Since the start, Chris Camba was already decided on getting a condo.
“I’d been wanting to get a loft, something that has a bigger floor area ( because) I don’t want to feel that
I’m restricted. For me, a loft is spacious both in terms of area and layout/ design,” he says.
His main consideration in getting his Box, as what he fondly calls his condo unit, was location— how accessible it is to various establishments and to his office— and the amenities available, so he can do leaisurely activities during holidays or weekends. Having worked in a land development company, Chris knows reliability of the developer’s property management is also very vital.
“I will rely on them for basic repairs and maintenance, which I don’t have time to attend to. I made sure that the developer has the capacity to maintain the property very well,” he explains.
All paperworks were taken care of by the developer; all Chris had to do was show up during the turnover, pay the dues and sign the papers.
The unit he got was bare— no tiles, paint and fixtures— so Chris had the free hand to do what he wanted his Box to look like. To say that he was hands- on is an understatement; he had a concept in mind, looked for materials, formulated a work plan and budgtet, bought appliances and fixtures, and go to the Box every night to see the progress of the contractor. All these paid off. What would usually take at least 3 months to finish was done in just a month.
“It was not that easy, especially since a lot of these things are new to me. The most common problem is really the scheduling and meeting the
“I learned that the best way to deal with it is to communicate expectations and clarify agreements and, more importantly, spend time to really check the
progress personally and regularly.”
BANK EXECUTIVE CHRIS GAMBA ON DEALING WITH
milestones agreed. I learned that the best way to deal with it is to communicate expectations and clarify agreements and, more importantly, spend time to really check the progress personally and regularly,” he advises.
Riella Guioguio, on the other hand, said she and her husband of two years decided to build their own house after about a year of renting.
“We realized that our rent is just a sunk cost. We’d rather pay for something that will be ours in the future,” she shares.
Riella and Froilan both wanted to construct their own house than buy a ready unit. For a couple with two kids, the Guioguios knew they needed a bigger lot and a bigger floor area for their house. With this in mind, they knew a condo was not an option so they bought a lot first then built the house later.
“For us, if we are to raise family, we have to get a house and lot. We feel that condominium is too restrictive because there isn’t enough
CONTRACTORS OR DEVELOPERS
space for the kids to play or run around, or for us to have our own garden. We want an airy environment where we can raise several dogs and have lots of trees within the area. We also want to have an option to expand our house if we want to because there’s still space,” Riella explains.
The Guioguios eventually found the lot they wanted: costs cheaper than market rates, near the main gate/ guardhouse, accessible to public transportation, strategically located, and elevated ( fear of flooding is eliminated).
Like Chris, Riella and her husband were lucky to have found a contractor whom they trusted and helped them with the paperworks and made the whole house- building process less hassle.
“We just spent more time in choosing the materials such as tiles, lavatories because we had to accompany the contractor and decide what designs to buy. Small items, such as lightings and some fixtures that were not part of the construction contract, also gave us headache because we had to buy them ourselves and it took up a lot of our time,” she shares.
For Eds, time came for her and her family to get their own place when the owners of the house they’ve been renting for 29 years said they were going to use the property already.
“Instead of renting again, why not buy a house?” Eds and her family asked themselves. And so the house- hunting began.
She eventually found one near where she works in Banilad, as she preferred.
Unlike Chris and Riella’s experience, Eds’ was far from hassle- free. Since she just assumed the house, she had to deal with requirements more than the usual home- buyer would need and she worked on it herself. Worse, it took her a year to finish all these.