A Filipino’s Guide to Buying Their First Home

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In Filipino culture, children only move out of their parent’s house after getting married. It is still very much observed today, although there are now a few young people who have been allowed to live on their own during or after college. However, there are also a number of married couples who still live with their in-laws, and even if there is consent, this practice is frankly not advisable and not the wisest.

Financial constraints challenge many married couples in the Philippines, so it can be understandable why they reside with their in-laws before looking for their own place. This sparks a debate among several unmarried people, placing arguments here and there whether couples should buy a home before getting married, or marry before buying a home.

But married or not, as long as you already have your own family, then you should already be looking for a home. Before making that major leap, Money Wise recommends that you consider the following factors:

1. Finances

Of course, this goes without saying. Either save money to pay for your first home in cash (installments or lump-sum) or obtain a housing loan and repay over a certain period. Note that if you apply for a loan, you’d need to submit several requirements and you’d be assessed before getting approved. Refer to a reliable guide to housing loans in the Philippines and familiarize yourself with various terms and mistakes to avoid.

2. Location

Houses in Metro Manila are priced far higher than those in Rizal and other provinces. But if your workplace is in Metro Manila, then you’ll get the benefit of living nearby if you buy a house within the area. But if you choose a location somewhere in Rizal, you’re not technically far from Metro Manila, but the rush hour traffic will certainly eat up a lot of your time.

If you work in other developed cities like Laguna, Tagaytay is also brimming with real estate properties, and the views are incredible.

3. Condo or House?

Condominiums are usually located within Metro Manila, so again, you can live near your workplace if you choose to buy one. But in a condo, you’d be sharing amenities such as the swimming pool, clubhouse, and other common outdoor places with all your neighbors. You’ll also be paying fees every month. If you buy a house, on the other hand, you can come across an affordable property with its own garden where you can build a pool or other hangout spots in.

4. Buying Through a Realtor

realtor showing the house

Realtors get a portion of a house’s purchase price, hence some buyers are hesitant to work with them — they believe that realtors add up to the cost they have to pay. Remember that a realtor’s commission is the seller’s concern, so you shouldn’t worry about their effect on your finances. In fact, a realtor can guide you through the entire process of buying a house, helping you negotiate prices and finding you the best deal. Next time a realtor approaches you, don’t run away!

5. Your Long-term Plans

Your dream house today might not be your dream house anymore ten years down the road, so think about this carefully before choosing a property. If you only have one or two kids now, do you consider having more in the future? What if the brand new house you just bought doesn’t have enough room for more kids? That means you need you to upsize, which will involve another hefty cost.

That said, while you’re searching for your first family home, don’t just buy for the life you have today. Think about your future plans and goals, and choose a home that will comfortably allow you to achieve all of those.

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