Sunday, April 27, 2014

Seller Concessions : Is it Bad to Demand ?

Closing Cost Covered

Seller's Point of View:

Last February, we listed our house in Real Estate market. After de-cluttering and staging done, we took the time in discussing with our listing agent about the comparable price in our neighborhood. We compare and look at the sq footage of the house, size of the garage, location of the property, condition of the property, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and so on. After the discussion, we set the price. Our listing agent has helped us come up with a reasonable price of the property.
We also discussed that we wanted the full price as much as possible. Seller concessions are negotiable. Our thoughts were, the lesser demands from the buyer most likely the favorable offer.
Four days passed, we have three offers. One offer asked for full closing cost covered by the seller, our response was flat NO and we didn't bother to counter their offer because we have multiple offers on the table.
The second offer has a lowball offer and asked for 30% closing cost and the closing date was in two weeks. Tempting. We end up saying NO because the buyer asks for an X amount of Home Warranty too and an X amount of home repair. If the buyer was a cash buyer, we could counter offer but, he was not. Dealing with mortgage folks can be dragging.
We accepted the full priced offer with no seller concessions. Their only request was 60 days closing. We were not in a hurry so; the offer was good enough.

Buyer's Point of View:

We were looking for a new property to buy since the house was sold. We found a great property in a beautiful neighborhood, and the price of the property was at the max of our budget. Asking for seller concessions left us with no option knowing that there are 6 offers on their table already. We offer full price, cash offer and closing date in 30 days.

After one day, our realtor asked if we want to go a higher bid. We said NO. As a buyer, we should know the max amount that we can afford to pay. Was our offer good enough? We don't know. We were in limbo.

After two days, our realtor congratulate us. We got the house.

Is it bad to demand a seller concession? It could be Yes and No. It all depends. Is your demand reasonable? How many offers on the seller's table? If there's a multiple offer, asking for seller concession is risky but, you can try. Make a strong offer that the seller will favor you from others. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Top 10 Coolest Retail Stores Around the World

Are you looking to jazz up your retail store? Take a look at ten of the coolest retail stores from around the world for some inspiration.

Farmacia Lordelo

Located in Vila Real, Portugal, this pharmacy has trendsetter written all over it. With its unconventional exterior to its smooth interior it takes the super modern styling to a whole new level and is a standout in the area.

Dover Street Market

Of course there is a store from London on this list because we all know how cool London is. The Dover Street Market is specifically located in Mayfair, one of the trendier suburbs and attracts anyone from hipsters, to skaters and fashionista’s. It does this due to its chaotic like design wrapped in a cohesive environment.


When you want to buy a new bicycle it doesn’t exactly conjure up exciting thoughts of going to the bike shop does it? Well if you visit Pave in Barcelona, Spain you would actually be excited. This bike shop is so sleek in design; it’s been referred to as a ‘shrine’ for bicycles.


Surprise, surprise another entry from a store located in London. On this occasion it’s Hamleys, with this particular one standing seven stories tall. It’s a full on assault of the senses with costumed staff and hands on product testing, it’s a shopping experience you won’t forget.


It wouldn’t be a list of the coolest retail stores without having an entry from Japan would it? This particular Nike store located in Harajuku is three stories and 10 000 square feet big. It is also home to the biggest NikeID studio in the country.

The HITGallery

Although the HITGallery is located in Hong Kong’s Time Square, it has Italian (and more specifically) Milan written all over its design. Milanese based designer Fabio Novembre is the man behind this minimalist creation that stocks Italian fashion no less.

The Essential Ingredient

When a retailer moves location it can often cause it problems, but this hasn’t been the case for The Essential Ingredient in Sydney, Australia. Its new location means it can now offer customers a cooking school and espresso bar, not bad considering you still get all the things that made it popular in the first place as well.

Kirk Originals

Yet another entry from the UK, Kirk Originals is a company that specializes in eyewear. They are known for producing some of the most eye-catching eyewear around. So of course their flagship store had to follow suite, with an ultra modern look just like their products.

