The Cost of Owning a House in the Philippines

Purchasing a place you can call home is only half of the financial battle. We list down several additional expenses you also need to consider

So, you have finally earned enough money to buy a house and lot of your own. Congratulations are in order: that’s a big accomplishment, and no one can take that away from you.

However, the actual purchase of a house is only half of the financial battle. There are several additional expenses that you will have to take care of, and you will have to keep shelling out money for them. The costs might also rise, depending on the state of your property. Keep reading to find out how much owning your own house would actually cost you.

Moving Costs

First things first: You have to transfer all your stuff from your current place to your new house. If you can cram all your belongings in a standard sedan or an SUV, good for you. But if you need to transport heavy furniture, hiring a lipat bahay (professional movers) service is the way to go. Enlisting the help of a reputable trucking service can cost you around Php2,500 for a driver and two helpers, and that is only if you are living within Metro Manila. The rate will naturally go up if you are moving further away from your original home.

Furnishing Costs

If you have progressed from living with your parents to living in your own house, chances are you would not have all the furniture you will need to make your house a presentable one. A bed, a dining set, and a sofa—the barest necessities—can cost you around Php25,000 in total, and these are the cheaper selections from a budget furniture store.

You will also need appliances, as well as water and lighting fixtures. Appliances can be very expensive—a 24-inch TV is usually priced at around Php7,000, and you would be hard-pressed to find a two-door refrigerator that costs less than Php10,000. And while a pre-made home will usually have lights and bathroom fixtures pre-installed, you will have to shell out a decent amount of money for these if you are constructing your own place.

If you are aiming for the kind of home that gets featured in design magazines, you can have an interior designer do over your place. They can charge at least Php50,000 for a project, excluding consultation fees and other expenses.

Repair Costs

Nothing in life lasts forever: not your career, not your relationship, and most certainly not your appliances and furniture. These will fall apart, and once they do, you will have to shell out money to have them repaired or replaced. That said, it is prudent to be knowledgeable about the warranty clauses and periods of the items you are purchasing. Buying stuff using a credit card will also help add a layer of security, as some companies offer their own warranty services, in addition to low interest and flexible payment options.

Maintenance Costs

You have to spend for your home’s upkeep; otherwise, your house can quickly become a filthy den. You have to regularly spend time mopping the floors, dusting your furniture, cleaning your bathrooms, mowing your yard, and scrubbing down your kitchen—all grueling tasks. If you want to hire a full-time housekeeper, do note that the Kasambahay Law mandates a minimum monthly salary of Php2,500 if you’re living within the National Capital Region, plus SSS benefits.

You also have to check your home regularly for pests as termites, ants, rats, and cockroaches make for horrible housemates. Pest control services can cost a few thousand pesos, depending on the severity of the infestation.

Aside from these, there are also renovations and general upkeep—your house’s walls will eventually have to be repainted, the bathrooms re-tiled, and the floorboards replaced. All of these will eventually happen, and you will likely stress about it if you do not have the money you need to accomplish it. Save early and you will be okay. However, say a major repair or overhaul arises at a time you do not have enough saved, you can opt to apply for a salary loan that many universal banks offer. Do note, however, that the amount banks are willing to loan you depends on your capacity to pay.

Bills

When you are living with your parents, it is easy to forget that water, electricity, and telecommunication services all cost money. Having your own place means you will be the only one responsible for these expenses, forcing you to be as sensible as possible when it comes to your utilities. Moderate water usage can cost you a few hundred pesos a month, while an air-con-free abode with energy-efficient appliances can result in monthly bill that is less than Php5,000. A landline with Internet connection, on the other hand, can cost you Php1,000 upwards, depending on your preferred Internet speed.

Home Insurance

You would want to secure your hard-earned investment in case something goes awry. Insurance companies offer different comprehensive insurance packages and plans to cover everything from theft to water damage to acts of nature.

Government Tax

This is compulsory when purchasing any real property in the Philippines. You will have to pay a one-time fee for the Documentary Stamp Tax, the Transfer Tax, Registration Fees and Miscellaneous Fees, plus an annual or quarterly Real Property Tax.

Owning a house is no walk in the park for your pocket. It is a tremendous expense, and you really have to do your research before taking the plunge. Still, there is no replacement for the joy and fulfillment you can only get from living in a place you can truly call your own. As long as you go in financially prepared, you will find that it is really an investment worth working hard and sacrificing for.

Main image via Shutterstock

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