Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Real Estate Scams Everyone Must Know

No one relishes in being deceived by a trusted realtor or partner in growing your real estate investments. Though every scam story points to the scammer, it is also essential to note that each has participation. The scam can be a result of negligence from the buyer, seller or agent. Either way, no one looks forward to the event.

There are several factors involved in executing the crime - the property, documents, lenders, sellers, buyers, agents, and third-party entities. All of these can perform the violations or be an accomplice. Hence, it's best to be aware of the real estate scams in the Philippines. Below are the crimes rampant in the industry and how they operate.

Abrupt Change in Lender

The property owner receives an official notice regarding the transfer of load to a different lender. Besides the change in the lender, the letter will also inform you that your remaining balance will be carried over a different account name.

If you didn't request for any changes on your loan structure or anything connected to it, it's best to disregard the letter. Moreover, you must verify instructions before accepting any of the terms.

Bogus Buying

A woman under the alias Virginia "Virgie" Manalang had gone around Manila to trick real estate agents and homeowners into giving her cash. She presents herself as a potential buyer of a property. She says she can purchase the unit or house and lot as she is married to an engineer in Australia who sends his monthly pension. To prove it, she issues a check worth hundred thousand as initial payment. However, she initiates to draft the deed of sale and handle the transactions from there. Her acts are questionable as she asks the agent or seller for cash so her lawyer can write the deed of sale. She asks additional amount to cover attorney and notarial fees. She also requests for photocopies of valid IDs and signatures which she uses to target other real estate agents and realtors. Her check is also a bouncing check and the bank account used for it belongs to a different entity.

Copycat Rentals

The person would post an online listing of his or her rental that seems harmless at first. The photos look valid as there are images of the rooms of the unit and its amenities. Fake agents use this tactic to ask renters for a deposit without meeting them in person.

Double Sale

It may be a case of an initial buyer of the property may neglect the registering and transferring the title, or a seller accepting a higher price thought a potential buyer already placed payment.

Fraudulent Schemes by Agents

Agents advertise properties that aren't for sale or currently handled by a different agent. They offer the properties at a low price to bait people. Once the client sends inquiries on the property, the agent will claim it as sold or unavailable. He or she will then offer their own listing which may have a higher price than the previous property.

Some brokers and realtors may take advantage of their skills in selling and building rapport. They may misrepresent a property and neglect to disclose the most important details. Though it is the duty of the agent to be transparent on the pros and cons of choosing the land, condo unit or house and lot, they may not comply to close a sale.

On the other hand, other agents connive to raise their commission fees. One acts as the listing agent, while the other represents the buyer. Both the seller of the property and its buyer aren't aware of the setup which distorts the value of the property. The practice violates the Code of Ethics and Responsibilities for Real Estate Service Practitioners.

Predatory Lending

Loan sharks and small time, unscrupulous financial institutions lure home buyers and house hunters to unfair and abusive loan terms. They coerce their victims through deceptive or exploitative actions to acquire a loan. Most of the time, the forced borrowers don't need, want or can't afford the mortgage.

Property Title Fraud

This type of scam involves the use of old property titles and use it to generate fake titles. The scammer provides supporting documents keep buyers from doubting the deal. Another way of doing it is by presenting a fake title over an existing an existing property regardless if it has an owner or not. People who neglect due diligence are potential victims of this scam.

Sale of Foreclosed Properties

This scam is rampant and likely to happen with Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) wanting to invest in a home in the suburbs like Vermosa. Scammers, who act as a homeowner or realtor, offer foreclosed properties to potential buyers who cannot check and inspect the property (due diligence). They forge the documents to make the transaction as real as possible. Once they close the deal and the buyers are ready to move in, they disappear. They are out of reach while buyers deal with the bank.

Unfinished Developments

Lesser known developers or names you haven't heard in the industry must be taken with a grain of salt. Scams involving unfinished developments include asking for reservation fees or amortization on a property without the advertised amenities and facilities. These add-ons can also be pending or abandoned by the developer. These developers may refuse to return the money leaving the owners empty-handed.

Part of this scam is pre-sold properties with low rated that remain unfinished until the turnover date. The developer promises a different period. They move it several times until the buyer gives up.

