1. Property’s still the best investment out there. “The stock market is very volatile for people who are looking for a place to invest or where to put their money. It’s still real estate. It will still appreciate in value,” said Bobby Disini, vice president of PS Bank’s mortgage banking division. He added that even if people already have houses and still have money to spend, it would still be wise to invest in property. They can sell it later on.
2. Government housing loan provider Pag-Ibig has competitive rates now, making homes more affordable to Filipinos. “Make the most of what we can offer now,” said Rafael Odes M. Abaño III, vice president of Pag-Ibig Mutual Fund’s Loans Organization Group. “We still have our low interest rates and we encourage Pag-Ibig members to avail of our housing program now.” According to him, despite the global pressure of increased interest rates, Pag-Ibig does not react overnight to such increases. “We consider the impact on our members,” he added. Abaño enumerates a 6 percent interest rate for a loan value of P300,000; a 7 percent interest rate for loans over P300,000 to P750,000; and a 10 percent interest rate for loans over P750,000 to P2 million. For a loan of P750,000, therefore, the monthly amortization amounts to just P4,900. Abaño shares more advice on applying for Pag-Ibig housing loans and restructuring delinquent loans at the Philippine Real Estate Festival on July 25 at SMX Convention Center Mall of Asia in Pasay City. The Pag- Ibig call center is 724-4244.
3. A roof-over-your-head principle “The family will always want a house over anything else,” Disini said. “That’s why we have a lot of overseas Filipinos working abroad and the first thing in their mind is to buy a house and a car,” he explains.
4. Buy while prices are still low. Alejandro S. Mañalac, president of the National Real Estate Association, revealed that developers are increasing their prices. “The soaring prices of major construction materials are eating up developers’ margins. If buyers will just compute, the 10 to 20 percent increase that the developers are planning to implement is not even enough since the prices of steel and cement have practically doubled since last May. Those who are constructing their own houses can relate to this.”
5. Cut back on travel cost. Eduardo M. Alunan, president of the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, said that whether oil prices are high or low, investing in property under the present environment should be made a priority. Location, especially factoring in the proximity to the workplace, has always been a major factor in order to save in travel costs in and around Metro Manila.
6. Borrow now. “I would advise people to borrow now. The rates will not hold primarily because inflation is still going up. I expect interest rates to go up and right now I think it’s the best time to apply while the rates are still at this level,” Disini said.
7. Search for the best home financing rate available. Go where you can find the best rates available because the rates won’t hold for long, Disini said. “Try to fix (the financing rate) for 5 or 10 years so that you won’t worry about any rate fluctuations. If you go for home financing, look for a bank that’s stable, or a bank that’s going to offer you fast service. Once your rate is approved, it can only lock in for a certain period of time.”