A lot has been said about condo living — some good, some bad, some utterly inaccurate. Deciding whether or not to rent or own a condo could be a tough call, as it should be because it is bound to change your life in more ways than one. Don’t you worry, the changes are for the better.
Of course, the story may not end as well as the others. But condo living in the Philippines is largely the preferred living arrangement in urban cities for good reason. The main reason being the premium location of condo communities, a major consideration given the expansion and development of cities.
There is no question that the location of condos is supreme. There is also probably no question that they are safer and more secure as they are gated, and with security personnel and cameras keeping an eye on the community 24/7. But there is also no question that condo living can be intimidating for some middle-income individuals and families. Moreover, some people just can’t understand how living in a building could be better than living in a traditional house.
Trust condo dwellers, once skeptics, to have answers to these long-running condo myths.
It’s a rich man’s world
There are definitely condominiums that are for people on the top level of the pay scale. Some go as high as six-digit figures a month. But that is not the case for the majority of condo residents. Prime developments around the metro, for example, can be rented out between Php11,000 and Php40,000 more or less, depending on the size, arrangement, and furnishings, if any.
With a stable source of income, a condo is something you can definitely afford. And for hard-working professionals, it could also be something you definitely deserve. Everyone deserves to come home to a cozy home after a long day at work. In the same way, no one must be forced to endure three hours of traffic just to get home.
While renting a condo might seem a little bit costlier than a traditional room or apartment, there are ways to make up for it. Gas and commuting expenses will be cut down because, if you are lucky, you can just walk going to your office. You can discontinue your gym membership or Wi-Fi accounts because you can use the condo’s gym and free Wi-Fi. Depending on what you can sacrifice or compromise, there are many ways to save money while renting or paying for a condo.
No way I’m living in a box
Sure, you don’t get to have your own backyard or porch. (You are unlikely to have this in a regular apartment, too.) But that doesn’t mean you will be spending your days in a cell where the walls seem to be closing in on you. How you make any space livable is totally up to you. New condominium developments such as those of DMCI Properties are also out to prove you wrong, with more green open spaces and amenities that you can enjoy. The benefits are endless if you open your mind to it, and there’s no way you will be living in a box, regardless of the square footage.
Space isn’t enough for all the things I own
Again, how you make a space livable and comfortable is totally up to you. It doesn’t matter if you have truckloads of furniture, appliances, and whatnots. Chances are, you don’t need half of them. If at all, condo living teaches you to live minimally and spend your money wisely. Also, with the right organizational skills, you may keep most of your belongings without making your space look cluttered and muddled.
It’s not a place for raising kids
Parents usually worry about condos not being ideal for raising children. However they arrived at that conclusion does not matter, but it does seem unfounded and unfair. This is one of the most common condo-living misconceptions debunked by condo dwellers and developers later on.
Modern condo developments aren’t just buildings, they are communities. Sure, you don’t get to have your own lawn where you can build your child’s own playground. But can you do this in a regular apartment? In condo communities, children have a playground where they can improve their motor and social skills in a safe and controlled environment. They are surrounded by lush greens and they can go on picnic dates with other kids. Inside the community, kids can be kids. Other kiddie establishments or institutions couldn’t also be so far away either. The key here is parenting and how you make any environment suitable for your growing child.
Condos are not pet-friendly
Each condo has different rules, but there are definitely a growing number of condo communities allowing pets. There are still rules, of course, but these are designed to protect you, your pet, and other homeowners. Also, the rules are simple and valid such as making sure they are on a leash when strolling outside and that the owners pick up after them. Sounds just right, yes?
Fees and dues are too high
Fees help maintain the condo community so that homeowners go about their day without unnecessary stress and hassles. They may be an additional expense to your monthly rent or mortgage, but these fees keep maintenance expenses low.
Condo fees cover trash disposal, round the clock security, maintenance of utilities, and use of amenities, among others. These are things that you are likely to pay on your own for a single-family home. Make the most of these fees by using the available facilities and amenities.
There’s no privacy
A popular condo myth is the loss of privacy. Since you will be living in the same building or floor like the others, keeping things private is going to be a problem. Well, not really. If you notice, new developments are making it a point to protect the privacy of homeowners. Each get to have their own balconies, and outdoor spaces feature separate seating areas. Units have their own in-suite laundry and soundproofing materials are used to ensure that shared walls won’t mean shared noise.
After 50 years, I no longer own the condo
Let’s end this piece of fiction, once and for all, shall we? Republic Act 4726 or the Condominium Act of the Philippines states that an action for partition is possible only if: the property has been existing for over 50 years, that it is obsolete and uneconomical, and when the majority of homeowners are opposed to restoration or repair. All these factors must be present before a condo is declared uninhabitable. Quite unlikely, right? Most condo developers now also have “perpetual ownership” and it is there written all over your contracts and titles for your peace of mind.
Condo living is a worthwhile experience, and there are once-skeptic dwellers who can back it up. It may not be for everyone, but it is for everyone who wants to live comfortably and belong in a community that is safe, peaceful, and relaxed. It is for everyone who believes that they deserve better. And that is the plain, simple truth.