OFW Story: Buying My Dream House

There it was, my project sitting on top of my teacher’s table: the miniature bahay kubo (nipa hut) with a coconut tree beside it. I love miniatures and would love to take it home with me so that my sister wouldn’t have to ask where are my art projects.

I’m done with the conventional school. I’m done with miniature houses. Yet my family is still renting a house on which my siblings and I grew up. We shared rooms, hand-me-down clothes, and dreams.

One common dream we haven’t outgrown and gaze at like the stars when there’s a power outage is, living in our dream house.

We want to live in a simple house with a garden and adorable critters (dogs, cats, turtle and chicken which we currently have) in a peaceful community.

My enthusiasm with art is enough for me to sketch the house and the interior design. But where’s the house, the tangible frame structure?

From little project to a life-long dream, I left the familiar place and moved to Canada as an OFW to make our dream house a reality.

OFW Buying a House

Chasing the Dream

In the first year, I made a lot of money mistakes that I lost sight of my goal to save and buy a house in the Philippines.

My family have decided to look for a house in the same city where we spent most of our lives. And I can understand even more the unanimous decision since I left and  become independent.

It’s going to be a long journey. Come along with us!

I decided to chronicle the adventure of buying my dream house and share it with you. Just like the Magellan’s voyage, our family we’ll experience setbacks and victories (more of these please).

You’ll experience all of it as if you are part of the crew.

Whatever is done, I hope the journey guides you also in making your dream house a reality. Let’s start sailing!


Updated: October 3, 2017

#1: Registered to Pag-IBIG as an OFW member.

#2: Paid the Pag-IBIG monthly contribution online. I can apply for housing loan after paying the 24-month contribution.

#3: Gathered the requirements for Pag-IBIG housing loan application.

#4: Applied for special power of attorney at the Philippine Consulate General in Calgary.

#5: Sent the Pag-IBIG requirements through DHL.

#6: My family kept looking for a house within our budget (less than 2M) but in good condition. We want a house with space for our dogs. I can’t remember a time when dogs were not part of our family.

But since I left to work overseas, I am content of crossing path with furry creatures in the park. I want to take them home but sometimes want to run away from them especially the type that wants a high five with their paws landing on my favourite jacket. No worries. No harm done.

#7: Applied for Security Bank Housing Loan instead of Pag-IBIG. This was a momentous day for our family. After months of researching, putting off the plan to buy a house, and getting all the requirements, we finally made the first official step of buying a house. NO turning back now.

#8: Paid the appraisal fee in less than a week. In 3 days the bank called asking some personal information about my attorney in fact (representative).

#9: Bank staff conducted the home appraisal.

#10: Waiting for the outcome is like waiting for the next season of a series on Netflix. Your dreaming of the next episodes or re-watching the selected parts. It took 6 months to go through all the process so waiting seems like forever.

#11: On August 14, 2017 the result for the Security Bank housing loan was revealed through a text message, a query I initiated. The application was declined. I was hoping for the positive response and bracing myself for rejection, I didn’t expect to experience an inefficient customer service. Informing clients about the process should be the top priority.

The duration of application for Security Bank Home Loan took 1 month and 3 weeks or make it 2 months. I may have missed something. Here’s the detailed timeline:

Payment of the appraisal fee – 1 week after the submission of application
Home appraisal – 1 week after paying the appraisal fee
Application was declined – 1 month and 1 week after the home appraisal

#12: One rejection wouldn’t stop me from buying my dream house. I’m already on the lookout for another Philippine bank housing loan. I’m considering PSBank, Philippine National Bank (PNB), and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). What do you think?

#13: On September 13, 2017, I applied for PSBank Home Loan.

#14: I need a co-borrower to qualify for OFW housing loan. Find out if there’s a way for me not to have a co-borrower or if I found a good samaritan.

#15: We finally bought a house and lot in the Philippines.

Find out the TOTAL EXPENSES I’ve spent so far in search of a dream house.

Recent Post: Dream House

You can follow the updates of what our family is up to through the recent posts.

Those are few of my adventures. Read MORE posts about buying my dream house.

Whatever happens next . . . it will be written in the history (of the blog, not in a book yet). If you have question or suggestion send me a message. I love to hear from you.

Thank you for being part of this journey. 🙂