everyday with my son

Small stories of how it all went along

Archive for the category “House”

Groundbreaking

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Just last week we had an groundbreaking but I was not able to attend because I am sick ( I am still sick). It started with slight fever in the afternoon and a full blast diarrhea 2 days after. I got very, very weak when I got dehydrated, I can hardly stand. Sunday of 2am I was rushed to Asian Hosp. and they put IVF  in me, but 3 days after that I am better but not well and still suffering from diarrhea.

Back to the story, it was the day of our groundbreaking and it officially started the house. We are a bit anxious because we are always dreaming of what our life is going to be at the new place. We are full of nice thoughts on how we are gonna spend parties, get together, weekends etc.. and what new house fixtures and furn to buy. It is all happy times until…

This morning I visited the site and was informed by Ryan our Foreman that the neighborhood has been siege a number of times by house intruders for years. He had talked to the people there and was told about it. This kinda dampened our happy times about the house, now we gotta work around the dangers of the place and might need to add fortress like fence system to protect us. We probably have to consider to buy a gun, alarm system, CCTVs etc. Now the whole paradigm has shifted.

We thought the place was safe but I guess it was not due to the presence of Squatters on the other side of the street (though a neighborhood gate separates us), we thought since it is not far from barangay hall,  and police station it can be safe but I guess it was not.

NO choice but we just have to live around it. No way to back out now, we just gotta prepare and keep vigilant as often as we can.

Haus Construction

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We are in the first couple of weeks in our house construction. And a few of my ideas I wanted to be adopted, it is more of a long term plan and it is more on necessity than style.

Reason why I agreed to buy this house it is because it has a separate lot that I can sell when Kenzo or Liam entered college. It is more of a college fund or investment whose value will increase with inflation and by the time Kenzo or Liam is in college the selling price of the lot is hopefully equal or more than the cost of college fees. I also made the house design with the future option to sell in mind. Like the location of windows, doors, entrance and even the front setback that we can also be converted to a carport should we sell the other lot.

But it turns out not what I expected. Mum is not to keen on selling the other lot, she just let me believe that she likes my idea just to go on with the house construction. Now the house has an overhang that encroach on the other lot. Windows are above the property line, I hoped it has a setback or an allowance so we can still open our windows should we sell the other lot.

I want the house to be in line to a minimalist style where we keep only important stuff inside the house to avoid clutter, accumulation of dust and to make it easy to maintain and clean. I prefer minimalist so that in the future we wont have to be dependent on a househelp. A house where we dont have too much stuff lying around, furniture that can be easily cleaned, open spaces, less house decors (that are just a big magnet for dust). We also need to limit our clothes and stuff that we keep.

One idea that I had recently  was how Jobs and Zuck wear the same style of clothes almost always and I realized that we can do that with our bedsheets and curtains etc. Truth is we dont need a bedsheets, pillow cases that is different every month. We can just keep about 3 sets and just alternate them. Too bad I bought several sets maybe about 10-12 already when I was in the US… well, maybe I just have to sell them perhaps.

It is hard to make someone a minimalist, we have a tendency to keep things and put heavy sentimental values to our things. We like to hoard and make boxes filled with memories that we wont bother to check again,  except only when you are very sick and about to die. We tend to over-appreciate our stuff, no matter how old and useless it is, and will not let go. Problem with this it will accumulate dirt, gather dust and become a nice home for little insects and pests.

I have been trying to make mum towards this but I am hardly making a dent, but I am still pestering her and still trying.  

I dont intend to keep a househelp, I feel it is a form of slavery and I dont really feel good about it… but having a maid is ingrained in our culture and maybe there are only a few of us who wants a home or willing to live without it.

Convincing Mum to  not have a house help is the hardest thing, as I said it is already ingrained in our culture, and it is even quite unheard of to think of not having one. 

I want all the important stuff settled first before thinking of the aesthetics. I prefer to make sure the house will have strong, continuous water before thinking about the nicest shower head, toilets etc. I want the house to be solar powered so we can freely use ACs to fight humidty. I think even with the most expensive exterior paints, interior design etc will mean nothing if the house is uncomfortable and humid. I believe an ugly house with AC trumps a nice house with poor ventilation.

We are just starting with the house and issues and disagreements are coming out, our ideas clashed and a common ground is often hard to reach. Well, goodluck hope will be able to finish this and set out roots in our new house.

 

II

problem with house construction is laymen don’t have the expertise to know what is standard measurement in construction. We cannot make the computations of loads, lateral loads etc on our own. We have to get another opinion of another engineer to determine if our house is within standard.

