A Beginner’s Guide to Being a Landlord in Singapore

The promise of a rather balanced risk-reward profile of real estate makes it lucrative from an investment standpoint, but being a landlord can be tricky once you’ve made the investment in your property.

Here’s what you need to know to get you started on earning income on your property:

1. Being a landlord is not a 9-to-5 job
When you’re a landlord, days tend be more spontaneous than planned out. While on one day you may just be working for an hour, you might find yourself working for fifteen on the next.

Your obligations can also change depending on the situation at hand. For instance, what could be a rent collection for five or ten minutes could turn into a four-hour job trying to fix their sink, or cost you a significant amount for hiring a plumber to do the job for you.

2. There is a learning curve in the process
There is only so much you can learn from reading up on something and talking to others about it. When it comes to being a landlord, you will learn a lot of things about people you never even thought were possible.

That also means having a learning curve in dealing with people for extended periods of time, and you will inevitably hit some bumps when you first rent out the property to prospective tenants.

3. You can’t sell the flat at any time
Technically, you still can, but don’t expect a good return when you do – you need to remember that you may not always have the rental income to cover the mortgage costs. Worse yet, you may even end up making a losing investment if you’re forced to sell during the downturn.

When it comes to investing in property, it’s a good rule of thumb to have at least six months’ worth of mortgage payments on you before buying the house.

How Property Management Can Help You
Hiring a property manager can do a lot to maintain your property’s value and keep the rental income coming, especially with these services that they can offer you to get your property to its best:

• Screening potential tenants – Managing agents have a system of screening potential tenants for your property that’s both legal and highly efficient, and always with amazing results.

• Rent collection – Property managers can also collect rent using an efficient system that keeps everything hassle-free for everyone, especially if you’re busy and can’t collect on time.

• Maintenance – They can also take care of keeping the property in good shape for you while you’re away, as they often have a network of maintenance contacts that they can reach out to.

The Top 5 Sandwich Places in Singapore to Get Your Fix From

Sandwiches are more than just a few slices of ham and cheese packed between two slices of soggy, white bread. In fact, you can make an amazing meal out of them when you choose the ingredients well, and you can mix and match the types of bread and fillings to find out what works for you.

If you want to grab a quick bite before rushing off to where you need to go, but don’t know where you can get it, worry no more – here are some of the best sandwich places in Singapore you should definitely try out:

1. The Sandwich Shop
Looking for cold sandwiches you can order on takeaway that don’t cut down on the taste and texture? Then head on over to The Sandwich Shop, where bread and sandwiches are prepared fresh every day with amazing combinations, such as their Double Cheese and Onion, and their Roast Beef with cheddar.

2. Park Bench Deli
Not only is the deli itself cozy and inviting (great if you want a place to chill in for a while before getting back to work), but they also serve classics such as the good old PB and J, which they coat in cornflakes and fry, and their mouth-watering Cubano sandwiches.

3. Sarnies
Sarnies has you covered with different sandwich combinations, from Steak Wraps with Scrambled Egg and Mushrooms, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagels (or wrap with scrambled eggs and avocado), to even the classic Bacon and Egg sandwich.

And don’t let the name fool you – though the word itself is a British slang for “sandwich”, their extensive menu includes delicious options that include salads, slicers, and even breakfast bowls and pastas.

4. Forty Hands
Also known as “Toasties”, the sandwich shop has since grown from its humble café origins to become a name that stands for good food and good coffee, and you can choose from their different options of sandwiches with a good helping of fries and salad.

The best thing about Forty Hands is that they have something for everyone’s dietary preference, which is good news for people who don’t happen to be in the mood for any meat in their diet.

5. Kraftwich
Kraftwich’s gourmet sandwiches are not only both delicious and wholesome, but they are also perfect for having a filling lunch for everyone. For instance, you can choose to have duck, chicken, beef, and if you like, you can even go for their vegetarian options.

They also deliver via Deliveroo and Foodpanda as well, which is a really convenient way to get your food to your doorstep if you’re feeling a little lazy.

How to Lose Weight if You’re Hypertensive

Losing weight if you are hypertensive can make a lot of difference, because it lowers the risk of complications of the disease and it will make managing your blood pressure a lot easier. While practicing good eating habits and having regular exercise might sound so easy, these are difficult tasks for some people.

