The decision to become a homeowner is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make in your life. Visions of decorating it the way you want, entertaining friends on Friday nights, and maybe even raising a family, almost always come with this decision.
That is, of course, until you find out about things like tax, cost of renovations, landlords, resale value, and annoying neighbors. The decision to buy a new property is now made more complicated.
There are a lot of decisions involved in the long process of buying your dream home. The first one, of course, is whether to get a house or a condo unit.
Here are a few things to consider:
You should buy a house if…
- You intend to live in it for at least 5 years. Owning a home is a big investment, which is why many real estate experts advise new homeowners to follow the 5-Year Rule.
The 5-year Rule is the minimum length of time you should live in the same house, before you can reap the benefits of investing in a home. Five years is the estimated time you can expect to break even on the costs of buying a house.
- You have a stable job and income. Owning a house will require you to pay for a lot of things – appliances, furniture, renovations, electrical and water bills, tax, mortgage, etc. Having a steady stream of income will surely be a big help. A stable job will also make it easier for you to take out a loan to help in your purchase of your dream home.
- You want to have total control of your home. Indeed, the decision to own a home almost always starts with dreams of total independence. So, it’s only fitting that when you do get a house, you’ll do whatever you want with it.
Owning a home means having total control over your domicile. From the color of paint, the layout of the kitchen, the kinds of herbs in the garden — if it will have a garden — to how loud you can play your old Beatles records at midnight – these are things you can do without having to worry about other people (within reason of course), associations or housing boards.Owning a home means having total control over your domicile.
- You have a family. Aside from the obvious benefit of having more living and storage space, getting a house offers more privacy compared to living in a condo.
You should not buy a house if…
- You have no intention of living in it for at least 5-years. As previously mentioned, it’s only after a minimum of five years before you can recoup your investment.
- Your job requires you to travel constantly. If you’re a first time homeowner, you won’t always think about your house’s upkeep after buying it. But homes require a lot maintenance if you want to keep free from damage and defects. Being constantly away from home will prevent you from maintaining your house properly. Remember that the way a house is kept and maintained can determine its resale value in the event you want to sell your house.
- You’re single. Aside from cost, research also says that it takes about three years for a homeowner to decide to get an upgrade, which leads to a new phenomenon of first-time homeowners being in debt from bank loans because they want to upgrade their homes even though they are not financially capable to do so.
You may also be interested to read: 5 Ways to Afford Buying a House or Condo
- Your plans are still up in the air. Being a homeowner requires commitment. If you’re someone who changes their life plans at the drop of a hat, then forget about owning a house. Renting a condo unit is a better option.
If you’re renting a condo, you can easily change jobs or move cities without thinking about the hassles of reselling. And if you bought a condo and suddenly have a change of plans, you can turn landlord, rent it out, and earn money from it.
- You want a house but not the upkeep. If you own a house and a pipe bursts, you call a repairman or fix it yourself. If you live in a condo and a pipe bursts, you call your Building Supervisor or Facilities Manager. And if you’re a young professional working a very busy and demanding 9 to 5 job, the last thing on your to-do list is to fix a broken pipe.
- You’re an urban dweller. Condominiums are now the home of choice of professionals living in the city because of its strategic location to schools, offices, and businesses and various entertainment centers. This is the reason why condos like Megaworld’s McKinley Hill are such a big hit among professionals working at The Fort, Makati, and Alabang.
- You want to invest your money in other things. There is a prevailing notion that owning a house is the best investment you can make, making you forget that there are other profitable investments out there that, arguably, have better returns than buying a house. For example, the properties you buy within a Megaworld at The Fort development will not only increase in value, it will do so at a faster rate because Bonifacio Global City is such a sought after location.
You may also be interested to read: 4 Best Places to Buy a Condo in Metro Manila
You should not buy a condo unit if..
- You’re not the neighborly type. One of the drawbacks of condo living is having to live too closely with the other tenants. Horror stories of neighbors listening to horrible pop music or babies wailing through the night is not unusual.
- You are the neighborly type. Although this may seem contradictory to what was previously mentioned, it just means that some condominiums lack that sense of community that you’ll most likely find if you’re in a suburb.
You’re not ready for sudden changes in fees. Unfortunately, condo living means that you have no control over fees, primarily Home Owner’s Fees. And if you’re renting, your budget rests entirely on your landlord. This could be a particular problem if you have a fixed or limited budget.