MANILA, Philippines – A house is probably one of the most satisfying financial investments anyone will have to make. It’s your official badge of independence. It’s the place you’ll be spending majority of your free time in. And yes, it’s also a big purchase.
Before you take the plunge, it’s important that you sit down and figure out how to get the best home deal and make the most out of your purchase.
Here are 5 tips on getting your future house:
Tip #1: Crunch the numbers – all the numbers
Like any financial commitment, you need to check the plausibility of your budget. Since you’ll be paying for a number of expenses – not just your mortgage – you need to be conscious of what you can afford. Here are some to keep in mind:
- Downpayment and closing costs (around 20% of the home’s total cost)
- Mortgage-related costs (loan fees, monthly amortization, and insurance premiums)
- Sleeper costs (tax, utilities, association dues, etc. and even potential repairs and maintenance fees)
Bonus Tip: Do a test run! Even before you do the big move, set aside a certain percentage of your income for the approximate mortgage cost and see how you fare.
Tip #2: Scope the neighborhood
Once you’ve got the hard parts figured out, now’s the time to do the leg work. Before looking into houses, determine the kind of neighborhood you want to live in. Check out the neighbors and be on the lookout for the following:
- Public transport options
- Commercial centers
Just note that the proximity of some of these establishments will contribute to the price of your potential property!
Tip #3: Don’t get too attached
Be careful not to “fall in love with a house.” That phrase usually entails going for a house that’s beyond your means, and that can only end in disaster – either it breaks your heart or it breaks the bank. So when picking out a house, use your instincts and not your emotions.
Tip #4: Have the property inspected
Once you’ve finally found a house that’s perfect for all the right reasons – i.e. it fits your needs and your budget – give your house a physical inspection. Learn more about the house you’re interested in and hire a professional to survey its condition: construction materials, wiring, and potential repairs. If you find a couple of problems with the house, bargain with the seller to reduce the price or walk away from the deal.
Lather, rinse, repeat until you’ve found the one!
Otherwise, if you choose to pursue the house in spite of needed repairs, fix that into your budget.
Tip #5: Secure a home loan
Now that you’ve got a particular house in mind, you can refine your budget based on your mortgage options. You can decide how long you want to pay the loan as well as set the interest rate and terms.
Congratulations, new homeowner! You’ve signed the contract, shook hands with the seller, and received the keys to your new home. Cheers to the beginnings of a new world of independence. – Rappler.com
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