What was I thinking?” a home buyer asks himself in disbelief after learning that he cannot actually finance his latest investment in an exclusive subdivision. What he should have actually asked himself was, “What was I not thinking?
 
Buyer Beware
Buyers, buyers, buyers. You should think twice, thrice, a hundred times, before you actually invest in real property. Yes, you may be too excited to place a reservation on an attractive property perhaps because of the low supply and great demand for your dream house model, a pending price increase, or just because of your plain impulsiveness, but you must think and reflect before investing. A simple mistake in a Million–Peso investment will cost you a lot, and I mean a lot. To shed light into this almost arcane world of real estate investments, here are some tips that you could utilize to establish how much you can actually afford to shell out to finance your home investment:
 
Tip #1: Be Honest With Yourself About Your Finances
Review your current financial status and contemplate on your future financial status. You could ask yourself these questions:
  • “How long am I in my current work?”
  • “Am I sure that my work visa will be extended”
  • “Is my employer at least happy with my current performance and would he be willing to extend my contract for a longer term?”
  • “Is my business doing well for the past couple of years?”
  • “Is my Cash Flow showing positive signs or is it indicating a downfall?”
Tip #2: Know The Formula
Planning to finance your investment through installment financing? Let me give you a formula that you can use to determine how much you can safely spend for your investment monthly. Many financing institutions (banks, mortgage lenders, credit unions, etc) in the country are using this.
M = (I – D) / 3
Where:
M = the monthly payment that you can actually afford
I = your monthly income (plus your co–borrower’s, if any)
D = the monthly payment for any long term debt that you have, if any (example: car loan)

Example: Your monthly salary is PhP 250,000 and you are currently paying a whopping PhP 54,000 per month on your shiny, brand-new car. How much should your monthly real estate investment budget be? 
Given:
I = Php 250,000 ; your monthly salary
D = Php 54,000; your car’s monthly amortization
Your maximum monthly budget is M = (Php 250,000 – Php 54,000) / 3
M = Php 65,333.33

This means that you have to get the “M” at a high amount so that your be labeled as a “risky borrower.” You wouldn’t want that to happen, right? It would just be demeaning. You see, banks would rather not grant the loan than to do the hassle of property foreclose. So make sure that “M” results a high value so that bank executives will come knelling down your face while handing you the loan application.

Tip #3: Know The Alternative Financing Schemes
Some developers offer a “Deferred Cash” financing scheme. You might want to avail of this type of financing because it is payable at a short term only, plus it won’t be incurring any interest. Interesting, ain’t it? Pay a visit to other banks and financial institutions searching for their loan interest rate and what they have to offer in general. Going for the shortest loan term and the lowest interest rate available is generally good for you. You will be saving more this way in the long run. Again, exercise some common sense before you make any commitment. So to my future home buyers, always think ahead. Check your savings and cash flow. Anticipate any possible financial problems that may arise in the future and take preventive measures before they happen. As the clichéd adage goes: “A fool and his money are soon parted.

 

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