For example: Using of a 5′ CHB instead of 6′ for external wall, I was told that since it is just a small house a 5′ will do. Now there is now way to know if that is true or the contractor is trying to save cost to increase profits.

Wall spacing of vertical rebar,  I read ,to make house stronger should be 40cm but when I asked about this they said the standard for a 2 storey house is 60cm, then again I have no way to know this.

If anyone is gonna have a house constructed it is better to detailed all the specs you prefer on your house or get a standard quote from the con\tractor and asked it upgrade the materials to make the house stronger. Increase the size of hollow blocks, if they quote that they are gonna use 4′ CHBs upgarde it to 5′. If they told you that they are gonna  use a 10mm rebar, asked them to use 12mm etc…

Contractors incentive is to quote a low price so clients will give them their business, they  then will try to cut corners to increase profit.

It is a tough position to be in especially when you just youtube and google trained kind of a handyman.

Heavy weight

We can feel the massive weight of many things and this has affected Tere mostly, these are several issues piled on top of each other and burdened all of us.

First, Kenzo’s injury. His broken arm greatly put a lot of concern on us because even with a broken arm he still continues his rowdy ways and this cause us to panic most of the time and scared us to death of another accident or re-injury. Kenzo will still actively do his stuff, as like any kid will, as if his arm is not in a cast and two metal pins are what keep his bone together.  This is one of the weight we are now carrying.

Second, house construction. we are in a process of completing our loan requirements and getting our permits. The bureaucracy  in getting permits are tough, plus the cost of each step that we need to do. You need to start with Homeowners, Developer, Brgy, City Gov’t and the seemingly endless signatories and fees just to finish each step. It is one of the saddest thing why our country is in shambles.. the red tape just to get a permit is painful and everyone wants to be paid just to get an approval. You need to prepare to give “grease money” or else they are gonna “seat on” your application to gather dust.

Third, Tere’s dad. she took the responsibility to make personal visits to his dad, but going to QC is a painful trek due to the hours just to get there. She has to save half a day for each visits which she prefers to spent to be with the kids. I offered to suggest to her to share that  responsibility  to her other siblings but according to her they won’t do it. I insisted to make them do it to her free a  bit.

Fourth, is me. Days ago lost my Zolodin and decided not to buy a new batch. So for about 10 days I stopped taking it and during that time I started to feel I am getting back to my very low energy self. This makes me a burden than someone that can help out. Good, that I found my meds and started to take them again for about 5 days now.

Fifth, Kenzo’s attitude. Since he was a baby I kept on lecturing Tere to adjust his parenting but all was for naught, because really who am I to give advices. Kenzo has turned into a spoiled cry baby and now, in our current situation his tantrums put her mum and all of us in a tough corner.

The most bad words by her mom spilled out these past few days. I feel sorry for Kenzo that he has to catch all of it, considering emotionally he is fragile. Just like me, I think he has a tendency to be depressed.

Sixth, the overall cost involved in building a house and everyday expenses.

All of these are sitting on our shoulders but mostly it was on tere. It was a tough and ugly situation we are in now. Often I would just hope tere will just leave the house so that the house will be quiet… Now I started to realized that I need to fix my estate taxes, transfer properties to my kids, finish the house, free up all businesses I handle for  Sue. Travel one more time and END IT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Problems: house construction

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As they say, “do not celebrate until the fat lady sings.”

When we thought all of the hard part  was  over and that we are gonna start our house construction we were faced with a serious and a bit costly problem that can threaten our project to another long process or worse–non completion.

We started the project with a trip to the contractors house to discuss the design that we wished to have. Now my mindset there is to suggest a design that will fit our budget but mum has another idea (which I allowed her to follow) is to make the best design without much consideration to our budget and just let the Architect and Contractor to adjust and make a budgeted version.

I was really against this plan and I was uncomfortable with it but since I dont have  much active voice in the project I just allowed mum to have his way, I try to interject and protest  but I  will be blocked with “e di ikaw mag bayad ng loan.” , that kept my silent.

Few weeks after the design was completed it was very nice and looks way over the budget. Now the Architect assured as that the price tag of 8M was overstated for loan purposes only and they will just downgrade the finishing/ materials and fit it to our budget of 3.2M. But still even with this guarantee I was concerned, that how can you downgrade an 8M house to 3.2M, I kinda doubt it and from time to time I voiced out my fear to mum.

