How Natural Disasters Affect the Real Estate Market

The government is still assessing the total damage of Hurricane Irma – although as CNN Money reports, both Irma and Harvey have already racked up billions in damages – and all of us know that it’s going to take a lot of time before Florida returns to normal.

Natural Disasters

When a disaster strikes, the first priority is naturally protecting lives – as it should be – but one has to wonder, what do all of these catastrophes mean from an economic point of view, especially when it comes to real estate…

What Is Exactly At Stake Here?

Most of us don’t think about natural disaster until they occur. With all of those recent disasters, you have to wonder, just how many homes are at risk of natural disasters?

According to a recent RealtyTrac report, staggering 43% of houses and condos in the United States are at very high risk of at least one type of disaster at any moment. This amounts to almost 36 million homes across the US with an estimated market value – get ready for this – of 6.6 trillion dollars.

Not surprisingly, California sits at the top of the list of states that are at risk. There, roughly 8.4 million homes are estimated to be at a high risk. Next up, again, not really all that surprising, Florida with more than 6.7 million homes at the same risk level.

How Natural Disasters Impact Real Estate

Unlike many other factors, like the state of economy for example, natural disasters are only a local phenomenon rather than a nationwide one. And while the rest of the country doesn’t really notice the effects of disasters, they are more than noticeable in that particular are – if only for a couple of months.

Most potential buyers lose the confidence in that location and mortgage operations become noticeably slow – and both factors hurt home sales in the area. As Market Watch reports, home sale prices increase at a much slower rates in these high risk areas than compared to the rest of the country.

As a matter of fact, according to data collected between 2005 and 2015, in low risk areas, the average price increases at a rate between 6.6% and 9.5%. On the other hand, in high risk areas prices have decreased by 2.5% and 6.4% during the same period.

But when it comes to the actual home value, disasters impact the real estate market in a completely different way. In a paradoxical turn of events, the average home prices in these high risk states seem to be higher than in the rest of the state. While they don’t grow as fast, they start at a much higher point.

Home Prices in High Risk States

For starters, an average home price in high risk states is around 170K dollars, while the price of very high risk state – located in aforementioned states like California – homes is more than 190K. When we compare this to very low risk areas that have an average property value of 150K dollars, we can clearly see that the difference is more than noticeable.

Moreover, this decade, home price appreciation has been much, much stronger in very high risk areas than in low risk ones. In the last few years, home prices in very high risk areas had a 20.4% increase compared to very low risk areas that saw a 10.1% increase.

This can be explained – partially at least – by the fact that the markets in high risk states change a lot faster than others. And as BuzzBuzz News reports, experts claim that the recovery from the recent housing crisis has been faster and stronger in very high risk areas around the country.

How Disasters Affect Home Buyers

Surprisingly, potential natural disasters don’t do much to influence a majority of potential home buyers.  In fact, factors such as weather and business opportunities have a much larger effect on the decision making process of modern buyers.

As history has shown, a natural disaster, while impacting the real estate market for a certain period of time, doesn’t actually have a long lasting effect. We can clearly see from the infamous Loma Prieta earthquake, which occurred 27 years ago.

The 6.9 magnitude disaster rocked Northern California, leaving 63 victims, destroying more than 11,000 houses and creating roughly 6 billion dollars in damages in the process. As you can expect, nervous home buyers started backing out of their real estate deals.

Since only a couple of older homes were destroyed beyond repair during the earthquake, most home buyers were ready to wait for some minor damages to be repaired – such as cracks in the driveway – to be prepared before continuing with their purchase.

According to researchers from the San Diego State University, only small decrease in real estate property values correspond with the earthquake, however, the economic conditions in the country of the last decade of the 20th century had a much larger impact on the market.

What about Buyers’ Awareness?

The impact natural disasters have on the market makes a lot of sense from the buyer’s perspective when you think about it. Since a ton of information is freely available online, these days, homeowners don’t have any excuses for being uninformed.

When it comes to both private and commercial real estate, buyers are now able to make a good decision on where and what type of property to buy, based on all of the information that’s out there. Nonetheless, future property owners should still consult a real estate agency before making any decisions.

A good real estate company will be able to explain specific insurance coverage the customer should look into before buying a property. And of course, if the buyer isn’t too familiar with the potential risks a good realtor should explain how natural disaster will impact the price of the property they’re looking at in the long haul.

