Lamudi Philippines offers advice for buying yet-to-be-completed condos.

Buying a real estate requires plenty of common sense and local market knowledge. This is especially true when buying a pre-selling condo – an “off the plan’ property that is yet to be built.

Although there are advantages to buying pre-selling condos – the main one being that the buyer can lock in the purchase  of the property at its current market price – these properties also come with a few risks. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself and your hard-earned cash.

Global property portal Lamudi offers these five useful tips for those looking to enter the pre-selling condo market.

TIP #1. Choose your developer wisely

There is a chance that a pre-selling condo once finished may not turn out to be what was promised by the developer – or it may not get built at all. However, you can count on an established, publicly listed developer to deliver on its promise. This is because such a developer is generally well-funded and has a reputation to protect, so they are less likely to default.

TIP #2. Get yourself finances sorted out

This means getting ready with your down-payment and your application for a housing loan. One advantage of having a large down-payment is that it sends a signal to a lender or bank that your finances are in order, significantly increasing your chance of getting approved for a housing loan. Additionally, when applying for a loan, choose the one offers the best rate – the one that your monthly income can accommodate.

TIP#3. Choose your location wisely

To be able to get the maximum benefit from pre-selling condos, choose locations that are soon to become exciting business districts, even though these places are still 10 year away from that. This is because buying very early promises hefty future returns. Furthermore, as these developments are soon to become business districts in their own right, the buyer would be assured healthy rental income in the future.

TIP #4. Think long term

Short-term speculation is dangerous, not just to your investment, but to the real estate market in general. Therefore, having a five-year plan – or 10 if you can  – is the way to go. Real estate investment does not mean buying a property, sitting on it for a couple of years in the hope to make some money, and then getting out. Buy-hold-sell is the perfect formula for a sound real estate investment.

TIP #5. Make sure you have read the contract

Not reading a contract in its entirety can cause headaches later on. For example, a contract will usually stipulate that the condo project will be constructed in accordance with the finishes and materials. Make sure to check this clause so you won’t be disappointed. In addition, in the case of reservation fees that will form part of your eventual down-payment, contracts usually stipulate that this will be forfeited if you suddenly not to go with through with the purchase.

Ten (10) Signs You Are Ready To Invest In Real Estate

How to know when the time is right to make the investment plunge?

When it comes to property investment, timing is everything. Ultimately, choosing the right time to enter the market will have a significant impact on the long-term success of your investment.

But how can you as an investor know whether the timing is right? Global property portal Lamudi has complied a list of 10 tell-tale signs that now is the time to start building your investment portfolio.

1. You are financially ready. You have saved enough for the down payment and you have also established your emergency fund. You have taken into account home maintenance expenses. Your credit history is good and you are able to meet all the financial obligations.

2. You have set your long-term goals. You have a clear picture in your mind of the purpose of your investment and you are flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances. You are not hesitant and when the timing is right, you are able to adapt to the market need and the development of technologies.

3. You have done your research. You know the neighborhood of your future property well enough to foresee the coming trends and the possible changes in the community. You have researched all the schools in the area as well as the best commuting means and you are able to predict the next homebuyers’ needs.

4. You have chosen a stable economy. The area is financially stable, economic trends are promising and equities are surging. No demographic fluctuation or no irregular variation of population have been recorded in the area.

5. You understand the country’s policies regarding real estate. The policies of the region promote and encourage a positive, innovative environment as well as drive further innovation index is rising in the area.

6. Infrastructure projects are underway and likely to lead an increase in property values. The infrastructure of the area is being developed with a focus on: transport, energy, solid waste and water management developments.

7. The region is moving toward sustainable development. he region’s awareness of global and local environmental issues is increasing, the demand for eco-friendly homes as well as for sustainable rural and urban development is rising. As more and more people head toward sustainable living, investing in sustainable property will increase its value in the future.

8. The location draws a lot of interest. Whether it is the best travel destination or the hot jobs spot, the location is always on the top of the search engine. It has become a successful startup hub already or is planning to do so in the coming years, driving a lot of job seekers into the area. The number of enrolled students is increasing every year, the area draws interest of international students.

9. You have found a reliable real estate agent. If you are an overseas buyer, it is particularly crucial to make sure you have a good representative on the ground. Your real estate agent is trustworthy and knows the local market well enough to be able to help you make the choice.

10. You have researched local differences in the property market. Whether you plan to invest in a residential property and turn it into a rental or an office space, you are fully aware of all cultural differences that might occur when you deal with a property seller.