Ready for your own house?

Deciding to own a home is a big move to make—and while this life milestone is an exciting start, it’s also going to be a long process that will inevitably have challenges. The good news is that the end result will ultimately be rewarding.

Now, it’s time to start asking questions that will lead you to your new abode. When you talk about your dream home, do you have a clear image of what it looks like? What’s the best and most realistic approach for you to turn your dream home into your real home? There are two clear options you can start with: first, you can build your own house from the ground up, or second, you can buy a house that’s been built and is ready for occupancy. When weighing the pros and cons of either, it’s important that you and your family talk about each of your expectations from your new home. Both choices offer their own advantages—with building, you can make sure that every square inch is to your liking, whereas with buying, you can enjoy the convenience of moving in immediately. Which one suits you best?

Regardless of your specific needs, if you’re having a hard time choosing between the two, a good place to start is to look at the expenses that both options come with.Here are some cost implications that you can anticipate when buying your new home:

Planning includes a lot of computing. Instead of listing down all the features that you want in your future home first, it’s advisable that you start by determining your budget. Realistically, how much are you willing to spend, and how much cash do you have on hand? Set an amount that works for you, and then work around it. You will likely have to make compromises: what elements of this dream home are non-negotiable, and which of these can you forego should your budget not be able to cover all of it? How much will this cost, considering sourcing and labor fees? Anticipating all sorts of scenarios will help you keep your calm, so you don’t make spur-of-the-moment decisions that may stray you from your set budget.

For reference, data gathered from the 2016 Construction Cost Handbook by consultancy provider Langdon &Seah Philippines, Inc., pegs terraced houses and average standard homes (one to two bedrooms) between the price range of PHP25,700 to PHP31,000 per square meter. Detached houses and high-end residences cost between PHP53,900 to PHP63,150 per square meter. These values supposedly already include mechanical, electrical, and plumbing expenses. You can come up with a rough estimate of your own home by working with these figures.

Professional fees should also be considered. Once you’ve cleared this up, you need to make a note of how many people you will hire. You will need an architect to draw up the design of the house, and their professional fee depends on their affiliated company, or the architect himself. Once you’ve given their work your seal of approval, you will need a contractor to start building. The contractor’s professional fee is separate from the materials that he purchases, although you can leave the sourcing to him. You will also need to take into account the workers you’re hiring; how long construction will last can determine how much you’re splurging (or saving) for their man hours. The type of finish will also affect your budget: if you prefer a standard finish, that will cost you an estimated amount upwards of PHP14,000, whereas an elegant finish costs roughly PHP30,000 or more.

Your address can cost you extra. Your new home’s value can increase or decrease based on where it is, since some properties are worth more than others. How close you are to the heart of the city, and to business and commercial centers will influence the price you pay. Being part of an exclusive village or subdivision could also incur association dues for upkeep and for the common amenities. Before you make any commitments, it helps to know the present per square meter value of the land or the city you’re eyeing, so you can still work within your budget.

Securing permits is a must.Before any of the actual work begins, you will need to secure legal permits from different offices. First, you’ll need an architectural plan to be provided by your contractor; this will be used as a reference during the process of the construction. Second, you will need a Barangay Permit given from the barangay that has jurisdiction over your area. Third, you’re required to have a Building Permit, that must be submitted with an approved Architectural Plan and a Barangay Permit;this is needed for you to start construction. Lastly, you’ll need an Occupancy Permit that will signify that the site has been surveyed by a licensed building surveyor, and has deemed it suitable for occupation.These permits and their processing will have their individual cost implications.

Time is Gold. Building your house from scratch requires a huge chunk of your personal time.For a DIY house, You need to focus on canvassing for materials and your preferred designs. You also will have to consider your visiting schedules on site to make sure everything is going as planned.

Enjoy worry-free construction. The developer handles everything that has to do with construction, from choosing the design, sourcing the materials, to securing the permits. You don’t need to spend a peso while they take care of this. During this process, you’re essentially a hands-off observer; this works for the future homeowner who only wants to see the final product, which you can take a look at and inspect in one of the developer’s sample units.

Choosing a move-in date is easy.Once your dues are paid for, turnover should come quickly. A convenient factor in buying a house is that you don’t have to anticipate as many delays for completion, especially if you pick a unit that has already been constructed. If it’s still being built, you more or less have a date in mind with regards to how soon it will be completed.

You can stagger your expenses. Since you don’t have to shell out money for materials, labor, and the like, you don’t necessarily need a lot of cash on hand.It’s also easier for you to manage your finances, since you will only be paying to your broker, and you won’t have to manage the salaries of people you would otherwise need to hire. If you speak with your broker, you can also work out a payment arrangement that works for you.

For instance, Langdon &Seah Philippines Inc., pegged a standard home at PHP31,000 per square meter. Building a two-storey townhome with the floor area of 50 square meters, with that estimate amount, comes out at PHP1,550,000 to build—plus contractor fees, permits, and the like. In contrast, a sample computation from Primary Homes, Inc. for a unit from Richwood Homes with the same two-storey features comes out at PHP1,382.246.61* inclusive of taxes and other related charges. When you compare expenses, you can even save a little extra when you buy.

Choose a reliable developer. You know you get your peso’s worth when you enlist the help of a veteran in the real estate industry. With developers who have had years of experience behind them, your journey to your new home will be smooth and worry-free. Primary Homes, Inc., is one of the leading real estate developers of Cebu, and has been the reliable partner of many Filipinos for over 25 years. With Your Reliable Partner, you can expect topnotch quality, quick services, and a seamless customer experience—something that they’ve practiced for decades in the industry.

When it comes to your dream home, Your Reliable Partner should be no less than an expert. Start the search for your dream home with Primary Homes, Inc., and view their properties for sale at

*Figures as of this writing