Saturday, April 30, 2011

Storage Shed - The Easy Way!

Do you have problems storing your stuff in your back yard? Do you have an extra space in your lot?  Then, I think this unique find can be an easy alternative.... a storage shed in an instant!  No need for a long wait to construct your storage room, no need to spend hours creating your design.  Everything is ready to be shipped at $1,799.  Well...shipping may not be free but you will save on your time a lot.  But honestly, I am thinking that this storage shed can be fabricated by your favorite steel and iron works shops within the neighborhood.  I guess getting rid of clutter should not only be within the house but also on the four corners of our yard.  To store those pails of paints, garden equipment and tools, utility tools, etc., we need a permanent space where these stuff can be stored safely and securely.  I was amazed to have found this design  from homedepot.com, then again, I wanted to share this with you....




Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kitchen Pantry Organizers

After I came back home to have my vacation, the first thing that caught my attention was the pantry area in the kitchen.  Oh my!  the pantry items were scattered everywhere.  Well, I couldn't blame the people in the house, the kids definitely wouldn't keep an eye on this.  They are still young to be conscious about decluttering.  My Mom is just too old for this task and my house helper, I guess would not care enough.  So, I have this task to do.  After all it's my house and if there's anyone who's supposed to have a primary concern about it's neatness and orderliness, it should be me...who else?

My mission? well... I have to look for some pantry organizers.  I don't have the time to order online so perhaps the best thing that I have to do is just to get some ideas and then go straight to any shop selling these kind of stuff.  I have to make a move getting things organized before I suffer from migraine :) Yup... I used to have a migraine attack when everything around me appears so messy.  Hmm.. looking for ideas, here's what I've got :






There are various ways to organize your kitchen stuff.  Just a matter of choosing what best suits your kitchen.  Want to get more ideas? Click here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

This Is How My Son Decorated His Room!

Just want to feature how my son decorated the walls of his room using a simple paper poster, black styro, glitters plus his creative hands.  The color motif of his room is actually blue,white and black. Wall decors are always with a shade of black while the cabinet racks are all in white .  This photo was taken last year...hopefully there are new improvements now as this boy loves experimenting a lot.



I have to see when I come back!

Have a nice week ahead!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Working With Wall Murals

I am actually totally new to murals.  I only got an idea about it after I've seen one from a Korean Tele Novela that I'm watching from  TV.  Out of curiosity, I tried to search more on this mural thing.

A mural is actually an art work placed on a wall.  It is either applied directly or through painting.  It's usually being done on a large surface.  Mural on walls is another good alternative in decorating your bed rooms or even living rooms.  It works well on kids room, too.  For some who finds having mural paintings on walls a tedious task and requires a longer time to be completed, an easy alternative would be the wall paper murals which can be purchased online and applied directly...fast and easy.

Here are few samples from www.muralsdirect.co.uk :







Not only that, murals can be on ceilings, too.  I especially like this one;

 It's actually a glow in the dark ceiling mural.  

It's another exciting way to brighten up our homes....





Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Great Wall Decoration!

I love this unique wall design! Easy to do and definitely an "eye catcher".  Easy on the pocket, too.

photo credit : www.hgtv.com



Creating a wall accent will surely add spice to your room.  There's a lot of paintings and picture frames that can be bought from shops and online but I guess it's now a common thing.  I'm always on a look out for something unique.  This one definitely caught my attention.  I think variation can be made by changing the color combination and the design, as well. but I really like the concept.  It's a cheaper alternative to buying paintings.  Another good thing is that it can bring out your creativity.

Just Sharing!

How About A Water Garden In A Container?

I've done with my previous project which is installing a small fish pond in my pocket garden.  This was in place since December last year.  Now, my kids were a bit preoccupied with home projects this summer.  That's what I love about them.  When they get bored, they would think of something that will bring out their creative juices and normally, the first thing that always go to their minds is garden designs.

Well..... I thought of giving them a challenge, how about a water garden in a container?  This is simple, exciting and fun.  I think easy on the budget too as they can make use of already available resources at home.

Here is a sample:



How to make this one? Click here to know more.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Grocery Bag Holders

I guess a common problem for all home makers is getting organized in the kitchen and one of the mess that I usually get stuck up with is the accumulating grocery bags (plastic bags, to be precise) as a result of the regular grocery shopping.  Plastic bags can be seen anywhere in the kitchen area hiding under the kitchen cabinets, behind the fridge, at the kitchen cup board, just anywhere that has a space J.  But we don’t want to totally get rid of these recyclable plastic bags as we want to reuse these as garbage bags or perhaps we would like to use it when buying stuff in the market.  So, the solution is to have a grocery bag holder.  You can purchase it on shops or through online stores or you can also make your own.  But if there is one readily available at a cheap price, I guess buying one will save you from all the hassles. 

