4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Co-living Spaces

co-living spacesPhoto by nrd on Unsplash

Today’s changing landscape of work and play has also led to a shift in where and how we live. One of these is the rise of co-living spaces, a new form of shared housing becoming more widespread especially in bustling cities. For the young and starting out, co-living offers several advantages over staying in dorms, boarding houses, or even condominiums and apartments. Read on to find out the top 4 reasons why you should consider co-living spaces as your next housing solution!

1. Budget

The biggest plus to co-living spaces is that they are relatively easy on the budget. Many persons living away from home for the first time might consider co-living spaces to be a great step between the family dwelling and an apartment or condominium shared with roommates. These communal dwellings offer basic necessities as well as common spaces such as lounges and roof decks, for as low as less than 6,000 to 7,000 pesos per month. This fee covers personal space, which may be as small as a bunk or as large as a cubicle, as well as shared bathrooms and kitchens. Additional appliances such as electric kettles and induction cookers can be provided by yourself, or better yet, by a housemate. These perks of co-living allow you to enjoy the comforts of living in your own space while having a little extra to set aside for other needs or even eventually a place of your own.

2. Ease of Dealing with Utilities

One drawback of living in your own apartment or condominium is that you are responsible for calling and paying for your own plumber, handyman, or anyone who can help service your utilities. Co-living spaces have it so much easier; if something needs servicing, all you have to do is notify the manager or concierge who will help schedule the repairs. They will take care of designating someone to be there during the repairs and ensure that the payment is given on time. Since you are sharing the space, the costs of repairs, as well as regular billing for utilities, are split among you and your fellow residents.

3. Added Security and Comfort

Many co-living spaces come with security features such as 24/7 CCTV monitoring and biometrics at the entrances. Residents are also entitled to secure storage spaces such as safes and locked cabinets to allow them to stash their belongings. These are steps up from the minimal security provided in many dormitory and boarding house setups and are worth the slightly higher monthly rental. With these features in place in your co-living space, you can enjoy added peace of mind, even when they are away for the weekends or short vacations.

Co-living spaces also offer added amenities that add significantly to the comfort of dwellers such as airconditioned rooms, elevators, and use of common spaces such as receiving areas and roof decks. Another plus is in-house Wifi, at no additional charge to the monthly fee. Now that is a perk!

4. Flexible Lease Terms

Most leases for apartments, dormitories or other living spaces require you to be locked in for a year before the contract can be renewed, terminated or even re-negotiated. Co-living spaces offer accommodations for more flexible spans of time ranging from three months up to a full year. These types of lease terms allow you to enjoy the comforts of shared living even for the time required to complete a project, temporary assignment, or other short-term situation, all without being obligated to find another tenant or co-renter to finish the duration of a long lease. Co-living spaces with these lease terms are ideal for today’s very upwardly mobile young professional, or someone starting out on an itinerant career track.

Although having one’s own apartment or condominium remains the dream for many young employees and professionals, this goal may take some time to achieve. Setting up in a co-living space is a great way to begin building your nest egg for a space of your own. And who knows, you may make a friend or two along the way, or just enjoy the feel of being independent and on your own! Happy co-living!

Fear Factor – 5 Tips For Helping Your Kids Overcome Their Phobias

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Children’s fears and phobias can feel overwhelming to them one day and then disappear the next. Some fears have longer lives than others, but the majority of them change with age. Before the age of two, some of the most frightening things for children are large objects, loud noises, separation from parents, and “stranger danger.” From ages 3 to 6, children can battle with fear of the dark or imaginary creatures. When children are 7 to 16 years of age, their fears become more realistic but can still range from things like participating in school performances or swimming lessons for kids to something less immediate like the fear that a natural disaster could occur. If you want to help your child address what scares them, here are six tips to help you on your way:

Help Your Child Feel Safe

Whether they are an infant or a high schooler, you can help your child work through their fears by being a safe person to them. When they are young, it could be as simple as speaking in soothing tones and telling them that they are OK. As they get older, your ability to listen to them and help them express their feelings can create that feeling of safety. Doing things like checking under the bed for monsters or helping a child prepare for a test shows them that you hear their fear and are entering into it alongside them.

Be Calm

Your child senses your emotions even as an infant, so if you are anxious about a situation, chances are they will be too. The opposite holds true as well—if you are calm and undisturbed about a situation, they will pick up on that also, whether or not a word is spoken to that effect.

