One guy has his reasons for renting a house; the other guy has his reasons for building or buying his. And they both are right but during this heated debate that I’ve heard over the long years I’ve lived here, there is the silent point of view, the one that really matters the most. What does your wife want?
I won’t even try to speak to that subject as that is an area that I have never excelled in, knowing what a woman really wants. Because when we were renting houses my wife seemed pleased wherever we were living. I was fat dumb and happy thinking I knew just what she wanted. I really didn’t have a clue, and she never told me what she wanted because they feel we should know through osmosis or something.
Then one day I was visiting a friend and he owned his house. It was a small house on 400 Square Meters of land, but it was the pride of ownership that shown in his wife’s eyes that answered my questions for me. I was thinking; my wife is a nester, who has not once in her life had ever lived in anything but rental property.
We were forced to move a few times through circumstances beyond our control, and once our landlord wanted us to move so his son could move in and live for free. Another time was when somehow our landlord found out that I was both retired US Navy and a Merchant Seaman and was just not paying my fair share. Albeit I was paying the amount he had requested. But he didn’t know I was involved as I was out to sea when my wife rented the house from him. He felt that was totally unfair.
The other thing I noticed was home improvements, or the lack of it. Simple small jobs that would have improved the quality of life in the spaces we were renting were never done. Yes they were allowed if I paid for them, but with no reduction off of my monthly rental bill/ My wife thought it just made no sense to fix up someone else’s property. But my main gripe was not being to find a house where the master bedroom had a master bathroom (Or even a comfort room for that matter). Was I asking too much?
So on a mountain in Bataan I found a piece of land, 997 square meters of dirt all for the low low, price of Php 130,000.00 in 1997. Mayang was aghast! “Honey Ko, it’s too far from Olongapo City!” she cried! “It’s too far from the girl’s school! She lamented! I smiled and said well you own it now; see if you can sell it later.
Our new land was a few minutes’ walk from where her mother and father owned a house, and some of her sisters and brothers lived there also. We signed the paperworks and it was now registered in our name. There it was in black and white, “Maria Adobo Thompson”, was now landed gentry, a property owner, a person of substance and a payer of property taxes!
While I was back at sea, Mayang decided that people could damage her new property that she really didn’t want, and a wall must be built, a well drilled, and of course a tower for the water tank and the largest septic tank in the area must be dug. I’ll assume all that was done to increase the land value for when she put it up for sale. But I would have been so very, very wrong.
I had bought an Owner Jeep, and she learned to drive, and made many trips up the mountain to visit her investment. Yes the car was part of my plan to get to live on the mountain. But it had seem to be her idea!
Then it happened, one Sunday on the mountain having lunch and visiting her family I suggested that it might be time to list the land for sale, and make a small profit. You would have thought I’d insulted a priest, by the fervor that conversation stirred up. “Honey Ko! I thought we were going to build a house and live here?” She shouted. But my love you said it was too far from “The PO” and shopping, school blah, blah, blah! She explained that it has been her plan for a long time to build a house here, I asked if the master bedroom would have a master bathroom, she nodded in the affirmative and I asked; “When are you going to start building?”
In January 2000 the house was completed and she had moved in. I returned from sea and deemed it a good sturdy house and was pleased with all her effort and hard work, and was further pleased to find two master bedrooms, with a joining master bathrooms one on the first floor and the other on the second floor.
Mayang has her nest, fortunes my rise and fortunes my fall, but the one thing that will remain constant in her life will be her house, no one can take it from her, after our girls grew and left the house out in the world on their own (Well somewhat), the nest is full again with our grandson and our daughter living here now once again. It has gone full circle. But the question remains unanswered; “Is it better to rent, buy, or build?” Here is my answer: You’re all smart folks, and will easily answer that question for yourself, with no help from me!
Paul Thompson; Resides in the Philippines, close to Subic Bay. He is married to the wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang). Our to daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen (AKA Ling-ling). Our youngest is living in Singapore, enjoying her life's adventure. I'm a retired Senior Chief from the U.S. Navy after 21 years. Post Navy he lived 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. After Hurricane Hugo told him to find a new line of work, he was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. Then after 30 years at sea he buried his anchor in the Philippines residing now in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt Bataan where he build his home. And last but not least, anything he writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek" if anybody is offended, He'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!