Here are the samples that I picked online with their corresponding prices:

You can check these out at  http://www.spacesavers.com/.


$3.99


$6.99


$8.99


$14.99



Hope you can find one that will suit your need and kitchen space.

Just sharing!



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Storage

Now that it's already school summer break in the Philippines, one of my long list of tasks to accomplish at home when I take my vacation is decluttering the house and of course, organizing books.  Each year, the books in the house keep on accumulating as both my children are buying new set of books every school year.  Though I have passed on already almost half of the books to my nieces and neighbors, I believe I still have ample in stock.  I normally select the books which I think would still be of use to them as reference materials and those that are out dated and no longer fit to their age are given away.  Hmm.... I would rather have these books enjoyed by other people rather than see them accumulating dust in the house.  This way, I already get rid of too much things to store and at the same time, I get to help some less fortunate kids to make full use of those resources.

When my son's room was built a year ago, he personally design his room in such a way that he is going to have an ample storage for his books and personal things.  Lots of drawers, shelves and cabinets.  The size of his room is just nice for him...not too big and not too small.  He was able to utilize all the available spaces as storage areas.  He's really growing smart with a good sense of creativity.  :)

Searching for book shelf designs, my attention was caught by this unique spine book case. 
photo credit : www.femaleways.com

My first time to see such a design.  I guess this is perfect for my daughter who prefer to have her books currently in use for a particular school year on a place within her reach which  I understand because her book shelf is a bit high and she's not comfortable to open it and search for her books from time to time.  Normally, I would see her currently used text books scattered on the floor or on top of the table.  I guess this spine book would somehow help solve the problem ....... and I think the best thing is, it's not so costly to fabricate one.  

Hmmm...I'll see if I can make one for her when I come back home.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Making Your Girl's Bedroom Stand Out!

I always have an inclination to something that is colorful and if I have to design my daughter's bedroom, I prefer it to be "eye catching" in terms of colors and designs.  Maybe I'm basically a "kikay".... :) But really, I love something cute and colorful.  This is the reason why when my pocket garden in the house was being installed, I always remind the landscaper to make it "colorful".  Why? because vibrant colors make the surrounding attractive and creates a "happy atmosphere".  So, I was thinking if I have to design a room for my daughter, it would be something like this :



Photo Credit : www.hgtv.com

How do you find the designs? Isn't it colorful and lovely?  Actually, if you will try to examine carefully, it's not that costly...it's just a matter of creativity and an eye for good furniture designs.  Curtains and bed sheets plus the accessories will also make a big difference on the final outcome of the room.  I guess, choosing a color theme that will suit your daughter's preference will be a good way to uplift her moods.

I still believe that a beautifully decorated room with things well organized and tidy would be best regardless of the price of the decorations and accessories used.

Just sharing!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Creating An Outdoor Room

I think an outdoor room is not so popular in the Philippines, but in US, it is.  I myself is new to this thing.  I haven't encounter yet any articles from Philippine magazines featuring outdoor rooms, but since I am a person who reads a lot and I am a person who loves decorating my yard, my curiosity had led me to discover more of outdoor rooms.  

First what is an Outdoor Room? It is basically a space outside your house whether at the front or back yard where you want to spend some leisure time with the family.  Actually the objective of having an outdoor room varies depending on the life style and hobbies of each member of the family.  But for me, perhaps an outdoor room would be a perfect place for relaxation, for meditation, for reading, for a serious talk with your kid, for soul searching or even for blogging :)  It is a place where you can find a peace within yourselves.  It is also an alternative space for getting away from the usual sight of your bedroom or living room where you can get a fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun on an early morning meditation or simply appreciating the beauty of nature that surrounds you.  An outdoor room is normally attached to the house in full view from your living room, dining area or bedroom depending on the availability of space but it can also be detached depending on your preference.

Here are samples of the Outdoor Rooms courtesy of www.hgtv.com.  You can visit their website for more designs and ideas on how to build one.  I just featured the following designs which are my personal choices.  Hopefully, I can create any of these designs in my yard soon.





