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Maria Fatima A. Villena

15 July 2008

Buying my very first house

Buying a house is no picnic. It takes time, money and a handful of right choices to succeed in this

endeavor. However despite this fact, a house is a good investment for a person who is starting to think of

living life independently after years of contributing significantly to the labor force. It is a mature way of

spending and investing hard earned money to something more permanent and worthwhile.

I am at this stage in my life. In my thirty years in this world, I think this is the right time for me to

make use of my money and invest it wisely. Instead of buying personal stuff for myself, I want to see

where I put my money in, something that can be developed, improved overtime, something as concrete

as a house. Why a house? This kind of investment is not only an addition to my list of assets, financially

speaking, but more so a sense of fulfillment. It is a concrete evidence of what I have reached in life. Yes,

while it is true that material things like a house is not a measure of success in life, it can be a driving force

that will push me to be more independent, responsible and accountable for my decisions. Most

importantly, I consider this as a challenge to my ability to fulfill a responsibility over a period of time.

How did I arrive at this decision? Since I am at this stage of fulfilling my decision, I can clearly

explain the problem solving process and decision making techniques I have applied in purchasing the

right house for me. I considered this as a very challenging situation because what is at stake here is the

amount of money, time and effort that I will put into it and the lifelong plans and decisions, which are most

likely to be affected big time by the choices I made and will need to make in the future.

The process which I used to evaluate my present situation is the Problem Solving and Decision

Making Process proposed by Supervision, a hyperlink book (Allen).

Problem solving and decision making processes are most often synonymous to each other. But in

this case, I followed a simple problem solving process but applied several decision making techniques in

order to come up with several decision criteria and factors that are important in completing the process. In
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addition, I have to make decisions on several occasions to lead me to my decision to purchase the house

I now have.

Define the problem. The main challenge I faced was: to purchase the house or not to purchase

but instead wait/look for a better, viable option that will come along.

Recognizing the problem/challenge, there were already external and internal pressures driving

me to act on the matter. First, at thirty years old, I want to prove that I can live an independent life and

make wise decisions and investments on my own. Second, I had to consider the options that came my

way, before I saw the house I purchased. I had tripped to dozens of medium to high-rise condominium

units before. Although they were very tempting, I had to let go each one of them simply because I cannot

afford it and the payment scheme was rather difficult to follow. I thought that there is a huge possibility

that I will no longer encounter a house I can afford and a scheme that will suit my requirements since

houses/house and lot here in the Philippines are very expensive and that their value increase rapidly,

especially those situated in urban centers. Another is the fact that I am going to get married this coming

December and my mother’s rule is to immediately separate from my parent’s house after my wedding.

Therefore, purchasing a house is a very important endeavor for me and my husband-to-be. Summing all

these factors up, it simply means - it is now or never!

Identify decision criteria. In this stage, I was forced to think about the most important

considerations I have to look into before buying the house. These are the criteria that will push me to

decide whether to purchase or not the house. In this stage, a decision making technique floated the

criteria I used that help me decide. The technique is known as Grid Analysis (Mind Tools).

To start this technique, I first listed the options and factors that are at hand:


• Purchase the house.

• Not to purchase the house and wait/look for the next better, viable opportunity to come.
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These are the only two options present because I believe that timing is of particular importance

here and that the only other way left to me is to decide not to purchase the house.


• Cost • External/Environmental Factors

• Payment Scheme (allows for (e.g. flood, landslide, etc.)

installment basis both for the • Requirements/documents

down payment and the needed to submit

remaining balance) • Location

• Quality of house • Design

As for the factors, I easily identified them because these were the same ones that I considered

when I was still in search for the right house. Particularly, the cost and the payment scheme are the

primary reasons which stopped me from buying any of the units I saw before.

The second step is I assigned weights to each of the factors which I considered as very important

or unimportant. I used 0 to 5, 5 being the most important and 0 as unimportant. Third, I scored each

option for each of the factors, again by using the same values of 0 to 5 with the same reference attach to

it. After which, the scores I gave for each of the set factor/option and the weights I assigned to each of the

factors were multiplied to arrive at the weighted scores. Finally, all these weighted scores were added

and the option that got the highest total score won.

