Do Not Sell Your House

Selling a home marks a significant milestone in many people’s lives, often signifying the beginning of a new chapter. Whether you’re downsizing, upsizing, relocating, or simply seeking a change of scenery, the decision to sell your home is not one to be taken lightly.

14 common reasons for selling the home
Selling an ancestral home is often a deeply emotional and complex decision, as it involves parting ways with a place that holds cherished memories and family history. While the reasons for selling ancestral homes can vary widely, here are some common factors that may drive individuals or families to make this difficult choice:

  1. Financial Necessity: Economic hardships, such as mounting debts, property taxes, or maintenance costs, can force families to sell their ancestral homes to alleviate financial burdens.
  2. Inheritance and Estate Planning: In some cases, selling an ancestral home is part of estate planning, especially when multiple heirs cannot agree on how to share or maintain the property.
  3. Relocation: Changes in career, family, or personal circumstances may require individuals to move to a different location, making it impractical to keep the ancestral home.
  4. Maintenance and Upkeep: Older properties may require extensive maintenance and renovations beyond the means or capabilities of the current owners, leading them to sell the property.
  5. Divorce or Separation: In cases of divorce or separation, selling the ancestral home may be necessary to divide assets or provide a fresh start for both parties.
  6. Lack of Interest: Some heirs may lack a personal connection or interest in the ancestral home, making them more inclined to sell it rather than maintain it.
  7. Emotional Distance: As generations pass, the emotional ties to an ancestral home may weaken, leading to a reduced attachment and an increased likelihood of selling.
  8. Family Disputes: Conflicts within the family over the use, maintenance, or ownership of the ancestral property can result in the decision to sell it and divide the proceeds.
  9. Upgrading or Downsizing: Families may choose to sell an ancestral home to upgrade to a larger or more suitable property or to downsize to a more manageable living space.
  10. Investment Opportunities: In some cases, individuals may see selling the ancestral home as an opportunity to invest in more profitable real estate ventures or other financial assets.
  11. Legal Issues: Property disputes, unresolved legal matters, or encumbrances on the ancestral home may necessitate its sale to resolve these issues.
  12. Retirement and Lifestyle Changes: As individuals approach retirement or experience changes in their lifestyle, they may choose to sell their ancestral home to fund their retirement or move to a different type of housing.
  13. Declining Property Value: If the value of the ancestral home has significantly declined due to changes in the local real estate market, owners may opt to sell before it further depreciates.
  14. Cultural or Historical Preservation: Some families may decide to sell their ancestral home to organizations or individuals committed to preserving historical or cultural properties.

The decision to sell an ancestral home is highly personal and should take into account not only financial considerations but also the emotional and historical significance of the property to the family. It is often a challenging decision, and careful deliberation is essential to ensure that the best interests of all involved parties are considered.

Replacing a property is not easy
In the Philippines, where property ownership costs have become nearly impossible due to rising prices and reduced purchasing power, many households opt to rent their housing units. This can significantly impact household budgets, especially in Metro Manila, where rental costs are increasing annually. According to a report, Manila has the second-highest rent prices, surpassed only by Singapore.

Another report by iPrice, an e-commerce group, revealed that one-bedroom rentals in Manila are 56% higher than in Kuala Lumpur, 47% higher than in Jakarta, 31% higher than Ho Chi Minh, and 9% higher than Bangkok. Additionally, approximately 35% of Metro Manila’s population lives in unstable, poorly constructed shelters in slums, with 11% residing near railroads or garbage dumps, due to the high cost of living, which is 168% higher than the average salary.

While the severity of the situation may vary outside of Metro Manila, owning an ancestral home is a valuable asset. Regardless of renting elsewhere for convenience, having a house to call your own provides a sense of security. Homes are extensions of ourselves, meeting our human and material needs while ensuring personal safety and security.

Decisions have generational impact
This message is especially directed to children considering selling the house inherited from their parents or grandparents. If it won’t significantly impact your finances or future plans, consider not disposing of or selling your ancestral home.

Let me share my personal experience. My grandparents bought a house for my parents, and we all grew up there. When we started our families, our children also lived in that house for a while. However, my parents decided to sell the house for reasons unknown to us, and everything went downhill from there.

I’m not only referring to the financial loss, which can be significant if the proceeds don’t cover the high cost of buying a new property or even rental expenses. It’s also about losing a major part of our personal history. Ancestral homes are the evidence of our ancestry and family heritage, embodying the souls and energies of our ancestors-every nail, every wood beam, every iron frame, every brick bears the imprint of your family.

When we lost our house, our lives seemed to drift apart. We were uprooted, finding it difficult to connect with any community or form long-term bonds. Each house carries different energies, influenced by the last group of people who inhabited it. Personally, I often felt like a vagabond, unable to connect with the locations of the homes I rented for several years. At times, I wished my parents had made a different decision regarding the house.

If they had known how their decision impacted our generation, they might have decided differently. That is why, as parents or the responsible adults in your family, you need to look beyond yourself and realize that every action you take may either make or break someone in your family or lineage.

If this story resonates with you, and someone in your family is considering selling your ancestral home, let’s hope their decision is well-considered and for the long-term, rather than a hasty choice.

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