Friday, July 8, 2016

Ways to Save Money During Home-Buying

Wazzup Pilipinas! lists ways on how you can save money when buying the home of your dreams

One of the best things that can show how much one has accomplished is by finally purchasing a home. Owning a home speaks volume on one’s accomplishments, and in many ways it can be considered as a status symbol. For many others, it is basking on the security of having a shelter paid for with their hard-earned money. Whatever the reason, most people would definitely want to acquire a home to call their own.

But before going window-shopping, it is absolutely necessary to determine your financial capacity. As a home is probably one of your biggest purchases, every peso saved is a big help. Online real estate marketplace has put together a list of ways one can save money during home-buying.

1. Get pre-approved for a housing loan

Getting pre-approved for a housing loan offers plenty of advantages. Once your loan for a new home has been pre-approved, you would know just how much you can afford so you will not be wasting money, effort, and time looking at houses that are not within your budget. Also, a pre-approved mortgage gives you an edge when it comes to competing with other buyers for a home as it gives the seller an assurance of your payment capacity.

2. Go online

To save budget while searching for a good bank, Andy Mañalac, former chairman of the National Real Estate Association of the Philippines and now chief advisor of ThinkInvest, suggests going online. “Not only do you save on travel expenses, but [you] also enjoy the benefit of choosing the bank that can give you the best loan rates and terms,” he said.

Mañalac also advises to try house-hunting and initial selection online; not only is it free, but it’s convenient and easy as well. “Now you can do your initial selection through the different listing platforms, check out the details, and have a bird’s eye view of the surroundings and even a street view of the actual property. You can now also view the actual interiors of the units with a controlled panning of the property photos and videos available,” he stated.

3. Narrow down your choices

Arming yourself with a budget and various information about the available houses for sale will help you narrow down your choices. This means you’re eliminating houses that are not within your budget and not up to your standards, thus saving you from spending your resources on impossible choices.

4. Visit houses area by area

Instead of jumping from one area to another then back to where you’ve previously been, you’ll save money and time if you can concentrate on the available houses in one location first. Getting a map and studying the area helps you plan how you can go about the day. The quicker you get to the destination, the more time you’ll have to inquire about and inspect the property.

5. Schedule as many property viewings as you can in a day

If possible, visit as many houses as you can in a day. This does not mean you have to rush through every house and risk missing out on details that could potentially make you regret settling for your chosen new abode. However, the more houses you see, the closer you are to finding your dream home.

6. Take note of the payment period

It is important to consider how long you will be paying for your mortgage. Depending on your finances, you may choose to pay for your mortgage over a shorter period of time, say 5 years, but this means your monthly mortgage payment will be higher. If you opt to choose a longer loan duration, say 15 or 20 years, that is absolutely fine; you will be paying lower monthly mortgage payments, although the overall cost of the loan will be higher as well. What’s important here to choose a payment scheme that your monthly income can comfortably accommodate.

7. Try to haggle

During the negotiation process, you may try to haggle the price of the house, especially if you found some things that could lower its value, such as outdated fixtures, leaking ceilings, and other elements that need repair or replacement. Be careful not to overhaggle, though; going to extreme lengths, such as fabricating a story, just to get the price down might force the seller to give the house to another buyer who’s offering a higher price.

However, Mañalac warns buyers from being the first to make an offer. Knowing the actual and listed price is important as it will help you determine the lowest price the seller will accept. From there, buyers can start making the counteroffer.

There are many more ways to save money when buying a home. It just takes patience, skills in finding the right one, and knowledge to avoid being a victim of overpricing. It’s also recommended to hire a professional, such as a licensed real estate broker, to help you with buying a home.

Strong Smartphone, Data Traffic Growth in Philippines: Ericsson Mobility Report

Wazzup Pilipinas!

· Strong smartphone subscription and data growth are seen to be driving the telecommunications industry in the Philippines, based on the findings from the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report.

· Mobile subscription penetration is expected to reach close to 130 percent by 2021 after having climbed to 115 percent in 2015. While LTE was around only 5 percent of all mobile subscriptions at the end of 2015, it’s expected to grow close to 70 percent in 2021.

