Smart Investments: Questions to Ask Yourself When Asking Whether You Should Buy a House or a Car First


“I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.” –Warren Buffet


Now that you have graduated from college, you have your whole life ahead of you. With this in mind, you have quite a lot of plans as to what you should do with your life.

So right off the bat, you have landed a good and stable job that pays you quite well every month. In this regard, you have saved quite enough and think you are ready for your first investment. Considering that you have been saving some money for quite a while, you think you have sufficient money for your first significant investment which can only be one of two things: A car or a home. Most individuals in their early or mid-twenties would probably invest in a car seeing as majority of them still live with their parents. Moreover, having your own car gives you certain bragging rights by showing it off wherever you go—which is what young individuals aare aiming for: temporary satisfaction.

However, there are also some individuals who wish to become a homeowner and live a life separate from their parents. By now, they have probably scoured every possible property they can afford—from the units of Avida Towers Centera to the ones in Avida Asten. However, where should your money go? To a new house or a new car? Well, this is no easy question to answer and it all really boils down to what sort of pecuniary circumstance you are in as well as what your needs are.

There is no doubt that quite a lot of people would advise you to invest in a home first seeing as it would only appreciate over time whereas a car would not. While this sentiment is credible and would hold true in the long term, most working professionals would end up buying both a home and a car. So, what is the real difference if you simply bought one now as in the end, you will probably have enough money for both? In this regard, we can say that it is not really a question of which is best for long term investment but rather which should be purchased first. If you are on the hedge, the questions below might help you arrive at a decision:

How long will your current car last?

If you decision to buy a new car is solely based on your current car’s life expectancy then have a competitive mechanic take a look at it and give you a rough estimate. If it does not last you for more than five years, ask if there are any cheap repairs you can do to increase it. Moreover, are these repairs worth the money based on the car’s overall worth?


Will your overall living expenses be cheaper before or after you purchase a house?

If you wish to live independently, pay your own bills and have a life away from your familial home then no doubt, you should purchase your own flat. However, if you had been renting prior to this purchase, weigh your options first. Will the overall cost be significantly cheaper? Remember, you may effectively be getting rid of paying rent but in its place you would have to pay insurance, mortgage, utilities as well as homeowner’s taxes.


If you bought a house now, how long would it take you to save enough cash to purchase a car? (Vice Versa)

Both the car and the home are inevitable purchases in life. What you need to do is ask yourself how much money you can comfortably afford to set aside each month in order to buy one of the two.


Image Source




Fabulous First Homes: Three Major Must-Haves for Your First Home


“If you have not found it yet, keep looking. Do not settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know it when you find it.” –Steve Jobs


A home is a keystone of financial wealth and stability—so much so that an ordinary Filipino would spend majority of his or her life saving for the first home. Whether this may be a starter home or a condo unit in Bonifacio Global City is up to them, but one thing is for sure: it is one of the most (if not the only) significant investments a Filipino individual will ever make in his or her life. However, more often than not, a potential homebuyer can get too excited about the prospect of finally owning his or her own home that they would often get much too focused on the main goal and pay little attention to the other details and aspects worthy of their attention. Unfortunately, this can be a serious oversight as these prospective homebuyers, in their rush and excitement to finally own a home, would end up buying the first home that first their budget.

Whether this is a good or bad thing largely depends on what the homeowner is looking for. However, as a responsible homebuyer, it is your duty to be a little discerning and meticulous about the features of your first home apart from what it could potentially offer you. In this regard, you should know what constitutes as a good first home as not only will this predict a home’s longevity, it would also dictate its resale value. If you have decided to finally purchase your first home, here are some key elements and features you should be looking for:

An affordable price tag

Unless you have been gifted with an exorbitant trust fund that you can spend on building your first home, an affordable price tag should be the foremost feature you should be paying attention to. First homes should be affordable and with good reason. Remember, you are buying to live not to invest. So, unlike a trade-up buyer, you do not have any equity to roll into the purchase of your next home. In this regard, the financial aspects of buying a first home such as the down payment would be the initial concern of the homebuyer.

A house for the next ten years

Longevity should also be a consideration when it comes to your first home. Remember, you are going to be staying here a lot longer than you might think. Buy a home that would not only accommodate the family you have now, but the one you intend on having for the next ten years. In this regard, it would be best if you and your partner would talk about how many kids you are planning to have so that you can plan how many bedrooms your first home should ideally have.

Ideal location

To you, saying location is key might be long tired. But in your first homes, this should be an elementary feature. After all, you do not want to raise your kids in a bad neighborhood nor would you want to commute for hours to an end just to get to work. Indeed, location is paramount when it comes to choosing your first homes. Look for neighborhoods with well-maintained yards and where you can see a good community. Talk to your potential neighbors and ask about the neighborhood’s pros and cons. Get as much information as you can. After all, choosing where you live is a pivotal decision. So, you might as well choose the best place that is within your budget for you and your family.

