Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On Owning a House: A Common Filipino Homeowner's Mistake

I am having problems with my mom's neighbor. It has been going on for months now, and I'm ready to reveal what it is, as I feel like this will surely help those who are  in the process of acquiring their very first house and lot.

Owning a house and lot is, I think, the ultimate dream of a typical pinoy. Nothing beats the feeling of living in a house that is ours and ours alone. Filipinos think real state is the best investment out there and acquiring one for ourselves is the epitome of success. 

This post is not about different kinds of investment aside from real state but a post about mistake that a common pinoy make prior to acquiring a house and lot.


"I'll cross the bridge when I get there. BAHALA NA!"

"Since I already save 10 percent downpayment for the house, I'll do my best to come up with the monthly mortgage, bahala na!"

Homeownership doesn't end with just paying your monthly mortgage. You have to accept that "things break", plumbing and piping go busted, the leaks, appliances get broken, and all that. Things don't get fix magically. You have to sometimes dig into your pocket for the maintenance of your house. What if you'll lose your job tomorrow, you think you can afford the monthly mortgage while looking for a job? On top of mortgage payment and maintenance of the house, you have to factor in the utilities and bills you pay every month. Owning a home is no joke, but sometimes, Filipinos get blinded by the glamour it brings or sounds on owning a house. They fail to look ahead.

Things don't go your way all the time. That's why you got to see and prepare for what's ahead rather than just looking at what's in front.

What's the deal? 

Few months ago, my mom's neighbor recently lost her job. Without my knowledge, my mom let her tap into our elecricity. I confronted my mom why on earth was her electricity bill so high! It shoot up to Php 7,000! "Are they freakin' operating a Disney Land up there!" I said. She told me the real reason, on how she felt bad for the neighbor coz she have an infant, on how it's going to temporary,blah blah blah. I personally talked to the neighbor. She said she'll pay half and she said that she won't connect by the end of the month. Months passed and she still wasn't able to pay plus she was still connecting into our electricity. I came to the point of threatening my mom that if she won't cut it off, I'll freakin' report them to the electric company.

Of course, I felt bad! For five freakin' month or so, I have been paying a maximum of Php 7,000! It's like I am supporting two families here! I'll be damned! 

For reference, I usually pay Php 1,300 monthly for electricity bill. And according to my brother, our neighbor has been partying almost everyday after she lost her job. I was thinking, maybe because of the separation fee she received or whatever you call that? I don't know. Now that her pocket is empty, to the point of not being able to pay for her own electricity, the partying has stopped and she now bothers us? People can be so shortsighted! 

Guess what? After months of threatening them that I will file charges coz they are "illegally tapping", they already cut it off! It was just this month that our bill was back to Php 1,300! I still couldn't get them to pay me, though, despite me calling them regularly to pay me up. Oh,well! Let's just put it this way, I am glad I am not in her feet. Where's the dignity in that?

With the real state boom in the Philippines, a lot of people want to own a house, but can you really, really, really afford to own one?

There is no shame on renting while everybody is owning a house left and right. With renting, you don't have to deal with house maintenance. If your faucet go kaboom, don't worry, Mr. or Mrs. Landlord will take care of that.

Sometimes, people forget that the economic financial crisis of '08 and '09 happened because people borrowed too much which ultimately led to the bursting of housing bubble. According to Ben Bernanke,"the 2008 financial crisis was worse that the Great Depression". So we better be careful.

Now, is the real state condition in the Philippines a bubble that will eventfully burst? That's up for debate.



  1. Hi sis, we have the same sentiments here. we have a family house where my parents are staying ( my husband & I are leaving separately from them). It's a closed compound, but everyone in the neighborhood is enjoying the "blessings" inside it. From fruits of my dad's trees to water usage and even our lives. Mga chismosa to the max! Sobrang pakikisama. So when my parents talked about dividing the property b/n my kuya and I, Kuya strongly suggested that he'll just sell it rather than staying in a hell-like community. Having your own house is a life-long commitment. It is really best to check the neighborhood as well. Keep in consideration one's privacy and security.
    Godbless :)

    1. Hey sis, I followed you, btw.

      It's a fellow thing to freeload a little bit. It's in our culture.. But the thing is, that neighbor I was talking about isn't even our relative! And we live in a gated community with security guard pa but neighbors like that seem to forget that we aren't in a slum area. Hey, we go through problems and all, she shouldn't have promised to pay me or she should have save te separation fee she got from work coz she knew she will be looking for a job!

    2. thanks sis. I've been long reading your blog and even shared it in the office and they're so amazed with you. God bless sis :)

  2. I really cannot fathom how some people have no shame in mooching excessively on other people's hard earned money.

    But I also have my reservations about owning property, because apart from the actual purchase price of the house, things you need to consider include:
    - the furnishings
    - OpEx (operational expenses like water, electricity, househelp if you need help with the up keep, etc)
    - Homeowner's dues
    - Property Tax!!!

    Oh and yes, maganda sana na malaki ang bahay mo, as long as you can afford furnishing it and maintaining it until the day you die. I exaggerate, but you know what I mean.

    Though here in the US, its hard to keep renting, because (unlike in the PH, where you can get away with haggling on loyalty / tenure) rent increases (average PHP 50 / month) every time you renew. Maybe except if you live in a rent controlled area. It also can get tiring to keep on moving house. More expenses on that end too.

