance is very different from the secondary line of credit. What does cash-out refinance involves? It is all about refinancing the mortgage for a higher amount of money. You don’t have to take any additional loan with this method. Your overall debt load will increase over time.

You might be aware that home equity is arguably one of the most common uses to invest in home renovations and upgrades. The home value will increase after you improve the facilities. You can easily leverage your home equity if you are an experienced real estate investor. Have you ever took a debt and later exchanged the debt for another asset? Many people make such decisions with the sole aim of producing extra income. There is no doubt that real estate is a risky business. With that in mind, you should consult financial experts before making a decision to invest in this sector. You should keep in mind that it is not always smart to purchase a property simply because you can afford it. It is advisable you partner with an experienced investor.

Making Home Features Safe for Seniors

Seniors are increasingly choosing to remain in their current houses, long after their kids have grown up and moved out.  While this growing trend indicates positive things about modern health and longevity, as well as access to senior services, it does pose several challenges that need to be prepared for.  Obviously, as we age, our needs change and the house that served us well at age 35 isn’t a house that would also meet our needs at 65.  Being aware of this fact, should motivate us to plan ahead and begin modifying our homes for our future requirements.

While everyone is different and no home is the same, there are some universally useful suggestions for making a house senior-friendly.  So, here is how to age proof your home:

Find local experts with specialized certifications related to senior needs and work with them to plan your age-related remodeling.  Try to find Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS) and Occupational Therapists with the Executive Certificate in Home Modifications (ECHM) or the Specialty Certification in Environmental Modifications (SCEM).  These are professionals that will know how a house might need to be altered to accommodate older people.  Select the experts you prefer via telephone and plan with them.

When you are redoing the interior of your house, think about what problems you might reasonably develop as you age.  Does your family have a genetic predisposition for diabetes or strokes?  Have any of your family members ended up as invalids later in life?  If so, you should seriously consider widening your entryways and hallways and adding safety bars to your bathrooms.  These modifications will help if you ever require the use of a wheelchair.  You should plan for other potential problems in a similar way.

If you don’t live in a single-floor house, try to move your everyday living spaces downstairs.  Locate your bedroom and bathroom on the first floor.  This helps greatly because older people can develop more severe arthritis and/or become much less coordinated.

Create wide pathways between furniture and to areas you often need to go.  Reduce the number of items you have around the house to reduce congestion.  Make certain that all areas are well-lit, that all stairways have guide rails and slick flooring has traction.  Also, get rid of smaller rugs and carpeting that you could trip on.

Bathrooms are often among the most dangerous places for seniors.  It’s a good idea to “senior-proof” them by:  replacing bathtubs with shower stalls that are completely flush with the floor; installing flooring traction; and by replacing standard toilets with raised ones.

Preventing accidental falls is one of the most important safety considerations for seniors.  Considering this, you should improve nighttime visibility with motion-activated lighting and repair any damaged walkways that might cause you to trip and fall.

Redefining The Designs of Your Bedroom

Refining your bedroom could likely prove to be a highly rewarding endeavor, considering that many of us spend ten or more hours a day there.  Enhancing an environment you spend much of your time in, as well as most of your regenerative moments, certainly will improve your mood and quality of life. As you continue reading, you will learn more about the steps of the somewhat lengthy process of upgrading your bedroom.

First, you need to have a vision of what you want to do.  You can acquire this from interior design magazines, HGTV shows or by discussing ideas with an ASID-certified interior designer.  Remember to take notes, so you don’t forget your vision.  Now, with your room-improvement concept in hand, start the refining process by painting and/or wallpapering the room.  Next, determine what items in your room you want to replace or upgrade.  Then, make a shopping list of all the things you need.

However, before going shopping, measure the dimensions of your room to ensure all your desired items will comfortably fit within it.  There’s nothing worse than buying a lot of expensive furniture, transporting it home and then not being able to use it.  Speaking of furniture, your bed is the most prominent item in your bedroom; the surface area of its covers is likely greater than most other objects in the room.  It is for this reason you should be mindful of how your bedding fits into your bedroom’s color scheme.  When selecting a dresser or chest of drawers, you want one that matches the style of your bed and isn’t too much taller than it.

