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.


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Philippines Real Estate: Things You Need to Know About Buying a Condo 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

In modern Philippines, you would be hard-pressed not to find a condominium tower in major cities. In fact, it may be argued that you can find one (or one about to be erected) in almost every nook and cranny in its biggest metropolis, Metro Manila. Of course, this rising trend of condominium living is to be attributed to the proliferation of these real estate projects. After all, with a Filipino’s perpetually busy lifestyle, living in a condominium unit would not only be convenient but ideal. With this in consideration, the Philippine condominium market remains as robust as ever and shows no signs of slowing down. After all, with the ever-increasing demand, condominium developers must endeavor to address that exigency.

As Manila is rife with individuals seeking condo units (seeing as it is a premier spot for professional and career growth), it would inevitably be area developers would be so keen to develop. Makati, Fort Bonifacio, and Ortigas are three prime spots where condominium units are the most prevalent. However, with a myriad of options to select from, buying a condo can easily get tricky. How can you ensure that the unit in two serendra is ideal for you? Is there any way of knowing whether the property in question would make a sound investment? While there is no telling for sure, it would be best if you armed yourself with information as regards the property you are looking to buy.

Otherwise, here are a few things you should consider to help you decide where you should put your money:

When in doubt, check the rental yield

Experts in real estate would argue that rental yield is a paramount criterion for real estate investment—and they are right. The Asian average is around 4.2%, but this number is nothing in comparison to those of Metro Manila where rental yields are at an all-time high. Manila is a prime spot for condominium investment as investors can expect a yearly influx of individuals who are looking for condo units to rent—from the students to young professionals.

Consider those places that are near to BPO offices, central business districts, techno-hubs and significant developments as these will be driving factors in raised rental yields.

When looking for condominium units to invest in, consider smaller units

Most individuals looking for a condo unit to rent would hardly be looking for a full-blown condominium complete with three rooms, a suite, and a rather spacious bedroom. Considering as they will mostly be living alone, renting a big condo unit would not only be impractical but unnecessary as well. Save for a few exceptions, it has been determined that the rental demand for one-bedroom and studio type units are higher than two-bedroom units and up—most especially in developments in or in proximity to central business districts.

This is because most potential condominium tenants would likely be looking for only enough space for themselves only making the extra rooms extraneous. So, instead of investing on condos with big spaces and some rooms, choose the single unit ones.

In sum

If you are looking to invest in real estate in the Philippines, breaking ground with condominium units is an excellent way to start. Condominium units are known for their affordability and high rental yields as compared to the Asian average. Select premier areas where the working and student population remains the highest. Furthermore, choose properties in proximity to business districts, schools and BPOs and you are guaranteed a good investment.

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Resolutions to Make to Finally Afford A New Home



Being perpetually connected online and on social media would have us all aware of some of our friend’s #goals. And while we are browsing through it, we cannot help but compose a few of our own. Some of us–most especially millennials have reached a certain point in our age wherein we need to be financially responsible and accountable for everything we spend for. We may have dreams and material longings that pale in comparison to the bigger picture and that is to invest in things that only increase in value over time or perhaps, are essential for our day to day living.

One of the things you could wisely put money on is to invest in a home you can truly call your own. Unfortunately, though, the typical Filipino offspring stays in the family home until a certain time that he or she gets married. Though true, this fact should not detract the value of investing on your dreams of having your own flat–besides, when you do get hitched, would it not be better if you contributed to the share of the pecuniary burden of financing your new home with your spouse?

Though certain sacrifices must be made, it is imperative that for you to accomplish the goal of finally affording a new home, you should never lose sight of the prize or why you began in the first place. Remember, a home is quite a big purchase and because it is so, your material renunciations might be a bit more substantial, but you will be very much rewarded accordingly. So, if you want to incorporate some changes into your spending lifestyle so that you can finally afford that new home then take a gander at the list below.

1.) Consider buying smart

There are inevitable expenses that each and every single one of us incurs. Common necessities would include food, electricity, water, appliances and etc. Spending for the items that are essential to our daily living is something we could not negotiate with when it comes to finances, but in order to preclude needless spending, you can easily compromise by buying smart. This means that instead of eating out every weekend, you opt to stay in and eat at home, save your leftovers for future meals and instead of buying cheap appliances that break down easily, you invest in more expensive ones but are likely to last longer. You may be spending more money currently, but you will save yourself from the mountainous bills of repairs.