I only have one reservation, though... the unpredictable weather conditions in the Philippines!  I think rainy season is longer than the dry season so protecting your outdoor room throughout the rainy season would be a thing to consider. For this, I suggest fabricating a water proof covering that is easy to install and remove anytime you want.  Personally, I would prefer my outdoor room to be small to medium size only so it would be easy to maintain and decorate.  But I guess, any size would do.

Dont you think it's a great idea to have one?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Working On My New Project!

During my last vacation which was December of last year, I managed to put up a pocket garden on my front yard.  This was featured on my other blog, http://krizza-lifestipsandtricks.blogspot.com.  The project was a success based from the reactions of those who have seen it.  Everybody loves the colorful design and motif of our new garden.  It comes with a mini fish pond attached to a mini water falls.  Everything was conceptualized and installed by Ms. Regine of Regine's Garden.  Her shop and garden center is located at Castillejos Zambales.  Now...I'm thinking of putting up a garden canopy for this garden and I preferred a wooden canopy.  It's hard to explain to whoever worker will be contacted to fabricate one for our house, so to give him a better idea, I scout for some sample pics online.



I like this design, simple and classy.  I also think that this is not so costly as materials are just woods.  But I think, it can also be fabricated using metals.  I still have to check which one is cheaper.  But, I have more preference to the woods and I love it to be black in color but my kids prefer white, as they said that color will match the house. Hmmm... well, I will try to see first :)

Just hope that I would be able to do this project as I might be very busy.  But I would try my best to spare a time for this.

Thanks for visiting!

Choosing Your Home Developer

I’m pretty sure that many employees especially those having families of their own are already considering buying a house and lot from a real state developer.  Definitely, they would find this as an easy option since most real state developers are tied up with PAGIBIG or SSS. So all they have to do is to scout for the dream house, apply for a loan and pay the monthly amortization.  If you happen to stroll inside the malls, you would find some agents handing over some pamphlets or brochures containing the models of the houses which their companies are offering.  Normally price varies depending on the size and the design.

Before choosing a property developer, make sure that you have conducted the necessary background checks as to the licenses and credibility of the companies.  Check if they are approved by the Housing and Land Urban Regulatory Board (HLURB).  We have to make sure that our “hard earned” money will be invested wisely.  Here are some:

Ayala Lands Inc.
Garces Real State
Philippine Realty Show Room
Robinsons Land
Cuervo Far East
Town and Country Homes
Jade Group, Inc.

Get a developer which offers an affordable financing scheme.  Join open house trips to see from your own eyes how the house actually looks like, the location, the neighborhood, the amenities, etc.

I’m sure you will find one that will suit your budget, your wants and your life style.

    

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Applying Housing Loan Through PAGIBIG

I'm sure that a lot of Filipinos are interested to purchase their own house and so far the easiest and fastest way to get that dream house is through a financing institution.  In the Philippines, there are various real state developers who are tied up with some credible financing institutions like SSS and PAGIBIG.  But of course, availing loans under these two well known and government recognized institutions is not an easy task.  You have to go through various procedures from the time of application, verification, submitting of requirements, approval and so on.  I think like in the case of PAGIBIG, an applicant is required to attend an orientation seminar before he gets started.  For a matter of information, I have compiled here the following excerpts from the the PAGIBIG Home Development Mutual Fund website for easy reference.


Housing Loan Availment
This housing loan program grants opportunities to Pag-IBIG Fund members to avail of housing loans to finance any one or a combination of the following:



  1. Purchase of a residential house and lot, townhouse or condominium unit, inclusive of a parking slot, which may be:
* A property mortgaged with the Fund; or
* An acquired asset, which is disposed of through sealed public bidding, negotiated sale, the Rent-to-Own Program, or the “Magaang Pabahay, Disenteng Buhay” Program.
  1. Construction or completion of a residential unit on a lot owned by the member;
  1. Home improvement, i.e. any alteration in an existing residential unit intended by a homeowner to be a permanent integral part thereof, which will enhance its durability and material value;
  1. Refinancing of an existing mortgage with an institution acceptable to the Fund, provided that:
* The said loan has a repayment history of at least two (2) years with the original mortgagee
  1. Combination of loan purposes, which shall be limited to the following:
* Purchase of a residential unit, whether old or new, with home improvement;
* Refinancing of an existing mortgage with home improvement;
* Re* Refinancing of an existing mortgage, specifically a lot loan, with construction of a residential unit thereon. 

Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for a Pag-IBIG housing loan, a member shall satisfy the following requirements:
  1. On Pag-IBIG Membership
  • Must be a member under the Pag-IBIG I, Pag-IBIG II or Pag-IBIG Overseas Program (POP) for at least twenty-four (24) months, as evidenced by the remittance of at least 24 monthly contributions at the time of loan application.
  • A member, whether new or with existing monthly contributions that are still short of the 24-month membership requirement, shall be allowed to make lump sum payment based on the mandatory monthly membership contribution rates (both EE and ER share) to meet the said requirement at point of loan application. Lump sum payment of membership contributions shall be considered a single contribution for the applicable month as of the payment date.
  • A member whose loan exceeds P500,000.00 shall be required to pay the upgraded membership contribution rates upon housing loan approval and owards.
  • A member who has contributed for at least two (2) years and whose loans exceed P500,000.00 shall be required to pay the upgraded contribution rates upon housing loan approval and onwards.
  • For purposes of satisfying the required two (2) years membership contributions, the member may opt to pay in lump sum any amount short of the said requirement. In addition, the period corresponding to the TAV applied earlier to an outstanding loan shall also be considered when counting the total number of monthly contributions, provided the remaining TAV after offsetting does not fall below the equivalent amount of two (2) years membership contributions.
  1. Not more than sixty-five (65) years old at the date of loan application and must be insurable; provided further that he is not more than seventy (70) years old at loan maturity;
  2. Has the legal capacity to acquire and encumber real property;
  3. Has passed satisfactory background/credit and employment/business checks of the Pag-IBIG Fund
  4. Has no outstanding Pag-IBIG housing loan, either as a principal borrower or co-borrower;
However, should a co-borrower in a tacked loan signify an intention to avail of a Pag-IBIG housing loan for himself, he shall be allowed to do so provided the tacked loan is updated and the amount proportionate to his loan entitlement has been fully paid. Hence, the co-borrower shall be released from the original obligation and shall be allowed to avail of his own Pag-IBIG housing loan, subject to standard evaluation procedures.
  1. Had no Pag-IBIG housing loan that was foreclosed, cancelled, bought back due to default, or subjected to dacion en pago, which shall include cases where the borrower is no longer interested to pursue the loan and surrenders the property;
  2. Has no outstanding Pag-IBIG multi-purpose loan in arrears at the time of loan application. A member whose multi-purpose loan is in arrears shall be required to pay his arrearages over the counter to update his account.


CHECKLIST OF REQUIREMENTS FOR Pag-IBIG HOUSING LOANS FOR LOCALLY EMPLOYED:

For purchase of a residential unit :
Upon Loan application:


A.     Documentary Requirements

1.      Housing Loan Application with recent ID photos of borrower
2.    Membership Status Verification Slip (MSVS)
3.    Proof of Income, any of the ff:
a. Notarized Certificate of Employment and Compensation (Pag-IBIG format)
b. Notarized Certificate of Employment and Compensation (Employer’s format) and latest   1 month payslip
c. Income Tax Return/Certificate of Tax Withheld (BIR Form No. 2316) and latest 1 month payslip
4.     Contract to Sell or similar agreement between the buyer and seller 

 
B.     Technical Requirements

1.      Certified true copy of TCT/CCT by the Register of Deeds (latest 
         title)
2.      Location Plan and Vicinity Map
3.      Photocopy of Tax Declaration

*             For borrower over 60 years old, Medical Questionnaire and Full Medical Examination

Prior to Loan Release:

A. Documentary Requirements

1. TCT/CCT  in the name of the borrower with proper mortgage annotation in favor of Pag-IBIG Fund (Owner’s copy)
2. Certified true copy of TCT/CCT in the name of the borrower with proper mortgage annotation in favor of Pag-IBIG Fund (RD’s copy)
3. Photocopy of New Tax Declaration in the name of borrower and updated Real Estate Tax Receipt
4. Loan Mortgage Documents
a.   Loan and Mortgage Agreement with original RD stamp
b.   Deed of Absolute Sale with original RD stamp
c.   Notarized Promissory Note
d.   Disclosure Statement on Loan Transaction
5. Collection Servicing Agreement with Authority to Deduct Loan Amortization or Post Dated Checks.
6.  Proof of Billing Address.

These are only the basic information, for more details or for any other 
concerns you can log on to their website http://www.pagibigfund.gov.ph/


* Old or brand new;
* The loan is not in default within 12 months prior to the date of application;

* Purchase of a fully developed lot not exceeding 1,000 square meters and construction of a residential unit thereon;




Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting Started – Scouting For Your Dream House

photo credit : istockphoto.com
Owning a home is probably on every family’s dreams.  Whether you wanted a mansion, a villa, a condominium, a bungalow or a modest house in the middle of a farm, it’s always good to have one which you could call “your own”.

