Category Archives: Real Estate

Things You Need to Know Before Renting an Apartment in NYC

Searching for a new apartment to live in takes time, especially if you are unsure of what to look for in a place like New York City. A list of things should at least guide you to get to your dream place.

The following tips will help apartment hunters choose the best place to settle down as they start a career in The Big Apple. 

An apartment in Queens, NY

Proximity to workplace

One of the things young professionals look for in a new place is the proximity of their work to their apartment. It saves them time, energy, and money if they are lucky enough to find an apartment just a stone’s throw away from the office. 

Give yourself enough time to search for an apartment, so you have plenty of options. Ideally, the best time for apartment hunting is from May to September. These are the peak season months in NYC when you have plenty of choices, but competition and rates are high. On the other hand, October to April are the lean months; rates may be lower, but options are few. 

Budget

The first apartment you’ll end up living in in the next few years is dependent on your budget. Affordable apartments are usually smaller and with fewer amenities. If you want a better place, you have to shell out a hefty sum for the rent.  

New York City is an expensive place; you should have ample savings to cover your first few weeks in your new home. It should be enough for the deposit and rentals for the new apartment and your expenses until your first paycheck. 

Even before you made your final choice, some documents should come in handy such as your bank statements, a photocopy of your ID, employment records, and a check for the rent and deposit.  

Since you want everything to work within your budget, make sure there are grocery stores and laundromats in the area.  

Safety

Is the apartment located in a safe neighborhood

You most probably live on your own so wanting to secure your safety is necessary. Besides the comfort of the new apartment, you must ensure that you are safe while everything else is accessible in your new neighborhood. You may ask some people around to get to know about the place and potential neighbors, too. Is the area generally peaceful? Do a little research about the area.   

Space 

Do you need a bigger space or just the right size for your belongings? If you pick a small apartment, it is best to choose the right furniture to fit in it. It is advisable to get furniture with numerous uses, often called multifunctional, for a small space. Assess your room or space size so the furniture will fit perfectly.

Rental Marketplace

If you find it hard to do all the legwork in apartment hunting, you can check an online apartment search source like Zumper. 

The good thing about this rental app it has a real-time inventory of houses, rooms, condos, and apartments for rent. Clients are alerted of new rental listings based on their preference, such as location, price range, bedroom count, pet-friendly, or amenity.  

Through the Zumper app, clients can request virtual or in-person tours, submit applications, and pay rent. 

The next best thing to happen besides landing your dream job in New York City is finding your dream apartment. Cheers!

How to Prepare for the First Night in a New House

After you have settled all the paperwork at Halton Real Estate to get your keys, you are now ready to move into your new house. It is the most exciting feeling in the world after years of renting.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

However, do not let the arduous packing and unpacking of boxes dampen your spirit. It is not going to be easy. But let me share some tips to lighten up your burden and enjoy your first night in the new house.  

If you have moving experience, you are likely familiar with the checklist. But for those moving into the new house for the first time, this one’s for you.

Clothes

Do not put everything in moving boxes. Pack a day worth of clothes, undies, and sleepwear. It lessens the hassle of searching through the boxes looking for incompatible items.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

If you have young kids, you better pack a separate bag for them. Do not forget their favorite toys and jammies to make them comfortable for the night.

Food and Snacks Stash

Pack easy to prepare food, canned goods, and non-perishable snacks and place them in insulated containers. Prepare sandwiches ahead of time. You can do this the night before or in the morning. You do not have to inconvenience yourself by cooking when you are too tired the whole day.

Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash

Carefully pack food, formula, vitamins, and snacks for your little ones.

Do not forget to bring bottled water as well.

Toiletries and Other Home Essentials

Next to your bag of clothes is an essential box for your toiletries. It contains your toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, conditioner, comb, lotion, mouthwash, and razor. Bring a towel for each family member.

Bring sheets and pillow for the beds. If the bedroom is not ready yet, a folding bed or foldable mattress will do for the night.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Keep separate containers for kitchen utensils (paper plates, utensils, cups, can opener) and cleaning supplies like trash bags, laundry detergents.

Pack toys for the young ones and food for your pets if you have one.