“Too-good-to-be-true” Real Estate Champions

Individuals advertise themselves as experts who can provide insights on the market and valuable pieces of advice. They sell themselves by conducting seminars promising quick returns and strategies. They market immediate success which is far from reality.

There are also individuals posing as real estate agents. They set up a website full of property listings copied from legitimate realtors. They trick home buyers by presenting forged documents and contact information to pay a security deposit or initial payment.

You can avoid these schemes by raising awareness and spreading them to communities. That way, other people recognize the signs and report them to authorities and institutions immediately. Moreover, you must conduct your research when inquiring in a real estate property in Cavite or any place in the South. You'll have your notes to compare with your broker which can prove their reliability on the transaction.

Note: This article was first published on May 5, 2015, as "Top 3 Real Estate Scams You Need To Avoid." It was updated to raise awareness of potential buyers and sellers of real estate properties.

Image by Quill Group

Friday, April 6, 2018

Why Rent? A List of Pros and Cons for First-Time Homebuyers

Renting a condominium unit, apartment or a house and lot may be a wise decision for others. Some people may think it's the right one for them. The answer always depends on the homebuyer. What are their needs? What are they looking for in the space? Is it crucial to be at a walking distance in their workplace? Can their salary cover monthly mortgages? There's a lot more to consider before settling on a home.

As a first time homebuyer, you must note the factors that can affect your capacity to select and purchase the property that fits your bill. Whether its a checklist of the features you look for in a home, you must consider how all of these affects your homebuying capacity. Sometimes, a condo near a serviced office Makati suits you better than a townhome in the area.

Are you still deciding if renting an apartment a good decision? You can read the pros and cons below to resolve your inner debate. The list starts with the advantages and directly followed by the opposing thought.

Renting Pros

1. Affordability

The monthly rental cost is ultimately cheaper than the mortgage payment and interest fee. Of course, the price depends on the type of property you will undertake. For instance, a high-rise condominium will be more expensive than a bungalow in a gated community. You always have the option to share the space and split the expenses if you wish to settle on properties on the high-end market.

2. Flexibility

A rental is much suited for people always on the move. House ownership won't tie them down. The typical property term is one to two years. Thus, homebuyers who aren't ready to commit can opt to rent. Once the lease expires, you can renew the contract terms or explore the housing market.

Moreover, renting won't drain your finances once the economy is in a depression. Losing your job only results in a delay of lease payments. As interest increase, the mortgage payment becomes higher which can push a homeowner to give up their property.

3. Hassle-free Maintainance

Since you do not own the rental, owner, landlord or a hired keeper will attend to damages and repairs in the area. They cover the fees for upgrading and fixing the features of the place. They ensure to maintain the quality of their property to satisfy their renters and keep their income flowing. All you have to do is save their number in case of an emergency.

4. Exclusive Amenities

If you choose to rent a condo unit, you won't have to worry about recreation. A modern complex comes with high-class facilities such as an Olympic-sized pool, patches of green for relaxation and a basketball or a volleyball court. Others have tennis courts and laundry services. They include these facilities to create a wholesome and stress-free lifestyle for homeowners.

On the other hand, a few apartments include pieces of furniture and appliances for the settlers. There's a stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, and even a dryer. You can stock up on food and other essentials once you get the place. How sweet is that?

The advantages are great but there are downsides to renting a property as your home.

Rental Cons

1. Hidden Costs

The facilities in a condominium aren't free. Though you don't have to pay for maintenance and repairs in your unit, you have to contribute to the preservation of the common areas. Some property owners don't include the fees in your monthly rental, so you have to pay them yourself. It may consist of parking dues, hallway maintenance costs, or garbage collection.

On top of that, your landlord may decide to increase your rent. The increase will affect your budget. It will be difficult to cope in a few months since you also must consider utility bills.

2. Temporary Dwelling

Renting a place isn't sustainable especially if you plan to expand your family. As more people become part of your home, you need additional space for each person as well as the stuff they lug behind them. You might be better with buying and owning a townhome or a house and lot. The rental won't provide the roots to stabilize and establish the history of your family.