Image SourceImage Source

Home Buying: What Kind of Homebuyer are You?


“If I were asked to name the benefit of the house, I should say the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, and the house allows one to dream in peace.”-Gaston Bachelard

Just as there are different types of houses, so is there a diverse set of homebuyers one would encounter in their lives—especially when you are in the real estate industry wherein you deal with these sorts of clients every single day. However, determining what kind of home buyer you are, should not be the job of your real estate agent but yours as well. After all, identifying the type of home buyer you are would significantly narrow down your options when it comes to choosing homes and would make the entire process a lot easier, simpler, more streamlined and straightforward. Furthermore, having an awareness of the sort of buyer you are would enable you to find out not only what you need and suits you, but what befits your budget as well.

So, before you zero in on a Makati Condo for sale, try to assess what kind of buyer you are first. In any case, below is a list of descriptions about homebuyers out there. Take a gander at them and see if any of them best describe you before you take that plunge in buying real estate:

1.) Move-in Ready

At a moment’s notice, you can move in. As a consequence, it is only natural for you to wish to move in as soon as possible. You are dead set on an immediate move-in—so much so that you do not really have the luxury of time to wait. In fact, you would much rather look for a home that is already built than wait several months to have it erected and built from the ground. If you find yourself relating to this kind of buyer, check full-furnished properties where all you would really need to do is move-in sans the shopping (or shipping) of furniture. Before deciding to move out, prepare a list of what you must have in your home so that have an idea where you will commence your search.

2.) Fixer-upper lover

You are the type of homeowner who has an ardent proclivity for making dilapidated properties look fresh and new again. In fact, you are never deterred by any renovation, reconstruction, and maintenance work. If anything, they challenge and motivate you to try out some new ideas. If you have a penchant for home improvement projects and find that kind of work ensnaring, then you would most likely fall for a fixer-upper kind of house. If you can relate to these, scour your location for some foreclosed properties that might appeal to you. However, do not forget to create a grand master plan to aid you in creating the final look for your home.

3.) Tiny House Hunter

You love adopting a minimalist lifestyle that you are hardly bothered by houses of diminutive size. In fact, you find them subtly charming and a lot easier to decorate and style. You do not wish to spend so much money on extra space you probably will never need and merely make do with what available space you can. Moreover, you love redecorating now and then and you find it easier to do when you are living in a tiny home. If you are this type of homebuyer, perhaps finding a studio-type condo would be your best choice. After all, you have everything you need just in a single room.

4.) Life-time Buyer

Starter homes are a thing of the past, and you no longer feel like it is something you should be investing in—especially since you are starting to grow out your family. You want a home that would last you—not only for years but until your retirement and when your hair eventually turns grey. If you are this kind of buyer, check for properties that are strategically situated near business districts, entertainment hubs and schools as well to ensure the optimal growth and development of your family.

Image Source

Buying a Condo? Here are Five Things to Consider

“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth.”

Condominium living has been somewhat of a trend in the Philippines wherein you can find one in almost every nook and cranny of the major cities. Indeed, there are a lot of merits to living in condominiums—especially for perpetually busy Filipinos who long for a more convenient lifestyle. After all, it is a well-known fact that condominium projects and developments pride themselves upon the expedient living they offer to their residents. Living in condos has been associated with an ease of access to most establishments, offices, and entertainment hubs. However, what encourages a prospective condominium buyer to close a deal apart from the practical lifestyle it affords? Well, for most condominium unit buyers, the price would either be a driving factor or a major concern. Unfortunately, if buying a condo unit is in your plans, this should not be the sole consideration you have to make.

A condo unit’s price, albeit a paramount consideration to most condominium buyers, should not be the only consideration. Focusing on this aspect alone might lead you to make bad investments that you would regret soon after. In any case, if you have been eyeing a condominium unit in Avida Asten or wherever, here are some of the other things you should consider:

1.) Location

What good would a condominium unit be if it is located smack dab in the middle of nowhere? If this is the case, it would likely defeat its purpose of being an alternate residency considering living on the outskirts of the city does not offer many conveniences. Apart from that, you should also consider the general safety of the area where your condo is located. Moreover, the location of your condo unit significantly affects the potential price appreciation. So, if you are looking to sell your condo anytime in the future, the location would be a pivotal aspect.

2.) Track record and reputation of the developer

Today, most condominium developers offer their condos at the pre-selling stage in order to sufficiently finance the completion of the project. If you have thought of buying a condo at its pre-selling stage, it would be best if you took a look at the reputation of the developer. This will ensure whether the finished property would be of good quality and if it would be turned over as scheduled.