Create a Fear Ladder

A fear ladder can help your child work their way through what scares them one step at a time. To build a fear ladder, you must first help your child list all of the different aspects of their fear. Once you have those pieces, arrange them in order of least scary to most scary. Then, address the ladder a step at a time, not moving on to the next step until they are comfortable with the level they are on, and it no longer feels scary.

Be Patient

In a world full of instant gratification, patience is more of a virtue than ever. Unfortunately, fears do not resolve themselves immediately for children or adults, they take time. If you want to use the fear ladder, for example, to help your child overcome a specific fear for good, you are going to need a great deal of patience as you progress through the various steps together.

Be Encouraging

As you watch your child work their way through their fears, encourage them along the way. Every baby step forward should be acknowledged and praised so that they can see, just like you do, that they are making progress.

Children’s fears and phobias won’t last forever, but you can help address those that linger longer than you would like. Your best line of defense is to help your child feel safe. You can do that in a variety of ways, including listening to their fears and being calm in the face of unnerving situations. If you want to engage in something more tangible, help your child create and work through a fear ladder, being as patient and encouraging as possible along the way. However you choose to address it, keeping an open and positive outlook will go a long way.

Online MP4 to FLV Converter and Why You Need It

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File format compatibility is essential in accessing media files. This is why it is important to check if your file format is compatible with your social media page or website before uploading it. Media files with MP4 formats are widely used in portable devices and media players but this doesn’t guarantee their compatibility with other online platforms. Social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube make use of FLV or Flash Video on their web. Thus if you want to upload your videos in these sites you’ll need an online MP4 to FLV Converter.

What can it do for you?

1. It addresses incompatibility Issues. Converting your MP4 videos to FLV format minimizes the risk of incompatibility issues when you upload it on your website or social media platform. This is because the FLV format is widely used by websites to embed videos and converting your file into the same format ensures compatibility.

2. Video Quality Retention. With the right video converter your videos can retain their quality after conversion. This way you don’t have to worry about blurry images or poor audio once your video goes live.

3. Format Flexibility. It gives you the flexibility to use videos taken from your mobile tools for your social media sites. You can take videos anytime and anywhere using MP4 formats in your devices and still be confident that you can use it on your website later. Simply use your video converter and you’re good to go.

How to Convert MP4 Files to FLV Format

The easiest way to do this is to find an online MP4 to FLV converter from a reputable vendor. There are plenty of video converters available online, the main advantage they offer is ease and convenience in use. For one, you don’t have to download anything or allocate computer resources to run the program. All you have to do is go to their site and follow the MP4 to FLV Converter instructions which usually takes 3 steps only.

Online video converters are ideal for files with a maximum of 100MB, you’ll need the downloadable version for files with bigger sizes. These types of video converters are also available online. But unlike the online MP4 to FLV Converter, the desktop converter needs to be downloaded and installed in your computer before you can use it. On the upside, the desktop version gives you more flexibility in terms of size, supported formats, and editing. With a desktop converter you can convert multiple files at a time. It is also able to support more formats compared to the online version.

Anyone who doesn’t want the help of a corporate video company, needs a video converter tool in their arsenal be it an online MP4 to FLV converter or a desktop video converter to upload and share videos on the web . That is if they want their viewers to enjoy good quality video streaming without a glitch.

4 Design Tips for Older Homes

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Getting to build or buy a brand-new house is a dream for many prospective homeowners, but oftentimes the reality of acquiring a residence proves to be rather different. A variety of reasons can push buyers to purchase an older house instead of a newly constructed one, but in the end, almost everyone faces the challenge of redecorating and personalizing their not-so-new home. Short of ordering major renovations and remodeling, homeowners can employ some clever decorating tricks to spruce up their older houses. Here we have four relatively simple and inexpensive design tips to turn a preloved house into the home of your dreams.

1. Update the light fixtures

One quick and eco-friendly way to change the look of your home is to switch out the old bulbs and lamps for more modern light fixtures. Perhaps a chandelier with crystal pendants isn’t your thing, and you’d be happier brightening up the living room with colorful lamps. Maybe you have plenty of paintings and sculptures that would fall flat under featureless white fluorescent lights, and you prefer to see them under the warm glow of spotlights. Using new LED fixtures also saves more energy than older lighting options.

2. Work with (or against) your windows

Windows can either be the features or the banes of your homes. If your windows have a great view, flaunt it! Do away with broken shutters or generic blinds and jalousies, in favor of new draperies and perhaps even tinted glass. Got a stained-glass window? Make it the focal feature of your room by letting the light shine through onto pristine white walls. Turn deep windows and alcoves into sitting nooks with the addition of a low sofa or daybed.

