Before signing that check, take a quick look at these.
When adulting comes up in conversations these days, getting one’s own place to live in is a common subtopic. But how exactly should one choose a property to invest in with so many options cropping up everywhere?
As a condominium resident for almost two decades now (I started renting out a place while I was in college and eventually had my own when I started working), I thought it might be of help to share my list of things to consider when buying a condo unit.
Before signing that check, take a quick look at these:
BUDGET AND PAYMENT OPTIONS
No matter how seemingly fit a condo unit is for you and your needs, the main determining factor is if you can afford it. If the property cost is well within your budget, it is important to take note of other expenses like utilities, real estate tax, association dues, maintenance fees, repair fees, parking fees, and others.
How you are going to pay for the unit is also a priority. Two of the most common methods are cash payment and financing through a loan. Make sure you have assessed your financial readiness before making a commitment.
A lot of car owners tend to overlook the convenience of having one’s own parking lot. It does mean that there is an added acquisition fee on top of your total purchase payment for the condo unit. But based on experience, having a parking space to offer a tenant becomes an advantage should you decide to market your unit for rental later on.
LOCATION AND PROXIMITY
Once you’ve figured out the financial aspect, you must assess where your potential home is located. Since your real estate agent may not disclose all the details, it is best to ask around and do your own research about the area’s crime rate and other risk factors: Does flooding occur? Are there factories possibly emitting harmful gases nearby? And many more.
Given the long-standing issue of road traffic in the Philippines, it is best to check how near the condo is to your workplace or your children’s schools. Having a hospital, a church, a supermarket or a shopping mall nearby is a plus. This will provide convenience and save you time and money in the long run.
TYPE AND LAYOUT
There are different types of condo units – low-rise, mid-rise, high-rise, furnished or unfurnished, and pre-selling or ready-for-occupancy (RFO). It is best to match the advantages and disadvantages of each kind with your lifestyle needs.
The unit’s design and layout play an important part in your decision. Will you be living alone or with your family? Is there good ventilation? Do you have enough space to move around? How is the window view? These are just some questions you should ask yourself for an assessment. Keep in mind that buying a unit is a long-term investment. You have to be wary of any hint of inconvenience and spot potential problems early on.
One of the advantages of living in a condo is having access to amenities for wellness and recreation.
Find out what facilities are in store for you to enjoy and check the value they bring against the amount you will have to shell out for your association dues. It is common for condo units to have a swimming pool, play area, free Wi-Fi connection in common areas, and a gym.
It would also be best for you to avoid hidden charges by knowing the rules and restrictions beforehand. Some of the things you might want to ask in advance: Will you be allowed to host pool parties and invite guests? Is there a curfew?
SECURITY AND SAFETY
Aside from comfort and convenience, safety is one of the top-selling points of condo living. Is there 24-hour security available in the building? Are there surveillance cameras installed? Are people going in and out of the building regulated and recorded? Are smoke detectors in place and are the staff trained to handle fire situations? It is best to ask and make observations when you do an ocular inspection
Tip: If you’re buying on the pre-selling stage, discuss the security plans with your agent.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Knowing your willingness to comply with a condominium’s restrictions can be your gauge if you should push through with the purchase. Inquire about the rules and regulations and ask for details while you’re still under negotiation. Are pets allowed? How many tenants can stay in a unit? How is garbage disposed of? How are repairs and maintenance checks administered? Be as thorough as possible when you review the specifics.
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER
Last but not the least, you are investing time and hard-earned money when you opt to buy a condo unit. I cannot emphasize this enough but make sure you are transacting with a legitimate property developer.
Research online, join Facebook groups, and ask friends around to get as much information as you can about the developer of the condominium you are eyeing. It would be great if you can interact with and interview current residents of existing properties or the building itself. This way, you will get a sense of the developer’s financial capacity, track record, and performance.
Whether buying a condo unit for you means having a roof over your head or augmenting your income stream by placing it on rental or on sale, purchasing it from a reliable property developer spells a lot of difference.
Photos courtesy of Vista Residences
Vista Residences, one of the top condominium developers in the Philippines, has ready for occupancy projects in Manila such as Vista Taft, Vista Heights, Vista GL Taft, Plumeria Heights, 878 Espana and Crown Tower University Belt. It also has pre-selling projects as well as Orwell Heights, Tennyson Heights, Bradbury Heights and Sky Arts Manila.
Meanwhile, its move-in ready projects in Quezon City include Wil Tower, Symphony Towers, Pine Crest and Vista 309 Katipunan. It also has pre-selling projects in the said city such as Hawthorne Heights and Vista Pointe.
For more information on Vista Residences properties, visit www.vistaresidences.com.ph or call Vista Residences Marketing at +639089148457.