Home Buying Advice for the Newlyweds: Heed These Tips
As newlyweds, everything that comes after the wedding is pure bliss.
From family planning to hunting for their first homes, newlywed couples will have their timelines full after tying the knot. For many couples, buying a house is a milestone and having a place to call their own is what many aspire to have. While a few couples have secured their first property before getting married, a good majority of them opt to rent a home for a while before investing in their own.
Indeed, looking for your next home, setting a budget for what you can afford, and planning where to settle down are the subsequent exciting activities newlyweds can look forward to after their I do’s. For many, this marks the initial chapter of starting a life together. A little caveat, though: House-hunting, albeit exciting, is not an endeavor to be treated lightly. Your approach should be calculated and well-planned. Keep in mind that diving headfirst into homeownership as a recently married couple comes with its own set of unique challenges. Apart from juggling the finances of two people, you need to make sure that you have all the paperwork necessary to finalize the sale. Whether you recently got hitched or are planning to tie the knot soon and secure your first home, knowing to ask the right questions before you start planning is paramount.
So, whether you are newly married or see marriage and a home on the horizon, check out the helpful tips below to make your house-hunting endeavor smoother and more manageable:
1.) Evaluate your financial situation
Ideally, you and your spouse should have already figured out your overall pecuniary situation even before getting married. However, if this is something you have not discussed prior to getting hitched, you might want to get on it before you start browsing properties and looking for your dream home. Sit your partner down and discuss what your price range is before you go into comparing house models based on architecture and design. As newlyweds, it is imperative to assess what your individual and financial situations look like. For some couples, this may be a sensitive and challenging topic to touch. However, if you are building a life together and planning to make your first significant investment, having this discussion is paramount. Remember, your budget essentially acts as your navigation map to help you navigate the waters of house-hunting. Without it, you would not know what type of house you and your spouse can afford and will be approaching your property search endeavor blindly.
2.) Strategize together
As newlyweds, you need to make major decisions together. This means that you need to take into account what your spouse wants in a house and identify what expectations you have together as a couple. Now that you are married, you would also need to take your partner’s wants and needs into account. Also, you need to check whether you already have enough money for the downpayment. Typically, you should have at least twenty percent of a property’s selling price to secure a housing loan.
3.) Discuss your preferences
When it comes to the specifics of a property, such as the design, location, and size, it is imperative to be on the same page as your spouse. You need to agree on your preferences, as this will help you narrow down your options. Discuss what your preferences are, write them down and arrange them based on priority. After you have listed your preferences down, compare them with your budget and from there, know whether you can afford a house and lot in Cavite or choose a smaller apartment for the time being. Also, you and your spouse should decide whether you are after space or proximity.
4.) Get prequalified for a loan
If you have not saved enough cash on hand to buy your first property, getting a house loan is your best option for securing your home. However, if you do not have a specific property in mind, you need to at least get prequalified for a housing loan to set your budget. Keep in mind that loans are not arbitrarily given depending on what you wish to borrow from banks. Instead, banks and financial institutions get to decide the amount they will be willing to lend you based on you and your spouse’s financial capacity. This is to ensure that your monthly income will be sufficient enough to pay off the repayments.
5.) Trust ONLY reputable developers
Typically, the quality of a property corresponds to the reputation of the developer. That said, it is vital to select property built by reliable real estate companies. Choose one that is publicly listed and has a history of turning over quality properties in a timely fashion. Also, you may want to do your own individual research on them and read reviews given by previous clients who have transacted with the said developer. It would also be helpful to take the developer’s sales administration and after-sale services into consideration. Check the company’s social media profiles and look for legitimate client reviews and testimonials.
6.) Seek assistance from professionals
Looking for your first property—whether that may be for investment or a family home—can be a little overwhelming. There are so many things you need to consider that there may be things you will overlook. That said, having a little extra outside help to make the whole process easier and smoother will always be welcome. That said, it would be a good idea to seek the help of professionals whose expertise you might require, such as that of a bank loan officer or a licensed real estate broker. Both can give you excellent pieces of advice that will help you in your house-hunting journey. Some of the areas where you may require assistance are choosing a city to live in and determine whether the selling price of a home corresponds to its actual value. A real estate agent will be able to recommend a city that is projected to become a real estate hotspot in the next few years or so and will make for an excellent financial investment.
7.) Always prepare cash for fees and taxes
It is a given that buying real estate involves paying a property’s selling price. Beyond defraying the selling price (or downpayment if you are buying through a housing loan), however, payments also need to be made for other fees. This includes documentary stamps tax, registration fees, notarial fees, and transfer tax. If you intend on getting a housing loan, you will need to pay , an appraisal fee, a loan processing fee, and mortgage redemption insurance. All of these are miscellaneous expenses that you need to account for as payment for them is required.
8.) Choose a community carefully
Always remember that when you are buying property, you are buying the location as well. That said, choose a neighborhood that meets your needs in the short and long run. You can always change and manage things inside the house quickly, but there is absolutely nothing you can do when it comes to a property’s location. With that in mind, be thorough in your search for real estate property and only consider communities and neighborhoods that are safe and secure. Also, conduct your own research and surf the web to check on any reported incidents that may cause alarm. You may also want to check the number of schools, traffic conditions, and any upcoming infrastructure projects that would benefit your investment in the long run.
9.) Get a home inspection
After you and your spouse have selected a property that you are interested in buying, make sure to have it inspected before making an offer. For reference, a complete home inspection should be done by a professional who will provide you with sufficient insight as to what is going on with the property. They will be inspecting every inch of the home and will alert you of any red flags if there are any improvements that need to be completed.
10.) Take it slow and don’t rush
Sure, finding your home may be an exciting venture but keep in mind that it is a process that may take a little bit of patience and time. Unfortunately, most couples have a sense of urgency surrounding their wedding year insomuch that they feel pressured to have a house prepared and lined up immediately after the wedding. Do not create needless stress, and enjoy the process. Approach your house-hunting journey with a plan, but do not rush. Take it slow.
Bear in mind that picking the wrong house is not a mistake that can be easily rectified. That said, make sure that you choose the house that meets your needs and wants. Do not let anyone rush your decisions. Be patient and persistent, and you will indeed find it.
Indeed, buying your first property can be an exciting journey. However, it is also an endeavor that may leave you with an overwhelming feeling of responsibility, anxiety, and other emotions. So, take your time and be emotionally prepared before the process begins. Finding your first home is a big step, and every little detail needs to be considered carefully and thoroughly.
Remember to have fun! After all, this milestone is a process that should strengthen you as a couple and not push you apart.