Thursday, May 12, 2016

2016 Jan: Humble Abode - #xyAxis

It’s been a while since I have updated this blog!  We passed several holiday seasons, I had my last trip in Coron last February, I left something before heading for a short rest in Fukuoka.  Enough with these excuses!  Below will be a one long work in progress entry about my humble abode!

It’s been a long time dream to have a place of my own.  But people around previously do not support this decision, instead I have build my portfolio with property companies to buy my own when the time comes.  Inspired by a friend last February, I finalized my reservation a day after my birthday in year 2015.  After 9 months of paying my dues, finally was able to moved in early this year (2016).  

The Search for a Place 
It will definitely be in Pioneer, Mandaluyong for the convenience then.  Strategically located and to be accessible from business districts of Makati, Ortigas and Bonifacio Global City.

In a short period, I looked between Pines Peak, Sheridan, Sunshine and Woodlands; Light and Flair were not in my short list.  With some constructive feedback from friends and internet among others, I finally decided to choose Axis.  Thanks to Faye who has been very helpful, concern and has been a patient property consultant to me. 

The Payment
Thanks to my major sponsors ate and mama, with the help of my long time savings and dedicated 9 month salary – we were able to pull it through.  Thanks to my minor sponsors – (ACN), (DD, JFC), (BDO, SMPH, SM), (AC), (TEL), (DMC), lastly the (CEB, JGS), that's why I have chosen a unit from RLC, need to say more?!

Multi-purpose Furniture
Single Sofa-bed (Furniture Republic, Php12,595, 24JAN2016)  I would consider this as a good buy due to its price with its functions (sofa, bed, reclines, swivels).

I found the same sofabed in Our Home Southmall (Php19,950 24JAN2016) but does not swivel.  

Other option would be Murphy’s Bed or Tatami from Ergo Home.   

Dining Table - Norden Gateleg Table (Ikea, Php 13,000, 15JAN2016)

Yes, you read it right.  Though there is still no official Ikea store in the Philippines, you can still get their items here.  I like the 6 drawers for storage.  The extended wings are very much useful when there are visitors in the unit.  It is made of real wood, thus, it’s very heavy to move around. (Check below how the prices differ.)

There are other tables of the same type in SM Department Stores.

Shoe Cabinet (MOA, Php 1190, 28JAN2016)

I saw it first in white in Southmall at Php 3995, then, its gone after a week.  Saw it again in SM Center in shining green at Php 4999.  

After watching the gray item in MOA Department store for almost 9 months, I got it at mark down with Php 1190. It’s not just a simple shoe box, but there is compartment above (e.g. for magazines, books).  Then, it can be used as a seating area. 

Coffee table (Ebay, Php 4,876.80, 26MAR2016, Total (with shipping/other charges): Php 7990)

I rooted for this item when I saw it from Gwangsoo’s condo in Running Man Ep 274. But the online sites are too expensive.

Other items I was aiming to have instead is Ludovico, but the one in Rakuten is way much cheaper.  However, they are not accepting import orders.

Until I saw this in Ebay at only Php 4,876.80, what made it expensive is the Shipping from Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States and import charges.  I assembled it myself, bought wheels and attached it so I can move it freely whenever needed.

Other Items

Window Blinds
Are you planning to have those shining green or spiky pink curtains in your condo? Think twice or more!  Sticking with the old curtains idea will just need maintenance and you have to wash it every now and then.  Remember, you don't have a place to dry them, otherwise that you have to go to roof top to dry them.  Or, it will be another monthly expense to have it sent on washing service.  Another thing, choosing colors will be limited to what has been allowed by the building admin.  

So look for those modern blinds in malls.  I chose the alternating multi-shade blinds from Streamline Blinds Corp (Handyman, Robinsons Forum).  Model name is Dexter, combination of Mandy cream and beige.  Size: 69 by 84 x 190/sqft, that costs 7790php.  Choose the screen that doesn't run overtime.  This is easier to clean that having curtains washed.  Since the size is customized, it took 6 days prior to delivery and installation of 500php.

