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Archive for the Category "Housing in the Philippines"

Looked at a house for rent in Villa Feliza 2 in Bacoor, Cavite Jul 23

Yesterday, my girlfriend (Abby) and I went to check out a house in Villa Feliza 2. This is a small subdivision right near SM.

Right off the bat, let me just say that I am none too happy with this whole thing.  First off, the ad said the house was a two bedroom. Well, it is actually a 3 BR and not a 2BR. It turns out that the top (3rd) floor is a big room (18.88 square meters), which is great because it means that I can use it as an office and spared bedroom.  Now, you may be wondering where the negative is. Well, it is a small one, but they can’t even get an ad right? COME ON! I know. I know. It’s trivial.

The only problem with the third floor is that it is going to get pretty hot up there.  The heat is not that big of a problem because I can put some insulation in the ceiling and air condition the room. However, this brought up the second red flag.

When I asked the landlady about putting in a split type AC on the third floor room, I found out that lady is not the owner.  It turns out that she is the owner’s sister and the owner is an OFW in Saudi Arabia. At this point, more red flags start flying. Why? Because this means that every time something needs to be fixed, the sister will have to consult the owner to get permission, which is going to cause all sorts of delays. I have had enough problems with landlords not wanting to fix things to know that this is going to turn into an issue in the future.

Getting back on topic, though.  She gets her on the phone and calls her sister in Saudi. The owner asks who will pay for the install.  Of course I will pay for it, but more red flags start flying.  Then, I asked about something else and again the owner asked if I would want to take the cost of that out of the rent. Once again, my answer was no, but by this point there are so many red flags zooming through the air that I can’t see the sun.

Let me explain.  Not only is this woman not in country, which (as previously mentioned) is going to make getting repairs a real nightmare, but she is going to be incredibly kuripot.  My current landlady is like that and when she does get a repairman in here, after her exhaustive search for the lowest possible bidder, the job is never done right because the lowest bidder is always the biggest incompetent, as well.

On top of all that, they want 15K a month and 500 pesos more for the security guard, who is never at the front gate, to begin with!!!

This house is not all bad, though. The driveway area was redone, but in tile, which will be slick when it rains. So, that is 50/50. However, there is plenty of sun for my plants, which is a bonus. I will have a nice large office and we will remain close to my girlfriend’s doctor, which makes her happy. The kitchen is newish and in good shape with a hood over the stove to reduce the heat from cooking. There is a place for the refrigerator and there is already an air conditioner in the master bedroom.

OH!!! I forgot about that. The master bedroom is 11.99 square meters, yet they have a .5 hp air conditioner in there. For a room that size,  you want a 1 hp air conditioner. So, what do I do? Hope the existing air conditioner can, by some miracle keep the room cool? UGH!

Obviously, I am going to have to pay to enlarge the opening and replace the air conditioner in there now, with my own.  This actually works out well, because I can put the .5 hp air conditioner in the small room  The small room is just a hair under 10 square meters and will be the baby’s nursery.

Sorry. Did I not mention that my girlfriend and I are expecting a baby in December? Well, there it is. So, quit your griping that I didn’t tell you.

Anyway, getting back on topic. This house definitely has some potential, but with all the red flags, plus the price I am just not sure if I will take this house or not. I know I can get a much nicer place a bit further south, for that money, but the last thing I want to do is get further from Manila. The further you get from Manila, the worse the utilities become.

Why don’t they listen? Jan 12

I’ve been posting about my new house and how a few things need repairs. I mentioned the water spigot in the CR as my arch enemy in this house.

FINALLY, Jenn bought the pipe cement that I need to fix it. So I told everyone I want them to shower or whatever so I can turn off the water for the night. I want that pipe to dry out so I can fix this damn thing so it has all night to dry.

I see the pot, in the sink, that Maricel used to cook sopas in so I fill it with water so it can soak. I wasn’t too worried about it being washed right away. I just wanted them to finish using water so I could do what I had to do.

Bowl of Sopas with a spoon

Of course, it doesn’t work out how I wanted it to. I ask Jenn if she wants to shower tonight. She tells me to just fill the water bucket in the CR and she will use that. I told her that won’t work because I am turning off the water for the whole night and we will need that to flush and stuff. So, she makes a face. I turn to her sister, Maricel, and I ask her if she will shower. She tells me she will so I told her to get a move on. She heads to the sink and proceeds to empty the pot, I JUST FILLED. I ask her why and she tells me she will wash it.

Implied Facepalm

I said to her that I just got done filling it and explaining about the water as she sat right there. Why would she think I want it washed NOW?!?!?  I told her to get her butt in the shower.

I swear. Sometimes it is like I am invisible.

UPDATE:

Even as I am writing this the fun continues. I go out there to help my daughter find my other daughter’s bottle. I ask Jenn if Maricel showered and she tells me yes. I ask Jenn if she is going to shower and she tells me she will “get cleaned up.” So I tell her to get her butt in the CR and get it done. She responds that her toenails are still wet, FROM HOURS AGO!!!  I get a little pissy about it and walk off as I hear Jenn say,

“I will just wash my face and stuff.”