If you are not so fortunate to have such elegant windows, and instead you are stuck with awkwardly built ones crammed into corners, or windows looking out on a boring view (or a blank wall), then do not fret! Cover up such windows with shelves loaded with herbs and indoor plants. Other window treatments include fabric hangings and even painted screens that can help conceal the outdoors or bad construction.

3. Make shelving work for you

A trick that works for old and new homes alike is to use shelves to display collections and memorabilia. Combining modern storage features such as glass and metal shelving can liven up a living room, a dining room or just any common space in an older home. There are two pluses to this decorating trick: you can declutter your space and at the same time show off items you are truly proud of. You need not be stuck with an odd collection of knickknacks and souvenirs that your guests will barely glance at, much less ooh and ahh over. Try using shelves to showcase your passions, be they old vinyl records, leather-bound books, or even your own works of art. Not only will these make great conversation pieces, but using visible shelving helps keep your favorite things on hand instead of locked away in storage.

4. Freshen up the paint

If you have time and the funds for it, then give your home a new coat of paint! Take the time to strip away the old layers of paint (chances are there will be more than one of these) and prime the surfaces before slapping on your new colors. Light and airy tints are great for making a room feel airier and more spacious, while darker colors lend a warmer feel to a space and can also be useful in covering up surface imperfections. If a wall to wall paint job all over the house is too daunting, consider simply repainting or refinishing the wooden baseboards and molding in your rooms using a complementary color. Other items to consider repainting include doorways and windowsills, as well as any built-in storage units.

Redecorating an older home may seem difficult at first, especially if there is little leeway to make significant structural alterations. Given a little creativity, this arduous task can turn into a very satisfying challenge of combining your house’s best features with your personal touch, to create a home that is truly one of a kind.

Commercial Confidence – 5 Secrets for Successful Commercial Real Estate Investment

commercial real estatePhoto by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and start your commercial real estate portfolio. If you’re new to this sort of investment, don’t go in blinded by ideals and ambition. Even those who’ve been in the residential property game for years will want to regularly brush up their knowledge and understanding of this exciting, yet challenging field. Commercial real estate is often viewed as a safer investment than its residential counterpart. While this may be true, any sort of investment is a balance between risk and reward. Generally, people get into this side of the game because there’s more security with tenancy and larger returns to be earned. However, these won’t help you if you fail to do your homework and manage the associated risks. Luckily, there are certain steps you can take to further minimise your exposure and keep your portfolio strong:

Do Your Research

It doesn’t matter where you’re looking, there will always be commercial property for sale. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you should just jump in and buy it without performing your due diligence. Do some research on the area in which you’re looking to buy, and compare the property you’re considering against those around it. This is what your prospective tenants will be doing, so it pays to know the market well. If you have your eye on a specific property, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive history of the property, so that you know what kind of maintenance it will require.

Have a Plan

You’ll want to sit down and work out exactly where the money for this venture will be coming from, and have contingencies in place should tenancy arrangement not go as planned. You’ll also need a solid plan for how you intend to execute your ideas. This is good practice with any investment but real estate tends to require a larger initial outlay, so it’s vital to be prepared should the market throw you a curve ball or two.

Speak to a Professional

Now you’ve got the basic groundwork done, it’s time to bring in some specialized help. We’re not talking about chump change here, so it always pays to have at least a financial advisor and real estate agent on your side. Set up a meeting with your trusted advisors and start crunching numbers, while you may think you’ve covered every angle, two heads are better than one, and three is even better. Your A Team will also be able to help you go through your buying, funding and maintenance plans to ensure you’ve covered everything, and advise you as to any permits you may need.

Have a Purpose

Speaking of permits, if you’re going to want to change anything in your building, you’ll probably need one. Head into your new purchase with a solid idea of what you want to do with the property and if you plan on making any alterations, make sure you’ve factored in the cost of renovations, surveying, permits and lost income from the time where your new building probably won’t be habitable.

The critical mistake that people make when entering the commercial real estate market is thinking that they’ll be fine without planning and investigating all possible variables, because it’s established itself as a “safe” investment. If you can avoid this pitfall, you’re halfway to having a successful property, which can help provide for you for years to come. Make sure that all of your ducks are in a row before you put any money down, follow your plan and watch your bank balance, and portfolio, grow.