10 TIPS IN BUYING YOUR FIRST HOUSE IN CEBU

Every frugal wife knows the importance of having a house she and her husband can call their own. Just the thought of it and the freedom it will bring, surely will entice her.

Having your own house is just like having a kingdom of your own. You can do whatever you want with it. You will not be bounded by landlords and landladies and their monthly rental fees. Nor your in-laws and their own household rules. You can buy every furniture you want and move it around. You can build walls and tear it down!

1. Buy Pre-Selling Properties

Generally, pre-selling properties are cheaper than bare or fully furnished, ready for occupancy properties. Cheaper by a few millions, at the least…but still…ouch!

There are actually a lot of properties available – condominiums, single detached and single attached units but be sure to choose based on your capacity and your needs. Choose what’s suitable for you and try to consider not only your present condition but also a 10-year plan in mind.

You might be comfortable with a studio unit now, but think of your growing family for the next 10 years. You might need an adjacent garage one day. Your children might need a space to run and play, and their own bedrooms too!

Pre-selling properties here in Philippines usually has a three year equity period. If you are renting, be sure to consider both equity payment and rental for the first three years.

2. Get A Good Agent

A good, reliable and knowledgeable real estate agent is a rare find. They play a big factor prior to you sealing the deal with the developer of the property.

If you plan to purchase a house during pandemic, your only way to communicate with various agents is through chat. Observe carefully as there really are knowledgeable agents and there are those who are not.

If you are still on the research stage, communicate a lot with various agents, collect their ideas and tips to help you decide. They will be happy to help.

If your agent is not accommodating, just perform your due diligence and extensive research if you really are interested with the property.

3. Site Visit

If the property is pre-selling, it must already have a site for the house to be built. Ask your agent for a site visit. En-route to the site, you may actually want to pay attention to the road condition, the time it will take to get there, other forms of transportation, which part of the road is congested, the part of the road which floods, etc.

Take note also of the area near the site. Is the road too congested because of vendors on the side of the street? Is the area accessible via vehicle? Is the network signal good? Are there mining companies or plantations nearby? Observe things like the nearest and essential establishments, neighborhood, bodies of water nearby which can damage your property in the future and etc.

4. Visit A Model House

One thing to make sure if the developer of the property is legit, is to see their model houses or their finished projects.

Were the past projects well ventilated or was there ample sunlight to keep the dwellers healthy and in good living condition? Take note also of the height of the ceiling as it helps keep the house airy and more spacious.

Another major thing to observe is the lay-out of the past projects. If the lay-out was not well planned, it will be a massive renovation for you in the future. Although, the lot and floor area is relative to the price of the property (and your budget), make sure it is wide enough to hold the living room and kitchen, the most essential part of every house.

Take note of the quality of materials used and the workmanship. One doesn’t have to be an engineer or an architect to do so. Although you may not see the raw materials used, you may want to keep an eye on the choice of fitting used inside the house. A good quality fitting shows that a developer pays attention to details and it’s end users.

5. How To Choose A Property

If there are corner units available, always choose the corner unit. The most obvious advantage is that you will only have one neighbor to consider his/her feelings and corner unit are sometimes has the bigger cut in terms of lot area.

If there are no corner units left, just choose any with advantage to you and always think of the future. If you plan to have a store in your unit in the future, you may want to consider availing the unit nearest to the entrance.

You may also want to consider a bigger floor area that you can afford. Over the years, the cost may not matter anymore but the area of how small or how big will really affect your living conditions. Think of the things you will purchase in the future for your household.

6. Check Proposed Lay-out

Once you’ve decided to purchase the pre-selling property, the developer or your agent will continually give you timely updates.

One of these is the proposed lay-out of your unit. Most pre-selling properties, if you happen to purchase on the early stage, does not have a proposed lay-out yet. At the start, they can only give you the inventory of the whole project, the sold and available units.

Upon receiving the proposed lay-out and prior to signing, double check your chosen unit with regards to floor and lot area. Sometimes, due to volume of works, the proposed lay-out is erroneous. Coordinate with your developer or agent. They will be happy to assist you.

7. I Have The Proposed Lay-out, What’s Next?

One of the benefits of purchasing a pre-selling property is the chance to modify some parts of the lay-out.

Some developer and their architects will assist you with this. If you have the resources such as AutoCAD or other software, you can send your modified lay-out to them.

Of course, everything is subject for approval but it’s worth the try. This way, you will only have a few improvements left after the turn-over of the property. This means less expenses and your property will almost be ready for occupancy.

8. Research, Research, Research!

Now that you know your future house layout, aren’t you excited to fill the interiors with furnitures and fixtures?

Others usually use this stage to plan for the interior of their house. The benefit of planning early is that you will be prepared of how much you will be spending for the future house improvements.

Start collecting ideas such as living room designs, kitchen counter, powder room ideas, side alley landscaping and etc. Pinterest is one of the go to apps to explore and find new ideas.

There are also a lot of valuable ideas from YouTube. Visit channels that are hosted by engineers and architects showcasing their knowledge of building a property. You will find practical tips and some design regrets too!

9. Save Money For The Needed Improvements

As early as now, you may have preferences that will surely cost money in the future. For example, you want a wood tiles instead of the built-in ceramic tiles that comes with the unit. Meanwhile, your husband wants a walk-in closet and a kitchen counter.

These improvements will involve some replacements, remodeling, minor and major adjustments. Although they are good and will definitely enhance your living condition, the reworks are not free and will require money for manpower labor and added new materials.

Take note of everything you will include in future improvements. You may also want to consider hiring an interior designer to maximize the space and match the good structure with a pretty interior!

10. Save Money For The Appliances

To ease your living condition, you would want some appliances in the future to fill in your new house.

Aside from saving for the interior works, another thing to consider are the appliances. Some are just so small you may already have it, like the rice cooker, water heater and coffee maker.

If you just got married, you may also have been gifted with things like microwave oven and blender.

However, there are these huge appliances which are considered big purchases such as refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, television, air conditioning and etc. Although costly, if you are good with budgeting and you have accounted all of it for future use, then moving in with your new house a lot more exciting!

Conclusion

If you ever find yourself looking for a property, you might want to purchase as early as possible as the cost of real estate is surging yearly.

Whatever your choice as your first house, real estate is always a good investment. Be wise and plan for the next 10 years in mind.

“May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

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