Lighting is another aspect of your room that can make or break it.  Remember to use enough light to make your feel cozy, without making it feel overly radiant.  The goal is to have lighting that relaxes you, that can also be adjusted to put you in the mood to sleep.  You can accomplish this with good table lamps that are effectively placed.

A refined bedroom should have a lounging area, where you can unwind prior to sleep.  In other words, a place where you can read, watch tv, listen to music or simply consume an evening snack.  This part of your bedroom should have a sofa or comfortable chair and a table for snacks/drinks.  The capstone of a fine bedroom is the right art hanging on the wall.  This picture or painting should reflect your personality and complement your bedroom’s other décor.

With all this said, the perfect bedroom is one you feel most comfortable in.  It’s one that both matches your personality and facilitates the important function of sleep.  Once you are able to fully refine your bedroom to your liking, you are closer to improving your overall health.  We sincerely hope that all of the advice we have imparted to you (about how to give your bedroom a polished look)  helps create your ideal sleeping area.

How to Recession Proof Your Income in this Simple Steps

Experts feel that a recession is coming. There is some way to recession-proof your finances so you can survive the next recession.

A recession is a period when the economy does not grow and this lasts longer than two consecutive quarters. No one is protecting from the recession. A person should have a strong retirement plan with goals to help save their finances. A 25-year-old with an investment plan can survive the recession while a 60-year-old may try to avoid loss.

You should know how much money you are taking in compared to the amount of money you are spending. If you lose your job you need to know how long you can survive on your savings. Some free tools can help you with this information and track your expenses. You can see what you are spending your money on and how to cut in a time of need.

During a recession, you can use your emergency fund instead of high-interest credit cards. You should have three to six months of expenses in savings and you should not use it for anything besides an emergency. If you are laid off you can still pay your bills while you look for work.

After you have an emergency fund set up you should work on paying down your debt. In a time when money is tight, you do not want to pay back high-interest bills. It is recommended that you pay off credit card debt first then private student loans.

You should make sure that you have diverse investments at the risk you are willing to tolerate. If you are older you will have a harder time making up lost money than if you are in your 20s or 30s.

Even the best and most dedicated employees can be laid off during a recession. In 2008, over 2.6 million people lost their jobs. Young college graduates are at the highest risk for layoffs. You should keep your resume updated just in case you lose your job. You will be ready to go and can show your skills to a new employer.

Recessions do happen even in developed countries. The best thing you can do is prepare. Even if the market hits a low spot the worst thing you can do is panic. If you sell your investments you will miss out on the profits when the market comes back up. Recessions can be bad but eventually, things will recover. Not all recessions will be the same but in recent times the recessions have lasted for a shorter period than in the past. If you have a plan before the recession hits you will be able to survive it and things will get back on the right path.

These are some ways that you have recession-proof your finances. Even during tough times, you will be able to make it through with the proper planning.

Kerry Properties And Allgreen Properties Tie-Up Awarded Pasir Ris White Site

The Housing & Development Board has awarded Phoenix Commercial Pte Ltd and Phoenix Residential Pte Ltd a site next to the famous Pasir Ris MRT Station. The recipient companies are jointly owned by Kerry Properties and Allgreen Properties, which form a significant part of the Kuok Group of Companies that are run by Robert Kuok, a renowned Malaysian tycoon.

The winning bid is about $700 million. This translates to $684.48 for every square foot per plot ratio because the floor area is 1.02 million square feet. The tender and the dual envelop concept for the 99-year long leasehold plot of land attracted three serious bids that closed on 14th December 2018.

Allgreen Properties Pasir Ris White Site

The Far East Commercial Trustee and Laguna Garden, the other shortlisted tenderers, are units from Far East Organization. Their bid was $677.78 million, which leads to $662.75 psf ppr.
The third bidder interested in the deal was not shortlisted. It was a strong tie-up between Kajima Development and Singapore Press Holdings.

