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Out With The Old, In With The Steel

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Putting the Cart Before the Horse

If you actually wanted to get to your destination, would you put the cart before the horse? We dare say that you would answer no.

This is why it is amazing that many potential home buyers put the cart before the horse and go out to search for homes without going to a financial institution first to find out what mortgage amount they could qualify to receive.  We share the following 3 main reasons why prospective buyers should visit their lender before searching for homes.

Be ready to compete

Most times a buyer finds a great deal on a home, there are many other buyers who have also found it.  A buyer who has been to their lender, brought in all the requisite information and has been advised of the mortgage amount they would qualify for is in a position of strength.  This buyer knows for sure how much they should offer in negotiations with a seller and is able to offer a shorter time to complete the purchase because they have already begun the loan application process.

Do not short-change or disappoint yourself

A buyer who guesses how much house he can afford could easily be placed at a disadvantage. If a buyer thinks he can afford less, he could waste time looking at lower quality homes although he may be able to afford more.  However, if a buyer can afford more than he thinks, he could be setting themselves up for great disappointment if he falls in love with a home that he eventually finds out he cannot afford.

It is practical.

It is just sensible for a buyer to first begin the loan application process and find out how much a

lender is able to provide to him as a mortgage loan then go out to view properties at an appropriate price.  This will save the buyer, seller and real estate agent the time and inconvenience caused from discussing and visiting homes that the buyer cannot afford.

 

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Season’s Greetings from the Executive Director

It is the Christmas season; a season many of us look forward to every year. It is the time when we spend more time with our loved ones, reflect on the year’s activities and look towards the New Year. For the Millenia Group of Companies, this past year has been very challenging with many changes, and opportunities.

Two of the most significant achievements for the Millenia Group in 2019 include: arriving at an agreement with the Office of the NAO Dominica for design and construction of 2 regional emergency shelters. The second achievement is that we have begun the process of renewal as we innovate and adapt to the changes faced in the industry and develop plans for the future that build on our strengths.

During this season, it always brings about a time for pause and reflection, so I write this Christmas message expressing my appreciation to those of you who have supported our group either directly as clients or through referrals or merely considering us through your development goals. Behind the scenes, thank you to our dedicated staff who have supported with your talents and time — designing, supervising, preparing and reviewing, and sharing your positive energy where needed. I am always humbled by your drive to make our organization better. The words “thank you” do not begin to express my gratitude.

To those of you whose expectations we did not meet this past year, we trust that 2020 will be our year to serve you with the greatest pleasure and satisfaction.

To all of you— have a wonderful season and may the peace & joy that this season brings be yours today and always.

Warm Regards,

Alistair Grell.
Executive Director

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Embrace the Christmas Season

Written by Garn Todd Joseph

Website & Advertising Assistant for the Millenia Group of Companies

Millenia Architects | Millenia Realty | Sorell Consulting Ltd. | Kaliber Construction & Homes

 

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a single Christmas decoration could be found. No stockings were hung, no mistletoe in sight, such a terribly dreadful Christmas night. As we celebrate this most joyous time of the year, let us take the time to make our homes feel as festive as our merry hearts. Turn your home into a festive gathering place for family and friends by sprucing it up with a few simple and creative holiday décor ideas.

 

  • Are you unsure of how to display your collection of holiday cards? Turn them into works of art. Use clips or clothespins to string them around your living room or against the wall.

 

  • Create Christmas themed slipcovers for your chairs. Cover your dining room chairs and wrap a bow around each one; Christmas ornaments can also be incorporated for extra pizazz. Ensure that the underside is properly secured with tape, if necessary.

 

  • Use Christmas themed curtains and other drapery around your home. If you do not have any with Christmas designs, simply use any with colors that most associate with the holiday: red, white, green, gold, etc.  Even your dining table can come alive with a Christmas themed table cloth fabric.

 

  • Lighting is an important aspect of Christmas. If you’ve grown weary of the traditional Christmas lights another option would be to purchase colored light bulbs to replace your regular bulbs.

 

 

  • Tie a bow around your throw pillows on your couch, bed, etc. with holiday-colored ribbons, and they’ll look just like Christmas presents! Add a few rhinestone pins for additional sparkle.

 

 

  • If you can’t get access to a real Christmas tree don’t lose hope. There are many alternative methods that you can use this holiday season. Click the link below for a few creative alternatives provided by Elle Décor to choose one that suits you. You can also search for other alternatives, or create one yourself. Be as creative as possible.

http://www.elledecor.com/life-culture/cleaning-organizing/g13/alternative-christmas-trees/

 

  • Homemade Christmas decorations can make wonderful additions to your home this holiday season. Spend time as a family creating decorations to make this holiday season feel more personal.

 

What other Christmas decorating ideas can you think of?

