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At 19, This Pinay Working Student Is About To Be A Homeowner

She thought of saving up to have her own bedroom, but she dared to dream bigger.
Working student, call center agent teen buys home
PHOTO: COURTESY OF PATRICIA TANDAS
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Owning a home is every parent's dream, especially if they are just starting a family. These days, however, even single men, women, and teens prove it’s attainable. Just ask Patricia Mae Tandas, a 19-year-old working student and soon-to-be homeowner.

"Dati, pangarap ko lang talaga magkaroon ng sarili kong kuwarto. Ngayon, mas malaki pa sa kuwarto yung makukuha ko. Katas ng puyat at pagod sa pagiging call center agent. Estudyante pa 'yan sa umaga," Patricia writes in a public Facebook post.

Speaking with SmartParenting.com.ph, the teen shares that as the eldest of four siblings, she's always longed for privacy. "Wala po kasi kaming sariling kuwarto. Bale yung second floor po naming may mga harang lang pero wala pong pinto for privacy."

She adds that she's been requesting for it from her parents, Rodel Tandas, 45, and Edelyn Tandas, 41, for a long time now, but they did not have the budget for it. Only Edelyn is employed at the moment as a caregiver.

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Patricia (far right) with her parents, Rodel and Edelyn, and siblings Pamela, 17, Johndel, 16, and Amber, 2.
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Patricia Tandas
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Patricia, who has been working as a full-time Customer Service Representative at a BPO company, says that her initial goal was to save up enough money for a renovation, but an advertisement for a house and lot while browsing her news feed made her rethink her plans.

"Naisip ko na kumuha na lang ng bahay kaysa magpagawa ng kuwarto. Mas maaga po kasi, mas maganda gawa nang tumataas talaga ang value ng bahay kada taon," she explains.

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"Natakot ako na baka hindi ko na afford kumuha sa mga sumusunod na taon, kaya kumuha na ako agad ngayon," she adds.

At first, Patricia's mom Edelyn was against the idea of buying a house in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was left with no choice because Patricia took the initiative to apply for a PAG-IBIG housing loan and it was approved. In her Facebook post, Patricia shares that she took care of all the requirements by herself, including lining up in different institutions to process documents. 

"Natuwa naman si mama kasi maganda po yung naisip ko. Nagulat lang siya kasi bigla-bigla raw akong nagdesisyon," Patricia shares.

To ensure that Patricia will not fall for any scam, Edelyn helped her daughter research for properties and introduced her to a trusted real estate agent. "Pinapaalalahanan niya ako palagi na mag-ipon tsaka 'wag puro gastos," she says.

A future homeowner

Patricia hopes to have the keys to her home by next year. Here she is posing in front of a model unit.
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Patricia Tandas
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Apart from being a call center agent, Patricia is also taking up BS Psychology and is already in her second year. She is also busy with her online food business—"Nagtitinda ako ng baked mac at saka cookies. Hilig ko kasi talaga magluto, kaya suma-sideline rin ako para may pang-extra income."

At 19 years old, Patricia is already independent and business minded. She says that the house, which is already under construction and will hopefully be turned over next year, is fueling her to earn more and save up. After all, she has quite a long battle ahead.

"30 years to pay siya. Ayun ang maximum, since bata pa naman ako. Kaya po ngayon talagang todo ipon plus side hustle para in case na may emergency, mabayaran ko pa rin yung monthly amortization," she says.

Asked what inspired her to seize the chance to own a house and lot, Patricia shares, "Ang naging motivation ko e kung anong mangyayari sa future. Ayoko kasing umasa sa parents ko habambuhay, kaya hanggat kaya ko pa, nagi-invest na ako agad."

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For teenagers like her who are dreaming of owning a home, Patricia says it all starts by prioritizing their needs over their wants. "Mag-ipon hanggat kaya nila mag-ipon. Kahit maliit na halaga, okay lang. Ang importante e may napupuntahan yung mga pinaghihirapan nila," she says.

Patricia knows that she will always have the full support of her parents and it's also because of them that she was able to grow into an independent young adult. She says, "Masasabi kong walang masama sa pagiging independent, kasi matututo kang tumayo sa sarili mong paa."

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