I swear, I am going to lose my mind.

Landlords in the Philippines Dec 16

This post is about landlords in general, my landlords as well as some stories about landlords that my friends have or have had.

November 25, 2011 @ 2330

For the longest time my front door has been difficult to open. The bottom of the door scrapes along the floor because the screws holding the hinges in place are pulling out of the door frame. I pointed this out but I wasn’t home when they “fixed” it. Notice the quotes.

So a few months ago they come by and they shaved wood off the bottom and the top of the door. Well, that fixed the problem for all of about a week but predictably so the door has fallen even farther (due to the extra space at the bottom) and scrapes again. So I had Jenn complain again the last time she paid the rent and their solution is to scrape more wood off the door. Yes, this is how many Filipino landlords solve problems and make repairs….IF they make any repairs at all.

I can’t fathom how this makes sense to them. Actually, I can because it’s typical Filipino logic. The landlord’s wife doesn’t want to spend a lot of money to fix things (which was apparently the same with construction of the house judging by the quality of the workmanship) so she will go with the cheapest option available. The fact that eventually the entire door and doorframe will have to be replaced due to her half ass repair measures has no meaning.

I said to Jenn,

We cant let them scrape more because that just makes the space between the door and the floor and/or the door and the ceiling bigger which lets in more insects to nibble on our kids.”

She responds with,

It’s the owner’s decision so we can’t argue.”

I responded to her with,

BULLSHIT! I can and I will!!!”

UPDATE:

This conversation happened November 25th. I am posting this on December 16th. As of today I still haven’t spoken to them because the landlord himself is in the US for the time being and I won’t deal with his wife. I will only deal with him. He’s Filipino too but at least he has a clue. He’s actually an OK guy.

At any rate his wife told Jenn about a week ago her brother would be by to fix the door on Friday morning. Friday comes and goes…never showed. Saturday…Sunday…etc…same thing. I’ve resigned myself to waiting for her husband to come back and I will talk to him about it. I could fix it myself but the lease says they do repairs and any I do myself I can’t get reimbursed or take from the rent. And lord knows I have already done enough repairs for them.

UPDATE:

March 16, 2012 @ 0900

Guy comes by about an hour ago. I show him the rotted wood behind the top and bottom hinges and how the screws don’t grab anymore and I tell him that’s why this is happening.  SO he smiles and nods and says he understands and then leaves. I assumed he was going to get tools but then I find out he was going to go eat. IT’S 8 AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the hell is he going to eat??? Lunch is 4 hours away and you know damn well the guy has been up since 6 AM!!!

Now, IF he comes back…IF….what are the odds of him fixing it the way I told him to do it? LOL LOL LOL LOL

IF he comes back at all!!!

See? I WAS RIGHT! He comes back and he takes the door off the hinges. He takes a saw and cuts a sliver from the bottom of the door to make room there and then nails a strip of wood to the top to fill the gap he created last time he ‘fixed” it.

I point out the rotted wood in the door frame and how the hinge screws are pulling out. He smiles and screws them back in….well…he pushed them in more than screwed them in….there’s no wood for the screw to grab. He smiles and says to me, “see?” and he leaves. LOL

OK buddy….you’ll be back in a couple of days. LOL

IT’S NOT JUST ME

You may read that and think I have a lousy landlord and so my views are tainted.  So let me give you a few more examples.  John has had similar fun with his Filipino landlord. When it rains his kitchen becomes a swimming pool. The landlord promised to fix it and even sent a guy over but he did a poor job and the next time it rained hard it happened again.

UPDATE:

January, 10, 2012

Since then John has moved twice. The first house he moved into he just moved out of yesterday and I moved into it. He was only here for a couple of months and there was some stuff that needed to be repaired when he moved in. The landlord never fixed it and so when I moved in it was basically the same with the addition of a few destroyed window screens.  With all that aside, I am glad to be out of that other house and he got a bigger house, near an SM mall, that has more bedrooms and a big backyard for his six dogs.  I actually got a real good deal on this house. John let the landlord keep his deposit so all I had to pay was the first month’s rent. Not only that but he’s paying the utilities up to date which is also great as I thought I was going to have to do it. In addition, I am inheriting his 3Mb DSL connection which is an upgrade over the 2Mb connection I had in the other house. He’s been awesome about all this and I can’t thank him enough for it.

I have to write another post now updating the saga from the old house so look for that.

OTHER EXAMPLES

The door and John’swimming pool kitchen are not the only examples of lousy Filipino landlords. I have had to fix my toilet myself because the landlord refuses to do it and she also refused to fix the sink as well which was leaking. I also fixed the faucett in the CR because she wouldn’t pay for that.  Well, that’s not entirely true. She would pay for it but she made it very difficult with constant arguing, excuses, delays and any other tactic she can think of to avoid paying for the repairs.

 

NOT ALL LANDLORDS ARE THE SAME

I mentioned that my landlord’s wife is a piece of work but that he is a pretty good guy. I have had a good landlord or two since moving to the Philippines in 2005. I have heard horror stories about Filipino landlords as well as some good stories here and there.