Natural Disasters

The Bottom Line

Some of the more high risk areas in the country are located along the coastline, which has some of the US’s most beautiful and picturesque settings. So you can’t be all that surprised that people are still flocking into these beautiful regions.

Although natural disasters have a significant short term impact on the real estate market, as we said already, things like the economic climate have a far greater impact. But when like everything else, being aware of any possible risk is more than important when it comes to buying or selling a home.


Tips On Choosing A Beautiful Eternity Ring

eternity ring

If it is coming up to a special anniversary or you have another celebration such as the birth of a child, an eternity ring is a perfect gift for the one that you love. There is a lot of choices to choose from with eternity rings coming in lots of shapes and sizes, as well as being made from different metals and containing different precious stones. You can see a selection of the various styles of eternity ring that are popular on the website to give you an idea of your choices ahead. Before you go out and buy an eternity ring though, you will have various factors to consider first.

Work Out A Budget

It is a lot easier to go shopping for jewellery when you have a budget to work to, and you make sure that you stick to it. Decide on how much you want to spend on your ring and also take a look at the different styles and try to work out your preferences.

Choosing Your Diamond

The first place you should start when looking for an eternity ring for yourself or your partner is the diamond. The size and the cut of the diamond will have an overall effect on the shape and style of the ring, and of course, the size will also affect the price. It is always worth your time to do some research on the different qualities of diamonds such as the cut, and there is a wealth of free information available on the Gemological Institute of America website.

Choosing The Width Of Your Eternity Ring

Another important factor that you will need to consider is the width of the ring that you want. You usually find that the wider the ring, the bigger the diamond, so the width is also influenced by the budget that you have available. There are also other factors that you need to think about such as the setting that you want for the diamond, and when you have an idea of what it is that you want, it is time to start shopping.

Shopping For Your Dream Ring

There are many options available when shopping for eternity rings in the UK, and the best place to start looking is from the comfort of your home. There is no need to leave the house as you can surf the internet and take a look at all of the different eternity rings that are available. You will want to take a look at review websites such as Trust Pilot to help find reliable and trustworthy jewellers in your local area and make a shortlist of companies to contact. Contact each of the businesses and explain what it is that you want and see what they have to offer.

Take your time in deciding and compare each of the companies carefully, before making your choice. When you are ready and have decided on your perfect eternity ring, you can make your purchase and show your other half just how special they are to your life.

Considering a Move to Southeast Asia

southeast asia

It’s common for people to stay in the same location for their whole lives. They’ll grow up in their family home and stay within a close vicinity to their family and childhood friends for the rest of their lives. Occasionally people will go to uni for a few years or perhaps take to travelling the world for a year or so, but they will usually return to their hometown at the end of the day. Who can blame them? After all, home is where the heart is and it’s always beneficial to stick with what you know. But for some of us, wanderlust strikes. Wanderlust is the urge to experience new places, to see new sights and immerse yourself in a completely new atmosphere or environment. So, if this describes you, you may be itching to get away. A place to keep in mind? Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is a continent generally associated with temporary travel: the gap year student, the businessman and the casual tourist all spring to mind when the area is mentioned. It consists of many countries, all entirely unique. So why not experience them to their utmost by moving there? Here are a few pieces of information about some of our favourites.


Singapore offers so much, not only to the short-term tourist but to the individuals who decide to plan their life out in this great location. Officially known as the Republic of Singapore and casually referred to as “Lion City”, this sovereign city-state is ideal for individuals who are a little more habituated to city life. It lies one degree north of the equator (so you can expect majoritively warm weather) and its main territory consists of one main island accompanied by sixty-two smaller islets. It is rich in arts and culture, so you are guaranteed to be kept entertained if you’re the cultural type. The city puts on award-winning performances at world-class venues, showcasing the region’s multicultural heritage with traditional song and dance performed in Chinese, Malay and Indian. There are plenty of local and international masterpieces located in astounding galleries and museums. If you have a touch of art about you yourself, there are almost always small workshops taking place with professional artisans and crafters. If you’re a foodie, then your luck is in! There are Michelin star restaurants alongside local cuisine. Try out Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Kaya Toast, Hokkien Mee and Rojak.