To illustrate, please see table below:



WEIGHTS: 5 5 4 4 4 3 2

• Buy the 25 25 16 12 16 9 4 107

• Not to 25 25 16 12 16 6 2 102
buy the
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Develop alternatives. I did not exhaust much of my efforts thinking about alternatives to this

challenging situation because I was very determined to make my decision work. I fell totally in love with

the house during my first visit last week. Aside from this, as I have illustrated in the prior steps, the

payment scheme offered for this house meets my requirements – a 10,000 pesos ($222) reservation fee,

a down payment which can be paid on an installment basis worth 4,343 pesos ($97) in 10 months and the

remaining balance to be paid for thirty years worth 494,757 pesos ($10,995) through a housing loan. It is

an affordable price for a house and lot with a lot area of 63 sq. m and a floor area of 25 sq. m., although

the house is situated farther from the heart of the city even from my place of work.

Aside from purchasing the house, the only two alternatives which I entertained were: 1) not to

purchase the house and look/wait for some better option or, 2) in case the housing loan which I applied

for will not be approved, I will have to switch to the in-house financing option offered by the developer.

The second alternative was not used as an option while I was identifying my decision criteria because I

was already determined to buy the house even if my housing loan will be disapproved.

Decide. It is pretty obvious in my pronouncement that I have already decided to get the house.

Along the way, I have also consulted my family members about my decision. My mother agreed and is

excited about the house. She said that I am old enough to really own a house and that obligations like this

will train me to become more independent. My brother and sister supported my decision as well and at

the same time willing to help out at least in other expenses. My fiancé, of course, is as enthusiastic as me

and has supported me all the way.

Implement the decision. After our tripping to the location of the house last week, I became even

more determined to get the house. As an initial step, I paid 3,000 pesos for the reservation fee to be

completed by the end of July and I submitted pertinent documents needed in preparing the contract which

I need to sign.

The next step in the action plan is that I and my fiancé are looking for ways on how to beef up our

financial resources and earn additional income so that we can save and fuse our money to help us work

our way through.

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As for me I am thinking of applying for a part-time, night shift job position. To prepare for this

hunt, I reviewed and evaluated the skills and work ethics which I have developed over the years through

my various employment trainings. For this, I used the Personal SWOT Analysis (Mind Tools) decision

making technique to help me appraise my skills. I have identified new strengths, weaknesses,

opportunities and threats at hand. I did this technique after two failed job applications and I hope that after

evaluating myself, I would be more prepared to face as many employers out there as I can and impressed

them with what I have become as a professional and pick me for the job. I have until end of August to do

my job hunt.

After this, I will continue fulfilling my monthly obligations for the house until it is turned over to me

by March 2009.

Evaluate the decision. As of the moment, I can only gauge my ability to fulfill my obligations as I

go subject myself through the entire process. I have the whole thirty years to pay for the loan and 10

months for the down payment worth 43,430 pesos ($965).

A chance to evaluate my decision may also come in if by the end of August I did not become

successful in landing a second job. If that time comes, I guess I have to review my decision and assess

whether I will make it till the end. The job is necessary to give me additional means to pay the monthly

obligations for the house.

I chose this imposition on myself to test my ability to make the right choices, solve problems and

apply appropriate processes and techniques in challenging situations. I hope that in this first venture, I will

be able to transform all these abilities into strengths and enjoy the benefits of my years of labor.
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Works Cited: Electronic Sources

An Article or Publication in Print and Electronic Form/ A Book Published Online

Allen, Gemmy. “Problem Solving and Decision Making.” Supervision 1998-2002. Mount View College.

12 July 2008


A Page on a Web Site

“Grid Analysis.” Mind Tools Essential skills for an excellent career. 1995-2008. Mind

Tools, Ltd. 12 July 2008 <http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_03.htm>.

“Personal SWOT Analysis.” Mind Tools Essential skills for an excellent career. 1995-

2008. Mind Tools, Ltd. 12 July 2008