Are you ready to buy a house of your own?

By Mike Aquino for Yahoo! Southeast Asia

It’s one of our modern rites of passage, buying your own home. Stepping over the threshold of your new condo, you feel like you’ve stepped over from one phase of your life to another. So it’s natural that you’re anxious to get to that stage, or do what you can to hurry the process along.

How do you know if you’re ready to own your own home? First, you’ll need to have a few pieces of your life firmly in place.

A good, stable job.
Having a steady source of income is absolutely essential to getting and maintaining a home. Being a homeowner isn’t cheap, after all: utilities and maintenance can be expensive, and cannot simply be postponed or ignored. If your income fluctuates too badly, you might not have enough income to meet the monthly costs of owning a home.

Your job should also be the kind of employment that keeps you rooted in one place—sure, you might have a high income, but what if you’re likely to be reassigned to another city for several years?

Steady employment also comes in handy in case you need to make a home loan to buy that dream house. To get the banks to help you with making the payments, you’ll need to show that you have been working continuously for the past two years, making a minimum family income that varies from bank to bank. If you’re an employee, you should demonstrate employment at the same place for the past two years; if you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll need to show continuous operation for the same period.

A sense of responsibility.
Remember those good old days when your Dad footed the bill for repairing the termite-infested wall, or when you had to wait for the landlord to address the dripping faucet in the kitchen? When it’s your name on the title, you call the contractor and you pay for repairs.

Being a home owner means that the buck stops with you: you should fix the problem yourself, or pay a repairman to do the repairs for you. For larger repairs, you may need to take out a personal loan from a bank to get it done—but ultimately, having your own home also means taking responsibility for keeping it in tip-top shape.

A family on the way, or already there.
If you and your loved ones plan to have kids, you’re likely planning a good home for the kids too. Having your own home increases the sense of stability so conducive to a happy family, and within the scope of your budget, you can give your growing family plenty of room that your in-law’s place simply can’t provide.

When kids are involved, you’re not just buying real estate—you’re buying a template for their future memories, too. Think back to your own happy childhood years at home, preparing for school, arguing around the dinner table, and making telebabad with your barkada from your room. Finding the right kind of home ensures your kids will have happy memories of their own to build over the next few years.

As the architect Le Corbusier put it, “The home should be the treasure chest of living.” We couldn’t agree more.

Savvy Living asks: Are you ready to buy a house of your own? What are your concerns when it comes to finding and purchasing your own property?