23 September 2010


Earl and I scrimped and saved for a long time for this house. Actually, we still don't eat out as often as we used to nor do we spend as much on food as we used to.

Luckily for us, we're the type who can spend hours at the mall and not buy a thing. We also are not into buying clothes, shoes, etc. But I must admit it has come to the point where we are looking a bit like ragamuffins. My mother is so appalled at my appearance, she has taken to buying me clothes...

You now know the reason why our pictures are nowhere to be found on this blog... Kidding! Or maybe not...

But as I pointed out to both her and my sister (who tells me that there are inexpensive clothes out there - yes, I am aware of that), a shirt will still cost at least Php 400, and the cheapest pants I have ever bought here in Manila was Php 600. Now, that's around Php 1000 put together - an amount that can be used say, towards a nicer dining table or oven.

Our goal in saving was to spend for the house without borrowing money or touching our modest retirement fund. While we accomplished that for the renovation, we will need to start saving again once the contractors are done but this time for the furniture and appliances. And after our experience of buying cheap furniture that does not last too long, we've decided go for more durable pieces. All this durability though will come at a price. Doesn't it always?

Needless to say, it will be quite awhile before we are able to move into the house.

This now brings me to what Earl told me a few days ago. If he had his way, we would have used the money we saved for furniture and appliances and moved in already. With the exception of the electrical system, he was fine with the house as is - with all the white walls. This revelation came about when I asked him why he didn't really have an opinion regarding the house except to say, "anything you want hon..."

When asked, Earl will tell you whether he thinks one tile is better than the other or if he likes a certain color. Other than that, he doesn't say much. Maybe it's a guy thing because according to my mom, if it were up to my dad, our house would have been surrounded in cement (no garden).

In any case, it got me thinking. Could I have been happy with the house as is? It only took a few seconds before my forehead wrinkled and a frown popped up. I would rather wait for furniture if it means I can sit on the floor, gaze at the walls and think "ooh, nice..." Kind of like my sister with boots that pinched her toes whenever she wore them. She bought them despite the discomfort because she thought they were pretty.


Maxi said...

Hi Nicole,

Ok lang yan, sacrifice and prayers lang for a better home. I would agree with you that you choose quality materials and furnitures. Quality is not always expensive, right decision lang ang katapat nyan.


Maxi said...

Since you will be using the house for the rest of your life, make sure your andun na lahat ang gusto mo from floor to ceiling.Don't settle for the 2nd best or you feel sorry at the end.

popcorn said...

I think I would've gone along or thought of the same thing as Earl - I'd just use the money you already have and furnished the house & moved in already. Then I would've planned for to update / renovate the house while we were living inside it, little by little. In fact, that was what I did when I bought my condo years ago.

But then again, there is a drawback to that plan. Pag nandoon ka na, it's very hard to renovate because you already have furniture & appliances w/c can easily be damaged during the renovation. Also, pwedeng tamarin because of the hassle (pack up stuff, ligpit, dusty, paint odors,..), then there are other life events that could happen - you could get pregnant and not be up for the stress of any more renovations!

Conclusion ? You're doing the right thing - btw, I hope you're not spending more money renting right now ?

Nicole said...

@Maxi - I'm trying to research good but not so expensive furniture but I think I'll still have to cross my fingers and hope for the best.

You're right - sometimes when I think about settling (i.e. room colors that the painters can't seem to get), I think of how I'll probably feel worse later if I don't fix things now.

@Popcorn - that's what I was thinking too! Since the house is small, it would be hard to move the furniture around. And I'm also taking advantage of the fact we don't have kids yet. The budget and our energies would have been eaten up by the baby.

No worries on the renting front - we live with my mother-in-law who does not want us to leave anytime soon =) Though since we do contribute, our house expenses will be much less once we move out.

Jen said...

true, true! emptying my kitchen cabinets to make way for the renovation is like opening up pandora's box. hehehe.

better to have everything you want done before you move in. it's very tedious to sort, pack, clean and re-arrange everything back after a renovation. not to mention having to live for days with all the mess greeting you daily.

thinking about the "inconvenience" we will be experiencing stresses me out... altho having my kitchen renovation done before christmas excites me to no end.

btw, i did find a cheaper kitchen cabinet-maker... who uses mahogany at that! he quoted us 63k for everything, including demolishing our existing kitchen and moving our sockets for the ref, range hood and cooktop. we went to pay the DP today... we paid only after going to their shop (to see if they really exist because i only found them thru the net) and inspecting the quality of their work (i had to make sure we're on the same page as far as quality is concerned). woohoo! totoo na ito!

i get to have mahogany cabinet doors and a granite counter for a lot less than what my original contractor quoted for MDF cabinet doors. i'm sure my kitchen would have looked wonderful had i gone with my original contractor... but spending 100k (excluding appliances) for such a small kitchen would have been unconscionable.

about the "guy thing"... my husband is more or less the same... he also doesn't say much about these renovation stuff. what's worse is that he frowns and expresses impatience over the time i'm wasting "canvassing" for a cooktop and a range hood.

still i insist in doing the rounds of appliance stores because i want to make sure i'm getting a good deal and that i've seen all that is out there. it's my kitchen after all!

if my husband had his way any stove or range hood that will not go over our budget would have been enough. but then again, it's my kitchen... i should have the final say on how it looks. hehehe! :-)

juliet said...

hi nicole,

i am a long timer nawie but lurker na ngayon. saw your blog from the egroup and read everything from start to finish. grabe what you went through and currently going through for your dream house but I really thank you for this blog as it is very useful for those who plans to construct their own homes.

Nicole said...

@Jen - I'm glad you found a cheaper supplier! We also felt that spending way beyond our budget would be a sad waste of cash.

Please send us an update though on how it turns out. There are a lot of people who are looking for kitchen suppliers.

And I agree with you about looking at all possible sources before making a decision. Tedious but in the end, regrets are lessened by looking around first!

@Juliet - you're welcome! I'm really happy that you find this useful =) I'll try to improve on things so if you have any suggestions, feel free to send me an email.

mommyerl said...

hi nicole! you're right above saving to the max hehehe! my hubby and i had an agreement nga not to spend more than 500 on meals. Hay goodbye to our fave restos for now. And my sis comments din na why do i wear such old clothes na. i should buy new ones na daw. hehehe. ganito ata talaga pag nagpapatayo ng bahay.

medyo different nman c hubby ko from yours. medyo madetail din cya like us girls but we had a discussion abt moving in na. he wants to move in with basic furnitures and appliances. ayoko pa. i don't want to move in na hindi pa comfortable to stay. lalo na't we have a daughter na toddler pa. like for the kitchen, his plan is wag muna ipagawa kitchen cabinets. eh san namin ilalagay mga kitchen stuff?!? ayoko ng magulong bahay. ayun, naconvince ko din na ipagawa na nmin :)

ang dami pa nating pagdadaanan pala with our house. pag medyo ok na yung samin, ill invite u to visit :)

Nicole said...

Hi Erlaine =)

I agree with you! I also want that once we move in, everything is already fixed up.

I was also going to do the same thing - once our house is done, I'm planning to invite you, Gladys and Maxi over with your families. Turns out Gladys (co-n@wie) was Clint's officemate. Really small world =)

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