That assurance that the house will only cost 3.2M is a releif to us, so we proceeded to submit the plans and went to a lengthy, tedious process of a bank loan. We waited for weeks and was given a go signal.  Then we have to meet with the contractor again, to finally start the project. They will bring us the final break down of the project and it should be 3.2M, give us the contract and set to meet again to pay them, sign the contracts and build.

But when I met them, my worst fear was realized, they cannot downgrade a 8M house to 3.2M the lowest they can go is 5.1M. We paid them 60K to make those plans for our purpose but that plan is now useless and our money burnt.

The plan B left with us was to look for a contractor that can downgrade it to fit our budget or redo the whole project, pay another 60K for the design and spend another 2 months of processing it.

“it aint over till it is over.” Prior to all of this confusion mum is always giddy and almost celebrating  that we are to have our house, even if construction has not started, while I am not for I know it is still not a house until it is really finish. I am more of waiting it to finish before celebrating and now with this new development mum was quite stressed for all she thought we went over the hardest part and not knowing that all is about to get harder.

 

Real Estate

Later today we will finalize the purchase of the lot of our future home, not really the final step but today will be the day where we can officially say that the lot is ours, the next step will be the finalizing the release of the loan/mortgage.

I really hate the deal with the seller and her brokers but the opportunity to get a lawn is too much to let go. And the only reason why I am still patient in dealing with the seller is because of that tiny piece of Lawn that I really love to have.

I am planning to have a  lawn big enough for us to play football, make a mini putting green, shoot Nerf, play catch baseball etc. the Lawn is like a dream come true, I remember as a kid we played a lot on the bermuda grass spread out in Tio Diony  Talipapa house and those were happy days. Up to know I can still feel how the the grass makes tiny punctures on  my skin, the smell of it in the morning, and how the green color relaxes our eye.

These past few days, I have been day dreaming on what sport to play on our future lawn. I am now looking for putters, Irons and maybe have a small putting green. Surely we will play football and baseball. I am eyeing a mini soccer goal at SNR and some old putters at SOS in Festival Mall. And mere thinking about playing there excites me and yes that is why I am putting up to the spoiled brat of a seller we got.

Nerf shooting games will be a thing to do too, I also saw a trampoline  and a big play house at Landers QC. Right now I am making mental notes on what to put on the lawn and what to do there and I know it will be fun for the little boys.

In Manila very few houses has lawn and only the very rich  will keep an area open to be used as lawns. Because Manila is very densed it is seldom for people to waste a property and kept it idle just to grow grass. I went against the flow and  decided to just  have a small house and use the extra space as lawn for the kiddos to play on.

Lawns are (next to disneyland) are one of the happiest places on earth. When we  visited California one of the unforgettable things me and Kenzo did was play, dive on the grassy lawns of the play grounds and  that is  what I want them experience here when we are not in the US. Surely the lawn will give them a  happy area, a play ground, a place for us adults to make backyard barbies (barbeques) and I know most of our happy memories will be made on top on those nice, green bermuda grass.

 

 

 

 

 

This week-House & Car

4 July

After years of house hunting we are around the last bend, the final stretch. We are probably going to dive in and get property that we can live with.

It is just a few days more and we will finally have a property that we bought using our funds (our other properties are inherited). There is a tinge of fear, excitement and daydreaming as the day gets nearer.

The whole house hunting trip was really a nightmare for us because we have two different opposing views of what house to buy. I prefer to buy small, affordable ones ( and use other funds to build apartments for retirement) while mum wants a grand one, with all the cabinets, spaces etc.Having two different views made purchasing a house hard but goodthing was we found two small lots for sale in BF Pilar, one to build a house on and one to be made as a lawn, kept as an investment and sold in the future or turned into an apartments for retirement.

8 July

For the last couple of days, we have been talking to Architects and Contractors to plan our house. We have given them our requirements and budget and they’ll just have to come up with a plan. We will submit that to the bank for processing and hopefully in a month we are all up and ready.

For the last week or so, we have been also in contact with the brokers and there was a lot of Text exchanges, clarifications and confusions too. In normal situation, I would be impatient with the whole process, I find the seller too pushy on what she wants, and talking to 2 brokers makes all confusing and weird. But as of yesterday, all was cleared and probably tuesday next week we will get our first Lot that we got from our own money.

The other thing that is going to be exciting this weekend is the car that mum will be buy from her cousin (Tito) Dr. Jan. I normally would be against it but she made the arrangement without telling me. But when I was told of the price (which is way too cheap) I half-heartedly agreed.

 

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