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Organize Your Office Space

Written by Garn Todd Joseph

Website & Advertising Assistant for the Millenia Group of Companies

Millenia Architects | Millenia Realty | Sorell Consulting Ltd. | Kaliber Construction & Homes

 

Here are six (6) tips to help you create a workspace that is efficient, well-organized and improves productivity.

  1. Keeping your office space clutter free helps reduce stress and improves organization and efficiency. One way to ensure that your work station remains free of clutter is by clearing your desk whenever you step out. When you are going out for a break, to do a few errands or you are stepping out for the day, clear out your space.
  2. Keep everything in its place.When you have a designated space for everything, items are easier to The familiarity of your workspace also removes distractions making it easier to focus and prioritize your work.
  3. Make your desk a combination of inspiration and efficiency. Consider having wall art or client testimonials close by to inspire you and keep you motivated. You can also keep a vision board close by to remind you of your long-term goals and a calendar to keep track of important activities and appointments.
  4. Adding a few plants to your office space or working in an area with a view of outside helps to reduce stress and improves Working near windows also increases your access to natural light which has a positive effect on how an individual feels.
  5. Ample lighting is important for every type of workspace. This improves your motivation and functionality by creating a productive atmosphere that is conducive for working.
  6. The design of your office space should reflect your company’s character. By your design choices you can communicate your brand to customers/visitors. Your choice of decor, furniture, etc. should reflect your business culture and appeal to the type of customers you want to attract.

Whether you work from home or in a formal business setting these tips can be quite useful.

Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends.  If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at feedback@millenia.dm.

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Should You Rent Out Your Property?

Written by Garn Todd Joseph

Website & Advertising Assistant for the Millenia Group of Companies

Millenia Architects | Millenia Realty | Sorell Consulting Ltd. | Kaliber Construction & Homes

 

Your existing property may become vacant for many reasons: move overseas, purchase of another home, etc.  This presents an opportunity to go into the property rental business.

Renting out your property rarely results in sudden wealth. However, it can be a great source of immediate income as well as a long-term investment.

 

Consider these 3 excellent reasons for renting out your property:

 

  • Homes placed on the market for sale can take several months, even years before a serious buyer comes along. Finding a suitable tenant is often much quicker and will bring in income while you wait for a sale.
  • Not only are rental transactions quicker but they also provide the benefit of assisting with the payment of any mortgage loan related to the property.
  • If you’re not satisfied with your current home value, renting out the property to obtain income to make upgrades that will increase the home’s value is a great idea.

 

While renting a property brings income, it does come with its share of headaches.  As a landlord you will be responsible for maintaining the property and sometimes you have to deal with difficult tenants. This is why many property rental owners hire a Property Manager to handle tenants’ concerns, deal with rent collection, etc.

 

Should you rent your house or sell it? Do your research; weigh the pros and cons of your situation before making a final decision.

 

Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends. If you need any clarification on this topic, leave a comment below or feel free to email us at realty@millenia.dm.

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Getting Organized Before School Starts

Busy ticking off items on your list of to-do for school opening?  I’m sure by now you have checked books, pencils, uniforms, bags, and even new looks (hair cut, hair accessories)… I bet you didn’t include anything for the home.  At home is where learning continues and creating a good learning environment is important in facilitating our children’s learning experience.  What can we do at home to make this new school year more exciting and rewarding?

 

  1. A dedicated study area – Place a table and chair in the bedroom or in an area with minimum distractions. Designating a desk and study area emphasizes the importance of schoolwork.  The child will associate this area with learning.  This works for me, whenever I go into my study area my mind automatically gets into study mode.

 

  1. Organizers/calendar – Place a large calendar on the wall or bedroom door. A paper calendar with large squares lets you enter information easily.  Enter school events and activities and probably even home schedules into the calendar.  You can also colour code entries, based on urgency or importance.  If you have more space, use it to hang up projects and test papers or newspaper articles.

 

  1. Put up some hooks – Tired of picking up after your son/daughter? Place hooks in selected areas of the room to encourage them to hang their stuff up instead of throwing it on the bed or even on the floor.  Be sure to place the hooks at a level the child can easily reach.

 

  1. Create a snack/lunch making area – If you prepare snack and lunch for your child, especially if it’s different from your meals then it would be helpful to place these ingredients and items together in one area or in a particular cupboard. This will surely help you beat the morning rush.  Put in anything you use to prepare the lunch and snack and anything you send them to school with, like lunch bowls, foil paper, bread and peanut butter. My son loves peanut butter!

 

  1. Organize clothing storage– “Mom I can’t find my ….” You know this phrase right? Before the new clothes are added throw or give out those that are not in use and arrange the others appropriately to avoid that call.

 

  1. Organize and store papers and notes – Designate a spot in the house where you will store and organize papers that will later require your attention and projects that you want to keep. If you do not have a designated area, use a small storage box and file folders to store and arrange test papers, and used exercise books so that when it’s time to revise, they will be easy to locate.

