It is safe to assume that all of us dream of owning our own house. Be it choosing one that is already made or one that is still to be built in a lot, as long as it becomes a shelter where we can go home safely everyday and sleep soundly at night, we are bound to want a house that we can all ours. But for those who want the latter – to construct a house from the ground up – there is room (not literally) to plan out what it looks like and be creative about it.
However, while imagining what our dream house looks like has no limits, building a house in reality has one big limitation: cost.
A house, or real estate in general, is one of life’s biggest investments and it certainly breaks the bank to pay for it. For some, it is their ultimate goal or project. But how big of an investment are we talking about here?
The current unit of measure when it comes to estimating a house investment is the cost per square meter, often referring to the floor area, or those portions of a building that can be occupied. This is contrary to the land or lot area which may differ with floor area particularly in houses with multiple floors.
In the Philippines, the current [September 2020] ballpark figure is P 20,000 to P 25,000 per square meter for low-cost housing, and could reach P 35,000 per square meter for 2-storey houses. This number is usually used by contractors for semi-furnished house constructions on a standard timeline (6 months to a year, depending on size), including labor, materials and equipment cost but excluding professional fees.
For example, you have a 6 x 8 vacant lot and you plan to occupy 6 x 6 meters for the structure with two stories. That gives us approximately 72 square meters of floor area, meaning the estimated cost of building the house with finishing is P 1.8 million to P 2.5 million.
Of course this number is subjective – other architects and designers use up to P 35,000 as ceiling amount – as the cost would largely depend on the detailed cost analysis which is influenced by material and finish specifications, lot location and topography, and construction timeline.
Some architects and designers prefer to work on a budget instead of the other way around: say you have P 2 million to build a house with a lot prepared already; they will find a way to maximize that amount and build your dream house for you. This is a wiser financial move as well on your part so you will not end up spending more than you should be for your house.
For the payments, more often than not you are not required to give the cash as one-time payment. Depending on the agreement, progress billing is an option where you will pay the contractor based on accomplishment.
Ask your local contractor for more details!