3.) Parking

Contrary to what most condo buyers believe, parking lots do not come with the unit. You buy them separately, and they can be quite expensive. Condo units by themselves are already expensive, and if you added the price of a parking space with that, it could easily set you back by at least 500K pesos more. If you require parking space, then this should be a primary concern. Furthermore, parking lots appreciate in value and should you not be using them; they can be used to generate extra income.

4.) Population density and amenities sharing

One of the features a condominium has that would entice buyers to close a deal with them is their array of amenities. The more amenities a condo has, the pricier it would be. Basic amenities would include a swimming pool, function rooms, children’s playground, and the gym among others. Before deciding on which condominium to buy, you should assess whether the number of amenities offered corresponds to the price you would pay. Apart from this, you should consider if you would be able to take advantage of the facilities adequately while having to share it with a significant number of neighbors.

5.) Rules and Regulations

Not all condos have the same set of rules. For example, one condominium development might be rigidly strict about having no pets allowed in the units while there are some that can be a bit more flexible. Apart from this, some condos impose strict regulations on what you can modify and alter inside your unit. These are all things you have to consider especially if you intend on making the unit your primary residence as you have to ensure the rules imposed would sit well with you.

Image Source

What You Need to Know When House Hunting

Make things easier with a checklist. Whether you are looking at bungalows in a subdivision in Bulacan or a townhouse in Quezon City, narrowing your options when choosing your next abode will make the selection process easier and quicker.

When house hunting, buyers often focus on the exterior and interior design rather than the functionality of the structure. Others prioritize the price of the house and lot because of the economic and financial aspects. Having a checklist will help balance what’s important and what is necessary.

It’s easy to get swept by the newest trends in architecture and real estate. House agents and brokers can be very persuasive. With a checklist in hand, you can stay right on track. Below are few pointers to guide you in completing the list.


Source of electricity

volt, resistor, electricity, power source, home

Electricity and gas should be the first thing on your list. Some important questions to answer are:

  • How many sockets are in each room? Are there conveniently positioned?
  • Do all electrical sockets work?
  • Are there any interferences to electricity sources?
  • What alternative sources can you use in case the main power goes off?

If all of these are answered clearly by the seller or agent then it’s worth to consider the house. But other than the central electricity source, it’s worth noting how gas can be utilized in the space. Where can you store the gas cylinder? Does the house rely on LPG or petroleum to run the central heating? Is the heating system working properly? These things are equally important as they can also save your wallet.


Water source and plumbing

water, water source, faucet, wash, fork

When you are planning to move to an area with a limited supply of water, ask where the water came.

Live in a place that is comfortable, not worry about water rotations and rationing. Do some research and survey the area if their supply is stable. It may not be an issue now, but it can be in the future. Look years ahead before settling in a location.

As soon as you find no interruption with water supply, check the plumbing. Inspect the fixtures and pipes for noises, leaks and weak spots. Rusty pipes and fixtures are more likely to appear in aged houses, so pry the previous homeowner of the house’s history. Consulting a professional plumber for a second opinion is also advisable.

Hot water and bathtubs are additional features in Filipino homes, but newly-built houses often have these. Make sure the water heater still works properly and is connected to all water lines. The bathtub shouldn’t be clogged and the bathroom should be well-ventilated. It better to have a bathroom with a window. If that isn’t the case, choose one with an exhaust fan.


Lot and Surrounding Area

neighborhood, urban development, neighbors, safety

Take into consideration the land area of your property – yard and side gutter included. The house might check everything on the list but if the gutters and drains are clogged, just forget it. It may cost you more because you did not consider the water damages caused by the blocked waterways.

If you’re on the scrimping side, consider the spread of the yard and the garden work. The lot may have a landscape that is high maintenance. The yard may have expensive turf that needs water more than your family does. Do you really need those? Think about it.

When scouring the exteriors, watch out for signs of decay and rot in woodwork.

Consequently, the surrounding area and neighborhood play a huge part in your everyday life. Living close to the places you frequent (school and work place) and facilities like hospitals, banks, and retail stores make life easier.

Communities accessible through different modes of transportation are much ideal than places exclusive for private vehicles. Best of all, choose a location that fits you and your family’s lifestyle.

Remember, a safe community is always a priority.

If you’ve been to a couple of houses visits, take note of the details that fit the details listed above. The next time you view a house, bring the list and compare if they have the potential to be your new home. Buying a property is a decision that should be hastened, so come with an open mind, inspect the structure thoroughly and compare your notes. Do not hesitate to ask questions about the house. Most of all, trust your judgment on deciding the perfect home.