FAO Schwarz

It just wouldn’t be a coolest retail store list without the Americans would it? This particular store FAO Schwarz located in New York, is almost a one-stop shop for children. From lollies to a doll adoption centre, and a rare gift and hobby collection – don’t mention this one to the kids unless you’re going to New York anytime soon!

An Apple store would have to make this list of coolest retailers and it’s the one located in New York that gets the nod. Filled full of all the iGadgets you’d ever want, it’s rounded off with clear cube d├ęcor and a levitating Apple logo.
So now that this has got you inspired, why not head over to to get your retail store refitted. You won’t regret it.

Whale Watching Up-Close

The other day, I wanted to eat French Fries from McDonalds. We have frozen fries but, I am too lazy to cook it besides, I want McDonalds fries hehehe. We drove about 5 minutes and hubby decided we will get a chicken sandwich and have a picnic by the Indian River wharf. I don't see why not after all, it was a gorgeous day. In the area, dolphins can sometimes appear as well as the manatees. I never seen the latter though, how I wish I will be able to see the manatee up-close. I check out the signage and was delighted to know that whales go this far too? I never seen one. How about you? Have you ever seen a whale up-close?

Night Riders: 5 Tips for Cycling During the Night

Night riding requires special safety precautions. Visibility is paramount and the general rule is the more visibility aids the better. You might feel a little like an out of season Christmas tree, but being well lit up is really important. Lights, reflectors and reflective clothing should all be part of your night riding kit out. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot to ensure you are highly visible to other vehicles. Lights and reflective products are well priced and readily available, click here for some examples.

Basically, the more lights you have the safer you will be. Car and truck drivers using the road at night are not looking for, or expecting, cyclists. It is imperative to make sure you don’t go unnoticed. Many people who commute to work on a bike will find themselves travelling home during the dark in the winter months. Shorter days can also see cycling enthusiasts training in the early morning while it is still dark. Don’t put it off, get your bike prepared for night riding.

A single headlamp is required by law as is a red rear reflector, but these are not nearly enough to ensure your visibility. You can add a red light to the rear of your bike. A blinking light works well at attracting attention from motorists. These have become very popular due to their effectiveness. It is important to remember that red lights should be at the rear only. A red taillight or red lights on your backpack or jersey should always be at the back. Just like with a car, red lights are for the rear and white lights for the front. This helps other drivers know if you are heading towards them or away from them.
Another great addition is a headlamp on your helmet. This should complement and not replace the headlamp on the front of your bike. A helmet light has the added advantage of improving your vision as it will follow the movement of your head.


Adding reflectors to your bike is a cheap and effective visibility aid. Place white or yellow reflectors on your pedals and also on your wheel spokes.

Reflective Clothing

Reflective clothing is an excellent safety aid for night riders. You can purchase a reflective vest to wear over your normal clothing. There are also vests available featuring LED lights. Jerseys with reflective sleeves are available for use in cooler weather. You can also wear reflective wrist bands and ankle bands to increase your visibility and you can wear something reflective on your shoes. The movement of your feet will help catch the eye of motorists.

Watch Where You’re Going
The other important thing to consider with night riding is your vision. A headlamp on the handlebars will move with the handlebars and shine in the direction you are going. This is good but it also means you can’t see outside the turning radius of your handlebars. This is where a helmet mounted light can help. Stay focused and keep your eyes on the road, looking around is not a good pastime for night riders.
Do you ride at night time? Leave your riding tips in the comments below.

