Late this month we were reminded by the Property Agent who manages our unit that our Lease Contract was about to end in two months. According to our Lease Contract, we were to inform her and the unit owner if we have the intention to extend our rent. This reminded me of why we moved to our current apartment and why we left the first one we rented.

Why we moved?

Nearly a year ago, my J & I decided we were moving home. Don’t get us wrong, we loved the first apartment we rented. It was a one bedroom apartment with spacious living area at Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. And while we loved that place and the location, we were met with limitations – as do all things.

Our budget for apartment rental is 20,000PHP/month

This is a comfortable budget for us for a 1BR (2BR if possible) apartment at a location we preferred. Meaning – we are okay paying for an apartment for this amount and it does not hurt the rest of our budget. We have this amount set aside, monthly, just for rent. This was also the average rental fee for a 1BR apartment in Teacher’s Village.

There are several reasons why we decided to move

Our monthly rent at that time was 17,500PHP, it meant we had a 2,500PHP savings from our apartment rental budget. It also meant that if the rent increases, we only had a few thousand pesos to accommodate that. Usually rental increase is expected at 10-15% depending on the contract you signed. And while we were still at a good place with our budget, we also wanted to find a cheaper rent and get our money’s worth.

J’s work allowed him to work from home and go to office (pre-covid) at least once a week. Our need to be closer to his workplace need not matter at this point since he will be traveling to the office once a week anyways (pre-covid) and with the current situation, we’ve been working from home since the pandemic started.

However, we made sure to find an apartment lower than our intended budget. It means we can afford 20,000PHP per month but do not intend to use all that budget. We had several reasons for it:
1] we wanted to live below our means.
2] should we like the apartment and intend to rent for the next few years, we must expect the rent to increase. That means if we rented a 20,000PHP apartment, in 2-3 years time that rent will increase and we will go off our budget.

How much we saved with the new apartment

We looked for apartments for rent at Facebook Marketplace. Surprisingly there are several real estate agents, buyer property managers, and potential lessors posting property listings there. We found a listing for an apartment with nearly the same floor area as the first one but had two bedrooms instead of one. The rent was also cheaper at 13,000PHP. Further research about the developer, we found out more about the condo community facilities and location that made our decision easier to make. It has a common gym and swimming pool which we had good use of prior to Covid restrictions. And it’s just walking distance to grocery shops and 4 shopping malls in the area. It was a steal!

The move allowed us to save 7,000PHP/mo from our 20,000PHP/mo budget on rent. This went directly to savings fund/s, ofcourse. That meant that we were able to save 7,000PHP x 12months = 84,000PHP, annually, on top of our other savings/investments by just moving to a less expensive home.

You might ask why we are still renting and not buying our own property yet. We are currently at the season where it is realistic to rent than to buy a property. There are a lot of reasons why we are not buying a property yet and that is good for another post. But for now, we are settling with renting a lower rate without having to sacrifice the quality of living we wanted.