3. Common Areas

Asking a relative, friend, or colleague to join you in an apartment solves your financial woes. Unfortunately, it won't provide much privacy. You have to share the bedroom or bathroom especially if you are in a studio type or one bedroom condo unit. Other problems may arise especially if your roommate isn't fond of cleaning and organizing their stuff. Then, there's also the snoring problem, the noise from the TV or the music blaring from the speakers during ungodly hours.

4. Limited Parking

A condominium complex comes with parking lots, but they aren't designated to homeowners. Hence, looking for a spot may consume most of your time. On top of that, you are competing with others to grab the free space.

5. Pet Control

Some apartment rentals or units implement no-pets-allowed policy. It becomes difficult for you and your beloved furry companions to find a place to stay.

6. Fickle Landlords

You have the perfect place, but you can't stand your him or her. They complain whenever you remind them of repairs or maintenance. They are even grouchy when you hand him or her your rental fees. Some property owners are also unreliable as they can trick you into giving in to their price even when the property inputs low-quality materials. They also won't allow remodeling. They want to retain the color of their walls or the placement of specific pieces of furniture and home accessories.

There you have it! These are just some simple tips you should know for yourself even if you aren't a first-time homebuyer. The pros and cons of renting will help you arrive at a decision. Hope this has been of help! 

Note: The article was first published on June 30, 2014, with the title "The Pros and Cons of Renting a Place To Stay." It has been updated for relevance and comprehensiveness.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Cold, Hard Truth Behind the 90/10 Rule of Real Estate Industry

Managing properties, gaining commissions, and meeting a bunch of clients with different needs are some of the activities of a real estate agent. The hefty paycheck is motivating factor despite running around the city during the open house of two properties. Thus, a lot of people want to work in the industry as the job seems natural.

It is at first glance. Once can become an agent as long as he or she can sell one 2br condo for rent Bonifacio Global City (BGC). If he or she influences a startup to go for a serviced office Makati CBD, then he or she does a swell job of using their marketing tactics. As the industry, more people look forward to making a profession out of it. Thus, the 90/10 rule exists.

Before the regulations existed, anyone who finished high school or passed Grade 12 can become an agent. At present, one study the curriculum and obtain a license to be a realtor. Since most don't want to give the time and effort to finish the course, only 10 percent of the total number of real estate agents are doing 90 percent of the work.

It's evident that a lot of agents fail in their profession. Below are some of the hard truths in permeating the real estate industry.

  • The real estate curriculum lacks the scope of marketing and deal management. Some examples of topics that brokers must know and understand are:
  1. Psychology of salesmanship
  2. Art of selling and crafting deals
  3. Networking
  4. Creating listings
  5. Presenting listings in a professional manner
  6. Overcoming objections from buyers and sellers
  7. Working with financial institutions
  8. Dealing with appraisers and home inspectors
  9. Communicating with utility companies and government agencies
  10. Handling permits
Agents can learn these skills along the way, but they will become highly efficient in their tasks if they knew these things beforehand. They are likely to proceed and be motivated to pursue their individual goals if they know how to navigate the waters. Therefore, developers and real estate companies must provide mentorship, trainings, and seminars in their respective offices to minimize the agent failure and turnover rate.

  • Realtors, especially beginners, undermine their abilities. Setting a timeframe for lead generation is acceptable. A 30 to 60-day real estate success may be correct for some and may not be for others. Lots of agents quit when they don't generate leads. They berate themselves and the market when they don't tick anything off their list. They leave early in the game without persevering and lose their confidence. When that happens, they become unlikely to take risks. They won't explore new strategies or try a new path yielding high returns.

  • Real estate entrepreneurs neglect the power of advertising. Developers and housing realtors forget they are part of a business. A business needs investments to grow. Mixing traditional advertising and digital marketing increases the company or brand's outreach and, in turn, expands their market.

  • Being greedy with opportunities destroys a realtor's career path. Real estate trades is and always was a job. Depending on the company's salary scheme, it is a reliable source of income. A lot of agents think that realty management doesn't qualify as a job, so they look for additional opportunities. Looking elsewhere places property selling on the sidelines and disrupts the focus on expanding the business.

