There’s no magic formula when it comes to buying the right home. There are, however, best practices that can help you get there. In fact, these best practices should turn into habits, somewhat a reflex, so you can easily get past decision dilemmas you may face later on. Here are some of the good habits every home buyer should adopt.
1. Go to open houses or unit viewing
This should be on your list, not just to see actual spaces but also to keep you motivated to find the right home for you. The waiting game on loan approvals and the drudgery of holding off some indulgences to save up can be exhausting, so you need inspiration now and then to press on. When you see beautifully designed homes, it would remind you of your goal and dream of finally getting your own place.
So, go to open houses and unit viewings. If you’re planning to go for homes in the metro, condominiums in Makati like the Proscenium at Rockwell are worth checking out. Remember proper etiquette as you visit homes. Keep your crew to a minimum. Ask permission when taking photos. More importantly, keep the visit short. Don’t stay for an hour or two. You don’t want to annoy the agents.
2. Save up
A house is perhaps the biggest investment you’ll make, so you need to be smarter at managing your finances. You have to save money. To determine how much you have to save up, you have to calculate the costs of home ownership and determine your target date to buy. The money you’ll be saving up should cover the down payment and monthly mortgage payments, at least for the first six months.
Once you determine the cost, divide that up to the number of months you have until the target date. You should be able to keep away that amount each month. How exactly are you going to do that? Two ways: cut down on current expenses or find another source of income. Avoid unnecessary costs, like five cups of Starbucks coffee in a week or family dinners in fancy restaurants every Sunday. Explore online jobs you can do after work or on the weekends.
3. Regroup with your spouse
The home buying process has a lot of moving parts. There’s a document to be signed and approved here. There’s a request to follow up on there. If you’re not careful in tracking your progress, you could miss a deadline here or an opportunity there. So, it’s important to regroup with your spouse at the end of each milestone.
After a condo viewing, sit down and discuss the pros and cons of the property. After meeting with a loan officer, sit down and discuss your finance options. Prioritize communicating with each other. If you’re a solo home buyer though, talk to at least one member in your family, so you could have someone who’d point out your blind spots.
Buying a home is a big life decision, but you can get this right with small changes in your habits. Start adopting these best practices now to get yourself ready for your home sweet home.