2.) Grab the opportunity to have a second job

Purchasing a home in these times can come rather costly and if you have not saved enough even for just the down-payment, it can be rather easy to forgo the goal of having a new home. If this is the case, now is the time that you may want to consider having a second job which is manageable and would not in any way interfere with your main job. Channel your inner writer by taking a freelance writing job, or perhaps you are a talented photographer at heart, should you have the gear, you can host photo shoot sessions for a reasonable price. The possibilities of you earning money are endless and you get to enjoy the bonus of earning from your hobby or talent as well.

3.) Let your money move. Invest!

If you have a lot of extra cash stashed just sitting around, you may want to consider having it move by investing it. After all, stagnant money is money that will inexorably lose value. Investing in the Philippines is possible and very much plausible for perpetually busy individuals who do have money stacked away. It can come in many forms such as acquiring investment policies from insurances companies, starting mutual funds, etc.

4.) Avoid unnecessary spending

One thing most millennials have to deal with is having to resist the impulse of buying they can readily see. We live in an age of perpetual commercialization and wherein it does not take much to entice us to part with our money. Social media offers us an avenue for seeing brand new products being advertised, online shopping grants us the convenience and online pay wraps this all up. But before we can get caught up in this entire scenario, we need to ask ourselves if we really do need that new phone, or that pair of pumps when in a couple of years they can only depreciate in value. Remember to cut down the unnecessary spending and to think first of whether the things you are considering to buy will be of any true value for the next couple of years.

Three Ways to Price Your Home like a Pro



Have you been looking for ways to sell your home?

Are you looking for a new and better place to live in?

Are you quite unsure as to the approximate price of your property?

Do you want a price that would be affordable enough to attract potential buyers but reasonable enough to grant you profits?

Or are you just generally having a hard time appraising the value of your property without the help of experts?

If you answered a resounding yes to all of the five questions, then you might want to have a gander at this article. Selling your property is one thing, assessing it for its real value is another. One of the hurdles to bypass when it comes to owners selling their homes is pricing their houses appropriately. This is a known fact considering that homeowners do not have sufficient market knowledge, can be sentimental and rather emotionally attached to their homes. With this being the norm, the conventional route to take when it comes to listing your property on the market is to leave it to the professionals seeing as giving your house the wrong price can cause it to languish in the market. However, this type of knowledge discounts how the DIYers do it: utilize the internet for market and research data that were once only available to professionals. Though evaluating and selling property can be a real taxing job without the assistance of a financial pundit considering that real estate investment in the Philippines may be a bit complicated to dabble in (especially for homeowners who have little to no experience in property appraisal) it is still possible.

It comes with many perks too! If you sell your home without any assistance whatsoever, you would be saving yourself a great deal of money that is usually reserved as commission pay for experts. It may not exactly be an easy task, but pricing it appropriately is crucial as it determines how fast (if at all) your house will sell. Of course, you need to strike a balance as well as if you price it too cheap, you will end up leaving money on the table.
If you are in contemplation as to whether or not you should price your house on your own, here are three tips that may aid you in that endeavor:


Before selling your house, it is a good idea to revisit the past as it is one of the best predictors of the future. In essence, this means that you, homeowners should do sufficient market research to get an approximate gauge of how much the homes in your neighborhood have sold for. There is a superfluity of real estate websites that would offer you tons of market research and would even give you past sale prices. With a deeper understanding of the previous pricing trends around your area, you will have a sense of whether the house prices are either appreciating or depreciating on average.

This is crucial when it comes to prices as when you are in a market where prices are depreciating, you should not get ahead of yourself and price is too high. But if the local market seems to be faring well, then you may as well price it aggressively.


Without a doubt, one of the best tools that will aid you in pricing your property appropriately is inspecting properties of comparable value. Essentially, this means the price that similar homes in your area that have sold for recently. This information is critical as it will determine how much you should price your house for– if you price it higher than comparable properties than you might find your house sitting in the market longer than the rest. To get an accurate comparison of how much you should be pricing your property at, you should find at least three houses in your neighborhood that are similar to yours regarding condition, location, and square footage.

Additionally, when looking at “comparables”, take note of only the houses that have been sold– not those that are currently listed. This will give you an idea of how much potential buyers are willing to pay for a property similar to yours or if your price should be negotiated with.


