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Real Estate / Finding a Home for Your Family
« on: June 04, 2013, 05:36:17 pm »
Hi Moms and Dads...having a house that you and your family can call your own and "home" is every mom and dad's dream. Whether it be a condo or a house and lot, owning a property where you can relax, enjoy and grow your family is among the items in our priority/wishlists.

But buying a property is not same as buying our favorite cologne or the latest tech gadget in the market today. It's not even as close as buying a car or an SUV. Buying a property involves a lot of resources and, hence, requires planning. But do we know what we need to prepare or plan for? What are the factors involved in planning for a house purchase?

I'd like to share my own list of the things we need to take note when planning to purchase a property. There are various aspects in buying a property and being knowledgeable about such aspects will help you make your property buying experience less daunting. What's more, preparation in terms of learning about the things that you need to know will ensure that you get your money's worth.

Know Your Capabilities as a Buyer - The initial step in buying a property is knowing your capability as a buyer. At this stage, it is important to know how much money you have and how much you'll be able to earn and save in the future to cover periodical payments in the future such as amortization payments (in the case of purchase financed through a bank mortgage), periodical tax payments, and property maintenance costs.

Establish a Set of Criteria for the Property You Wish to Acquire - After determining if you are financially capable to purchase a property, you might want to establish a set of criteria for the property you want to buy. Know and decide where you want to buy a property. Set a target in terms of the lot and floor area for your dream property. The important thing here is you establish what you really want. This will help you in selecting the best property for you. It will also save you time and money as you are able to target and concentrate on certain properties that only meet your criteria. There'll be no more wasted time and money in visiting properties that do not meet your standards.

Create Prospects - If you know what you want, you'll know what to look for and you'll know where to look for properties. At this stage, use the criteria you established to identify prospects for your desired property. It is important at this stage to make a list of your prospective properties and then evaluate each property in the list in terms of their relative "strengths" and "desirability" vis-a-vis your established criteria. It is also important at this stage to come up with your shortlist of properties.

Scout the Area Where your Prospective Property is Located - Once you've come up with a shortlist of prospective properties, it is crucial that you visit the property and observe the surrounding community. Check if the area is flood-prone. Go out of your way and conduct a simple research if the area is located in or near a fault zone or other geo-hazard which may make your stay in the area a nightmare. It may also be important to ask around if the area is safe and secured. Also ask yourself if the location of the property is accessible by public transport or not as this may have bearing on your future costs of living.

Know Your Developers - It is a must for you to know the developers responsible for the construction of your prospective properties especially if you are looking at brand new properties. It is not enough for you to go to their offices and look at their track records. Take the extra step. Make sure that you do your own research about your developers. Make use of the plethora of sources which can support your research such as the internet. Visit social media forums. These are good sources of first-hand information with regard to the performance of certain developers.

Check Utilities - It is not enough to ask if there is electricity and water in the area where your property is located. For one, there might be electricity and there might be water supply but you may not be aware of the sources of these utilities and the manner by which these are distributed. Never hesitate on going the extra mile in terms of asking questions from residents in the area or from the property's developer.

Know if the Price is Right - We've made it a habit to make sure that the things we buy such as cars, jewelry or even our favourite detergent are worth every penny we paid. Never forget this habit in buying a property. Once you've identified a particular property that suits your taste and needs, immediately ask for its selling price and determine if it reflects the true value of your prospective property. You can do this by either hiring a real estate appraiser. By doing this, you'll know if you've got a good deal in front of you or you're being swindled into buying an overpriced property.

Authenticate Everything - Once you've verified everything about your prospective property including the peripherals that are relevant to such property (i.e., location, developer, availability of utilities, etc.) and it is now time to talk to a developer or its agent/broker, it is important to bear in mind at this stage that everything presented to you by anyone should be authenticated. The first thing that you should be able to see is the authenticated copy of the Original or Transfer Certificate of Title (OCT/TCT) of the property (Condominium Certificate of Title in the case of condominium units). Never, under any circumstances, purchase a property if you cannot verify the authenticity of the property by yourself. And the only way to this is to obtain a certified true copy of the OCT/TCT and have it verified at the Register of Deeds where your prospective property is supposedly registered. It is also important to authenticate the people who are marketing the properties to you. Make sure that they are licensed brokers or accredited sales persons of the developer. It is also important to know if the developer of your prospective property has a License to Sell issued by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). Also make sure that all representations made by developer or its sales agents in relation to the specifications of the property are consistent.

Examine Your Financing Options - The last step of the whole process is going back to the first step. Yes, the last step also involves the aspect of finance. At this last stage, it may be appropriate for the prospective buyer to re-examine his/her financial options. Will you be able to purchase the property on a cash basis? Or on an installment basis? Will you need to take out a loan? If so, will you be getting bank credit? Or will you just settle for the in-house financing facility offered by the developer? This is a critical stage for the buyer and, hence, his/her decisions should be determined not just by a flick of a finger. At this point, knowing a bit about finance comes in handy.

So there you have it. These are the steps which a prospective property buyer should take in order to ensure that the property he/she will be acquiring is worth every penny. They may seem easy at first glance. But to be honest, they’re not. I know because I’ve done it myself. Try not to skip a step. My hope is that you'll follow these steps once you make the decision that it's time for you to purchase your own piece of real estate. Happy hunting!

If you like to read the full version of this article and other interesting topics on real estate, you may visit www.cityscapesphilippines.blogspot.com.

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