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7 Smart Moves for First-time Homebuyers

This is a contributed post from Kathlyn dela Cruz of Zipmatch

If you are a first-time homebuyer, chances are, you have no idea where to start.The following article aims to help point you to the right direction.

Our friends from Zipmatch are here with smart tips specifically for first-time home buyers.

It does not matter if you are looking at foreclosed properties, brand new houses, properties that are for-sale-by-owner, pre-selling, etc., these tips can really help, so here goes…


7 Smart Moves for First-time Homebuyers

Buying a home is no joke. The whole process is exciting, yes, but can also be tricky and overwhelming, especially to a first-time homebuyer.

To help you make sure that you’re heading toward the right direction, here are some smart tips for you:

1. Know your budget.

Can you afford to buy a home now? Go take a long look at your monthly expenses and do the math. Decide how much you can allot for your home purchase, without sacrificing too much of your finances for your basic needs. After determining your budget, push yourself to stick to it. You don’t want to incur debts, do you?

2. Assess your life plans.

Are you planning to start your own family anytime soon? Are you going to bring your parents into your new home? Will you be hosting gatherings or parties for your friends a lot?

Ask yourself these questions and more to help you decide what type of property you should purchase. If you’re always on the go and cannot afford to maintain and clean a huge house, you might want to stay in a one-bedroom unit that’s close to business and lifestyle hubs, like these condos for sale in Quezon City. But if you’re planning to have a bigger family, you might want to purchase a house and lot inside a subdivision instead, where your kids can freely play in the streets with their friends.

3. Think about your (and your whole family’s) needs and wants.

Aside from thinking of how many family members will live in your home, evaluate also each and everyone’s needs and wants. Do you want a big workspace? Does anyone in the family love to cook and want to have a large kitchen? Do you want your kids to have a separate play area from the living room?

4. Find a good real estate professional.

Find a real estate professional who is knowledgeable of the whole homebuying process, and the property and location where you plan to live.

Local online property portal ZipMatch can help you throughout your homehunting process. ZipMatch has a page for real estate professionals where homebuyers can get more information about them, such as their active projects and past experiences in the industry, among others.

5. Ask questions.

Get all those questions out of your head right now. How safe is the neighborhood in the area? How near or far is the nearest train or bus station? How old is the property? What is the average monthly utility costs of homeowners in the area?

Talk to real estate owners and attend first-time homebuyer seminars. Research, research, research and study, study, study. This way, you’ll know what you’re really getting into. Get more homebuying tips here.

6. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.

There is no harm in trying. Don’t be shy and just try to negotiate the price of the property with your agent. Who knows, maybe you can get that special discount. Remember: They won’t make money unless you close that deal.

7. Don’t rush.

You’re excited to get that dream home of yours – there’s no question about that. But don’t be afraid to take your time in evaluating all your choices. Take note also that some real estate developers are willing to extend their sale promos for clients who are really interested to purchase their property.

Just don’t rush and make sure that you’re getting the best value for your hard-earned money.

kl1-200x200Kathlyn dela Cruz is ZipMatch’s Content Development Coordinator. A journalism graduate from the University of the Philippines, she first ventured into news writing for one of the country’s leading news networks before jumping into real estate marketing. She has been reading and writing all her life.

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Avoid losing money, wasted time and effort caused by buying foreclosed properties that have too many problems, with our free 60-item Property Due Diligence Checklist. Grab your free copy now.

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6 thoughts on “7 Smart Moves for First-time Homebuyers”

  1. sir jay,
    tanung lng po newbie po here, for example po nakabili ako ng foreclosed properties na worth 500k cash, meron pa bo akong ibang babayaran maliban po dun sa 500k na property? tuald ng amilyar, capital gain tax?

  2. Hi Sir Jay,

    Thank you for the valuable inputs here. I am currently researching and reading blogs to equip me in my decision and your blog is of great help to start. I am getting married next year and we are thinking of getting our own place, either to get a pre-selling condo or a foreclosed property given that we have a limited budget for this and we want a 2-BR unit because my 2 sisters will be staying with us. We actually plan to construct our own house probably 10 years from now in our province in Batangas since my husband to be owns a lot there. We are just staying here in Manila for my work. Is my assessment correct that it is better to get a foreclosed condo unit near my workplace rather than a pre-selling condo given that we know we will not be staying in the unit for a long time. I am currently renting a condo near the workplace and I feel that the monthly rent I’m paying is wasted and would be put to better use if the property is our own. Hoping you’ll notice my concern and would give your valuable advise. Thank you so much sir and God bless you more! 🙂

    • Hi Eycee, I’m happy you are “doing your homework” before deciding on getting your own place, and congratulations and best wishes with your upcoming wedding!

      As to getting a foreclosed condo versus renting, you really have to consider the total cost you will incur (downpayment, repairs, monthly payments, taxes, etc) before you can decide which is better.

      Renting is not really a total waste if it fulfills your need (a place near your work) at the least cost. Take note, if you buy a property, and you get financing, a huge part of your monthly payment will go to interest, and that can also be considered a waste, unless it is about the same as renting, and you can handle the upfront costs.

      Let the numbers help you decide. Good luck and God bless you too!

  3. In addition to the conditions mentioned above,one very important aspect is the age of the home buyer. Very seldom nowadays would one find a cash buyer,most of them are made thru loans either in banks or gov’t institutions like SSS or Pag-ibig.The amount of monthly amortization depends on the period of time the loan is payable which ranges from a maximum of 20-25 years or until the borrower reaches the age of retirement. So,if the buyer is applying for a 25 years term of housing loan,his/her age should be 35 or lower.


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