House hunting

We tried to look for the characteristics of our “perfect neighborhood” in every subdivision we visited over the years. Let me list them here with our impressions of them. Note that these impressions and information were gathered over a period of five years and the real estate developers’ offered packages may have changed.

Cottonwoods Heights

Note: House & lot packages only. Choose from pre-designed house models.

The first time my husband saw this subdivision, he fell in love with it. One of the VPs in the company he worked for had a house there and she used to give small parties. We were still living in the city at the time and casually entertaining thoughts of buying our first home. We took a look, the place was nice and quiet, the houses were okay — four-bedroom affairs, mostly, that exuded a quiet suburban elegance. But the prices at Cottonwoods Heights weren’t exactly for young couples.

Mille Luce

Note: House & lot packages only. Choose from pre-designed house models.

More expensive than Cottonwoods Heights but then development of Mille Luce only started about two years ago. My husband did not like the location. Enough said.

Maia Alta

Note: House & lot packages only. Choose from pre-designed house models.

Built for middle-class families, houses range from small (for newly-married couples) to medium (families with 2 to 4 kids). It was already a thriving community five years or so ago, our daughters had schoolmates who lived there… but it looked too concrete-y to me. Not enough greens, the houses were literally wall-to-wall and because most houses were built to accommodate only one car, cars were literally parked on the streets in front of the houses. And although some house models were comfortably-sized, the overall feeling was still crowded.

Mission Hills

Note: Lots only as well as house & lot packages available. For house & lot packages, choose from pre-designed house models.

If my husband fell in love with Cottonwoods Heights, I fell in love with Mission Hills the first time we visited about six years ago. Wide roads, large lots and there was a portion that overlooked Laguna de Bay. I could imagine sitting on the roof deck or veranda sipping coffee and watching the sun rise. Last year, when we were already seriously thinking about buying our second house, we went back to Mission Hills. In five years, the place looked like it had not changed much. Still too few houses, still too few residents… it looked like most of the buyers bought lots as investments only. Very few built houses. The result — there was no real community feeling.

Highlands Pointe

Note: House & lot packages only. Choose from pre-designed house models.

The streamers all over the suburb announced it was a high-end subdivision so, naturally, we expected large houses with sprawling lawns. No lawns. Sure, the houses have roof decks — a great thing since the site overlooks Metro Manila. But, gee, the kitchen of the largest model was smaller than the kitchen in our first house.

Beverly Hills

Note: Lots only.

If there was one place we seriously considered all through the seven years that we had been living in the suburb, it was Beverly Hills. It’s an old subdivision. Lots are rarely below 500 square meters but the average is about twice as large. Old trees line the wide streets, residents are old-timers who have lived there for the past decade or so… it is beautiful. It is ideal because we can build a house from the ground that with all the specifications we want.

Grand Homes

Note: House & lot packages only. Choose from pre-designed house models.

We first saw this place over seven years ago when we were about to buy our first house. It was a new subdivision then. The houses being constructed appeared too large for our small family and the location appeared too isolated. That was seven years ago. Today, it is a small community with beautifully designed houses, jogging paths, roving security and a clubhouse with real amenities — including wifi internet. It is surrounded by older subdivisions (Beverly Hills, Marville Park and Evergreen) so there’s little chance of slum communities sprouting nearby.

Town & Country Estates

Note: Lots only, as of last visit about five years ago.

Just like Mission Hills, Town & Country Estates looked like lot owners bought for investment only. The subdivision itself was quite a drive away from the main gate. Lots of lush greenery but it looked too lonely and isolated. Still, the peace and quiet looked inviting.

Town & Country Estates was the only subdivision we visited that had a horse trail. Okay, we don’t have a horse.

Other subdivisions we visited but did not seriously consider:

  1. St. Alexandra Estates
  2. St. Gabriel Heights
  3. Metroview Ridge Estates
  4. Richdale Subdivision
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. lelanie

    08/28/2008 at 2:06 am

    hi, ms connie. i have been reading your dreamhome blog for quiet sometime now. you ave a very nice house. we have been house hunting thru the net for almost a year now. we are considering the grand homes, cottonwood heights and mission hills in antipolo. my husband fell in love with the crosswinds in tagaytay but as our would-be primary residence in the phils i still want antipolo kasi parang mas accessible sya esp schools, etc. crosswinds is nice for a vacation house, diba. maybe someday we can afford to buy a house there, sana manalo sa euromillion. : ) your blog is really a big help esp yung mga first-hand info lalo na about the different developed estates sya antipolo. thanks and more power!

  2. Connie

    08/29/2008 at 3:04 pm

    Antipolo is a great place for raising kids, Lelaine. Good grade schools and high schools. And when they’re ready for college, UP, Ateneo and Miriam aren’t that far. IT and nursing colleges are sprouting in Antipolo too.

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