First Aid Kit

Photo by Roger Brown from Pexels

No matter how careful you are, minor accidents or bumps from lifting boxes or maneuvering furniture is unavoidable. Place your first aid kit within reach. Have some bandages and disinfectants. It would be a tiresome day, do not forget to include a pain reliever for head and muscle aches in your bag. Place them along with other medicines and vitamins that you are taking.  

Important Documents

This one should come in handy. Important documents such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports, checkbooks, life insurance, and employment records should be in separate folders within a file box.   

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

Label all your bags, boxes, and luggage with markers so you can easily find them when you need to check on something.

Load the essentials last, so they come off first in the moving van. You can load them in your car if there’s space so it won’t mix with other big boxes.

Your handheld bag can easily fit in phone chargers, pen and paper, markers, and cash.

Enjoy the Night

Moving is so stressful and tiresome. Why not enjoy the night with your loved ones and celebrate.  

It is your time to relax and recharge. Forget about the boxes scattered everywhere in the meantime. Let the unpacking starts the next day.

Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash

Have some food delivered to your house or eat out. Prepare your favorite drinks to share with everyone. If you do not have cable yet, play a game with your family.

Enjoy me-time by reading books.

If you are adventurous enough, go for a walk in the neighborhood to familiarize yourself with the area. Maybe you can meet and introduce yourself to new neighbors.

After unloading your necessities and settled in, it is time to enjoy your new house. Cheers!

A Permanent Home Structure with Rooftop in Mind

Our 24-year old bungalow house has weathered numerous typhoons and some unintended distractions (house repairs by neighbors) over the years. Repairs here and there made it livable up to this time. We have plans to build a more sustainable home, comfortable enough for a family of four and a pet dog in the future, but a good kind of problem is holding us back. Our children’s education is always a priority, so any amount left after paying the monthly bills goes to the college fund.

My daughter’s rendition of our future house. Front view.

In 2019, we were left with one student to support and were discussing the possibility of saving up for our permanent home structure until Covid19 happens. We were so excited about the idea that finally, we can start building our financial plan using a mortgage calculator to help us plot the expenses once we get our (future) Pag-Ibig housing loan approved. As for the loan payment, we plan to use Pag-ibig’s housing loan affordability calculator. Sadly, all that loan and mortgage discussions are set aside for the meantime.

Second-floor plan.

Work from Home

We don’t know for sure how long this pandemic will force most people to work from home. In our case, our graphic designer daughter works from home since last year. With the future house plan, the lady will have ample space to accommodate all her gadgets and design equipment. Even if she transitions back to the office, the room will remain as her working area at home. Our son, who is still studying, also needs extra space in his bedroom to do his school work.

The good thing about working from home is that our daughter was able to save her paycheck. We also keep the allowance intended for our son. He is attending online classes so, we don’t worry about transportation and meal allowances.

Effect of Pandemic in Real Estate

Covid19 has disrupted the construction of condominiums and business buildings last year. The hardest affected were buyers, who are mostly, Overseas Filipino Workers. They have already paid for their units in advance but were dismayed to find out the construction has stopped. This issue between concerned developers and buyers has yet to be solved.

The non-payment of the mortgage had caused an increase in the number of property foreclosures since last year. Some property owners sold their residential or condominium units to start their businesses. Real estate websites such as Lamudi showed 593 foreclosed properties up for sale in Quezon City.

If you are keen enough to check on the foreclosed list, you may discover a house at an insanely low price. A business-minded person will consider this an opportunity to try to dabble in buy and sell.  

Resiliency

Ironically, some areas are depicting a different atmosphere despite the pandemic. In our neighborhood alone, several household owners are into repairing, beautifying their houses, building flower beds, and carports. The food business is likewise thriving in our area. One would think it’s a “usual” market day if not for the facemask-wearing customers queuing for their orders. Resiliency perhaps is one of the “good things” these uncertain times have given us.

Carry on

Covid19 has affected everyone but, life continues to move forward. A year after the lockdown, we have yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps, we can safely move when the (Covid19) vaccine rollout reaches its intended beneficiaries. By then, we have achieved herd immunity.

Meantime, our dream house will have to wait until the pandemic is over and our youngest graduated from college. We will diligently work until we reach our goal.