The transition from renter to first-time homeowner is a major one. With the recent change in our area market, buyers now have time to carefully review all of the local inventory and to make a well-considered decision. However, even in a more balanced buyer/seller market, new homeowners will naturally wonder if the value of their home will hold up, and if they will be able to sell when their needs change.

We’re here to help you make that first purchase a smart purchase. Our experience has shown that when you invest in a home that meets your long-term needs, and you keep the financial burden manageable, you stand a good chance of weathering whatever the market may bring. Here are 10 ways that we recommend to help you make a smart first purchase:

  1. Look to the future: If you’re likely to relocate within a year or two, buying may not be the right option. If that is not the case, home ownership offers big tax breaks. If your employment or income is unstable or your credit needs work, it might be best to continue renting until both of those factors have changed. If you are ready to buy, try to envision what you’ll be doing in five years. Thinking toward the future, a place with extra room or with remodeling potential might be a better investment than a home that is a perfect fit today.
  2. Know your budget: Only you know how much you can comfortably spend on a home. To figure it out more precisely, start with a no-holds-barred examination of your income and spending habits. What can you trim? Will you still be able to afford dining out and entertainment?
  3. Save for a down payment: A down payment of 5 or 10 percent can really trim monthly costs.  And quite often financing can be arranged through the Seller.
  4. Credit Priorities: Borrowers with poor credit histories are charged higher interest rates and are offered less choice in the mortgage selection. Loans can be arranged through the local banks here in Cebu. But if you are a foreigner, you might need cash or to arrange financing with the Seller.
  5. Mortgage Preapproval: Sellers are always more impressed with offers from pre-approved buyers. By getting your mortgage loan set up before you actually start to house-hunt, you’re demonstrating to sellers that you are a serious buyer who wants to purchase a home.
  6. Use an HD Builders Group Buyer Agent: Quite simply, we have the experience and the skill to work in any market and our reputation for negotiation and winning contracts is unsurpassed.
  7. Look at the neighborhood: While you can change practically anything about the physical attributes of a home, you can’t change the neighborhood where it is located. Visit neighborhoods after dark and on weekends to see if the character changes. Finally, be sure to do a trial-run commute to your office or school during rush hour.
  8. Negotiation: Price is always the biggest negotiating issue, but there are many others. Will the Sellers pay any of the closing costs or points on your loan so that you can snag a lower interest rate? We also make sure you understand every aspect of the contract you are signing.
  9. Settle in and Enjoy: Don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself addicted to home improvement shows! For many people, owning a home opens up a totally new world of creativity. With our seemingly endless list of professional resources and our Homeowner’s Referral Division, we can help you find everyone from retaining wall engineers, electricians, plumbers and tile installers.