Money Matters: Should we buy a house now?

I’m sure you’ve heard of people saying that it’s more practical to buy a house with the money you’re paying for monthly rent. We get that a lot. And honestly, it can get really tempting.

Seriously, who doesn’t want to own a house?

house-for-sale
There are so many limitations when you’re just renting. You can’t apply changes without the approval of the landlord. You can’t repaint any time you want.

Plus you need to pay for repairs when something gets broken on your watch. Not the major stuff, of course, but for example, it’s only right that we change the bathroom door knob that broke, or fix the cabinets underneath the bathroom sink.

Every time I think about the expenses for fixing things around the house, my heart sinks. So when you think about it, it does sound more practical to just pay for a house that you will eventually own.

When my husband came home one day to ask me if I would be interested to look at a unit nearer the South, I couldn’t help feeling excited at first. After all, what housewife wouldn’t want freshly painted walls and newly installed cupboards?

dining-room

The 15-year payment plan
However, after a few weeks, my excitement turned into questions. Can we really afford to pay for a place of our own?

My husband has a PAG-IBIG fund that we can loan from. However, we can most likely afford to go for no less than a 15-year amortization plan.

Believe me, if I am in my 20’s or even in my early 30’s, a 15-year plan is a wonderful idea. But we’re no longer in our 20’s and 30’s. We’re already in our 40’s and just about to get done with the remnants of our previous financial mess which I wrote about in Brighter Life: Starting Over at 40

Not to mention, our eldest son is only 10 years old. A house we need to pay monthly for 15 years doesn’t seem like something we can maintain given our current state of finances and cash flow.

I asked my husband, “who’s going to pay for the last five years?”

credit-card

If we were to get a house now, we would be in our 50’s during the last five years of payment; Just a decade and a few years before our retirement age.

Not that I underestimate our capacity to work until then, but it’s something that we need to consider.

At the rate we’re going, we just have enough to meet the needs of the family, pay our obligations, and save a little. And since we’re still paying up, we have very little savings; not enough to cover us for 10 years should anything go wrong.

Our eldest will be 25 years old by then and our second child would be 21. Our youngest will be in his late teens.

I have no doubt that our children will generously shoulder the remaining payments, but as a parent, do I really want to do that to them?

Being in their 20’s, they would most likely just be starting off with their lives. They may even marry in a few years. I would rather that they prepare for their own future and not be burdened by a responsibility they didn’t decide on in the first place. We don’t even know what their plans for their future are yet!

frog-at-home

My Faith and our Finances
If you know me well enough, you would know that when it comes to these things, when God impresses in my heart to go buy a house, I will buy a house regardless of our circumstances.

I am thankful for the years that we have experienced lack. It gave us a better view of our finances. Here’s what I believe: That when God blesses, He adds no trouble to it (Proverbs 10:22).

If we get a house now, we’ll be committing ourselves to 15 years of debt.

I remember reading something about buying a house before that says unless you have the money to buy it in cash, think twice about getting yourself one.

If we get a house now, paying for it monthly is all we will be able to do, basing on our current flow of finances. There has to be a better way.

So we ask ourselves, do we really need to buy a house this year? Does it have to be now?

Not really. Not yet.

I believe that God is capable of blessing us with more so we may be able to get a house for a lesser amount of years to pay. Are we setting aside buying a house? Yes, for now.

Investing in a house is good, but we need to understand what we’re getting into and what it will cost us in the long run. And most importantly, to gauge if your financial plan is feasible.

There are things we can do for now. We can give our best at work, spend wisely,  and grow our savings. We can make investments within our means, such as start a mutual fund, learn about stocks, or invest in a potentially profitable business until we can really afford to buy our family a house.

Until then, Jay and I agree to be content and wait a little longer.

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“Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house” Proverbs 24:27.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much” Luke 16: 10a (ESV).

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47 Comments

  1. I love this one, May. We’re almost a year into our equity + loan repayment and it is haaaaard. I totally forgot to consider this when we jumped into working from home (we are both now freelancing so we’ve been living on the edge lately). Although we still have an advantage in terms of age (haha :P), the journey is still the same — getting a house is no walk in the park unless we’re millionaires or we’re earning 100K a month.