On Friday 22nd March, HDB’s release revealed that the proposed development that comprised of residential, commercial construction, a bus interchange, a town plaza, and a polyclinic, will provide improved access to amenities and public transport system for residents. The incredible development will also offer an excellent focal point for the community.

Allgreen Properties Pasir Ris Central New Development

HDB introduced the concept of price revenue tender approach in line with the vision to identify innovative development ideas with flawless integration of unique public spaces and amenities. In the first step of the tender evaluation procedure, the Concept Evaluation Committee shortlisted the proposals that met the evaluation criteria before proceeding to the second evaluation phase. In the second phase, the committee members opened the price proposals submitted by the shortlisted tenderers. The committee awards the site to the bidder among the applicants with the desired concept proposals.

Concept and Tender Plan for Pasir Ris White Site

Launched on 27th August 2018, the tender for the white site was closed on 14th December. Each of the three innovative tenderers submitted a concept proposal. They also had an opportunity to present the ideas in their proposals to the concept evaluation committee. After objective evaluation of each proposal, the CEC determined that two of the project proposals that had met the evaluation criteria. The proposals by Far East Organization and the tie-up between Kerry Properties and Allgreen Properties proceeded to the second tender evaluation phase. The CEC opened the price envelopes submitted by the shortlisted tenderers and awarded the site to the Allgreen-Kerry team, which has a higher bid among the shortlisted tenderers.

Parc Canberra EC Project Details and Showflat

Parc Canberra is a 99 years leasehold condo which is owned by Sunway Developments and Hoi Hup Realty. The condominium is located at Canberra Link which is a minute walk from Canberra MRT Station and Canberra Plaza. Its location was among the contested plot which was bought under the Government Land Sales Programme. The plot represents a timely investment for buyers who are looking for private condominiums which are in a convenient location.

Parc Canberra EC Project Details and Layout

Project details:
Project Name: Parc Canberra
Project Developer: Hoi Hup Realty
District: 28
Address of Development: Canberra Link
Tenure: 99 Years Leasehold
Gross Floor Area: 485,292 square feet
Site Area: 194,116
No of Units: 450 Units
No of Storeys: To be advised
No of Blocks: To be advised
Top: To be advised

Parc Canberra Hoi Hup is full of unique facilities such as 50m swimming pool, clubhouse, sun deck, guardhouse, tennis court, children’s playground, indoor gym, BBQ pits, and function room. It’s also located near many shopping malls which includes Canberra Plaza, the popular Sembawang shopping center, and Sun Plaza.

Nearby schools include:
Sembawang Primary School
Endeavour Primary School
Wellington Primary School
Chongfu School
Northland Secondary School

Parc Canberra Showflat Available by Hoi Hup Realty

Parc Canberra EC will consist of many layouts that will fulfill the needs of different buyers. There will be a 3 bedroom show flat that will come with different furnishings around the living room, bedrooms, and kitchen cabinets. This will be a good choice for buyers looking for a good property investment or for their own stay. The floor plan details will be available soon for viewing. A wonderful lifestyle awaits you.

Parc Canberra at Canberra Link is well connected to other parts of Singapore. So, residents of this condo can easily move seamlessly from one location to the next. You can access this development via the Canberra MRT Station. Alternatively, those who are traveling to the city can use the Central Expressway. Note that there are also buses which are found along the Canberra and Sembawang Roads.

Parc Canberra Floor Plans and Layout

Parc Canberra is suitable for all types of families. There are multiple floor plans which are designed to cater to different user needs. The floor plans consist of one, two, and three-bedroomed units. Additionally, there are two main types of facing with units from the 6th floor getting fully unblocked views.

Overall, Parc Canberra Condo offers you a luxurious lifestyle with great amenities. The surrounding region plus the in-house and outdoor facilities are great. This development allows you to indulge in a tranquil and cool lifestyle in the busy area of Canberra Town. If you are looking for an EC development located at a convenient site, then check out Parc Canberra.