(Please forgive the mud on the windows, we are still installing the grass.) ^
Our 5th, but not yet final, home
My husband and I have enjoyed 4 homes together in the last 7 years. That might sound like a lot but being an expat who is now living on the other side of globe, I’ve come to miss certain things that I had in my home when I was growing up in the states. (Not that I at all miss the States). Living in a city as dense as Manila, it has been hard for me to accept certain living customs, but I love Asia and it has become my personal mission to find a home for my family that meets all of my criteria…
One key to unlocking more potential wellness in your life is to make sure you are happy in your everyay surroundings.
I say that this home will be our 5th but not final home because we are starting the construction of our dream house in the Antipolo mountain area this year. The projected completion time will take about 2 years. And so, as we have out grown the space we are living in now, we needed to find a bigger temporary home to fill the next 2 years.
I put so much energy and love into every home we have lived in. And these next two years will be Luca’s prime years of childhood so, although a temporary home, we chose this one with a very particular lifestyle in mind for our family.
After much searching at the end of last year, my husband and I came across this subdivision that we absolutely fell in love with from the moment we saw it. And because there’s a beautiful village pool and kiddie playground, luca loves it too! My simple list of criteria are:
- House must let in an absurd amount of sunlight. Large windows and by ‘absurd’, I mean preferably 360° of window space around the house. To many who have lived abroad, this is a given in almost every home. But in a city like Manila, most Townhomes and condos are blocked on 3 sides by the neighboring house, allowing no windows to be placed on those THREE sides! This is our current living situation, and it has become the biggest pet peeve for both my husband and I. This new home has large windows placed on 3 sides of the entire house, as there is a neighbor attached on only one side. I’ll take it!
- A decent amount of garden and grass area. Here is another given if you were living abroad in the suburbs… but because this is a city, homes with their own personal yards or garden area is very hard to come by. I find it impossible to wrap my head around how there are even people who buy big land lots and build on the entirety of the lot, not allowing any space for garden or nature… Can. Not. The home we are building in Antipolo will consist of 60% home and 40% yard and garden area… So when viewing this subdivision and learning that each home came with its own personal garden area and grass walk way, literally sold me! This space will be perfect for messy arts and crafts for Luca, BBQ’s with the friends, and exercising!
- Absolutely no walls separating the living, dining and kitchen area. Quite simple really. A preference of mine. I prefer no walls and a very communal first floor with the kitchen, dinning and living area. I prefer this because it’s easier to entertain people and to watch Luca while I cook.
- And lastly, the village must be well maintained, gateless homes and good quality neighbors. This was something that I’ve only picked up on while living in the Philippines. Usually, inside already gated subdivisions, there are even more high walled gates put up around each house, by the individual home owners. I prefer a more open environment, I like to get to know my neighbors and high gates make me question the quality of neighbors around me. With this new subdivion we’re moving into, as well as our village in Antipolo, both are heavy gated on the outside any high walls or large gates between neighbors is not allowed.
What are some of your living criteria?
The new house…
I’l be giving you a quick tour around just a few rooms of the almost finished home, and I hope to post before and after photos once we’ve settled in!
This house consists of:
- Open dinning, living and kitchen area on first floor with maids quarters and guest bathroom
- Second floor loft
- Master and JR. Master bedrooms + one guest room, all with their own toilet and bath
- 4th floor is an open space area which can be converted into another living area or bedroom
- Side and backyard private garden area
Entrance, Living, Dining & Kitchen:
The second floor loft where my home office will be:
Master Bedroom and Bath:
Side and backyard, private garden (Grass still needs to be planted):