May 10, 2021

Yes, Buying a House and Lot on a Minimum Wage is Possible

Owning a house and lot is every Filipino's dream. However, with the current minimum wage salary range, most Filipinos are scared getting a house and lot of their own that they’ve been wanting for so long—or worse, they disregard even just the thought of it—because they are not being paid a livable wage, or just barely getting by. 


house and lot philippines

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons


Recently, a Twitter debate erupted about the compensation of Filipinos in the country after a user complained about a graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University refusing a job with a P37,000 starting salary.


“I just made a job offer to an Ateneo fresh grad, and I was shocked that she declined a 37k starting salary. The role is for an entry level Marketing Associate. I asked for her reason and she said that she expects at least 60k because of her educational background. I’M SPEECHLESS.”


— Kume (@DearKume) April 29, 2021.


The post has since gone viral and sparked different opinions on social media. Some say that P37,000 as starting salary is way higher compared to wages of most workers who have been in a company for many years already. While some noted that the offered amount was indeed too little, especially considering the cost of living in Metro Manila. 

The shocking truth about the cost of living in Manila

According to a research done by iPrice, an e-commerce aggregator, Manila is Southeast Asia’s third most expensive city to live in, despite having the lowest average salary for the working class.


The study showed the average cost of living in Manila is 168% higher than the average salary of residents. To be detailed, the research explains that the average monthly cost of living for a single person in Manila is at P50,798, which is in contrast with (and far off) the average net salary of only P18,900 per month, the lowest among the cities in Southeast Asia.


The Department of Labor and Employment has posted the current real minimum wage rates as of April 2021 across the Philippines according to industries.

Can minimum wage earners afford a house and lot?

Given the high costs and low salaries, it leaves us wondering how on Earth can we, especially minimum wage earners, afford a brand new house and lot in the Philippines? 


Understanding the cost of owning a house—the construction, taxes, and other fees you have to pay for a home purchase—halt many Filipinos from achieving their goals of buying even an affordable house and lot in the Philippines. We can’t blame them for thinking that way, besides, a house is the biggest investment we’ll ever make, so the expenses we will sustain should be a major consideration in your home-buying decision. If you want to know on the estimated amount you'll be needing for buying a house and lot in the Philippines, I found a reliable mortgage calculator where you can estimate mortgage affordability based on income. All you have to do is input the necessary amounts in the box and the mortgage calculator will give the information you need. This is helpful especially for those who are just planning on buying their own homes so that, you can manage your expenses (and expectations) well.


Going back to our main question: Can minimum wage earners afford a house and lot? The short answer is yes. 


While we are not discounting the thought of how expensive and how challenging it is to get that dream home, we will also not take the fact that it is possible, even for minimum wage earners, to buy a house and lot. 


Sure, looking for the most affordable house and lot that fits your budget is really challenging but with the right developer, achieving your dream home is possible. There are also a good number of financial housing loan programs in the Philippines that you can consider to make home-buying more attainable. From banks to government agencies like Pag-IBIG, Filipinos can take a housing loan.

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