The Definitive Guide for First-time Home Buyers in the Philippines

13 July 2016

Posted by Jan Enrique Naguiat

These days, home sellers post listings or create websites as digital storefronts to display their property a la shopping gallery. With just a few mouse clicks or screen taps, you can have access to construction specifications, images, and locations of different houses available in the market. Particularly for first-timers, finding the right home is equal parts exciting and tricky. Even with all resources readily available, it is difficult to know exactly what to expect. The road is rough, but by performing a bit of financial homework, fact-finding, and the occasional meet-and-greet with real estate brokers or property specialists, your endeavor should move smoother. Here are some tips to help make your home search easier.


1.) Be familiar with your finances.Consider how much you spend per month versus how much you can fund your purchase. An efficient way to accomplish that is by securing a loan pre-approval. This will serve as your benchmark for how large of a price tag your finances can tackle. Lenders provide sample computations of monthly obligations and interest rates. With that said, you do not need to settle on the first one you encounter if you feel unsatisfied with the numbers presented. Seek other creditors to find options with lower fixed rates, which you will have less difficulty with. On a side note, take into account some pre-booking fees for appraisal, processing, registration, etc., when applying. Proper banking or lending guidelines state that monthly amortization should be around 30 to 40 percent of your gross income as this is not the only expense you will have. There will be taxes, insurance, association dues, and regular maintenance costs.


2.) Prospect and refine your choices. Experiment with the 10-3-1 rule, starting with a list of 10 different properties. Set a criteria of your needs and wants before moving on. Where do you want to live? Can your pre-approved loan cover the purchase? Do you prefer a single attached unit or a townhouse? After considering these factors, visit and inspect your top three choices. If this can’t be done, a good alternative is getting in touch with the seller or their representative to find out as much as you can about the unit and its location. Remember at this point you will be choosing your permanent home, so avoid deciding haphazardly. Evaluate your options by making a list of the pros and cons of buying each unit.


3.) Find helping hands. You are not obliged to be alone in home hunting, so it is perfectly all right to seek assistance when needed. Anytime you feel lost in the buying process, real estate brokers and property specialists will be able to answer most, if not all, of your inquiries. Have a list of questions ready regarding the history of the property, its building materials, and the amenities offered. Furthermore, acquaint yourself with the neighborhood. Be informed on how heavy the traffic is during rush hours or if floods are an issue.


4.) Inspect.Allow at least a day to view prospective homes or model homes. There are details that a photo cannot show you. Remember that you are exploring a home with a first-timer’s eye. Have a checklist of what to watch out for. Is there enough closet space? Is there ample room in the cabinets for kitchen supplies? When visiting a prospective or a model home, don’t just scan around. Utilize your other senses and pay close attention to detail. If time permits, visit the property at different times of the day to observe temperature changes within the property.


5.) Be patient. Buying your first home starts with a dream. Several others before you found themselves discouraged over the course of the buying process. The reality is that many of your expectations may not be met and you may have to accept a few compromises. This should not suggest that you are doomed to settle, though. Don’t feel pressured to purchase something that you will just regret in the future. There are other properties of better quality that may suit you better.


As a general rule, home hunting cannot be rushed. While you may encounter obstacles that derail you, bear in mind that these are all part of the journey. Endure. Everything will be worth it once the keys to your dream home are in the palm of your hands. And as prepared as you may be, at times you may feel puzzled on what to do next. During these times, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Metrostar property broker at (02) 2635885 or For more information, visit


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