Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Of anniversaries, property investment and loans

Most anniversaries are looked forward to with excitement and anticipation but for me, the one that's coming up on April 8 is one I highly dread. The reason is because that's when I have to make my anniversary payment of P150,000+ (approx. $3750) for my condominium property at the University Tower. Aside from my monthly amortizations, I still need to make lump sum payments every year for a period of five years. I'm just on my second year so I still have a long way to go. The only good thing is that my anniversary payment date falls around the time bonus is given out at my company so that gives me a little breathing room. Still, the amount is no joke for an office worker like myself so I still have to ask help from my mother when my earnings come up short of the amount I need to put up.

Actually, this was how I was able to make my property investment -- with my mother's help; I borrowed the initial downpayment of P250,000 (approx. $6250) from her. I haven't been able to pay her back yet but I plan to start when the schoo lyear begins in June. You see, my condo is supposed to be due for turnover already but I haven't gotten around to processing my papers yet (I heard there are turnover fees and I'm trying to steer clear of that until I've made my anniversary payment). Once my condo has been turned over to me, I can start renting it out to students because it is just right across the Philippines oldest university, the University of Santo Tomas. I plan to give her the monthly rental until my debt is fully paid which, based on the current rental fees in the area, would take around two years.

Comparing my experience with a British property news I read, I see that my mom is not so different from the British parents who help their children with their property investment. Although the average assistance fund they give is much higher than their Filipino counterparts', I'd like to think that their intentions are the same, to assist their children's "property investment ambitions."

I know that if my mom hadn't helped me that time, I wouldn't have been able to make that first step to reaching my financial goals. Acquiring property here in the Philippines is not easy for salaried employees because property loans can only be secured from banks or your Pag-IBIG fund and interest rates can be very high. Getting approval is also such a hassle if you don't know the bank manager or if you don't have enough collateral. How I wish that getting a loan here is as easy as in the U.K. There they have the option to get Secured Loans from a different institution than a bank or state-run housing assistance program and applying for it is just as easy as filling up a form in a site. Oh well, I guess that's just one of the many differences between a first world country and a developing country, more options for people aside from the higher standard of living.

So if you're from the UK and you want to acquire your very own property but you don't have the money and your parents can't help you, why not give Magic Loans a try? I'm sure they can help and you'll thank them for it.

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