Buying a condo or a house and lot has become easier for majority of Filipinos nowadays. Thanks to the benefits of technology and our country’s economic situation, a working class citizen can avail from a variety of financing options to fund his home purchase: government-backed fund or housing programs, bank loans, and even in-house payment schemes that only require a reservation fee.
However, there are a few homeowners who fail to keep their properties for one reason or another. In honor of our nation’s greatest modern heroes, here are 8 ways on how to protect your home from foreclosure like a Filipino soldier in combat.
1. Be masinop (knowledgeable) about the home financing option you have taken for your home purchase.
Soldiers are trained to think ahead. They are fond of strategies and consider the risks involved before taking on an endeavor. Homebuyers could take a page from a soldier’s handbook and determine which home financing scheme would be perfect for them in advance, and what contingency measures they should take if the financing scheme does not work out as planned in the long run.
2. Exercise prudence when it comes to spending your money during your home loan term.
If there’s one thing soldiers are good at, it’s being frugal. During combat, soldiers are careful when it comes to consuming their food, water, bullets, and even their energy. If they have to use special equipment, they need to meet a certain set of conditions in order to justify its use.
Since a big chunk of your income would go toward your mortgage payments, every peso from your remaining budget counts. As such, it makes sense to be careful about spending money on household expenses, especially those that are wants and not necessarily needs.
Soldiers are also good at anticipating emergencies, which can also be applied for home ownership. Having a contingency fund prevents homeowners from dipping into their amortization payments to cover emergency expenses (ex. hospitalization).
3. Living below your means does not mean giving up the things that you love or matter to you.
Soldiers are exceptionally skilled in having a good time, even in the bleakest of situations. On their downtime, some confide on their favorite pocketbooks, while others explore the joy of cross-stitching or knitwork. And in most cases, they find joy in not taking themselves seriously, just like the boys in the GIF image above.
Homeowners, therefore, should have the same attitude when it comes to having fun. For example, family time can easily be at a park and not a 5K shopping spree in a mall. A staycation with the kids or a picnic spree at one of the many public parks in Manila is more memorable (and a cheapest way) to spend the holidays compared to going on an extravagant trip at an out-of-town resort or abroad.
4. Be resourceful in finding alternative means to earn extra income.
Soldiers during combat always try to find ways to get the job done. The same applies to keeping your home – finding alternative means of income would be the best course of action to keep up with the mortgage payments. If you are unable to commit to at least a couple of hours for freelance work, you could also consider selling any assets that you don’t necessarily need, like an extra car or sauna equipment.
5. Be proactive, aside from being consistent, in your amortization payments.
A good soldier is said to have the internal fortitude to step up their game when it’s needed, according to a fellow comrade. Paying for your amortization payments early or putting whatever extra money that you have towards your mortgage without waiting for the billing statements would not only solidify your relationship with your lender, but will also help you achieve full payment of your home early with little interest.
6. Ask for help from your lender.
Asking for help is all too common in the military. Soldiers often rely to their mistahs or boks for help when they need a hand, no matter how big or small is the favor.
When you feel that you can’t make mortgage payments, your lender is the next best thing to a mistah or bok. Lenders generally don’t want their borrowers to default on their payments, more so lose their homes to foreclosures, as they are forced to reduce the value of the properties and sell them at a loss. Your lender may suggest that you continue to pay off your amortization payments first and have your home equity take care of your other big expenses like tuition, home improvements or even additional funds for your business.
Your lender may also offer extending your grace period or will be willing to accept reduced amortization payments for a certain period of time. If your financial situation has been changed permanently, ask your lender to restructure your loan. This means that the lender may either lower the loan’s interest rate, spread the delinquent payments over the next few years, or extend the term of your loan.
7. Know how to make a judgment call.
Soldiers are also good at making difficult judgement calls, which could also come in handy when you can no longer afford to keep your McMansion or the three-bedroom luxury condo. Before taking this route and downsizing to a more budget-friendly starter home, you need to take a hard look at your finances first and exhaust all possibilities. After all, the journey you took in buying your home is not that easy, and giving it up without putting up a good fight would waste the hard work you have put into purchasing your house or condo.
What tactics have you used to keep your home from getting foreclosed? Read how retirees use their paid-off home and their benefits to keep a comfortable lifestyle.