All of us have our own dreams of a “perfect” home. But sorry to burst your bubble, not all of us are able to get our dream home so easily.

How and when you can get that dream home of yours depend not merely on your financial capability but largely on how resourceful you are and how well you plan your purchase. Here are five ways that can help you reach your homebuying goal:

1. Set a realistic budget.

Ask yourself how much you can really afford. Start by computing your monthly expenses which you take from your income: groceries, water, electricity, Internet, cable, gas, mobile call/text subscriptions, transportation, education, child care, shopping expenses, movie nights, eat outs, gym membership, among others. Assess which of these expenses are the ones you can’t live without and the ones you can afford to sacrifice and let go. In short, know your priorities in life.

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2. Save up and avoid new debts.

Now that you’ve done the math and determined how much really are your monthly expenses, start setting aside your extra money for your home purchase. Make sure that you fatten your bank accounts. Down payment varies for each property, but most require at least 5 to 20% of the property’s total selling price. And take note: giving a higher down payment may be the best way to go. Why? Because it will reduce your monthly amortization.

Avoid also making any other major purchases while you’re in the process of buying a home. If you’re going to apply for a home loan, incurring debts may hurt your chances of getting that approved.

3. Educate yourself of the whole homebuying journey.

Know and understand the specifics of what you’re getting into. It’s not enough that you just know the required reservation fee, down payment and monthly amortization for your property. Dig deeper and pay attention also to the closing costs, like the real property tax and association fees, and the potential increase in your household expenses as well once you transfer to your new home.

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4. Search for the best home loan.

Very few homebuyers have enough cash to purchase their dream home upfront. Their solution: housing loans.

Find out which home loan best suits your needs. Three of the most common home financing options are in-house financing from property developers, bank financing, and PAG-IBIG housing loan.

Lesser documents are usually required when applying for in-house financing, but the downside is you’ll most likely get a higher interest rate. Most commercial banks, on the other hand, require more paperwork, but offer lower interest rates and flexible housing loan options. Find out if you pre-qualify for a bank home loan here.

5. Take advantage of bank home loan promos.

Do take advantage of bank home loan promos, like Security Bank’s 6 for 5 or 6% fixed interest for 5 years. This special promo, which runs until December 15, 2016, offers the lowest home loan interest rate in the market, with 1, 3 and 5 year fixing periods to choose from:

– 5% interest rate for 1 year,

– 5.5% interest year for 3 years, and

– 6% interest rate for 5 years.

You can loan up to 80% of your property value. To avail of this promo, you can apply online, through branches, or through accredited developers. You can get approval as fast as 5 days.

Can you afford your dream home? Yes, you can, with the right planning.

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