Before we start our journey this 2021, it’s best to reflect on our life goals and commitments and draw up our resolutions. For some, a big item in their resolution list is to invest in something significant. In this matter, a home is their first priority. If you feel like this is your year to take the big step into homeownership, then it’s important to make the necessary preparations as early as now.

Before you start planning your finances for this big purchase, consider this question: what will I need for my new home? By asking yourself this question, you’ll be able to adjust your budget accordingly. A realistic list of needs and wants will help serve as a reminder on your budget and guide your house hunting. Here’s what you should consider:

Your Needs

Needs are your absolute essentials. These are the items you need to live decently in a home that can accommodate your lifestyle. Here are some of the items you should have in your list of needs:

1. Location

Where you live will greatly affect how long your travel time is to and from work, what kind of village you will be living in and how safe you and your family will be. You can do this by visiting the neighborhood you’ll be living in beforehand and try to gauge how you feel when you first arrive.

You should also try asking yourself these questions: Should work be just walking distance from me? Or is it okay if I take public transport? Should there be guards constantly roving around the neighborhood? Or is having them stationed at the guardhouse enough?

Once you get the answer to these questions, your next ocular should open your eyes to what you’re looking for. You can also time your visits on different times of different days. That way, you’ll be able to test the level of convenience or safety, seeing how busy the area gets in the morning and how safe you feel at night.

2. Space

You should know before looking for your dream home just how much space you’ll be needing. Consider the requirements you think you’ll have in the next five to seven years. For example, if you’re planning to add kids to your family, you should make room for that. Remember, this isn’t just about the number of bedrooms or toilets but the amount of storage you will need.

Try considering how you use your current space right in relation to your lifestyle. Do you love hosting parties and inviting many guests? Do you usually invite people for sleepovers? If so, consider dedicating extra rooms to your list.

Your Wants

With your needs, you’re able to distinguish between the properties you were just kind-of looking at versus the properties you were really interested in. While some of them may be considered a bit “extra”, it is still worth writing them down so you have a guide when you go house-hunting.

1. Visual Appeal

What design are you going for? When you enter your home, what color scheme do you want to greet you? What floor types do you want? Be sure to list down all the color schemes, furniture, and appliance types you prefer. Take note that it’s hard to find a home that’s exactly to your liking so be a bit flexible with some of your requirements.

2. Amenities

Perhaps you want a large backyard to host parties for when your balikbayans or loved ones come home for the usual Christmas celebrations in the Philippines. Maybe you’re considering getting a hot tub for your self-care spa days. It’s best to write all those down. Don’t be afraid to get some items you’re second-guessing unless these drive up the cost of your home purchase. Always prioritize the budget you’ve set.

3. High-end Features

In this category, you can list beautiful overlooking views, solar panels, water-saving faucets, and other luxury home features. If making your home high-end is on your agenda, focus on the items which really add extra value. Eco-friendly and sustainable features are excellent investments as they reduce the cost of living and increase the value of your property if you plan on selling it a few years down the line.

As we navigate 2021 and you start acting on your resolutions, you should ask yourself: what should my next home have? Learn the skill of creating a needs and wants list before hitting the market.

The end of 2020 doesn’t mean that the challenges are over. This 2021, we have a chance to elevate ourselves and our careers. It’s every broker and agent’s dream to gain more clients, broader networks, and major transactions. How can you achieve all of this in 2021? Here are some new habits you can practice:

Work on Your Real Estate Skills

With the amount of information online, almost anyone can be an “expert” in any subject they choose. Real estate classes are out there in abundance; it’s all up to you if you want to take the next step. If you want to be the real deal for your clients, offer in-depth advice on investments, and know the ins and outs of the communities you’re selling. Follow the local government projects, infrastructure projects, zoning rules, and even traffic management efforts of the city.

You can start by reading up on industry reports. Try looking out for the most popular and in-demand neighborhoods, trends in property prices, and new market launches. By doing this, you will always have data to support the investment advice you offer to clients.