· “By 2021, insights from the Ericsson Mobility Report indicate that the smartphone subscriptions in the country will more than double from close to 40 million in 2015 to around 90 million in 2021,” Sean Gowran, President and Country Manager of Ericsson Philippines and Pacific Islands, shared.

· Mobile broadband (MBB) subscription penetration for the country stood at almost 50 percent in 2015 but will reach more than 120 percent by 2021. “Aside from increasing affordability of smartphones and improvements in broadband coverage that our operators are working on, we think the youth segment of the market is one of the key drivers of mobile broadband growth, as they are more likely to be viewing online videos, using social networking and instant messaging apps on a daily basis,” Gowran said.

· Globally, the Ericsson Mobility Report detailed a dramatic shift in teen viewing habits: use of cellular data for smartphone video grew 127 percent in just 15 months (2014-15). Over a period of four years (2011-15) there has been nearly 50 percent drop in the time teens spend watching TV/video on a TV screen, and in contrast an 85 percent increase in time spent watching TV/video on a smartphone. This, and the fact that the upcoming generation of mobile users are the heaviest consumers of data for smartphone video streaming (Wi-Fi and cellular combined), makes them the most important group for operators to monitor.

· Compared to mobile broadband subscription penetration, the country’s fixed broadband subscription penetration, on the other hand, was just above 10 percent in 2015. “By 2021, however, we see this penetration rate going up to almost 20 percent,” Gowran said.

· When comparing March 2016 and March 2015, average data traffic per user for mobile broadband in Philippines grew close to 30 percent, compared to around 60 percent for Wi-Fi. Gowran stated that “this is tremendous growth and we recommend that service providers consider how to include Wi-Fi as part of their overall strategy.”

· Worldwide, the Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device by 2018.

Between 2015 and 2021, the number of IoT connected devices is expected to grow 23 percent annually, of which cellular IoT is forecast to have the highest growth rate. Of the 28 billion total devices that will be connected by 2021, close to 16 billion will be IoT devices.

Gowran revealed that: “IoT is now accelerating as device costs fall and innovative applications emerge. From 2020, commercial deployment of 5G networks will provide additional capabilities that are critical for IoT, such as network slicing and the capacity to connect exponentially more devices than is possible today.”

The Ericsson Mobility Report is one of the leading analyses of mobile data traffic available, providing in-depth measurements from live networks spread around the globe. The report uses these measurements and analysis, together with internal forecasts and other relevant studies, to provide insights into current traffic and market trends in the Networked Society.

The Traffic Exploration Tool, which accompanies the report, can be used to create customized graphs and tables. The information can be filtered by region, subscription, technology, traffic and device type.

The report defines a connected device as a physical object that has an IP stack enabling two-way communication over a network interface.

IPC Launches Cloud Community of the Philippines for Biz and Tech Enthusiasts

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Pioneer cloud services provider IPC (IP Converge Data Services, Inc.), launched the first ever Cloud Community of the Philippines (CloudComPH) during the recently held 2016 Philippine Cloud Summit at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

A vendor-agnostic forum, CloudComPH was created by IPC to serve as a venue for the sharing of ideas and best practices, whether technical or operational, among individuals who build, develop, maintain and use cloud computing infrastructure, platforms, and applications in the Philippines. IPC upholds its being a carrier and vendor neutral organization since its inception and underscores this by spearheading the CloudComPH initiative.

“We envision a bustling Philippine economy powered by the Cloud”, said Niño Valmonte, director of product management and marketing at IPC. “Because our country is still an emerging market for enterprise Cloud services, we felt that there is a need for a venue where Filipino businessmen, entrepreneurs, and ICT enthusiasts can learn the true benefits of the Cloud from one another and apply these learnings into their respective initiatives. We want the community to be a catalyst for business transformation and growth, leading to economic progress”, he added.

The community’s mission is to be the trusted source of cloud computing insights, information and best practices in the Philippines, and to influence Cloud adoption among Filipino organizations and institutions through evangelization, enablement, and empowerment.
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