Safe Haven: Why Families Turn to Second Homes in Times of Calamity

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When buying a second home, seekers consider the property’s location and its ability to keep the family safe from disasters, especially if their primary homes are in flood- and earthquake-prone areas. Even in a time of health crisis, such as what the Philippines is experiencing now, a home that is in a less populated area can be a family’s saving grace. This allows families to stay at home peacefully.

In the Roundtable discussion held by Lamudi before Luzon was subjected to an enhanced community quarantine, panelists mentioned the trend of buying second homes as a refuge where families can move into when their safety in their primary home is compromised. This can also be applicable now that COVID-19 has highlighted some of the vulnerabilities of our congested cities. 

In times of crisis, Filipino property seekers want a home that can act as their safe haven. Here are three reasons families purchase second homes during challenging times.

Families Want a Safe and Private Refuge

Most families buy a second home with the intention of making it their “halfway house.” In the Philippines, second homes usually serve as a temporary home for young adults who need housing close to their schools, or busy parents who need a home closer to their jobs. But because the Philippines gets hit by typhoons regularly every year, many second homes also serve as secondary refuge located in a less disaster-prone neighborhood. 

Families may also use their second homes as a “clean room” for family members to rest and recover from illnesses or from previous operations. The house may also be used as a safe place to be quarantined. Family members can fully recover without the stress and noise from the outside world, without getting more sick from outside exposure, and without infecting the rest of the family.

The whole point of having second homes is to have a safe place as protection from disasters and as a place for recovery and healing, but it is also flexible enough to be used for other needs of the family.

Families Want an Alternative to Evacuation

While local government units (LGUs) provide evacuation centers as a temporary refuge for those affected by calamities, there are a handful of people who prefer to stay in their homes until the calamity subsides. Those who have experienced staying in evacuation centers may not want to go back, and a second home away from the center of calamity gives them a more comfortable place to weather the storm. 

Most families don’t want to relocate so they save up for a secondary home in case an emergency or disaster arises. Those who live in the city may want to look into properties in the fringes, while those who have bigger homes in the province may want a more convenient abode in Metro Manila. Having homes in two locations gives them options when a surprising situation hits. A second home also ensures safety and privacy that families may not get from evacuation centers, or in other relocating shelters.

Another reason families don’t want to relocate is because they might have a business attached to their first home. To avoid losing too much or having to start from scratch, families move into their second home but continue their business in their first home, guaranteeing income even after a typhoon, a fire, or even a health emergency.

Their Children Will Inherit Their Second Home

Children may inherit the second home and continue to use it as their halfway home or as a vacation home when they want to unwind.

The house may turn into a primary residence, or as a vacation home where the family can still continue to create memories and enjoy each other’s company. A lot of houses and foreclosed properties are being converted into summer vacation homes for this exact purpose. OFWs also look at these homes as a place where they can retire in the future. 

A second home may also be the legacy a loving parent or grandparent leaves behind to the next generation. As property values rise over time, purchasing a new home means investing in the family’s future as well, giving future generations the reassurance that they will have a safe haven they can call their own. 

The Philippines faces natural calamities regularly, and unpredictable health emergencies may also hamper a family’s ability to live a normal life. Rather than let these challenges stop Filipinos, however, they show that a family will do what it takes to keep their loved ones safe even in trying times. 

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