Making the Move

So, if this all sounds great to you, here’s a quick guide to making the big move overseas. First, you should be aware of the cost of living in the area. It is now ranked the tenth most expensive city for expats to move to. Within Asia, it falls just below Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, and Beijing.Your largest expense is likely to be rent. But you can minimise this by engaging with resale hdb. Make use of HDB map services and register for resale seminars to learn more about resale policies and procedures. If you already have a job lined up before you move to Singapore, you will need to submit an Employment Pass (EP) application. Your employer should be able to help you to complete this.

southeast asia

The Philippines

The appeal of the Philippines is pretty clear. Consisting of over 7000 islands, it is home to a vast array of stunning landscapes. Crystal clear waters and powder sand beaches really do have a special allure to them. Just take a look at Hinatuan Enchanted River, Bohol’s Chocolate Hills and Asik-Asik Falls. There’s much more to this place than the landscape alone, though. Entertainment is incorporated into the Philippines’ beauty. San Pablo City has encompassed this perhaps at its best with its Waterfalls Restaurant. The country is also steeped in culture. You can spend long days exploring the Ruins in Talalay, visiting the Timbac Mummies in Kabayan and taking a look around the Abandoned Puerto Azul in Ternate.

Making the Move

You can stay in the Philippines for up to thirty days without a valid visa, however, if you’re planning on moving permanently, you will need to contact a Philippine Embassy or a Borough of Immigration to apply for a visa. You will need a local driving licence or an international driving licence if you wish to drive near your new home, which can be obtained from the Philippines’ Land Transportation Office (or LTO). It must be noted that purchasing property in the Philippines can be complicated, as disputes often arise over property titles and ownership, so make sure that you seek legal guidance from a certified lawyer before you commit to any property. This includes signing contracts or putting down deposits. You should also be aware that the quality of health care varies across the region and practices, clinics, surgeries or hospitals may not be up to the standards that you are used to.


If you’re looking for a break from the relative mayhem of inner city life, why not consider retreating to the Vietnamese countryside. Now, Vietnam isn’t often the first place to spring to mind when thinking of a place to move to. It is often associated with the poor and historical wars and an undesirable economy. However, don’t let these stereotypes fool you. Nowadays, Vietnam is expanding and its tragic past is slowly but surely being pushed aside with more positive imagery and an acknowledgement of its beautiful countryside and stunning beaches. The weather is tropical in the South and Monsoonal in the North, so choose an exact location carefully. As the area is still establishing itself as a wonderful potential home, you can seize the opportunity now to make the most of its low cost of living. You can move to this destination without excessive expenditure. There’s something to meet any accommodation needs. From apartments in upmarket cities to small homes in the suburbs. There are some quirks that you may need to get used to, however. First: the main language of this country is, unsurprisingly Vietnamese, so if you have no knowledge of the land’s native tongue, you may want to start learning. English is rapidly rising in popularity as the country’s second language though, so you should be able to get on fine as you learn once you move. A second issue is the pollution. In certain areas, you will find people wearing face masks to avoid the inhalation of fumes.

Making the Move

You will need to obtain a Vietnam Visa before attempting to make the big move there. Once you arrive, you will have to make your presence known to the local police, so make sure to do this as soon as possible. If you are planning on working for more than three months upon arrival, you’re going to have to apply for a work permit and a work visa too. Remember to apply for a Vietnamese licence if you plan to drive too.

These are just a few of the stunning locations that could prove to be a perfect home in Southeast Asia. If these places haven’t already taken your fancy, take a look around all of the countries in the area to get a better idea of where might suit you best. Do your research and give yourself plenty of time to plan the move. This isn’t the kind of thing that you can do last minute. Once you’re settled into a new, stunning home, you will realise that all of your work and effort will be well worth it.

9 Hacks For Plus Size Girls And Their Prom Dresses

prom dresses

You should never let the wrong dress get in the way of a special night, especially when it comes to dancing the night away at prom. Use these top tips for plus size girls to ensure you have a stylish, yet comfortable, occasion.

1. Dress Straps

Plus size girls who want to wear dresses with straps should opt for thicker straps so that they can wear a bra underneath for additional support. Prom dresses that have thick straps are chic and comfortable, so you can still be the Belle of the Ball.