Air Conditioner
Since you want to also keep your electricity bill low, getting a split-type aicon is not an option for this place.  However, good news there are already inverter that are window-type.  Thanks to my sponsor for getting me Carrier.  It took longer to buy it, apart from budget, the issue was the size.  So thanks to Abenson BGC for explaining to me that there is still wall thickness for about 10cm, that can hold this type of aircon is most condo units. Also, I had a long discussion with the admin as they would not allow to install it at first.  But after several explanation regarding the size, they allowed it in the end.


After the unit's turnover date and move-in approval, then you're ready for the house improvement and renovation.  I got my unit semi-furnished with closet, kitchen cabinet and tiles.  So the major changes will be:

  • if I want the wall paint to be darken
  • Kitchen wall tiles
  • installation of appliances (rangehood, tv, bathroom water heater, etc)
  • bathroom enclosure

To follow (not priority) is/are:

  • wall decor and glass wall drilling

  • Check the shops for your initial furniture hunting, get the sizes.  
  • Visit your unit for the final measurements where your furniture should fit.  
  • Categorize which should be priority to be included on the first installation (where big furniture like bed/sofa/table are not yet there to refrain from getting the dusts).
  • Set the date of your initial ritual/internal communication with the place. (Bring in rice, salt, sugar, water and money)
  • Set the date of the first hammer/drilling that you'll do to the unit.
  • Do the major cleaning of the house.
  • Set the date where there will be less work/dusts, then you can start the delivery of your appliances and furniture.
  • Do another major cleaning of the house.
  • Prepare the installation of the decors or non-priority installations.
  • Do another major cleaning of the house.
For my expenses, highest value went to Living and Sleeping area, followed by Kitchen area.  Top 2 items were the appliances and furniture.  

Be warned!

Glass enclosure was the least priority and it took us weeks to find along MC Home Deport, CW Depot, Wilcon Depot, from Alabang to Ortigas.  There are those low-priced glasses that have fixed sizes of  (1200X1900MM), click here, but others would range to 25-50k php.

However, my unit has measurement of 1260mmx1900mm.  There were workaround of having extra stainless bar from Wilcon Alabang, but they do not offer the service in Mandaluyong. So the only choice is to have it customized.

Try to look for better shops offering this service apart from Lucky Star 168 (Makati, Ortigas, Alabang).  

  • They offer wrong time table on what you are expecting, example “they say 5-10 days fabrication in China”, but they would not tell you that they had difficulty in shipping back to Philippines.  
  • Their assistant delayed the bathroom size measurement by 2 weeks, due to poor scheduling.
  • When the item arrived in Manila, it took them more than 3 weeks to have Custom’s approval.  Their secretary and assistants would tell you they’ll call them back (but they never did any ring nor text at all) .
  • I settled my unit March 5, 2016 and had a 50% down payment, I had the glass installed after 103 working days on June 15, 2016.  I thought, everything will be good.  However, after 1.5 hours of installation, they figured out that the holes on the sliding door is too low, making it hanging from the flooring.  
  • The installer called the office, then I called, and I would hear a question of “Ma’am is it all right with you to have 4 cm distance from the flooring?”  I mean, where and why on earth would you buy and install shower enclosure if there is a way that the water will spill out from the flooring? Comm'n, do you see the purpose of your service?
  • Another suggestion from the installer (but I don’t resent them, since they are just giving inputs).  “Ma’am, another way is for us to lower the fixed glass beyond the tiled floors.”  All these years, I love workarounds, but for this one as a customer I don’ think it’s the right way to fix it.  Why bother my tiles when it’s their service that is too wrong.  They took the sliding glass back to their office/factory.

So currently (June 16), they are still thinking on what they’ll do, if I have to wait another 103 days for the replacement from China or what so ever.  On this situation, it’s my first time not to pay in full for the half service done on my unit.  Be careful on settling your deals and think thousand times before dealing with services from mainland. Apologies, I will not generalized, but I have to say what I had experienced.     

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