The Journey Continues

Picture taken from the web.

Picture taken from the web.

Six long months, yes it has been six long months since we started scouting for a house. A house is not an investment, I know, but it’s the only piece of luxury that I really want. The kids are growing and I am not getting any younger so I just want to buy something that they can use in the future.

My husband and I are open to buying second hand property as long as the cost of renovation is reasonable. We intend to avail of our PAGIBIG housing loan or bank financing; whichever is more appropriate and cost efficient. The only hassle in buying a second hand property through PAGIBIG is if the owner will not agree to transferring his/her TCT (titulo) to us so as to proceed with the PAGIBIG housing loan.The element of TRUST is very important in this kind of seller-buyer transaction.

On the contrary, buying a house from a developer takes minimum time for the processing of housing loan. The only downside is buying an overpriced unit and probably, the amount of equity that you need to pay. This is however, predictable because developers usually charge 20% of the TCP (total contract price) for the equity. RFO (ready for occupancy) units have a higher equity as compared to pre-selling but if you’re renting a house at a high rental fee, the savings when buying pre-selling units versus the equity of RFO units will probably be just the same.

I have a young child who’s now in nursery so our main consideration when looking for a house is its proximity to schools, never mind if it is far from our place of work as long as our child’s comfort will not be compromised. This is the reason why, despite the tempting offer, we decided not to get the two-storey house in a subdivision here. Not only is it very far from schools but the subdivision itself is inside another big subdivision. When I inspected the units, I found cracks on the second floor and it must be the reason why the units come cheap.

My husband fell in love at first at a second hand house just very near our place of worship. It is also near Adi’s school so it must be the ideal location. The house structure looks strong and the materials used are of superior quality. It has two bedrooms in the first floor and another two at the loft. The living room and dining area are small and the kitchen sink is not big enough. The spiral stairs leading to the loft is non-value adding to me because of safety issues. Plus, how are we supposed to carry heavy furnitures on a spiral staircase? The asking price is beyond its fair market value and the owner is not enthusiastic about lowering it so there, the house is not meant for us. Bye!

Maybe a townhouse will do so we checked two of the many subdivisions here offering townhouses. Subdivision A (SA) is disconnected from the main road and the location of the townhouse is approximately four kilometers away from the entrance. Not a good location if you’re a public commuter. The only good thing about their townhouses is the quality of materials. The garbage collection is poor and hey, I thought that NO PETS are allowed in there? I saw a lot of dog shits everywhere; the homeowners were just cool about it. =p

Subdivision B (SB) looks crowded and the quality of materials that they used look so-so. Most of the homeowners look scary, husband and I want to get out of the subdivision FAST.

Every time my husband and I go home after a tripping, we can’t help but compare the house sizes with the ones that we are familiar with. For example, a 40 sqm floor area of a two-storey house here is just the size of his grandfather’s living room in Bohol. When I thought that a 20 sqm bedroom is too small, well, the bedrooms of the houses that we saw were just 10 sqm!

Location.
Price.
Method of financing.
Neighbors-to-be.
We are far from our house-hunting journey. We’ll get there someday, I hope. =)

My House Hunting Journey

Bahay kubo kahit  munti

Bahay kubo kahit munti

A house is not an investment as per Robert Kiyosaki and Fitz Villafuerte. It will only become an investment if it will generate income. Yeah, right. But I still want to own a house! A house is my nest and if owning a car is every men’s dream, then owning a house is every women’s desire.

Contrary to popular perception, owning a house through PAGIBIG is not a cheap scheme unless we’re talking of a rowhouse with a floor area of 35 sqm. Developers charge differently depending on the location of the housing project and materials used (BOM). A 100 sqm house and lot in a less accessible area can cost PhP800,000 whereas a 50 sqm rowhouse near the commercial district can cost the same. This is low-cost housing or rather, standard housing project.

My husband and I have just started house hunting and tripping last month and I realize that it can be stressful at times. The cost of paying a 20% downpayment can be stressful specially if I really like the unit but I need to “give it up” to scout for more affordable ones. The most affordable unit is a rowhouse which looks good in the inside but looks like an ordinary apartment on the outside. Rowhouses range from PhP600K-800K with 20% downpayment payable in 12 to 18 months. Owners can put up a fence to secure the front yard and the small backyard but if living with a neighbor with close proximity is an issue, then rowhouse is not the right house for you. Personally, I have no issue with buying a rowhouse except the size factor. Ordinary rowhouses range from 35-40 sqm only and for a family of 5 + 1 maid, this is not ideal for me.

Townhouse is the better version of a rowhouse. The size of an average townhouse ranges from 45-70 sqm with 2-3 bedrooms. The materials used could be the same with the rowhouse but the finishing touches are definitely better. I’m okay with the 3 bedroom townhouse but the total contract price by the developer is around PhP1.7M. That price can afford me to buy a second-hand house here in the countryside.

Second hand or housing project?
The only hassle that I see in buying a second-hand house is the whole process of applying for a PAGIBIG loan. In housing projects, the developer take care of the PAGIBIG requirements and it’s a big relief for busy individuals like me. Old houses that has no or little market value and need repair should cost lesser than that of the ready for occupancy second-hand houses.

To construct or to buy?
The cost of constructing a house in the Philippines is roughly computed at PhP17K to PhP25K per sqm. Average cost of lot in the countryside ranges from PhP1500 to PhP7000 per sqm depending on the location. The good thing in constructing your own home is it’s customized according to the owner’s preference and taste. The bad thing is the construction takes time (from 4-12 months depending on the budget) and the owner has to visit the construction site if he wants to check if the the project is being carried out in time.

We are still on the early phases of house-hunting and these are our guidelines:
1. Location- close to medium proximity to school since we have two young kids
2. Price- Affordable housing that will not strip us of our goal to save for retirement and the rainy days
3. Saleability-The property’s saleability in case we decide to move or retire in our province in the future
4. Neighborhood- I would prefer a neighborhood with familiar faces like churchmates and officemates around.