MANILA - Most people think of home as something that is theirs, with their personality and their family written all over it.

However, turning a house into your home does not necessarily equate to you owning it.

Speaking to ANC' "On The Money," Manuel Alleja, managing director of The Property Forum, said that deciding on whether to buy or rent a house depends on a person's lifestyle.

"It is unfortunate that there happens to be this Filipino mindset that equates renting to being poor and owning to being rich when it's necessarily not the case," he said.

Those who are just starting out are advised to rent a house, and invest the money that they are supposed to use as downpayment instead.

Renting is also more flexible, making it easier for one to just cancel the contract anytime.

"The advantage of a rental is that there is no commitment on the transfer. So you can cut your contract, and move on. But if you now have a house and lot that you have bought, when you cancel that contract, you actually do a really bad credit rating to yourself. Or the other option, sell the house. But remember, it is not that easy to sell your house," Alleje said.

According to Alleje, among there factors that one should look into before deciding to buy a house.

Among these factors are one's long-term goals, a growing family, and financial stability.

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"Before buying a house, you should think about your lifestyle. Not today, but over the next five to ten years. Kasi pangmatagalan talaga when you buy a house. So take a look, how many children do you plan to have, how many cars do you want to have, and that's when you start moving," Alleje said.

Torn between renting and buying a house? Some developers offer a third option, which is known as rent to own.

Under this scheme, a person pays for the downpayment of the house through "renting" it, after which one would decide if he or she would want to continue with the purchase.

"In that manner, all this amounts you have paid will not go to waste," Alleje said, adding that all "rentals" will be deducted from the total price of the property.