Wedding bells are playing in the air this June as it's still the most preferred month for weddings. It's the most romantic time for couples but after that what's next? Buying a home together is a big step for couples. While this is a major commitment and requires careful considerations, it is still an exciting experience knowing that you are looking for place to start your family.
Whether it is a house in the suburbs, a townhouse midtown, or a condo close to the business district, nothing beats a buying strategy and a good dose of fun when buying your first home together. Global real estate website Lamudi Philippines has put together a list of 10 tips to keep in mind for this major life milestone.
1. Assess Your Financial Situation
Before even stepping out of the door, it makes sense to look at your overall money situation. Sit down with your spouse and make an honest assessment of your individual and joint financial pictures and create a budget to know all your expenses. The plan will allow you to build your budget immediately and determine the type of house you can afford.
2. Set a Realistic Goal
Manage your expectations and set realistic goals. Understand what you want individually and as a couple. Determine how much money you have put aside for down-payment to know how much more you need to save up. As a rule of thumb, have enough cash equivalent to 20 percent of a property’s selling price for deposit. If you have less than this, some banks may not be willing to give you a housing loan.
3. Take a Look at Your Priorities
Like most couples, you probably agree on many things but not on all, so be sure to prioritize, whether it is the design, the size, the location, or whatever it is that matters to you both. This will make the whole process of choosing the right property so much easier.
4. House or Condo?
Deciding on which property type you both want will help determine your budget. For instance, if you want a condo, your Php6 million budget will get you a 36-sqm studio condo in Makati CBD. However, if you prefer a house and doesn’t mind living in the suburbs, then for a slightly lower amount you could get a 97-sqm, three bedroom house in Ridgeview Estates Nuvali, Santa Rosa.
5. Get Prequalified for a Loan
Unless you have enough cash on hand to buy a home outright, getting a housing loan is your next best option. If you do not have a specific property in mind yet, it will be helpful to get prequalified for a housing loan as it sets your budget. This is because banks and financial institutions will lend you the loan amount based on your financial capacity—that is, how much your monthly income could afford—and not on the property you want.
6. Study the Real Estate Market
A good buying strategy is always recommended in real estate, and this involves doing some research. You may think that an affordable townhouse in Pasig or Mandaluyong is a good deal because it is situated just 20 minutes away from Ortigas Center, but first impressions may deceive you. What if the area experiences flooding during the monsoon months?
Similarly, a house and lot in Paranaque may not look that attractive now, but with the upcoming infrastructure projects in the area (e.g., NAIA Expressway, C5 Extension, and LRT-1 Extension), you can expect the area to become a real estate hotspot 5 years from now.
7. Seek the Help of Professionals
This means talking to a bank’s loan officer or seeking the help of a licensed real estate broker to help you find the best property. The former can help you determine the cost of the property your income could afford, while the latter can help you streamline the house-hunting process. In addition, a real estate broker can provide you with in-depth information about the house and its neighborhood and how to go about the buying process.
8. Know Which Developers Are Reputable and Reliable
In most cases the quality of a property corresponds to the reputation of its developer; therefore, it is important to select a property that is built by a reliable real estate company (one that is publicly listed and has long a history of turning over quality properties on time is a safe bet). In addition, take into consideration the developer’s sales administration and after-sales services.
9. Where Do You See Yourself in the Next 5 Years?
Home purchase is a huge commitment and it is recommended to only buy if you plan to stay put for at least 5 years. Buying a house outright may be impractical if you see yourself moving to another city or country after 5 years (unless you see your property as an investment you are willing to keep in the long run).
10. Don’t Rush
Buying a house can stir up mixed emotions: there’s excitement, anxiety over finances, overwhelming feeling of responsibility, and a whole lot more, so take your time and make sure that you are emotionally prepared before the whole process begins.
Last and definitely not the least, try not to get too worked up by the house-hunting process. Finding a home is indeed a big step and must be considered very carefully, but don’t forget to have fun. This is such a big step for most couples so be sure this doesn’t drive you two apart.
Launched in 2013, Lamudi is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets. The fast-growing platform is currently available in 34 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with more than 800,000 real estate listings across its global network. The leading real estate marketplace offers sellers, buyers, landlords and renters a secure and easy-to-use platform to find or list properties online. For more information, please visit http://www.lamudi.com.ph
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