10 Condo Hunting Hacks
Make the search for the home you've always wanted easier with these tips
Turning your vision of owning a condo home into a reality needs some concrete steps from your end. To get started, here's what to do:
Check your finances
First things first: How much do you have in the bank? How much do you earn every month? Before you even go on an all-out condo-hunting spree, you need to determine how much you can afford and figure out how much you can realistically shell out for monthly payments—mortgage, maintenance, and living expenses combined. Match your income with the list of all your expenses, and see which ones you can cut back on so you can allot more for investing in a property.
Collect brochures and flyers
When you see a real estate agent handing out flyers in malls, don't walk towards the opposite direction. Take these flyers, read through them, and keep them for reference. Browsing through different properties offered by different developers gives you an idea of what's out there.
Read home magazines
Because home magazines feature different spaces, you can get a glimpse of how other people live in their respective abodes. Home magazines also feature articles on home-hunting, too, so you just might score a tip or two.
Search the Net
The next time you surf the Internet to check out what's new on your favorite shopping site, allot a few minutes of your time to visiting property listings, too. You can also check out the websites of developers whose properties you aspire to buy.
Speak with a broker or a real estate agent
Whether you're just inquiring or you're ready to make a reservation, take time to sit down with a real estate agent and talk. Share with him/her what kind of property you are looking for, the location that could work for you, and of course your budget. He/she can make suggestions that you can consider when you are already decided on buying.
Exchange notes with other people
Did your friend just move into a studio unit? Did your newlywed college batchmate just buy a starter nest? Listen to their stories and note these: how they knew about the property, how they saved up for it, how they secured a bank loan, and other details. Asking them about these things will help you prepare for your own investment.
Make a short list of your choices
Once you've narrowed down your property options, go back to your initial computation and further assess which one you will be able to manage easily—in terms of your finances. Again, take into consideration all costs: downpayment, monthly amortization, maintenance, and even your living expenses. A condo unit that's close to your office and every establishment may be perfect, but if it will cost you an arm and a leg every month, it might not be the ideal choice for now.
Scout for banks from which you can secure a loan
Turn to your trusted bank and inquire about their home loans. Or, you can also seek the help of your real estate agent. Look through your options, and take note of application requirements and interest rates.
Apply for a home loan from a reputable bank
Choose a bank that will offer you a great deal. BDO offers competitive interest rates and flexible payment terms, so it's ideal for first-time buyers. Processing is also fast, and a BDO Account Officer will guide you through the application process every step of the way.
Ask questions, read the fine print, and know every detail of your loan application
You don't want to be kept in the dark. Read and do your research. Don't be afraid to ask questions no matter how mundane it may seem. Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry, especially with a big investment such as purchasing a home.
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