Lifestyle Assessment Series: Housing
We had barely spent a week at our then new condo unit but I was already plotting how I would resell it (using an assume balance payment plan), take out another Pag-ibig loan and buy a bigger house for our growing family. Checking out house and lot ads and calculating how much loan amount would I qualify for and how much of my salary I should allot for that, became a mini obsession for a while
I didn't think twice about all this because this was my norm, what I grew up with. My parents renovated our bungalow twice and in the process, took out 3 different housing loans in a span of 10-15 years. I thought it was normal to fret over money all the time and to rush to the bank every month to fund checks, otherwise, the PDC would bounce and we would be in deep shite.
But when I began to immerse myself in the personal finance universe and my eyes were opened to the joy of being debt-free and even early retirement, I realized that I was perfectly free not to saddle myself with so much debt. That being debt-free was a viable way of living (imagine that!).
So I began to look at my 30sqm condo with new eyes, instead of trading it in for a bigger house and in the process taking on bigger debt for a longer period of time, I began to contemplate buying the next door unit from my brother and sister. Before I knew it, we had a second unit and after we joined the units with a doorway, we had more than enough space and I wasn't dreaming of 2-3 bedroom houses anymore.
More importantly though, my monthly mortgage for both units is ridiculously low and because we took out Pag-ibig loans for the units, I have the option to throw extra money towards the monthly amortization to bring down the balance, thus, the payment term becomes shorter.
The amortization for each unit is about Php5,500 and I pay an extra Php5,000 for one of the units every month. I plan on increasing the extra payment to Php10,000 - Php15,000 in the next few months and make even bigger payments when I receive windfalls from work, this way, one unit will be fully paid off in 2-3 years time, a good 15 years ahead of schedule. When one unit is fully paid off, I will then put all the extra money towards the other unit and pay that off too ahead of schedule.
I've also been dreaming of adding an extra bedroom for our son, but with the way things are going, I think we'll only be able to do that in 2-3 years time. And since I'm deadset on getting professional help for the layout and other things I want done around the house, renovations really won't be happening anytime soon. First on the agenda is to pay off debts, then bring down our housing debt and after all those are done, only then can we consider renovating our space. It's adulting at its best.
When my parents moved out of our house and moved to the province after my dad retired, our old house suddenly seemed empty and cold. It was then I realized that a house is just a shell and it's the people who inhabit it that turn it into a home. Whether we stay in our 60sqm kingdom for good or trade it in for an honest-to-goodness house when we can actually afford it, only the future knows. What matters is how we choose to make use of our space and I choose to make it a home for my family.