Consulting a licensed yet non-practicing real estate agent is no different from getting surgery from licensed, non-practicing doctor. When in the game, vision becomes limited. One can only focus on what's in front. Business owners focus on income and realtors to their commissions.

No one wants to do the dirty work that's why the 90/10 rule exists.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Four Questions To Guide Your Financial Journey

A financial journey starts from the moment you receive a stable income. The salary from your first job, the earnings from your business after a year of operation, or the commissions from offering your skills and services to others are all sources of stable income. Though a majority of the adult population has a job, a lot of them still struggle with managing their money.

Starting as early as possible to manage finances will go a long way. It preps you for the future. You can establish an emergency fund, purchase a home in Cavite's Vermosa, or travel in style. Whichever are your goals, here are four questions to ponder on regarding your money matters.

1. "What do you want to do with your money this year?"

It helps to remember that money comes and goes. You can earn back what you lost. However, it's gone forever once you lose it. All you can do is double your effort to earn the same amount or more than that.

An adult with a stable job continues to earn their keep and receive their keep twice a month. The person will have a lot of cash at the end of the year assuming there are no expenses. Living with no expenses is the ideal lifestyle but far from reality.

To remain debt-free and keep your balances afloat, ask yourself what you wish to do with your money. Is there anything you want to achieve? Do you have a big ticket purchase on your sleeve? Do you want to travel? Think about the things you need, first then follow it with your wants. Identifying the activities involved in achieving your goal lets you create a picture of your path.

2. "Does shopping or purchasing a certain item relieve your feelings?"

Some people relish the high from finding a bargain. Others occasionally indulge in a few purchases to keep their stock in check or get ahold of the latest trends. If you excessively spend your time and paycheck on shopping, you need to assess yourself.

Shopping is fun, but it isn't a form of therapy. The rush of shopping is short-lived. On top of that, you can end up with debt that will take you awhile to pay up. You can also get into the habit of buying expensive things just to impress people.

When you know the reason behind your shopping trips, you will understand how to control your habits and spur our impulses. Moreover, you won't have to rely on spending to feel good about yourself.

3. "Do you spend more time outside with friends and colleagues than you do at home?"

The people with you can influence your spending habits. Going out to indulge in after-work feasts or late night adventures with friends can burn a hole in your wallet. It can also lead you to a costly lifestyle. Meanwhile, preferring to stay at home with family can minimize the incidences of unnecessary spending.

Being out most of the time also places you under pressure. You need to pay for everything to achieve the conveniences that are only available at home. Overspending and maintaining a break-even status can set you a few years from your financial journey.

4. "Are family members aware of your financial condition?"

Single people can easily manage their finances as they don't have to worry about obligations. They can quickly pay off a debt, apply for a loan, and rely on credit. As long as they put their mind to it, they can take hold of their destiny. They can ask their parents or established siblings to help the rut during the early stages of their independence.

It's a different story for married couples and those with children. If one of the pairs undertakes a debt, both sides have to adjust. The other person needs the support and encouragement of others. Their financial decisions will vary as they improve their lifestyle.

Thinking of finances can be stressful, so it's important to take care of yourself. Better financial health may push you to shift your life choices, but you must not neglect eating well, exercise, and spending time with people important to you.

A financial journey is a journey of the self. Take care of your body, so it takes care of the rest.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Housing Tenure in the Philippines

It's a must to consider housing tenure when investing in real estate. The type of tenure determines the ownership of the occupants in particular housing unit. As settlers and inhabitants of the area, it informs you the extent of your legal status and duration of stay.

Tenure can be tricky as it varies by location, existing laws and, the nature of the structure. It also depends on mortgage terms, the economic and emotional connection between the unit and the household. Currently, there are four terms of tenure in the country. Some of them may apply in other housing locations.

Hybrid housing tenures are products of changing societal norms and community structures. They are a combination of the common types and other elements that affect dues, monitoring and stewardship.

