In our real estate business, we come across various stories and different experiences of people who buy properties. Each story has a lesson to teach.
Let me share with you the story of Jeff, a captain of a supply boat in the Middle East.
Like many Filipinos abroad, Jeff is a hardworking, reliable and trustworthy employee.
He works for a large multinational company involved in Oil Exploration. He gets a very good salary – a salary he cannot get here – and is able to provide a good life for his family.
Because of his salary, he was able to save and buy a car, send his daughters to good schools and pay for the down payment of a 2-bedroom condominium in Pasay city.
Jeff saved and made sacrifices because he LOVED his family very much and would only want the best for them. In fact, if he made more money, he’d likely spare no expense to provide for them the BEST QUALITY of LIFE that money can afford.
Not only that, he saved because he wanted to FULFILL his DREAMS and PROMISES to his wife and family.
These are the things that drive him day in and day out. How about you, what drives you?
Yes, a lot of times, he missed his family because they’re so far away.
Yes, a lot of times, he worries for their safety. They have to brave their neighborhood in Pasay to commute to work and school. It didn’t help that all he heard in the TV or read in the papers are news of crimes, accidents and politics.
Yes, a lot of times, he wondered if he would ever be able to fulfill the promises that he made to his wife, Marie.
But life is good and he was able to save up and finally put down that down payment for the condo. In a few years, when he fully pays the condo, they’ll be able to come in and enjoy another dream come true – their own home!
Now sometimes, dreams turn into nightmares. Not all the time mind you, just sometimes. Like what happened to Jeff.
He should have seen the signs but we’ll he just didn’t know. He’s a first time home buyer. Nobody TEACHES this stuff.
First, there are the delays in construction. The condo was supposed to be turned over in 1999 but it’s 1999 and no foundation has been poured let alone dug.
Now the developer assured Jeff that the condo would be finished so Jeff continued to pay and in fact he wanted to pay in full before turnover because he wanted to avoid paying interest.
But nobody told him of the “extra charges”.
There’s the cost for transferring the title to his name.
There’s the creditable withholding tax which the developer should pay but Jeff is shouldering it.
There’s all the required paperwork to sign and legal fees to pay. There are various processing and miscellaneous fees that he doesn’t understand but dutifully paid anyway.
Even if the condo was not yet finished.
Still Jeff waited. Eventually the construction did start.
And he would pass by the site whenever he came home from the Middle East, excited even by the slow progress. He tells himself, “It’s going to be worth the wait.”
When it was finally done, it doesn’t look like it’s done. In fact, when he inspects the unit, it’s bare. It didn’t look like the beautiful model unit that he was shown by the agent when he was buying.
Nevertheless, he still spent money to have the unit have a decent finish. After all, his family would be living here – in their OWN HOME. No more renting from their surly landlord, Aling Baby.
They moved in March of 2001, 2 years behind schedule. By October of the same year, water leaks through the walls and eventually destroys the laminated wood flooring that Jeff placed.
In a few years, the rest of the condominium deteriorates due to poor maintenance and property management.
Finally having enough, Jeff confronted the developer along with other angry homeowners. The battle is about to begin.
Have you had this same experience or heard something similar? This story could have been avoided if only Jeff knew HOW TO CHOOSE A DEVELOPER.
What could Jeff have done in the beginning to prevent this from happening?
I’d appreciate your contributions. Feel free to put your comments below. Let’s teach Jeff.