If you're a first-time condo buyer in the Philippines, or a balikbayan who has not been home for a long time, buying Philippine condominiums the right way will save you a lot of legwork.. and cash.
Tips on How to Buy Philippine Condominiums - 1
When it comes to buying a Philippine condo or real estate property, it always boils down to a good location.
Tips on How to Buy Philippine Condominiums - 2
A good masterplan incorporates several factors like zoning of the area (specific areas are designated for commercial, office and residential use), density of the area (strict implementation of the Floor Area Ratios (FARs) for buildings to be constructed), security and traffic management, designation of areas for open spaces, parks and landscaping, reliable utilities (presence of reliable telecommunication facilities, drainage systems, reliable water supply).
How will the surrounding area look like 5-10 years from the time you bought the condo? This will only be answered through a good masterplan.
Tips on How to Buy Philippine Condominiums - 3
The track record of the developer/builder/project manager is one of the very important tips on how to buy Philippine condominiums.
Did they finish the projects on time?
Tips on How to Buy Philippine Condominiums - 4
Why invest in a condo in which the turnover date will take forever? The reason that you, the buyer, is investing in a condo is because you and your family would like to use it right away. The typical balikbayan would like to have a place of their own when they visit the Philippines while other investors would like to lease out their condo for rental income. The point is you are buying a condo because you would like to get the benefits at a shorter waiting time.
In fact, many investors are lured by developers on low monthly payments in return for a longer waiting time (i.e., longer turnover date)! So take note of the turnover date before giving your reservation check.
Tips on How to Buy Philippine Condominiums - 5
True, the model unit looks awesome.... the model units looks great in the brochure and in the CD presentation. The walk-through which you are now viewing in your internet browser is world-class!
But have you considered the number of units per floor, the total number of storeys of the condo building, the number of passenger elevators for the entire condo building?
Simply put, the density of the building will determine the number of tenants in the building which has an implication on foot traffic, waiting time in the elevator and of course, tenant's privacy.
Look at the floor plan closely and consider these factors.
Tips on How to Buy Philippine Condominiums - 6
In general, condominiums will fall under two (2) unit types: the flat unit or bi-level/loft units. Flat units are the typical condo unit wherein all bedrooms, the living room, dining room, toilet and baths are all located in one level. Bi-level/loft units are those condos which has a staircase leading to the loft or second level where the bedrooms and sometimes the T&B are located.
Selecting a flat unit versus a bi-level/loft unit is very subjective because it really depends on the tastes and preferences of the client.
As a real estate broker, we'd like to point out several areas for consideration.
Also, you have to consider if small children and old people will be using the condo. A flat unit will be more appropriate if there are small children and old people who will use the condo.
The Philippines is a tropical country and during summer, the loft-type units have higher exposure to sunshine because of the higher floor. Most condos use glass for aesthetic purposes. Higher exposure to sunshine means warmer temperatures and for the condo dweller to be comfortable, you should invest in a good airconditioning system.
Tips on How to Buy Philippine Condominiums - 7
Property management is essential when buying a condo. Make sure that the developer is committed in the appreciation of property values of the condo through good property management. Good property management will be reflected through efficient maintenance and security of the common areas (like the lobby, hallways), efficient garbage collection, and proper maintenance of the amenities like the swimming pool, gym, function rooms, etc.
It is also good to know the projected condominium dues (also known as association fees) of the condo property that you're buying . In general, condos with more open spaces and more amenities have higher condominium dues. This is usually reflected on a Peso per square meter basis.
Tips on How to Buy Philippine Condominiums - 8
When you buy a condominium unit, there are other costs to be considered namely:
Tips on How to Buy Philippine Condominiums - 9
The licensed real estate broker is your link to the developer/builder/project manager. He/she can give you a thorough background of different condominium developments emphasizing the condo's strengths and weaknesses.
A knowledgeable real estate broker can assist you in coming up with a "shortlist" of condos based on your needs and preferences. He/she can help you with the sales and negotiation process and last but not the least, he/she will provide you good after-sales service.
As a final statement, I'd like to give courtesy to our good friend, topnotch realtor and businesswoman, Ms. Cynthia Palad-Yap, who has compiled the above tips for you, our dear Kababayans.
Together we work to give you the best of Pinoy service.
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