Adventures with Bad Real Estate Agents: Philippine Edition

I mentioned previously that I was looking for a property to buy. I’m not buying to flip. I’m buying something that I’ll use in the foreseeable future (say within 3-5 years). I’m eyeing a property in Nuvali.

Nuvali new beginning
I’m assuming this quote pertains to buyers and sellers of real estate. Image from official Nuvali Facebook page

 

I assumed that the process will be easy for me. Unfortunately bad real estate agents and sellers will come your way. Since I was buying on the secondary market, the agents I dealt with were not officially connected with Ayala (Nuvali’s developer). Here are some of what I encountered:

 

Continue reading Adventures with Bad Real Estate Agents: Philippine Edition

Will You Buy Property that Sits on a T – Junction?

I have been trying to buy some real estate. I have been offered a piece of lot at a very nice gated community, developed and managed by a very reputable community, and near good schools, business, shopping and recreation establishments. The lot is also much cheaper (on a per square meter basis) compared to other lots in the village. The title and other documents are all clean and in order.

The lot is almost perfect… except for one flaw. The lot faces a road. It sits on a t-junction/ t-intersection. If you were in my place, would you invest in this lot?

T intersection lot at Block 14 Lot 44
The property on Block 14 Lot 44, would you buy it? The number below is the area of the lot which is 346 square meters or 3724 square feet. Image from AlveoLand

Continue reading Will You Buy Property that Sits on a T – Junction?

Chinese New Year: Investment and Money Tips for The Year of The Goat

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Today, February 19 is the start of the Year of the Wooden Goat / Sheep / Ram according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. In this post, I will list some investment and money tips from experts in Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology.

 

2015 Year of the Goat
Goats and sheep are totally different creatures, but that’s not important, right? Image from fengshuiben.blogspot

 

I searched online for feng shui experts, those who are usually hired to advice business executives and financial professionals on money matters. Here they are and what they had to say.  Continue reading Chinese New Year: Investment and Money Tips for The Year of The Goat

Real Estate: Christian Grey’s Escala Penthouse from ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

In a love story – whether it ends happily or not, the setting is also important. In this post I will feature Christian Grey’s Penthouse in Escala, the setting for most of the “action” in Fifty Shades of Grey. 

The Escala apartments is actually a real-life building, though E L James had not been there when she wrote the book. She used the promotional materials of the condo to describe the penthouse.

See related post about Fifty Shades of Grey here. The movie will be open in the Philippines on February 11.

Address: 1920 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, Washington, United States of America

Escala Condominium in Seattle.
Escala, the setting for Fifty Shades of Grey. Image from bizjournals.com

 

Penthouse – Christian Grey’s pad in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

The penthouse is on the 31st floor, measures 5,181 sq ft (483 sqm), and has a 1,000 sq ft (93 sqm) terrace. Continue reading Real Estate: Christian Grey’s Escala Penthouse from ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

The Araneta Wealth

Stella Marquez Araneta is currently making headlines in the Philippines and not in a good way. See related post here.

From Filipino designers to Twitter users, it seems that many are expressing their disappointment – ok anger – with her. Will the angry netizens speak with their wallets though? Stella had married into one of the Philippines’ wealthiest families. The Aranetas are involved in many businesses in the country.

She didn’t end up as a trophy wife. She is actually now the second most famous Araneta. The most famous being the inanimate Araneta Coliseum. Stella during her wedding to Jorge Araneta. Image from Alo Magazine

 

A view of the Araneta Center’s most famous landmark, the Araneta Coliseum. The coliseum hosted the Thrilla in Manila, the 1975 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Image from Ramon FVelasquez

 

Aside from the Araneta Coliseum, which is part of the 35 hectare Araneta Center complex, what are the other business holdings of the Aranetas? Continue reading The Araneta Wealth

A Creative Way to Expense Kickbacks?

Many companies, willingly or unwillingly, will have to deal with corrupt entities. The corrupt entity may be from the government or a private firm. To facilitate a deal, get favorable contracts, or secure the necessary permits, kickbacks will have to be given at some point. Though most jurisdictions outlaw the giving of kickbacks, this practice continues to be a way of life for many businesses. Obviously, the cost of the kickbacks is less than the benefit from the deal, or else, there is no point in handing them out. For these companies that give kickbacks, the money is treated as cost of doing business.

To deter this unsavory practice, tax agencies obviously don’t allow kickbacks to be expensed for tax purposes. The practice of giving kickbacks is also a criminal offense. However, for the financially creative, they’ll find ways to go around the restrictions.

A corruption scandal is currently making headlines. One party (OP) is alleging impropriety in a land deal that involved a high ranking official (HO). According to OP, this was how the kickbacks to HO were disbursed. Continue reading A Creative Way to Expense Kickbacks?

Undoubtedly One of the Best and Successful Investments Ever Made by the Boy Scouts?

The title of this post was derived from the statement of Alphaland, a Filipino real estate development company, in response to its alleged involvement in corruption accusations that are currently making headlines in the Philippines.

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) ordered the involuntary delisting of Alphaland in late 2014, citing violation of disclosure rules. Trading of its stocks has been suspended since January 2014.

What is this investment that they speak of? Is it really “the best and successful investment ever made” by the Boy Scout of the Philippines (BSP)?  Continue reading Undoubtedly One of the Best and Successful Investments Ever Made by the Boy Scouts?