Reconnect with Old Clients

I know what you’re thinking “Why will I contact people who weren’t interested the first time”? If you look at your list of inactive clients, you’ll quickly realize that most of them weren’t ready to make the purchase because of a major life adjustment. Or, they probably were looking for options outside the choices you offered.

Just these two scenarios alone warrant a quick call or email to check up on them and listen again to their present needs. Maybe their preference has changed from a studio condo unit to a townhouse, which you now have to offer.

Work on Your Presentation Skills

Nowadays, it’s not just enough to have aesthetically pleasing Powerpoint presentations. Your selling pitch should be just as good as your material. If you are currently having trouble with presentation jitters and nervousness, constant practice has been proven to do the trick.

You can try asking your family or friends to act as your client. Go through your presentation and ask them to evaluate your performance. Be sure to take note of their feedback, especially those about the words and non-verbal gestures you constantly use.

Keep Your Online Portfolio Updated

It is important to keep your online portfolio updated, as buyers around the world get their information first on the web. If they want to do business with you, there’s a good chance that they’ll check out your profile online. This is your chance to impress them with your portfolio. List down all of your achievements throughout your professional career. Include your affiliations and partnerships. Take a more professional photo of yourself and showcase that smile to your buyers!

If you currently don’t own a website, you can use the Lamudi and MyProperty agent profile page as your main online asset. This way, your clients will see your townhouses and studio units and easily get in touch with you.

Invest in Yourself

With everything that’s happened in the past year, real estate brokers and agents find themselves always busy. Some would even work on the weekends just to close big deals. While hustling hard can be good, you should also take a break from time to time. Remember, self-care is absolutely necessary to perform the best you can. If you can, find the time to travel this 2021. Indulge yourself in some retail therapy (you can even shop for clothes to help you make a good impression on your next client meeting).

Yes, 2020 was one of the most challenging years in a long time, but that doesn’t mean 2021 should be the same. Reach for greater heights by doing things a bit differently in 2021. Welcome the year with new, positive, and productive habits.

If 2020 was as hard on you as the rest of the general population, you might want to consider making a few changes in your home this 2021 to help you move on from the negative vibes and memories that happened last year.

Before you start redecorating your home, we, of course, want to seek the advice of the Feng Shui experts to make sure we create a positive balance and energy in our life and home. Here are some home décor trends for 2021 based on Feng Shui predictions.

Create Balance between Colors

Feng Shui emphasizes balance. Create harmony between the 5 elements that are believed to attract peace, good luck, and fortune to your home. Each element has its own corresponding colors:

Water: blue, black
Wood: green, brown
Fire: red, intense yellow, orange, purple, and pink
Earth: light yellow, earthy tones, golden brown
Metal: white, gray

By using this guide, you can choose suitable colors for your space. Pantone selected Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow as the colors for 2021. You can use these colors on your statement pieces at home to invite more good fortune.

Bagua and Landscape

After creating a balance between the colors of your home, we must turn to space utilization. In Feng Shui, they usually base their space utilization on the Bagua. The Bagua is an energy map used to help you map out your furniture, appliances, and decorations in a more balanced and positive way. You can do this by assigning each room with a specific element to keep your home organized and well-assembled.

An example of this is representing water by using blue wall paint and upholstery, and paintings and other artwork depicting the sea or a river. If you’re looking for a more “earth-vibe”, you can use ceramics, pottery, and earthy colors such as yellows, browns, and greens. You can also use wood to represent the earth. Use wooden furniture and cabinetry in areas in your living rooms and storage solutions. For fire, you can use red and orange tones, scented candles, or even a fireplace.

White, Gray, and Silver Tones Are Vital

2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox which means gray, white, and silver are the most suitable colors to use for furniture and other décor if you want to introduce Feng Shui into your home. Since most metals have these colors, it is ideal to use them in your home. You can use pieces with metallic details such as mirror frames, lamps, silverware, sculptures, tables, chairs, and even paintings to furnish your room. Try using light gray paint to represent metal in your room. By doing this, your room will be more complimentary to items with the shade of gray, white, or silver, creating the perfect metal area.

