First time homebuyer? Here are five common mistakes to avoid

For a lot of Filipinos, buying their first home is mostly uncharted territory. The process involves an overwhelming number of details and missing even just one can lead to costly mistakes.

A leading property solutions company, Singapore-based Ohmyhome, shares the five usual missteps that prospective homebuyers can make and offers tips on how to avoid them.

Mistake #1 Choosing the Wrong Location

Property experts say that real estate is a high-investment purchase based primarily on location. “We have heard too many stories about people moving into their dream homes only to find out months later that flooding occurs after a heavy downpour or internet and cellular coverage are extremely weak,” Julian Sison, marketing manager of Ohmyhome, says.

Thus, prospective homebuyers must get to know all they can about the location of their future home: Is it near an earthquake fault line? Are transport hubs accessible? They should also check out upcoming developments such as new infrastructure projects and new business and job opportunities.

Sison likewise asserts that homebuyers would do well to plan ahead. If they have children, they should ask: Are there schools nearby? How about banks, hospitals, supermarkets, and other retail establishments?

Mistake #2 Not Knowing What Property Type Suits You

According to Ohmyhome, there are two types of property buyers: end-users and investors.

“End-users will buy a home with their lifestyle in mind,” Sison explains. “Would they want to live in the heart of the city or in the more quiet suburbs? Do they envision living in the tranquil countryside or relocating to their home province? What type of amenities do they need? A pool? A gym? A park or expansive green spaces? Access to food outlets? Do they want to live in a condominium or in a house and lot?”

On the other hand, Sison points out that investors purchase property without the intent to live in it. They plan to either resell the property at an appreciated value in the future, or rent it out and maintain an income stream from it.

Still, investors will need to know what type of property attracts potential buyers and renters. “They can read up on the rental yields in different cities or areas or check the landscape for good business opportunities that would lure individuals to relocate,” Sison explains.

But whether a property buyer plans to live in it or use it as an investment, an idyllic home can serve either purpose.

Mistake #3 Not Understanding Your Financial Options

Every Filipino aspires to buy their own home. Unfortunately, there are some who think that it is an unachievable dream due to perceived deterrents: construction costs are too steep; they cannot afford to buy one; and even home financing schemes that are crafted to help aspiring homeowners are beyond their reach. Overwhelmed by their misgivings, they simply decide to wait… until they “can afford it.”

Ohmyhome’s property experts, however, stress the fact that people must not wait to buy property—they must buy property and wait.

“Prospective homebuyers should know that real estate costs continuously appreciate and as they wait, prices go higher,” says Sison. “Understanding financial options allows you to leverage other resources and buy property sooner rather than later.”

To know and understand financial schemes open to them, prospective customers can engage Ohmyhome’s property consultants who are trained to assist them in their home buying journey. “Our professional real estate agents can readily explain everything you need to know and help you choose the best option available,” Sison assures clients.

Mistake #4 Underestimating the Full Costs of Buying a Home

Most potential homebuyers are indeed daunted by the costs. Some, on the other hand, think that buying a home simply entails paying for the unit or the house. They overlook other expenses, which often include the following:

● the documentary stamp tax, which is 1.5 percent of the selling price, fair market value or zonal value, whichever is higher

● the transfer tax, which is 0.5 to 0.75 percent of the selling price, fair market value or zonal value, whichever is higher

● the title registration fee, a graduated table of fees based on 0.25 percent of the selling price, fair market value or zonal value, whichever is higher

● and other incidental expenses such as notarial fees, etc.

 Mistake #5 Working With the Wrong Agent

According to Ohmyhome, one thing that can help homebuyers sidestep all these aforementioned mistakes is choosing the right agent.

“Real estate agents should work with the clients’ best interests in mind. When an agent tries to push a customer to purchase a home that they neither want nor can afford, it’s time to consider a different agent,” Sison shares. “Ohmyhome’s affiliations with top real estate developers in the Philippines give clients a vast range of options from which to choose one that best fits their lifestyles, preferences, and requirements.”

He adds, “We also have relationship managers who evaluate the clients’ needs before they are attended to by an experienced property agent, to make sure that correct and the best options will be provided.”

Although there are hosts of experienced brokers out there, what sets Ohmyhome property agents apart is their capacity to work together to find the aspiring homeowner’s dream property, guiding them through the entire process: research and canvassing, home loans, documentation, and reports on property constructions.

“It’s been quite a ride for Ohmyhome Philippines since it was launched in this country. But as the company continues to grow, our vision constantly guides us to serve our customers with as much transparency as possible,” says Sison.