Condominiums are no longer just great homes, they are great investments too. Unlike other purchases, properties increase value over time. Whether you decide to rent them out, live in them or sell them in the future, condos are almost a sure bet you’ve got yourself a good investment for the future.
But not all condos are the same. A cheaper price tag doesn’t guarantee better value for your money. A cheaper two-bedroom condo in the suburbs is not necessarily a steal, as compared to a studio condo in a major business district.
Condo living is truly a comfortable and convenient way of living. But given that it is a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity, you must be careful before you jump right in. It is important to know the tell-tale signs that you are getting more of what you paid for in a condo. Bear in mind, you are not just paying for a physical structure or a box where you can live. You are buying everything that goes with it — comfort, location, and opportunities.
Get a better value for money with a condo by taking note of these signs:
Development is all around you
The neighborhood makes the home, or in this case the location of the condo community makes the condo unit. A luxury condo wouldn’t mean much if it is located outside the city and in an area without much development because the truth is: location is still king.
Real estate pricing largely depends on location. For the first quarter of 2016, prices of condo units increased by 12.9%. Rental yields in Metro Manila also seen as exceptional by international standards. Condos in Makati, Ortigas, and Eastwood are just some with the highest rental rates. That being said, it also helps to know how to spot cities with tremendous potential such as Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Las Piñas, which are now slowly growing into mega cities.
Location is an important consideration especially if you intend to sell or rent out your condo, but at the same time, location matters if your intention is to live close to work. Good location will save you fuel and commuting expenses. And best of all, it will save you time from traffic, which you can spend with your family.
Excellent track record
At a time when pre-selling is most preferred in the market, you have to make sure that the developer has a good reputation. This is an assurance that the project will be completed and turnover within predetermined dates. There have been instances when a developer ran out of money and buyers had to fight tooth and nail to get their money back.
Go for developers with an excellent track record, such as DMCI Homes, which is the first real estate firm in the country to be recognized as a Quadruple A contractor. It was also hailed by a property portal as the top condo developer that offers the best value for your money.
Size does matter
When buying a property, every square footage matters. There are condos out there who proudly proclaim they offer two-bedroom units at a lower price, only to find out that the other room could only fit a single bed.
Be wise when it comes to size. If you’re looking at living in that condo for the long-term, consider major life changes such as having a family and kids.
Beyond regular amenities
Your condo community has a sauna, pond, and several water features? That’s beyond the regular amenities offered in most condos.
Condos can sometimes be expensive because of the amenities, which are truly one of the benefits of condo living. A regular neighborhood won’t have a pool or gym of its own. You have to assess whether the price of the condo plus the corresponding homeowner’s dues when you move in correspond to the amenities available to you.
Not too dense
Population density must be a main point of consideration when purchasing a condo. This refers to the number of people per unit area, which also translates to the number of people sharing the amenities.
High population density would be a problem if your condo only has two elevators or only has two treadmills in the gym. At the same time, living in a community that feels too crowded is not the best thing in the world. When the hallways are too narrow and you’re facing a neighbor’s door at every turn, it could get a little uncomfortable. As opposed to developments with single-loaded corridors, such as that of DMCI Properties, you face a view not a door. In short, the more people living in a community, the more inconvenient it can get.
Price is right
When it is too good to be true, it probably is. This is especially true when it comes to condo prices. Getting value for your money doesn’t mean automatically going for the cheaper one. Before sealing the deal, know why a condo is priced really low because there often is a catch. Same goes when a condo is priced really high. Does the condo truly justify the price?
High resale value
A house is a lifetime investment and you should not be buying it just for what it means to you now, but more so in the future. You know you got a good deal when the resale value of the property is higher than average. Ask around and see if you got a good value for your money. You may also check with the city assessor just to have an idea of how much your property will cost in the next five years or so.
High condo sales
You have every reason to feel a little bit worried if sales of your potential condo is slow. It could be just a sign of the times, for sure, but it could also mean that there’s something that must be rather off. If realtors and brokers get an insanely huge commission, there must be a not-too-good reason behind there, too. So if your prospective condo property has a lot of takers, you can pretty much assume that you’re in for a fairly good deal.
Great after-sales service
You’ll hear all sorts of good things prior to purchase, but what truly matters is if the developer also offers a great after sales program. Again, this is where developer reputation becomes crucial. If you hear buyers collectively complaining about how inefficient a company’s services are, then you must take a hard second look.
Everything feels right
At the end of the day, after all the searching and researching, you know you got your dream condo if everything looks and feels right. If the condo feels warm and welcoming and you feel your heart skipping a bit as soon as you enter, then you know you did not only get a good value for your money, but you also got yourself a treasure of a lifetime.
You must leave no stone unturned when buying a condo. Observe, research, and do your homework. Look for the signs that tell you a good deal is right in front of you.