 

Get your children to participate in the organizing process, after all you are doing it for them too.  They may have some good ideas and this could make this activity fun and add to the back to school excitement.

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Plan Your Living Room Renovation

Guests or potential buyers should enter your home and see functionality.  The living room is an important room in a home so any person who has the intention to one day sell their home should bear this in mind when planning any renovation works for their living room.

Here are a few tips to consider when planning a living room renovation.

In order to plan a successful living room renovation, a lot of forethought and information need to be taken into consideration. If you are on a tight budget and you plan on making any structural changes, or your scope of work requires you to work with several professionals, proper planning is even more significant.

In home renovations, as in life, mistakes can occur. Refrain from making avoidable mistakes by not only planning beforehand but by taking your time during the renovation process. Your living room renovation should be treated as a marathon, not a sprint. In order to reap the reward of a successful renovation take your time and do not rush the process.

Ask yourself, why do I need to renovate my living room? Do you need additional space? Is your living room design outdated? Do you want to increase the value of your property for a possible sale? Knowing the ultimate goal you want to achieve with your renovation will help guide you during the planning process.

The fact that you desire to renovate your home does not mean that all its features should be discarded. Take a good look at your living room, there are sure to be a few features that you would either like to keep or slightly alter.  Keep these features in mind and consider how they can be incorporated in your renovation.

Home renovations can be exciting but can also be a bit overwhelming.  However, if the above planning tips are followed you will be more likely to have a smoother and more successful process.

Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends.

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Preventing Heat Strokes

Lately we have all felt the harshness of the unforgiving sun. It is paramount that we safeguard ourselves from the adverse effects of the rising temperature, such as heat stroke. Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia where an individual’s body temperature is elevated significantly to a temperature greater than 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The condition is marked by fever, and often unconsciousness. Other symptoms include: seizures, throbbing headaches, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness, and rapid heartbeats. It is a medical emergency that can be fatal if not promptly and properly treated, causing death and damage to the brain and other internal organs. To help prevent a heat stroke, the most important measures to take are to avoid dehydration, and vigorous physical activities in extremely hot weather conditions.

 

Here are a few practical tips to prevent falling victim to a heat stroke:

 

  • Wear clothing that fits tightly to your body to allow it to cool properly. Clothing that is loose and light (weight and colour) also provides the added benefit of not absorbing a lot of the sun’s radiation.
  • Use an umbrella to shield yourself from the sun’s rays. A hat is the second best option if you do not have access to an umbrella.
  • Sunburn affects the body’s cooling process. Use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. For the most effective results use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater. Apply generously to exposed areas every two hours, or more if you are out swimming or sweating excessively.
  • Remain indoors and in shaded areas as much as possible. For activities that simply must be done out in the open, try to schedule your time in order to engage in those activities at the coolest times of the day (early mornings and late evenings). When exercising, it is wise to drink 24 ounces of water, sports drink, etc. two hours prior, 8 ounces after you are done, and 8 ounces every 20 minutes during.
  • As stated earlier, remaining hydrated is essential to maintain a normal body temperature. Drinking at least eight glasses of water, fruit/vegetable juices, coconut water, and sports drinks is recommended to replace sodium and other electrolytes lost from sweating, or a quart of fluids per hour. Avoid drinking caffeinated and alcoholic drinks (this includes sodas and tea) which causes the body to lose fluids quicker. Also, remember to monitor your urine. Darker urine is a likely sign that you are dehydrated.
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Keep Your Body Cooler During the Hot Summer Days

In this third installment of our fighting the summer heat series we offer a few tips to keep your body feeling cool and refreshed during overwhelmingly high temperatures.

  • Use silk or satin pillowcases, and satin sheets. These fabrics will feel smoother and cooler as you sleep.
  • Keep the back of your neck in shade (wear a cap backwards, or raise your collar) or put a wet handkerchief on the back of the neck. The sensor for our body temperature control system is in this area, and so with this method you can make the rest of your body think that you are “cool”.
  • Run cold water over your wrists for 10 seconds on each hand. This will reduce your temperature for roughly an hour.
  • Wear nothing or next-to-nothing. Put on a swimsuit, or wear your underwear at home. Wear summer clothing. Wear loosely-woven natural fabrics (cotton, silk, linen) rather than polyester, rayon, or other artificial fibers (with the possible exception of performance fabrics).
  • Wear light colors. Darker colors will absorb the sun’s heat and stay warmer longer than light or white clothing, which reflects light and heat. Wear natural summer clothing.
  • Sit still. Do not try to fan yourself — trying to move while feeling hot can make you feel hotter. Simply rest until the evening.
  • Sit in the shade. Find a shaded area and set up a water misting system that connects to an ordinary garden hose that can be found at home improvement stores. Sit there and let the mist cool you off.
  • Avoid peak sunlight hours between 10 a.m. and 3p.m., when the sun’s rays are hottest.