The four common types of tenure are:

  1. 1. Owned or being amortized
  2. Rented 
  3. Free settlement with the permission of the owner
  4. Free settlement without the consent of the owner

When the settlers have the right to claim the housing unit, then they own the property. They have legal claims over the occupied are regardless if they are on mortgage or amortization. A house and lot for sale in Cavite, such as those in Vermosa, are examples of homeownership acquisition.

The next type of tenure is the rental. To utilize the unit, its occupants must pay rent in cash or kind. They have temporary claims on their settlement. Their right to occupy the area depends on a contract or drafted stipulation.

On the other hand, occupants may dwell in a location without payment. As long as they have the consent of the owner of the area, they may use it as their settlement. Rent-free houses and living quarters under private ownership can are examples of this tenure.

Contrast to these free housing units is makeshift houses and slums in various communities. Squatters and households with no permanent address who take over abandoned public and private properties are part of the fourth type of tenure. These residents settle on an area without the consent of an owner.

If you are investing in real estate properties, you use housing tenure as a guide to make decisions and sound judgment. Still, it's essential to consider other housing tenures. Non-profit organizations and the public sector came up with solutions to the widespread housing problem.

The remaining tenures target lack of housing units and decreasing land areas to develop. Examples of these are community land trusts, cooperative housing, mutual housing associations and government housing.

Cooperative housing, also known as limited equity co-ops, is synonymous with community land trusts. A legal entity such as a corporation or non-profit organization oversees and manages the residential buildings and complex. They are responsible for keeping the price of the units at an affordable price.

Entities are responsible for coop housing and community trust low to medium income households. Thus, shareholders of the development have the right to settle on a unit. They are similar to homeowners in this manner.

Mutual housing associations are prevalent in condominiums. Individuals have the right to own a housing unit. In this manner, they form a community of homeowners considering their joint ownership over the communal areas.

Last but not least, there are public settlements under the initiative of government housing agencies. Relocation homes and sites are examples of these. The public sector may partner with private entities and non-stock, non-profit organizations. The accommodations are free or offered as rentals at a low price.

A lot of communities have mixed types of housing tenures due to various economic and societal factors. Several influences determine the relationship of the housing unit to its owner. It's best to research the current housing tenures in an area before settling on a home.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

5 Condo Hacks To Living in Luxury

People mistaken luxury for expensive tastes. However, luxury is all about comfort and quality combined with pleasing architecture or design. An example of luxury is the expanse of Bonifacio Global City. Almost everything you need for a great urban lifestyle is within a distance of condominiums and communities.

If your condo is in the area of BGC, it's only ideal to pattern its design to the aura of the city. Here are some ways to hack your condo and enjoy the feel of the modern lifestyle.

1. Fill an empty space.

art, wall, space, home, interior design

To be more specific, fill an empty wall. Start by painting a fresh coat of white on plain walls. White walls are easier to work with in terms of design. They are friendly to various colors and prints. A clear wall is also similar to a blank canvas. It allows you to install shelves, cupboards, artwork and other kinds of wall hangings.

You can make a gallery wall in the living room by using different sizes of frames for family photos and mementos. You can hang sculptures, mirrors and other pieces of art to create a salon-like arrangement for promising hallways and bare center.

2. Make use of surfaces. 

A luxurious condo caters to refined tastes and simplicity. It makes use of the less-is-more approach and avoid clutter and over accessorizing the areas of the home. To achieve a simple look, keep the items with the highest value. These items and pieces of furniture may have sentimental value or string of positive memories attached to them.

You can place small items on coffee tables, desks, and countertops. If you don’t have a lot of items to display, you make the surface of the table the center of attention. A pastel marble coffee table, a glass top dining table or a sleek matted wooden desk are enough to serve as centerpieces.

3. Prioritize the sitting area.

After the kitchen, the busiest area in the house is the living room. The TV is usually in the living room. Other than that, people come in the foyer to socialize or relax. If you plan on spending a sum of money on decorating, you better spend it on the couch.

Most of the activities in the area will involve sitting on the sofa. Hence, it pays to make it a comfortable experience. Moreover, the couch is the most prominent piece of furniture in the room. It’s best to choose a sofa made of materials that last such as linen, wool, and velvet.

