I’ve finally come to a readiness (I think!) to buy a house. This after paying off family debt, raising and sending my sonshine and my nephew to school (they’re in gr. 5 now), supporting my family, completing house construction for my parents, and finally paying off my loan. Yey!
I’ve lived in the north of metro, Caloocan, most of my life and worked at the opposite pole, Makati for more than a decade now. Manila being famous for its hours-long traffic, you can imagine how much time I’ve consumed/wasted commuting. Well I did my math and it’s a staggering 10,164 hrs = 423.5 days = 14 months of commuting which I could have spent being with my kids, learning new skills, developing abs, or getting extra job. Since I abhor being idle, I have learned to use the long commute time to read. Articles, books, magazines, news. I also used the commute time to review for my PMP certification before. So in a way I still was productive. Still, 10,164 hours?
I’ve read somewhere that you either work near where you live or live near where you work. Applying that principle, I don’t know of any multinational IT company in Caloocan that can match the career I have built in Makati. Not even Ortigas or Eastwood. So the obvious step is to live near where I work.
Last weekend, outside National Bookstore in SM North Mall, I chanced upon this long table of real estate agents and the housing options they offer. I hesitantly approached one and, lo! The rest of them swarmed around me like bees, and am the only flower left in the world. Haha. I stepped back and organized my inquiry by going table by table with this line as opening, “I am looking for a house/condo/townhouse in Makati or near Makati.” I ended up with an armload of pamphlets and fliers. Let the hunt begin! 🙂
As I was studying the loot I have at home, staring at the impressive looking condo buildings with admirable lawns, lap pools, gym, etc, gulping at the astronomical rates, I realized that am not a condo person. Call me conservative, but I still prefer a house and lot where I can do gardening on weekends. A neighborhood where the kids can safely bike and inhale clean air as our dog runs along. A house that’s just minutes away from Makati or where I work.
Unfortunately, the offerings in Makati central business district (CBD) are high-rise condominiums only. I have yet to check the J.P. Rizal area though. I did one “tripping” at Makati First Citi Homes, in Malugay St, along Chino Roces Ave. The 3-bedroom fully furnished unit was cute. No provision to fit in a washing machine, so you have to pay for the laundry work. The unit is soo small from what I’ve been used to that I joked, I bet people here don’t fight often. I mean the place is too small that you can’t avoid anyone, nor walkout from anyone! Hehe.
Having realized what I really want, and the location constraint, I had to google the Metro Manila map to visually see the cities nearest Makati.
My first three options are Mandaluyong, Taguig, and that obscure looking city you don’t get to hear much about, Pateros. Taguig is property developer haven. So many open spaces yet to fill specially along C5. They are practically creating a village there. The open space gives developers more free hand in building their city within a city. The prices of course are higher here compared with Mandaluyong. Pateros, because it’s not really land property developers’ target, has naturally cheaper house options. I think you can buy a house here, but don’t expect manicured landscape and resort-like amenities. Mental note to make a tour in Pateros. Second set of options, Manila, Pasay, Pasig. Still need to do research on these.
- The farther to Makati, the cheaper the price.
- Pre-selling houses/units are cheaper. This means, construction hasn’t or barely started.
- The farther away the turnover date (date when unit is ready for occupancy “RFO”), the cheaper.
- Lowrise to Midrise condominiums tend to be cheaper.
#2 & 3 have risks like delayed construction, financial issues of the developer that can obstruct construction, delayed turnover date (which is a bummer if you’ve planned your family’s life to the move out date). To mitigate the risk, choose a reputable property developer who’s been in the business for a many years already. Examples are (but not limited to) DMCI, AyalaLand, Eton, SM Residences, Federal Land, Megaworld,
Here’s a website with sidebar on property listing, what’s pre-selling and what’s ready for occupancy (RFO).
**more posts on my house hunting adventure 🙂 **