When it comes to a successful sale, pricing it right and accurately is of utmost importance. With this in mind, it is wise to enlist the help of experts. You may do this by getting an appraisal that would help you determine which price to list your home. Additionally, this will help you check if the price you arrived at after your research is as close as possible to the one appraised.

Another option available is to ask a real estate agent to do a competitive market analysis that would often be a free service they would offer in hopes of landing your business. But if you choose to sell your home on your own, they may ask for a fee to conduct the analysis.

5 Lessons You Can Get From Real Estate Professionals Just By Observing

We do all know selling a product can also be a challenge on our end, how much more when you are selling a property. How will you sell it to your target clients? What kind of approach will you apply to your clients to be interested and engaged with the properties that you have? These might be some simple questions, but definitely a challenging one to achieve. Agree? Unless you are good at sales talking, selling is a piece of cake. However, for some, to grab their clients’ attention can be their worst nightmare.

A lot of you here might have some ideas on how to do real estate transactions, and you might even teach or give some advices to first time homebuyers on what they supposed to do when it comes to their real estate investments. But do you know that you can definitely get some lessons from the real estate professionals without telling and letting you know? Of course, being observant is the key to success!

Being observant doesn’t mean that you are going to stare an hour at the real estate agents. You will know what kind of agent they are when you know how to observe. Well, you can be keen about the way they approach you, talk, walk and even with their facial expressions. With that, below are some of those lessons we get just by observing them.

1. First impression lasts

Ok, let’s admit! One of the most common things that we can immediately observe is by their appearance. There are even times that brokers can immediately steal our attention is because they are handsome and/or pretty. Right? Of course, they are not just selling the products that have; they are also selling their selves. How can they convince their clients when in the first place they are not that convincing to look at? Projecting a good impression on yourself will most likely have a good and satisfying outcome.

2.  Be capable

Once your client is satisfied with the services that you had given to them, they will most likely be your repeat buyer, or even help you get another potential client to invest in the property that you are selling. Addressing their respective concerns is one of the many ways your clients will like you and recommend you to the others. Of course, it is already proven that you are a good and potential real estate agent that is capable of giving the services that they really wanted.

3. Being attentive

Aside from having a good sales talk, you should also be attentive to the concerns of your clients. As much as possible, you know how to address their queries when it comes to the investments that they have made with you. Remember, in a real estate industry, you will have a lot of competitors in the market. Your potential client might be interested on your competitor, since they know how they can help them with the questions that they have than you are. When you are attentive enough with their concerns, you might save their decision and turn their no into a yes.

4.  Be professional with the time

Your clients’ time is one of the crucial things to consider. Yes, we are all busy. However, you must know that respecting your clients’ time can give a great impact to them. There will always be do’s and don’ts when it comes to calling your clients. Most of the potential clients hate it when brokers call them early in the morning and during Mondays. Being keen and considerate with your clients’ time will help them decide whether they want to pursue the investments with you or not.

5.  Be a friend

Your clients are not just your potential buyers; they can also be your friend. With the constant communication and follow-up about their real estate investments with you, you can definitely form a good rapport towards them. Of course, you have to make sure that you are also being professional and friendly at the same time. With that, it is easier for you to get their attention and have their yes in the real estate transactions.

Return of Investment 101: Home Improvement Tip of the Week

There will always be a fun factor when it comes to improving your home. Agree? Of course, you’ve got the chance to apply your ideal home design to your own property. Well, there will definitely be a lot of careful thinking and planning as to what and how you are going to renovate and/or arrange the things inside and outside of your home – and that alone makes it more fun and challenging to do on the part of the homeowners.

A lot of you here, especially homeowners, are into home improvements. While others do the renovation for their own lifestyle, other homeowners do it to for investments. Generally, when they know and learn new ideas, they usually and/or immediately apply their learning in their own home. However for some, they just can’t pull it off. Sometimes, they fail to have a careful plan on what they are supposed to do.

Well, if you are one of those homeowners who have a hard time thinking on just what to do when it comes to home improvement, then you might want to try applying these simple tips on how you can make it a success, and for you to have a higher return of investments. Whether you’re living in a bgc condo or any other real estate property,  you can apply it on your own home.