2. Strapless Dresses

If you would prefer a strapless dress, be sure to pick a full-coverage strapless bra that has moulded cups. You may also want to opt for gripper strips on the inside of the bra band to keep it in place when you hit the dance floor.

3. Fitted Dresses

Plus size girls should look for fitted dresses that nip in at the waist and show off their figure. Avoid drowning in mounds of fabric and instead pick a gown that skims the curves and shows them off. You can get cheap plus size prom dresses in 2018 at Prom Dress Shop and similar designer dress retailers.

4. Heavy Fabrics

Try to choose a prom dress in a natural, heavy fabric like cotton blends, silk, or even jersey that will hug the curves but not stick to them when you are dancing.

5. Boy Shorts

It’s a good idea to wear a pair of lightweight boy shorts under your dress in order to minimise chaffing. If your thighs are rubbing while you dance, you’re going to be in pain, and that makes for a ruined night. Wearing shorts under the dress will save your thighs, so look for a seamless pair that won’t show through your dress. You may also want to look for shorts that are moisture-wicking so they will stop you from sweating when you’re having fun.

6. Don’t Be Afraid of Short Dresses

If you have your heart set on more full-coverage on the top of the dress to support your chest, you can get flirtier with the bottom. Don’t be scared to show off your legs in a formal short dress.

7. Get Yourself Some Double-Sided Tape

Double-sided tape is your BFF, and rightfully so. You can use it to create a shorter hem in an emergency, keep your strapless bra from falling down when you’re dancing, and even to close any gaps in your dress, such as between buttons.

8. Have Your Dress Tailored

You are sure to feel far more confident in a dress that fits like a glove, but it may not happen straight off the rack. Once you’ve found your dream dress, take it to a tailor and have it taken in where you want it to feel a little closer to your body, and let out where you would like a little more dancing room.

9. Shoes

Plus size girls look great in shoes that have an ankle strap that sits just a little lower than the ankle. For curvier ankles, straps can get uncomfortable, especially when feet get hot and swollen during dancing. Look out for styles that sport a lower strap just below your ankle bone, and make sure they are comfortable and flattering on your legs.

Ensure you get the perfect dress by remembering the tips we’ve shared.

Give Your Child The Bedroom They’ve Always Wanted In 3 Simple Steps

give your child the bedroom that they’ve always wanted
Image credit: Oyvind Solstad –

For a child, their bedroom isn’t just the place in which they go to sleep at night; It is also their sanctuary and their play den. You want your child to feel comfortable in their bedroom and for it to be practical, but at the same time, they just want it to look cool. It is relatively simple to find a happy medium and give your child the bedroom that they’ve always wanted, and here’s how:

  1. What’s Their Favorite Color?

The first place you want to start is always the color scheme. Ask your child what their favorite color is if you don’t already know, and then plan how to incorporate this color into their bedroom. The walls are the most obvious place, as is the carpet, and their duvet. If your child’s favorite color is something garish or really dark, like yellow or black, you may want to avoid painting the room this color, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate it somehow. Wall decals, and furniture, and even curtains would work well, as long as they didn’t clash with the rest of the room.

  1. Feature Their Favorites

If your child has a favorite tv show, film, or book, why not find a way to incorporate this into their bedroom? You don’t necessarily need an interior design company to design and paint a great feature wall. Print out outlines of characters or objects from the show, book, or film and cut them out to use as stencils to paint on the wall. If this is too tricky, then there are lots of wall murals online, that are incredibly easy to put up. Also ensure that any cuddly toys or posters they have are on display, to really tie the room together.

  1. Make It Fun

As mentioned before, your child sees their bedroom not only as a place to sleep, but also a place to play, so you need to make it fun for them. Their bed is a great place to start, as it is the main piece of furniture in the room. Children often find high sleeper beds cool, especially if they have a slide or a fireman’s pole attached to them, so that might be something to consider. Your child will then be able to use the area underneath the bed as a little hideaway or a den, and could even sleep in it if they had a friend stop over. If your child is particularly creative, then consider having a wall painted with chalkboard paint instead of a feature wall. Then they would be able to have whatever it was that they wanted to decorate that wall of their bedroom at any time.

Giving your child the bedroom they have always wanted often seems like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as they have a few fun and cool things in their room to show off to their friends, they will be happy with whatever you decide to do.