4. Identify the colors you want to include in your home.

The ultimate cheat to making a luxurious casa is in the colors of the elements of design. Tasteful and well-decorated homes are color coordinated. It follows a palette or a set of colors that run throughout the indoors of the house. 

Light colors are perfect for smaller spaces such as condos and lofts. Pastel hues and soft, muted tones allow light to enter the area. It also helps it appear larger than it is. Integrating a contrasting color or a slightly darker shade enables you to create an exciting palette you can use in the different area of your home.

5. Install additional light fixtures.

Natural light can be limited because of a tree, building or structure next door. It can also be due to wrong window placement. These factors can your home appear darker due to the lack of light. Enhancing the shadows and dark areas shrinks the appearance of your home.

Fortunately, these details can be fixed. Having proper ambient and task light fixtures provides instant design while increasing the brightness of the area. Each room can have a combination of both - several lamps and an intense hanging light. 

These hacks are simple and easy to integrate. They also won't cost you a lot. Though living in a business district like BGC can be expensive, the ways to make a luxurious condo is cheap and modest.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Living Nightmare: Working in Sales and Retail

Halloween is over, but for some people, the horror of dealing with the unexplainable and unknown happens every day. Most people look forward to catching up on the spooky and thrilling movies on Netflix, but people dabbling in sales or retail would instead take a shot of tequila or vodka to forget the day’s horrors.

There are lots of unforgettable stories when you work with people. Some stories bring chills and raise the hairs on the back of the neck while others just have the shock factor. They make you forget to form the right words because of the extreme emotions it produces. A haunted office space for rent in Quezon City sure has more appeal than dealing with inconsiderate or rude customers daily.

Of all the industries in the world, there’s nothing crazier and more chaotic than Sales and Retail.


Some people are just insensitive and mean.

On a clothing retail store, some customers tend to try on a lot of stuff and ask about everything. Later on, they come up to say they want nothing from the pile. These customers don’t understand how difficult it was to pull out a pair of jeans under the mass of clothes. You had to twist and extend your body to reach the box of size 9 shoes only to find out they dropped the order.

On top of that, some people leave their trash in dressing rooms. All the gross stuff that shouldn’t be there all over the floor. Soiled diapers, napkins and fast food wrappers are examples of things that shouldn’t be in changing cubicles. 

Meanwhile, this happens in any store. Snoopers probe a lot of questions about the product condescendingly and tell you they are just “looking.” Then, there are “frequent shoppers.” They boss around and act like they own the place because of their loyalty to the brand or store. If they love it so much, why don’t they work there? Also, if they are loyal shoppers, they should know the company’s policy of asking for i.d. A lot of people still complain about this.

Of course, who would forget the live-fast-die-young people? These people will shop like there’s no tomorrow only to return the items by Monday. Unfortunately, some of these shoppers replace or exchange the stuff in a less-than-stellar state, which makes the job ten times harder. 

Don’t forget the teenagers. The young crowd is excellent for attracting crowds. Their high energy and unrefined tastes are great for marketing the basics - food and clothing. Sometimes, their energy gets out of hand that they are starting to bother other shoppers. Moreover, they TOUCH everything and wreak havoc in the store.

Children are cute, but once they start to open their mouth, annoying cries and loud screams come out. Toddlers who are beginning to walk or like to run around the shop are also prone to breaking stuff and cover everything with saliva.

The Crouton Lady

If you think you’re done dealing with children, there are those who act like children. Children are not into responsibilities so those the kind of shoppers who enter the store before closing time. These people don’t think that store employees and shopkeepers are human too. What’s worse, they specifically ask you for help after you’ve clocked out. The same goes when people give the exact money after you’ve entered the amount they gave you on the register.

One thing that would add to a great day is when clients and customers ask for the manager, and they won’t talk to you because you are too YOUNG to be a general manager.


There are days you doubt there’s someone out there who plays tricks on you especially when you have to work on your day off. It’s only been a year since you’ve been in this job and you like you’ve gained years because of stress and exhaustion.

If you’re the middleman, you’ll eventually get tired of customers complaining about management and the quality of service they got. If they want to change something about the company or service, they should go ahead and complain to the manager. They should go ahead and do it because no one can hold their pee that long.