What You Need To Know When Buying a Luxury Property


Every one of us dreams of living in a luxury home, right? Who wouldn’t like that? When it comes to choosing the right home for us, we would always go to a place where we feel happy, satisfied and be proud of. Of course, whether you are living in Ayala Land Condominium Taguig or any other Philippine properties, you can feel comfortable when you have the right atmosphere in your home.

But if you are a kind of person who cares about his/her welfare, then investing in a luxury home would a good idea for you to make. Obviously, we are not talking here about investing in a million or billion worth of property. I’m sure, not all of us can afford. A luxury home is not just about its elegance and value, it also implies who comfortable and satisfied you are with your home. To give you an idea, below are some qualities you should invest to have a luxury home on your own.

Invest in a property from a trusted developer

Never invest in a property where its foundation is not strong enough. Before deciding to have that particular property, make sure you know who the developer is, to make sure that they can be trusted when it comes to the building’s firm foundation. Moreover, you will feel at ease knowing that the place where you live will not easily be destroyed when it comes to earthquakes and any other accidents.

Invest in a property that promises a high rate of long-term returns

Since people living in the Philippines has a high purchasing power, and a growing market for health and wellness traveler, the demand of the luxury properties are also growing, and high demand for luxury properties is increasing. That means the value of each property would also increase each year. And if you are one of those people who would like to invest in a luxury home, this is now the time for you to invest. You don’t know, the value of the properties next year would increase which makes it hard for you to afford such.

Invest in a property that you will like and enjoy.

Don’t ever decide to invest in a property for the sake of having one. Of course, you don’t want to regret the choice you made, right? That is why, before anything else, you have to make sure that you know what you want when it comes to the features of the property you would like to have. Moreover, investing in a property of your choice is one of the many ways you can feel happy and fulfilled. Of course, investing in a property can also be one of your successes in life.

The property should have the capability to earn even while you sleep

Some of us here would like to invest in a particular property to make some extra income. Well, talking about renting it out. Of course, this is also one of the many ways you can take advantage of the property that you have. As an investor, you also have to make sure that it is not just about you, liking the place. Make sure that any people who would like to rent your unit can also feel happy and satisfied with the quality of service and facilities available around. With that, tenants would love to stay longer in your place.

The property should come with a solid investment plan

Always remember that owning a home is an investment. That means, you have to make sure that you are what you will not go to waste. Yes, if you are not careful enough in choosing the right property, there are tendencies that the management is not that capable in giving their clients the best facilities and services they have. As a result, you definitely might not like living in such place.

Image Source

For OFWs: Top 4 Crucial Things to Learn When Buying a Home in the Philippines

“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth.” – Theodore Roosevelt, U.S president

Whether you realize it or not, the rapid growth of OFW homebuyers is increasing. Of course, investing in their own home is one of the things they want to do to make sure that they have a secure and nice future. Sad to say, not all OFW knows about home buying process in the Philippines. As a result, they regret investing in a real estate.
Well, if you are one of those OFWs who wish to have their own home, then you should know at the least the basics of real estate. Whether you plan to invest in a pre-selling condo in Manila or any real estate in the Philippines, you should know what to do to make sure that you will get the right home for you. And to avoid such unfortunate scenarios, below are some of the things you should know to achieve the desired outcome of your home buying process.

Research, research, research

Do not ever decide to choose and buy a particular property if you don’t know anything about it at all. Of course, before you can choose one, you should also know what kind of property that you are going to invest. If you think that you are still not satisfied with the quality of property that you have found online, then you should do your research more. With that, you will eventually find a good and suitable place for you. You just have to be patient in searching.

Return home or work with a trusted representative

There are a lot of OFWs who invest in a home even if they are not around in the country. With that, there might be unwanted situations that may arise. To avoid such, there is a need for you to return home or work with a trusted representative. Of course, you have to since it will definitely be difficult to transact real estate investments when you are out of the country. However, if you think that you still can’t go back home, then the best way to ensure that the investment is in good hands is to work or hire a broker. With that, it will be easier for you to achieve your desired home.

Value for money

As an OFW, even if you have the budget intended for your home, you should also consider other expenses. That means you need to choose a property which you can afford to have. Moreover, even if you can afford such property, there might be other add-ons that you don’t know. That is why you also have to make sure that you know every single detail of the transaction process. That is also for you to know what is already going on with your investments.

Find a reliable and reputable developer

There are a lot of real estate developers in the Philippines; you might not recognize some of them. Making sure of your investments also means making sure who you trust. Placing your trust to a developer who you don’t know anything at all, then this might jeopardize your real estate investments. When you choose a designer who is well-known with a good reputation, then you will definitely have a brighter side of your future.

If you are one of those OFWs, when you know the basic of real estate process, you will eventually realize that investing such is not as hard as you think it is. Of course, making sure that everything is going smoothly is a must for you to do.

Image Source