By Amanda Azizi on Jun, 20, 2016
After years of working hard and saving, I was excited to finally be able to afford to invest in my own home in Melbourne. Being one of the world’s most livable cities, I was very happy to put down my roots in this part of the world where I see myself living for the rest of my life.
Buying property is easier said than done. After all, I do not know the market well – where the best places to buy are, how to scrutinize an apartment for sale, and simply how to negotiate the price. I did my homework, reading tips, articles and ads online for hours. But when a friend recommended hiring an agent, I realized that I could use the help of a professional to be able to navigate through the real estate market. Being a satisfied customer of Chilli Realty – Property specialist herself, I decided to check them out.
Because Melbourne has a huge market, there are easily a couple of areas where to consider. I was then looking for someone to help me narrow down and find exactly what I was looking for. These were the things that were important to me:
A Good Investment
A property that would go up in value is of course, extremely important. No one wants to overpay for an apartment that would end up devaluing over the years.
A Great Neighborhood
The location affects the value, of course, but I was also looking for somewhere to live in. Access to public transport and basic necessities within the vicinity are important, but having a nice small park nearby for some clean air and outdoor exercise would be a plus as well.
My new abode has to be within my budget, naturally. There are certain areas of the Melbourne market that have gone up in price significantly in the past years, so I wanted to invest instead in those up-and-coming places that are still affordable, but will go up in popularity in the future.
Other than these items for consideration, I was pretty open to finding something for me in the city. My specialist was great in helping with the search, because of the following:
Access to the Real Estate Market
Although I had lived in the city for a long time and have probably seen most of it, understanding the market is another ballgame altogether. There were areas that I had never heard of, and probably never would have thought to invest in. But Chilli Realty had enough experience (50 years in all!) and contacts all over the city that they were able to introduce new neighborhoods that I might find attractive. Based on my preferences, they were able to narrow down a few places to concentrate on.
Access to Reliable Developers
There are certainly a lot of new projects popping out all over that it might be hard to distinguish which ones are actually of good quality and worth buying. My property advisors had great connections with these developers so I was able to look through some just in case I find my future residence there. It also helps because most of these pre-sold ones can be purchased at a lower price than when the project is over. Those in these hot-selling areas, on the other hand, might also be sold-out by the time you start hearing about them.
Once I found a couple that seemed great for me, Chilli Realty also helped me with the negotiations. Being one of limited funding, I really wanted to get a good price on the apartment, and they were amazing during this time. I never expected that I could find my dream home for such a great value! Even more, they also provided help bidding in auctions for some properties. It was definitely a full service that I received and this made the buying process much better.
In fact, when I reflect back on the process, I cannot imagine doing it myself. It is simply impossible to look at all residences for sale in every single street of Melbourne. In the end, it might even cost more (in terms of time and effort) than simply hiring a professional who can narrow down the choices for you and at the same time, support you in the negotiations. They also have all the information and knowledge required to buy a property, so you also benefit from what they know.
Just be sure that you ask friends or colleagues who have recently purchased real estate for a recommendation, just like I did. In order to find a great agent, read online, look at their credentials and experience. This will help you avoid falling trap to the deceptive ones out there. And before you know it, you will find yourself signing the papers for your brand new abode.
To read more of my stories, click here. Apart from my home investment journey, you will encounter other topics that concern healthy lifestyle and improved well-being. So, navigate my site and enjoy reading.
By Amanda Azizi on Jun, 13, 2016
People think that getting pregnant is very easy. Unfortunately, there are couples who are simply not having any luck conceiving children. Many have tried so-called fertility pills as well as a variety of herbal preparations with varying success. Some have also gone through the expensive process of in-vitro fertilization; again, with varying success. In-vitro fertilization, despite the cutting edge technology involved, can only muster a measly 60 percent success rate with the median somewhere in the region of 35 to 45 percent. And while it takes two to make a baby, there must be alternative ways to get pregnant without necessarily creating a large gaping hole in your pocket and bringing a host of other health problems to you and your partner.
One of the fertility methods that is fast gaining recognition and popularity even those in Western cultures is fertility acupuncture. I am not actually a fan of acupuncture, but after having experienced it myself, I guess you can say that I am now a firm believer. Yes, my husband and I were also having problems conceiving a child. Like other couples, we already went to a lot of obstetricians and even had my husband undergo several tests. I was given fertility medications, was told to manage my stress, and to watch my diet. Still, no sign of getting pregnant. We were contemplating on getting an IVF but after looking at the costs, decided to look for alternative ways.
That’s when someone introduced us to the idea of acupuncture in fertility problems.
Getting pregnant starts with healthy egg and sperm cells. The egg cell must be full mature and have all the correct characteristics needed of a healthy mature egg cell. The sperm cells must also be very healthy. They need to be very hardy as they will have to travel up the uterus and the fallopian tubes where they will meet the egg cell. This means that sperm cells must also be very strong and very mobile so they can reach the fallopian tube just in time for the release of the egg cell from the ovaries. Upon meeting, only one sperm cell will be able to penetrate the egg cell and thus, create a new human being.
Simple enough right? Unfortunately, the road to getting healthy egg cells and sperm cells are dictated by a host of factors primarily hormones released from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. Without this, the ovaries will not be stimulated to develop egg cells to maturity. This is the function of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone. Once the egg cell is fully ripe, it is released by the ovaries and swept into the fallopian tubes where it waits for the sperm cells. It can only stay in this region for about 12 to 24 hours so, if it won’t meet a sperm cell during this time, it dies and is shed from the body. That is why timing is very important in getting pregnant.
Once the egg cell has been released from the ovary, the pituitary gland again releases another hormone – the Luteinizing Hormone – to help prepare the uterus for possible implantation of the fertilised egg cell. If fertilisation occurs – where the egg cell and the sperm cell unite to form a new cell – it travels down towards the uterus where it will implant itself. As such, the uterus must thicken its walls and increase the number of blood vessels to make sure that once the fertilised egg is implanted, it will be able to get the oxygen and nourishment from the extensive network of blood vessels. If there is no implantation, then all of these blood vessels and uterine tissues are shed. This is what constitutes our monthly menstruation.
So where does acupuncture fit in all of these? Since acupuncture believes that infertility is caused by an imbalance in the flow of chi in the body, it is crucial to restore this balance by removing any obstructions to the inefficient flow of energy. I have been trying to make sense of this and the closest, most plausible explanation I can get is that needlepoint stimulation sends signals to the brain to make it more efficient in regulating the different hormones of pregnancy – FSH and LH – which, in turn, regulates oestrogen and progesterone. Simply put, fertility acupuncture is all about improving the efficiency of the different processes of gamete development and maturation, ovulation, fertilisation, and implantation. This helps ensure greater chances of getting pregnant. Acupuncture also helps improve the flow of blood to all the reproductive organs to make them healthier through adequate oxygenation and nutrition and the elimination of metabolic by-products.
Acupuncture also provides excellent stress management thereby controlling the effects of cortisol on foetal development. Studies are unanimous in saying that unusually elevated levels of cortisol during pregnancy have long-term effects on the well-being of babies. Aside from this, stress also increases blood pressure which can affect the amount of oxygen delivered to the foetus. If this oxygen delivery is compromised, you may lose your baby.
There are many other benefits of acupuncture especially on reproductive health. I can say this now with confidence because we are now expecting our second baby, thanks again to fertility acupuncture. If you are looking for alternative and safe ways to get pregnant, visit a licensed fertility acupuncturist today.