A Guide to Buying Your First Condo in The Philippines

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Condominium buildings are common sights in the biggest cities of the Philippines, particularly in the Metro. But nowadays, condos are popping up in suburban areas as well as more and more people long for luxurious living outside of the big city. And with how fast the real estate market, we can expect many more to add to the already numerous buildings in the country.

That said, you have probably looked into buying a condo at least once or twice at some point. Or at least imagined yourself living in one of those towering buildings. But before you start contacting real estate agents, here are some things you need to know about buying your first condo:

The developer should play a huge factor in your choice

Not all real estate developers are created equal. Some have been in business for decades now, while some are still relatively new to the industry. However, the length of time that a developer has been operational does not necessarily dictate their level of quality, but it does give you a good idea of how much experience they have.

If you’re a first-time condo buyer, it is recommended that you choose a property that is under the development of a long-standing company–one that has already built a solid name for itself with decades of experience. This way, you can be more confident in your choices despite not having much experience with condo buying or real estate in general.

Another important factor to consider when it comes to choosing a developer is the quality of customer service. You’d want a company that maintains an open line of communication and responds quickly to your concerns. Moreover, you’d want a company that offers flexibility and shows that they hold your best interests at heart.

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There is more to it than the down payment

When buying a condo or a house, the biggest obstacle is often the down payment. And for a condo, the down payment can be anywhere from P50,000 to P150,000 at 20%, depending on the total price of the unit. Thus, aspiring condo owners tend to focus on saving up for that amount, often forgetting about the other costs that come with buying a condo.

The truth is, there are many more expenses to prepare for than the down payment itself. There are also taxes, closing costs, membership fees, condo association dues, and other charges that come with buying a condo. Moreover, you also have to factor in your expenses for utilities, interior design (if you want to personalize your condo), new furniture and appliances, and the cost of moving to your new condo. Of course, there’s also the monthly amortization.

With all these things considered, it is highly recommended that you save at least P50,000 to P100,000 more than your intended down payment. It also goes without saying that you should have an emergency fund in case anything goes wrong to ensure that you can pay for all of your needs (and the condo costs) until you find your footing again.

The location will have to depend on your present and future plans

Location is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a condo to buy. For one, the location of the condo plays a huge role in its price (condos in city centers are more expensive than those in the outskirts). You also have to consider its distance from your workplace and how long it will take for you to get there, either by private or public transportation.

Moreover, you have to think about the population density in that area. Heavily populated areas are more prone to heavy traffic, pollution, crime, and noise. If you want a more peaceful lifestyle, you’d want to go with a location that is outside of the main city center or business district.

Also, consider your future plans. Do you plan on staying in the condo for more than 10 years? Are you stable enough in your job to not worry about relocating? Do you have plans to leave the country? At the very least, consider your plans five years into the future, then think about which location is best to live out these plans five or ten years from now.

Buying a condo can be an easy process with the help of an experienced real estate agent, but there are a lot of variables that come into play, such as location, developers, finances, and more. To ensure that you are as prepared as you can be before looking into condos, keep these things in mind and do due diligence as you go along.

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