Real Estate Advice For First Time Home Buyers

There will be a point in our lives that we feel the need of buying our home. It comes with age, and for some, it comes with the need. Singles may not feel the need like how it is for married couples or family starters. Sometimes or probably most of us it’s in our to do list. And when we are a bit comfortable with our finances we hit the road or browse online to start looking for our dream home.

We interviewed some of our realtors and asked them for advice for our first time home buyers. This tips may greatly help you in preparing to buy a property that you can call your home.

BUDGET. Check your finances when you’re planning to purchase a home. It is also one of the first questions a realtor will ask you, “How much is your working budget?”.

In the Philippines, if you can’t pay for a spot cash, you can pay it through installment through bank financing loan. You will first pay the reservation fee then equity and then the bank or PAGIBIG loan financing. Setting your budget will narrow down your choices of the available housing projects in the country. It should be attainable for you in a long-term plan most especially during the times when your paying for equity and your monthly rental at the same time. It should not sacrifice you or your families basic needs like food, education and the likes.

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HOUSE PREFERENCE. Decide whether you need a condo unit or a house and lot. I for one would ask this to a client. Your house preference would vary, whether it suits your needs and lifestyle.

WORK WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT or BROKER. Since this is your first time, Real estate agents and brokers have more experience when it comes to choosing a home. Working with them will help you choose the property that is best for you. They can also assist you to do a financial health check and aid you in figuring out how to afford the property that you have been eyeing.

LOCATION. Make sure you know where you wanted to buy. Consider location, whether it’s near your school or office, is it up a hill, is it frequently flooded, are there public transportation available and a lot more. REB Michelle Grafe advised first time home buyers to “Check whether the environment is peaceful, secure and accessible.”

TAKE TIME FOR VIEWINGS or SITE TOURS. Other people call it OPEN HOUSE. For first time home buyers, make sure you do site inspections of the house models, the subdivision, and its amenities. Check the view, and it’s surrounding area. Is it too noisy? Does the road look dangerous? If you are buying a brokerage home (meaning a resell, 2nd hand, not built for you originally) make sure you do a visit because a picture and a video of the property may look very nice but tells a different thing when you see it in your own eyes. For pre-selling projects (to build) however, you will be able to visit the replica or model units. It’s usually dressed-up to give you an idea on how you can maximize the unit. It is usually on the site of the project or for condominiums it’s typically in the developers’ office. When you’re on-site, imagine how it feels to live there. Include your family in decision making, bring them to the site tour too.

DECIDE when to start.  That also means when to reserve the property and when to start paying for the property. Why is it needed? Because for all we know a particular part of the family budget or family money allocated to the property. As a first time home buyer, it is best that you are all ready to buy before starting the scout for a house.

DISCIPLINE. Buying a home takes a lot of discipline, most especially during the payment period. If you’re not buying it in full cash, there will be a scheduled payment for the house, make sure you are on schedule or ahead of it. A majority of the developments would require post-dated checks, and if checks bounce due to insufficient funds, it may cripple the entire budget for the house. Thus discipline should be strictly observed. Some may cut some extra activities, some may cut out shopping or a trip to the coffee shop to meet the schedules, either how you’d do it, just make sure you keep your account active and updated.

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It is fearsome to commit to a six digit or 7 digit properties most especially for first time home buyers, but with discipline and proper planning in buying a house, you will be able to get your desired home. As a financial adviser and property consultant at the same time, I usually advise my clients or even friends who’re considering buying a house lately and to first time home buyers to;

  • Start saving by setting aside an amount equivalent to the monthly amortization or equity of the property they have been eyeing for and keep it in a bank separate from their regular savings account.

  • Practice paying for that amount by saving it, so you will get the hang of setting it aside for the house.

  • Practice it for 12 to 24 months. And if you are successful in doing it you don’t realize you already saved for equity.

  • Then that’s the time you start looking for a house, go on-site tour and decide.

In that way, you will have the hang of paying for it. It’s one way of making sure that you can afford to pay for such property. If by any chance you failed to pay through saving it in a bank at least consistently you still have your full money intact. You can start the habit all over again until you were able to discipline yourself to complete it. Because once you sign up and reserve a unit, your obligation to continuously pay for it begins. Loans for housing is for long term commitment. It is not like phone plans or cable subscriptions that you can cut anytime you decide. That is why you need to consider these things before buying a home or committing to purchase a home.


Hope this helps you in your home buying journey, most especially for first time home buyers.

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