Buying Your First Home Like an Expert

“ Hi Mr Morada!, I’d like to inquire. We are planning to buy a two storey house and lot preferably Single Detached or Single Attached. We are working on a 3M budget, we can give 30% to 40% DP and plan to have it paid deferred in 2 years at 0% interest. We prefer a 3 BR house with parking space and at least 100sq lot area and corner lot would be best. “

Can you help us look for this kind of property? Can you suggest properties we can look into? We are not familiar in Cavite so please give us details about the area, the travel time and nearest establishments. A friend of mine suggested Bacoor and Imus but we are looking for other locations also. Anyway, we prefer at least an hour of travel from Pasay City

This will be our primary home and we are most concerned about the safety of our kids so strict security in the community is our utmost priority. Can you also please list down the available amenities and facilities. We prefer projects with good property management and strict home improvement guidelines.We also need a house near schools, hospital and malls and accessible to public transport.

We are not familiar with property developers and we are hoping to get good advice from you. We are available for site viewing this coming weekend but we hope you can give us some property suggestions so we can do some research prior to site viewing.

Thank you so much. “



Above is an example of email inquiry. The client is a first time home buyer and not familiar with the area. As first time home buyer, the client makes sure they know what their preferred property is and even requires specific qualities of their future home like its location and the specifications of the house itself.

Buying your first home like an expert is easy if you’ve done research not only on a certain project but also the location or the financing it requires. As seen on the sample above, she is not familiar with the location and there is no specific property developer or project. However, she remains open for other options and at the same time open for good advise.


Read also: Right Timing in Buying Properties


Being updated with the news, reading property reviews and real estate blogs are convenient nowadays to get you equipped with information regarding buying properties and the process of financing.

Use Google Maps to verify target locations and see nearest establishments. The Altitude of Location is very good tool if it’s a high place; measure the site distance with Daftlogic; Flooded Areas; the Mortgage Calculators also is just a click above.

Requirements in buying process for Bank, Pag-IBIG or In-house Financing are available online. And for you buyers to be more knowledgeable I list down common terms and abbreviation in the buying process.

Common Abbreviations and Real Estate Terms


TCP – Total Contract Price                       Miscellaneous Expense

DP – Down Payment                                RF – Reservation Fee

BF – Bank Financing                                IHF – In-house Financing

MA – Monthly Amortization                    SPA – Special Power of Atty

LA – Loanable Amount                             Pag-IBIG Financing

PDC – Post Dated Checks                         ADA – Auto Debit Accounts Payment

CTS – Contract to Sell                               DOAS – Deed of Absolute Sale

Spot Cash Payment                                    Deferred Cash Payment

Fixed Interest Rates                                    Re-pricing Interest Rates

LTS – License to Sell                                 Pre-selling

Documentary Stamps                                  Real Poperty Tax

MRI - Mortgage Redemption Insurance

Housing Project Real Estate Terms


Bare Finish                                                 Standard Finish

RFO – Ready for Occupancy                     Non-RFO

SA – Single Attached                                 SD- Single Detached

Duplex Townhouse                                    Rowhouse

Inner Unit                                                   End Unit

FA- Floor Area                                           LA – Lot Area

BR – Bedroom                                           Village Pavilion or Club House

Main Road                                                  Secondary Road

Corner Lot                 Regular Lot              Irregular Lot

House and Lot                                            Lot Only

Culdesac                   Lanai                         Balcony             Abutment


* Definition of terms above and explanation in the next post.

Basic Requirements in Buying Properties


Job Contract (for OFW) or Certificate of Employment

Latest 3 months Payslip

Latest 3 months Bank Statements

Latest Income Tax Return (ITR)

Proof of Billing (Meralco Billing, SkyCable and others)

2 Valid Identifications

Tax Identification Number (TIN)

Photocopy of Passport (for OFW)

Special Power of Atty. (SPA for OFW)



“After paying monthly amortization for 5 years, a client complained at developer’s office. He is complaining as to why the computation shows that by the end of their 10 year loan, the property of total price of 1 million would result to a 3 million Total Loan Value. "


The reason for that is the loan interest for the home financing. Interest rate is a very common term – it’s an expense in availing home financing in bank, Pag-IBIG or thru In-house at developers.

Now, be equipped with above terms and buy your first home like an expert. Read, do some research, ask questions, understand these common terms and be open to possible options.

Good luck.


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About the Author

Jerome Morada

Realtor & Webmaster

Good day! I'm Jerome, your friendly Real Estate Broker with PRC License 0012399 and HLURB registration. Just sharing simple tips, please share if you find it useful! Thanks!

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