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Welcome, that ly online HOMESTYLE magazine To the fourth edition of our month , ers ential information to home buy supplements LIFESTYLE with ess iday in Tunisia. those looking to rent or even hol by all that could benefit by being seen If you have a business or service at us website then please contact our readers and world wide on our more tion, or check out our website for without obliga information. magaas for future editorials within the If you have any suggestions or ide editor at zine please contact our features itor

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Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy and legality, the Publisher accepts no liability or responsibility for the material published herein, the views of our contributors are not necessarily the views of the Editor. The Publisher further accepts no liability or responsibility for errors in content or quality that occur beyond all reasonable control of the Editor. The contents of this publication are the property of the publisher and nothing may be reproduced, stored in a retrival system or transmitted in any form without express permission in writing from the editor.

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contents FEATURES 06

A Tip On How To Get Offers When Showing Your House


Advertising Rental Property


About Creating Mosaics

january 2010 07





16 25

Useful information

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feature A Tip On How To Get Offers When Showing Your House You are in the process of trying to sell your house and have your marketing up and running, whether online, through a variety of local agents, or both. So, how do you convert callers into offers? Here is one method. Once you have decided to sell your home, there are a couple of steps you have to take. The first is to get the home ready to show by doing any outstanding repairs, repainting and so on. Once you are ready to go, you have to start marketing the home. Assuming you have done all of this, the house is in good shape and you are competitively priced, you should start getting calls from potential buyers, whether through your online efforts or your local agents. These calls then turn into appointments and buyers come to see your home.


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At this point, you probably expect information on how to negotiate or accept offers. Wrong. The next step in the process is often one of frustration. The frustration arises from wishy washy buyers. They come and see the home, but leave without making an offer. They may come back a couple of times, but they simply never get around to doing the deed and taking things to the next level. Simply put, this is because you have failed to address the issue of motivation. Buyers need to be motivated to take action. The more motivated they are, the faster they will move.

For instance, consider the example of the holiday shopping season and the sales. Nobody is out just browsing in the shopping malls. Why? The buyers are highly motivated to buy because there is a deadline and they probably have more than a few people to shop for. Simply put, they are highly motivated to get things done. Returning to our scenario with your home, what motivation do the buyers have to make an offer? Do they feel any pressure to do so? Unless there is something particular to their personal situation, the answer is that they do not. Homestyle Tunisia



So, you must provide the motivation. Here is how. One of the complaints of sellers is that they feel like they are constantly showing their homes to potential buyers without getting an offer. They may show the property three, four or even ten times a week. If this is your situation, you are doing it wrong. The way to motivate buyers to make an offer on your home is to show it only once a week or two weeks, especially if the market is slow. Set aside an hour or so on a particular day and instruct your agents to make all the potential buyers come at the same time. 08

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feature By putting buyers together, you create the motivation that simply does not come with individual showings. In such situations, buyers are much less likely to be wishy washy. If they like the property, they inherently worry about one of the other buyers making an offer. You now have motivation and a perceived time limit. If you are getting interest in your property, but no offers, give this a try. You might be shocked how much of a difference it makes.

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Advertising Rental Property There are many different ways an owner can advertise his / her rentals property. The kind of advertising that works best depends on numerous factors that include property characteristics, location, budget, and whether he / she is in a hurry to rent. There are many combinations of advertising methods landlords and property managers use to achieve the best results, some of which are described below. “For Rent” Signs The most common method of advertising is the putting up of a ‘For Rent’ sign, either in front of the building, or in one of the windows. A relatively costfree method, it works best if a lot of foot and motor traffic goes past the building. It also helps if the building is as attractive as the rental unit.


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feature Advertising Rental Property Advertising in the Newspapers

Neighbourhood Flyers

As much of a tradition as ‘For Rent’ signs, newspaper ads are also available online, if the paper has an online version.

As well, a landlord can post ads on neighbourhood public bulletin boards, in grocery stores, coffee shops or gymnasiums complete with tear-off strips listing their phone number.

Many potential tenants begin their search for a place to rent by scanning the classified ads in newspapers, while, non-locals can log on online to the local paper from wherever they are. Ads should always be placed in papers having many residential listings, as it has been found they work best.

Listing Online Online rental services have mushroomed like crazy in recent years, from national in scope, to regional. After finding a residential rental listing for your area, you can add your property to it. Home Or Apartment Finding Services Home or apartment-finding services are very popular in some areas, with landlords paying to list their properties, though sometimes it is the tenants themselves, who pay the fee when the unit is rented.

And, they should be targeted to produce the right kind of prospective tenants i.e. if a landlord primarily rents out to college students, the best bet is to advertise in the campus newspaper or put up a ‘For Rent’ sign in the housing office. To play it safe, it is also a good idea to list the rental in a general newspaper, as well. Homestyle Tunisia



Spreading the Word Small-time landlords instead of advertising widely and screening potential tenants, find it easier to market their rentals through word-of-mouth i.e. telling friends, colleagues, neighbours, and current tenants. After all, people already living on your property will invite decent neighbours. So, when a property becomes vacant, simply send a note around to every one, asking them to tell friends or relatives about the available apartment.

Property Management Firms Going through a property management firm is the easiest way to do it. They handle advertising, showing tenants around, as well as, selecting tenants, collecting rents, and interacting with residents during tenancies (handling repairs, etc. etc.). A paid service, it is for landlords with large rental properties and no time to spare.

Real Estate Offices Many real estate offices handle rentals, but of course, there is a fee involved. Always ask about the total costs including any commissions.

