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We’re house hunting in the Philippines. Sort of. In August 2014 we’ll be able to access our IRA account which currently provides the bulk of our monthly income. The money earned over the past few years from our investments will enable us to pay cash for our new home. No more renting. No house payments.DSC

Regular readers of this website know that my asawa already owns a home and lot in nearby Guimaras, home of the sweetest mangoes in the world. If you would like to check out those stories about our first two-plus years of life in that rural province, please go to the category listed on my site menu entitled “The Rooster.” 

But circumstances dictated a move to a subdivision outside of Iloilo City where we reside with three nieces and a nephew. With rent in our area going for only P5,000-P6,000 a month (122-146 US Dollars) for a three-bedroom home, housing costs don’t take a big bite out of our monthly budget in the Philippines, but we want to buy a new home.

We can do what we like with our own home.  I know that my asawa will always have a place of her own and won’t have to pay any rent (and since I can’t legally own a home in the PH, my spouse’s name will be on the title anyway. I always need to keep on her good side.)

We had previously thought about moving to an area outside of our current subdivision but decided that it was too far from any major shopping malls or hospitals. So when our good friend, Señor Frog, told us about a house in his neighborhood that might be for sale in the future in Oton, where he resides with his lovely asawa, Rose, we decided we should check the place out.

Caught a jeepney to the Molo Plaza where we hitched a ride on another jeepney to Oton for 11 pesos each. Took about 35-40 minutes to reach the main square of Oton where we hired a trike rider to Mr. Frog’s home. Overcharged P25 each for the less than 10-minute ride, we were greeted by Señor  who I had called from the square to let him know we were on our way.DSC

Our friend escorted us to the home we wanted to check out as did a mangy, god-awful ugly mutt that kept barking at us. This American expat has come across some of the most repulsive and revolting canines he’s ever seen in the Philippines. Not many will be winning any beauty pageants.

The owner greeted us and showed us around. Quiet area with a good breeze. Nice home. We went upstairs to the unfinished second floor (see photos.)DSC

The ladder visible in the above picture leads to the unfinished attic. I liked the high ceilings on this second floor but knew that it could cost  at least an additional P1 Million pesos to finish the area.

I asked the owner what price she was asking. P3.5 to P4 million  (85,000-97,500 USD) was the reply, about a million pesos higher than we thought she might have quoted to others before. I immediately lost interest. Not worth the cost, in my opinion. The house only sat on one lot and, as mentioned, the upstairs would need to be finished.

My asawa and I both appreciate our friend helping us in our search for a new home in the Philippines. The area that he resides in is a fairly quiet place and only about 20 minutes from Iloilo (by private vehicle, not jeepeny. Jeepneys, while a cheap mode of transportation in the Philippines, make frequent stops to load and unload passengers. A move to Oton would probably require the purchase of a new vehicle for us.)

But the search continues. We have many options and might even decide to buy a lot in our present development and build our new home there. We have time to explore. Plus, it gets us out of the house and a chance to visit with our fellow expat friends in the Philippines. That’s always a good thing!

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