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At 22, This Pinay Bought Her Own House—Five Years Later, She Achieved Her *Dream Home*

Jai Inalao shares how having her own space is an asset that'll be of great value in the long run.
pinay millennial home makeover

Some say millennials shy away from homeownership, preferring to rent than buy or postpone investing in a home of their own. Surprisingly, this changed during the pandemic, as statistics show that more millennials are looking into purchasing a property these days. Given the flexible payment terms offered by developers and the need for a space that's ready for remote work, many are realizing the importance of having a home.

Jai Inalao, a procurement analyst for a private company, realized early on that saving up for her own space is one of the best gifts she can give herself. At 22, she was able to secure her own townhouse. "My parents taught me to be independent. From high school to college, and until I started working, I only stayed in a dormitory and told myself that one day, I want to have my own home. It's an asset that will be of great value in the long run," she shares in an exclusive interview with

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Upon turnover, the townhouse looked plain. Jai decided to add a gate to define her property and to ensure privacy.

Jai's journey to homeownership is serendipitous, to say the least. She was only planning to find an apartment or room for rent, but a site trip to a subdivision in Cavite changed all that. "It's a rent-to-own townhouse. My friend and I liked the location because it's along the highway and just a bus ride away from Manila," she recalls. Without hesitation, Jai paid the P5,000 reservation fee for the block and lot she liked.

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After accomplishing the requirements and successfully filing a PAG-IBIG housing loan, she waited for a year before the property was turned over to her. "After the turnover, I started paying the monthly amortization billed by PAG-IBIG," Jai shares. "Sometimes, we need to take a risk to be able to reach our goals. Investing in a home ensures a better today and tomorrow," she adds.

Now 27, Jai was able to transform the 42-square meter townhouse into her dream home. "After five years of saving up for a renovation budget, I decided to finally give it a makeover. Now that we're working from home, I enjoy having my own space," she shares. Without a doubt, her hard work and perseverance paid off. Take a peek inside Jai's townhouse below:

Living Area and Staircase

To improve the space, Jai used Pinterest for inspiration. Since she simply wanted a home that's cozy and relaxing, she hired workers to execute her ideas.

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After the renovation, Jai furnished the home with a sofa so she can spend her free days watching shows on Netflix. A wooden divider separates the living area from the rest of the ground floor while the wallpaper and wall accents serve as finishing touches. 

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Meanwhile, the staircase is now painted, with the space under it transformed into a storage center.

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Kitchen and Dining Areas

The townhouse needed a lot of work and color to turn it into a home.

The kitchen is compact yet functional—with shelves and cabinets in place to keep it organized. Jai's counter also serves as a mini coffee bar. "I added a minimalist pendant light and a high chair to achieve a cozy vibe that's perfect for drinking coffee as inspired by decorator Elle Uy," she explains.

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The dining area features an elegant ambiance with the white dining set and chic wallpaper that complement the framed prints.

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Home Office

Since she's working from home, Jai made sure she has a dedicated home office. It's located on the other side of the divider, just beside the kitchen. "It has Scandinavian-inspired touches as seen on my chair and desk," she shares. To complete the nook, she had wall-mounted shelves installed.

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The second floor of the townhouse was empty. Jai transformed it into bedrooms she and her sister can occupy.

The main bedroom has white walls, a comfy bed with tufted headboard, and storage pieces to keep clutter at bay.

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Jai was also able to carve out a simple vanity nook that matches the overall look of the room.

The second bedroom has a boho feel—with a mattress set on wooden pallets. The cube bins double as a divider and storage center where makeup, photographs, and other essentials are kept.

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The bathroom is kept simple and clean, with a neutral look that complements the aesthetic of the bedrooms.                                                         

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Have you recently spruced up your room or renovated your home? Real Living would definitely love to see the result! Send clear photos (with your full name, city address, and accompanying kuwento) to with the subject "DIY Makeover" and we may just feature your DIY project!

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