Homestyle Tunisia


feature Mosaics are all around us here in Tunisia with many dating back to Phoenician and Roman occupations. Early examples can be found in museums and the ancient preserved sites of Carthage, but they are just as relevant to todays culture as that of yesteryear. Creating a real tile mosaic of your own, on almost any surface top is really quite easy, so why not give it a try. The first step would be to look in a tile shop and see what is available. Then decide on a pattern you want. There are many books and magazines that give step by step instructions as well as design ideas. After deciding on a pattern or design, sketch your pattern on the surface you are going to tile over.

The first step is to prepare the surface making sure the tile will adhere. You do this by scoring the surface with a utility knife then coating the surface with a mixture of watered down white glue. Next you take tile cement, commonly known as thin set or mortar, and spread a thin coating over the surface. Place your tiles in the cement according to the pattern you drew. After the cement has set, (don't be in too big of a hurry) fill the gaps between the tiles with tile grout. Most people think grout is available only in white but if you look in a hardware store you'll find many different colors of grout available. You apply the grout by simply troweling it over all of the seams between the individual tiles. Then wipe away the excess with a sponge.


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feature About Creating Mosaics Have you ever been in a cafe, restaurant or a friend's house for that matter, and admired the mosaic tile on the tabletops or walls? Well, it's not that hard to bring that look into your own home.

You might prefer embellishing an old coffee table as a start, and to practice your new found art. This is a great little week-end project.

Where's a good place to add a mosaic in your home? Kitchens and bathrooms are the obvious choices but tables and patios have become favourites too.

All you have to do is add a coat of paint and then make a small mosaic on the tabletop using some different size tiles or even broken tile pieces. This same technique works equally well for a larger area like this as it does for a small table.

And its not just ceramic tiles that make good mosaics, you can also experiment with coloured glass and beads (taking obvoius care with the sharp edges of course).

Before starting this project, there are some things you should do first to be prepared. Take some time researching what you want to do before you start laying tiles down. There are tons of books on ceramic tiles at your local bookstore. A recommendation is to just thumb through them to get some inspiration for your design. Once you have a basic idea of what you want to do, it's always a good idea to draw a sketch of your design.

Homestyle Tunisia


feature Then you will want to place the actual tiles on the countertop, starting from the center and working outwards, to make sure you are pleased with your design. Once you have everything in place, take a magic marker and mark the tiles' location.

For the border mosaics you are going to need some smaller pieces of tile. For the smaller pieces you use a tile nibbler to break off pieces the size you need.

Before you cement the tiles in place, you have to prepare the tiles for the mosaic sections. How do you do that? This is where you can get some aggression out. Take a mix of tiles, wrap them in a towel and give them a whack. This is the simplest way to get the broken pieces of tile you'll need for the mosaic. 16

Homestyle Tunisia


To cement the tiles in place, use mortar that you can buy at any tile store or home improvement store. You just trowel the mortar on about 3mm thick. Then use the edge of the trowel to score the mortar. Then just put your tiles in place. For the mosaic sections you use the same process. Take the different pieces of tile and arrange them however you like. Try and keep the spaces between the tiles to 2-3mm.

How do you finish the project? You have to grout the tiles after the mortar has set up or dried. Remember, tile grout is available in many colours, not just white. Next smear the grout over the top of the tiles filling in the seams. To clean the tiles, wipe off any excess grout with a sponge. Let it dry overnight and you're done, then you can sit back and admire your work of art! Homestyle Tunisia


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Tunisia is situated on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, bordered by Algeria in the west and Libya in the south-east. An abrupt southern turn of its shoreline gives Tunisia two faces on the Mediterranean with a coastline 1,148 kilometres in length. Despite its relatively small size, Tunisia has great geographical and climatic diversity. An extension of the Atlas Mountains, traverses Tunisia in the north to the Cape Bon peninsula. The Sahil is along Tunisia's eastern Mediterranean coast famous for its olive groves and beaches. Inland from the Sahil are the Steppes. Much of the southern region is semi-arid and desert leading into the Sahara.

information Tunisia is made up of 24 Governates (administrative regions) These are : - (1) Ariana (Aryana), (2) Beja (Baja), (3) Ben Arous (Bin 'Arus), (4) Bizerte (Banzart), (5) Gabes (Gabis), (6) Gafsa (Gafsah), (7) Jendouba (Jandouba), (8) Kairouan (Al Qayrawan), (9) Kasserine (Gasryn), (10) Kebili (Guebilli), (11) El Kef (El Kaf), (12) Mahdia (Al Mahdiya), (13) Mannouba (Mannouba), (14) Medenine (Midnin), (15) Monastir (Munastir), (16) Nabeul (Nabul), (17) Sfax (Safaqis), (18) Sidi BouZid (Sidi BouZid), (19) Siliana (Siliana), (20) Sousse (Soussa), (21) Tataouine (Tatawin), (22) Tozeur (Touzer), (23) Tunis, (24) Zaghouan (Zaghwen) Official languages Arabic, French Government Republic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (Independence from France 1956) Area - Total 163,610 km2 Population - 2008 estimate 10,327,800 Currency Tunisian dinar (TND) Exchange Rates (1st Aug 2009) 1.00 EUR = 1.87258 TND 1.00 GBP = 2.21396 TND Time zone CET (UTC+1) Driving on the right Electricity European-style two pin plugs on 230 volts, 50Hz Internet TLD .tn

Important Telephone Numbers International Dialling code + 216 Dial 00 + 216 + City/Area Code + Local Number To make a call from Tunisia you will need dial 00 + Country Code British Embassy Rue du Lac Windermere Les Berges du Lac, Tunis 1053 Telephone: (216) 71 108 749 Emergency Telephone Numbers 197 - Police 190 - Ambulance 198 - Fire Brigade Homestyle Tunisia


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Homestyle Tunisia - Issue 4  

Homestyle Tunisia Magazine - Issue 4 - January 2010

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