    Still, I’m glad we made the decision. Sometimes making the leap is all that’s needed to get you to work. I’d probably We’ll find a way around our situation, too, just like you guys would. 🙂

    1. Oh we are working on it. 🙂 But like you said, the age (or to be more precise, the number of years we’re committing to) is a huge consideration. 🙂

      Thanks Pam!

      1. Naalala ko tuloy ang dream house ko 🙁 same as you, kinu-compute ko na din ang bayarin and di biro ang magcommit for 15-30years na pagbabayad lalo na kung ordinaryong mamamayan lang kami. As long as magkakasama kami ok na siguro ako; for now. 🙂

  2. My husband and I just got our house through a bank loan for 5 years and thank God we’ve survived the first 3 years to date… the decision to get one through financing is really a hard decision for us because of the income and our obligations as parents… everyday we got loads of expenses especially for the kids, and i myself have experienced giving up a lot for myself, sometimes i dont eat mapagkasya lang ung budget.. but sometimes taking the leap is all you need to get determined.

    Ive been very optimistic and i always pray that no matter what, God will provide. And indeed, God has been so faithful. All i ever wish is that while the kids are young and we are able, we need to have a decent house that we can call our own. We really set it as our priority before anything else after getting married. Yes we got little savings for now, pero mabilis naman ang panahon..you’ll realize mamaya tapos na pala.. I always hold on to my faith and i always believe that whatever your heart desires, it will all be given in time..and believe that God will never put you into hard situations that he knew you can’t handle… Believe, whatever it is, he will help you get through it! 🙂

    1. Oh I agree. If it’s God’s will,it’s God’s bill. Like I said in the blog, if you know me well enough you would know that if God impresses in my heart to go buy a house despite our circumstances, I will buy a house.

      But faith (and finding God’s will for us) is taking time to pray and reading the Word and waiting for His go-signal. 🙂 Romans 10: 17 talks about faith as “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

      After all, we’re talking about 15 years or more here, not just 5. This has to be a wisdom move.

      Thank you for your input. 🙂 You only have two more years to go, congratulations. Happy for you!

  3. Been thinking about the same thing for about 10 years now! Scared to be in debt for so long but then if we never take out a loan from Pag-ibig, I’m also scared that we will never be homeowners. Will work really hard and leave the rest to the Lord.

    1. It’s really a matter of getting the right “plan”. I wrote this in the context of being 40 and still paying off our debts. 🙂

  4. I really, really want to buy our own house. But there are so many things to consider. We also are considering letting our kids study in another school which is better but more costly. How will I know if it’s God’s will for us or it’s just my desire?

    1. Hi Ceemee!

      On a biblical basis, the three ways to know God’s will for your life.

      1. God’s Word.
      Contrary to what some people think, the Bible is applicable yesterday, today and tomorrow. It’s a matter of reading it, studying it and understanding the context for which it had been originally written.

      Anything that goes against the Word of God is of course, not His will.

      2. Godly counsel.
      You need to seek the counsel of someone who not only has experience in the same situation, but one who applies God’s word in her life.

      3. Circumstances
      God can speak to you through your circumstances. What are your priorities and how do they align with each other? Remember that God is not a God that confuses, but a God who puts things in order.

      With #2 and #3, you have to always go back to #1 to double-check. 🙂

  5. I think it should be best to save money rather than be in debt for 15 long years. God is good and He will provide. Have faith

  6. It’s my husband and I’s dream to buy a house someday. We don’t think that is possible now but hopefully in the next few years when we reach 30, that’s like 3 years from now nalang. haha. Our dreams are one of the reasons why he went to work abroad. I have to agree that it’s not that easy when you start having left and right responsiblities. I don’t want to rush things over as well and regret it later. I think you both made a good decision.

  7. i totally understand where you’re coming from sis…I had the same doubts and thoughts when I was earning so much. I guess, we just have to take it one day at a time. In GOD’s proper timing. Mishoo!

  8. Every family’s dream is to have our own house, my husband’s and I we’re always talking about this matter all over, if where, when, we buy a house and we really need consider the location if possible. There’s a lot of considerations when you plan buying a house and lot. But right now we are still praying about our home in the future, if it is Gods will His perfect time is the best. the only thing that we can do as of now is to commit all our plans for the Lord.