#UMAC #BalikbayanBox Website

Today, I noticed that a lot of visitors came to this blog when they Google #UMACTracking .or #UMAC cargo, I understand the frustration especially when your #Balikbayan box did not arrive yet. I sent 3 boxes between the second week of January and second week of February. It was frustrating when the tracking page cannot load properly. I visited and clicked Track Your Box just awhile ago and the result yielded to HTTP Internal Server Error. Wheww. Are you frustrated? Don't be! Here's my suggestions:

1. Try to send an Email inquiry here: because usually they will reply to you. They replied to most of my emails when I tried to inquire about the whereabouts of my boxes. I am sure they will reply to you as well.
2. You may contact them in these numbers:

(632) 941-4212
(632) 475-4057
(632) 475-4229

I am not sure though if they will answer the phones. My brother tried to text the last number and he got no answer.

3. Check the website again and click CONTACT US. I also noticed today that they have a new feature, "Chat with Us" When I tried to click it, no one was online hehehe. Well, I guess you can leave your inquiry and they will answer you back soon. I never tried this feature so; I can't give you an insight.

4. Here is the last thing you can do. Visit the website again and click BRANCHES. Find your country and locate your local area. There is a name, email address, address and phone number of the in-charge, just contact them. They usually call the Philippines about the whereabouts of your box.

In my case, when I inquire about my box, I used the email address above and cc the email address of the in-charge in my area. Since I live in Florida, so far, the in-charge is really helpful. He replied to my inquiries.

The 3rd box finally arrived yesterday. I am hoping that everything inside is all accounted for. I hope your boxes will arrive soon as well and in perfect condition. Good luck.

Tips for Taking Your Business to the Next Level

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, you need to make a plan of exactly how you’re going to go about it. Decipher what you want to expand or improve and exactly how you are going to get there. Here are some tips for reaching that goal.


Your plans need to be specific. Decide exactly which turn you want your business to take, and how you want to expand your horizons. By zoning in on the steps you want to take, you will be able to find a more practical approach to reaching your goals. While thinking about business expansion, things can seem abstract and hard to grasp. But look closely, and an image will form that shows you what you need to take care of and how to take your business to the next level.

Voice your plans to everyone involved, even the people who may seem irrelevant. It’s important for everyone to know what you’re planning to do in order for things to continue to run smoothly. Never underestimate the opinions of other people. Someone may voice an opinion that you had never even thought of. This may be something that launches your business into an ¬¬entirely different sphere.

Launch a Campaign

Putting your time into a marketing campaign can bring many more returns than you intended. Look at the ways that you have marketed yourself in the past and evaluate what did and didn’t work. If a certain medium worked for you, such as radio or e-newsletters, consider investing your time in a campaign of a larger scale. You could look into avenues that haven’t been explored, or, if you’re looking to really raise some eyebrows, employ a marketing specialist to ensure your plan succeeds.


One of the most important things about a successful company is that they engage the public. For some businesses this is more applicable than others, but there are always certain ways to encourage public engagement, and thus, business growth. Social media is an easy and immediate way to communicate with your customers or clients, and is used by companies in almost every industry. Open yourself to feedback from the world, ask how people feel about your product or service and graciously welcome any advice that comes your way.

Reach Out
Don’t think of competition as your enemy. If you reach out and communicate with fellow businesses, you can create relationships of value and worth. You may be able to teach each other knowledge or skills that will benefit you both as time goes on.
Taking your business to the next level can seem daunting, and in some ways it is. But by being prepared and making sure that you have all aspects under control, you can make the journey much easier on yourself and your company as a whole. Don’t rush into things that you aren’t prepared for, and be sure to hear opinions and ideas from as many people as possible. To really take your business to the next level have a look at aXcelerate Training Management Software .

#HGTV #DreamHomeGiveaway2014

I believe that Good Luck comes to everyone. In our lifetime, good luck will knock on our door at a precise moment and we will be the chosen few if good luck comes to us more than once. We should be thankful if that happens and the to share our blessings is the right thing to do too. Spreading the good luck to everyone.
Winning a big time winnings such as lotto; car as well as house and lot prizes can only happen to few people. The ratio is unbelievable which is next to impossible BUT, it could happen to YOU and ME.
To win the lotto, you take the chance of risking your last earned money to buy at least ONE lotto ticket. If you are lucky, you could win you know.
To win a dream home, that's easy. You don't need to spend a penny or two. Just join the #HGTV's #sweepstakes every year. If you are lucky, you could be the winner this year. Take a chance!
I am inviting you to join this sweepstakes. Who knows, you could win this awesome house in Nashville.

