Every First-Timers' Guide to Owning Your First Home

Every First-Timers' Guide to Owning Your First Home

Prep yourself for this major milestone.

Making the decision to buy your first home, whether you're building from the ground up or investing in a condo, is an involved process. Unless you're swimming in money—enough to pay for your dream home up front and in full, you're probably racking up figures and making calculations constantly, just to figure out how to make a down payment or see your amortization through.

Simplify keeping your finances in order with these quick and easy steps. Do your due diligence and you'll be on your way to securing your future home in the present.

Save your bonuses. That big influx of cash you're getting at the end of the year? It's time to relegate it to a dedicated fund. Bonuses are few and far between. It can make a huge impact in your savings, especially when you're trying to get more saved in a short amount of time.

Set up a savings account. Keep the money you're setting aside for your home separate from the cash you use for everyday expenses. You dictate how much you want to set aside each month—the more aggressive you are with this percentage, the quicker it will take to reach your goal. Transferring money every week can take immense discipline, so an automatic savings option may work better.

Be mindful of everyday choices. Figuring out how much you need to save on a daily basis can help you regulate your spending habits. Stave that expensive coffee habit, bring baon to work instead of eating out, or consider going car-less to save on gas and insurance.

Add more to your income. If scrimping is becoming too inhibiting, think about transforming your free time and adding more to your income. Take on a side hustle or run an online business on your free time. Get inspiration from creative entrepreneurs who can earn an extra buck even from home.

Familiarize yourself with the market. Educate yourself on different neighborhoods, real estate prices, when to buy low, and when prices are most likely to soar. Consult with friends who've already taken the leap of buying their own homes to learn the dos and don'ts. Get in touch with brokers and bankers and learn about percentage options for down-payment.

Account for cushion. Keep in mind that ticking that down-payment off your To-Do list is only the first step. Repainting, renovations, furniture, appliances, and more are all part of owning a home. Try to forecast any additional spending you'll need to figure out how much margin is required to properly set up your place.

Pay off any debts so you can build your wealth. It's one thing to consider paying for a new home, and another to put that on top of your existing debts. Try to keep your credit card balance-free so your mind stays focused on just one big payoff.

Get a personal loan. A multipurpose loan is relatively easy to secure and can offer the assistance you need to see your goals through. Citibank's Personal Loans can offer amounts up to PHP2M (subject to approval) with flexible terms of one to five years and no collateral or guarantor needed. Visit Citi's website to learn more. Apply now.

Preparing yourself to own a home can be an overwhelming process, but if you start smart, save smart, and spend smart, you'll be able to break steps down into actionable goals you can see through in smaller, easier to digest increments. The trick to accomplishing such a huge task is simplifying, taking a breath, and enjoying the journey.

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