Everybody dreams of buying a house. However, nobody anticipates how hard it is to find one until they start looking for a property. As buying the wrong home can lead to a lot of financial trouble, buyers need to know what to look for in a property.
How to Find Houses for Sale
The easiest way to find properties for sale is to look online. Facebook, among other social media networks, is a rich source of related information. You don’t even need to search for it using relevant keywords like “best homes in Metro Manila” or “best homes in Cavite,” your timeline will be flooded with sponsored posts as soon as your clicks show interest in real properties. That’s because websites like Facebook have powerful cookies that store and analyze your browsing data, all on auto-pilot, which means these “bots” perform all by themselves, that is, without need for human intervention.
Another way of finding properties for sale, especially if one is on a rush, is visit property listing websites like Lamudi, dotproperty, or the newest star on the block, “GlobalPinoyHomes.com.”
When buyers see a listing they like, they should contact the real estate agent responsible for the listing. If the property is still available, the agent should be able to arrange a viewing (or tripping).
For foreclosed properties, almost all banks post the properties they are selling on their respective websites. Pagibig publishes the properties that are up for auction almost twice a month. All buyers need to do is contact the bank that owns the property, or visit Pagibig at its head office in Mandaluyong City in the case of Pagibig foreclosed properties.
What to Look for in a House
Listed below are some of the basic things that buyers need to consider when they are viewing homes or real estate properties.
Where is the house located? The location of the home is very important as buyers may not want a long commute to work every day. Homeowners may not want to drive a long way to get to work, school or a store. However, for work at home buyers, access to communication and road networks, like internet service providers, might suffice. At any rate, availability of public transport and proximity to expressways are of high value to most buyers. For offline entrepreneurs, proximity to commercial hubs and densely populated neighborhoods is likewise important.
There are those who, especially if they maintain fat bank accounts, are motivated in buying a new property for purely investment reasons. Meaning, they do not plan to relocate and live in their new properties at least in a few years’ time. They might be thinking of reselling it in 3 to 5 years, doubling their money in that short span of time. (Remember, like those of jewelries, the monetary value of land, which is a key component of real estate properties, hardly depreciates. Unless flooding or some freaky volcanic eruptions sink them, land values always appreciate, of course some at faster rates than others.) Or they may just rent them out until a family member marries and raise his or her own family. In the meantime, that family member while going through college may need an apartment or condo unit that is within walking distance of the school their children are enrolled in.
In buying properties for investment, a key question would be: Is the area the home or property is located in highly coveted? Certain suburbs, neighborhood or locations are popular for a reason. They may be close to the city, have a low crime rate, access to transport and communication networks, within a community without freeloaders, or be near something desirable like a beach. All other features being equal, house and lot and other real estate properties in these areas tend to be expensive.
Land values, and housing units built in provinces outside of Metro Manila are relatively cheaper. But this should not be true for a much longer of time. With a flurry of government infrastructure projects, especially airports in Bulacan and in Cavite, along with a massive upgrading of road networks, that is now going on in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces, land values in those areas are seen a doubling in a few years time as well.
Buyers with children may want a home in a good school district. This explains why housing developers invest in locations where they are close to schools and similar facilities. When this is not possible, developers set aside portions of the land for development for construction of schools as well as places of worship within the developed area, subdivision or village.
Being close to police precincts can save costs, freeing homeowners from maintaining guards and/or peacekeeping personnel. At any rate, most housing development projects consider security as priceless and is therefore a necessity. Measures include providing fences and gates, CCTVs, along with the services of security guards around the clock, 24/7.
Aside from security, physical well being of homeowners is a priority objective for prospective buyers. Gym, playgrounds, open spaces, and provision for biking and jogging satisfy this need.
Features and conditions
For RFO (Ready for Occupancy) or preselling homes, buyers can easily get information on house features–eg, lot area, floor area, number of bedrooms, carports, etc– from sales agents. Is the home big enough? Couples may be fine buying a smaller home or apartment. Families with more than one children will need a bigger home.
Needless to say, units with bigger or more expansive features mean a corresponding uptick on their selling price.
For foreclosed properties, a basic consideration would be looking at the condition of the structures. In an ideal world, the buyer would not have to sink money into expensive renovation. Are there any signs of rot or rodent infestation?
In all cases, there is need to determine if a house for sale offers safe and practical use. For instance, a family with an elderly grandma may not want a home with lots of stairs.
Where will the homeowner park their vehicle/s? If the house does not have a garage, he or she may be forced to park on the road. What are the outdoor areas like? Those with children or pets may want a big yard. In this situation, a fully fenced outdoor area would be desirable.
How to Buy Houses for Sale
If a buyer likes a property, there are a few recommended steps, depending on its status or type. For RFO and preselling houses, the sales agent can help the buyer at each step of the buying process. The selling price of a unit or property is known to the buyer, and he or she can only take it or leave it. The price cannot be negotiated. However, preselling units, all other property features being equal, are cheaper than RFO units. In all cases, those who opt to pay intallment, payment for downpayment usually takes 12 to 24 months. For RFOs, it usually takes less time to move in, provided a certain amount of downpayment and related fees has been paid.
For foreclosed properties, buyers are often encouraged to make an offer on the home. Banks or Pagibig sell properties on an “as-is-where-is” basis. Buyers need to exercise due diligence before making a decision.
Terms can be different when the buyer who is interested in directly buying a property from a home or property owner, who may make an offer that is conditional on the property passing a building inspection. A building inspection is when an inspector or appraiser visits a home and looks for problems such as rot or structural damage. This inspection may cost a few hundred, maybe a few thousand, pesos. But those who are reluctant to pay this should keep in mind that fixing structural damage could cost many times more. In the case that there is something wrong, the buyer can inform the homeowner. The homeowner might reduce the sale price or fix the problem. This is
all part of the negotiation process. Buyers should anticipate having to bargain with the homeowner when they start looking for houses for sale.
Many of the banks are offering home loans in aggresive ways not seen before. For buyers assisted by a sales agent, processing of bank documents is usually part of the sales agency service. For those who are not assisted by agents, help can be requested by emailing [email protected]
As a general rule, prospective buyers (may include co-borrowers, such as their respective spouses or partners) need to show proof that their monthly gross income is at least 350 percent of the monthly amortization payments. For example, if the monthly amortization for a unit is Php 15,000, then the buyer must be earning a monthly gross income of at least Php 52,000.