What to Consider When Buying A Condo

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Condo living is becoming more popular in the Philippines, especially in the urban areas like Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. For some people, a condominium is a good alternative to a traditional house and lot, and a more affordable option.

With the ever-changing Philippine property market, it’s too easy for a first-time homeowner to be overwhelmed with the many available options. 

Keep in mind that if you’re looking to buy a condo unit, you shouldn’t look at price alone.

To help you in deciding which property to buy, here are some things to consider when purchasing a condo unit in the Philippines:

1. Location

This would be your primary consideration since the condo’s location affects its price (both the purchase price and likely price appreciation) and your access to conveniences.

While condos in the central business districts (CBDs) like Makati, Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and Ortigas can be expensive, it is expected that their value will quickly appreciate in the future. Condos in the CBDs are generally considered to be good investments. 

For more affordable choices, check out the areas near the CBDs, where the value may appreciate in the years ahead.

Regarding accessibility, the best option would be a condominium within walking distance to, or a short ride away from your place of work. Or one that’s near bus stops, train stations and other transport terminals. You’ll also want a location with easy access to convenience stores, banks, restaurants, schools, and hospitals.

Also, take a look at the neighborhood. Do you feel safe in that area? Do you know if it gets flooded during the rainy season?

2. Amenities and Population Density

Check if the price you will be paying is comparable to the value of the amenities offered. Nowadays, the usual amenities include a swimming pool, children’s playground, fitness center, and function room.

Related to the amenities is the condo’s population density. How many residents are sharing the public facilities? The more residents a condo has, the more inconvenient it becomes because you’ll be sharing the same amenities with more people.

3. Developer’s Track Record 

Do a background check on the property developer. Do they deliver on time? What’s their record when it comes to quality of property, property maintenance and preventive maintenance? Do they work with the condominium owners’ association to help manage the condo? Managing the condo also includes implementing adequate security measures and strictly enforcing condo rules.

Talk to people who’ve bought condos from your target developer. Ask about their buying experience as well as their experience in living in a condo. Or a good place to research about real estate company reviews is Facebook. You can read comments about actual experiences of their clients there.

Big property developers like Ayala Land, Megaworld, Robinsons Land, DMCI and Century Properties, among others, have an edge. They have proven themselves to be reliable in turning over condominium projects to homeowners within predetermined dates.

4. Association Dues, Parking Space Fee

When you live in a condo, you also need to pay for the association dues. The amount covers your contribution to the shared costs incurred by all condo owners. That includes electricity in common areas, water for the swimming pools and the greenery, wages of security and maintenance personnel, and others.

Get a breakdown of the monthly dues. Carefully consider if you can afford this extra payment. 

And what about the parking space? Yes, you have to pay extra for your parking space. And it doesn’t come cheap.

5. Rules and Regulations

What are the rules and regulations imposed on all residents and tenants of the condo? Does the real estate company allow pets? Do they have a time restriction for visitors? Do they allow parties inside residents’ units? Can you rent out your unit?

Know the condo rules before you buy so there won’t be unnecessary headaches once you have moved in.

6. Price

Then of course, there’s the price of the condominium property. What can you afford? A studio, one-bedroom, or two bedroom condo? If you’ll be getting a bank loan to pay for your condo purchase, get quotes from several banks and compare rates and terms and conditions.

Buying a condo is a major investment and a major commitment. Don’t rely on just what the sales agents tell you. Do your own research. You want to make sure that you’re buying the right type of property for your needs for the price that you can afford. 

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