Talk to Your Doctor
You will need a lot of support and encouragement to lose weight, so start by talking to your doctor or your healthcare team in Singapore before undertaking such a task. You are not supposed to just stop eating certain food to lose weight, because your body will still need nutrients and vitamins from a variety of sources. An ideal diet for a hypertensive will consist of the following: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy food, legumes and nuts, non-tropical vegetable oils, and skinless fish and poultry. You should also avoid taking medication, supplements, and vitamins that your doctor is not aware of.

Determine the Ideal Weight
You are considered overweight if your body mass index (BMI) exceeds 25. Obesity can place you at risk for various heart complications, as well as diabetes and other diseases. Maintaining an ideal weight has proven to have improved blood pressure in various studies of both hypertensive patients and non-hypertensive individuals. Weight and fat mass are even considered determining factors when predicting the likelihood of developing hypertension in people. Ideally, the waist circumference should not exceed 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women.

Determine the Best Diet Plan
Your doctor will encourage you to prepare your food so that it will be easier to monitor what type of food you’re eating. As a hypertensive, you must avoid the following food: high-sodium content, trans fat and saturated fat, red meat, sweeteners or added sugar, and high sugar content. If you need to buy food from the shops, you should practice reading the labels to avoid food high in trans-fat, saturated fat and sodium, which can all increase cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Exercise Properly
Before starting any exercise regimen, you also have to consult your doctor, especially if you have other pre-existing medical conditions like heart problems. You might be asked by your doctor to monitor your heart rate (there are tools you can equip on your wrist for this) while you’re exercising and resting to get a good comparison of what physical activities do to your body. Once your doctor has determined the ideal training heart rate, your exercise routine should be within 50% to 85% of your maximum heart rate.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure
Lastly, you need to monitor your blood pressure regularly using a bicep monitor and to record the results in a diary so you can show it later to your doctor. Take note of the following numbers:

• Normal: 120/80 or less
• Prehypertension: 120/80 to 139/89
• Hypertension: 140/90 to 160/100 or higher
• Hypertensive Crisis: 180/110 and higher

How to Pick a Gift for Newlyweds

While it is a lot easier to pick a gift for an individual, the task becomes much more complicated if you are required to give a gift for two people, especially a couple who just got married. So, do you give them something that they will both enjoy or something that can be useful for them in their new home?

Home Items
For practical individuals, giving newlyweds home items that they can use is never out of style. It will symbolize their journey into a life together as husband and wife. Most couples will be more than glad to accept home items after spending so much money on the wedding ceremony. Popular home item gifts include bed linens, bath items, small appliances, and cookware.

Home Decoration
If the couple is moving into a new home, it is a great idea to give them something that will be useful such as home decorations. It could be an artwork or framed picture that they can hang on the wall, or if you’re the artistic type, you can create the items yourself so they will always remember you.

Kitchen Items
One of the tests of marriage is preparing food in the kitchen, that is why kitchen items are also a popular gift idea besides other home items for the newlyweds. You can give them a beautiful set of dining ware or specially crafted tea set that they can put on display. If you’re feeling more generous, you can give them quality kitchen appliances that will be very useful.

Money to Spend
While this might seem lazy to you, it is a practical gift for a couple who has just spent a lot of money on the wedding ceremony. You could also send them gift cards or coupons they can spend on their honeymoon and a note saying you appreciate being part of their most important celebration.

Customized Item
This could be a pair of pillows, towels, shirts, mugs, or any other item that is specially made for the couple with their names or faces on them. The effort will let them know that you did not pick the items randomly, but that you have thought about them during the process.

Fun Items
You could also get an idea for a gift based on the common traits of the couple. For example, if they both love traveling, you can give them items that they can both use during their honeymoon. If the couple loves books, give them a title you think they might both enjoy.

Something Unusual
If you want the couple to remember you for your gift, pick something that will stand out from the usual items. It does not have to be useful or expensive, just something not everyone will think of giving, but will symbolize a couple’s new life as husband and wife.

4 Things Not to Post on Social Media During the Holidays

The yuletide season is the best time of the year to collect beautiful memories. While some holiday celebrations are worth sharing to your social media friends, other more intimate events are best kept within people closest to you.

