Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reflections Part 1: New Home

Here lies some thoughts about my life the past year of 2015 just to catch up with everything I failed to set in stone in this blog.

I will tackle a few areas of my life that I feel are of note.  This will most likely be a number of blog posts.  This particular one is about my new apartment.

I have been living in my old studio apartment in Makati for years.  And I literally mean years.  I forgot how long it's been.  But I'm guessing I've stayed there for close to a decade.  Maybe even longer.  I should have moved out sooner.  But I always had some limbo excuse in my life that was always convenient enough for me to put off looking to move to a new place.

Those excuses were either the inability to find a better place to rent, inability to find a rent-to-own apartment, or plainly not having enough funds to buy a new place outright and handle the monthly and annual payments.

I would search for possible options sparingly and those spurts of efforts only really lasts a few days at a time.  I, then, slump back into the limbo that I was both nervous and yet comfortable living in.

I also let my old place deteriorate.  I didn't really mind how messy it got.  So cleaning was largely an optional activity until something bad happens where I have no choice but to clean (i.e. bathroom sink sprung a leak and flooded my apartment.).  I didn't care.  It was only me in my place.  And all the dirt, grime, and accumulating stuff only bothered me and no one else.  My apartment turned into some cave and I was literally turning into some burara caveman.

That was one of a number of "ruts" that I slipped into.  And didn't care to get myself out of for years.  I don't think I'm an un-hygenic person.  But you would definitely think so if you saw the state of my old apartment.  Only my closest of friends know.  And they're mostly guys.  So they didn't care either.

It was a fortunate coincidence last year that my older sister, who lives in the States with her family, was having trouble paying the monthly and annual payments of her apartment in Ortigas.  Although she and her husband were both working, the cost of living in the US, plus two kids, and shouldering the living expenses of our parents, put a strain on her ability to handle any other costs outside of all those family considerations.  They were doing fine.  But certainly nowhere near comfortable in terms of financials.  The market was a little flooded with new condo buildings around the metro as well.  So selling the place was also quite a challenge.

My younger sister pitched the idea of me taking over all those payments and have a separate discussion with my older sister in order to pay for whatever total amount that she has already been paid out.  Essentially, I would eventually own my older sister's apartment.

It's a pretty convenient deal for me at that.  I don't have to provide a large downpayment since my older sister paid that out already.  She and I don't have to go through brokers and pay at least 10-20% of the condo price as brokers' fees.  All I have to do is ensure that I'm good with all the monthly and annual payments.  All those costs are close to what I already pay out in terms of rent, utilities, and association dues at my old place.  It was a win-win scenario for me.  And I was lucky to even have such an opportunity.  Plus this would significantly help out my sister and ultimately my parents financially.

Since I've been living at my old place for years, the amount of stuff I've accumulated over those years became glaringly evident when it came to packing all my stuff.  Admittedly, I did little or no pre-packing.  I was fortunate that my younger sister arranged for packers/movers for me where they literally packed everything they could see in my old place.  For such a small studio apartment, I was surprised that the balikbayan boxes the packing amounted to was close to 20 boxes.

Although my new place is much bigger than my old one, 17-20 balikbayan sized boxes plus furniture made my new place rather cramped at least on the first floor.  Unpacking has been a frustrating ordeal for me.  It made me realize how much of a pack-rat I really was.  I spent the next few weeks to months slowly unpacking.

Recent surgery stalled my unpacking efforts.  Perhaps I used my recent minor surgery as an excuse to not deal with unpacking.  My wound has healed considerably.  So I resumed unpacking.  Between the time I first moved in and now, I've gone from 17-20 boxes down now to just 3.  I've thrown out a lot of clothes and other things that I no longer wear or use.

Close to fully unpacked.  Yet the last three box seem just as frustrating as the initial 17+ boxes.  So I will slowly keep going until all of it is unpacked.  Hopefully, I'll be able to sort through where everything goes once everything is out of balikbayan boxes.  If not, looks like I need to throw out even more stuff.

My new place and moving in a new town signifies a fresh start for me.  Friends who have known me for years have been concerned that I stayed in my old place for so long.  I admittedly have been stagnant for years in my old place.  I just burn money month after month paying rent.  That money goes nowhere.  With my new place, what I pay out monthly and annually goes towards owning my place.  So my money doesn't just burn into thin air.  I am paving my future now.

And this is a very well-timed move considering the New Year.  At least I got the move completed prior to the holidays.  I poured a considerable amount of money into my new place.  I had the walls repainted.  I had decent kitchen cabinets, counter, rangehood, etc. installed.  I even spent to buy and install water heaters for my kitchen and bathroom sinks.  With all the unpacking, there is obviously still a lot that needs to be done.  But at the very least, the move is done.  And I can now work towards making my new apartment a home for myself in the coming weeks/months.


1 comment:

Euri said...

Congratulations on the move. It's about time. XD