The missed chance
One vacation back home some long time ago, we were strolling inside my first love mall, Mega Mall (this mall brings back so much memory from high school until college days) and got approached by one of the agents about condo units being sold. It didn't fit the dream I had. I said no.
The slight poke of curiosity
Then a colleague of mine, told me, over lunch, how he has so many condo units and he let me in a little secret on how he increased his units from one to many. I'm not 100% sold but I thought, I think I want one. A place of our own when we go home, not a bad idea. So the next vacay, I told hubby we should have one. Don't really know the bigger purpose why we should have one but it felt like we should. And so we did.
Long term payments make hubby jittery, so we get the condo over and done with in no time. Having the condo unit woke my House dream. And now felt like I can own a house somewhere else but it is best to have a house back home too. When will that be? I did not know.
The condo was handed over but since I had no plans about it, no purpose, it sat idle for more than a year.
I got hired in my present company and I was surrounded by people who travel, a lot. Like seriously, a lot. Like on lunch breaks or coffee breaks, the topic is, where are you off to next break? It's not that it has to be big, it could be a wildlife reserve locally or nearby country but really the whole company likes to explore places with their family. My sleeping travel bug got awaken. My vision started seeing me and my family, exploring the world. And so I planned a big trip, it's our first big one and I intend to make it so memorable, it will warm my heart decades after.
A colleague introduced me to AirBnB (https://www.airbnb.com/r/ntamayo?s=8&i=) while a childhood friend introduced me to Rick Steves. We enjoyed our trip so much, it does still warms my heart when I think of how I managed to surprise my boys and hubby. Strange places, beautiful places, gorgeous food, friendly people. Priceless feeling.
Then it hit me. I should host guests, strangers, friends, family!
The unexpected surprise that breed more surprises
Before we embarked in the last big trip of 2014 (it was big, New Year's Eve in New York City, Cali + cruise), we found out I was preggers. It was a super delicate pregnancy, one that nature was not supposed to allow due to my inhospitable uterus but preggers I was. My doctor ordered me to take it easy on all things. No heavy lifting, no house chores, no complicated exercise, go to work, go home and rest. That also means, no travel and it was not up for negotiation.
The good part is, the cruise returned all the payment, the ticket was not yet bought, the accommodations sorted out but I have all these money which I planned to splurge on. The best part is, I'm pregnant! Third child, the boat which I thought shipped 5 years ago! The boat the doctor said will never come back. I ached for another child but always told myself that it's for the best.
Maybe I shouldn't waste it on some non-sense (which I tend to do when I have something in my hand). I started looking for properties. It's not yet my dream house but it could be the start. I don't want it to be too big to maintain and be empty 11 months in a year or possibly 23 months in 2 years. Knowing my husband, he likes green, a place with nature so definitely need a good size yard.
Destined to be...
I saw potentials but it doesn't speak to me. Then I was catching up with a good friend of mine, fellow HR (she's kick ass than I could ever be) and she retold the story about typhoon Yolanda that devastated their hometown and that she has to relocate her family and she bought a house in Pampanga. I was so happy for her and told her that I'm also on the lookout. I was hoping I can get something from Villa del Sol. My family owns few plots there and I would be happy to own one too. Then she said, her place is in the same community and that an identical house to her might be for sale! Villa del Sol, the perfect space (not too big, not too small) and she as my neighbour?! How big a sign could it be?! My heartbeat was beating so fast I knew this is it.
I literally pester my friend to introduce me to the owner and bugged them non-stop until they give in. Signed on the dotted line and we all went back to work. Well I work on the changes I want with the house at night when everyone is asleep. I have files after files of paint colour, lights, door knobs, cabinet holders, tiles, bricks, a video of the wood being cut off, types of grass, types of A/C, shower heads, sinks, water closet, glass, the whole nine yards. It's not the dream house but it sure cannot look shabby, unless it is followed by chic. I poured my heart and soul into magazines, websites, TV shows, everything country and rustic.
These places call on to me
I felt while I'm working on the Villa del Sol house, I was still hungry for more. So I went back to the community we visited ages ago when it was too far fetched to buy a vacant lot and started calling agents. Random. Risky. Did not care. It was such a gamble to commit to a property while you are miles and miles away. I told myself, if I get swindled, what to do. I will be poor for a few years but poor while Alex is still in high school, I can live with that. I signed the dotted line. Again.
What have I gotten myself into!
So now I have two huge payments every month and for a year, hubby cannot know. I am practically penniless every month and hubby is just baffled but doesn't want to ask why.
The big reveal was supposed to be on his birthday, 2015. Our trip got delayed so it was revealed on the month of my birthday instead, September. Didn't make much difference, there were tears of joy, lots of hugs and screaming kids running around looking at rooms.
I also confessed the other deed of buying a plot in Crosswinds Tagaytay. Maybe the dream house will be there, maybe somewhere else, but I cannot take the chance of not having it ready for building just in case.
Finally decided to rent out our Condo unit ala AirBnB awesomeness and so we got to work setting it up up to the last detail. Our Property Representative will coordinate the physical check-in and check-out of guests, setting up the place and I will handle coordination from thousands of miles away. Nerve wrecking at first. Our first guest was a Canadian Blogger. A professional traveler. We were scared shit. I was close to just letting him stay for free but I controlled my self and behaved like any professional host. Charged him for his stay.
Part 3 in progress...