Traffic. Unruly communities. Leaking pipes. Yes, the struggle of the Filipino is real. It’s always been real, and if you’re the head of the family and live in a single home, you probably feel it every day. Chances are, you sometimes imagine your family living in a condo, and you get a vague feeling that it would be better. The thing is, families usually don’t fully appreciate the benefits of condo living until after they’ve moved in, at which point they wonder how they ever managed before. So if you’re on the fence about moving into your own unit, here’s a list of what you can look forward to.
The most obvious condo living advantages for many Filipino families involve safety. Let’s be real: there’s more crime and danger in the average barangay than many officials would care to admit. We may look forward to things getting better soon, but at the moment, there’s a very distinct possibility of the unthinkable happening, especially in some communities where unsavory individuals roam. Condominium developments offer some measure of security. Guards keep unknown and unauthorized individuals out, and there are typically functioning CCTV cameras that monitor activities in common areas. There are also rules of conduct enforced within condominium developments, so the safety of all residents is assured.
Another advantage of many condominium developments over single homes is location. Condo developers typically build on strategic points within the city. Living in a condo may allow you easy access to major urban thoroughfares such as EDSA or Ortigas Avenue. You may find that your condo home is minutes away from a reputable school such as La Salle or Ateneo De Manila University. Your children, if you are allowing them to commute, may have to walk only a few hundred meters to reach a transport system like the LRT-1 or LRT-2. Perhaps a mall is just 15 to 20 minutes away, instead of two hours. Time is gold, and with traffic the way it is in the metro, every fraction of an hour saved is precious, and can be better spent with your loved ones.
An immutable reality of family life: chores need to be done. That pile of laundry isn’t going to clean itself. The pantry won’t get magically restocked. Unless you have convenient access to a fresh spring, you have to go and buy the water you drink; tap water isn’t always potable, unfortunately. Living in a condo community can give you convenient access to a laundry service, so that takes care of your laundry list. Groceries and water are usually bought on trips to the supermarket, but should you suddenly run out or need to increase your supply for guests, you can also quickly visit a convenience store or water station, which many condo communities include among their amenities.
Sure, you can have fun with the kids at the mall. But spend a few hours walking around and it starts to feel less like quality time and more like a hassle. Between the traffic going to the mall, the time spent finding a parking spot, the crowds (especially on sale day), the time spent getting out of the parking area, and the traffic going back home, you really have to wonder if the trip is worth it. A good condo community will have many facilities for leisure, such as entertainment centers, swimming pools, playgrounds, and basketball courts. You can even spend time together just strolling along garden paths or doing creative indoor activities. Best of all, you won’t have to whip out your credit card even once!
One of the advantages of condo living for families (assuming you pick the right one) is superior comfort. Just picture it: you and your other half, enjoying the brisk morning air and the glow of sunrise, stealing a moment of respite before you go and face the day. Well-designed condominium developments, those that incorporate green architecture in their design, can also let the air and sunshine into buildings, providing light and airy corridors for residents. Or you can sit with the kids in well-maintained pocket gardens, the shade of trees providing much-needed shade. Furnished units will also have beds and sofas for new tenants to immediately crash on, potentially saving you some of the hassle of moving in.
The main thing everyone looks for is work-life balance. Saving time by living in an ideal condo location and having ready access to fun facilities is just part of the equation: people also need to devote some of their non-work time to personal improvement. Some may want to learn to cook, others may want to read, but a lot of people develop themselves through healthy fitness habits. A good condo community should have amenities like a gym, a lap pool, a basketball court, and jogging paths. There are a whole lot of reasons to be fit—from being selfie-ready to being heart-healthy to just burning excess energy. Practically every member of the family will have motivation to be a fitness buff at least once a year—especially around New Year’s and the months leading up to summer, right?
Dads aren’t as handy as they used to be. Before, every padre de pamilya had at least a rough idea of how to change the ballast on a fluorescent light fixture, how to mount a shelf on a wall, or how to fix a leaking faucet. Now, it’s not uncommon to find a dad who doesn’t even own a toolbox, let alone know how to fix common issues around the house. That’s the beauty of living in a condo community: you can contact maintenance personnel for assistance. Just tell them what the problem is, and they’re usually able to respond pretty quickly. Since units are very similar to one another, you can expect maintenance staff to have a pretty good idea of how to fix most problems around your condo home.
One of the most overlooked—and one of the most important—reasons why families prefer condo living, is the sense of community. Being in a safe, secure, and comfortable environment brings out the best in people. They smile more warmly, they talk more openly, and they are generally friendlier to each other. Happy communities are generally more civil, so neighbors are more trustful. Raising children in a community where people are more polite and open with each other will help them become decent adults and upstanding members of society.
These benefits appeal to most families, but everything is different from case to case. It’s hard to say for sure what the best condo features for the family are. All that matters, in the end, is to find a place that you can call home. Think about what your loved ones want and need right now, figure out what condo features would solve your problems, and just find the right location for all of you to be.