I’m getting tired of moving apartments. I’m hoping that the next time I have to change abodes again, it would be to a more permanent place, something I could call mine. The hassle of finding a new place to live in, packing, moving, and unpacking has been getting traumatic. Each time I have to move to a new place (or sometimes, a new job from one that I loved a lot) I feel like a part of me is being ripped out.
I realize that it is about time to take seriously the idea of owning a piece of real estate, be it a house-and-lot in some far-flung corner in the outskirts of greater Manila area or a shoebox masquerading as a condo unit in the city. At least, then I wouldn’t have to worry when the landlord cuts short our lease because she f*cked up or has to raise our rent. Now I realize, too, that I’m only throwing away money by paying to stay at a place that I eventually have to give up anyway. Then again, what could I do–owning a place in Manila is very expensive, and I’m not the only one among my peers who bemoans the cost of having an apartment signed after one’s name.
So yes, I’m seriously considering buying (well, it’s more of down payment + years of mortgage), an apartment. Much as staying in the previous condo was very practical in terms of rent, not having to pay dues and utilities, and the fantastic location of our building, I chose to move out when another issue came up. I wouldn’t elaborate what it was; it’s pretty useless. With barely four weeks to comb through online ads for apartment rentals, schedule viewings, shoring up available resources to meet the required three months’ worth of down payment and advance fees, we were lucky (blessed!) to find a large enough apartment just two blocks away from the previous building.
I was getting terribly depressed over having to move again, but I guess it was all a blessing in disguise. I’m back in the same neighborhood after roughly 31 months. I like this space better, and the location is just great; it’s far from the main road, so I don’t have to deal with the noise pollution from motor traffic and the wails of karaoke singers from the neighborhood; it’s relatively safe (this is Manila, so you can’t feel 100% safe); the unit is not very exposed to dust and is infinitely easier to clean and maintain. On the down side, I have to walk a block to find a cab to work every morning, take a ride to get to the nearest supermarket, and get used to a less than spectacular view of the city from my 9th floor window. There is no Mercury Drug or 7-11 downstairs either, so there won’t be any late-night runs for snacks and alcohol. The building doesn’t have its own swimming pool where I could take a couple of laps for free to escape the summer heat, but it’s still okay. In the nearly three years that I spent at the other building, I must have visited the poolside about five times. I like the new place.
I remember that when we first moved into this neighborhood four years ago, better things did start happening: extra writing assignments, major trip abroad, creature comforts. Looking back, I don’t think anymore that breaking up with my then-boyfriend was such a bad thing although I wasn’t too happy when it happened. When I first stepped into this place on our viewing, it all felt right. We had viewed about half a dozen places for rent, and all seemed wrong, from the size of the room (makatiapartments.com), the insane noise (GA Tower along EDSA), possibly problematic set-up with flatmates (Kingswood), etc. And then out of frustration and desperation, I dialed this apartment owner’s number, a nice Chinese Filipino lady, who eventually jumped at the chance to show this place, and voila–I knew right away that it would be my place for at least the next 12 months.
A week before we moved, I held a garage sale not necessarily to make money, but more of to dispose a lot of our stuff that we were not using anymore or I knew wouldn’t fit into the new place. On the first day alone, sales poured in and I managed to make enough to purchase a new ref, haha! and cover the lipat-bahay fees for moving a ton of stuff.
On moving day, my landlady even gave me a moon cake as a welcome gift (and maybe a good luck gift, says my sister) while we were signing our contract and I issued 13 months’ worth of PDCs. Thank God, I deposited funds into my checking account, and although I did not put money into it as frequently as I should have, I found out that I had more than the amount that I needed for deposits and fees. That’s the beauty of not counting your money in the bank, sometimes. Only sometimes.
Now, let’s see if things would work out as well as they did before we moved to Kingswood. Who knows! I believe in luck and preparation and opportunities. And much as I try not to be too religious, there is also a part of me that believes that perhaps there’s a higher power that is truly in control of everything, and I just have to find my way through.