Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I have always loved this verse but I wasn’t sure if I would believe this when we started house-hunting earlier in 2013. We only wanted to move to his parents’ condo ever since but it was still being rented out. Buying a house wasn’t part of our goals anytime soon but an opportunity was given to us. And so we started looking for a condo or a house. We only had few things to consider:
(1) Type of House: townhouse with a 1-car garage or a condo unit
(2) Location: Mandaluyong Shaw area, Kapitolyo, or Pasig (no to Mandaluyong and Pasig proper though)
(3) Size: We didn’t really care. We were okay to live in a 70sqm condo forever.
Who knew that searching for a house could be stressful? It’s exciting but the endless viewings, meetings, and errands could be exhausting. Since I am the ‘Admin Manager’ of our household, I was given the responsibility to look for ‘The One’. I just needed to view the place first, take photos, show to my husband, and if he likes it, negotiate the price.
It was easy to ‘look’ online. Sulit.com.ph (now OLX) became my best friend. Most of the units we viewed were listed on the website. Here’s a rundown of the places we’ve checked out:
- Shaw Residenza. 75sqm condo loft, 2BR, no parking
- Paragon Plaza, 90sqm 3BR with parking
- 8 Wack-wack. 108sqm, 2BR, with parking
- Araullo Place. 4-storey townhouse, with garage, gated community in Araullo St., Mandaluyong
- Princeville Condominium. 94sqm, 3BR, with parking
- DMCI Flair Towers. 2BR, 58sqm
- Kaimitoville Townhouse. 2-storey, 222sqm, 3BR in Valle Verde
- _______________. 114sqm, 2BR, with parking (It’s ‘The One’ so I won’t be publishing it.)
Josh and I were okay with (1) even if it was small. We were ready to live in a shoebox. As for (3), we were close to getting it because of the size, location, and the price. The Korean owner was leaving the country so he wanted to sell it–rush.
I started going to the banks (BDO, BPI, PSBank, and Security Bank) to inquire about their home loan plans. Honestly, all my inquires were discouraging, made me think we weren’t ready. I felt like Oprah going inside an Hermes store. Haha! So much for that. On the other hand, brokers were ever encouraging just so they could make a sale obviously.
We fell in love with Araullo Place (Araullo St., Mandaluyong City) because it’s a brand-new townhouse. It’s spacious. Noah even called dibs on the blue model room already. We started to imagine living there. Sadly, we had to forget about it because the street isn’t flood free. We passed by it one stormy night on our way home and lo and behold, waterworld!
Princeville Condo was spacious and cheap but not enough ventilation. Paragon Plaza was also spacious but it’s along EDSA so no to pollution. DMCI’s Flair Towers was nice but too small for its high price tag.
THE LAST TWO
We were down to two. It was the last two on our list. Joshua and I decided to stop with our search after these two and continue next year. It was exhausting already and Christmas season was about to begin anyway and we’d be busy.
In my heart, something’s telling me this could be the last. I wasn’t sure. We weren’t in a hurry and we weren’t expecting much. We just prayed to God that He would provide for us a place. We were still fine with renting for another year. We have grown to love our rented townhouse in Mandaluyong, my hometown.
We went to ‘The One’ condo first. It was the first unit I’ve viewed that got me saying, “I love it! I love it! I love it!” My husband fell in love with it too. It was love at first sight for us! Why, the interiors were so nice, it was spacious, with very good ventilation, and it was a mid-rise condo too. “Perfect!”, we thought. It was the first and only place both Joshua and I liked on our first viewing. The price was within the budget too but we were hoping for a lower price. It was the nearest to our church, my in-laws, and Noah’s school.
On the same day, we went to the biggest house we’d be viewing. It was in Valle Verde 2 (Pasig), still within the area we want. We were a bit disappointed with the community and maintenance but we saw the potential. It was huge so my husband thought we could divide it and have the other unit be rented out. But it was bare and needed a lot of fixing. It was old but spacious. Josh even have old friends living within the village so it was cool. Thing is, the unit is far from the main gate. We have no car so that would be a problem. We thought we could then buy a small, 2nd hand car.
After viewing the last two on our list, we went to my in-laws for some reason. I had to write this down because when we got there, my husband’s mom said she was just praying that God would lead us to that house. I jokingly said “It’s a sign” as we just viewed two. She then agreed to check out the properties again the next Saturday.
And so we did.
We went to the Valle Verde townhouse first but in what seemed like a weird twist of fate (or maybe it was really God-ordained), the broker was late and the caretaker didn’t have the keys to the house. We weren’t able to view the house.
Off we went to ‘The One’, the owners were there, we fell in love with the place again, and negotiated the lowest possible price. Sadly, the guy won’t give us a lower rate and said it was final.
We still wanted the condo. “We’ll think about it”, we said. It was No. 1 on our list now but the price was a major consideration.
And so we prayed. We waited.
My mom-in-law asked her broker-friend if she had a house we could view. She immediately replied “I know a unit sa “The One”, <insert price>.
“We checked out a unit already for this price, baka it’s the same.”, my MIL replied.
The broker said it was a different unit. The next week, we viewed the condo again only to find out it was the same unit we wanted! Listed at a much lower price and still negotiable. Wow!!!
We didn’t dare go to the unit because we didn’t want the owners to think we were using another broker. We weren’t. Josh’s mom just asked another broker and led us to this. How crazy is that?!
We still haven’t made a decision yet. We wanted the place but there were many things to consider. Was it the right time? Will we have enough for the future? So many questions were being asked. I knew God was dealing with the family.
Between me and Josh, we weren’t expecting to get the house before year-end. We were praying that God would prepare our hearts for whatever will happen.
It wasn’t easy for us. We wanted the house badly. We knew we wanted to live there. But we did not expect anything. We lifted the decisions will be made by God.
Honestly, we weren’t expecting to move in soon but somehow, I felt God prompting me to pack our stuff months before. I started decluttering and packing our things in boxes months before we viewed ‘The One’.
I was making the first steps before we made the leap—into the unknown. I had no idea that God would give it very soon.
I’ve shared this story many times already but “mabilis talaga ang mga pangyayari”. Sale was finalized first week of October and by week 1 of November, we’ve moved to our new place.
I remember that day when we finally found out sale was finalized, a pastor friend told me (prophetically I guess), “Hayaan mo ate sa condo nyo magsi-swimming tayo lagi.” True enough, we learned the good news the same day. (Prophetic, eh?)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
That momentous day of October 4, God spoke to me and my husband in each of our devotions. [Read Our Daily Bread’s Immeasurably More]. I was crying after I learned the great news that we could move in the next month. Agad-agad talaga! Thankful to God for this wonderful blessing! Truly unexpected. True Grace.
Lord, thank You for doing immeasurably more in
our lives than we could ever imagine.
I am so thankful that You are able and often
do make impossible situations possible.
– Julie Ackerman Link–
More than the idea of our own space, I loved the fact that God was teaching me and my husband a lot of things as we waited. Our faith was being tested.
We simply let go of our expectations and looked to God. We stripped ourselves off the desire to have a bigger house and be content with what’s on the table. It was a major decision for the family that made us trust in God more. Like I said before, God has already provided — a place for us and ways for us to abide in Him more. We have a decade to pay for it. I know God will provide. Grace upon grace.
I still have so many stories of God’s favor to share even after we finally moved here. I realized most of my “must-haves” in a house were given to us, unknowingly. Truly, God is great!
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!
1 JOHN 3:1