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Moving out and moving on: How investing in property was my act of self-love

/ 08:35 PM February 11, 2022
Moving out and moving on: How investing in property was my act of self-love

It’s still a work in progress. My bed frame, bookshelf and wall mirror haven’t arrived yet, and I’ll only be able to finish decorating the walls after. I chose a warm neutral color palette but will be adding pops of color.

Many Filipinos associate moving into a new place and buying property with romantic love.

Moving in with a significant other is a milestone. “Our dream home,” say your newlywed friends about their first big purchase after the wedding. In some families, parents discourage their children from moving out before they get married, telling them instead to stay home and save money.

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But buying property and moving out of your family home can be an act of love as well, for someone with whom you’ve had the longest relationship—yourself.

Moving out and moving on: How investing in property was my act of self-love

On top of my dresser, I have a paper cut piece by local artist Jessica de Leon, which I bought all the way back in 2012. I bought it thinking one day I could display it in my own place, and now I can finally do it. I also have scented candles from local shops like Saan-Saan and Nadi Candles which I light to unwind after work.

I was born and raised in Quezon City to a middle-class family. When my parents got married, my dad was in medical school and my mom had been volunteering at church. The budget was tight, and we lived with my grandmother.

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Growing up, I watched sitcoms like “Friends” where characters lived in their own apartments. I wondered what it would be like to have my own space, but it seemed out of reach. Even in my early 20s, when I was working at a TV network, my salary simply wasn’t enough to rent an apartment—let alone buy property. So I mentally shelved the idea and focused on building my career.

Moving out and moving on: How investing in property was my act of self-love

My work chair is by local designer Cyrus Dan Cañares. The frame is vintage, and has been re-upholstered with Kalinga, Japanese, and US fabrics. I really wanted my work chair to feel fun and unique, because I spend much of my day sitting in it.

The next time I seriously considered buying property was my mid-20s. By this time, I was juggling work as a TV/events host and freelance writer, and had also become a communications consultant.

Moving out and moving on: How investing in property was my act of self-love

The process of laying out my gallery wall—posters from my favorite movies, art prints, and more

My finances were better, and I believed then that I found “The One.” He had his own place, and I helped “upgrade” his bachelor’s pad with better dinnerware, appliances, and more. After all, those would be “ours” one day. The culmination, I believed, would be for both of us to save money independently and pool resources after marriage to buy a two-bedroom condominium unit.

But it wasn’t meant to be. I cried at home to my parents about how my world turned upside down and how none of the plans I made came true. No way could I afford that dream two-bedroom on my own! Then my dad asked me: “Bakit hindi na lang muna yung para sa iyo?”

Moving out and moving on: How investing in property was my act of self-love

A photo with my parents, who always encouraged me to invest and have been so helpful in this whole journey

One month after my breakup, my dad took me to an open house to look at a pre-selling condo. After years of hard work, my parents had finally saved up enough to buy property of their own, and they encouraged me to go for it as well—to do what they couldn’t yet do at my age.

Moving out and moving on: How investing in property was my act of self-love

These are my plants which I started caring for at the start of the pandemic, even before I moved into this new place.

Fast forward three years: I’ve started living on my own for two months now and almost done paying for a studio unit that I plan to rent out to university students. I love the independence and freedom of living alone. It’s empowering to look around and reflect on how far I’ve come–knowing as well that my investment will grow in value over time, thus giving me more options in the years to come.

I spend my free time on DIY projects and home decoration (it’s still a work in progress). I find joy in cooking and eating with my ceramic collection from my travels. And I love my quiet evenings alone, looking out at the city lights.

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Moving out and moving on: How investing in property was my act of self-love

DIY day: painting the walls of the unit

And yet, I also love how my own space makes me feel connected to the people I love. When I look at this condo, I see the walls my Dad and I painted ourselves. I get to cook for my mom whenever she drops by. And my new love? We both dream of having our own place one day, but for now, he’s happy to drop by and spoil me with new pots and smart home devices.

Moving into a new home is a milestone, at any time of your life. But if you can, don’t wait until you find The One. You can do it for you.

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TAGS: Business, home, Investment, property, self-love
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