26 January 2009

House Model and Floor Plan

Here's what the house will look like when built (only the color will be blue):

This is the original floor plan as given by the developer:

Below are the proposed floor plans subject to the approval of the developer:

Option 1

Option 2

24 January 2009

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Awry

The poet Robert Burns was right.

When we got married, I had planned on buying a house when we could afford to buy our second house first. I got this idea from the many personal finance books I've been reading.

My husband had other plans. He wanted to buy a house already and his mother-in-law agreed with him (along with his sister-in-law). I argued that parting with more than 60% of our savings would not be a good idea. Besides, what about what goes in the house? That will cost money too. It was three against one and the three won.

In March of 2008, we inquired with a local developer about house prices. We asked again a few months later in July and found out that the price for the same house type increased by Php 460,000. My husband pointed out that despite having a savings interest rate of 15% per annum tax free, we would not be able to save up that amount within four months. I still resisted.

Then in December, we asked again. The price in July for a 110 sqm house on a 207 sqm lot was Php 3.3M without interior partitions. The price in December for a 84 sqm house on a 165 sqm lot with interior partitions was Php 3.2M. Also, the house we wanted was no longer available according to the sales agent. Which was just as well as we would not have been able to afford it.

I keep asking myself why didn't we just buy the house in July and gotten something bigger? Of course I also know the answer - my husband was about to start a new job in August and buying a house when he wasn't even regularized was not our type of adventure. Also, with our salaries at the time, the only thing we could have paid for was the mortgage. Despite all this, I still get frustrated at an opportunity lost.

So here's what has happened so far:

Jan 12 - paid the reservation fee of Php 20,000
Jan 19 - loan application was approved by the bank
Jan 22 - gave a Jan 30 post dated check for the 20% spot down payment

My sister also complained that we have not looked around too much. She feels that we're settling.

Not really as I've been looking at houses way before I even got married. I've seen houses with a 30 sqm floor area, model units with the ceiling warped by rain water and about to fall off, and houses that our way off our budget. Interestingly enough, the dilapidated model unit had already been sold - I just wonder what the owner was thinking when he decided to buy it.

But I must admit to having fallen for the claims of the developer. So I basically had a one track mind when it came to where I wanted us to live. But time will tell whether or not there's truth in their advertising.

There are some good things that came out of having to wait until now to buy the house:

1.) My husband was regularized after three months on the job which also meant an increase in pay. We can now afford to pay for the mortgage and treat ourselves occasionally.

2.) A few weeks ago, the developer was accredited with the bank. This means that we no longer have to pay for the Php 3500 appraisal fee and that the bank will take the developer's price computation as is.

3.) The house available within our budget is the smallest one and the only one where the second floor bathroom can be accessed from the master's bedroom. The two bigger house models do not have this feature so you would need to go out to the hall in order to go to the bathroom. Basically, we would have had a dilemma which to get - bigger house or en suite bathroom. Thankfully, the decision was made by our wallets.
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