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  • 'Hindi Man Sobrang Laki, We Are Very Happy': College Sweethearts Build Dream Family Home

    Despite challenges, they were able to buy their own house and renovate the space for their daughter.
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
'Hindi Man Sobrang Laki, We Are Very Happy': College Sweethearts Build Dream Family Home
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan
  • College sweethearts Jessalyn and Jay Igasan's family life has its share of ups and downs, but it's how they continuously rise above the challenges that make it sweeter. The couple got married in 2014 and purchased their would-be family home the same year.

    “We paid the 15% downpayment for 18 months and then we applied for a bank housing loan at 6.88% annual interest for 10 years. Since the interest rate went up after five years, my husband decided to pay out the remaining balance just this January,” Jessalyn shares in an interview with Smartparenting.com.ph.

    The family’s 46sqm family home is indeed their safe space where Jessalyn and Jay spend time with their baby, Eliana.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan

    Settling loans despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic was still a win for the family. Jessalyn, who is a nurse, decided to report to their own clinic twice a week to lessen the risk of getting sick.


    “My husband, a general medicine practitioner and occupational health physician, used to work in three medical clinics and two hospitals. Due to the pandemic, he decided to work in just one clinic and one hospital para less ang exposure at less ang chance na makapag-uwi ng virus sa bahay since may baby na kami,” the mom of one relates.

    While their income is affected, the two are still able to make ends meet. “Bawas muna sa unnecessary expenses since most of the time nasa bahay lang naman at bawal lumabas,” adds Jessalyn.

    Tiny home design for a family of three

    The happy family of Jay, Jessalyn, and Eliana, wearing fairy tale-inspired costumes.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan


    The home was turned over to the couple in 2016. They decided to work with an interior designer Jay met online, who offered affordable renovation services. After working diligently during the first few weeks, the designer claimed that prices of materials increased and they won’t be able to finish the home as stated in the original agreement.

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    Jessalyn and Jay still pushed through with the house blessing then and it took them five years before finally deciding to have the house renovated again. Jessalyn decided to work on a Scandinavian-inspired home as she finds it appealing and relaxing.

    “We had the ceiling fixed and ‘yung pangarap kong magandang CR. We got design ideas from Home Buddies… kami na ‘yung bumili ng mga materyales and naghanap nalang kami ng mga marunong gumawa ng ceiling, cabinets, at tiles,” Jessalyn shares, adding that the Facebook group inspired her to improve their house and make it better.

    The family home features white walls and neutral-colored furniture pieces.
    The living area is compact yet cozy, with enough space for family bonding and watching TV together.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan
    Family photos liven up this wall in the living area – most of which are pictures of baby Eliana. The couple was blessed with their daughter after five years as Jessalyn was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan

    Jessalyn believes that the size of the home doesn’t really matter. “This home is very special to us as this is where we started as newlyweds… Dito kami nangarap magkaraoon ng anak at sa awa ng Diyos ay natupad namin ‘yun.

    “There are times na pinagmamasdan ko ang bahay habang nasa garden at naiisip ko ‘yung mga hirap at sacrifices namin para sa bahay na ito. Hindi man siya sobrang laki na bahay, but we are very happy,” she says.

    Mealtime is important to the Igasan family. Even if Jay reports to the clinic and does his rounds in the hospital, they make it a point to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan
    The family has a functional kitchen with a breakfast bar that has a foldable table. Jay is usually the first to use the kitchen every morning as he prepares their breakfast.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan
    Jessalyn has always wanted to have a beautiful and relaxing bathroom. The renovated T&B has a wood and white theme that goes with the Scandinavian aesthetic she loves.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan
    The shelves are well-maximized to keep supplies and towels organized.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan
    They made sure to add a niche where they can keep shampoo and conditioner dispensers.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Jessalyn Igasan

    To those who area also dreaming of owning their own home, Jessalyn suggests choosing the property wisely, setting a budget, and having an emergency fund. “It’s at least six months’ worth of your monthly expenses so that it case something goes wrong, you’ll be able to cover expenses while recovering from untoward events,” the mom advises.


    When reflecting on the hardships they’ve been through, Jessalyn can’t stop praising God for the extraordinary things He has done for the family. “We were just college sweethearts with dreams of building a life together. We learned to stick to the plan no matter how hard the situation is and no matter how many challenges are coming. Failure is only a beginning of our life journey and it is not the end,” Jessalyn muses. 

    Want to share your home makeover and get featured? Email us at smartparentingsubmissions@gmail.com and tell us about your project. For more home improvement and renovation ideas, click here.

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