Are You Really Ready To Buy A House?

If you are running a social media group like our OFW UsapangPiso Forum, one of the most moderated posts are those ads of houses and condo units that local real estate brokers and agents are selling. The problem is that they don’t read our posting guidelines/rules first before flooding our walls. Nothing against selling of properties as I myself do sell some passively. (Yes, I don’t like competition). 😛

Seriously, agents and brokers target OFWs and OFW communities in selling their units, boasting of easy installment plans and low interests. There are also a lot to choose from. Pretty tempting for most OFW’s whose goals include owning a house or run a house-for-rent business.

However, people need to examine their situation first whether it’s already the right time for them to buy their first house.  Just because everybody’s buying and news of a good economy keeps on popping up your TV screen, doesn’t mean you have to buy now also.

Ask yourself the following questions to know if you are really ready to make that once so elusive dream of owning a house come true.

1. Do You Have Your Downpayment Cash? 

Most real estate agents offer very low downpayment packages for houses in villages that always advertise as 15 to 20 minutes away from the nearest city, with full amenities, and gorgeous designs.

If you are really decided to buy that house, where will you get the money to pay for the downpayment? Will it be from a loan? Or have you saved up for it?

I’ve met several agents who are helpful in making you decide whether to take the loan from the bank, from the government’s housing development program, or in-house. But then there are those agents who don’t really care as long as you sign up and place that downpayment soon.

House and Money on Scales

2. Are you aware of the other costs of owning a house?

In my previous article about buying a house, I mentioned the many other taxes, fees, charges, and recurring costs in buying or investing in a house or condo.

While these are numbers that may haunt you during your first months of paying your amortization, there are intangible costs that no one else can determine later on but you. I’m talking about things like uncomfortable neighborhood (you’re living in a house that’s standing alone in the middle of a village because the neighbors are not yet living in their purchased units.), you don’t own a car to bring you in and out of your village, sometimes there are no plumbers or electrician available right away when you need them, among others.

But then I know, these can always be addressed. There are solutions, definitely. But I’m just giving you examples of annoying situations.

3. Are you going to live in that house soon?

If the purpose of buying the house is to rent it out, then it’s okay to buy it now even if you are working overseas or away from that village. I know several OFW’s and friends who decided to purchase a house while they are working overseas but nobody’s living in it. Some have stopped paying for the houses and are now foreclosed. Some have continued paying for it even if the village has been considered to be sitting on top of a major faultline.

So if you don’t have any plans to live in your house within the next 5 years, then I don’t see no reason to buy it now.  But if it’s a foreclosed unit in a fantastic location and you’re planning to rent it out with , then by all means buy it now.

4. Do you have a stable cashflow?

Are you a worker based overseas (OFW)? Are you working on a contractual basis? Do you have other sources of income aside from your employment or business? If you lose your job today, will you be able to continue paying for the monthly amortization until you find a new job? Make sure that your emergency fund is equal to at least 12 months of your monthly household/living expenses to cover even the monthly amortization of your house.

Have you ascertained the financial condition of your company lately? How is their bottomline performing in the recent years? It might be good to look for other income streams while you are currently employed.

5. Are you buying or are you investing?

If a real estate broker/agent offer you to “invest” in their beautiful 3-room bungalow or even in a low-cost house, ask yourself if you are really “investing” or just simply “purchasing”.

Investing means you will buy that house as a source of your passive income. You will either rent it out or pay for it at a lower price and sell it later on. However, don’t jump into it unless you’ve already learned how to do it from the experts. There are trainings on making money in foreclosures that you can attend on how to do this.

Buying a house to call your own will greatly affect your family’s finances as well as your lifestyle. If you are really ready emotionally and of course, financially, then go ahead buy your dream house now. Don’t let anybody discourage you from grabbing that chance to own one soon.

Remember to always be clear with your objectives. That applies even when deciding to purchase a house whether for ownership or as a source of passive income.

Follow my posts about personal finance and investing by subscribing to BurnGutierrez.Com.

Join the OFW UsapangPiso Facebook Group to learn how to plan your finances the right way and how to grow your money in various financial instruments and investment vehicles such as stocks, mutual funds, UITF’s, bonds, money market, real estate, and others.

Rock your way to abundance!


P.S. 1. Are you an OFW who’s been looking for a investment placement where your money could grow higher than your time deposit accounts? Are you outside of Metro Manila and would like to start investing in mutual funds but have no personal advisors to help you out? Click here so I can help you open a mutual fund account NOW! .

P.S. 2. Bro. Bo Sanchez has appointed me as a coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at if you have any questions. Click here to join!

P.S. 3. My co-author/illustrator Des Feliciano and I have just launched our “The Adventures of Pepot Kuripot and Dora Gastadora” comic book! It’s arguably the first and only personal finance-influenced comic book in the Philippines. Order your copy now from our website and have it delivered right at your doorstep. Or you can grab your copy yourself at The Pantry at 07 in Makati City and ilovemilktea in Las Pinas City. Now available also in Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the USA! Email for more details.

P.S. 4. If you are based abroad or just outside of Metro Manila and has been itching to learn more on how to jumpstart your business dreams, join me and my friend, serial entrepreneur Ginger Arboleda, as we take you through a series 2-hour webinars (for 11 Saturdays) that will help you focus on the technical skills and specific things that you have always wanted to know about in order to grow your business. We have come up with 10 sessions with 11 expert lecturers (with 1 FREE session if you enroll in the full program) that will make you a stronger and better entrepreneur. Register here to join the Enter Entrepreneurship Webinar Program now!

P.S. 5. Learn How To Make Money From Foreclosed Properties! We are on our 3rd run of the Usapang Foreclosed Property Investing with Jay Castillo of! Happening on September 26, 2015 at the SMX Aura, Bonifacio Global City. Click here to register and avail the early bird promo!

P.S. 2. Angelpreneur and EntrepChamp Paulo Tibig will be gracing our next webinar called “Make Your Business Idea Happen” on November 15, 2013 , Friday at 3PM (Philippine time). Paulo will be answering your questions about your business ideas, how to start or expand one, and how to successfully sustain it. To attend this FREE and LIVE Q&A sessions, please register here.

Photo credits: Images of Money