Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Things to Consider Before Buying a House


What's next after marriage aside from starting a family? 

Do we stay at home with our parents or in-laws and face the stigma of never branching out on our own? Or do we move out and enter the financially daunting world of the unaffordable housing market? These are two equally difficult choices each adult is about to take once he or she decides to get married.

Imagine being newly married and ready to start a new chapter with your spouse. You must've lived at your home all your life and you're excited by the prospect of having to move out of your parents' house (the holy bible teaches us to leave and cleave), be on our own, and say hello to your newfound independence.

But before you collect your things, pack your boxes, prepare your luggage and say adieu to your family, have you ever asked yourself, "How sure are you that you're financially ready to move out?" "Are you ready to buy your first house?" Of course, buying your first house is a joint venture with your spouse shortly before or after your wedding day. It is an exciting time for most people and we're pretty sure you are eager to start new lives together as a couple.

I would sometimes blame the Filipinos' closely-knit families and the country's housing unaffordability because it has kept me and my mom in her parents' rent-free shelter for years. But now that I'm married, life has taught me that moving out is a measure of maturity and adulthood. Before deciding to move out, you should carefully review your income and financial situation to determine if you can afford to do so. Moving out means having to locate and pay for a suitable house. This could be a major issue for you and your spouse if you have not talked about this ideally before your wedding.

Purple Plum Fairy with husband Jason during their wedding in December 2020

When I got married last December of 2020, this issue has been playing in my head constantly. At the time, I had just gotten married but I can't help but feel conflicted over the idea of being married yet having to move out of the house I've lived in and considered my only home since I was born. That's when I soon realized that being married indeed comes with extra challenges you had to deal with together. You had to juggle two people's credit history and all the paperwork multiplies. If marriage and a new dream home are on the horizon, it's important to do your research, study well, and ask the right mortgage questions before your planning. Whether you're currently planning your wedding or you've already exchanged "I do's" like me, I've come up with helpful tips for house-hunting newlyweds. 

It's completely normal to be cautious when you're shopping for a home. A house is a good property investment and you need to make sure that you're making the best decision possible. How will you know that you've found the right one? I suppose it's like finding the right guy. It varies on a case-to-case basis. Some people know they've found the right property by their gut instincts. Others may need a little more time convincing. But some indicators will tell you that you've found the right property for you. Check out this list I've made to somehow help you out:

You envision yourself happily living there with your family

You need to ask yourself if you truly see yourself living at the said property with your family. The property might not necessarily have every amenity that you desire but for as long as it meets the basic requirements, it's alright. It has the number of rooms and space you need. It may not have a garage but then you realize it could be more flexible if you want to expand for an extra room, a garden, or your future kids' play area. 

Check your credit

Check with your bank or with Pag-ibig fund if you and your spouse do qualify to successfully get a loan. You may choose a fairly low house. But if you want a better deal or a nicer house, then only trust well-known companies like Lumina Homes where you could get exactly what you're paying for in terms of quality, service, and standards. You also have to make sure that bills are paid on time to lower your debt utilization ratio, double-check and report if there are mistakes on it. 

Pay off all your debts before buying a house

Banks might get apprehensive about approving your housing loans for people who are already deep in debt because it seems less likely that they'd be delinquent when it comes to payment. When you apply for a mortgage, they will look at your total debt compared to your income and you might not qualify. Take into account your personal loans, car loans, and anything else that you owe money on.  The less debt you have, the better mortgage you qualify for. 

Part of starting a family is building a place you could call home.

Save up for your dream house

Most of the time, people buy on impulse even under budget when they buy their first home. Little did they know they are up for a dilemma of financial issues later.  considering all the expenses. Down payments and reservation fees, moving-in fees aren't obvious enough. But in reality, there is a myriad of other expenses that come out to play when you buy your first house. 

Budget Effectively

There's nothing wrong with knowing the difference between needs and wants. There is a thin line that separates the two and if you aren't careful, you might not be ready yet to settle down. It's one thing to save money and it's another to do so in an effective manner. Saving money for the new house may take some time under the best circumstances. Please try your best to live within your means to be able to budget efficiently.

Cliché as it may sound but buying a house also entails some sacrifice especially if you're used to indulging yourself. But remember, it is better to budget hard for a shorter period than to slack and you lose the opportunity to buy yourself some property—a house you could call your own—from your sweat, blood, and tears.

Bear in mind that when saving money, it is equally important to set a goal, separating your savings account from checking, logging in your progress, and identifying what to do away and cut among unnecessary expenses. 

Find the right agent

Your real estate agent should be able to answer all your queries and explain to you even the smallest detail. He or she has to be someone you're comfortable being with. Your real estate agent has to be able to guide you and assist you well. Don't be shy about asking questions. This is the person who's going to make your dream house a reality so you can be as picky as you need to be. Most agents know some promos where you can get discounts or freebies. They won't advertise it, so just ask! They'll be happy to negotiate in rebate or promo for you if they can. 

Know exactly what it is that you're looking for

House hunting can be pretty overwhelming. Don't let it become even more intimidating by rushing in blind. I know exactly how it feels as I've been to several tripping before. I even had a friend who after seeing a model house, she decided to buy a unit right away without studying first if it was right for her. Later she realized she bought the house on impulse and complained she bought a bare-type of unit rather than the one exactly like the model house that she fell in love with.

I suggest you sit down with your spouse and make a list of what you're looking for in a house. It's best to indicate which ones are your "must-haves" from your "desires." Then you can start comparing what you want in a house against each other and determine which neighborhoods to look in. Tell them to your real estate agent so that they can better direct you with your search.

The 360-degree virtual tour of Lumina Homes

One perfect example where you can discover and explore affordable yet high-quality properties is the ones made by Lumina Homes. They are available in various key locations across the country and their prices vary depending on their location. The best part? You can go on a virtual tour and see the units through their Lumina Showcase Area 360-degree virtual tour or model unit house tour right where you are, and in your own free time. While you’re at it, you may want to check out their property listings

Lumina Townhouse in Tanza, Cavite

Lumina Homes is a prime real estate developer in the Philippines taking pride in its legacy projects of building affordable homes for every Filipino household. You can even make a reservation from any device and conveniently pay your premiums via cashless payment online. Their reservation e-vouchers can also be availed via Shopee and Lazada. You can be assured that you're safe and in good hands with Lumina Homes because it’s recognized as Pag-IBIG Fund’s Top developer in 2019 for nothing. 

Lumina Bacolod Rowhouses

I'm saying it again, don't rush. It's okay to take your time.

There might be a sense of urgency that usually surrounds couples during their wedding year. You may feel pressured to have a house immediately after the wedding, but do not stress yourselves. Picking the wrong house is not a mistake easily remedied. Take your own sweet time and make sure you're getting a house in the neighborhood that you want to live in.

You may start by renting a house as you save up for your dream house. And don't let anyone tell you that you should have a home by a certain date. You'll know you have found the right place, so just be patient and persistent. 

I hope the above-given tips may help you prepare for your newlywed house hunting! Good luck & best wishes!

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