I think getting one is not that easy, you have to go through a lot of planning, brainstorming, researching, looking around the area and of course…saving. To get started we have to identify first, what we really want.  This involves a lot of planning, of course and some deep thinking.  By this, you have to identify what are the needs of the family.  So many factors have to be considered like: location, accessibility, area, environment, etc.  Of course, it’s just important to identify what type of house we actually want.  Does the family require a house and lot, a condominium or a townhouse? I guess this is a very important consideration.  For instance, some people prefer to stay in an apartment type house or a condominium as they find it more suitable for their fast-paced life.  Some people opted to own a house and lot with a plenty of space to move on, like myself.  I’ve mentioned many times in my other blog that I am a “garden lover”.  I love to tend a garden in my yard.  I really love plants and I find a sense of fulfillment watching them grow.  Sitting on my garden set in the terrace in full view of my plants, for instance, is enough to give me an instant relief for a hard day’s work.  So your hobbies, your needs and your wants are very important consideration in deciding what type of house you really want.

Next is the budget.  How much can we afford?  Do we have enough cash to make an outright purchase or we just only have enough money for the down payment?  There again, if we opted to purchase through financing institutions, we still have to decide how much we can afford for the monthly amortization.  We have to carefully examine our monthly budget  and decide if we have a spare money enough to cover the monthly fees.  Also, we shall not forget to ask ourselves if we are eligible to apply for any housing loan.

After we have decided on the first two, the next step is to survey the areas.  In Philippines, it’s much easy coz there are a lot of options available.  There are various numbers of real state developers who offer different kind of packages to suit your needs, your budget and your lifestyle.  Read the classified ads, ask referral from friends or better yet, inquire from banks for any possibility of buying a foreclosed property which I believed can be taken for a cheaper price.  Make a list of real state developers and check on their backgrounds.  Better yet, inquire and get more information from their previous buyers.  Only then, you can assure yourself that you made the right choice.

After having considered all of the above, you are now ready to choose from all the available options. Take your pick!  Compare prices… taking into consideration the location, accessibility, size of the house, and lastly, the payment terms in case you have decided to settle for a financing scheme. The story is different if you are buying in cash, of course.  There will be more options and you could also take advantage of the huge discounts you could get from paying cash.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Welcoming My Second Blog - "Home Sweet Home"!

At last, after nearly two weeks of trying to deliberate on what will be my second blog site, I finally came up with this site titled “Home Sweet Home”.  I have long wanted to have a blog focused on everything about homes.  A home lover myself, I always find interest reading articles on magazines about home improvements, home decorating tips, gardening, home care tips and anything and everything about home.  In fact, the moment I set foot on any mall, my first destination is the home section where I can find a lot of things for the house.  From curtains, bed sheets, table cloths, decorations, kitchen wares, etc.  I really love to fix and decorate my house.  My family is always a witness of how engaged I am in trying to beautify my house.  Even my first house which I am now renting out was properly taken care of during those years that the family was staying there.  No matter how humble and simple my house is, I manage to make it pleasant to the eyes of the on lookers and visitors alike.  I guess, it’s not about the size nor the expensive construction materials used in building the house that matters, but how focused are you in keeping your home a pleasant place to stay.  Even a beautifully constructed house, if not properly maintained and taken care of will also be useless.  After I moved to my second house, I was pre occupied on thinking on ways and means to improve it.  I don’t have a big budget for the house.  So the improvements introduced to our house has been a labor of love from all the members of the family and everything was not done overnight.  It took us years, trying to complete every detail that we want for our humble home.  It’s so simple yet reflects my personality.  Currently, it’s just a 3 bedroom house.  I actually planned for a 4 bedroom house with the master’s bedroom on the second floor of the garage but because the budget is very tight now, we still have to wait probably for few more years before it’s finally done, as planned.  Anyway, the current size is just fine as I’m not currently staying there anyway. J.  But every time, I go back home to take a vacation, I always see to it that  something, no matter how small, will be added into it.

Now having said that, I am dedicating this blog to my family and to all the people out there who share the same interest, as me.  I will be featuring tips and ideas about houses, and hopefully that I maybe able to share my experiences and adventures in running my “home sweet home”

Expect more of this on my future posts.

Ciao!

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