10 Things to Know if You’re a First Time Condo Buyer

Type of Condominium Units Philippines

From a simple observation of one’s surrounding will one realize just how many properties, particularly condos, are being built in highly populated areas in the Philippines. Directly related to this is the increase in the number of people living in condominiums. If you are looking to become a part of this statistic, it helps to have some condo buying tips.

In the current age of living fast-paced lifestyles, it can be difficult to keep up with life’s hustle and bustle. This is where a condo comes in.

The selling point of every condominium is the convenience you afford.

These properties are strategically located within the proximity of places people need to be. These places include schools, business districts, hospitals, and malls. When you live in a condo, everything is nearer you, hence, more convenient.

On a different note, your condo purchase may not be looking for a new home for yourself, but rather, for someone else.

That works just as well as purchasing a condo as a real estate investment for quick and guaranteed returns.

Condo living is the new trend whether you need a place for yourself or looking for rental income. So, here are some things to consider when buying a condo in the Philippines.

  1. Lifestyle mismatch?

Before you even buy a condo, think about your lifestyle and think about if being in a condo is compatible with your lifestyle.

To illustrate, first you may be a big family. Most condos are as big as two rooms, but large families can range from five, ten, or more than ten in a family. Second, you may like owning big pets which cannot be accommodated in your unit. Third, you may love gardening as a hobby but in a condo, you cannot have your own garden.

Only consider living in a condo that helps you live your preferred lifestyle, not inhibit it.

  • A reliable realtor

If you made up your mind about buying a condo, your first thought is to look for an experienced realtor.

Real estate brokers are professionals when it comes to finding the best deals for you, explaining complicated financial terms, outlining community terms and regulations, and making sure nothing is overlooked.

All in all, they have your best interest at heart.

While your realtor handles the important documents and figures, what you can do as a buyer is go around the neighborhood and make a first impression on it.

  • Read every term in the contract

Before you commit to something long-term, know what you are getting into.

When you sign your contract to officially purchase the unit, you will encounter terms like contract prices, tax declarations, additional fees, the deed of absolute sale, payment terms, layout blueprints, and the like.

Whatever you are curious about, always ask along with your real estate broker to avoid disagreements in the future.

  • Review association dues

Branching off reading every term in the contract before signing, perhaps the detail you will pay attention to most is what you will be paying for regularly in your stay in the condo.

Every time you purchase a property within a community, be it a townhouse or a condominium, you must pay association dues. These monthly or quarterly payments fund the maintenance of the property, insurance of your unit, and the salaries of the staff.

Typically, a condo with many amenities comes with high association dues. As a potential buyer, you must know how much the association dues are to determine if you can afford to live there.

  • Review what the fees cover

As aforementioned, these payments fund the maintenance of the property, insurance of your unit, and the salaries of the staff. But usually, that is not all. Some association dues cover lawn maintenance, road maintenance, plumbing, and engineering.

Most of the time, condos develop a reserve of association dues. Most condos will share their financial statements and you will see if a condo has a reserve. A condo with a lot of reserve association dues has the capacity to fund repairs or special events.

When looking at the things to consider when buying a condo in the Philippines, of course, you would want to know where your money goes to when you make these regular payments.

  • Know the rules

Here is one of the more underrated condo buying tips, when you are buying a condo, you are also buying into the rules the community has stipulated for its residences.

Many communities will restrict certain type of pets or ban them altogether. The last thing you want to find out is your pet not allowed in the community. Other common rules a community is how long certain amenities can be used, rules when holding parties, and the like.

A good neighbor follows the rules and makes living in the condo easier for the man next door.   

  • Know what amenities you want

Condo amenities upscale one’s condo living so it is important for you to know what you want to come home to. Usual condo amenities include but are not limited to a swimming pool, lush greens, a study area, and a children’s playground.

Other examples of amenities, more of advantages, are things like free parking and free condo maintenance.

Just like finding a home that fits your lifestyle, the same goes with amenities. As a student living in a condo, you might need a place to be productive. On the other hand, if you live in a condo with kids, you may prioritize a place for play for the latter.

Know what you want in a condo to maximize your stay there.

  • See it yourself

The ads you see about condos or the digitalized versions of the condo you view online may be dramatized with enlarged spaces and elegant furniture.

To see is to believe and the best way to know what you are paying for is to see it yourself.

Before checking the unit out, ask if the unit is sold with no furniture or is semi-furnished.

When you go and check the unit out in person, immediately visualize how you plan to furnish the unit to help foresee if your purchase will meet your expectations or if you will end up feeling disappointed.

  • Special assessments

What are special assessments?

A special assessment is typically a large fee that is charged on top the association dues to cover a significant project in the condominium.  An example of a significant project that would be considered a special assessment, is a structural repair to the elevators.

It is important to know this because if undisclosed to you, you may end shelling out money for the unit itself, the association fees, and the special assessments.

To reiterate, non-exclusive to condo buying tips, always know where your money is going to.

  1. Location scouting

As frequently mentioned, a condo aims to maximize the convenience afforded to you. This may be through having your school or office within walking proximity or a place with basic needs like a hospital or grocery store nearby.

Do not forget to check if the place is prone to hazards, has a night life, if it is noisy, or if its traffic.

Another factor related to location is value. As a buyer, you would want to know if the value can increase as a form of real estate investment.

Perhaps this is one of the most important, if not the only, things to consider when buying a condo in the Philippines.

Written by Cholo Hermoso