Investing in a new home during the pandemic

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“A home is what you make it.” A home is more than just a house. It reflects your personality, your preferences, and way of living. More than that, it is where our families and friends get together – over good food and coffee. It is where we build memories and meaningful connections that will last a lifetime.

However, all these social interactions are put to the test when the pandemic hit the world a year ago. The Philippines was in lockdown, and up until now, we are still under community quarantine. Thereafter, the pandemic has given most of us the opportunity to work at home. We either convert our room into an ideal setting for work, or to allocate a space in the living area for our very own home office corner. Yet, regardless of which is which, it is optimal to consider such space allocation even before purchasing a house or unit. Why is that so? It is to ensure that every corner in our soon-to-be home can be maximized, and can be easily converted into something else; for this instance, a home office.

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Back then, most of us seldom bring home extra work. It is usually separate – our home life and work life; but when lockdown happened, most of us are forced to work remotely, due to health and safety reasons; hence, the importance of forward thinking when we purchase a home.

Before making a purchase, there is much to consider. I have a friend who made such purchase during this pandemic. They found a condominium unit, that is situated in the heart of the metro. Not only is the unit spacious, but it can also be easily convertible into a yoga spot, into a mindfulness corner, or into an office space. They didn’t encounter much difficulty transitioning into a work from home setup, due to the fact that right from the start, they already considered having extra spaces at home.

I was also able to understand the reasons of their purchase, even amidst the challenges and problems that this pandemic posed. First off, it is the opportunity of the house option and affordability, too – how affordable is the house or unit in relation to the income stream and savings, and how it will be purchased.

Perhaps the easiest option is to purchase a condominium, a hybrid type of ownership that falls outside traditional structures. …The Philippine Condominium Act specifies that foreigners can own condominium units, as long as 60% of the units in the building are owned by Filipinos.” (Folger, 2019, Investopedia)

“Mortgages are (also) top of mind for homeowners due to historically low rates.” (Munk, 2020, The Wall Street Journal)

With that being considered, there is a website that conveniently provides mortgage affordability data based on the income. There is an adjustable frequency that can be tweaked, alongside mortgage qualifications, and calculator that you can input the figures with.

As everything is already accessible in the world wide web, the website link below makes mortgage computations much easier to understand and analyze. There are also other calculators that can be explored, too.

Mortgage Calculator

And, once mortgage affordability is already computed and decided on, second to consider and assess is what other housing options are available for the time-being. Considering all costings and terms, once the space have been chosen, you are now ready to go! You can customize the household to your own liking; and as we transitioned and adjusted into the new normal, another thing we should also be grateful for is the rise of e-commerce. Online shopping is the best thing that happened in (this) age. Not only are we getting a more secure and convenient checkout, we’re also getting a lot of sale!” (Gamboa, 2020, Manila Bulletin) This is definitely value for time and money while we slowly convert our house or unit into a nice and loving home.

References.

Folger, J. (2019). Buying a House in the Philippines: A How-To Guide. Investopedia. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/103015/buying-house-philippines-howto-guide.asp

Gamboa, V. (2020, September 9). From Plants to Kitchenware: All the good things you can buy from the 9.9 sale. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved from https://mb.com.ph/2020/09/09/from-plants-to-kitchenware-all-the-good-things-you-can-buy-from-the-9-9-sale/

Munk, C.W. (2020, November 20). Refinancing – or Paying Off – a Mortgage? Questions to Ask Yourself. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/refinancingor-paying-offa-mortgage-questions-to-ask-yourself-11605877200

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