Manila – BGC House Hunting Continued (October 2, 2018)

I really don’t know what I’m getting myself into… but you know what, if people are ever honest and open about their own lives, they would be more willing to admit the same thing — In life, seldom do we have all the answers staring at us right smack in our face. You just do the best you can, and keep at it.

Live and learn.

In my own case, no, right now I can’t say definitively that I’m going to end up purchasing an apartment unit in Manila (Bonifacio Global City), but I do have free time on my hands (hah!), so it’s not like going down that rabbit hole trying to dig up more dirt is all that big a deal. Ultimately, if I don’t find exactly what it is that I’m looking for, I’ll back out and walk away.

No biggie.

Anyway, I spent yesterday looking at more houses… and here’s what we got from Park West, located in Uptown.

Currently, I’m only focusing on 2 bedroom units, but we’ll see how things go…

Right off the bat, I already wasn’t liking what I saw… The countertop space was very limited with this particular unit…

However, for BGC, this kitchen sink is better than most that I’ve seen (it’s deep).

Again, another problem… The bathrooms just felt too cramped for me… and I’m not the Juggernaut!

The second bedroom… Again, probably too small…

Master bedroom… Unfortunately, didn’t feel like a “master” in size… If you were to insert a full/queen sized bed, good luck fitting much else furniture (e.g. desk) in here.

Build quality left a lot to be desired… even though this unit was a “re-sale” and the owner never lived in it nor rented it out.

I blame the “tight spaces” on this den room, which is altogether useless for my needs… There’s no natural light, so using it as an office isn’t ideal… and I don’t really need a 3rd bedroom this big (yet). I would prefer just using the maid’s room for a 3rd bedroom, instead…

I would have GLADLY sacrificed this den room and re-allocated the space saved to increase the size of the bedrooms/bathrooms…

See the floor plan below (and my desired modification in RED)…

Damn, if only the above layout was reality, than this unit would have a lot more potential… and I might be at the negotiating table as we speak…


There’s also a utility room/maid’s quarter with a shower… Pretty standard fare around here for a 2 bedroom unit ~70 square meters.

I very much welcome the idea of having a utility room (for laundry) but also the flexibility to convert the room into a “maid’s quarter”, or 3rd bedroom for guests. Even though the “3rd bathroom” is a little cramped, it’s still functional… and like, I mean for Hong Kong standards, it would be considered YUGE!

Moving on…

The second unit I toured had a more spacious kitchen layout… I actually liked this configuration a lot.

But unfortunately, the extremely narrow and tight spacing of the master bathroom just made this a total deal breaker… I mean, check out the image below… Jumping through hoops to take a shower everyday certainly isn’t what I had in mind when trying to pinpoint my “dream house”…

Knowing me, the above image illustrates an accident just waiting to happen…

The view from this unit was better than the first one (I didn’t take any photographs), but obviously nothing like the photos I showed in previous posts from Burgos Circle, near the country club/golf course.

Those pre-existing “low rise” structures you see in the above image are naturally strong candidates to be bought out and replaced in the future… Can’t put a timeframe on it, but the realtor didn’t think it was likely anything was going to change for at least another 1-2 years, at minimum. For readers/viewers who aren’t familiar with Manila and BGC, the image above is a good contrast of the different faces of Manila; there’s Manila (BGC) and “real Manila” (low rises), or “barangay” as my friends like to call it.

I took this picture last year, but the contrast of the two different worlds is even more apparent…


Anyway, so yesterday was a miss…


We’ll try again today… Hopefully, something good comes up.


And that’s the thing about buying a home for YOURSELF! The mindset/mentality is totally different from purchasing an investment property… I mean, long-term, I think it would be ideal to find a unit that could satisfy both angles (personal residence and investment property/Airbnb unit), so I’m gonna try and be more patient and hold out for something that really fits the bill.


But yeah, it’s not really all that easy…


When you’re shopping for a home to live in, I swear, you nitpick like every little thing… Layout/spacing, size, materials, build quality, view, noise, Feng Shui (my mom forbids me to purchase any unit that’s on the 14th floor, 24th floor, 44th floor, etc.), and so so so so many other things…


Anyway, wish me luck… I will certainly need it!


I hope you’re enjoying these “house hunting” updates… So far, I’ve gotten very supportive/positive feedback. As always, I really appreciate the kind words!


Fight On!

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1 year ago

Awesome update mate! I haven’t been checking you / your updates for a while now (mad busy). I will def donate the 20 bucks btw. Bear with me..

Ps. You’ve probably covered this in earlier updates but is it currently possible to FULLY own an apartment in Manilla? This old article, I quickly had a look at, states that you can only own (on paper) 40 percent of the unit. Link:

1 year ago

Hi Jay, I’m been living in Asia for 10 years, mostly in Malaysia and Thailand. However, when comes to Asian’s real estate I noticed the same patterns… Basically, there is a lot of “big money” to be moved around and one of the favorite ways to preserve their value while keeping them out of the bank system is to dump on building projects. As any investment games, there are losers and winners. In the case of real estate investing in Asia, the winners are those few elites that purchase 10,20,100 units even before the project starts. The losers are the… Read more »

1 year ago

Hi Jay,

Thank you for sharing your house hunting experiences in Manila, definitely very informative. Just curious, what do you think of the the high inflation in Philippine? Also, how does it factor into your decision in setting up residence there?


1 year ago
Reply to  FI Fighter

Hey Jay, Thanks for the reply. I figure I would share my anecdotal observations, not sure if they would be useful to anyone though. 1) rents appears to be softening in the Bay Area, at least in the East Bay area. My rental manager reported that market rent is 5+% lower yoy, and he has data to back up his claims. 2) I paid $12.89 for a combo (an eye popping price for me) from Carl’s Jr. in Los Altos yesterday, and many Bay Area MickeyD’s have recruitment advertisements plastered on their windows. The one in Stanford Mall shows starting… Read more »