A gentleman named Charlie T. commented on the latest monthly budget video that I did. He put a lot of time into his post and brought up a few things that I thought I would write a short article. So, without any further ado, let’s give the floor to Charlie T.
Too many of you vloggers – or whatever the term of the week is – are painting a picture of Dumaguete through rose colored glasses. Rent, for example, has gone up considerably. This is due to too many foreigners coming to Dumaguete, not checking the market and paying way too much than what a place is worth. This in turn drives up everyone else’s rent when landlords see what other are getting paid.
Dang foreigners are ruining it for all us foreigners!! I have actually heard a good number of other guys echo Charlie’s sentiments about ‘”foreigners paying too much and driving up the rent costs.” When I do videos on ‘expensive’ ($400-$500) house rentals, someone invariably chimes in with a “He is paying way too much for that really nice house.” And ostensibly, it makes sense. Rents have gone up in the five years that I have been here – most noticeably at Dumaguete Studio Apartments which went up about 6,000 pesos/$115 USD a month (but they installed a pool and include a motor rental) and some other multi-door apartment complexes. As for Charlie saying it has gone up “considerably,” I would have to disagree. Rents have increased but not insanely so, especially factoring in the weak Philippine peso and local inflation rates.
But again, Charlie has a point. And he continues that point.
Our rent went up 1,000 pesos last year and our landlady says they plan on raising it another 1,000 pesos every consecutive year. We have been in this particular house for seven years. I have never been late on a rent payment and have actually paid her well ahead of time when she said she needed money to buy more property and or build another house. We also have maintained this house to the max: We have replaced all the faucets, all the toilets internal parts, the locks and door knobs, we have put in attic insulation, new water lines and valves, have planted real grass, had the septic tank pumped twice…..you name it. The plumbing, fixtures and locks that came with it were all cheap ” CHINESE’ junk!
First off, let me just say that all the landlords in the Philippines that I have spoken with have told me that they actually like having foreign tenants. They pay their rent on time and are generally dependable. As for Charlie’s rent going up, maybe it’s just me, but rent going up $18/month a year isn’t unheard of. I guess I have been lucky – in the last five years my rent has increased by only $36 USD. Not a deal breaker, and since I like my landlord (and he seems to tolerate me), I am staying for the foreseeable future.
And finally, Charlie brings it home with:
And we have done much more to improve her house. And this is how she rewards us? By raising our rent every year? I know who is behind that but if I out that if down it would be too telling. My wife is an obsessive compulsive cleaner, and this house and small yard is spotless all the time. She gets up at 4 a.m. to start cleaning, every day. By the way, our electric was P10,082 pesos last month. Or expenses are twice yours but there are 2 of us. We do not drink, smoke or party. We don’t even travel. We eat well for health reasons and we are healthy. I plan on being cremated someday but not slow roasted in this oppressive heat, hence our electric bill. Let me know how it works out after you get married. So that’s just a smidgen of real life in Negros Oriental
Yowzers on that $193 dollar electric bill, Charlie! That has GOT to sting, and it seems to be a bit high – you might want to make sure no one is tapping your line. And as for doing improvements on someone else’s house, you can’t expect any time of compensation for your time, money and effort. Unless your landlord says that they will pay you back for any specific upgrades that you make, all you are doing is home improvement on someone else’s home. Not a great idea, that. When I first moved into Pink House five years ago, the whole interior needed repainting and the tile on the kitchen counter needed to be replaced. I ‘ate’ the costs of the paint and tile because I don’t like living in a house with peeling paint or unsightly tile work. The total cost was about $100 (labor included), and to me it was money well spent.
Over the years, the landlord has agreed to pay for two major upgrades. The first was installing a massive nipa roof over the car port which provided shade and drastically cooled down the house. The second was the installation of 7 mm Styrofoam insulation/heat barrier in the attic which helped to further cool down the house (notice a pattern here?). We paid for the materials and labor ourselves and then just didn’t pay him rent until it was all paid off. Again, though – you have to ask your landlord and go through the negotiation process.
So, thanks to Charlie for taking the time to add his two-cents to the topic at hand.
And as for that landlord who won’t freeze your rent and that $193 electricity bill, let me just say…..