Here are the things we believe you’re better off not sharing on social media during this most wonderful time of the year.

1. All the gifts you got
It can be fun to compare gifts with friends, but remember that others are not as fortunate as you, and the expenses during the holidays can be a discreet reminder of overdue mortgage, credit depths and what may not be under the tree this year. Enjoy your gifts and be thankful, but be sensitive to other people’s lack of.

2. The gifts you didn’t like
Christmas is the best time to exercise gratitude. So, instead of rolling your eyes when you get a gift you didn’t quite like, smile and say thank you. Even if you wished your partner would have bought better than it or you are annoyed with another knitted sweater from your mom, it is always better to keep it offline. Remember the value of your relationship with these people rather than the value of the gifts you received.

3. The drama in the family
Just like your group of girl friends, all families have secrets too and you probably do not like every single one of your cousin, uncle or aunt. But if you want to throw shade to one of your cousin or reveal an estranged aunt’s bad habit, the social media is not the best venue for any of that. It will only ruin a meaningful and enjoyable family celebration since majority of your family members are also active in social media.

4. Your fight with beau
Okay, so you asked your husband to pick up the mini fruit cakes you planned to giveaway to every family member after the family dinner, but he forgot. Now you’re scrambling to make gingerbread cookies instead before everyone arrives. As tempting it may be to post a rant or sarcastic post about your husband, take a deep breath and stay away from your phone or laptop as much as you can. Again, the social media is not the best place to resolve any problem. Keep it between you and your partner, work it out together and move on for the sake of the fun Christmas spirit.

The holiday season is supposed to be celebrated festively with family, friends and people close to heart. Do not let your social media life negatively impact a joyful Christmas season.

The Best Non-Disney and Studio Ghibli Animated Films

Not all the best animated stories are monopolized by Disney and Studio Ghibli. Here are some of the best animated films you can watch with your family.

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
The young Spirit assumed the role as the leader of his herd, but his curiosity meant trouble for his fellow horses. In his wanderings, he was taken by humans and sent to a US cavalry post to be broken and tamed.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
A forest inhabited by fairies is threatened by a group of loggers who caused the entity named Hexxus to slowly take over their territory. The fairy Crysta and the logger Zak team up to save the forest from Hexxus.

The Swan Princess (1994)
Based on the ballet “Swan Lake,” it tells the story of Princess Odette who was caught in the schemes of the sorcerer Rothbart, who was banished by her father.

Thumbelina (1994)
Based on the book of the same title by Hans Christian Andersen, it features Thumbelina, a small girl who emerged from a seed given by a witch. Despite her loving family, Thumbelina feels lonely that she could not find anyone of her size.

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
The dog Charlie B. Barkin was murdered by its friend Carface, but he decided not to go to heaven so that he can spend time with the orphan Itchy Itchford.

Wolf Children (2012)
Hana was left to raise her half-wolf half-human children when her husband died after a hunt. She decided to raise her children Yuki and Ame in the countryside even if she has no idea how to do it.

Balto (1995)
Based on a true story of a half-dog half-wolf, Balto saved the village of Nome in 1925 from the diphtheria epidemic when he made the epic journey of delivering the serum from Juneau.

Iron Giant (1999)
Hogarth Hughes befriends a giant robot, who was the subject of a search of a federal agent. Hughes enlisted the help of Dean McCoppin to stop the searchers from destroying the iron giant.

Once Upon a Forest (1993)
Abigail, Edgar, and Russell leave the forest so that they can find a cure for their friend Michelle, who was affected by the poison gas from a truck that had overturned.

Secret of NIMH (1982)
The film is an adaptation of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien. In the story, the mouse Mrs. Brisby learns the history of the place called the National Institute of Mental Health.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
Konno Makoto fell on a walnut-shaped object and discovered that she could rewind time if she could move fast enough.

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
Three homeless people discovered an abandoned baby on Christmas Eve, but because they cannot care for her, they decided to look for her mother.

Watership Down (1978)
Based on the novel of the same title by Richard Adams, it features the brothers Fiver and Hazel who are trying to convince their fellow rabbits of an upcoming apocalypse.