This Couple Renovated a Foreclosed Property in 3 Months

The 192sqm foreclosed property is found inside a subdivision in San Pedro, Laguna.

Photography: Courtesy of Melissa Gomez-Calayag

Finding and buying a home requires careful planning, but sometimes, the right property comes when you least expect it. Melissa and Ezekiel Calayag didn’t plan on buying a foreclosed property but after seeing the promise of the house and lot referred to them, they decided to change course and acquire a 192sqm home in San Pedro, Laguna.

“We were supposed to buy an old house in the same subdivision where the foreclosed property is located but due to conflicts, we decided to back out of the deal. My husband’s childhood friend then referred a foreclosed property to us and we thought it had potential,” Melissa tells

The foreclosed house looks old prior to renovation but some of the materials used inside the house are still in good condition.

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Since the house had a caretaker, it looked different from other foreclosed properties. “Hindi sira-sira ang itsura ng house, okay pa ang mga tiles, extended na din ‘yung bahay, and may built-in cabinets sa bawat bedroom,” recalls the former flight attendant.

The couple also noted that choosing the foreclosed property meant spending less on renovations compared to overhauling an entire house.

“Pintura ang nagdala,” Melissa shares on Facebook. The house looks better with a fresh coat of paint. The couple’s chosen color palette gives it a modern-country-inspired look.


After successfully securing financing assistance from a bank, Melissa and her husband focused on giving the house a new look. With the help of Melissa’s father who is a civil engineer, the renovation took three months.

“We got inspiration from Pinterest as we wanted a modern, minimalist feel. ‘Yung maaliwalas tignan and ‘yung feeling na nasa vacation house ka lang,” she says.

Renovating a foreclosed property

The couple really lucked out in acquiring the property. It has four bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, an entertainment/family room, and a dirty kitchen. There’s also enough space to start a garden or an outdoor area where they can relax.

Ezekiel and Melissa posing for a photo in the elevated dining area of the house prior to renovation. The house’s high ceiling is one of its best features.  


While there are many things to love about the house, Melissa especially likes the high ceiling in the living area. “It gives a ‘sosyal’ vibe and that maaliwalas feel,” she shares.

The living area now looks welcoming and cozy. Aside from the comfy sofa, the couple also carved out a workspace near the window. 

 IMAGE Melissa Gomez-Calayag


While they have finished sprucing up the key areas in the home, they are saving up for more improvements in the future. Aside from thinking of creating an outdoor patio, they also plan on changing the railing of stairs with glass to make it more elegant.

The kitchen still looks functional when they got the house. They plan to change the tiles to make sure it matches the new theme of the home. 


A few steps from the kitchen is the dining area that can accommodate six people. A view of the living area can be seen from the dining and kitchen areas.  

There used to be a wooden countertop in the dirty kitchen, so the couple had to spend on revamping it by adding a concrete countertop with tiles. They also had to fix the leaks.  


Prior to renovation, the entertainment area looked dark and uninviting. Inspired by Pinterest, they added a splash of color to liven up the space.


A door in the entertainment room leads to the terrace. Since the floor tiles are still in good condition, they just painted the walls dark grey to match the façade of the house. 

The bedrooms all have built-in cabinets. To improve each area, they repainted the walls and brought in furniture pieces.


Most of the bedrooms follow a neutral color palette which is easy on the eyes and maintain the "maaliwalas" feel the couple wants. 


The owners plan to install tiles in the outdoor area. 

If you are also considering looking into foreclosed properties, the couple suggests allotting enough time to inspect if the property is worth it. “While buying a brand-new house and lot is more expensive, you need to really check for damages like leaks,” says Melissa.


In addition to checking every nook of the house you’re eyeing, she also suggests taking into consideration the location and accessibility of the area. “It’s important that there’s a stable Internet connection and good water supply.

Most importantly, check the documents of the property including the title and that there are no unpaid bills,” Melissa adds.

At the end of the day, getting the home of your dreams boils down to having enough budget. Just like how Melissa and Ezekiel made it happen, making sure your savings can cover it helps. “Saving money even if you don’t know where to invest it yet is important so that when an opportunity comes, you’re ready to grab it,” she advises.

* * *

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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