10 Quick’N’Easy Cleaning Tips for Working Mums

Let’s start with the Number One Rule for working mums: nobody expects your home to look like it was just featured in the latest issue of Vogue Living, and if they do, stop inviting them over!

So let’s look at ten cleaning tips that we developed, that will help save your sanity and prevent the local council from declaring your home a health hazard.

Treat the cleaning chores like you would your job. Prioritize your “to do” list and then work through it according to the importance of each task.

A Little Every Day

Like your job, if you have a large project to do you wouldn’t expect to get it all done in one day, would you? So delegate different cleaning jobs to different days, and if everything on your list doesn’t get done, then transfer it to another day when you have less chores.

Like your work space, everything works so much more smoothly if you’re working in an uncluttered space, so take the time to de-clutter each room. Then it’s simply a matter of cleaning the exposed surfaces rather than constantly trying to clean the clutter.

Box It
With so many colourful, cute plastic and fabric boxes available, use them as a clean-up tool. As an example, choose a couple of big plastic boxes with different coloured lids for the children’s play room. Each colour denotes a different kind of toy, like the blue box for Lego pieces and other plastic bits or the red box for the dolls. At the end of the day, make them responsible for putting all the toys away in the right boxes. These can be stored in a corner and look completely unobtrusive.

Kid’s Crew
Once they are old enough, give each child a regular chore to do every day. Jobs like setting the table, stacking the dishwasher or putting all the laundry in the basket can be made into fun tasks.

Late Night Laundry
Cleaning tasks like putting on a load of laundry or starting the dishwasher can be left until just before bed. That way you can sleep while the appliances are working away and then deal with the washing or dry dishes first thing in the morning.

Clean Kid’s Rooms:
It’s important to teach your children from an early age how to make their bed and tidy up their room before school. It’s a great lesson in personal responsibility and sets up lifelong habits. Then you just have to make sure they take responsibility every morning!

The BIG Clean
There comes a time in every busy working mum’s life when you know the BIG clean is due. You can make life much easier for yourself by calling in AMC Cleaning - AMC Perth - who’ll make your house look like the home it once was (before the kids!) Or you can face the task at hand and break the clean down into smaller steps. Start with the rooms most likely to be seen by visitors and then move room by room through the house. Set a schedule you can work with and engage the kids where possible.

Avoid Distractions
Wherever and whenever possible, turn off the television and take the phone off the hook so you can focus on the jobs at hand. The exception is earphones attached to your iPod with your favourite rhythmic, upbeat music. That way the jobs are done before you know it.

Vacuum Last
After the surfaces have been dusted or wiped clean and the clutter is put away, then it’s time to bring out the vacuum cleaner to pick up the dust and scraps from your clean.

Cleaning house is a job nobody can truly say they look forward to; nevertheless, it’s something that has to be done, so get your imaginative juices flowing and think up ways to turn a chore into a cheerful task. Dance with your vacuum cleaner, sing to your sponge or tell jokes to your toilet brush – heck, it will help make the time fly by!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Victoria's Secret Passion Struck

A friend wanted to buy beauty products from Victoria's Secret but, she's living outside the US so; I ordered the item for her. Last March, Victoria's Secret offered free shipping for the entire month for their Angel cardholders. I took advantage on their offer when I ordered this purse. It was a great saving. Right now, I have 5 Secret Rewards and I will be shopping in-stores for my mom.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Barn of Walt Disney in Marceline Missouri

When hubby and I visited Missouri, all I had in my mind was to visit the boyhood hometown of Mark Twain in Hannibal Missouri. How cool was that right? We ran out of time to visit Hannibal, instead we were driving down the road towards Marceline, the boyhood town of Walt Disney. This is his barn, his playground and before Disneyland and Disney World came into existence, this place is where the magic begins, his happy place. Pretty amazing huh?

