Thoughts About Real Estate and Mortgages in These Trying Times

Hello, hello, hello!

I’ve been catching up on a TON of work since we got engaged!!! A lot of things have been going on in my personal life as well but I’m hoping to share more of our adventures real soon. And one of these adventures that I’d like to share here with you now is not just about travels that we’ve been doing but more importantly, stuff that we’ve been accomplishing to help fulfill those goals we’ve set out for ourselves for this year and the next. I gave you some ideas before about how to reach your goals for 2022 and I’ve also shared with you some financial tools if your goal is a financial one.

So, this other adventure that I want to share here with you is also a bit related to finances. As you may know, Mahal and I are getting married next year and we are in the works of fulfilling our dream of having a beach wedding in Mactan, Cebu. Even if what we want is just an intimate one with only a few guests, it would still be considered as a big spend for us frugal folks so we’re doing everything we can to augment our income. We don’t want to spend so much on the wedding because we have a bigger fish to fry so to speak. Or shall I say “fishes”? Teehee.

And these “fishes” are:

  1. Level up on our mini resort business.
  2. Invest on our future home.
  3. One other big dream that we have yet to share with anyone…

In order to accomplish these, we need more funds and resources. Mahal is doing everything he can in his department to make sure this happens.

On my part, one of the things I’m going to do is to have my house in Alabang rented out again. This is one of the reasons why I have been busy the past month or so. I had my house repaired, repainted, and a bit renovated to get it ready for tenancy.

Over the years, thoughts of selling my house crossed my mind. But I always ended up shutting down that idea. Real estate, especially where my house is (in Alabang, Muntinlupa), is still considered precious. It’s a prime area, right smack in the middle of the central business district. It is close to everything we consider essential in city living — markets, malls, churches, hospitals, offices, with a good transportation system, inside a gated community, and the value of properties there keep going up despite the pandemic. Plus, if we were to decide to live there again or should Tuz (our 6-year old son) decide to go to Manila in the future, he will always have a house to go home to which he can call his own.

Even here in Oslob where we live, a quaint little town in Southern Cebu, real estate prices keep jacking up. We were thinking of buying a beach property for our future mansion (we can dream, right?), but beach lots here keep getting more expensive each passing day! Good thing Mahal was able to buy a lot, albeit in the mountains, it’s like 2 hectares of farm land that only cost him a fraction of how much a small beach property lot would cost. Mahal prefers to buy lots in hills and mountains rather than on beaches, which I think is not such a bad idea at all. It’s like getting the best of both worlds — beach is just right below and the mountain view is fantastic. Beach and farm life in one!

So going back to those goals of getting improvements done here in our mini resort and investing on our future home, we are thinking if it’s wise to get a mortgage. We both have experiences in getting mortgages before (I got my house through a ten-year mortgage back in 2007-2017) and Mahal got our Chevrolet Trailblazer through a five-year mortgage back in 2015-2020). So we know how financially stressful that could be especially if you don’t have enough monthly funds to cover it. But now that we’re older (and hopefully wiser and richer), perhaps getting a mortgage again sometime in the future will be a breeze.

This is how our mini resort, Oslob New Village, looks like at the moment:

In order to prepare for it, we try to read on the latest financial news just so we know how the market is doing and if it would be wise to make different kinds of investments. We usually go to Inquirer to get the local business news and Bloomberg to get a feel of how the global economy is doing especially with the war in Ukraine going on, oil prices going up, and inflation this high.

When everything else is considered, we need to figure out our loan if ever we will decide to get one. Since I am a very OC (obssessive-compulsive) person and Mahal is very frugal, we need to be able to project an itemized list of what amount we need to fund our mortgage, how much we need to pay monthly, what the interest rates are, and so on, and so forth. All this can be done when you go to a home mortgage company of course or talk to a real estate broker like how I did it the first time. But since we live far (we are 3 hours away from Cebu City) and spending for gas is getting too expensive these days, I’m happy to have found a way to estimate our payments and calculate our payments. It’s like an online calculator. I tried to play with it based on the amount of my house mortgage before and the monthly payments generated were almost the exact same amount I paid for! How amazing! So I’m going to show this to Mahal and from there make our decisions. We can also estimate affordability of a property here which Mahal will really like.

For those of you who are looking into making a real estate purchase, or considering refinancing your home, or buying a second home (like us!), or want to upgrade your house (we wanted to upgrade the look and design of our mini resort), you can try this online calculator I found so you can estimate your loan payments. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world. The math works for us here in the Philippines, so it can work for anyone in the world too. Because I am such an OC kind of gal, I appreciate the fact that it has a feature which allows you to link to a specific calculation with the results already filled in. The link appears below your calculated results when you press the calculation button. How awesome is that???!!! Plus, you can get graphs of loan repayment along with monthly and yearly amortization tables. I am so thrilled! Woot! I’m sure those who love making graphs and charts will love this!

So that’s it for my latest update.

I’m still actually on a high from our engagement honeymoon a month ago despite the fact that I’ve just been busy working here so that’s going to be the next series of adventures I’ll share with you. And about that BIG SECRET we’re dreaming about, for now, we’re keeping it that.. a secret. 😉

Til my next post!

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