Add Plants and Other Greenery

Plants are also an important part of Feng Shui as they represent wood. In addition to this, house plants have been proven to help with your stress, anxiety, and sadness. They can also help purify the air you breathe at home. You can use the iconic money plant, lotus or rose succulents, and Lucky Chinese Bamboo to decorate your home. Some experts have also suggested orange trees, fir, jade plants, Japanese roses, chrysanthemums, lemon trees, and peach trees in the living room area as these plants are believed to bring out positive energy and luck to your household.

As we kickstart our 2021, we should assess which Feng Shui fundamentals are most suited for our home, budget, and goals. Be sure to note these four trends to get you started on attracting positive energy and good fortune.

In a trend report recently released by Lamudi, it stated that houses emerged as one of the most sought after property types in Metro Manila cities. This came as no surprise. As the pandemic rages on, the general population has looked to homes as they offer larger spaces compared to condominiums and apartments.

While there are already well-known general rules when buying a house, there are still things you should remember, especially if you’re getting a house located in the Metro. Here are 5 things you should look for in your dream home:

Is it big enough? And can I pay for it?

It is common knowledge that houses in Metro Manila demand a bigger premium compared to those located in the provinces. For example, a budget of P2 million may get you a brand new, 50 to 60 sqm-house and lot in San Pedro, Laguna. Compare this to properties in Quezon City or Makati where you may only get a floor size of 25 to 35 sqm.

How can you make the most bang for your buck? You can try looking for properties in fringe locations such as Marikina or Navotas. Here, there are plenty of affordable houses and lots for sale. Sure, it’s not exactly a central business district, but it’s an affordable alternative.

The perfect location

When you think of Metro Manila, you think of traffic. Knowing this, it is absolutely vital to have a home located near transportation systems such as the MRT. By doing this, you will make your life in the city just a bit less stressful for you and your family. It’s a plus if your home is located near establishments such as malls, supermarkets, and hospitals.

Aside from traffic, flooding is a general problem most areas in Metro Manila face. Before making the decision and moving to your dream home, make sure to check that you aren’t moving in a flood-prone area. If so, you may be throwing your money down the metaphorical drain.

A welcoming community

If you have kids, you obviously want to raise them in a family-friendly community. Make sure to pay attention to the neighborhood you’re eyeing to move into. There are many tell-tale signs of a good atmosphere. Neighbors will be very welcoming. You should feel confident about letting your kids play outside. The overall village should be clean and tidy. These are just some of the signs you can look out for.

While Metro Manila neighborhoods won’t be as tight-knit as the ones in the province, you can surely find a community where you feel comfortable and secure. Try driving around the village to have a good feel of it before you make your big purchase decision.

Peace and quiet

With houses in Metro Manila living so close to one another, noise surely starts to become an issue. If peace and quiet is an absolute must for you, try choosing a location that is a good distance from the nightlife districts. If being near a school is on your priority list, consider living in an exclusive village or finding a house on a road not commonly traveled by vehicles. 

It is also important to consider the privacy of your home offers. Can the neighbors’ windows look directly at your home? Is the space between your house and your neighbors’ enough? While Metro Manila is jam-packed with people, you can still find options where there is peace and quiet.

The great outdoors

As mentioned earlier in this article, many people are looking for houses because they need space, specifically outdoor space. Staying at home during this pandemic has made people realize that having a dedicated space for a backyard or front yard is important to relieving their cabin fever.

If you wanted a big lot cut in the province, no problem. In Metro Manila, you have to widen your budget or be more flexible when it comes to creating your outdoor area. Instead of looking sideways, try looking up. Consider roof decks or balconies to increase your outdoor space. With luck, you’ll be greeted with a view of Makati’s skyline.

Is moving to a dream home in the Metro on your bucket list this 2021? If so, remember this list and be smart.

Contrary to popular belief, the hardest part of home buying is not the house hunting or paying the down payment. It is what happens before that process–asking yourself the question, “Am I ready to be a homeowner?” Those who have rented their properties for years will have a hard time knowing whether or not they can take the leap to homeownership.

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