Unlike Disney World or Disney Land where everything is magical, visiting Walt's boyhood town is just the opposite but, this town is full of charm. Who would have thought that Walt Disney once lived in the countryside? Have you been to Missouri? You should check out Marceline.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Great Property to Buy

Everyday, hubby and I including our family in MS are watching the property listings in Mississippi. We are using Trulia, Zillow, Remaxand Realtor websites to check them out. We are constantly in-touch with our Realtor in MS and when we find a property that we really like, we have her to check it out first. Since February so far, we found 4 properties that we really like and before we can put and offer, it was sold. Well, that's the disadvantage of buying a house in other states. Anyway, my husband found this property today and it has more than an acre lot by the lake, with a good size pool, and the inside needs paint but other than that, it's in good shape. My sister-in-law went there to see the property.

The location is about 30 minutes commute to where I am going to work. Not bad because there's no traffic in the area. I have been there countless times. The best part is that, we will be neighbors with my sister-in-law's family.

The bad news that we gather awhile ago when we called our sister was that, there were 6 offers on the table this afternoon. One of the offers came from their friend too. We are not counting to get this property but, we will put our best offer and see where it goes. Our advantage at this point is we will pay cash but, who knows, others might be cash offers too.
If this property is meant for us then, it will be ours.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

For A Good Cause

Probably most of us had known someone who suffered the dreaded disease, cancer. I lost one of my dearest aunt few years ago with ovarian cancer and she was young. I miss her every single day but, what can we do about it? Early detection would have help her. There's no crying over spilled milk now. We find solace in knowing that she is not suffering and will never feel the pain anymore.

Whenever I saw this pink sign, I remember my aunt. I do buy stuffs that has this logo, it could be caps, cancer shirts, mugs and if they are selling for a good cause like giving a percentage to support cancer causes , I give my support all the time. This is my way of helping other families who are undergoing this hard time. Small amount goes a long way.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Home Inspection and Real Estate Appraisal

Sellers Point of View:
The moment home owners decide to list their property in real estate market, inspection as well as home appraisal requests are expected. Sellers dreaded inspection and home appraisal especially if the property is old and has a lot of problems. Their apprehension is high when they encountered problems while living in it and did not do anything about it.

Ancestral houses are money pit especially when there is a termite, structural, electrical and plumbing problems. If the square footage is huge and the owner lack the financial aspect to renovate and fix the problem, the value of the property is not favorable even if it is located in a great neighborhood. Someone might buy the property as a fixer-upper so; the buyer will offer way low of the asking price.

In some cases, if there are multiple offers, sellers will be lucky to get the asking price. If the property is sold then come the home inspection and the home appraisal. If they accepted a cash buyer, it will be easy to negotiate than someone who is not. The bank of the home loan buyers will definitely ask for home appraisal. When the appraised value is available, seller has no control over it. Seller usually stick to the asking price regardless of the appraised value.

Home Buyers Point of View:
Finding a property that has the charm and potential can be the home buyer's delight. Home buyer loves to find a property that is in a great neighborhood, appealing lay-out, huge square footage, big backyard and with in their price range.

Cosmetic fixes are inexpensive so; a fixer-upper or foreclosure is an ideal property to buy. There is a need for buyers to request a home inspection and if possible a home appraisal to make sure that the purchase is worth the money they are paying for.

If the appraised value is low then, the bank could only loan the money equal to the appraised value. The buyer can either stick to the contract and put up the extra money or walk away.


This policy is valid from 21 October 2008 This blog is a personal blog. For questions about this blog, please contact amiableamy in the message section. If my post has a sponsor, it may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content or advertising post may not always be identified as sponsored content. The owner of this blog provides opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. It is the sole responsibility of the reader to weigh the product endorsements as legitimate. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.