    1. Ai, sobra sis!

      I do have a friend who have been renting for 10 years now while saving for a downpayment for a house. She recently bought a house actually coz her rent cost at her old apartment was the same as her current mortgage that she is paying now. Again, it's nice to own a property provided that you are sure that you will be saying there long term.

      I heard from Suze Orman that she knows a lot of successful people who, up until now, still rents. They invest heavily on businesses and the stocks,according to her. And according to Dave Ramsey naman, he said that it's ok to rent but if you are near retirement, you got to buy a house to "lock in those rent cost". Whatever floats your boat, right?

  3. We purchased a house and lot late last year through PAG-IBIG. I honestly started to regret it because it is really, no doubt, a liability. Aside from the monthly mortgage, we pay someone to be a caretaker of the property since both us are OFW.

    I am in fact convincing my husband to sell the property.

    1. It's like my friend's dilemma, too. She have a house in Quezon City. She bought it for 2M seven or 8 years ago, she actually want to sell it but nobody wants to buy it. She said that she is not making money out of it coz her brother leaves there which she actually gives money pa to him as a from of support plus she pays for everything pa! Talk about a liability instead of an asset!

  4. I took the risk of buying just the right of a 77 sq.m. lot for 226,000.00 from a tenant in taguig 15 yrs ago, that's where we are living right now. Ang hirap kasi mangupahan,daig ko pa pulubi napalayas na kami noon bata ako, kariton ang gamit namin habang nahanap ng upahan kaya inuna ko sya. If I'm going to choose owning a house in Cavite through PAG-IBIG bukod sa malayo - talo sa transpo plus di ko sure kung matatapos kong bayaran or if I'm going to still rent the cheapest today here in Taguig is around P 3,000 monthly so I choose to gamble that amount, Ang hirap talaga mangupahan that's the reason why most Filipinos dream of owning a house. Still a lot of technicalities going on in our place because some of the areas there we're already awarded. I'm crossing my finger & praying to God for a good result. Well, whatever happens iniisip ko na lang, bawi ko na yung 226K ko assuming na umuupa pa rin ako hanggang ngayon.
    Anyway, about your neighbor situation, nakaka high blood talaga yan--- pero bilib ako sa tolerance mo friend umabot pa ng 5 months, Talking about dignity, sadyang may mga taong makapal sa mundo natin.

    1. You are so right! Hopefully you'll own it na! That's really a good deal! Mine is 80 sqm and it's worth 1.3M na (plus the house), so yours, I think, is a good deal!

      My kuya actually stayed in taguig before! I slept there before while processing my visa thing. I remember may na daanan akong madamig gabi leaves sa may tubig. I was amazed! Probinsyana talaga!

    2. Talaga! We moved in Taguig 1998 "parang probinsya dati" - A lot of changes na here, Aside from the dfort & bonifacio properties are booming, & Ayala Land are developing FTI now. That's the reason why I'm worried because the tenant who claims the property in our area if awarded to him says he will recalcute the market value of our lot so we need addtl amount to that lot that we bought from him. I'm praying talaga to enlighten those who are in authorities not to grant him the property, he had sold millions already in that area just for the right that the govt has given him.

  5. Right, buying a house a lot is no joke. It's a big responsibility. When I bought a small house for my parents (low-cost housing in Cavite) in 2008, I took a big risk. But somehow I knew my siblings will be there to help me shoulder the mortgage because it's "for my parents," not for me. So far, yung brother ko yung sumasagot ng mortgage ngayon.

    Nakakaawa yung neighbor ng mom mo pero mas hindi sya makakabangon kung patuloy syang aasa sa ibang tao. It's not too late pa naman, I'm sure if dadaanin nya sa tiyaga, makakahanap ulit sya work at makakaahon. At sana by that time, maalala nya kayong bayaran sa utang nya sa inyo.

    1. Ang bait mo naman ms edel, okay lang tumulong wag lang abuso. 5 months na ngang walang trabaho at di nagbabayad ng electril bill nakukuha pang mag-party, okay lang if it concerns about the baby ang pagtulong pero dapat double effort na yung neighbor dahil may baby na, sori ha I just dont really like irresponsible people. I've seen a lot of poor people here - the sidewalk vendors, those people na nagtitinda ng aparador, pitsel, anything to sell sa daan, even the people na namumulot ng plastic sa kalye then they sold it to the junkyard, they are working hard to earn money, mas bilib ako sa kanila pero yung neighbor na walang trabaho, oh well :(
      About sa housing pala---kung kayang tapusin bayaran-go-basta natitirhan or pinapaupahan.
      Pero kung di sure kayang tapusing bayaran at hindi naman titirhan dahil malayo sa work or di napapakinabangan I think its not appropriate to get a housing just for the sake of owning a property.

    2. @ Miss Edel,

      It's a pity, their situation. My mom said that the neigbor's hubby is a drunkard! Everytime my mom would go visit to see how their doing, nag wa-wild daw yug hubby na! Saan naman ang thankfulness nyan? At least ill consider it nalang na I helped them and Im glad I am not I'm their shoes.

    3. Hey Miss Grace,

      Yah, according to my mom, the hubby ng neigbor ko loves to drink daw. To think na we live in a gated subdivision with security guards pa, tapos they are acting that way. Shame!


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