  9. Getting a house is really a leap of faith. It is costly and it doesn’t there. When we decided to build a house on bank financing we also asked the same questions you have hear. Can we afford it? It was difficult at first since it eats out a big chunk from your budget, but later on we got used it, skimping on other things became natural. We are now on our 7th year paying bank debts, we have 9 more years to go… seeing the fruits of our labor makes work easier.

    1. Good for you, Juvy. We opted for another route. 🙂 Our question isn’t just confined to whether we can afford it and when it comes to scrimping, I think we’ve mastered that already, haha. It’s really a matter of whether we can maintain it until we’re in our 50’s.

    1. Hi Mhaan! Okay lang naman to scout. My husband and I go around visiting condos and properties. The best way to go about it is to talk to a financial consultant para you can have an idea of the risks and possibilities. 🙂

  10. We’ve been looking around for a house already. We’re not really in a hurry, 3 years pa lang naman kaming married and our daughter just turned two. But thinking about it, mas maliit pa ang gastos ngayon and if we start early, early din matatapos yung loan. Anyway, we decided na sa 2017 na lang, o di ba may year na, haha, pag 5 years na rin kaming kasal tsaka kakakuha land din kasi ng car loan, kaloka. Pero mas mababa pag sa bank, pag sa pagibig ata sobrang laki ng interest, not sure though.

    1. Yes my husband said the same thing. Mas mababa sa bank, but we’re still at the 15-year payment plan, so talagang not ideal.

    1. Haha, yeah. That’s one of our consideration. When you have a limited budget, you have to prioritize the allocations. 🙂 Thanks Gerilen.

  11. I love this post May. Syempre who wouldn’t want a house of her own diba? But you are right, we have to consider a lot of things and really think this through. My reason naman is because we can’t afford a house in the metro and I can’t buy a house somewhere far. Because that’ll be crazy. Oh well. In time. Sana nga makabili tayo ng cash!

    1. Thanks Celerhina! YES! Iba ang rate outside sa Metro and because of the horrible traffic, it’s really not ideal to buy a home so far if your livelihood is based in Manila.

      Anyway, according to one of the articles I’ve read about it, it’s not that you need to pay for the house in full (although if you can, why not?). It’s being sure that if something goes wrong with your source of income, you have that amount in the bank to pay so you won’t delay payments, or risk losing your investment altogether.

  12. May, I have the perfect solution. Live in Davao! Hehe kidding aside, did you know we got our house on a short-term payment plan? It’s low-cost and we won’t be able to live in it for another 3-4 years, but it’s still a very good investment. The payment plan is just 5 years and we’re already halfway through it.

    But then again, you can’t just root yourselves out of Luzon and live in a completely strange place. I believe God will lead the house to your family, May! And when it comes, no trouble shall come with it.

  13. Just attract, May. 🙂 Gusto ko na rin magkaroon ng sariling bahay pero yun nga tama ka, good things come to those that wait patiently for the right time. 🙂

  14. Hi Mommy May 🙂

    My parents bought our house almost 15 years ago (my mom was in her 40s already) and thankfully, two more years nalang and goodbye debt. I was still in high school back then and out youngest was not even one year old! There are so many considerations and factors to look into, especially na it is a big purchase. I agree with you. Patience talaga, save, and hard work 🙂

    1. Yes, ‘pag ganito na 40 na, committing yourself to 15-30 years payable is not really advisable. it’s really can you or can you not afford it?

  15. As you know, we’ve been wanting to buy our own house too. But present circumstances really prevent us from doing so. There’s really no choice now but to make the most of what we have. I know in God’s time it will happen for us and to you guys too. 🙂

  16. Your blog came just when i needed it. It covered everything i need to learn. I am a mother of 5, 17 being the eldest and 2 our youngest. Our finances are getting out of hand and quite frankly, i find it scary. Anyway, i am so blessed to have come across your blog through a comment you made in the homeschooling group in fb and since then i am hooked.
    May the good Lord bless you and your family more for the wealth of knowledge you are sharing.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi! Thank you for reading and I’m glad that I can help in some way. Do reach out if you need to ask questions. Hope to see you around the homeschool events. Don’t hesitate to say hi. 🙂

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