Getting your own place is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do in your life. It’s so exciting, in fact, that it can overwhelm you and make you overlook the little things. And sometimes, it’s the little things that get in the way of fully enjoying your new place. To help ensure nothing gets in your way, it pays to be prepared. And to prepare you must cover all your bases, including brushing up on common condo mistakes that anyone can fall prey to.
Think you’re ready to get a condo in Philippines? Don’t go anywhere until you’ve addressed all of these common mistakes:
1. Automatically thinking you’re a condo person
Actually, there’s nothing wrong with that. But while condo living can indeed be tailored to suit a variety of needs, it doesn’t always work with everyone. This is why it is important to assess first if you are really ready to live in a condominium. For the most part, this is a matter of personal preference. Some people are just not cut out for building living, for instance, because they can’t deal with having so many people as neighbors. If you’re sure about getting a unit though, at least ensure you’re getting one from a trusted developer who has entrusted you to the care of a property manager. Having a property manager around makes living in a building so much easier because you can turn to someone for whatever you need.
2. Trusting a real estate agent too much
Enlisting the aid of a real estate agent is essential because they do know everything there is to know about the building you’re interested in. However, while they can guide you around, keep in mind that the decision is entirely up to you. Don’t decide solely on the worlds of a real estate agent. Take the time to visit units so you know exactly what options are available and what each one can offer you. It’s just one of the things to know as a condo dweller. It is your purchase, after all, so you should be in control.
3. Not getting a loan pre-approved
Unless you have millions in your bank account, chances are you’re going to take out a loan in order to become a condo dweller. Getting a loan pre-approved before you actually start paying for anything for your unit is ideal because this will give you a very clear idea as to what you would actually be spending once those monthly payments are due. It’s not the top common condo mistake you can do but it can throw a wrench in your plans if it turns out you can’t afford living in condominiums. Developers for condos sometimes work with partner banks to facilitate this process so don’t hesitate to talk to your real estate agent about pre-approved loans.
4. Paying mortgage insurance
Mortgage insurance is there as a safety net to ensure your payments will be covered should anything unfortunate happen that will interfere with fulfilling your obligations. But nice as it sounds, it is unnecessary. You may never know what’s going to happen tomorrow but pocketing 300,000 pesos instead of paying it out as insurance also sounds like a good idea. Insurance payments also don’t count towards your mortgage amount so it’s like you’re paying that much money on top of what you’re already spending for a unit in real estate Philippines. Talk to your bank to find out if you’re paying mortgage insurance. The good news is should you decide to stop paying premiums, what you’ve paid before may be reimbursed.
5. Spending more than you hoped
This ties together all the expenses you can make when you buy or rent a condo but mostly it has to do with getting swayed by sweet talk from real estate agents. Again, you have to be in control. Sure, adding a few thousands to what you have to pay every month so you can get a bigger unit sounds like a sweet deal, but that’s only if you can actually afford those few thousands. If you really must stick with a budget, do it. Instead of pushing you to spend more, your real estate agent should be helping you find a place you can comfortably afford instead.
6. Relying on verbal agreements
Your real estate agent may be nicest person you’ve ever met, but their word really means nothing compared to a written contract. Filipinos are just too trusting so it’s not unusual for many to keep repeating this common condo misconception. Anything that has been agreed upon should be put down in writing as this gives both you and the developer a list of duties and responsibilities you two will have to uphold. A contract is proof that a transaction has taken place so it is important and you must absolutely have one.
7. Having zero clue about rules and regulations
Ignorance does not excuse condo buyer mistakes. You’ll have been given a copy of your building’s house rules and regulations when the unit was turned over to you so do read up on it. Don’t just leaf through it. Read it. It’s a tedious task but you have to do it to ensure you’re not infringing on anything. Not to mention you’ll know when to call the property manager when you’re neighbor’s been less than neighborly.
8. Skimping on the view
Units with views are always more expensive than ones that don’t so they usually turn away those who need to work with a budget. If you can afford it though, it’s best to get that unit with a view because it’s going to appreciate better than the ones without a view, leaving you with an investment that is worth more than what your other neighbors could have in the long run. This doesn’t really seem like one of the important things to know as a condo buyer, but it will be when you start thinking about reselling. The additional view will make your unit more attractive so not only will it be easier to sell but it will also fetch more so you can enjoy more profit from the sale.
9. Skipping out on amenities
Only go home to your unit to sleep? Even when you’re so busy, take the time to enjoy the amenities in your building because they’re there to be used. You can’t be that busy that you can’t spare a few minutes to check out the swimming pool or hang out in the sky lounge. Think of it this way too: you are paying for these amenities, whether you actually use them or not. If that’s the case, might as well use them to make the most out of every peso you’re spending.
10. Taking the idea of reselling off the table
Don’t think you’ll ever sell your unit? It doesn’t matter. Treat your unit as an asset so you can essentially take better care of it. Besides, you don’t really know what’s going to happen in the future. While you may not think of reselling as you go into owning a unit, you could be singing a different tune in 10 years. Thinking like a reseller puts you in the right mindset to make the necessary investments that will ultimately give you the best unit possible. Should the thought of reselling or renting finally cross your mind, you’ll at least have a unit that won’t be considered as one of the worst condo renter mistakes around.
Make no mistake about it
Getting a condo, whether you’re renting or buying, is serious business. It’s always a big move to get a new place so you want the process to go as smoothly as possible. While you can’t prepare for everything, brushing up on things to know as a condo renter or buyer will definitely help. Get it together and living in condominiums will be one of the best things you’ve decided to do.