Tip # 1: If you want to boost your property value, remodel the bathroom

Some of you here might be planning on selling and/or renting your home, or at least in the future. If you do, then you better remodel and improve your bathroom. Bathroom? Yes! Why? Bathroom is where we usually clean ourselves; it is where we want to be refreshed. Of course, it will definitely be more refreshing if your bathroom is nice and cozy enough for you to use.

Moreover, there are already studies that show that most homeowners usually see to it that the ideal bathroom that they want to have will also be in the property that they are going to rent/buy. So, you better meet their expectations!

Tip # 2: Every penny you spend on a new kitchen only increases the value of your home by 50 cents.

Before you decide on what you are going to do when it comes to improving your home, it is a must for you to ask yourself why you are renovating your kitchen in the first place. Why not some other places in your house? Well yes, the kitchen is still part of your home which is why we also need to renovate it. However, unlike tip # 1, focusing on the renovation of your kitchen offers among the lowest return of investment.

The kitchen is not just the only room that most people want to spend the rest of their free time with; there are still other rooms that need to be improved which helps grab the homebuyer’s attention. However, if you are still planning to renovate your kitchen, then you just have to make sure that it will not consume too much of your time, effort and money. You better think on what else you need to improve inside and outside of your home.

Tip # 3: Get a higher return on investment by adding a story, not redoing the basement.

When renovating a home, you don’t just renovate the first floor of it, unless your home is a bungalow type. However, adding up a story on your home is a good idea for you to have a higher return on investment. Most of the times, homeowners are into properties that have two or three stories. Especially when the homebuyers have a lot of families to live with them, they will definitely choose a bigger property.

Moreover, as a home seller, you have the right to place a higher value on your property, especially when you know that your property is worthy to have a higher price. With that, you will definitely not be on a losing end of your investment.

Doing home improvements is not that hard as you think. For as long as you know the process and you know what to do when it comes to the renovation of your house, then you will definitely achieve your desired outcome of investments.

Five (5) Steps To Achieving Financial Independence

Financial independence is generally described as a state of having sufficient personal wealth without having to work actively for basic necessities – necessity such as shelter, food, and clothing. It is basically a way of living where you are not confined to a nine-to-five, full-time job just to sustain your current lifestyle. Achieving this takes time, effort and a whole lot of determination.

financialHere are the basic steps to help you reach that.

  1. Start with goal setting. First and foremost, specify your purpose. How do you see yourself five or ten years from now? Do you aim to get rich or do you want to live just comfortably? List down all your short-term and long-term objectives. As what Napoleon Hill once said: “Strong, deeply rooted desire is the starting point of all achievement.” So get on with your visions, be on track and set those goals now.
  2. Assess your financial situation.  How much are you earning right now? Suppose you do less spending and more saving, up to what point would that take you? How long would you need until you’re near your objective? Do you need to switch jobs? What’s your guarantee that by doing so, you’ll get closer to where you want to be? Evaluate your current position and begin drafting strategies towards resolving obstacles that may hinder your growth financially.
  3. Manage your money wisely. This is where discipline and plans of action come in. What are your biggest expenses and how would you move towards reducing them? Are most of them must-haves or just nice-to-haves? Define their significance to your everyday life. This step is not meant to make you feel like a pauper that you have to save every little penny you earn. It’s all about managing your finances intelligently and making smart choices when it comes to expenditures. Experts say that saving money is a key to financial success. Put aside 10% or more of your earnings and do it as early as you can in your life. Remember Bruce Lee’s words: “Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.”
  4. Ensure that you are out of debt. Most of your efforts would be useless if you are neck-deep with debts. So make sure that you pay them off and eliminate them entirely from the picture. Keep this in mind: “Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.” -Henry Wheeler Shaw
  5. Take the risk and invest. Be a risk-taker and success would be within your hands. A couple of risks that you could take involve investments. One is through owning a property. The real estate industry is one of the best investments in the Philippines. If you would purchase and then put an apartment or a PH house for sale, you could later have it rented thereby giving yourself a monthly income without a sweat. Another is by starting up a business. With today’s technology, internet marketing is proven to be one of the most profitable businesses these days. Once you gain the necessary skills, you could either be a consultant or be your own boss. Whichever investment opportunity you decide, do not forget to always do a thorough research first and educate yourself. Just like what Benjamin Franklin used to say: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”